Paypal Fees for International Payments – Things You Need to Know

PayPal is the most reliable service when it comes to international money transfers and payments. But the main question is, is using a PayPal account better than a bank account?

There are many factors that can add to your base payment amount without your knowledge. 

As an online course creator, your main goal is to reduce them to stop your expenses from stacking up.

Quick Summary

In this article, we will discuss the following topics related to PayPal Fees.

  • What type of hidden payments are there?
  • How does it affect your PayPal credit?
  • PayPal Account Fixed Fee based on different Countries.
  • Ways to Reduce/Avoid PayPal fees.
  • Alternatives to a PayPal account.

Let’s get started.

International Payments

In the modern world, international money transfer services are becoming readily available to the majority of the world. International transfers are done in just a few clicks.

But things aren’t as simple as they seem. Any transaction amount has some backend fee structure that constitutes whatever you are credited with.

What are these backend charges?

These international transaction fees are a part of the service you are using or just the international cross-border laws. However, these fees are different for different countries.

Whenever you are transferring money abroad, some fees are constant while some are based on the country you are sending the money to.

Do these charges apply to domestic transactions?

As a matter of fact, the majority of the payment processing fees aren’t applied when you are using a debit or credit card for domestic payments

However, the service you are using still charges their service charges under the company regulations.

Types of International Fees

Before we get into the PayPal charges tied with transfer fees, you need to know the different kinds of fees that you might encounter. 

Currency Exchange Rate

The main cross-border fees you will encounter when you transfer funds are currency conversion fees.

Whenever you transfer money, there are additional fees tied to your currency conversion. Let’s take an example for it.

Suppose your transfer amount is in Swedish Krona (SEK) and the person/business receiving money lives in the United States of America.

Now, both of these countries have different currencies. 

So, how do you determine the difference in the exchange rate?

In order to learn about the current exchange rate of two currencies, you can run a quick Google Search. So, the two currencies in the above example have a 1 USD to 9.09 SEK exchange rate.

So, when you are sending money abroad which in this case is the U.S, you have to keep the exchange rates in mind. 

Why is it important?

Exchange rates are important because your local currency is never equal to the currency of another country. As mentioned above, 100 USD is not equal to 100 SEK.

The current exchange rate is always added to your transaction to balance the difference between two currencies.

Currency Conversion Fee

Currency conversion fees are the most common type of fees you are charged with every time you use a credit or debit card for sending money.

Some people prefer using currency conversion to get a better idea of the actual transaction amount. However, the linked bank account or PayPal deducts their currency conversion fee passively.

How does this conversion work?

For example, you are sending money from Canada to the United States. Both countries have different currencies and exchange rates. 

To avoid paying the maximum fee with your money transfer. You can convert your currency to USD beforehand. 

How does that benefit me?

It removes the confusion that normally people deal with when it comes to exchange rates for international transactions. 

Furthermore, you have one less cross-border fee to worry about.

Service Charges

You might have noticed that every time you use your credit or debit card for a money transfer, there is a fixed fee based on the type of transaction.

These are the service charges that are applied to every transaction per the Bank/Company regulations. 

How much does the bank charge me?

The service charges applied to your personal payments/money transfer are mentioned in the contract you signed.

However, the service fees vary depending on the nature of the transaction. For example, if you are using your linked bank account for currency conversions, they might charge you higher fixed fees. 

While on the other hand, if you are using it for international payment, the service charges are going to be different. 

Do debit cards charge for domestic transactions as well?

When it comes to domestic transactions, the bank account linked with your debit card doesn’t charge a transaction fee.

However, you have to pay monthly fees for other things like balance sheets and bank statements.   

International Payments with a PayPal Account

The aforementioned fees are also applied when it comes to your PayPal credit. As an online course selling business, PayPal is your go-to choice for currency conversion and purchase payments.

Since  PayPal accounts work differently compared to a conventional bank account. The concept of a fixed fee and PayPal fees are different.

Are business-related payments any different for PayPal?  

Yes, PayPal fees are different when it comes to sending money for business purposes or even if you receive money for such matters.

PayPal treats Buying and Selling differently.

We will discuss them one by one. 

Buying from within the United States

Let’s say your customers on your website are buying your courses reside within the United States. 

For domestic purposes, PayPal doesn’t charge any additional fees from your PayPal account besides the normal service charges.

