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Wise vs PayPal

Sep 23, 2022
Advertiser disclosure

PayPal and Wise are two world-class fintech services that offer a range of useful features and services. In this side-by-side comparison, we compare and contrast PayPal and Wise regarding their money transfer services only, evaluating the two to see which one might best suit your needs and preferences the next time you send money overseas.

On the one hand, London-based fintech Wise frequently ranks as the cheapest way to transfer money internationally on Monito. According to the Monito Score, Wise is also ranked as the best money transfer service of all, and its mobile app is ranked the best money transfer app. On the other hand is PayPal, which Monito's experts generally recommend against for foreign currency payments because they charge a highly variable, nontransparent exchange rate margin fee of anywhere between 2.50% and 4.50% of the entire transfer amount.

As such, in almost all circumstances, we recommend Wise over PayPal for international money transfers and currency exchange. Take a look at the side-by-side comparison below to find out why.

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PayPal vs Wise: Where Are They Available?

Take note that Wise and PayPal aren't available everywhere, nor do they have the same reach. Take a look at the two services' availability below:

  • Wise: Available in the EEA, UK, US, Singapore, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, Wise supports transfers to around 57 foreign currencies across the globe.
  • PayPal: Available in an impressive 200 countries and territories worldwide, PayPal is probably available in some form or another in your country. Not that in some countries (e.g. India and Colombia) PayPal transactions are restricted, meaning international payments may not be available in all countries in the first place.

Wise — The Better Choice

Wise is an online service that specializes in helping you send money between two different currencies. They charge very competitive fees, and what is truly unique about is Wise does not take any margin on the exchange rate. We recommend Wise over PayPal for all kinds of international payments, particularly for small- to medium-sized bank transfers (up to US$10,000.00) destined for international bank accounts, as the platform is particularly well-priced for these transfers.

What Monito Likes About Wise

  • You get the true mid-market rate;
  • Low and transparent transfer fees;
  • Fantastic user experience;
  • Exceptional customer reviews on Trustpilot.

What Monito Dislikes About Wise

  • You can only send to a bank account.

PayPal — A Poor Choice for Global Payments

PayPal is fine for domestic transfers within one country and remains a great solution for many use cases, making online payments or sending money to friends, as long as you send in the same currency. But if you're sending money across borders and currencies, it's generally not a good idea to use PayPal for international money transfers because it gets costly. As soon as currency conversion is involved, a large portion of your transfer cost is hidden in the hefty margin PayPal takes.

What Monito Likes About PayPal

  • Convenient;
  • Widely available;
  • Many people already have PayPal accounts and are already familiar and comfortable with using PayPal's services.

What Monito Dislikes About PayPal

  • Costly exchange rates;
  • Only competitively priced 0.26% of the time;
  • Low customer satisfaction.

Find the Cheapest Money Transfer

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.

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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.