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.
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- Good for sending money within the US.
- Look elsewhere if you want to send money internationally, especially if you plan to send large amounts.
Fastest Transfer Speed
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|Available Currencies||AUD, BRL, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, HUF, ILS, JPY, MXN, MYR, NOK, NZD, PHP, PLN, RUB, SEK, SGD, THB, TWD, USD|
|Customer Service||Phone, Live chat, Email|
|Pay By||Credit card, Debit card, Bank transfer|
|Receiving Options||Bank 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.
|There are multiple ways of funding a PayPal money transfer:||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 method||Destination country||Fees (USD)|
|PayPal account, linked bank account or Amex Send Account||United States||$0|
|Credit card, debit card or PayPal Credit||United States||2.9% of transaction amount + $0.30|
|PayPal account, linked bank account or Amex Send Account||Any other country||5% of the transaction ($0.99 minimum, $4.99 maximum)|
|Credit card, debit card or PayPal Credit||Any other country||2.9% 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 rate||PayPal’s markup|
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
- Login to your PayPal account.
- Select Wallet near the top of the page.
- Click Currency Calculator.
- Select the sending and receiving currencies, and the exchange rate will appear.
PayPal transfers: Step by step
- Login to your PayPal account
- Select Send toward the top the page
- Enter the name, @username, email or mobile number of your recipient. Click Next.
- 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.
- Select a linked card or bank account to pay for your transfer. Click Next.
- Verify the details of your transfer and click Send Money Now.
Pros and cons of PayPal
- 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
- Complex fee structure
- Percentage fees add up for large transfers
- Exchange rates are not very competitive
Compare PayPal to other money transfer services
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.