PayPal international money transfers review September 2018 |

Review: PayPal international money transfers – September 2018

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Quick and easy international money transfers with PayPal’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

If you’ve ever indulged in online shopping, you most likely have come across PayPal, which offers fast and secure payment services for online purchases. What you might not realize, however, is that PayPal also offers you a fast and easy alternative when you need to transfer money overseas.

Product NamePayPal
Min. Transfer Amount$1
Max. Transfer Amount$10,000
Transfer Methods
Transfer Options
One off payments
Transfer Speed
Minimum transfer time
3 - 5 days
Customer Service
Phone, Email
Online Transfer Fee2.99%

Send money almost anywhere with flexible transfer options and an easy process

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.

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.

money transfer awards logo-mobile

We recognize PayPal as a winner of the Money Transfer Awards 2017 in the category of Most Convenient.

How much does it cost to transfer money with PayPal?

When you send money outside the US, you’ll pay a flat fee of $2.99-$4.99. Inside of the US PayPal allows you to send money for free if it is funded by a linked bank account.

You’ll pay a fixed fee to send money in another currency.

Currency Fee
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 (recipient is in France) 0.25 EUR
Euro (recipient is outside of France) 0.35 EUR
Hong Kong dollar 2.35 HKD
Hungarian forint 90 HUF
Israeli shekel 1.20 ILS
Japanese yen 40 JPY
Malaysian ringgit 2.00 MYR
Mexican peso 4.00 MXN
New Zealand dollar 0.45 NZD
Norwegian krone 2.80 NOK
Philippine peso 15.00 PHP
Polish zlotych 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
U.K. pounds sterling 0.20 GBP
U.S. 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, click Details next to PayPal balance, then click Manage currencies. From this page you can enter the relevant information and click Calculate 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 pickup option available for your recipient, with all transfers handled electronically.

Pros and cons of using PayPal

  • 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.
  • 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 will be exchanging your currency to make your PayPal international money transfer, you might find that its exchange rates are not as favorable as its competitors. PayPal’s currency exchange rates start at 2.5%.

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.

Bitcoin vs. PayPal

How do I withdraw funds from a PayPal account?

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

  1. Receive a check. Log into your PayPal account and select Transfer to Your Bank under your balance. Then, click Request a Check By Mail Instead. If you’re a US customer, you should receive the check in one to two weeks. However, if you’re outside of the US, it could take up to six weeks for you to receive your check.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Compare PayPal money transfers with other global brands

Use our comparison calculator to assess transfer fees, exchange rates and other details for sending funds overseas with our money transfer partners.

I want to send


Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
$0 3 - 5 days USD 0.00 0.843 EUR 4,215 Transfer up to $500,000 with no minimums and no fees. Go to site Show details
USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 0.843 EUR 4,213 Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
No-limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.
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USD 1 Within an hour USD 3.99 0.843 EUR 4,210 Use promo code FINDER to send your first transfer at no fee to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up. Go to site Show details
$8 1 - 2 days USD 5.00 0.842 EUR 4,205 Exchange money on your terms. Go to site Show details
USD 1 3 - 5 days USD 50.00 0.850 EUR
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Frequently asked questions about PayPal money transfers


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
  • World First
  • 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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Kelly Waggoner

Kelly Waggoner is a senior editor with She's worked with publishers, magazines and nonprofits throughout New York City, including ghostwriting a how-to on copyediting for the Dummies series. Between projects, she toys with words, flips through style guides and fantasizes about the serial comma's world domination.

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28 Responses

  1. 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?

    • finder 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!


  2. Default Gravatar
    OrdlyAugust 28, 2018

    Hi, I send money to a friend,
    And his paypal is linked with his atm card. can he withraw the money thru his atm card? If not, where can he withraw the money.

    • finder Customer Care
      johnbasanesAugust 28, 2018Staff

      Hi Ordly,

      Thank you for leaving a question.

