PayPal has been the go-to money transfer service for decades, but does its ubiquity mean superiority, or has PayPal rested on its laurels for too long? Let’s see if Cash App offers a better solution with its fast and free transfers for US and UK users.
For this comparison, we tested both Cash App and PayPal ourselves (with Art being a longtime PayPal user) and collected information from official company websites, online forums, customer reviews, and news articles. We then compared the two platforms in terms of their availability, fees, safety, transfer speed, and ease of use, with a particular focus on the US market.
|New user incentive
|$5 referral bonus for inviting new users
|$10 referral bonus for inviting new users
|Fees and costs
|Ease of use
Cash App is a mobile payment platform launched in 2013, that’s exclusively available in the US and the UK. It allows users to send and receive money quickly and easily and mostly fee-free.
The platform offers a variety of features, including the ability to send and request money, make purchases, invest in stocks, and even buy and sell Bitcoin.
Cash App offers a $5 referral bonus to users who invite new users who sign up and send at least $5 with Cash App.
See our review of Cash App.
PayPal is a global payment platform that allows individuals and businesses to send and receive money online. It was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in San Jose, California.
In addition to sending and requesting money, PayPal offers business accounts, invoicing, and the ability to pay for goods and services online. The platform is widely accepted by online merchants and is available in over 200 countries.
PayPal offers a $10 referral bonus to users who refer friends to sign up and complete an eligible transaction.
Cash App’s free transfers for US and UK users are a significant benefit compared to PayPal’s high fees. However, PayPal is a much more widely available money transfer service. Therefore, users wanting to send and receive money in countries outside of the UK and the US would prefer PayPal, despite its high fees.
See our review of PayPal.
💵Fees (US Only)
The biggest draw for most is that Cash App doesn’t charge a fee for sending and receiving money within the US (or UK).
Users who want to send instant transfers in the US are charged between 0.5% and 1.75%. Business transactions have a fee of 2.5%. There are also ATM withdrawal fees if you’re using the Cash App card which charges you $2 for every withdrawal. However, users who have received $300+ in direct deposits every month can waive this ATM fee. Topping up your account with a credit card also comes with a 3% fee.
You can add money to your Cash App account for free with a direct bank transfer. However, adding money to your account with cash at available locations costs $4.
See our article Cash App Europe Alternatives
PayPal also doesn’t charge a fee for domestic transfers to PayPal and bank accounts and also adds 1.75% for instant transfers.
US users can use PayPal’s debit card for free ATM withdrawals at MoneyPass ATMs. For withdrawing money at other ATMs, users are charged a $2.50 fee.
Unlike Cash App, PayPal allows sending money internationally. However, it has notoriously high international transfer fees – between 4% and 5%. Check out Wise for a better international transfer alternative.
|Total Upfront Quote
|$0 – $2.5
|$2.5 (free at MoneyPass ATMS)
Domestic transfers are free for both providers, but Cash App reimburses all ATM fees in a calendar month when receiving $300+, which makes it the winner.
Cash App is registered with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and is authorized to operate in all 50 US states.
It uses encryption to protect users’ personal and financial data and offers two-factor authentication for added security. When verifying your account, you’re also given a checking account number and routing number that allows you to hold cash with Cash App partners securely.
I haven’t experienced any scams in my time using the app, but, unfortunately, as many negative reviews indicate, should something happen you’ll be dealing with bad support.
PayPal is regulated by the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The company offers advanced encryption and fraud detection technology to protect users’ financial information and transactions. PayPal also offers two-factor authentication for added security.
PayPal’s Buyer and Seller Protection Program is excellent for helping users purchase goods and services safely. The program covers you in the case that the goods/service you’ve purchased aren’t delivered or are tracked as fraudulent transactions. This results in users being able to claim chargebacks to get their money back.
PayPal and Cash App also implement PIN codes and Touch ID to access your account when using the mobile app.
To level the field for CashApp, in my 10+ years using PayPal I also haven’t experienced any scams, but having gone through their customer support for other issues (notoriously frequent fund release issues), I can easily see PayPal’s scam-related negative reviews being true.
