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Review: PayPal international money transfers – September 2022

Quick and easy international money transfers with PayPal

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 finder.com 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 US$2.99-$4.99 (SEK26-43). Inside of the US, PayPal allows money to be sent for free if it is funded by a linked bank account.

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

CurrencyFee
Australian dollar0.30 AUD
Brazilian real0.60 BRL
Canadian dollar0.30 CAD
Czech koruna10.00 CZK
Danish krone2.60 DKK
Euro (recipient is in France)0.25 EUR
Euro (recipient is outside of France)0.35 EUR
Hong Kong dollar2.35 HKD
Hungarian forint90 HUF
Israeli shekel1.20 ILS
Japanese yen40 JPY
Malaysian ringgit2.00 MYR
Mexican peso4.00 MXN
New Zealand dollar0.45 NZD
Norwegian krone2.80 NOK
Philippine peso15.00 PHP
Polish zlotych1.35 PLN
Russian ruble10 RUB
Singapore dollar0.50 SGD
Swedish krona3.25 SEK
Swiss franc0.55 CHF
Taiwan new dollar10.00 TWD
Thai baht11.00 THB
U.K. pounds sterling0.20 GBP
U.S. dollar0.30 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

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 may 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 may find that its exchange rates are not as favourable 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.

How do I withdraw funds from a PayPal account?

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

  1. Receive a cheque. Log into your PayPal account and select Transfer to Your Bank under your balance. Then, click Request a Cheque 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 can take up to six weeks for you to receive your cheque.
  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 US$1 (SEK9), 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 a small amount per transfer.

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

Methodology

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

  • Wise
  • World First
  • 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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