Many rely on PayPal to send and receive money from across the world. However, with international transactions come additional fees and charges that can quickly add up if not careful. And going through TOCs and Policy Updates is not on anyone’s to-do list 🤓
Are you wondering how PayPal international fees are calculated? Do you want to know how to minimize these fees or whether there are alternatives to using PayPal for international transactions?
We dove into all of the PDFs, comparison tables, and support articles we could find and compiled answers to these and other international fee-related questions below.
What are PayPal international fees in 2023?
PayPal provides two distinct options for transferring money internationally, each with its own fees.
For sending funds directly to another PayPal account, PayPal imposes a charge of 5% on the transaction, with a minimum fee of $0.99 and a maximum fee of $4.99.
However, this only applies if the transfer is funded through a PayPal balance.
On the other hand, if the transfer is funded through a credit card, debit card, or PayPal credit, an additional fee of 2.9% plus a currency-specific fixed fee is added to the transaction.
|PayPal balance / Bank account
Minimum fee – $0.99
Maximum fee – $4.99
|No additional fees
Minimum fee – $0.99
Maximum fee – $4.99
|2.9% + fixed fee
PayPal’s international conversion rate
When senders need to convert their currency before sending, PayPal applies a 4% currency conversion fee (the fee can be different depending on the currency and the location).
PayPal’s fee for converting to US or Canadian dollars is 3.5%, while for other currencies, it is 4%. Additionally, PayPal charges a 4.5% fee for its currency conversion service, so it’s crucial to consider this cost when converting currencies.
|Currency conversion fee
|Currency conversion service
If you need to transfer money directly to a recipient’s bank account, you’ll have to use Xoom, a service owned by PayPal that integrates with PayPal.
The transfer can either be funded from a PayPal account or a linked bank account. Unlike the fixed percentage fee for transferring to another PayPal account, Xoom adds a markup to the current market rate.
Does PayPal always charge a fee to send money?
If you choose to send money within the US using your PayPal balance, PayPal Cash, or a linked bank account, the fee will be waived.
An alternative option for avoiding fees when receiving money for commercial services is to ask clients to label their PayPal transfers as “personal”, as reported by customers. When transfers are labeled in this manner, they are typically free from fees, with the exception of currency conversion fees if the payment is received from another country.
However, we wouldn’t recommend this method as it carries a risk. You’re excluded from PayPal’s Buyer & Seller Protection program which makes it difficult to receive refunds if there are any issues with the product or service you’ve purchased.
See our article Cash Apps That Don’t Charge A Fee.
Can you get a better rate through PayPal’s Xoom?
Xoom is a service offered by PayPal that enables users to send money globally. With Xoom, you can directly transfer funds to a recipient’s bank account, mobile wallet, or debit card.
The convenience and versatility of Xoom make it a popular choice for international money transfers.
When sending money with Xoom, the fee you’ll pay varies based on how you choose to fund your transfer and how the recipient wants to receive the funds.
If you’re using a bank account or PayPal to fund the transfer and the recipient wants the funds deposited directly into their bank account, the fee is $2.99. If you’re using a credit or debit card, the fee is a little higher at $3.99.
If the recipient wants to collect the money in person, the fee is $3.33. No matter which option you choose, you can easily find out what your fee will be by using the Xoom fee calculator.
See our review of Xoom.
How to avoid Paypal fees when sending money internationally
While there’s no magic solution to eliminate PayPal’s fees for international transfers completely, there are definitely ways to reduce the cost.
Here are a few tips to help you keep your fees low when using PayPal for international money transfers:
- Consider funding your transfer from your PayPal balance or linked bank account instead of a credit or debit card to save on fees.
- Take a moment to check out the currency conversion options within your PayPal account before making your payment. You may find that switching to the desired currency can help you save on fees.
- If you’re sending at least $3,000 per month, you’re eligible for PayPal’s merchant rates. This means lower transaction fees as low as 1.9% + a fixed fee based on the currency used. This is a great deal for businesses that want to lower their costs.
Skrill is a UK-based online payment platform that allows users to send and receive payments in various currencies, including USD, EUR, GBP, and more. The platform offers flexible fees for international transfers, and users can receive payments directly to their Skrill account. This can then be used for online purchases or withdrawn to a bank account.