Both companies have robust security measures to protect their users’ personal and financial data. However, should something happen, expect to deal with poor support.
Cash App provides instant transfers for a fee of 0.5-1.75%. Standard transfers take 1-3 business days.
PayPal offers instant transfers for a fee of 1.75% of the transfer amount. This fee is limited to charging up to $25 in fees. Free standard transfers take 1-3 business days.
The stated transfer speed is comparable (although Cash App’s transfers arrive faster in my experience). Whilst both services offer instant payments, Cash App’s instant transfer fees are generally lower than PayPal’s.
👌Ease of Use
Cash App and PayPal offer easy sign-up processes, with users being asked to provide basic personal and contact information.
Cash App and PayPal allow users to fund their transfers through bank transfers, debit/credit cards, and account balances.
Both Cash App and PayPal offer mobile apps for iOS and Android devices that enable users to make transfers easily, receive real-time alerts, and manage their accounts on the go.
PayPal allows for transfers up to $60,000. Cash App users who have verified their accounts can send up to $7,500 per week with no limits on the amount that they can receive. Unverified Cash App users are limited to receiving $1,000 and sending $250 per month.
PayPal has a Message Center where users can log in and speak virtually with a customer support member. A phone number is also available for users wanting to speak directly with a customer support member.
They have a Facebook and Twitter page that users can use to receive support. A resolution center is available which helps users to resolve any issues. Users can also turn to the PayPal community to search for answers to queries or to ask their own questions.
Cash App’s users’ options are a little more limited. Users can access support through the live chat feature in the app or call the Cash support team at 1 (800) 969-1940.
Cash App has an overall rating of 1.2/5 stars on Trustpilot with over 3,000 reviews and 4.8/5 stars on the Apple App Store with over 4.3M reviews. On the Google Play Store, Cash App has a rating of 4.7/5 stars with over 2.2M reviews.
Customers appreciate the easy-to-use interface, boosts that help customers save money, and fast transfer speeds. Some customers have reported poor customer support, account verification, and occasional transaction failures.
PayPal has a rating of 1.3/5 stars on Trustpilot with over 24,000 reviews and a rating of 4.7/5 stars on the Apple App Store with over 1,300 reviews. On the Google Play Store, PayPal has a rating of 4.3/5 stars with over 2.88M reviews.
Customers like the wide range of features and services offered by PayPal, including the ability to send and receive money, make online purchases, and manage their finances. However, some customers have reported issues with account freezes, transaction holds, high fees, and poor customer service.
If you’re sending money abroad, see our review of Instarem – one of the best-reviewed remittance apps with 4.4 on TrustPilot.
Cash App is rated more highly than PayPal as customers don’t report having as many complaints. Whilst PayPal offers a wide range of services with more availability, users have frequent issues with account holds and high fees that negatively impact their user experience.
PayPal is available in over 200 countries and supports over 25 currencies.
On the other hand, Cash App is only available in the United States and the United Kingdom, Cash App supports two currencies, USD and GBP, which is another limitation compared to PayPal’s vast currency support.
PayPal is the clear winner, with support in over 200 countries and a wide range of currency options. In contrast, Cash App’s limited availability in only two countries and support for only two currencies can be a significant drawback for those looking for a global payment platform.
Cash App emerges as the clear winner for people in the US and the UK. Its fees are lower than PayPal’s and its transfer times tend to be faster.
On the other hand, PayPal’s transfer limits are significantly higher and it has a wider global reach, supporting services in more countries than Cash App. But, there are cheaper and more highly rated options for international transfers, such as Wise, Revolut, and Remitly to consider.
Is there a better solution than Cash App?
Revolut is an alternative that offers international transfers in over 200 countries. It also has a multi-currency account that allows users to manage over 30 currencies.
People who are traveling outside of the US and the UK can benefit from using Revolut’s card for spending anywhere that accepts Visa or MasterCard. Revolut is a worthy alternative to Cash App for those who want to travel overseas or transfer money to more places.
Which is cheaper, Cash App or PayPal?
Cash App is cheaper than PayPal with transfer fees of 0-1.75% compared to PayPal’s transfer fees of 4-5% per transaction.