      Depending on how your friend setup his Paypal account when it comes to withdrawing funds, he may be able to withdraw it using the ATM linked to his Paypal account.

      Hope this helps!

  3. Default Gravatar
    LizAugust 8, 2018

    If someone is sending money from a European country to the US, how long does it generally take? Also, will it show that a payment is pending into my account?

    • finder Customer Care
      joelmarceloAugust 9, 2018Staff

      Hi Liz,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      The international transfer time using Paypal will usually take 3 – 5 days.

      Here are some definitions to help you understand the status of a payment you send:

      – Canceled: You canceled your payment, and the money was credited back to your account.
      – Cleared: Money from an eCheck that you sent has been deposited in the recipient’s account.
      – Cleared by Payment Review: They reviewed the transaction and the money is in the recipient’s account.
      – Completed: The transaction was successful and the money is in the recipient’s account.
      – Denied: The recipient didn’t accept your payment, and the money was credited back to your account. View the transaction details to see why your payment was denied or contact the recipient for more information.
      – Failed: Your payment didn’t go through. We recommend that you try your payment again.
      – Held: They’re reviewing the transaction and your payment might be reversed. You should check the Resolution Center in Paypal for more information.
      – In progress: Your payment was sent, but the recipient hasn’t accepted it yet.
      – On hold: They’re holding the money temporarily because either you filed a dispute or They’re reviewing the transaction. Look for an email from Paypal with more information about this transaction.
      – Paid: Someone requested money from you and you sent them a payment.
      – Partially Refunded: Your payment was partially refunded.
      – Pending Verification: They’re reviewing the transaction. We’ll send your payment to the recipient after your payment source has been verified.
      – Placed: They have placed a temporary hold on your payment. Look for an email from them with more information.
      – Processing: They’re processing your payment and the transaction should be completed shortly.
      – Refunded: The recipient returned your payment. If you used a credit card to make your payment, the money will be returned to your credit card. It can take up to 30 days for the refund to appear on your statement.
      – Refused: The recipient didn’t receive your payment. If you still want to make your payment, we recommend that you try again.
      – Removed: The hold on your payment was removed and the transaction should be completed shortly.
      – Returned: Money was returned to your account because the recipient didn’t claim your payment within 30 days. PayPal members can manually reverse unclaimed payments before the 30-day automatic reversal.
      – Reversed: Either you canceled the transaction or Paypal did.
      – Temporary hold: Money from your account is being held temporarily during the authorization process. The recipient isn’t able to use or withdraw this money until the authorization is complete.
      – Unclaimed: The recipient hasn’t accepted or received your payment. Unclaimed transactions are automatically canceled after 30 days.

      If you just sent the money, instead of saying “Pending” it will say “In Progress”. Hope it helps!


  4. Default Gravatar
    DellaAugust 5, 2018

    Can I have my social security check deposited automatically into my paypal account and have monies transferred to Portugal?

    • finder Customer Care
      JoshuaAugust 13, 2018Staff

      Hi Della,

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

      The answer to your question is no. You can’t deposit automatically your social security check into your PayPal account. However, what you can do is deposit your check into your checking account, which you can then link to your PayPal. In that way, once your check is available and turned into cash, you can then use the fund and add that to your PayPal account. You also have the option to transfer the money to Portugal.

      It would also be a good idea to contact PayPal customer service to get more specific information.

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

      Have a wonderful day!


  5. Default Gravatar
    CoriJuly 31, 2018

    I am trying to pay our software developers from India and Mexico, do they need to have a paypal account in order to do this?

    • finder Customer Care
      AshJuly 31, 2018Staff

      Hi Cori,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      Yes, your developers should also have a Paypal account for you to send them their payment. Signing up for an account is free and once done, they will only provide you their registered email address so you can send them the funds.

      I hope this helps.

      Let us know if there is anything else that I may assist you with.


