PayPal International Fees

Made Simple

Understanding the fees PayPal charges for international transfers can be very confusing we know!

It does not have to be that way.

Better yet, when you understand how they work – you can make PayPal work best for you (or not).

PayPal International Fees

The key is to understand the basics we have on this page.

Start by knowing that PayPal determines the fees based on certain situations.

Family/Friends or Buying/Selling Goods and Services?

If you are sending money to family or friends as opposed to a business, their fees are quite different.

This is because businesses have many options to accept payments on PayPal, including invoicing, website payments, card readers and many more.

Buying or selling goods overseas is covered in our business section (below)

Generally though, sending money to family and “friends” is cheaper and the majority of this page is dedicated to understanding these fees and reducing them!

Sending or Receiving Money from Family and Friends

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Let’s start with  the country where you are resident.

Want to know the basics of sending money?

This video is aimed at domestic transfers but the basics are the same for international transfers to friends and family.

A. USA

Receiving and sending money across the border using PayPal as a resident of the US can be done to “family or friends” or as a business. 

To work out the total fees if you are sending money from the US to a friend or family member in another country, the fee you will pay depends on four factors:

  1. The country where the recipient’s account is
  2. The payment method used
  3. The amount involved
  4. Currency exchange fees
    Bonus Info
  5. How to Save on Fees
  6. Cheaper Alternatives

A.1 Sending Money from the US

A.1.1 The Country

Every transaction has a small fixed fee of about US$0.30, and the value of this fee can change depending on the currency in which it is paid.

Fixed PayPal for USA International Transfers

A.1.2 Payment Method

Two Methods

  1. PayPal balance or a linked bank account
  2. Credit card, debit card or PayPal credit

Using your PayPal balance or a linked bank account will often be free.

If the money being sent is funded with a debit card, credit card or PayPal credit, then an additional fee of 2.9% of the amount involved is charged.

A.1.3 Amount Involved

Transactions with amounts that are below $50 are charged $0.99 if the payment is to Europe, Canada and many other countries.

If the amount being sent is between $50 and$100, the fee charged for the same countries is $2.99.

The same fee applies for amounts exceeding $100, but when sent only to Canada or Europe.

A payment exceeding $100 to other countries attracts a fee of $4.99.

Australian Variable Fees - PayPal International

This table is an excerpt from PayPal.

For example, if you are sending $100 to Canada or Europe, you will pay a total fee of about $3.29 if it is funded with your PayPal balance.

Total Fee = 30c + $2.99 = $3.29 USD

However, the fee is about $6.19 if the money is from your debit or credit card balance.

A.1.4 Currency Exchange Fees (the recipient pays)

If the recipient can use US dollars, there are no additional fees. (For example, if your recipient is in a different country but their predominant currency is US dollars.) However, chances are the recipient may need those funds in their local currency.

You can do this before you send the funds (cheaper but not cheap) or they will have to do it when it arrives (more expensive).

PayPal’s exchange rate for personal payments includes a 2.5% to 4.5% margin subtracted from the interbank rate and depending on the receiving currency.

To compare PayPal with other money transfer services, you need to also consider the exchange rate PayPal offers, which will always be different to the interbank rate.

A.1.5 How to Save on Fees

There is a two step process to help save money on fees when using PayPal.

  1. Fund the transaction from your bank account in USD (cheapest method)
  2. Make any necessary currency conversion while still in your PayPal wallet to the recipients currency

While this can reduce fees, the sender is effectively paying the fees for conversion which can be passed onto your recipient. It also worth noting that your recipient may prefer to be paid in USD.

However there are cheaper alternatives.

A.1.6 Cheaper Alternatives for sending below $7000 USD

In the US even with the lowest fees possible on PayPal, you will still be paying a minimum of 2.5% just on the exchange rate. When you take into account the fixed fees for smaller amounts and if you use a credit or debit card these fees become very significant.

