Beware of PayPal's fees to send money to Canada from the US

PayPal Transfers From the US to Canada: Beware the Hidden Fees

Byron Mühlberg, writer at
Dec 13, 2022
Affiliate disclosure

Canada is one of the most popular destinations for international money transfers originating from the US, and PayPal, with its 160 million American customers, is one of the most preferred ways to make transfer across the northern border.

However, while fast and convenient, using PayPal to send money from the US to Canada is an expensive choice due to the hefty exchange rate margins that go along with the app. In this guide, we look at how to send money from the US to Canada with PayPal, what the costs are, and how to find better alternatives instead.

PayPal is pricey to Canada. Compare alternatives instead:

Key Facts About US to Canada Transfers

💰 PayPal total fee

3% - 3.35%

💵 Avg. total fee via Monito

Less than 1.25% (compare now)

⏱ Avg. transfer time

Less than 24 hours

🏆 Cheapest transfer app

How to PayPal From the US to Canada

Sending money from the US to Canada with PayPal may be expensive, but it's undoubtedly very convenient. To get the job done, you simply have to log in to your PayPal account and make a transfer to any Canadian PayPal user whose balance is in Canadian dollars. This can be done as follows:

  1. Log in to your PayPal wallet;
  2. Click the 'Send & Request' button;
  3. Enter your recipient's email address, username, or mobile number;
  4. Specify the 'Sending to a friend' option;
  5. Enter the amount you'd like to send and choose CAD;
  6. Click 'Send Money Now'.

Using this method, you will also be able to choose whether to pay by credit card or using your PayPal balance. The latter option will subject your transaction to PayPal's exchange rate fees, while the former option gives you the choice between paying at PayPal's or your card issuer's exchange rates.

Take a look at Monito's in-depth PayPal review to learn more.

PayPal US to Canada Fees and Exchange Rates

All things considered, sending money from one PayPal account to another is one of the most expensive ways to transfer into a different currency. This is because of the highly variable, nontransparent fees and exchange rates that you'll be charged.

PayPal Exchange Rates: US to Canada

In most cases, all fees PayPal will charge you when sending money from the US to Canada will come in the form of the exchange rate margin, the difference between the mid-market exchange rate (i.e. the one you see on Google) and the exchange rate that PayPal offers.

According to PayPal's fee schedule, this fee constitutes a margin that's 3% above the mid-market rate. However, according to our analysis of the exchange rate that PayPal displays on its pricing calculator for USD/CAD transfers compared to the mid-market exchange rate, PayPal's exchange rate margins are still higher, in the region of 3.35% of the transfer value. In effect, this means that for every USD 1,000 you transfer to Canada, PayPal will convert only around USD 966.50 of that amount into Canadian dollars at the actual exchange rate.

PayPal Foreign Transaction Fees: US to Canada

If you're sending money to the PayPal account of somebody else in a different currency, you won't pay any fixed transaction fees over and above the exchange rate margin we explored above.

However, if you're sending money from the US to a business or non-profit in Canada, or if you receive payment using the 'Request Payment' tab, then you'll be subject to a CAD 0.30 fixed fee in addition to the exchange rate margin. (The exchange rate margin for these payments is 4.4% for transfers from the US to Canada.)

Other Fees to Anticipate

If you make a PayPal transfer from US to Canadian dollars using a debit or credit card, you could be charged an exchange rate margin fee by your card issuer. However, PayPal allows users to choose whether to pay their exchange rate fees or the card issuer's. Because currency conversion costs at major card providers can easily be as steep as at PayPal, we recommend choosing PayPal's exchange rates unless you know that your card provider offers you favourable exchange rates.

Find the Best PayPal Alternatives

To avoid the high fees that come along with PayPal, comparing the market for the most competitive money transfer apps is the best choice at your disposal. The cheapest provider is Data is not available. Most people transfer around 1000, but it's a cheap provider at any amount.

For example, by comparing your options and making a bank transfer from the US to Canada with Wise, your savings compared to PayPal would be in the region of CAD 40 per USD 1,000 that you send across. There are other great options too. The following were the cheapest money transfer apps on Monito from the USA to Canada in 2022:

  1. CurrencyFair (cheapest on 40% of searches)
  2. Wise (cheapest on 22%)
  3. OFX (cheapest on 3% - especially for big transfers over USD 50,000)

Find the best deal from the US to Canada in real time now 👇

Find the cheapest PayPal alternative:

FAQ About PayPal in Canada

Why You Can Trust Monito

Our recommendations are built on rock-solid experience.

  • We've reviewed 50+ money transfer providers
  • We've made 100+ test transfers
  • Our writers have been testing providers since 2013
Learn more about us

Why Trust Monito?

You’re probably all too familiar with the often outrageous cost of sending money abroad. After facing this frustration themselves back in 2013, co-founders François, Laurent, and Pascal launched a real-time comparison engine to compare the best money transfer services across the globe. Today, Monito’s award-winning comparisons, reviews, and guides are trusted by around 8 million people each year and our recommendations are backed by millions of pricing data points and dozens of expert tests — all allowing you to make the savviest decisions with confidence.

Learn More About Monito
  • Monito is trusted by 15+ million users across the globe.

  • Monito's experts spend hours researching and testing services so that you don't have to.

  • Our recommendations are always unbiased and independent.

Global Impact Finance Ltd
Rue du Pont 22
1003 Lausanne

Affiliate Disclosure
Instead of banner ads and paywalls, Monito makes money through affiliate links to the various payment service providers featured on our website. While we work hard to scout the market for the best deals, we're unable to consider every possible product available to you. Our extensive range of trusted affiliate partners enables us to make detailed, unbiased, and solution-driven recommendations for all types of consumer questions and problems. This allows us to match our users with the right providers to suit their needs and, in doing so, match our providers with new customers, creating a win-win for everybody involved. However, while some links on Monito may indeed earn us a commission, this fact never impacts the independence and integrity of our opinions, recommendations, and evaluations.