  6. Default Gravatar
    HieuJuly 2, 2018

    I need to purchase an item (SKULL RIDER INC) from a point of PayPal One Touch in the SPAIN, I am in the Vietnam. What do you recommend?

    • finder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoJuly 10, 2018Staff

      Hi Hieu!

      Thanks for leaving a question on our page.

      Paypal One Touch is an additional feature of Paypal that saves all your information so buying in any site is convenient. As Paypal is a very secure platform, you don’t need to worry about your account getting hacked.

      To purchase the item from Skull Rider Inc., best to check if they have the Paypal One Touch option. Also, using Paypal is accepted worldwide so you can buy items from around the world and it’ll get shipped to Vietnam. Please do take note of any import taxes in your country if there are any and take it into account.

      Hope this helps!


  7. Default Gravatar
    PamJune 25, 2018

    I need to purchase an item (Irish Dance dress) from a private party (person) in the UK, I am in the US. What do you recommend?

    • finder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoJune 25, 2018Staff

      Hi Pam,

      Thanks for reaching out to us here.

      What you can do is ask the store/seller what modes of payment they have. Generally, when purchasing an item overseas, a credit card may be of less risk to you in case something happens during transit and it’s easier to reverse charges. If they have a COD option, this would also be good as you only pay when the item is delivered.

      Just an FYI, we’re a product comparison website and we don’t represent any company featured on our site. We provide you with general information on things you need to decide on before making a purchase.

      Hope this clarifies.

      Many thanks,

  8. Default Gravatar
    AngelMay 15, 2018

    Can I send money from Mexico to united states using paypal

    • finder Customer Care
      joelmarceloMay 16, 2018Staff

      Hi Angel,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      Definitely! Here are the steps:

      1. Log in to your PayPal account.
      2. Click Send money to a friend at the top of the page.
      3. Type the email address or mobile number to whom you are sending money, and the amount being sent.
      4. Click Next.
      5. Review and confirm the information on the screen and click Send.

      If you get in a jam, you can send us a message anytime.


  9. Default Gravatar
    MarkApril 28, 2018

    Ok friend in Norway wants to send 500 USD to my Paypal account. What does he have to do, how much will it cost and how soon will the money be in my available Paypal balance? Thanks.

    • finder Customer Care
      joelmarceloApril 28, 2018Staff

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      There is a fee when you send a payment to someone in another country or if you receive a payment from someone in another country. The PayPal User Agreement has specific information. You can find the User Agreement by clicking Legal Agreements at the bottom of any PayPal page.

      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.

      If you will be exchanging your currency to make your PayPal international money transfer, you might find that its exchange rates are not as favorable as its competitors. PayPal’s currency exchange rates start at 2.5%.

      The steps on how to send money via Paypal is already in this page. If you and your friend would like to weigh your options, you can check the table above on other providers that may suit you aside from Paypal.


  10. Default Gravatar
    BAApril 4, 2018

    I’ve look over the upcoming Policy Updates of PayPal on May 10 2018, and get confused about the Personal Payments.
    Do it mean if I want someone to get 5 USD with the method of International Payments, I shold send like 5 USD + 3 to 5 USD + 3.4% + Fixed Fee?
    What about sending to a merchant account, and which side need to pay the cost of 3 to 5 USD.
    Do you have some answers?

    • finder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoApril 5, 2018Staff

      Hi BA,

      Thanks for your message and for visiting finder – the leading comparison website & general information service built to give you advice in your buying decision needs. How are you doing today?

      PayPal allows you to send money inside the US for free if it is funded by a linked bank account. But when you send money outside the US, you’ll pay a fee equivalent to 0.5% – 2.0% of your transaction if it is funded by your bank account or PayPal balance. If you pay via credit or debit card, fees range from 3.4% to 3.9%.

      If in case of a merchant account, this is considered a payment from you to a recipient thus the sender shoulders the fee equivalent as well.

      Hope this helps!


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