PayPal International Fees & How to Reduce Them

PayPal was designed and is still focused foremost on being an online payments system. When it comes to international fees, PayPal can be relatively expensive and hard to compare with the alternatives. In this post we will show you how you can work out your fees, keep them lower and point out some alternatives that may work better.

PayPal International Fess

I have been using PayPal for over a decade and to be honest I kind of ignored the international fees because every time I went to look into them I found it too damn hard to figure out! 

So I just ignored it.

And what’s a few percent here and there right?

Well I am glad you found this page!

Turns out it can be much more than a few percent but more importantly I want to point out some of the excellent alternatives.

First let’s figure out what your fees are.

As a Start: Are you sending money to Family/Friends? (below)
OR
Buying/Selling Commercial Goods and Services? (further below)

Buying or selling goods overseas is covered briefly in our PayPal Commercial 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!

Disclosure/Disclaimer: While we have done our best to clearly explain PayPals fees, they will change things and we are human and can make errors. Please refer to the official documentation (links provided below). Also, this post may contain offers and affiliate links to save you money. For more information, see our disclosures here.

PayPal International Fees for Transfers – FAMILY and FRIENDS

Want to know the basics of sending money?

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

A. USA

Total Potential Fees = (1) + (2) + (3) + (4)

See which apply to your situation. Some may be charged to the sender – some the receiver.

(1) Fixed Fee (based on currency received for receiver)
(2) International Fee (based on amount for sender) “Sending international personal transactions”

(3) Currency Exchange Fees (for sender, if converting currencies at source)
(4) Card Fee (additional for % for Cards) (for sender, only if using a card)

Savings Tip: You do have some control over these fees and some can be avoided.

For Example: If you are sending USD to USD from a PayPal USD account then fee (3) and (4) are not added to total fees (for the sender).

A.1.1 Fixed Fee

The fixed fee is based on the currency received (Payment Method: Card)

CurrencyFee
Australian dollar0.30 AUD
Brazilian real0.60 BRL
Canadian dollar0.30 CAD
Czech koruna10.00 CZK
Danish krone2.60 DKK
Euro0.35 EUR
Hong Kong dollar2.35 HKD
Hungarian forint90.00 HUF
Israeli new shekel1.20 ILS
Japanese yen40.00 JPY
Malaysian ringgit2.00 MYR
Mexican peso4.00 MXN
CurrencyFee
New Taiwan dollar10.00 TWD
New Zealand dollar0.45 NZD
Norwegian krone2.80 NOK
Philippine peso15.00 PHP
Polish zloty1.35 PLN
Russian ruble10.00 RUB
Singapore dollar0.50 SGD
Swedish krona3.25 SEK
Swiss franc0.55 CHF
Thai baht11.00 THB
UK pounds sterling0.20 GBP
US dollar0.30 USD

A.1.2 International Fee

Whether you use your PayPal balance, a linked bank account, or a card (credit, debit, or PayPal credit), this fee is 5% of the amount (minimum fee: $0.99 USD; maximum fee $4.99 USD).

Lower fees are applicable for transactions below $100, and anything above $100 will attract the maximum fee of $4.99.

A.1.3 Currency Exchange Fees

PayPal’s exchange rate for personal payments includes a 3% to 4% “currency conversion spread”.

A.1.4 Card Fee

In the US, transfers funded by your PayPal balance are free, while transfers funded by credit or debit cards are 2.9% of the amount.

A.2.1 Receiving Money from Friends and Family

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

Pretty handy and mostly fee free.

However, if you “Request Money” from friends and family outside of the US, there will be fees which may be paid mostly by the sender for their country.

However if currency conversion is required then a fee of 3 to 4% is the “currency conversion spread”

Also see Alternatives to PayPal (below).

For more see official PayPal USA fees page.

B. UK

Total Potential Fees = (1) + (2)

Fees change based on many factors. Some may be charged to the sender and others to the receiver.

(1) International Fee (based on amount for Sender)

(2) Currency Exchange (a percentage)

There are no fees to send and receive GBP in the UK or to and from the following regions:

  • United Kingdom (UK)
  • Guernsey (GG)
  • Jersey (JE)
  • Gibraltar (GI)
  • Isle of Man (IM)

But to send money to the rest of Europe and other countries, you’ll need to pay the following.

B.1.1 International Fee (Sending from UK)

This fee is 5% of the transaction amount between £0.99 and a maximum of £2.99 GBP (which occurs at £60).

B.1.2 Currency Conversion

One of the main fees you will incur using PayPal, is the currency conversion fee which varies depending on the currency to which you are converting to.

