Before using any kind of payment or money transfer service, it’s always smart to check out the small print. You need to know exactly how much it’ll cost you to send, receive and withdraw money. There may be fees you’re not aware of, which could make your transactions more expensive.
In this handy guide, we’ll run through everything you need to know about PayPal fees in the UK.
This includes crucial info about fees, currency conversion and exchange rates when you send money internationally - both with PayPal and alternative solutions such as Wise.
So, let’s get started.
Firstly, let’s take a look at how much PayPal charges for sending and receiving personal payments. For example, if you want to send a family member some birthday money, or be paid back by a friend for a recent meal.
Here’s what PayPal charges to send money using your PayPal account, both to recipients in the UK and overseas.
|Sending money within the UK||No fee (unless a currency conversion is involved)|
|Sending money internationally||5% of the transaction amount (minimum of £0.99, maximum of £2.99)|
Now, does it cost anything to receive PayPal payments? Let’s take a look:
|Receiving money into your PayPal account||No fee (unless a currency conversion is involved)|
The upfront fee isn’t the only thing you should check when using a payment service like PayPal, especially if you’re sending or receiving money internationally.
It’s also important to understand what happens with currency conversion. Is there a fee to convert currency, and what exchange rate will you get?
With PayPal, personal customers aren’t charged a separate fee for currency conversion¹. However, the exchange rate you get will usually have a mark-up or margin added on top of what is known as the mid-market or ‘real’ exchange rate. This is the rate you’ll find on Google or currency sites like XE.com.
PayPal adds a margin of 3% to this rate¹, which can make your international payment more expensive - so your recipient receives less money at the other end.
You can check PayPal’s live exchange rates before you set up your payment, using its Currency Converter Tool.
To illustrate just how much the exchange rate for currency conversion can affect international payments, let’s do a quick hypothetical example.
Taking into account both transfer fees and exchange rates, how much would it cost to send £1,000 GBP to a friend in France? This would involve a currency conversion from GBP to EUR.
For this example, we’ll compare PayPal with international transfer specialist Wise:
|Provider||Transfer fee||Exchange rate||Recipient receives|
|Wise²||£4.28||1.19246 (mid-market rate)||€1,187.36 EUR|
As you can see, even though PayPal’s upfront transfer fee is lower, the transfer still costs more overall. This is primarily because of the mark-up on the exchange rate. It means that your friend on the other end of the transfer will receive less money.
If you’ve received money from a friend, or got a refund from a retailer for a recent purchase, you may want to withdraw it from your PayPal balance to your bank account.
The table below covers PayPal fees for withdrawals, including withdrawals to your bank account and debit card.
|UK bank account||No fee (unless a currency conversion is involved)|
|Card||No fee (unless a currency conversion is involved)|
We’ve looked at most of the main fees PayPal charges to personal customers in the UK. But there are just a couple more it’s worth knowing about. These include¹:
- Inactivity fee - if you don’t use your PayPal account for 12 months, you may be charged an inactive account fee of £9. To avoid this, you can simply login to your account or use it for a payment, or close down your PayPal account altogether. ³
- Bank return fee - if you try to set up a withdrawal or transfer out of PayPal and you provide the wrong bank account details, there’s a chance that the payment may fail. In this case, a fee of £10 will be charged.
PayPal is great for sending and receiving money within the UK. But things become a little more expensive when other countries and currencies are involved.
This is where Wise comes in. Open a Wise multi-currency account and you can securely send money worldwide in just a couple of taps. You’ll only be charged one small upfront transfer fee, and are guaranteed the real, mid-market exchange rate.
Take a look at how Wise compares to other providers, especially banks.
With Wise, you can also receive money for free in 10 major currencies, and hold a whopping 50+ currencies in your account at once.
And for when you travel or shop online in other currencies, there’s even a contactless Wise debit card offering the same fair exchange rates.
Sources used for this article:
Sources checked on 30-04-2022.
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
How to get a PayPal refund - a handy guide to the process, the time it takes and whether there are any fees involved.
How to close a PayPal account - a handy guide to the process for PayPal personal and PayPal business customers.
A guide to PayPal sending limits, including limits on sending, receiving and withdrawing money for Unverified PayPal accounts.
Scammers are getting more and more sophisticated in how they access your information, and fake websites are just one of the ways they can get into your...
A handy PayPal Pay in 3 UK guide, covering how it works, spending limits and which online stores are eligible for Pay in 3.
A handy guide on how to open a Monzo account, including account types, eligibility requirements and how to get started.