You will find that an alternative provider (below) to be much cheaper for amounts below $7000 USD. If you plan on transferring more than a few hundred dollars (but less that $7000 US) it is worth the effort to sign up. 

A.1.7 Cheaper Alternatives for sending above $7000 USD

Above $7000 and we recommend a non-P2P money transfer company. For the US check out OFX who has offices in the US and is registered in almost every state.

A.2. Receiving Money into the US

You can request money to be sent to you through an email, SMS or email.

Pretty handy.

If you “request money” from friends and family outside of the US, there will be similar fees as sending to be paid by someone (see above).

As described above, the person sending the money can cover the fees, or you can pay the majority of them (by effectively having them removed) from the transferred amount before it reaches your PayPal account.

For commercial transactions the fee structure is different.

Generally, a PayPal payment transaction from outside the US attracts a fixed fee of $ 0.30 USD.

In addition, you will then pay 4.4% of the amount involved if the transaction is commercial. In the event it is a donation, it is 3.7% of the amount involved.

The other fees you incur in the transmission process arise from the conversion of your money from the currency of the country where it is coming from into the US dollar.  The fees charged in this regard are of two kinds: – a 1.5% cross border fee and 2.5% conversion fee.

The cross-border applies because of the process involved in moving money from overseas to the US. Meanwhile, the conversion fee applies when moving the money from a different currency to the US dollar. If the money comes from outside the US as dollars then you will pay only the cross-border fee.

But if the money is sent in a different currency and has to be converted to the US dollar before it reaches you, then you have to pay a conversion fee as well. And just with other payment service providers, the exchange rate you are provided with is always marked up a little, which means the platform will sell you the US dollar at a higher rate than the prevailing interbank rates.  

For example, if you are receiving $100, PayPal will charge a total of about $7.2 for a commercial payment and about $6.5 if it is a donation. These fees can however be higher or lower subject to exchange rates.

Longer form information on PayPal

US Fees for Transferring Domestically and Internationally

Fees for Selling and Accepting Payments in the USA

B. UK

B.1 Fees for sending money out of the UK

Given the relationship between the UK and the rest of Europe, the fees you pay depend on which currency you are using – Pounds or Euro.

Like a domestic transfer, if you are executing a transaction using the Euro or the Swedish Kroner you are not charged any fees.

However sending money to the rest of Europe from accounts denominated in the Sterling Pounds attract fees.

  1. The Amount and Country where funds will be received
  2. Currency conversion (the recipient pays)
    How to Save
  3. How to Save on Fees
  4. Cheaper Alternatives

B.1.1 The Amount and Country

Every transaction has a fixed fee depending on the country you are sending money to.

For payments  below £50 you pay £0.99.

For payments between £50 and £99.99 you pay £1.99.

Above £100 you are charged £1.99 for Canada, US, and Europe, while a fee of £3.99 is applicable for the rest of the world.

UK Fees PayPal for Amounts

B.1.2 Currency Conversion

One of the main fees you will incur while sending money out of the UK from your PayPal personal account, is the currency conversion fee of between 2.5% and 4%, depending on the currency to which you are converting. You are also likely to incur the mark-up price that PayPal adds on top of the currency market exchange rates.

USD 3.5%

Euro 3.5%

AUD 4%

CAD 3.5%

B.1.3 How to Save on Fees

There are two main ways you can save money on fees when using PayPal. By moving funds to your PayPal wallet from your bank account first (do not use credit or linked debit cards) and make any currency conversions while still in your PayPal wallet.

However there are cheaper alternatives.

B.1.4 Cheaper Alternatives for Sending Below £4000 GBP

Even with the lowest fees possible, you will still likely be paying 3.5% or 4% just on the exchange rate and likely quite a bit more for smaller amounts especially when you take the fixed fees into account. Use a credit card or debit card and you will end up paying over 10% in fees.