Here is PayPal’s currency converter tool which gives an estimate.

To calculate the fee contained within the currency conversion rate compare what PayPal offers with Wise which shows the current mid-market rate.

 For more information about how PayPal converts currency, please see the user agreement.

B.2 Fees for Receiving Money into the UK

There are no fees to receive GBP.

However receiving other currencies attracts a currency conversion fee.

However, you might have to cover the currency conversion fee if the person sending you the money does not do it for you.

Savings Tip: If practical, ask the sender to 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). For example, many people work with USD or EUR.

Also see Alternatives to PayPal (below).

For more see official PayPal UK fees page.

Here also is the PayPal UK User Agreement with fine print on fees.

C. Canada

C.1 Fees for sending money out of Canada

Total Potential Fees = (1) + (2) + (3)

Fees change based on many factors. Some may be charged to the sender and others to the receiver.

(1) International Fee (based on where the recipients account is and payment method)
(2) Fixed fee (based if a card is used)
(3) Currency exchange fees (a percentage)

C.1.1 International Fee + Recipient Country

Market/Region of Recipient’s AccountPayment methodRate
Europe I, Europe II, Northern Europe, and United StatesPayPal balance or a bank account

Cards
2.99 CAD

2.99 CAD + 2.90% + fixed fee
Any other market/regionPayPal balance or a bank account

Cards
4.99 CAD

4.99 CAD + 2.90% + fixed fee

What’s Europe I and Europe II? That’s how PayPal groups regions. Check them out here.

C.1.2 Fixed Fee

The fixed fees you pay for sending money from Canada to other countries depend on the currency of your recipient and only apply if a card is used.

CurrencyFee
Australian dollar0.30 AUD
Brazilian real0.60 BRL
Canadian dollar0.30 CAD
Czech koruna10.00 CZK
Danish krone2.60 DKK
Euro0.35 EUR
Hong Kong dollar2.35 HKD
Hungarian forint90.00 HUF
Israeli new shekel1.20 ILS
Japanese yen40.00 JPY
Malaysian ringgit2.00 MYR
Mexican peso4.00 MXN
CurrencyFee
New Taiwan dollar10.00 TWD
New Zealand dollar0.45 NZD
Norwegian krone2.80 NOK
Philippine peso15.00 PHP
Polish zloty1.35 PLN
Russian ruble10.00 RUB
Singapore dollar0.50 SGD
Swedish krona3.25 SEK
Swiss franc0.55 CHF
Thai baht11.00 THB
UK pounds sterling0.20 GBP
US dollar0.30 USD

C.1.3 Currency Conversion

In most cases when you send money overseas, the largest part of the total fees is the currency conversion.

At the time of writing, this fee was set at 4% – here is the latest Currency Conversion Fee for Canada.

Conversions in all other cases = 3%

C.2 Fees for receiving money into Canada

Receiving money into your Canadian 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.

If the money is not sent in CAD this attracts a currency conversion fee, which at the time of writing, this fee is set at 4% – here is the latest Currency Conversion Fee for Canada.

Savings Tip: You could potentially avoid this fee by requesting the sender to convert the money into your currency first before sending it.

Also see Alternatives to PayPal (below).

For more see official PayPal Canada fees page.

D. Australia

Total Fees = (1) + (2) + (3) + (4)

Fees change based on many factors. Some may be charged to the sender and others to the receiver.

(1) Fixed fee (based on currency received for receiver)
(2) International Fee (based on amount for sender) “Sending international personal transactions”

(3) Currency exchange fees (for sender, if converting currencies)
(4) Card Fee (additional for % for Cards) (for sender, only if using a card)

There are no fees to send money to friends and family in Australia from your PayPal account.

However, using cards will attract fees: 2.6% + $0.30 AUD.

D.1 Sending Money Out of Australia

To work out the fees if you are sending money from Australia the US to friends or family members in another country, consider the following:

Total Fees = (1) + (2) + (3)

(1) International Fee (based on where the recipients account is and payment method)

(2) Fixed Fee (based on currency received)

(3) Currency Exchange Fees (a percentage)

D.1.1 International Fee

Market of recipient’s addressFunding SourceRate (of send amount)
Any other market (where available)PayPal Balance or an AU Bank Account



Cards (any portion funded)
5.00%
-a minimum charge of 0.99 AUD
-a maximum charge of 5.99 AUD

5.00% + 2.60% + fixed fee
-a minimum charge of 0.99 AUD
-a maximum charge of 5.99 AUD

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 2.6% of the amount + a fixed fee.

Funded from PayPal balance or linked bank account: 5% of the amount – The minimum fee you’ll pay is $0.99 AUD and the maximum is $5.99 AUD.

