Can you use paypal to send money to another country

  • Yes, PayPal does work internationally. You can transfer funds between more than 200 different countries.
  • However, PayPal’s international transfers aren’t free, so you’ll have to check what the fee is for each transfer within your country of choice.
  • PayPal will also give you information on the currency exchange rate for any country you want to send money to.
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PayPal allows you to transfer money between more than 200 countries and 25 currencies, and may also give you the ability to reload a cell phone for someone abroad. But it isn’t a free service, and there are fees associated with these kinds of transfers.

The transfer fee is 5% of the transfer amount, with a minimum charge of 99 cents and a maximum of $4.99 if you’re transferring from your bank account or PayPal balance. 

If you’re using a debit or credit card to transfer money, there is no fee limit, and you’ll have to pay an additional 2.9% funding fee, plus a fixed fee that depends on the country you’re sending money to.

How to transfer money internationally with PayPal

1. Go to paypal.com and log into your account.

2. Toggle over to the “Send and Request” tab in the top toolbar and then select “More.”

3. Click “Send Money” under “Send Money Abroad.”

The option to send money abroad is separate from the normal sending menu.

Devon Delfino/Business Insider

4. Select a country from the drop-down menu and click “Next.”

5. Select how to deliver the funds from the list of options available in that country. 

6. If you want to send money to someone who doesn’t have a PayPal account, you’ll be redirected to the website Xoom, where you’ll follow the on-screen prompts to process your transfer. 

  • This is also the option you should pick if you want to pay international bills or reload a phone abroad.
  • Xoom will allow you to send money to your recipient physically, send it to their bank account, or let them pick it up at a retailer.

7. If you go with a PayPal-based transfer, enter the amount and currency for the transfer. 

You’ll be able to choose which currency you want to convert your money into.

Devon Delfino/Business Insider

8. For those who went with a PayPal-based transfer, you’ll automatically be shown how much the recipient will receive after fees and currency conversion. If it’s the right amount, click “Next.”

PayPal will calculate the fees you pay before you accept.

Devon Delfino/Business Insider

9. Add the recipient’s phone number or email address, and then click “Next.”

If the address you select isn’t associated with a PayPal account, an invitation to join PayPal will be sent as well.

Devon Delfino/Business Insider

10. If the person you’re sending money to isn’t in your contact book, add a note, your recipient’s name and country of residence, then review your transfer and click “Continue” when ready.

11. Click “Send Payment Now” to complete the transfer.

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

Devon Delfino is a Brooklyn-based freelance journalist specializing in personal finance, culture, politics, and identity. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Los Angeles Times, Teen Vogue, Business Insider, and CNBC. Follow her on Twitter at 

@devondelfino.Read more Read less

In an era of unprecedented globalization,  it’s easier than ever for businesses to connect with international clients, customers, and partners.

One of the most critical developments has been the creation and adoption of money transfer services like PayPal. In contrast to traditional bank transfers, PayPal offers a relatively cheap, fast, and easy solution for businesses to make international payments to partners outside of the United States.

But the question on everyone’s mind is – is there a catch? Are there hidden fees or fine print you should be aware of? Let’s walk through all of your questions about Paypal fees.

Does PayPal Charge a Fee to Send Money?

The PayPal transaction fee is waived if you send money from your online PayPal account, a linked bank account, or from the PayPal Cash app. But you’ll be hit with a 2.9% fee and a 30-cent fixed transaction fee if you make a payment with your PayPal credit, debit or credit card. International money transfers also come with different rules, according to PayPal’s terms.

Can PayPal be Used for International Transactions?

PayPal can be used for international transactions and is available in over 200 countries, giving companies the option to make cross-border payments and transfers via the app or website at PayPal.com. However, the process differs slightly depending on whether or not both the sender and recipient have a PayPal account.

If both users have a PayPal account, the transaction can be processed through PayPal. If the recipient does not have a PayPal account, the payment can be sent directly to their personal account (depending on the country they are in) via Xoom, another payment service owned by PayPal. 

Both options offer relatively fast payment and Xoom conveniently links with your PayPal to make tracking payments easier.

What Are PayPal’s International Fees?

PayPal offers two different payment methods for international money transfers and each has its own fee structure. When sending money directly to another PayPal account, PayPal charges 5% of the transaction with a minimum fee of $0.99 and a maximum fee of $4.99.

This assumes the transfer is funded by a PayPal balance. If the transfer is funded by a credit card, debit card, or PayPal credit, a funding fee of 2.9% plus a fixed fee (based on the currency used) is also applied. 

