People often ask us if PayPal is a good service to send money abroad. While PayPal is great to send money to friends living in your country, our in-depth review of PayPal shows that it’s probably not a good idea to use PayPal for your international transfers.

Of course, PayPal has some advantages. With 200 million active account holders, it’s the largest internet payment company in the world. Chances are, you and your recipient already own a PayPal account, and using PayPal for your international transfers should therefore be easy and convenient.

Furthermore, you might be used to not paying any fees for transferring money with PayPal. Indeed, it is free to use PayPal for a domestic payment, i.e. when you and your beneficiary are in the same country, without a currency conversion (unless you pay with a credit card or debit card). This is great if you want to send money to friends or pay for goods and services from a local merchant for example.

However, this changes as soon as you want to make an international payment. In addition to a high percentage fee and an additional fixed fee if you don’t pay directly from your PayPal balance (e.g. you use your credit card or debit card for example), you also lose a lot of money in the currency conversion. Each time you convert money between balances in different currencies in your own account, PayPal takes a hefty margin on the exchange rate. This margin will be even bigger if the currency conversion happens during the transfer (as explained in our infographic below).

PayPal fees for international money transfers explained
PayPal fees for international money transfers explained

If you want to learn more about PayPal international money transfer services, you can read our full review here. If you’re now thinking you need to find another solution for your next money transfer, we’ve got you covered. By using our real-time comparison tool, you can compare money transfer providers available for your transfer, in order to save on fees and get much better exchange rates than those offered by PayPal.

Learn more:

Read this post if you’re interested in alternatives to Venmo to send money internationally.