When making a contribution (i.e. membership payment) I get an Access Denied message from Paypal, where the following conditions apply:

  1. An applicable Discount is enabled

  2. The user has toggled the Auto-renewal option to ON in the contribution form.

Current setup

WordPress: 5.5.1

CiviCRM: 5.29.0

CiviDiscount: 3.8.1

PayPal account type: Business

Process Flow

  2. login
  3. Go to the Contribution Form page
  4. Fill select membership option AND check the box for "Please renew my memberhip automatically"
  5. Click 'Continue', review the confirmation page, and click Continue again
  6. If this were doing what it was supposed to I'd be sent to the login form on PayPal, but instead I get this error page:

Error Message

    **Access Denied.**
    You don't have permission to access "/subscriptions?business=PAYPAL_ACCOUNT_EMAIL¬ify_url=https%3A//MYDOMAIN/FORM_PAGE/%3Fciviwp%3DCiviCRM%26q%3Dcivicrm%252Fpayment%252Fipn%252F3&item_name=MY_PAYPAL_ITEM_NAME&quantity=1&undefined_quantity=0&cancel_return=https%3A//MYDOMAIN/FORM_PAGE/%3Fciviwp%3DCiviCRM%26q%3Dcivicrm%252Fcontribute%252Ftransact%26_qf_Main_display%3D1%26cancel%3D1%26qfKey%3D48952a1caaf16f8b76aafc96ffb778bfdeb8e5aef9da49e3897dc33fbb4540ef_8394%26isRecur%3D1%26recurId%3D11%26contribId%3D1142&no_note=1&no_shipping=1&return=https%3A//MYDOMAIN/FORM_PAGE/%3Fciviwp%3DCiviCRM%26q%3Dcivicrm%252Fcontribute%252Ftransact%26_qf_ThankYou_display%3D1%26qfKey%3D48952a1caaf16f8b76aafc96ffb778bfdeb8e5aef9da49e3897dc33fbb4540ef_8394&rm=2¤cy_code=USD&invoice=940f55d4240395cacee1f76cd374dd8e&lc=US&charset=UTF-8&custom=%7B%22module%22%3A%22contribute%22%2C%22contactID%22%3A%22CONTACT_ID%22%2C%22contributionID%22%3A1142%2C%22membershipID%22%3A%22578%22%2C%22contributionRecurID%22%3A11%2C%22contributionPageID%22%3A%224%22%7D&bn=CiviCRM_SP&email=MEMBER_EMAIL&cmd=_xclick-subscriptions&a3=0.25&p3=1&t3=D&src=1&sra=1&modify=0" on this server. 

I am able to apply a discount to a renewal without the auto-renewal being set. But not with.

I am offering Current members who have been imported to the CiviCRM system the option to restart their renewal process within the system with the incentive of a discount. So I need auto-renewals and a short-term discount in place. Has anyone else run into this problem for auto-renewals of contribution paired with a CiviDiscount?

1 Answer 1


This seems to be an error on the paypal side.

Check with paypal, if they have blacklisted your IP.

Try doing a contribution with a different router or a separate internet service provider, i.e, a new IP that hasn't contacted paypal yet.

  • Thanks for the feedback. I don't think my IP is blacklisted. Using the same browser session I am able to make a Recurring Non-Discounted Contribution. I can also make a One-Time Discounted Contribution. But I cannot make a Recurring Discounted Contribution without encountering the Access denied screen. Commented Sep 25, 2020 at 15:16
  • I am experiencing a similar issue and error as the question asker except I can't make any kind of donation. We're running WP 5.5.1, Civi 5.30, PayPal Business. The PayPal donate button works fine, but if I try to run any donation through Civi I get an access denied error. If the IP is blacklisted, I don't see how the PayPal button works properly.
    – ncraig
    Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 21:19
  • I'm not sure I feel confident enough to list this as a solution, but here's what worked for me. Following the info in this link I simplified the donation page removing an image, and it seems to be going to PayPal. I can't explain why it works, but removing an image in the footer of the contribution page seems to have fixed the issue. Good luck.
    – ncraig
    Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 21:28

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