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PayPal international money transfer review

A quick and convenient way to send money overseas.

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Sending money overseas with PayPal is quick and simple, but the unfavourable exchange rates can make this company an expensive option for large transfers.

With low fees on small transfer amounts and fast transfer processing times, PayPal makes it possible to send over 20 currencies across more than 200 countries, allowing you to send money almost anywhere around the world.

How much does it cost to transfer money with PayPal?

How much it costs depends on how much money you send, where you send it and how you pay for the transfer.

Base fees – sending from New Zealand

Payment method:Country of recipient’s account:Fee
PayPal balance or a bank account linked to your PayPal account.New ZealandFree
Funded by a credit card or debit card.New Zealand3.4% plus fixed fee (see table below)
PayPal balance or a bank account linked to your PayPal account.All other countries6.99 NZD
All other funding sourcesAll other countries6.99 NZD plus 3.4% plus fixed fee (see table below

Flat fees for sending in a different currency

CurrencyFee
Australian Dollar:0.30 AUD
Brazilian Real:0.60 BRL
Canadian Dollar:0.30 CAD
Czech Koruna:10.00 CZK
Danish Krone:2.60 DKK
Euro:0.35 EUR
Hong Kong Dollar:90 HUF
Hungarian Forint:2.35 HKD
Israeli Shekel:1.20 ILS
Japanese Yen:40 JPY
Malaysian Ringgit:2.00 MYR
Mexican Peso:4.00 MXN
CurrencyFee
New Zealand Dollar:0.45 NZD
Norwegian Krone:2.80 NOK
Philippine Peso:15.00 PHP
Polish Zloty:1.35 PLN
Russian Ruble:10 RUB
Singapore Dollar:0.50 SGD
Swedish Krona:3.25 SEK
Swiss Franc:0.55 CHF
Taiwan New Dollar:10.00 TWD
Thai Baht:11.00 THB
British Pound:0.20 GBP
US Dollar:0.30 USD

Exchange rates

PayPal’s exchange rates are calculated by a financial institution and updated multiple times a day to reflect fluctuating market conditions. PayPal’s bank adds 2.5% to a wholesale rate price to calculate the service’s retail foreign exchange rate. If you compare the rates offered by PayPal, you’ll see that they can be competitive against the rates offered by banks and other foreign exchange providers.

To view PayPal’s current exchange rates, log in to your account. On your profile summary page, clickDetails” next toPayPal Balance”, then clickManage Currencies”. From this page you can enter the relevant information and clickCalculate” to see the resulting exchange rate before initiating your money transfer.

What types of transfers can you carry out with PayPal?

PayPal does not offer the flexibility of rate locks or forward contracts, but you can schedule recurring transfers using its Balance Manager. Keep in mind that doing so will incur a fee.

There’s no cash pick-up option available for your recipient, with all transfers handled electronically.

Pros and cons of using PayPal

Pros
  • Easy. Sending money overseas with PayPal is fast, easy and intuitive.
  • Fast. PayPal international money transfers are faster than many other international money transfer options.
  • Secure. PayPal offers 24/7 transaction monitoring, next-level encryption and dispute resolution options. Its “deep learning” artificial intelligence technology makes it extremely resistant to fraud.
  • Customer service. There are several customer service options available if you need help with a transaction.
  • Good for small transfers. PayPal’s fees are a percentage of your transaction amount, making it a cost-effective solution when you need to transfer smaller amounts.
  • Worldwide network. PayPal is available in more than 200 countries around the world, allowing you access to a wealth of possible transfer destinations.
Cons
  • Not ideal for larger transfers. With fees that are based on a percentage of your transfer amount, PayPal might not be your best option when transferring large amounts.
  • Fees. PayPal’s fee structure can add a lot to the total cost of your transfer. Its fees are calculated based on the amount of money you are sending. If you send a large amount, expect to pay a lot in fees. Fees also vary based on where your money is going. Finally, your fee will be higher if you use a credit or debit card to fund the transaction, rather than your PayPal account or linked bank account.
  • Exchange rates. If you are exchanging your currency to make your PayPal international money transfer, you might find that its exchange rates are not as favourable as its competitors. PayPal’s currency exchange rates start at 2.5%.

How does PayPal compare to other services?

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
AUD 250 1 - 2 days NZD 0.00 0.691 USD
6,908
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies. Go to site Show details
NZD 250 1 day NZD 0.00 0.691 USD
6,908
Send guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Send has fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.
Go to site Show details
NZD 0 Same day NZD 0.00 0.69 USD
6,901
XE has fast transfers with competitive rates and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
NZD 2,000 2 days NZD 0.00 0.691 USD
6,908
Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for all Finder customers.
WorldFirst sends 60+ currencies at competitive rates. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
Go to site Show details
NZD 250 1 day NZD 0.00 0.691 USD
6,908
TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Go to site Show details
NZD 1 Within an hour NZD 3.99 0.69 USD
6,895
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Go to site Show details
NZD 1 1 - 2 days NZD 80.00 0.694 USD
6,880
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies. Go to site Show details
NZD 5 1 - 2 days EUR 3.00 0.688 USD
6,881
Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details
NZD 10,000 1 - 2 days NZD 0.00 0.688 USD
6,880
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

Want to compare PayPal with other services side-by-side?

How do I send an international transfer with PayPal?

It’s quick and easy to send money overseas with PayPal. If you don’t already have a PayPal account, you’ll need to sign up for one before you can transfer money internationally. Accounts are free to open and you can apply online; you’ll just need to provide the following details:

  • Your name and date of birth
  • Your email address and phone number
  • Your residential address
  • The details of your linked bank account or credit card

Once you’ve signed up, you can use your PayPal account to purchase a range of goods and services online; you can also start transferring money overseas. From start to finish, the whole PayPal international money transfer process takes just a few minutes.

  1. Log in to your account and click on the “Send Money” tab.
  2. Enter your recipient’s phone number or email address, the amount you want to send and a description of the transfer.
  3. PayPal will give you a total cost for the transaction, including transfer fees and currency exchange rate, when applicable.
  4. Review this information and click “Send Money” if you are ready to transfer your funds.

You can use PayPal to transfer money internationally from:

  • Your PayPal account balance
  • Your linked bank account
  • Your linked credit or debit card

The funds will be available in your recipient’s PayPal account almost immediately. They can then keep the money in their PayPal account or transfer it to a linked bank account. Transferring it to a bank account can take several days.

You can also use Xoom, a PayPal service, to make an international money transfer without signing up for a PayPal account.

How do I withdraw funds from a PayPal account?

There are two different ways to withdraw money from your PayPal account:

  1. Transfer to your bank account. Log into your PayPal account and choose how much money you’d like to transfer to your bank account. Then, select which bank account you’d like to transfer the funds to. The minimum amount you can transfer is $1, there are no fees involved and it usually takes one business day for the transaction to go through.
  2. Use an eligible Visa or MasterCard debit or prepaid card. If you’re looking to get your funds fast, then using an eligible card to transfer funds to your bank account is the way to go. This usually takes 30 minutes or less, but it does cost $0.25 per transfer. If you have a PayPal Debit MasterCard, you can withdraw up to $400 per day from any ATM by selecting Checking Account when you withdraw the money. You can also use your PayPal Debit MasterCard to make purchases using your PayPal account anywhere MasterCards are accepted.

Bottom line

If you’re looking for an easy solution to your international money transfer needs, compare PayPal’s features, benefits and fees with those of other money transfer providers to find the safest and most cost-effective transfer method available.

Frequently asked questions about PayPal money transfers

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