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4 Min. Read

How to Check PayPal Exchange Rate & Currency Calculator

How to Check PayPal Exchange Rate & Currency Calculator

So you want to send an international payment but are not sure about the exchange rate? Here is how to check before you send a payment.

Sending funds abroad and in foreign currencies is one of the main draws of PayPal. It is just so easy to do! PayPal instantly converts your money into the intended currency with no fuss. You can also have a multi-currency account.

As a business owner, you can accept payments from almost anywhere in the world. All great things. 

The catch is the exchange rate. PayPal is known to have a slightly higher exchange rate than what Google will calculate for you. Why is there a difference? How can you check before you send funds? 

Read on to find out.

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

How Do I Check My PayPal Exchange Rate?

Why Is PayPal’s Exchange Rate Higher?

How Much Does PayPal Charge in Transaction Fees?

Key Takeaways

How Do I Check My PayPal Exchange Rate?

PayPal has a currency calculator on the platform. You can find it in your PayPal portal.

Follow these 5 simple steps to check the PayPal exchange rate for the day: 

  1. Log in to your PayPal account. Both your personal and your business account will have a currency calculator.
  2. Go to your PayPal wallet. This is your money page.
  3. Click “currency calculator”
  4. Select the currencies you a transferring from and to
  5. Enter the amount you intend to send. The calculator will automatically show you the equivalent in the second currency.

Why Is PayPal’s Exchange Rate Higher?

So you have probably Googled the current exchange rate and been slightly taken aback at what you saw. You may even be expecting PayPal exchange rates to be better than the going rate at your bank.

Overall, that isn’t always the case. PayPal charges currency conversion fees plus an extra transfer fee to send funds in a different currency.

It’s not the very worst you can find out there, but the exchange rate isn’t that favorable either.

Though PayPal claims that their rates are “competitive”, it’s certainly debatable. 

How Much Does PayPal Charge in Transaction Fees?

To understand PayPal’s exchange rates, you have to understand their added fees. It depends on the payment method, not just the currency conversion rate.

Please bear in mind that the information below is true as of July 2021. PayPal updates their fee structure very often. It is worth checking here for the latest information.

What Are PayPal’s Fees to Send Money Internationally? 

  • PayPal Currency Conversion Fee
    • It can vary between 3-4% depending on who you are paying.
  • PayPal International Payment Fees
    • Sending via bank transfer or PayPal balance – 5% of the amount being transferred. The minimum fee is $0.99. The maximum fee is $4.99
    • Sending using credit cards or debit cards – 5% + 2.9% card processing fee + fixed fee of $0.30
    • Sending foreign currency via an Amex Send account –  5% of the amount being transferred. The minimum fee is $0.99. The maximum fee is $4.99 

What Are PayPal’s Fees to Receive International Payments?

  • PayPal’s Fees to Receive an International Payment
    • If on a personal account, no fees. You will only be charged 3-4% for the currency conversion
    • If receiving money through a merchant account, there is an additional processing fee of 1.5%.

How Can You Avoid PayPal’s High Exchange Rate? 

Honestly? You can’t. Not without using another payment processor to send or receive foreign payments. 

PayPal had a monopoly on the market of international money transfers until relatively recently. Other payment processors are offering more attractive rates for international transfers.

You may even find Stripe to be a little cheaper, or at least with a clearer fee structure.

Other popular money transfer services include Wise, Payoneer and 2Checkout. The Wise multi-currency account launched in 2019 and has been gaining popularity since. For more information on receiving international payments, refer to our guide on How to Accept International Payments, where we have outlined the best ways to handle international transactions.

Key Takeaways

PayPal’s foreign exchange rates may not be the best on the market. However, Paypal is still one of the most trustworthy payment platforms around. If you can look past the somewhat complicated fee structure, foreign exchange is simple and easy. 

You can check the currency conversion at any time in your digital wallet. You can get paid from anywhere in the world in seconds. And the widely known brand name that PayPal has gives you a bit of legitimacy and trust. 

There are certainly pros and cons, but the final decision is up to you! 

Learn more about small business finance on our resource hub.