Using a credit or debit card: 5% of the amount + 2.60% (card fees) + fixed fee (based on currency – as above)

D1.2 Fixed Fee

This is a fixed fee applied to cards for sending money abroad and depends on the recipient’s currency.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the fees by currency:

CurrencyFee
Australian dollar0.30 AUD
Brazilian real0.60 BRL
Canadian dollar0.30 CAD
Czech koruna10.00 CZK
Danish krone2.60 DKK
Euro0.35 EUR
Hong Kong dollar2.35 HKD
Hungarian forint90.00 HUF
Israeli new shekel1.20 ILS
Japanese yen40.00 JPY
Malaysian ringgit2.00 MYR
Mexican peso4.00 MXN
CurrencyFee
New Taiwan dollar10.00 TWD
New Zealand dollar0.45 NZD
Norwegian krone2.80 NOK
Philippine peso15.00 PHP
Polish zloty1.35 PLN
Russian ruble10.00 RUB
Singapore dollar0.50 SGD
Swedish krona3.25 SEK
Swiss franc0.55 CHF
Thai baht11.00 THB
UK pounds sterling0.20 GBP
US dollar0.30 USD

D1.3 Currency Exchange Fees

You’ll pay a currency conversion fee of 3% for sending AUD from Australia to another currency.

D.2 Receiving Money into Australia

PayPal states, “No fee (when no currency conversion is involved)”

However, if the person sending you the money fails to convert it first into AUD, you will incur a currency conversion fee of 4% – depending on the currency from which you are converting.

They may be subject to other fees as well.

Also see Alternatives to PayPal (below).

For more see official PayPal Australia fees page.

OTHER Countries

Germany

France

Italy

Alternatives to PayPal – Individuals

If you have a PayPal account and someone is happy to receive money into their account PayPal is a trusted option.

But it can be expensive and there are alternatives that can be better in other ways.

For Sending Below $7000 USD/£4000 GBP/$9500 CAD or AUD

We recommend a service like Wise (review) that lets you send money to 70 countries in 40+ currencies.

In most situations the fees on Wise will be a fraction of what you pay on PayPal.

The best part: Is the Wise calculator (opens new tab) which shows all the fees simply and clearly before you transfer.

For Sending Above $7000 USD/£ 4000 GBP/$9500 CAD or AUD

For large amounts, we recommend a service like OFX (review), which is regulated in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia and keeps fees low as the amount increases.

Another great option is TorFX (review) especially if you appreciate excellent customer service.

PayPal International Fees for Transfers – COMMERCIAL

Business fees for PayPal international payments can tend to be quite complicated as there is a fixed fee, currency exchange fee, 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. USA

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

A.1. For international commercial transactions

To calculate the total fees for commercial transactions where the buyer is overseas there are four fees to consider:

Total Fees = (1) + (2) + (3) + (4)

  1. 1.5% for All International Commercial Transactions
  2. The Receiving Method
  3. Fixed Fees
  4. The Currency Conversion Fees

A.1.1 Fee for International Commercial Transactions

At the time of writing, 1.5% for All International Commercial Transactions.

A.1.2 The Receiving Method

PayPal charges the following based on the method used to receive payment.

Payment TypeRate
Alternative Payment Method (APM)
such as AliPay, IDEAL, POLi and others
2.59%
Invoicing3.49% + Fixed Fee (next)
PayPal Checkout3.49% + Fixed Fee (next)
PayPal Guest Checkout3.49% + Fixed Fee (next)
QR code Transactions – 10.01 USD and above1.90% + Fixed Fee (next)
QR code Transactions – 10.00 USD and below2.40% + Fixed Fee (next)
QR code Transactions through third party integrator2.29% + 0.09 USD
Pay with Venmo3.49% + Fixed Fee (next)
Send/Receive Money for Goods and Services2.99%
Standard Credit and Debit Card Payments2.99% + Fixed Fee (next)
All Other Commercial Transactions3.49% + Fixed Fee (next)

A.1.3 Fixed Fees

These fees vary based on the currency you’re receiving and are as follows. Note: Send/Receive Money for Goods and Services does not attract this fee.

