PayPal international money transfers review July 2019 | finder.com

PayPal international money transfer review

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Domestic transfers are fast and free. But you’ll find lower fees and stronger rates on international transactions elsewhere.

finder.com’s rating: 4.0 / 5.0

★★★★★

How’d we get our score?

Fees & rates: 4.0 / 5.0
Speed: 4.0 / 5.0
Services: 4.0 / 5.0
User experience: 4.0 / 5.0

PayPal supports easy, no-fee money transfers in the US to your recipient’s email address. Internationally, however, you face a complicated fee structure and weak exchange rates that can take a significant bite out of your recipient’s transfer.

Product NamePayPal
Min. Transfer Amount$1
Max. Transfer Amount$10,000
Transfer Methods
Online,
Transfer Options
One off payments
Transfer Speed
Minimum transfer time
3 - 5 days
Customer Service
Phone, Email
Available CurrenciesAUD, BRL, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, HUF, ILS, JPY, MXN, MYR, NOK, NZD, PHP, PLN, RUB, SEK, SGD, THB, TRY, TWD, USD
Online Transfer Fee2.99%

Must read: Our experience transferring money with PayPal

Here’s what we found when we sent live transfers to Mexico and France through the digital wallet PayPal.

  • While PayPal offered accurate delivery estimates, it took three days for our recipient to transfer money from their PayPal account to a French bank.
  • PayPal offered exchange rates that were 2.7% above the mid-market rate on average, with rates updated multiple times a day.
  • PayPal’s easy-to-use website allowed us to sign up and initiate a transfer in under 4 minutes.

Compare money transfer services now

How much will I pay to send money with PayPal?

Fees depend on where you’re sending money to, how you’re sending it and how you plan to fund it. For international deliveries outside of Canada or Europe, you face layers of fees that include flat rates and percentages of your transaction amount.

How are PayPal’s exchange rates?

PayPal keeps its conversion rate margin close to the vest. Its rates are calculated by a third-party financial institution and updated multiple times a day to reflect the fluctuating market. PayPal’s bank then adds 2.5% to a wholesale rate price to calculate the service’s retail foreign exchange rate. It means that you could pay up to 4% or more above the mid-market rate — or the rate banks use when trading money among themselves.

To get an idea of the exchange rate that applies to your transaction:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account.
  2. Click Details next to your PayPal balance on your dashboard.
  3. Click Manage currencies and enter your transaction details.
  4. Click Calculate to review the exchange rate before initiating your money transfer.

What types of personal transfers does PayPal support?

Send money from your PayPal account balance, bank account or credit cards to domestic and international recipients:

  • Instant domestic transfers. Send money directly from your PayPal account balance or a linked funding source to recipients using only an email address or phone number. They can then transfer the money to their own bank accounts.
  • International bank deposits. Deposit money to bank accounts or mobile accounts worldwide through Xoom, a subsidiary of PayPal. Xoom also offers cash pickups and home delivery to select countries.

PayPal does not offer the flexibility of rate locks or forward contracts, but you can schedule recurring transfers using PayPal’s Balance Manager for yet another fee.

Benefits and drawbacks of PayPal

Pros

  • Fast direct transfers. Transfers from one PayPal account to another are easy to set up online or from an app.
  • Secure. PayPal offers 24/7 transaction monitoring, industry-standard encryption and dispute resolution options. “Deep learning” AI results in a resiliency against fraud.
  • Low fees for small transfers. PayPal’s fees are a percentage of your transaction amount, making it a cost-effective solution for transferring 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

  • Fast direct transfers. Transfers from one PayPal account to another are easy to set up online or from an app.
  • Secure. PayPal offers 24/7 transaction monitoring, industry-standard encryption and dispute resolution options. “Deep learning” AI results in a resiliency against fraud.
  • Low fees for small transfers. PayPal’s fees are a percentage of your transaction amount, making it a cost-effective solution for transferring 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.

How does PayPal compare to other services?

