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PayPal international transfer review

Sending a PayPal international transfer is convenient and easy, but you can likely get lower fees and better exchange rates 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

  • Good for sending money within the US.
  • Look elsewhere if you want to send money internationally, especially if you plan to send large amounts.

3 days

Fastest Transfer Speed

$1

Minimum Transfer Amount

$10,000

Maximum Transfer Amount

Details

Available CurrenciesAUD, BRL, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, HUF, ILS, JPY, MXN, MYR, NOK, NZD, PHP, PLN, RUB, SEK, SGD, THB, TWD, USD
Customer ServicePhone, Live chat, Email
Pay ByCredit card, Debit card, Bank transfer
Receiving OptionsBank account, Mobile wallet

What is PayPal?

PayPal is one of the leading payment solutions and money transfer service providers in the world with over 325 million accounts across 200+ countries.

With PayPal, you can link multiple bank accounts and credit cards to a single, online account, which can be used to pay for online and in-store purchases everywhere PayPal is accepted. You can also send money transfers across Canada and around the world though PayPal’s international money transfer service, Xoom.

PayPal was formed in 2000 by the merger of Confinity, a US software company co-founded in 1998 by Peter Thiel, and X.com, an online bank co-founded in 1999 by Elon Musk. The company was acquired by eBay in 2002 for $1.5 billion but has been operating independently since 2015.

How to send and receive money with PayPal

Sending and receiving money through PayPal is easy. Simply login to your account, select Pay & Get Paid and enter the details of your transfer.

DepositsWithdrawals
There are multiple ways of funding a PayPal money transfer:
  • PayPal account balance. You can send money directly from your PayPal account balance if you pre-loaded funds into your account or received money that you haven’t transferred to another financial institution.
  • Linked bank account. Connect your bank account(s) to your PayPal account, and pull funds directly from your bank.
  • Debit card. Similar to a linked bank account, a linked debit card gives you direct access to your bank account through PayPal.
  • PayPal Cash Card. Available in the US, the PayPal Cash Card is a physical card that lets users spend money from their PayPal accounts in physical stores where accepted.
You can withdraw money from your PayPal account to your bank using a linked debit card or linked bank account. You can similarly load PayPal funds onto your credit card via a linked credit card.

Login to your PayPal account, navigate to your wallet and select Transfer Funds (or Withdraw Funds, if you’re using the mobile app). Follow the rest of the prompts to complete the withdrawal.

There is no fee for withdrawing funds from PayPal to an another institution. However, there are fees for sending and receiving international money transfers to and from your PayPal account. See below for details.

PayPal fees and exchange rates

PayPal’s fee structure is transparent but complex. The cost of your transfer depends on the type of transfer, where you’re sending funds and your payment method. International money transfers come with additional fees.

PayPal money transfer fees

How much does PayPal charge for international transactions? How much do PayPal transfers in the US cost? See how PayPal fees break down for personal (non-business) money transfers.

Funding methodDestination countryFees (USD)
PayPal account, linked bank account or Amex Send AccountUnited States$0
Credit card, debit card or PayPal CreditUnited States2.9% of transaction amount + $0.30
PayPal account, linked bank account or Amex Send AccountAny other country5% of the transaction ($0.99 minimum, $4.99 maximum)
Credit card, debit card or PayPal CreditAny other country2.9% of the transaction amount + 5% of the transaction ($0.99 minimum, $4.99 maximum) + fixed fee based on currency

Paypal international money transfer exchange rate

When we checked on December 15, 2021, PayPal’s exchange rate markups generally ranged from 2.5–3.5% or more, depending on the currency.

1 USD =Mid-market ratePayPal’s markup
AUD1.394511.35952.51%
CAD1.28351.24103.31%
EUR0.88570.85663.29%
GBP0.75400.73182.94%
MXN21.001020.32553.22%
PHP50.195548.73762.90%

PayPal commercial transaction fees

When selling goods and services online through PayPal, the fees can vary based on the buyer’s payment method and currency.

How to check PayPal’s exchange rates

  1. Login to your PayPal account.
  2. Select Wallet near the top of the page.
  3. Click Currency Calculator.
  4. Select the sending and receiving currencies, and the exchange rate will appear.

