Although a basic account gives you full access to Second Life and does not require a credit card or PayPal account, if you add a credit card or a verified PayPal account you can:
Linden Lab® will bill your account only under very specific circumstances. All charges are deducted from your U.S. Dollars (USD) balance first, and then from your credit card or PayPal account if your USD balance is insufficient.
Premium account holders are charged according to the payment plan they have selected. Depending on the plan, charges may occur monthly, quarterly, or yearly. See your Account Summary to find out your current billing rate. To change your billing rate, see the Upgrade/Downgrade Membership page.
The land use fee (also known as tier) is a variable monthly charge that increases with the amount of land you own in Second Life. For more information about land use fees, see the Land Pricing & Use Fees page. Land use fees are separate from private region fees.
In addition to the initial charge to buy a private region, owners of private regions pay a monthly fee to Linden Lab. Private region fees are charged directly to your credit card or PayPal account, and are separate from other land use fees.
See Buying private Regions for a comparison of private region fees.
Visit the Land Portal for more information about land types and pricing, including access to the Land Store and Auction site.
There are fees for certain region changes, such as renaming, moving, or converting to a different region type; see Managing Private Regions for details.
Some land auctions are denominated in U.S. Dollars. Winning an auction incurs a one-time payment, but can cause an increase in your monthly Land Use Fees if the additional land moves you to the next Land Tier. For more information about land auctions in Second Life, see the Auction FAQ.
It is possible to rent an entire Region for a short period of time. The cost of renting a Region is L$4000 per day, paid in full on the first day of the rental. Note that this price is listed in Linden dollars (L$) instead of U.S. dollars. For more information on Region rental, visit the Land Portal.
All Residents have the option of trading U.S. Dollars for Linden Dollars (L$) on the Linden Dollar Exchange (LindeX). LindeX charges are generated on a per-transaction basis; you will only be charged if and when you decide to make an exchange. You may also purchase Linden Dollars inworld by clicking the Buy L$ button next to your inworld Linden Dollar balance. For additional information on LindeX transaction fees, see the LindeX: Fees page.
Some credit card issuers charge a small fee if the payment settles in a currency that is not native to the card. If you're in the United States and are being charged a foreign transaction fee with your current credit card, try deleting and re-entering your payment method. This should resolve your foreign transaction fees; if it does not, consult your financial institution for details on their schedule of fees.
To view your billing information, see the Billing Information page on the Second Life website.
On the Billing Information page, you can view your current Linden dollar (L$) and US dollar balances, view and add US dollar payment methods for your account, and set which payment methods will be used for different types of purchases.
To add a credit card, PayPal, or Skrill account to your Second Life account, click Add a Credit Card, Add a PayPal account, or Add a Skrill account. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up a billing agreement with PayPal or Skrill, or fill in your credit card information accordingly.
Once you have added a payment method, it is saved for your account and you can associate it with various types of payments. See the next section for more information.
You can also add a new payment method during a transaction, when selecting a payment method. If you add a credit card, PayPal account, or Skrill account in this way, it is automatically associated with the type of payment being made.
You may specify which payment method you would like to use for each of the following payment types:
- Buying L$ in the Viewer
- Buying L$ on the web
- Buying land, Premium fees, recurring fees
To associate a payment method, go to the Other Payment Methods section of the Billing Information page and click Change next to the payment method you would like to use, then check boxes next to your desired payment types on the provided list.
You may remove this association at any time by clicking Change next to the payment method, then un-checking the boxes next to the associated payment types.
You can also change an associated payment method during a transaction by choosing a different payment method or adding a new payment method for that transaction.
To change stored information about one of your payment methods, you must delete that payment method and re-enter it. You may delete a stored payment method by clicking Remove next to that payment method on the Billing Information page.
Your selected country determines the payment methods available to you. Normally, you should not need to change your billing country, but you may need to update it if you are traveling or have moved to a new location. You can change your billing country by clicking the Change button next to your country's name on the Billing Information page.
Countries and Areas Subject to VAT or GST
- Countries belonging to the European Union (EU)
If your billing country is on the list above, you may be subject to the collection of value added tax (VAT). In Australia, this tax is called the Goods and Services Tax (GST). If you are a business and are reselling, or adding value to Second Life before providing it to a consumer, you may be eligible to provide your government-issued VAT ID number or your Australian Business Number in order to be excluded from the collection of VAT or GST. If you see "Subject to VAT" under your billing country's name on the Billing Information page, you can add your exception by clicking Add VAT Exception or Add Australian Business Number and providing your ID.
For more information, see VAT frequently asked questions
You may request that some or all of your US Dollar balance be credited to a PayPal or Skrill account by performing a process-credit request. Please see the corresponding section of the Account balance article for full details.