This service charges 2.5% per the banking laws. It is a fixed fee that is charged regardless of the nature of the transaction.

There is one key detail that you should keep in mind. This situation is only applicable if both the buyer and the seller are in the United States.

Selling within the United States

From a seller’s perspective, each country has its own merchant fees that every business has to pay. 

It doesn’t matter if you use a credit/debit card or PayPal credit to operate, you still have to pay this fixed fee on every single purchase.

paypal rates

The above image shows all the merchant fees related to domestic transactions if you use a PayPal account instead of a bank account.

The fixed fee mentioned here is the 1.5% PayPal fee credited for every transaction. 

PayPal Fees for International Countries

When it comes to international trading, the total PayPal fees calculated depends on a number of things.

These things are as follows.

  • Exchange rate.
  • Currency conversion.
  • Payment method.
  • Nature of the International Transaction.

The only thing that matters when it comes to higher fees is the currency conversion. Normally, the fees charged aren’t considerable. 

But if you use your PayPal account for mass payments, then sending money can gradually add a fixed fee based on how much you transfer money internationally.

What are currency conversion rates does PayPal charge?

In the following image, you can see all the different fees you have to pay when you send money abroad.

paypal fees for international payments

Keep in mind, that all of these currency conversion rates are with respect to the US Dollar.

The process of creating, selling, and managing online courses can be very intimidating, especially when you know nothing and have to start from scratch. We have the perfect guide for you to help you through the process.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the alternatives to PayPal.

Alternatives to PayPal

As we mentioned in the beginning, PayPal is the leading service in sending money or just currency exchange in general. 

But it isn’t the only service you can use to send money or use for international transactions. 

What are the viable alternatives?

Following are some of the alternatives you can opt for if PayPal is too expensive for your business venture.

  • Skrill
  • Payoneer
  • Google Pay Send


As a cheap alternative in terms of the transaction fee, Skrill can go a long way in reducing costs from your business and personal account. 

Skrill only charges a 2.9% transaction fee compared to the PayPal fees of 4.5% per international transaction.

For businesses with a private model like yours, Skrill is the most viable in terms of keeping your expenses in check.


Payoneer is another useful alternative in terms of instant transfer across 200+ countries. The availability aspect in major countries has enabled multiple businesses to use it without any hiccups.

It also allows you to create different types of accounts. A free account that can use a debit card or PayPal credit card and Payoneer’s Prepaid account.

Besides that, the debit or credit card fee is only 1% per transaction.

Google Pay Send

In the past few years, Google has also refined its own payment method. Since it is embedded by default in every Android phone, you can easily access it from anywhere in the world.

You can send money via your credit card or your bank account in a couple of seconds. Furthermore, Google does not charge a debit fee compared to the 2.5% PayPal fees.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s take a look at some of the commonly asked questions from around the web.

Does PayPal have an instant transfer service?

Currently, the instant transfer service is only available for United States residents. For international transactions, there is a slight delay when it comes to sending money.

How much does it take to transfer money for purchase transactions?

On average, it takes between 2-3 days for the money to transfer. But it is only for P2B (Peer-to-Business) or B2B (Business-to-Business) transactions. However, the transfer is instant if it is P2P (Peer-to-Peer).

Can PayPal hold my money?

PayPal can freeze a transaction if it shows some suspicious activity on the sender’s or receiver’s end. PayPal has the legal capacity of holding your money for up to 180 days.

Can I use my account if one of my transactions is put on freeze?

No, you can not. If one of your transactions is put on hold or freeze, your entire account is seized from making further transactions.

How to accept money on PayPal?

You can easily accept money on PayPal by clicking on the Request button on the right side. After that, you will have to add the sender’s email and click on the request money button.

Can I report another account for possible fraud?

Yes, you can easily report an account if you feel that it might lead to possible fraud. All you have to do is add the email linked with the account or the username and report it to customer service.

Final Thoughts

This brings us to the end of our post on PayPal fees for Internation Payments.

Overall, the PayPal charges are quite minimal when it comes to a business like online course creation/selling. It is quite beneficial due to its trustworthy network and affiliation with local and international banks.

Moreover, the streamlined service and features allow you to interact with your customers in a professional way.

We hope this article proves to be informational for you. What do you think about PayPal as a payment service? Do let us know.