PayPal transfers: Step by step

  1. Login to your PayPal account
  2. Select Send toward the top the page
  3. Enter the name, @username, email or mobile number of your recipient. Click Next.
  4. Enter the amount your want to send and select the correct currency from the dropdown list. You have the option to add a message for the recipient. Click Continue.
  5. Select a linked card or bank account to pay for your transfer. Click Next.
  6. Verify the details of your transfer and click Send Money Now.

Pros and cons of PayPal

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Low minimum transfer amount
  • Fee-free transfers within the US
  • Supports a large number of currencies
  • Allows payment by debit, credit and bank transfer

Cons

  • Complex fee structure
  • Percentage fees add up for large transfers
  • Exchange rates are not very competitive

Compare PayPal to other money transfer services

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.
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
OFX
24 hours
$0

View details
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Dunbridge Financial
Dunbridge Financial
24 hours
$0

View details
Dunbridge Financial offers competitive exchange rates and zero fees on transfers to more than 120 countries.
CurrencyTransfer
24 hours
$0
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally £5,000)

View details
Exclusive: Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally $5,000).
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
XE
Within minutes
$3

View details
XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Wise (TransferWise)
Within an hour
From $2.26

View details
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Instarem
Within an hour
$1

View details
Use code HAPPY22 to get USD 22 off your first transfer. Valid for transfers over USD 250 and till 31 January 2022. T&Cs apply.
Instarem offers zero transfer fees on all transfers.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers

View details
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
WorldRemit
Within an hour
From $1.99

View details
Use code Take10USD to get $10 off when you spend $20. Valid till 31 January 2022. T&Cs apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
MoneyGram
Within an hour
From $0

View details
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
OFX International Money Transfers (Business)
24 hours
$0

View details
Business customers: Send safe, no-limit transfers with no fees and competitive exchange rates.
CurrencyTransfer for Business
24 hours
$0

View details
Increase business efficiency with zero transaction fees and same-day transfers.
Western Union
Within an hour
From $0

View details
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Fees Fastest available transfer speed Maximum transfer amount (verified)
Zelle
To send:

No fees


To receive:

No fees

Instant
Varies
Supported banks enjoy direct bank-to-bank transfers with the tap of a button.
Cash App
To send:

No fees


To receive:

1.5% for instant withdrawal

Instant
$2,500
Split the bill, pay your friends, buy and sell cryptocurrency and even spend money through a connected debit card.
Google Pay
To send:

No fees


To receive:

No fees

Instant
$10,000
Google’s take on money transfers — use this free service to quickly send and receive funds in a variety of ways.
PayPal
To send:

By bank account: No fee
By credit/debit card: 2.9% + fixed fee


To receive:

1% for instant withdrawal

Instant
$10,000
Friends and Family is a free way to send and request money in the US, with fee-based options for international transfers.
Venmo
To send:

No fees


To receive:

1% for instant withdrawal

Instant
$4,999.99
Pay and request money to both friends and businesses through this peer-to-peer, socially driven payment app.
Walmart
Walmart
To send:

Starting from $4


To receive:

No fees

Instant
$2,500
Send and receive money at any Walmart in the US and Puerto Rico. Transactions can also be sent from the Walmart app.
Apple Pay
To send:

No fees


To receive:

1% for instant withdrawal

Instant
$10,000
Pay and get paid directly through iMessage, but you’ll need an iOS device to use this payment service.
Facebook Messenger
To send:

No fees


To receive:

No fees

Instant
$9,999
Connect a debit card or PayPal account to send money directly to friends through Facebook’s messaging service.
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Compare up to 4 providers

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

Is PayPal safe?

PayPal takes many measures to keep your money and transactions safe and secure, but how you use PayPal still factors into whether or not it is safe for you to use. PayPal helps keep you and your money safe by:

  • Protecting your sensitive information. PayPal doesn’t share your full financial information with sellers, which may help protect you from identity theft.
  • Monitoring transactions 24/7. Both humans and algorithms monitor PayPal transactions to spot fraud.
  • Encrypting your data. PayPal uses bank-level encryption, including SSL 3.0 with an encryption key length of 168 bits.
  • Offering fraud prevention. PayPal will never contact you asking for sensitive information by email or telephone — always contact PayPal if anything about your account history seems suspicious.
  • Providing dispute resolution. PayPal will help resolve disputes between buyers and sellers when PayPal is used as the payment method.