You may use the following payment methods with Second Life:
- American Express
- Delta Online (non-U.S. Residents only)
- Diners Club
- Discover (U.S. Residents only)
- Visa Electron (non-U.S. Residents only)
The currencies accepted for payment include:
- CAD, AUD, JPY, EUR, GBP for non-U.S. Residents, and
- USD for U.S. Residents
To use an existing PayPal balance when making transactions with Second Life, it must be in USD. You can convert your balance to USD at paypal.com (PayPal may impose exchange fees).
Skrill offers a variety of payment options including Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, along with over 100 local payment options listed on their Payment Options page. For a complete list of currencies accepted by Skrill, visit their official website and view the page on Fees and Availability.
You can view your transaction history in two places from your account page on the Second Life website:
- Displays your Linden Dollar (L$) transactions for the selected date range (up to 32 days with a basic account, or 90 days with a premium subscription). You can also download the data in XLS (Excel) and XML format.
- Your Linden dollar and US dollar account balances.
- Your remaining LindeX™ trading limits for the next 24 hours and 30 days.
- Your remaining account billing limits for the next 24 hours and 30 days.
- Your LindeX™ Exchange Transaction History, including both closed and open (unexecuted limit buy or sell) orders.
Choose Account > Account History/Statements from the sidebar on your Second Life account page to access your account history. This page shows all your account transactions for the previous 45 days that involve real-world currency.
For purchases of Linden dollars on the LindeX, you will see two entries: one corresponding to the L$ buy, and one corresponding to the transaction payment. So, for example, this is correct:
|Time||Confirmation ID||Note||Amount||Ending Balance|
|08/17/2010 08:41:22||102230685019||Customer Payment||($7.75)||$23.23|
|08/17/2010 08:41:22||-||LindeX Currency Buy||$7.75||$30.94|
Because of timing issues these may appear in the opposite order. So, for example, this is also correct:
|Time||Confirmation ID||Note||Amount||Ending Balance|
|08/17/2010 08:41:22||-||LindeX Currency Buy||$7.75||$30.94|
|08/17/2010 08:41:22||102230685019||Customer Payment||($7.75)||$23.23|
When you purchase land, pay land maintenance fees, or premium membership fees, you will see three entries:
- One entry for the payment
- One entry for the purchase
- One entry for the VAT charge (if applicable).
|Time||Confirmation ID||Note||Amount||Ending Balance|
|09/09/2010 09:42:18||-||My New Land (Estate: My New Land)||$1,029.00||$0.00|
|09/09/2010 09:42:18||-||VAT charge for United Kingdom at 17.50%||$180.07||($1,029.00)|
|09/09/2010 09:42:18||102234890171||Payment of 814.49 GBP, Visa ending with 1038||($1,209.07)||($1,209.07)|
Again, the entries can appear in any order, so the far right column can look different in each case.
As with all US$ transactions, Private Region (island) setup fees first bill against any US$ credit in your account and then against the payment method you have associated with buying land.
If you are using PayPal, you may need to adjust your monthly billing allowance. See the next section for instructions.
If you use a credit card, you may need to notify your credit card provider of the upcoming purchase. See Account balance for details.
On the mainland, billing is based on peak usage for the prior 30 days.
As stated on the Land Use Fees page:
The Land Use Fee is a monthly charge for the peak amount of land held during the previous 30 days, including actual parcels held and land tier donated to groups.
Once the peak usage has been billed, your peak usage is reset to the current amount of land you own or have donated to a group. All land owned or donated during the prior 30 days is counted regardless of the amount of time for which it was held.
Account fees, which are separate from mainland billing, are based on the user's signup date and are paid in advance.
Below are some common causes of billing problems and steps to prevent them.
Make sure that you have payment information on file when attempting to make a purchase. Transactions with Linden Lab require you to specify a form of payment to charge when you make purchases or payments.
Here are some common reasons for credit card failure:
- You entered the credit card number incorrectly.
- You did not enter the billing address or entered it incorrectly. It should be the same address that appears on your bill.
- You did not enter the name on the card or entered differently from how it appears on the card.
- Billing Information page.
- The credit card is not in the list of accepted payment methods (see above)
- You did not enter the CVV (3 digits on the back, or 4 digits on the front for AmEx) or entered it incorrectly.
- The card is expired, or the expiration date was entered incorrectly.
- There are no funds available on the credit card to validate it. We send a US$1.00 authorization to ensure that a credit card is valid. This is not a billing, but the card must have at least US$1.00 available on it to pass validation.
- Your monthly payment limit is reached, and/or your bank is not authorizing any more transactions.