Overall, you will find alternatives like the recommended one (below) to be much cheaper. If you plan on transferring more than a few hundred pounds (but less that £4000 GBP) it is worth the effort to sign up.

B.1.5 Cheaper Alternatives for Sending Above £4000 GBP

Above £4000 GBP, we recommend top rated money transfer companies. For the UK, you are not stuck for choice as there are three great money transfer options for these larger transfers including OFX, TorFX and XE.

In the UK, foreign currency accounts can also be an excellent option usually for smaller transfers especially if you need to make payments and get paid in multiple currencies or even make free ATM withdrawals while overseas.

B.2 Fees for receiving Money into the UK

Just like it is the case if you are a resident of other countries, receiving money as a resident of the UK from overseas is primarily free.

The fees the sender incurs are assumed to take care of the cost involved with moving of the money.

However, you might have to cover the currency conversion fee if the person sending you the money does not do it for you. This will cost you between 3.5% and 4% depending on the currency from which you are converting.

Ideally, it is advisable to talk to the sender in advance so that they can convert the money for you. Alternately you can simply hold a balance in the currency that is sent to you and pay for things from that balance in the same currency (this saves you the conversion fee twice).

Longer form information on PayPal

UK Fees to Family and Friends

PayPal UK User Agreement fine print on fees

C. Canada

PayPal offers two types of accounts in Canada: business and personal, and the fees vary in each case.

Also, the fees you pay on your personal account for sending or receiving money across international borders are different from what you pay when you transact with friends and family members who are within the country.

The focus of this post is the fees you pay to receive or send money across international borders using a personal account as a resident of Canada.  

C.1 Fees for sending money out of Canada

  1. The country where the recipient’s account is
  2. The country where the funds will be received
  3. The payment method used
  4. Currency exchange fees (the recipient pays)
    Bonus
  5. How to Save on Fees
  6. Cheaper Alternatives

C.1.1 Fixed Fee

The fees you pay for sending money from Canada to other countries depend on the target, whether the transaction is funded from your account or from a credit or debit card and the amount involved.

C.1.2 The Country

If you are sending to the US or Europe and the transaction is funded from your PayPal or a linked bank account, you will be charged a fixed fee of $2.99 CAD.

Sending to any other country will cost you a fixed fee of $4.99 CAD.

Variable Fees for amount - PayPal Canada

C.1.3 Payment Method

If the transaction is funded from a credit or debit card, then you are charged an additional 2.9% of the amount involved and another small fixed fee of about 30c CAD – depending on the currency in which you send the money.

Fixed PayPal Fees for sending in other currencies.

C.1.4 Currency Conversion

Another type of fee you are likely to incur when sending money from Canada is the currency conversion fee, between 2.5% and 3.5% and depending on the currency to which you are converting.

Chances are the recipient may need those funds you sent in their local currency.

So while they receive funds initially in Canadian dollars, if you want to compare PayPal with other money transfer services, you need to also consider the exchange rate PayPal offers, which will always be different to the interbank rate.

C.1.5 How to Save on Fees

There at two main ways you can save money on fees when using PayPal.

  1. Make the currency conversion before you send funds.
  2. Do not use a debit card or credit card to fund the transaction

Even if you do these two things there are cheaper alternatives.

C.1.6 Cheaper Alternatives for Sending Below $9500 CAD

In Canada, even with the lowest fees possible, you will still be paying between 2.5% and 3.5% just on the exchange rate. When you take into account the fixed fees for smaller amounts and if you use a credit or debit card these fees become very significant.

You will find that alternatives like the one we recommend (below) to be much cheaper. If you plan on transferring more than a few hundred (but less that $9500 CAD) it is well worth the effort to sign up.

C.1.7 Cheaper Alternatives for Sending Above $9500 CAD

Above $9500 CAD, we recommend a top ranked money transfer company. For Canada, check out OFX (review) who are recommended partly because they are regulated in Canada and maintain offices in Toronto and many other countries. 