PayPal’s International Currency Conversion Fee

Additionally, if the sender needs to convert to a different currency before sending, the currency conversion fee is  4%  or a different percentage amount if disclosed to you during the transaction.

PayPal’s currency conversion fee to US or Canadian dollars is 3.5%, but is 4% for other currencies. PayPal also charges a 4.5% fee for conversion service, so it’s important to factor this cost in as well to any currency conversion you do.

See the table below to better understand how these fees are applied. 

On the other hand, in order to transfer directly to a recipient’s bank account, you’ll need to send the payment via Xoom. Because Xoom is owned by PayPal, the two work seamlessly together and the transfer can be funded from a PayPal account or linked bank account. 

Unlike the fixed percentage fee for transferring to another PayPal user, Xoom adds a mark up to the current market rate. 

For example, if the currency exchange rate from EUR to USD is 0.913, Xoom might offer to process the transfer at a slightly lower rate of 0.902. This means the recipient will receive less than the market exchange rate and the sender will have to factor that into their payment.

PayPal Exchange Rate Explained

PayPal uses a specific process to set their exchange rate. 

Twice a day, PayPal receives a wholesale rate quote from their bank. PayPal then adds a percentage to the wholesale rate quote. This helps them determine the retail foreign exchange rate to apply to currency conversion transactions.

When you transfer money from your PayPal account to your personal bank account, PayPal automatically converts your funds into your bank’s local currency. PayPal boasts competitive exchange rates comparable to banks and currency exchanges.

PayPal Fee Structure for International Transfers

Transaction FeeAdditional ChargesTransferring to another PayPal Account5% of the transaction amount$0.99 minimum$4.99 maximum2.9% funding fee + a fixed fee based on the currency used when using a credit card, debit card, or PayPal credit to fund transaction.
Conversion fee if converting currency before sending. As of June 2022, the current currency conversion spread is 4%, unless a different percentage is disclosed in the transaction.Transferring directly to a bank account via XoomMark-up on exchange rate that varies by currency. Added fees when using a debit card or credit card. Fees vary based on currency and transaction amount

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How Do I Avoid PayPal Fees?

PayPal is free only for personal payments made to friends and family within the United States. For international transfers and business transactions, there are transfer fees as described above as well as merchant fees for goods and services. 

Depending on the size and frequency of international transfers, the cost starts to add up. While there isn’t a way to avoid PayPal’s transaction fees altogether, there are ways to mitigate cost.

Here’s how you can best avoid paying full costs with PayPal’s international transaction fees: 

Fund transactions using your PayPal account.

This is the easiest way to reduce the different fees charged by PayPal. Funding transfers with a Paypal account avoids the additional fees tacked on when using credit cards and debit cards.

For one-off situations, this might not make a major impact, but over time, those fees add up.

Make larger payments.

When transferring money directly to another PayPal account, the fee is capped at $4.99. This means that sending $100 costs the same as sending $1,000 dollars and so on.

Making fewer payments in larger amounts keeps the relative cost low. Xoom, on the other hand, is not capped in this way.

Factor PayPal costs into pricing.

When working with international partners, the cost of payment should be factored into the pricing of the service, especially when transactions are large and/or frequent.

It’s important to work the details out beforehand. The frequency of payments, transaction amounts, and exchange rates should all be factored into the cost of the service. That way, there are no surprises down the road.

Deduct fees at tax time.

PayPal and other payment processing fees are considered a necessary cost of doing business and can be deducted from your taxable income at the end of the year. While this doesn’t necessarily reduce the cost of using PayPal, some of that loss can be recouped in the form of tax savings. 

Are There Other Options?

It’s hard to beat the convenience of PayPal because of its global popularity, but there are a number of options available for transferring money abroad. 

Factors like the transaction amount, frequency, and currency can all greatly affect the cost of sending money. So, it’s important to take this into account when deciding which money transfer service is the most cost-effective.

At some point, your company may outgrow PayPal. How will you know when it’s time to add other options to the mix? Read more about it in our eBook: Have You Reached PayPal’s Tipping Point?

  • Approval by the Xoom proprietary anti-fraud verification system
  • Funds availability from sender’s payment account (checking, credit or debit card)
  • Recipient-country banking hours and banking system availability
  • Difference in time zones, weekend bank processing availability, and local bank holidays
  • Receiving agent hours of operation

Xoom, the stylized Xoom, and the stylized “X” are trademarks and/or registered trademarks and trade dress owned by PayPal, Inc., its affiliates or its licensors in the United States and elsewhere.