- The issuing bank has not pre-approved transactions with Linden Research, Inc. Contact the issuing bank to resolve the problem.
- If you are outside the US, your card may not be set up for international/overseas transactions (this is very common with Visa Electron).
If none of the above applies, contact your credit card provider to determine the cause.
You may also contact Linden Lab Billing Support.
One of the more common issues with establishing PayPal as a method of payment is that the PayPal account isn't Verified. To use your PayPal account with Linden Lab, it must be verified and be capable of making instant transfers. See PayPal's Help page for information on how to verify your PayPal account.
Linden Lab does not accept e-check (bank account) payments through PayPal because they cannot be processed quickly enough to match the instant delivery of virtual goods and services. Therefore, we require that you have a credit card on file with PayPal as a backup payment source, or that you have an existing USD PayPal balance sufficient for any purchases you'd like to make. Without a sufficient USD balance in your PayPal account, you will not be able to use it with only a bank account.
|⚠️||If you'd like to use your PayPal account without having a backup credit card on file, please add USD funds to your PayPal balance before you make a purchase.|
When you add PayPal as a method of payment for Second Life, it creates an automatic payment agreement. These automatic payment agreements have a default monthly limit (usually US$250.00). You can raise or lower that limit for your agreement with Linden Lab to meet your needs at PayPal's website, but if you'd like specific steps on how to do that, please visit PayPal's Help page and search for automatic payment. See Using PayPal for more information.
First, if you have any existing automatic payment agreements with Linden Research or Tilia, Inc at PayPal, please remove them. To remove existing payment agreements, follow these steps:
- Log in to your PayPal account.
- Click the Gear Icon.
- Click the Payments tab.
- Click Manage automatic payments.
- In the Automatic payments section, if you have any existing billing agreements with Linden Research or Tilia Inc, select and cancel them.
Next, return to SecondLife.com and add your PayPal account as a method of payment:
- At SecondLife.com, click Login on the upper right (if you are not already logged in).
- On your Account Dashboard, click Account on the sidebar on the left to expand the Account section.
- Select Billing Information
- Under Other Payment Methods, click Add a PayPal Account
- From here, you'll be taken to PayPal's site to log in and set up the automatic payment agreement.
Once your preferences are saved at PayPal, the Billing Information page will show your PayPal account has been added successfully.
- If you wish, you may also select what types of transactions you would like to use your PayPal account for by clicking Change under the 'Used for' column on the Billing Information page. Some Residents prefer to use different methods of payment for purchasing L$ in the Second Life Viewer, for example.
You must have funds available in your Preferred funding source (PayPal balance) for any purchase to go through. If you do not have enough funds in your Preferred source, the remaining balance will be drawn from your Backup funding source (bank account or credit card).
If you have a non-technical issue related to billing concerns, you can call the Linden Lab billing team at the following numbers:
- US/Canada (toll free): 800-294-1067
- Long distance (not toll free): 703-286-6277
Our Billing team is available from 6:00 AM to 2:00 PM PST, Monday through Friday.
If your payment methods are not updating properly, it often has something to do with the bank or card issuer. Some credit card companies will automatically decline or hold for review international charges (or "online gaming" charges) as a safeguard against fraud.
If you are located in the U.S., delete and re-enter your payment method. This will make it go through the domestic processor, which reduces the chances of your financial institution putting a hold on the transaction.
If you're having trouble getting a payment method to update:
If you have waited at least 30 minutes and are still experiencing failed transactions or information that is still marked as "pending update", please delete and re-enter your billing information or try an alternate method of payment (credit or debit card).
To update your billing information:
- Go to Your Dashboard.
- Click Account.
- Click Billing Information.
Update your billing information then click Submit.
- If the update is successful, you will see the message "Your information has been successfully updated".
- To avoid the risk of failed transactions, please wait 30 minutes before transacting. This allows the payment processor time to fully update.
- To update your billing information:
After the second attempt, if transactions are still failing or information is still pending update, contact your credit or debit card issuer:
- Ask to speak directly to the risk and security department.
- Explain that you wish to authorize your card for charges from Linden Research and Second Life.
- While on the phone, clear and re-enter your billing information. The bank or card issuer should then see (and approve) a temporary $1 verification charge. (This verification charge will disappear automatically; you will not have to pay it.)
- If you are still unable to complete a transaction after following the above steps, please contact Linden Lab billing support for further assistance.
If we are not able to bill your account for the balance due, your account has 30 days to settle this balance due before we place your account on hold. During this first 30 days of delinquency, you can continue to use Second Life and log in as usual. Your Premium membership stipends, if you have any, will be placed on hold until your balance due is settled, but will be delivered once your account balance is cleared.