C.2 Fees for receiving money into Canada

In general, receiving money into your PayPal personal account is free even when the money is from outside the country. The sender is expected to cover all the costs involved.

However, situations exist where you are called upon to pay fees to receive money sent to you from outside Canada. The most common of these situations happen when the sender fails to convert into Canadian dollars before sending it to you.

That means before you withdraw or spend the money, you may have to convert it first.

This attracts a currency conversion fee, which ranges between 2.5% to 3.5% – depending on the currency from which you are converting. You also stand to cover the mark-up that PayPal adds on top of the reigning market exchange rate.

You can avoid this cost by declining to accept the payment and requesting the sender to convert the money into your currency first before sending it.

Longer form information on PayPal

PayPal Canada Fees Page

D. Australia 

In this post we focus on the fees you will be charged for using your personal PayPal account to send or receive money across international borders as a resident of Australia.

Excluded in this post are fees you pay when you send and receive money on your personal account to and from within Australia. Also, this post does not cover fees you pay for using your commercial PayPal account.

D.1 Sending Money Out of Australia

To work out the fees if you are sending money from the US to friend or family member in another country, the fee you will pay depends on four fees:

Fees

  1. The country where the recipients account will be received
  2. The payment method used
  3. The amount involved
  4. Currency exchange fees (the recipient pays)
    Bonus
  5. How to Save on Fees
  6. Cheaper Alternatives

D1.1 The Receiving Country

This is a small fixed fee of about 30c AUD depending on the currency in which the transaction is executed. 

Small Fixed Fee - PayPal International Transfers

D.1.2 The Payment Method

The fees you pay for sending money from Australia to other countries depends on two factors: whether the amount involved is funded from your PayPal and linked bank account balances or from a debit or credit card.

If the transaction is funded from a credit or debit card, then you will pay an extra 2.9% of the amount involved.

D.1.3 The amount involved

When the transaction is funded from PayPal or linked bank account, and the amount you are sending is below $50, you will be charged $0.99.

For amounts between $50 and $100, the fees are $2.99.

If you are sending funds that are more than $100, the fees are fixed at $5.99.

PayPal Fees (Variable)

D.1.4 Currency exchange fees

If the money being sent has to be converted to US Dollars or Canadian dollars then you will pay a currency conversion fee of 3.5% of the amount involved. For other currencies, the fee is 4.0%.

D.1.5 How to Save on Fees

There are two main ways you can save money on fees when using PayPal.

  1. Make the currency conversion in your own wallet before you send funds.
  2. Do not use a debit card or credit card to fund the transaction

Even if you do these things there are cheaper alternatives.

D.1.6 Cheaper Alternatives for Sending Below $9500 AUD

In Australia, even with the lowest fees possible, you will still be paying a minimum of 3.5% just on the exchange rate. When you take into account the fixed fees for smaller amounts and if you use a credit or debit card these fees become very significant.

You will find an alternative provider (below) to be much cheaper for amounts below $9500 AUD. If you plan on transferring more than a few hundred dollars (but less that $9500 AUD) it is worth the effort to sign up.

D.1.7 Cheaper Alternatives for Sending Above $9500 AUD

Above $9500 AUD and we recommend a non-P2P money transfer company. For Australia, check out OFX or TorFX who are recommended because they have offices in Australia and are regulated in Australia as well.

D.2 Receiving Money into Australia

The assumption is that you do not pay fees when receiving money through your personal PayPal account from outside Australia – this is true if the sender pays in AUD.  

However, if the person sending you the money fails to convert it first into AUD, you will incur a currency conversion fee of between 2.5% and 3.5%—depending on the currency from which you are converting.

You also stand to incur a mark-up fee PayPal adds on top of the reigning currency exchange rate. So, you have the option of asking the sender to reverse the payment, converting, and then sending the money to you.

