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Venmo vs. PayPal

We look into the fees and features of these two popular money transfer services, as well as how easy they are to use.

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Venmo and PayPal are both digital wallets with many similar features. One of the main differences between PayPal and Venmo is that PayPal is more widely used by businesses, while Venmo is used for transactions between friends, family members and people you know. Sending money with Venmo has slightly fewer steps, but transactions sent through PayPal have payment protection in certain scenarios.

Although Venmo and PayPal have similar features, each has its own pros and cons to consider.

We recommend Venmo for:

  • Displaying your transfers in a social newsfeed
  • Adding emojis and messages to your transfers
  • Connecting your contact list to remove the “what’s your username?” question from the equation

We recommend PayPal for:

  • Using your PayPal.Me link to request transfers in a text message
  • Combining all of your global sending needs in one application
  • Paying businesses or making purchases online

Venmo and PayPal are both a part of the same company, but their diverse uses draw different types of users. Both are free, however, so taking the time to try out both Venmo and PayPal may help you figure out which service is best for you.

Breakdown of Venmo vs. PayPal

Venmo

PayPal

Venmo

PayPal

OVERVIEW
Description Pay and request money to both friends and businesses through this peer-to-peer, socially driven payment app. Friends and Family is a free way to send and request money in the US, with fee-based options for international transfers.
Supported devices iOS app
Android app
iOS app
Android app
Browser
Ways to pay Bank account
Credit card
Debit card
Bank account
Credit card
Debit card
Ways to receive Bank account
Debit card
Mobile wallet
ATM
Bank account
Mobile wallet
Customer support Email
Live chat
Phone
Email
SPEED
Fastest transfer speed Instant Instant
Free withdrawal speed Up to 3 business days Up to 3 business days
LIMITS
Maximum amount you can send per transfer (unverified account) $299.99 $10,000
Maximum amount you can send per transfer (verified account) $4,999.99 $10,000
Supports international transfers? No Yes
FEES
Fees to send money No fees

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

Instant withdrawal fee 1% 1%
REQUIREMENTS
Bank account required? No No
Learn more

Summing up Venmo vs. PayPal

Overall, Venmo is the more straightforward option if you are just looking for a way to pay friends back after sharing a meal at your favorite restaurant. However, if you already have a PayPal account and your friends do as well, there’s really no need to make the switch to Venmo.

If you need to send money internationally, PayPal can work but isn’t necessarily your best option — learn about the alternatives by reading our guide on sending money.

Compare other services that send money within the US

Data indicated here is updated regularly
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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