CurrencyFee
Australian dollar0.59 AUD
Brazilian real2.90 BRL
Canadian dollar0.59 CAD
Czech koruna9.00 CZK
Danish krone2.90 DKK
Euro0.39 EUR
Hong Kong dollar3.79 HKD
Hungarian forint149.00 HUF
Israeli new shekel1.60 ILS
Japanese yen49.00 JPY
Malaysian ringgit2.00 MYR
Mexican peso9.00 MXN
CurrencyFee
New Taiwan dollar14.00 TWD
New Zealand dollar0.69 NZD
Norwegian krone3.90 NOK
Philippine peso25.00 PHP
Polish zloty1.89 PLN
Russian ruble39.00 RUB
Singapore dollar0.69 SGD
Swedish krona4.09 SEK
Swiss franc0.49 CHF
Thai baht15.00 THB
UK pounds sterling0.39 GBP
US dollar0.49 USD

A.1.4 The Currency Conversion Fees

PayPal also charges a currency conversion fee.

This is 4% when “Paying for goods or services in a currency other than the currency the goods or services are listed in.” or “PayPal Payouts”

Other transactions are 3%.

Note: There are many other situations like Donations, Charity and Micro Payments (to name just a few) that are covered in the PayPal Merchant Fee Section for USA.

B. UK

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

A.1. For international commercial transactions

To calculate the fees for commercial transactions where the buyer is overseas there are four fees to consider:

  1. 1.29% (EEA customers) or 1.99% (other regions)
  2. The Receiving Method
  3. Fixed Fees
  4. The Currency Conversion Fees

B.1 International Transactions

B.1.1 1.29% (EEA customers) or 1.99% (other regions)

PayPal adds either 1.29% (EEA customers) or 1.99% (other regions) based on customer location.

B.1.2 The Receiving Method

The combination of a customer’s location and the method they use to pay your business can vary and so do the fees.

Payment TypeRate
Alternative Payment Method (APM)APM Transaction Rates Apply
Card funded payment from a user of our Terms for Payments without a PayPal account1.2% + Fixed Fee (next)
QR Code Transactions – GBP 10.01 and above1.5% + Fixed Fee (next)
QR code Transactions – GBP 10.00 and below2% + Fixed Fee (next)
All Other Commercial Transactions2.9% + Fixed Fee (next)

B.1.3 Fixed Fees

These are fixed based on the receiving currency and are added to the percentage fees chargeable according to receiving methods (B.1.2).

Note: these rates are applicable for regular payments and not micropayments.

CurrencyFee
Australian dollarAUD 0.30
Brazilian realBRL 0.60
Canadian dollarCAD 0.30
Czech korunaCZK 10.00
Danish kroneDKK 2.60
EuroEUR 0.35
Hong Kong dollarHKD 2.35
Hungarian forintHUF 90.00
Israeli new shekelILS 1.20
Japanese yenJPY 40.00
Malaysian ringgitMYR 2.00
Mexican pesoMXN 4.00
CurrencyFee
New Taiwan dollarTWD 10.00
New Zealand dollarNZD 0.45
Norwegian kroneNOK 2.80
Philippine pesoPHP 15.00
Polish zlotyPLN 1.35
Russian rubleRUB 10.00
Singapore dollarSGD 0.50
Swedish kronaSEK 3.25
Swiss francCHF 0.55
Thai bahtTHB 11.00
UK pounds sterlingGBP 0.30
US dollarUSD 0.30

B.1.4 Currency Conversion Fees

PayPal adds a 3% margin to the exchange rate for currency conversion. This fee is “for a business account and transactions for which a receiver has agreed to bear the currency conversion”

Note: There are many other situations like Donations and Charity (to name a few) that are covered in the PayPal Merchant Fee Section for UK.

C. Canada

C.1. Receiving International Payments

As explained at the start, PayPal fees are complex and based on many factors.

However, our goal here is simply highlight and simplify the most common PayPal Fees for Canadian Commercial Transactions.

Other fees include Donations, Charities, Alternative Payment Methods, PayPal Here Rates, Online Card Payment Services, Payment Gateways and Micropayments which can be found on the official Canadian PayPal Merchant Fees Page.

All the following fees can apply:

  1. 0.8% (US Customers), 1% (Other Countries)
  2. Fixed Fees
  3. The Currency Conversion Fees

C.1.1 0.8% (US customers) or 1% (other regions)

PayPal charges either 0.8% (EEA customers) or 1% (other regions) based on customer location.

C.1.2 Fixed Fees

These fees are also based on the currency received and apply to all “Commercial Transactions” and “QR code transactions”.