Another fee you stand to pay when receiving payment into your personal account from outside Australia would apply when withdrawing the money into your bank account.

The fee is 2.5% of the amount involved. However, this fee applies to all withdrawals done from PayPal regardless of where the money came from, outside or inside the country.

Cheaper Alternatives for Sending Below $7000 USD

In most situations when sending money abroad below $7000 USD, there are cheaper and more transparent alternatives to PayPal.

For example, TransferWise in most situations costs just a fraction of what PayPal charges. This is because they always convert your money at the mid-market rate and don’t add any mark ups, unlike PayPal.

But what we really love about TransferWise is their ridiculous transparency throughout their site. Their widget on the homepage breaks down the cost in an easy to understand way (check it out below). You can make payments directly into your friend or family’s bank account and pay via bank transfer or using your debit card.

When it comes to fees, they show you upfront exactly what you will pay and simply use the mid-market rate.

Visit TransferWise Widget and Get Comparison Here

Business

Business fees for international payments can tend to be quite complicated as there is a fixed fee and exchange rate in addition to fees related to the way you use PayPal to accept payments.

If you are a professional, digital marketer, product/service seller or freelancer looking to save money on the fees charged through PayPal or your bank you might like Payoneer (review).

As a payment gateway for e-commerce businesses Skrill (review) is a strong competitor.

This video goes some way to explaining how all this works.

Accepting International Payments (a PayPal video)

Jump Links

A. USA – PayPal Business Fee

For a business transaction PayPal charges different fees depending if you are buying or selling.

A.1. Buying (from overseas in the US)

For those in the US buying a product or service from a business, PayPal charges a currency conversion fee.

This currency conversion fee is based on the wholesale rate PayPal receives from their bank (close to the interbank rate) with 2.5% added.

The seller also pays transaction fees which depend on the country and way that payment is taken.

End to end the total fees accumulated are usually about 5% to 6%.

A.2. Selling (overseas from the US)

When selling overseas from the US a transaction fee of 4.4% plus a small fixed fee based on the currency is applied.

Fixed Fees for USA - PayPal International

In addition to these if payment is not taken in USD there is a currency conversion fee that the seller pays to convert the currency to USD. This is 2.5% above the wholesale rate (close to interbank rate).

B. UK – PayPal Business Fees

For a business transaction PayPal charges different fees depending if you are buying or selling.

B.1. Buying (from overseas in the UK)

Currency Conversion FeesFor those in the UK, PayPal says, “It’s free to use PayPal to buy something unless it involves a currency conversion.”

To the right are the currency conversion fees based on the country you are buying the product or service from.

B.2 Selling (overseas from the UK)

Fees for taking payments in the UK from people outside of the UK are based on the (1) Domestic Commercial Payment Fees + (2) Cross Border Fee + (3) Fixed Fee + (4) Currency Exchange Fee

B.2.1 Domestic Commercial Payment Fees

Getting paid domestically or internationally can be done through PayPal in many different ways. See “Selling with PayPal” on this page.

For example, buttons on your website attract fees of 1.9% + 20p per transaction.

B.2.2 Cross Border Fee

Cross Border Fees - UK

** Europe I: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, France (including French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion and Mayotte), Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom (including Channel Islands and Isle of Man), Vatican City State.

Europe II: Albania, Andorra, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, Ukraine.

* Northern Europe: Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland (including Aland Islands), Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden.

B.2.3 Fixed Fee (Based on Currency Received) 

This fee is a small fixed fee based on the currency.

€0.35 EUR, $0.30 USD, $0.45 NZD, ¥40.00 JPY, $2.35 HKD, $0.30 CAD, $0.30 AUD

B.2.4 PayPal Conversion Fee

If you receive payments in another currency and convert that to GBP the fee is 2.5% above the base exchange rate (very close to interbank rate).

If a conversion takes place as part of the transaction (in other words your prices are in GBP) a currency conversion fee will be applied.

