How do I withdraw USD from PeoplePerHour from outside the US?


The gig economy, in one form or another has been around since the dawn of time. However, it’s only with the coming of the internet age that this has become less of a sideline, and more of a full time pursuit for millions of people all over the globe. In the new wave of tech powering this revolution, PeoplePerHour (PPH) is an old timer. They are already 10 years old, with more than a million users.1 In the past decade, over a million projects have been completed, with freelancers earning a huge $142 million through the site.¹ Impressive stuff.

If you’re thinking about joining the huge numbers of people finding work through PeoplePerHour, First you need to know how to get your hands on your hard earned cash. Here’s the lowdown.

How do I withdraw money from PPH internationally?

You can find a freelance job through PPH, in one of the following ways:

  1. Browse advertised jobs
  2. Post an Hourlie (login required)

Invoicing is done directly through the platform, and you can choose to invoice on a weekly cycle, for hourly work, or at the end if you have a fixed price project. If you’re working on a fixed price project, you can ask for a deposit from the client which is paid and held for safekeeping by the platform. When you agree the job is done, the money is released.

1. Advertised jobs

One way to find work on PPH is to browse advertised jobs and submit a proposal.² You’ll find thousands of job offers, across many fields. You can filter them to find the type of role which might suit you.² Each ad has some details, including how long it’s been on the site, and whether or not you can work remotely.² They’ll then either have a fixed advertised price, which could be for the whole project or an hourly rate - or they’ll state that the salary is negotiable according to your experience.²

2. Hourlies

Hourlies are a little different. As a freelancer, you can create a proposal with the type of work you can do, and then the jobs can find you.³ You have to have an account with PPH to be able to post, but you can also add photos and videos to try to grab the attention of the people with the work.³

How to upload and check your bank account details on PPH

All payments for any type of job you take on will pass through PPH. You don’t have the option of invoicing independently, and all payments are made electronically.⁴

You need to submit your timesheets for hourly work, and any invoices for fixed projects, through the platform. The client then pays, and any deposit that the platform had taken as security from the client is also released. You can choose to take your money as a direct payment to your bank account, or through another method like PayPal.⁴

When you set up your profile on PPH, you have to upload all of your payment details as part of the process. Make sure you get this right to make sure that you’re paid correctly. You’ll have to add details for whichever payment method you might choose - so that could be bank details, including BIC/SWIFT if relevant, and your bank account number, your PayPal email address, or your Payoneer information.

When you’re choosing which method of payment suits you, it’s important to understand that the fees vary across different methods.⁴ It’s worth doing your research to make sure that you’re getting the best deal - and this is especially important if a currency conversion is involved. We’ll talk a bit more about the fees later - to help you make sure you see as much of your earnings as possible.

The amount of time it’ll take to receive your cash can also depend on the method being used.

Bank transfer? PayPal? Payoneer? Which one is best?

Once you have input your bank account details, you’ll have to select a payment method. Your options are:

  • Bank transfer
  • Wire transfer (via PayPal)
  • Payoneer

The PPH bank transfer method to local bank accounts (within the US or internationally)

You can get your earnings paid to a local US bank account, or an account elsewhere in the world (via international transfer).

Unfortunately, the fee structure is quite complicated, depending on the currency you’re moving, and the country it’s going to. But more on that later. Don’t forget, though, that as well as PPH fees, you’ll also need to keep in mind currency conversion. If you need your cash to be converted to a different currency, there will be a 2.5% charge added.⁴ The exchange rate is set by an official institution, according to the website - although which official institution will set the rate isn't specified.⁴ That means the exchange rate used isn’t transparent - and could well be pretty poor, so you might end up losing out.

It’s important to know that if your money is moving across borders, through a bank transfer, the fees added can be painful as usually your money will be transferred via the SWIFT network. SWIFT transfers often mean extra flat fees are taken from your transfer by anywhere from 1 to 3 intermediary banks. To rub salt into the wound, your own bank could possibly also charge to receive the international transfer - and the exchange rate is unlikely to be the best available either.

If you want to avoid poor exchange rates, and incurred charges because of SWIFT, check out the Wise multi-currency borderless accounts. Not only does Wise offer the real exchange rate for any conversions - without any markups - you can also get paid using local bank details in the UK, Europe, Australia and the US. That means you could avoid some of the charges levied by PPH, but still withdraw the money to your local bank account later at the fair rate. More on that later, though.

The PPH PayPal method

If you have an existing PayPal account, you can ask for your earnings to be sent there. You can then use your cash within PayPal, or move it to your linked bank account. There may be fees for moving your money if it’s going across borders, or if there’s a currency conversion involved.

The PPH Payoneer method

With Payoneer it’s possible to transfer your earnings directly onto a Payoneer Debit MasterCard.⁵ PPH recommends this as a way for some users to avoid delays in transferring their cash to their home country.

