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Avoid PayPal Money Transfer Currency Conversion Fees | CurrencyFair

October 15, 2015 how-to

Many people use PayPal to send and receive money and to pay for purchases online. If you are not familiar with PayPal, it is a fast, convenient, and fairly easy way to handle online financial transactions.

For example, if you are a freelance writer, editor, or graphic designer, chances are that you might have used PayPal at some point for your business transactions.


PayPal has helped business owners increase their sales by taking their business online.

While there are upsides to using PayPal for business and shopping, there is one very significant downside you need to be aware of, especially if you are using PayPal to transfer money abroad.

How to avoid PayPal’s money transfer conversion fees

As we shared in our recent article called Money Transfer Companies Compared, Paypal has been great for spreading online commerce but as a way to send money from one country to another it’s just plain bad.

Some people still believe that Paypal is free for currency exchange. No, it’s not – it’s actually very expensive.

A Guide to Avoiding PayPal’s Conversion Fees

Our friends at Monito have created a the below to explain the process involved when you use PayPal for international money transfers:


When transferring money in a foreign currency, there is always going to be a fee for that service. As you go along, you will come to realise that PayPal is similar to the costs of a traditional bank – it’s certainly a lot more expensive than CurrencyFair.

A traditional bank is typically the most expensive way to send money abroad. They take the standard exchange rate (known as the interbank rate) and then add a hefty margin on top. They then add on an expensive sending fee for the honour of sending your money for you. PayPal doesn’t charge you the upfront fee. Instead, it simply rolls the cost into the PayPal exchange rate margin.

See how we compare to other online money transfer companies

What is the Real PayPal Exchange Rate?

Unfortunately, it is difficult for you to work out exactly what the PayPal currency conversion rate margin really is (and it’s not really in their best interest to promote that fact).

Our previous article on PayPal and other money transfer companies highlighted a discussion forum devoted to understanding the hidden elements in the PayPal exchange rate:

“Regarding getting a good estimate; PayPal says here that they base their rate on the ‘Interbank Exchange Rate’ and that ‘Customers may use these rates as a reference’. However they of course go on to say that these rates are not guaranteed, and if you want the precise rate you need to see what rate they apply in the transaction. I am not aware of any way of obtaining the precise rate programmatically.”

Starting at 2.5%, PayPal’s exchange rate slices large chunks off your money transfer.

Why is CurrencyFair so Much Cheaper than PayPal?

If you need to make an international money transfer, we advise staying away from PayPal and enjoy the savings at CurrencyFair instead.

You’ll be glad you did.

Register for free, start saving money today!

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