CurrencyFee
Australian dollar0.05 AUD
Brazilian real0.10 BRL
Canadian dollar0.05 CAD
Czech koruna1.67 CZK
Danish krone0.43 DKK
Euro0.05 EUR
Hong Kong dollar0.39 HKD
Hungarian forint15.00 HUF
Israeli new shekel0.20 ILS
Japanese yen7.00 JPY
Malaysian ringgit0.20 MYR
Mexican peso0.55 MXN
CurrencyFee
New Taiwan dollar2.00 TWD
New Zealand dollar0.08 NZD
Norwegian krone0.47 NOK
Philippine peso2.50 PHP
Polish zloty0.23 PLN
Russian ruble2.00 RUB
Singapore dollar0.08 SGD
Swedish krona0.54 SEK
Swiss franc0.09 CHF
Thai baht1.80 THB
UK pounds sterling0.05 GBP
US dollar0.05 USD

C.1.3 Currency Conversion

PayPal adds a 4% margin to the exchange rate for currency conversion. This fee is for currency conversions that occur on “commercial transactions and when using PayPal Payouts:”. More on currency conversions here.

D. Australia

D.1. Receiving International Payments

As explained at the outset, PayPal fees are complex because of many factors.

However, our goal is unpack and simplify international money transfers.
Here are the most common PayPal Fees for Commercial Transactions for Australian business.

Other fees include Donations, Charities, Alternative Payment Methods, Online Card Payment Services and Micropayments which can be found on the official Australian PayPal Merchant Fees Page.

All the following fees can be applicable:

  1. Transaction Fee
  2. Fixed Fee
  3. Currency Conversion

D.1.1 Transaction Fee

The Transaction Fee is 3.6% for receiving international transactions.

This fee is made up of the domestic fee of 2.6% which is also applied to international transactions + an additional 1% for international transactions.

D.1.2 Fixed Fee

This is a small fixed fee based on the currency received and is included in “Commercial Transactions”.

Here’s a breakdown of fixed fees by currency:

CurrencyFee
Australian dollar0.30 AUD
Brazilian real0.60 BRL
Canadian dollar0.30 CAD
Czech koruna10.00 CZK
Danish krone2.60 DKK
Euro0.35 EUR
Hong Kong dollar2.35 HKD
Hungarian forint90.00 HUF
Israeli new shekel1.20 ILS
Japanese yen40.00 JPY
Malaysian ringgit2.00 MYR
Mexican peso4.00 MXN
CurrencyFee
New Taiwan dollar10.00 TWD
New Zealand dollar0.45 NZD
Norwegian krone2.80 NOK
Philippine peso15.00 PHP
Polish zloty1.35 PLN
Russian ruble10.00 RUB
Singapore dollar0.50 SGD
Swedish krona3.25 SEK
Swiss franc0.55 CHF
Thai baht11.00 THB
UK pounds sterling0.20 GBP
US dollar0.30 USD

D.1.3 Currency Conversion

To change the received currency into AUD, PayPal charges a currency conversion fee between 3-4% of the amount.

4% when received in another currency.

3% for all other currency conversions.

Alternatives to PayPal – International Business

In just the last few years the number of great alternatives to PayPal for business especially when it comes to dealing with multiple currencies and exchange rates has exploded.

However each service has different strengths and weaknesses as there is a multitude of factors to consider.

Ultimately it all depends on the needs of your business.

For smaller companies and individuals Payoneer (review) have services designed for digital payments.

Other competitors to PayPal for online payments are Stripe and Apple Pay.

But many business owners want simpler (and potentially better) solutions to transfer money or manage multiple currencies.

Let’s look at these two potential problems and the best solutions.

Money Transfers

The problem: PayPal is designed for making payments and paying others and is complex and can be relatively expensive to simply transfer money.

The solution: If your business needs to make international money transfers then Wise (review) is our top pick for transfers below $7000 USD and OFX (review) is our top pick for transfers above $7000 USD. In our reviews and elsewhere on the site we explain exactly why we think they are better than the others for different amounts and also give more alternatives for specific requirements.

Multi Currency Accounts

The problem: A big challenge many businesses face is getting paid and paying others in multiple currencies. A handful of multinational banks have filled this gap, but in general banks tend to be focused on the needs of specific countries and multi currency bank accounts from banks tend to be expensive to run.

The solution: A number of bank like services now exist that do many things banks can do and more. These multi currency account services are focused on reducing exchange rate fees, making it easy to pay others in different currencies, excellent online experience and more.

Can I Use PayPal to Transfer Money Overseas?

Yes. Technically with PayPal, the money you send is simply from one PayPal user to another. If that PayPal user is in a different country or needs a different currency, there are fees associated and potentially additional fees to move funds to a bank account.

What are the Fees PayPal charges for International Transfers?

Depending on the country you are sending from and a number of other factors we identify up to four main fees including a conversion fee built into the exchange rate. In total, fees commonly range from 4% to 8%, but individuals and business need to determine these for themselves.

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