PayPal account required to send and receive money using the PayPal app and PayPal.Me. Xoom moves your money fast, and keeps your security a top priority. Speed of money transfer service is subject to many factors, including:Xoom, the stylized Xoom, and the stylized “X” are trademarks and/or registered trademarks and trade dress owned by PayPal, Inc., its affiliates or its licensors in the United States and elsewhere.

Can I use PayPal to send money internationally?

Yes, you can certainly use PayPal to send money internationally. The company supports international money transfers to over 200 countries and can process your transfer in a few working days. If you’re going to be using PayPal to send money abroad, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the fees that will be associated with this type of transaction.

Here, we’ve covered the PayPal fees and charges associated with sending money internationally from a U.S. PayPal account. It’s worth keeping in mind that charges may change depending on where you are sending from.

PayPal international transfer fees

When sending money internationally from a PayPal U.S.A. account, you should first understand what costs will be associated with this way of sending money abroad. The two main costs to be aware of are PayPal’s fixed fee structure plus the conversion fee for converting your currency (essentially, the exchange rate).

Using PayPal to send money to friends or family within the U.S. with your PayPal account is free, but sending money to another country does come with fees. PayPal will charge you up to 5.00% of the transaction amount for personal international payments.

This transaction fee assumes that you are making the international transfer from your PayPal balance. If you were to pay for your transfer with a credit card or debit card, you’d be charged a funding fee of 2.9% plus a fixed fee which depends on the currency involved in the transfer.

Currency conversion fee

The second cost you need to be aware of when using PayPal to transfer money internationally is the conversion rate applied to your transfer.

The currency conversion rate is applied to the base exchange rate for converting between the two currencies involved and can range from 3.75 – 4% depending on where you are sending to. 

This is a similar process applied by most banks and money transfer operators, although the exchange rate you are offered may be higher or lower than what is offered by competitors. You’ll be able to see the difference in the mid-market exchange rate (considered the most accurate and ‘fair’ rate for sending money on any given day) by looking it up on Google and then comparing the exchange rate you are offered by PayPal.

Why are these fees important to know?

When you take fixed transfer fees, currency conversion fees, and fees for using a debit or credit card all into account, it’s easy to fee how quickly the costs can add up when sending money internationally with PayPal.

This can amount to either your recipient losing a significant portion of the funds you are sending in fees or you paying more than you expected to transfer your money. With so many alternative options for international transfers available today, it’s worth informing yourself of the costs involved and deciding if you can get a better deal elsewhere.

Alternatives to using PayPal to send money internationally

PayPal is a well-known service for sending money both domestically and internationally, as well as for making online payments. However, that doesn’t mean it’s your only option. If you want to consider some alternatives to PayPal for sending money internationally, you have a few options:

Use an alternative money transfer service

In the past couple of decades, there has been a significant increase in the number of companies able to offer quick international money transfers for low fees.

Specialist money transfer operators will usually have a digital focus to make sending money internationally as convenient and hassle-free as possible. Most do involve both transfer fees and a markup on the exchange rate (although some, such as TransferWise, offer transfers at the mid-market rate with a fixed fee while others, such as XE, offer transfers with no fees but add a small markup onto the exchange rate). 

Ultimately, the best provider for you will depend on a number of mitigating factors to do with your transfer. Things that can affect this include:

  • Where you are sending from
  • Where you are sending to
  • What payment option you want to use 
  • How you want your funds to be delivered to your recipient

Our comparison engine provides a real-time breakdown of the best money transfer providers for your specific transfer, so you can accurately compare your options based on costs, speed, security, and more.

Send money internationally with your bank

Another alternative to using PayPal to transfer money is to use your own bank. There are pros and cons to this option.

On the upside, using your bank is a familiar option that some users may feel more comfortable with. Additionally, all you need is your recipient’s bank details and name to set up a transfer, rather than needing to provide additional verification of your identity as may be required with a money transfer provider.

However, using your bank to send money internationally often comes with high fees – potentially even higher than sending with PayPal – and slower transfer times. Be prepared for an international transfer with your bank to take anywhere up to 5 working days, factoring in the additional delay weekends or bank holidays can contribute.

Also, if you are interested to learn how to transfer money from a bank account to PayPal instantly, you can take a look at our guide.

