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WorldRemit vs. PayPal

We put these well-known services head to head to find out which one offers the best value on international money transfers.

WorldRemit and PayPal both offer a convenient online transfer service and let you send money to friends and family all around the world. But which one is the better choice for your next international transfer?

To find out, let’s compare WorldRemit and PayPal side by side to find out which offers the best exchange rates, lowest fees and fastest transactions.

The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of February 11, 2019.

Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
WorldRemit
Within minutes
From $0.99
Use promo code 3FREE and pay no fees on your first 3 transfers. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
PayPal
Within minutes
From $0
Use PayPal to safely send money and receive payments from around the world in over 25 currencies with just an email address or mobile number. Try 3 months free of Spotify Premium when you sign up with PayPal.
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PayPal transfers may incur an additional fee depending on the currency sent. See the full PayPal fee schedule by currency.

Which has lower fees?

WorldRemit

WorldRemit charges a transaction fee on all transfers, but the fee amount depends on multiple factors:

  • How much money you send.
  • Where you send it.
  • The type of transfer you send.

Bank transfers attract the lowest fees, often around $3.99 per transaction, but we recommend that you use WorldRemit’s online calculator to work out exactly how much your transfer will cost.

PayPal

PayPal’s fees vary depending on the amount you send and whether your payment is funded from your PayPal balance, bank account or your credit/debit card.

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Winner: WorldRemit

If you’re sending a transfer of less than $100, PayPal is definitely worth considering.

However, PayPal’s fee structure is quite complicated and confusing and WorldRemit will often work out cheaper when transferring a larger amount.

Which offers better exchange rates?

WorldRemit

WorldRemit adds a margin on top of the mid-market exchange rate you see listed on Google and currency conversion websites like Xe. Along with fees, this is the other way most money transfer services make a profit. WorldRemit’s margin varies from one currency to the next but often sits somewhere between 0.7% and 2%. For example, if you wanted to send a transfer to France:

  • If the mid-market rate is 1 USD = 0.8797 EUR
  • WorldRemit’s rate might be 1 USD = 0.8710 EUR

PayPal

While PayPal typically offers better exchange rates than the banks, those rates are below what you can get from WorldRemit and other online transfer services. The margin varies depending on the currency you’re sending to, but we found that it was generally around 4%. For example:

  • If the mid-market rate is 1 USD = 0.8797 EUR
  • PayPal’s rate might be 1 USD = 0.8560 EUR

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Winner: WorldRemit

WorldRemit generally offers higher exchange rates than PayPal, which means that more of the money you send makes it to your recipient.

Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending $100 and $2,000 to the UK

To give you a better idea of how WorldRemit and PayPal compare, let’s look at the example of sending two transfer amounts from your bank account to a recipient in the UK. With WorldRemit the funds will be deposited into your recipient’s bank account, while PayPal will send the money to your recipient’s PayPal account.

Sending $100 to the UK

WorldRemitPayPal
Transfer fee$2.99$2.99
Transaction cost$102.99$102.99
Exchange rate1 USD = 0.7470 GBP1 USD = 0.7340 GBP
Transfer speed1 dayFunds available immediately
Total received £74.70£73.40

As you can see, WorldRemit offers slightly better value for money in this example. While you’ll pay the same amount to send the transfer, the higher exchange rate means your recipient will get £1.30 more than with PayPal.

Sending $2,000 to the UK

WorldRemitPayPal
Transfer fee$2.99$2.99
Transaction cost$2,002.99$2,002.99
Exchange rate1 USD = 0.7470 GBP1 USD = 0.7340 GBP
Transfer speed1 dayFunds available immediately
Total received £747.00£734.00

WorldRemit comes out ahead in this example as well, resulting in an extra £13 in your recipient’s account.

Which is faster?

WorldRemit

Transfer times with WorldRemit vary depending on where you’re sending money and the type of transfer you choose.