After this 30 day grace period is over, if you continue to have a delinquent balance, we will place your account on hold. During this period, you can go to your account page and update your credit card information and manually settle the balance to immediately reactivate your account. While you can still access secondlife.com to clear the balance due, you will not be able to access your inworld accounts while delinquent.
For more information, see Delinquency policy.
If you're concerned about upcoming Premium charges, you can convert your account status to basic membership to keep it available to you at no charge by downgrading your account. Please note that if you own land, you may need to sell or abandon ownership of that land in order to downgrade. Charges for mainland are based on the maximum amount of land that you owned in the last billing period, so there may be one more payment due before fees cease to be incurred. You must clear all charges for land owned and land tier donations to avoid additional fees.
If you have any questions or concerns about maintaining your account or making payments, please contact our Support team for assistance.
There are a few things related to Second Life that you need to pay for using US$. These things include:
In most cases, charges for new premium subscriptions or increases in land use tier should appear and be available immediately after purchase. If you're on the website, you may need to log out and log back in again to refresh your information.
If you've purchased L$ and you haven't yet received them, it's possible that you have made a Limit Buy, a special type of L$ purchase that may take longer than usual to arrive. For more about Limit Buys and how they're created, please see Limit Buys on the Buying and selling L$ page. You can also check your LindeX Order History on your Account Dashboard page at SecondLife.com, under the Linden Exchange section on the left sidebar.
When something like your land fees are due, the charge is applied to your account automatically in the evening (Pacific time) on the scheduled due date. In some instances, you may see a balance due message on your account if you check your account around the time that land fees are charged; don't worry, this doesn't necessarily mean that there's a problem. Balances are typically charged automatically overnight, or you can click the pay your balance link from the Account Dashboard at any time to resolve the message if you'd prefer not to wait.
In general, if you're having problems that seem to indicate the system doesn't realize that you've paid for something, please contact our Support team for assistance and they'd be happy to help.
This error message typically means that the institution issuing the card you're trying to use has rejected the attempt to set up a payment agreement. You should contact the card's issuer to resolve this problem. This can sometimes happen if the card issuer believes activity to be unusual, or if you haven't used a particular card before, and can only be resolved with the card issuer (as they're the source of the rejection).
We have to attempt a small, temporary charge in order to establish your method of payment in the system. These are sometimes known as temporary preauthorization charges, which are relatively common when establishing a new payment method. These temporary charges are only visible on your account until we receive confirmation from your payment method issuer that everything updated correctly and is working properly. Once we've received confirmation that your method of payment is valid, we cancel the temporary charge, which tells the credit card company to remove it.
While these temporary preauthorization charges might appear on your account statement, you don't have to pay them, and they will disappear automatically on their own. If you have any questions about a temporary preauthorization charge, please contact your credit card issuer or PayPal customer support for more information about how they might appear on your account statement.
If you're planning to purchase land or L$ through Linden Lab with an American Express card, you should first call American Express and authorize an open billing agreement with Linden Lab. Once American Express has enabled it, you should be able to use your American Express card to buy land or L$.
When payments are settled in a currency not native to your payment method, your bank may charge what is commonly called a "foreign transaction fee." This fee is not generated or collected by Linden Lab, and we can't control or cancel it.
If you're in the United States and are being charged the foreign transaction fee on your current credit card, you should try deleting and re-entering your current payment method at https://secondlife.com/account/billing.php. This process should stop the foreign transaction fees in most cases; if they continue, you should contact your financial institution to learn the details of your personal situation.
A common cause of payment method failure is the use of unsupported card types. At this time, the majority of prepaid cards are not compatible with our system, even if they bear the VISA/AMEX/Mastercard logo. This includes cards purchased at retail stores, rechargeable credit cards, and bank-issued check cards.
I receive the error message "This transaction cannot be completed with your chosen payment method, please purchase L$ and reattempt your purchase." when I try to make a purchase using my Credit Card or PayPal account on the Marketplace
Occasionally, purchasing L$ with your credit card or PayPal account as part of a Marketplace transaction can fail, particularly if the Marketplace is unusually busy. As a workaround, purchasing L$ separately at SecondLife.com and then returning to the Marketplace to complete checkout will typically resolve the problem.
To purchase additional Linden dollars to complete your purchase:
On the upper-right of the Marketplace page, click Buy L$.
- If you don't see a Buy L$ at the top of the page, you can also visit SecondLife.com and select Buy L$ from the Linden Exchange section of your Account Dashboard.
- In the Linden Dollars (L$) box, enter the amount of Linden Dollars necessary to complete your purchase.
- Click Place Order.
- Return to the Marketplace and check out using Linden dollars as your method of payment.