How to send an international transfer with PayPal

Follow these steps to make an international transfer with PayPal:

Log in to PayPal: Go to paypal.com and log in to your account.
Navigate to Send: Go to the ‘Send & Request’ tab and select ‘Send Money Abroad.’
Select Country: Select the country you are sending to
Choose Delivery Method: Choose how you want the funds to be delivered to your recipient. If you are sending money to someone who does not have a PayPal account, you might find that you are directed to Xoom, which is also owned by PayPal but has slightly more flexible options for sending money abroad.
Enter Amount: Enter how much you would like to send and the currency you are converting to.
Check the Fees: You should automatically be shown the fees you will be charged and how much your recipient will receive on the other end. If you are happy with all the information displayed, click ‘Next.’
Enter Details: Enter your recipient’s details (email address or phone number).
Confirm and Send: If you’ve confirmed all the details are correct, you can click ‘Send Money’ and complete the transfer.

Bottom line: Is sending money internationally with PayPal the best option?

PayPal supports international transfers to over 200 countries and is used by millions of people to send payments every single year. It’s a well-known company, has a clear and easy-to-use process for sending money, and has a secure way of getting your money to your recipient.

That being said, you may find that there are cheaper and faster alternatives for getting your money abroad. Use our comparison engine to find a real-time analysis of the best money transfer services for you based on cost, speed, and more.

FAQs

Does PayPal take money from your bank account immediately after a transaction?

No, PayPal does not take money from your bank account immediately after a transaction. Instead, the funds are transferred from your PayPal balance or linked bank account to the recipient’s PayPal balance within a few business days. However, instant transfers can be arranged for an additional fee. It is important to make sure that you have enough funds in your PayPal balance or linked bank account to cover any transactions. Otherwise, the transaction may be declined.

How long does it take for to transfer money from PayPal into your bank account?

According to PayPal, it typically takes 1-2 business days for the transferred funds to become available in your bank account. However, this timeframe can vary depending on your bank’s specific processing times. If you need access to the funds sooner, you can also use a PayPal instant transfer, which allows for immediate transfer of funds for a small fee.

How long does it take to send money from one PayPal account to another?

It typically takes just a few seconds for the money to be transferred from one PayPal account to another. However, in some cases it may take up to 30 minutes for the funds to become available in the recipient’s account.

Also, keep in mind that if the sender or recipient is located in a different country, it may take longer for the transfer to go through due to international processing times.

How much does it cost to send money from one PayPal account to another?

The cost of sending money from one PayPal account to another depends on the payment method used, the country the funds are being sent from, and the amount being sent. Generally, there is no fee for sending money to friends and family within the United States using a bank account or PayPal balance. For other payment methods or international transfers, a transaction fee of 2.9% plus $0.30 USD may apply. To see specific fees for your transaction, you can use the PayPal fee calculator before sending money.

How do you put money into a PayPal account?

There are several ways to add money to a PayPal account. You can link a bank account or debit/credit card and transfer funds from those sources, or you can also use PayPal Cash or PayPal Cash Plus service to add cash at select retailers. Additionally, you may be able to receive funds from friends or family members, or from companies that you do business with through PayPal.

Can you use PayPal for wire transfers?

No, PayPal is primarily used for online transactions and sending/receiving money to individuals or businesses. It cannot be used for wire transfers, which typically involve larger sums of money and are done through a bank or other financial institution. To conduct a wire transfer, you would need to visit your bank or use their online services.

Does PayPal offer competitive rates for international money transfers?

Yes, PayPal offers competitive exchange rates for international money transfers. In fact, they often offer better exchange rates than traditional banks or currency exchange services. Additionally, PayPal offers low fees and fast transfer times for international transactions. However, fees may be higher than many money transfer companies for some currencies and certain receiving countries. It is always recommended to compare exchange rates and fees before making a transfer with PayPal or any other service.

What alternatives to PayPal are there?

Some alternatives to PayPal include Stripe, Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Square Cash, and Amazon Payments. Each of these payment platforms offers different features and services, so it is important to consider your specific needs before choosing a provider. For example, Apple Pay and Google Wallet are primarily used for in-person transactions through mobile devices, while Stripe and Square Cash offer more robust online payment options. Amazon Payments is integrated with the e-commerce giant’s platform, making it a convenient choice for businesses selling on Amazon. Ultimately, the best alternative to PayPal will depend on the individual’s or business’s specific needs and preferences.

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Yasmin Purnell

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Yasmin Purnell is a Content Writer and Editor for MoneyTransfers.com. Having over 5 years’ experience writing across a range of industries including finance, insurance, and travel, Yasmin joined the team with a mission to make international money transfers and everything they encompass accessible to all.

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