How do I withdraw my earnings in US dollars from PPH to my bank account? What if I live overseas - aka, not in the United States?

1. PPH-supported transfer methods

That’s nice to know. But what if you don’t happen to have a bank account based in either the UK or US? The good news is that you can be paid using local UK or US bank details, even if you don’t hold a bank account in America or the UK, if you open a Wise borderless multi-currency account.

So let’s say that you’re being paid in dollars, but only have a bank account in Europe. With a Transferwise borderless account, you can live in one country, but get paid locally in another. That means you can be paid with local bank details in the EU, the US, the UK and Australia, and avoid the fees associated with payments made across borders.

For example: Kate is a freelancer living in Germany. She takes on a project paid in USD through PPH. Unfortunately, Kate doesn’t have a local USD bank account, but because she wants to minimise the fees charged on her withdrawal and make sure there are no surprise costs, she registers with Wise. This is a smart move. Kate gets herself verified for a new borderless account with Wise, activates USD and generates local bank details for this currency. At that point, Kate can use these local US bank details on PPH to get her cash, without paying a withdrawal fee. She can either keep her money in USD in her Wise borderless account or move it out of the borderless account to a bank account held in a different currency, using a low-fee transfer from Wise.

2. Fees for withdrawing from PPH

As a ‘seller’ the fees you're charged by PeoplePerHour depend on a number of factors, including when you registered. They're all set out online in the terms and conditions, so make sure you read the small print.

Withdrawal CurrencyWithdrawal MethodFee
GBPTransfer to a UK bankNo fee
GBPSEPA transfer£1.99
GBPInternational bank transfer£19.99
USDUS bank transfer (ACH)No fee
USDSEPA transfer$2.99
USDInternational bank transfer$29.99
EURSEPA transfer€1.99
EURInternational bank transfer€19.99
GBP/USD/EURPayPal1.9% of total amount

SEPA is the Single Euro Payments Area - the payments system in the Euro area, which treats all payments made using euros as though they were being made within one country, locally, even if they cross borders. This cuts the cost of this type of transfer for customers.

If you have dormant funds in your account for over 60 days, they reserve the right to charge an admin fee, which will quickly eat away at your funds.⁴ This term is pretty clearly set out in the PPH conditions - but there are numerous complaints online from PPH users who have fallen foul of this rule, and seen their cash disappear. So it’s worth watching out for.

There are also a whole range of potential additional charges, for example if you need to reverse a transfer, or if you or the buyer disputes the payment.⁴ It’s definitely worth reading the PPH terms and conditions of service before you sign up.

As a freelancer, it’s important to keep an eye out for all the fees and charges that might reduce your ultimate take-home pay. And this is never more important than when you’re working with clients based all over the world. Some transfer methods can leave you exposed to hidden fees from other banks. This is most likely to apply if you select an international transfer with PPH, as the actual transaction will go through a partner bank, which might well mean extra fees are applied, and you’ll likely get hit with a poor exchange rate.

You’ll want to check if the exchange rate used is fair, which is easy to do if you use an online currency converter. However, the rates applied to international transfers are often not transparent which means you don’t know upfront what the real cost of your transfer will be, and many banks and money transfer services are notorious for taking an additional cut of around 4-5%, simply by using a poor rate on the conversion. That means you’ll lose out.

A better bet is to use Wise for your international transfer. Wise uses the live mid-market rate - the same rate you find on Google, and the same rate banks use to trade money amongst themselves - for currency conversion.. This means people get the same rate as the big banks do - and freelancers get to see more of their pay.

3. Paid in USD but have a bank account outside the US?

Frustratingly, you won’t know before you check your balance how much you’ll actually receive. To avoid this uncertainty, you can get local bank account details for the US with a speciality service like Wise. Withdraw your payment in dollars to that local US account, and then transfer your dollars through Wise into your local bank account. That way, you can have more control over the exchange rate you get. And how much you receive in the end.

Curious if the Wise multi-currency borderless account will work for you and your PPH payments?

Wise is all about money without borders. The Wise borderless account is built for international people - the new alternative to old-fashioned banking.

If, like many freelancers, you get paid in a currency other than that of your home country, then a Wise multi-currency borderless account could be your solution. Create a multi-currency borderless account and manage dozens of currencies at once in a single account, with access to local bank details in the US, the UK, the EU and Australia. And as of the start of 2018, you can get your hands on a consumer debit card linked to your account, too.

Check out whether you’re eligible, based on where you live.

PPH is a great way to connect, and make the world your client base. But traditional banking doesn’t work well for freelancers working across borders. You could find that your earnings are eaten away by excessive fees and poor exchange rates. Check out your new alternatives, to old-fashioned banking, to make sure you get the best deal available - and the sky’s the limit for your new business venture.

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*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

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