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 0 3 - 5 days USD 0.00 0.88 EUR 4,402 Offering no maximum and no minimum limit transfers with $0 fees. Go to site Show details
USD 1 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 0.888 EUR
4,438
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details
USD 1 Within an hour USD 0.00 0.875 EUR 4,377 Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Send to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up. Go to site Show details
USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 0.879 EUR 4,393 No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. Go to site Show details
GBP 1,000 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 0.884 EUR 4,420 Exclusive: Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally $5,000).
For larger transfers, get no transaction fees and no maximum send limits.
Go to site Show details
USD 5,000 1 day USD 0.00 0.872 EUR 4,362 Venstar will support you through the entire process of your international transactions, from start to finish. Go to site Show details
USD 50 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 0.872 EUR 4,362 Simple, zero-margin exchange rates, plus earn loyalty points on sign up, referral and every transaction. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Case study: Peter's experience

Peter Carleton profile photo
Peter Carleton
Writer

I first signed up for PayPal about five years ago, after hearing positive reviews from friends. I live in Canada, so I used PayPal primarily for online purchases on sites that didn’t accept Canadian dollars. PayPal automatically converts my money into other currencies, allowing me to make purchases from almost anywhere.

What began as a way to make online shopping easier became an essential tool in my writing career. Since most of my clients are located outside Canada, PayPal empowers me to accept payments, no matter their location. And once I receive the money, it takes only a few days to convert and transfer to my Canadian bank account.

How do I send money through PayPal?

If you don’t already have a free PayPal account, you’ll need to sign up for one before you can transfer money internationally. Prepare to submit information like:

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

Once you’ve signed up, you can also start transferring money domestically or overseas. From start to finish, the whole process takes just a few minutes.

  1. Log in to your account and click Send Money.
  2. Enter your recipient’s phone number or email address, the amount you want to send and a description of the transfer.
  3. Review the total cost for your transaction, including transfer fees and the currency exchange rate on international transfers.
  4. Click Send Money if you’re ready to transfer your funds.

Funds are 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, which can take several days.

How do I track my PayPal transfer?

Track the progress of your transfer by logging in to your account. Click Activity to see a list of all your recent transactions, selecting the one you’d like to track.

How do I withdraw funds from a PayPal account?

Withdraw money from your PayPal account in three ways:

  1. Request a paper check. Select Transfer to Your Bank under your balance, and then click Request a Check By Mail Instead. Your check should arrive in one to two weeks in the US and in up to six weeks elsewhere.
  2. Transfer to your bank account. Indicate how much money you’d like to transfer and then select your destination bank account. Transfers are free and takes about a business day to complete.
  3. Visa or MasterCard debit or prepaid card. Link an eligible card to your account for transfers in 30 minutes or less at $0.25 per transfer. Use a PayPal Debit MasterCard to withdraw up to $400 a day from ATMs.

Bottom line

PayPal is a strong solution for fee-free direct domestic transfers to other PayPal accounts. But international transfers come with a complicated fee structure you’re likely better off avoiding with a money transfer specialist offering lower fees and stronger rates — especially on large transfers.
Looking for an alternative? Compare services like PayPal to get the best rates and fees.

Frequently asked questions about PayPal money transfers

Methodology

Our team analyzes money transfer providers offering services in the US — from big names to digital upstarts. We rank rates and fees, speed, services and user experience for:

  • TransferWise
  • XE
  • OFX
  • WorldRemit
  • Currencies Direct
  • Western Union
  • RIA Money Transfer
  • MoneyGram
  • Remitly
  • Payoneer
  • Remit2India
  • Xoom
  • PayPal

Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

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US International Money Transfer Offers

Important Information*
Logo for XE Money Transfer
XE Money Transfer

Offering no maximum and no minimum limit transfers with $0 fees.

Logo for WorldRemit International Money Transfers
WorldRemit International Money Transfers

Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Send to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up.

Logo for TransferWise
TransferWise

Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks.

Logo for CurrencyTransfer
CurrencyTransfer

Exclusive: Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally $5,000).
For larger transfers, get no transaction fees and no maximum send limits.

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46 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    SujataApril 29, 2019

    I’m from India. Could I send some money to my friend who is in China and not blood related to me? Is it possible according to the rules?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MaiApril 30, 2019Staff

      Hi Sujata,

      Thank you for contacting Finder.

      With PayPal, you can send money to overseas even if you are not blood related. Sending money from India to China is possible.

      Hope this helps.

      Kind Regards,
      Mai

  2. Default Gravatar
    LoisApril 9, 2019

    Hello my name is Lois ,can I send money to my brother in Nigerian and how can he withdraw the money cash when I send it to him if possible .please I need a good guide line on this

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesApril 10, 2019Staff

      Hi Lois,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      Please click this link to be routed to our Finder page on sending money to Nigeria. This guide offers tips and guidance on how you could accomplish this task. Kindly review and compare your options on the table displaying the available providers. Once you have chosen a particular provider, you may then click on the “Go to site” button and you will be redirected to the provider’s website where you can proceed with the application or get in touch with their representatives for further inquiries you may have.

      Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria and read through the details of the needed requirements as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions when comparing your options before making a decision on whether it is right for you. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  3. Default Gravatar
    KingFebruary 9, 2019

    It stated that Nigerian Paypal accounts cannot receive fund. What about refunds, from an online store for example and payment has been made via PayPal?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaFebruary 18, 2019Staff

      Hi King,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Generally speaking, you can’t receive money to your PayPal account if it is opened in Nigeria. However, when it comes to refunds from online merchants, I have read people saying that it is possible. They also mentioned that it takes about 2-3 days for the refund to get through. Moreover, the refund would go directly to your linked bank account and not in your PayPal account.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  4. Default Gravatar
    LuckyJanuary 3, 2019

    It is possible for me to receive money from US PayPal account to my Nigeria PayPal account..

    • Default Gravatar
      EllieJanuary 3, 2019

      Hi Lucky,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. At this time Nigerian PayPal accounts cannot receive funds. However, you can send money through PayPal.

      I hope this helps. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us again if you have additional questions.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Regards,
      Ellie

  5. Default Gravatar
    ErikaJanuary 1, 2019

    Is it possible to move money from my European bank account to my American one? Are there any fees I should be aware of?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaJanuary 2, 2019Staff

      Hi Erika,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Yes, it is possible for you to move money from your European bank account to your American bank account. All you need to do is ask your bank about the exact steps on how to accomplish this.

      Regarding the fees, yes, there are fees you should know about. Typically, bank fees may range from $0 to $30. You would need to directly get in touch with your bank to know exactly how much fees you need to pay.

      Alternatively, you may also consider using international money transfer services.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  6. Default Gravatar
    JennyDecember 27, 2018

    I’m moving from U.S. to Taiwan. How do I transfer my U.S. PayPal balance to the Taiwan bank account directly? Can I transfer to the foreign currency account? Or, it would be easier if I open a Taiwan PayPal account? Thank you.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ValDecember 29, 2018Staff

      Hi Jenny,

      Thank you for contacting finder! You can use the same PayPal account even if you transfer to Taiwan and yes you can transfer to a foreign currency account. Though the exchange rates may not be that favorable, it is advisable that once you have transferred all your funds to your Taiwan bank account, you may update your PayPal details as well.

      Hope this helps

      Regards,
      Val

  7. Default Gravatar
    mcswainDecember 21, 2018

    hi, can my family in the Commonwealth of Dominica open a pay pal account is it available in Dominica

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ValDecember 21, 2018Staff

      Hi Mcswain,

      Thank you for leaving a question.
      Yes, Paypal is available in more than 200 countries/regions and support 25 currencies.And Dominica is one of the countries they support.

      Hope this helps!

      Regards,
      Val

  8. Default Gravatar
    mrtoeic1November 30, 2018

    Can I ask my aunt in South Korea to open a South Korean paypal account so she can send money to my USA paypal accpunt?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      AshDecember 6, 2018Staff

      Hi Mr. Toeic,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      Yes, your Aunt can open a Paypal Account in South Korea and use it to send money to your Paypal account. You will need to provide her your email address registered in Paypal for the transaction.

      I hope this helps.

      Please do not hesitate to reach out again to us if you have additional questions that you need help with.

      Cheers,
      Ash

  9. Default Gravatar
    DennisOctober 10, 2018

    I have been sending 1000$ to my wife in Czech Republic and it costs like 75 to 115 dollars from Western Union. Pay Pal customer service just told me that a 10 Crown fee and a maximum 4.99$ fee would be the max – Only – one time- dream come true fee for the same amount. Is this true by your experience?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaOctober 14, 2018Staff

      Hi Dennis,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Yes, this is true. when you send money outside the US, the flat fee is between $2.99 and $4.99. There are also other options that you might want to try. Check our guide on how to send money to the Czech Republic and know other ways to transfer money to your wife.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  10. Default Gravatar
    BryannaSeptember 3, 2018

    Hi, my name is Bryanna, I was wondering if a friend of mine was sending a paypal of 500 pounds which is 648 dollars in US where I am from. He is from Scotland. He sent the money Friday and today is Monday, I was wondering how long it’ll take to show in my paypal?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesSeptember 6, 2018Staff

      Hi Bryanna,

      Thank you for leaving a question.

      Normally, Paypal transfer between personal accounts takes 2-3 business days for this to be processed. If you have not received it yet after this time frame, you may want to call Paypal customer service for further assistance. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

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