C. Canada – PayPal International Business Fees

Are you looking to buy or sell from Canada?

C.1 Buying (from overseas in the Canada)

For those in Canada, PayPal says, “It’s free to buy something with PayPal unless it involves a currency conversion.”

Currency conversions in Canada PayPal receives a wholesale rate from their bank (close to the interbank rate) and adds 2.5%.

The seller also pays transaction fees which depend on the country and way that payment is taken.

End to end the total fees accumulated are about 5% to 6%.

C.2 Selling (overseas from Canada)

Fees for taking payments in Canada from people outside of Canada depend on (1) Transaction Fee + (2) Fixed Fee + (3) Currency Exchange Fee.

In addition, if you take payment in USD there is a (4) Withdrawal Conversion Fee if you convert that to CAD when you take it to your bank account.

C.2.1 Transaction Fee

If the funds you are receiving are coming from a PayPal account, outside Canada and the US A fee of 3.9 % of the transaction amount plus a fixed fee based on the currency. For the US it is  3.7% of the transaction amount plus $0.30 USD.

C.2.2 Fixed Fees

Discount rates to charities registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Payments Pro, Virtual Terminals, Payment Gateways, Micro Payments (Average <$12), Mass Payments all have different fees for the percentage and fixed fee

C.2.3 Currency Exchange Fee

However if you take payments in the local currency then you will also pay an additional currency conversion fee as well.

Typically this is about 2.5% above the interbank rate.

C.2.4 Withdrawal Conversion Fee for Merchants

Rather than paying the currency conversion fee (C.2.3 above) you can take payment in USD. Then you will be charged a fee that applies to the conversion of a U.S. Dollar Balance to Canadian Dollars before you withdraw it to your bank account but only if you have applied and qualified for Merchant rates.

Monthly Sales Volume

Currency Conversion Fee

$0.01 – $3,000.00 CAD2.50%
$3,000.01 – $12,000.00 CAD1.50%
$12,000.01 – $125,000.00 CAD1.50%
Over $125,000.00 CAD1%

D. Australia – PayPal International Business Fees

Are you looking to buy or sell from Australia?

D.1 Buying (from overseas in the Australia)

If you are buying and the seller does not accept Aussie dollars, PayPal will charge a fee above the exchange rate.

For US or Canadian dollars, the fee is 3.5% above the exchange rate, while it’s 4% for all other currencies.

Within your PayPal account (not as part of a purchase) to any currency 2.5% above the exchange rate.

Basically PayPal provides two options. You can pay your overseas supplier and they charge 3.5 % or 4 % in fees or you can change you AUD into their currency for 2.5% within the account.

With the second option at 2.5% you might think – well I will choose that then! However bare in mind, there will be additional transaction fees which the seller has to pay in the form of transaction fees and depend on the way the seller transacts.

For example, if the seller requests the money the fee is 2.9% + a small fixed fee. Total Fees = 2.5% + 2.9% = 5.4% (see Transaction Fees for Selling)

D.2 Selling (overseas from Australia)

Fees for taking payments in Australia from people outside of Australia depends on the (1) Transaction Fee + (2) Fixed Fee + (3) Currency Exchange Fee.

D.2.1 Transaction Fee

PayPal Transaction FeesD.2.2 Fixed Fee

The fixed for international transaction fees is roughly $0.30 in the currency where the money is coming from.

D.2.3 Currency Exchange Fee

In Australia, if you receive payments in currencies other than Australian dollars, PayPal converts them at 2.5% above their base rate when you withdraw your money to your linked bank account.

The base rate is the rate at which PayPal obtains foreign currency and this is typically very close to the interbank rate.

Merchant Fees Links

USA – https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/merchant-fees

UK –  https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/paypal-fees

Canada – https://www.paypal.com/ca/webapps/mpp/merchant-fees

Australia – https://www.paypal.com/au/webapps/mpp/paypal-seller-fees