  • Bank transfer: Instant transfers to selected banks, but 1-3 working days when sending to other bank accounts.
  • Cash pickup: Available to collect instantly.
  • Mobile money: Instant or near-instant.
  • Airtime top-up: Instant or near-instant.
  • Home delivery: 24 hours – 7 days.

PayPal

The money you send to your recipient’s PayPal account is available almost immediately. However, if your recipient wants to withdraw the funds to their bank account rather than spend it straight from their PayPal account, this can take one or more business days.

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Winner: WorldRemit

While PayPal transfers are fast and convenient, the fact that WorldRemit has multiple instant or near-instant transfer options means it wins this category.

General features

Payment methodsMinimum and maximum transfersDelivery methodsTransfer speedsCountries and currencies
WorldRemitBank transfer, credit card, debit card, Android Pay, Apple PayMinimum: $1

Maximum: $9,000

Bank transfer, mobile wallet, cash pickup, airtime top-up, door-to-door deliveryWithin minutes145+ countries
PayPalBank transfer, credit or debit card, PayPal CreditMinimum: $1

Maximum: $10,000

PayPal account transfer3 days190+ countries

WorldRemit

Before you can send money overseas with WorldRemit, you’ll need to sign up for a free account online. To initiate a transfer, enter the currency and amount you want to send along with the details of your recipient. You can pay for your transfer using your bank account, credit/debit card, Android Pay or Apple Pay, and WorldRemit offers several different transfer types. However, it’s worth noting that not all transfer options are available in all countries.

PayPal

If you want to use PayPal to send money overseas, both you and your recipient will need PayPal accounts. Once you’ve signed up for an account and linked your bank account or credit/debit card, you can initiate a transfer request by entering the email address or phone number of your recipient. You can then specify the currency and amount you wish to send, provide a purpose for the transfer and then review the exchange rate and fee before submitting your transfer.

Bottom line

While PayPal is a competitive and convenient option for small transfer amounts, WorldRemit’s simpler fee structure and higher exchange rates see it take victory.

However, before deciding how to send your next overseas transfer, make sure you compare a range of international money transfer services to find the best deal.

Looking for more options?

Our table lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Compare services on transfer speeds and fees, then click Go to site when you're ready to send.
1 - 12 of 12
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
Wise (TransferWise)
Within minutes
From 0.41%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies.
Cash App
Within minutes
From $0
With this peer-to-peer payment app make payments to your friends and family with no transfer fees within the US or from the US to the UK or EU.
Instarem
24 hours
From 0%
New Instarem customers will get a special FX rate and zero-fees on their first transfer.
Instarem offers offers rewards on every transaction.
MoneyGram
Within minutes
From $0
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
OFX International Money Transfers (Business)
24 hours
$0
Business customers: Send safe, no-limit transfers with no fees and competitive exchange rates.
CurrencyTransfer for Business
24 hours
$0
Increase business efficiency with zero transaction fees and same-day transfers.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Xe Money Transfer for Business
24 hours
$0
Save your time and money with Xe Money Transfer for business.
Currencies Direct (business)
24 hours
$0
Minimizes costs of international transactions and offers custom solutions for business clients. Currencies Direct may call you to confirm your transfer, so be prepared for a phone call shortly after initiating a transfer.
Xe
Within minutes
$3
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
CurrencyTransfer
24 hours
$0
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
Currencies Direct
24 hours
$0
CurrenciesDirect makes transferring money abroad simple with bank-beating exchange rates. Currencies Direct may call you to confirm your transfer, so be prepared for a phone call shortly after initiating a transfer.
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Frequently asked questions

How does PayPal compare to sending an international money transfer with my bank?

PayPal typically offers lower fees (if you pay from your PayPal balance or linked bank account) and better exchange rates than sending a transfer through a major bank.

Can I pay for my transfer using cash or a check?

No. Neither WorldRemit nor PayPal accept cash or check payments.