Case study: Katia's experience

Katia Iervasi profile photo
Katia Iervasi
Writer
I mostly use PayPal for online shopping. My account is connected to my Australian bank account and debit card, so I rely on PayPal when I’m shopping on my favorite Australian sites so I don’t have to worry about currency conversion.

Thanks to its ironclad security, I also like using PayPal for eBay purchases or whenever I’m shopping on a site for the first time. I know that if I have any issues, PayPal’s team will step in to help me to recover my money — which they’ve done in the past.

However, PayPal’s fees and charges can seriously stack up, especially if I opt to pay with my card. For that reason, I still turn to trusty Wise whenever I need to send money to and from Australia and my adopted home in the US. I like Wise’s interface better, too.

How do I contact PayPal?

There are multiple ways to get help if you have questions or need help with your account or transactions. Visit the Contact section of PayPal’s website, or login to your account and click Help at the top of the page to access your options.

  • Message a PayPal Customer Support Agent online
  • Contact PayPal by phone.
  • Report problems in PayPal’s Resolution Center.
  • Chat with other PayPal users via a dedicated community board
  • Find solutions for common questions and issues in PayPal’s extensive library of support articles

Other PayPal services

PayPal has more to offer than just money transfer services. Check out these other features and services for managing personal and business funds.

Personal products

  • Online shopping. Pay for online purchases without getting out your credit or debit card. You can also donate to charities and make gaming purchases.
  • Credit and debit cards. Earn rewards on gas, dining and online spending with the no-fee PayPal Extras MasterCard. Access to your PayPal funds with the reloadable PayPal Cash Card.
  • Lines of credit. Buy now and defer payment with zero interest for up to 6 months with PayPal Credit.
  • Mobile wallet. Pay for in-store purchases at an ever-expanding list of physical stores.
  • Xoom money transfers. Send money overseas for cash pickup (select locations) or directly to your recipient’s bank account.

Business services

  • PayPal Ventures. Invests in fintech startups and other early stage companies looking to get off the ground.
  • Digital loans. Access flexible, fixed-fee loans with a PayPal business account. No credit check required.
  • Card processing. Add a PayPal button to your e-commerce site to accept debit and credit cards and simplify your accounting.
  • Mobile card reader. Use PayPal’s mobile card reader with your phone or tablet to accept mobile payments.
  • Point-of-sale solutions. Accept business payments through PayPal Here or PayPal Chip and Swipe POS systems.

Finder’s review of PayPal

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 3 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 throughout the day.
  • PayPal’s easy-to-use website allowed us to sign up and initiate a transfer in under 4 minutes.

Bottom line

PayPal is great for fee-free direct domestic transfers to other PayPal accounts. But international transfers come with a complicated fee structure that drives the cost up the more your send. You can probably cut the cost of sending money overseas with other online money transfer services.

That being said, PayPal’s extensive range of products and services to help individuals and business owners manage their money is impressive.

Alternatives to PayPal

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48 Comments

    Default Gravatar
    Ehikes
    July 28, 2019

    Hello,
    I am Kester. I have a dollar denominated account with a bank in Nigeria which means it doesn’t accept Naira currency(the Nigerian currency). How can I use PayPal to transfer dollars directly into this account?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      fayemanuel
      July 29, 2019

      Hi Ehikes,

      Thanks for contacting Finder.

      At this time you can’t send money using PayPal to Nigeria. If you are looking to send money to Nigeria, you can compare international money transfer companies that support outgoing transfers to Nigeria, from the US to find one that might work for you.

      Once you have chosen a particular provider, you can use the “Go to site” button to access the provider’s website where you can proceed with the application or get in touch with their representatives for further inquiries you may have.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind Regards,
      Faye

    Default Gravatar
    Sujata
    April 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
      Mai
      April 30, 2019

      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

    Default Gravatar
    Lois
    April 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
      johnbasanes
      April 10, 2019

      Hi Lois,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      Our page on sending money to Nigeria 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

    Default Gravatar
    King
    February 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
      Joshua
      February 18, 2019

      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

    Default Gravatar
    Lucky
    January 3, 2019

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

      Default Gravatar
      Ellie
      January 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

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