- Global accessibility across 200 countries.
- Available for both individuals and businesses.
- Support for foreign exchange and online gaming transactions.
- No fixed fee for transferring money directly to a bank account.
- The verification process can be time-consuming.
- Some find the fee system to be complicated.
- Significant foreign exchange charges for international transfers between Skrill accounts.
See our review of Skrill.
Payoneer is a New York-based platform that provides online payment services to businesses and individuals. It supports over 150 currencies and allows users to receive payments directly to their Payoneer account, which can then be used for online purchases or withdrawn to a bank account.
- A wide range of currencies supported.
- Low fees for international transfers.
- Option to receive payments as a bank transfer or on a debit card.
- Good customer support.
- Limited payment options for some countries.
- Complex account verification process.
OFX, previously known as OzForex, is a multinational foreign exchange service that facilitates domestic and international money transfers for customers. The company provides several services that let customers send money internationally. They also provide limit orders, spot contracts, forward contracts, and more.
- Wide-ranging accessibility in multiple locations around the world.
- Both recurring and one-time transfer options are available.
- Good customer support.
- The $1,000 minimum transfer limit may be too high for some.
- Transfer options are limited to bank-to-bank transfers.
See our review of OFX.
Remitly has accumulated over three million users and handles an impressive $10 billion worth of transfers annually. Its platform provides 24/7 customer service and various transfer options, including bank transfers, cash pickups, and mobile money transfers, ensuring quick and secure transactions for users.
- Money can be sent and received within minutes using a debit card.
- Remitly Economy offers low fees starting at $3.99 (zero fees for transfers over $1,000 to select countries).
- First-time users can be eligible for reduced rates, based on the recipient’s country.
- Low sending limits.
- A 3% fee is charged for transfers funded by a credit card.
- The economical transfer method can be slow as it takes 3-5 business days.
See our review of Remitly.
Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, was founded by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann in 2011. With operations across 70+ countries, the platform offers reliable money transfer services to individuals and businesses worldwide.
Wise’s commitment to excellence has earned them a notable 4.4/5 rating from over 185,000 Trustpilot reviews.
- Low fees with no hidden charges.
- 80% of transactions are completed within 24 hours, and 40% are instant.
- Registered with FinCEN.
- Cash deposits are not possible as there are no physical branches.
- No access to cryptocurrency or Forex trading.
As a prominent player in the currency exchange sector, XE offers valuable information and services to individuals and businesses.
Its website is a one-stop shop for all things related to currency exchange, with a range of tools and resources that cater to the needs of its users.
With two decades of experience under its belt, XE has earned a reputation as a global leader in the provision of currency data and exchange rate services. The company’s commitment to excellence has established it as a reliable source for all things currency exchange.
- Extensive currency coverage with 180 currencies available.
- No limit on monthly transfers.
- The XE app is available in 11 different languages.
- Limited service availability based on the country. For example, only customers from the US, UK, and Europe can process card payments.
- No cash deposit option.
See our review of Xe.
Why is PayPal charging me to send money?
There is no fee for customers who want to send money domestically to the US. However, if you are sending money to other countries and in other currencies, Paypal charges a fee for currency conversion and international transfer expenses.
What is the cheapest way to send money internationally?
The cheapest way to send money internationally depends on the currency, location, and amount you want to send. If you’re looking for direct bank transfers, Wise is one of the most affordable and fastest services.
On the other hand, if you want affordable cash collection options, Remitly would be better suited. For large transfers, OFX is considered one of the cheapest services.
What is the fastest way to send money internationally?
Wise, Remitly, and WorldRemit offer fast international money transfers.
Over 80% of Wise international money transfers arrive within 24 hours.
More than half of money transfers are delivered within an hour with almost 40% of transfers being completed within seconds. This varies depending on the currency route, amount, and destination country.
Remitly’s Express transfers incur a fee but allow for transfers to be completed within minutes. Its international cash home delivery and cash collection services are also quick.
WorldRemit also offers international cash pickups which can be available within minutes. Online money transfers can be completed within minutes or hours depending on the payment methods used.