How to put money into PayPal?

Zorica Lončar

If you’re using PayPal, you might choose to hold a balance within your account. This can be handy for sending money to friends and family, or for paying for goods and services online.

But before you use your PayPal balance for payments, it’s a smart idea to check out the fees first. PayPal isn’t always the cheapest option, especially if you need to make international payments.

In this guide, we’ll show you exactly how to put money into PayPal, ready for when you need it. We’ll also cover the fees PayPal charges, so you can work out the cost of payments using your balance. And we’ll even look at an alternative that could save you money - the Wise multi-currency account.


How to add money in PayPal

The first thing to know is that you don’t actually need funds in your PayPal account in order to pay for things online¹. If you’ve linked a bank account or debit card to your PayPal account, you can still use PayPal for online purchases. The money will be debited straight from the bank account or card.

But if you’d rather hold a PayPal balance to cover your purchases, you can add funds using a bank transfer.

How to transfer money from a bank to PayPal

PayPal recommends linking your bank account with your PayPal account, so that you can make payments quickly and simply. To add money from a bank account, simply follow these steps

  1. Login to your PayPal account.
  2. Go to your ‘Wallet’.
  3. Select ‘Transfer Money’.
  4. Select ‘Add money to your balance’.
  5. Provide your bank information, by following the on-screen instructions.

How to add money to PayPal from a debit card

You don’t need to add money directly to your PayPal balance using a bank card to pay for purchases or send money to a friend. Rather, the next time you make a transaction, PayPal can debit the money from your card.

This means if you link a card to your PayPal account, you won’t need a balance to send money to people or pay for things.

To link a card to your account, follow these easy steps²:

  1. Login to your account.
  2. Go to your ‘Wallet’.
  3. Go to ‘Link a debit or credit card’.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions.

When linking a card to PayPal, you may also be required by your bank to complete 3D secure or biometric authentication processes.

Receiving money from friends and family into your PayPal account

Of course, another way to top up your PayPal balance is to receive payments from friends and family. It’s free to receive personal payments into your PayPal account³ provided that the sender uses a bank account, debit card or their PayPal balance, and as long as no currency conversion is involved. You can even send a money request or invoice.

How to add money into the PayPal app

If you’re topping up your balance using the PayPal app, you can simply tap your balance and select ‘Add Money’¹. Then, follow any instructions on-screen, such as selecting a bank account to fund the payment and entering the amount you want to transfer.

What are the PayPal fees for adding money?

How do I add money to PayPal for free?

The good news is that it’s free⁴ to add money to your PayPal balance from your UK bank account, provided the money is in GBP.

But are there any other costs you need to know about? Here are some of the other PayPal fees to bear in mind:

ServicePayPal fee⁴
Receiving money from a UK sender, in GBPFree
Sending money in the UK, in GBPFree
Sending money outside the UK in another currency5%

Spend in any currency, and send money with ridiculously low fees

Need to pay for goods and services abroad, or send money to friends and family overseas? Wise can help.

Wise specialises in international payments, to make it simple and cheap to send and spend all over the world, just like a local.

Get a Wise multi-currency account and you can send and spend in 50+ currencies - all with the real, mid-market exchange rate, so there are no hidden fees to worry about.

It could be as much as 6x cheaper⁵ than leading UK banks when it comes to making international payments. You can even receive money for free with your own local account details, for the US, UK, EU, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and many more countries and currencies worldwide.

Get started and save when you spend in any currency.

Join Wise today

That’s pretty much everything you need to know on how to put money into PayPal and top up your account. After reading this guide, you should be all set to transfer from your bank account in just a few clicks, or taps if you’re using the PayPal app.

But if you prefer, you can always just link a bank account or debit card and let PayPal debit payments automatically - without the need to add money to your PayPal balance. It’s completely up to you.

Sources used for this article:

  1. PayPal - how do I add money to my PayPal balance
  2. PayPal - how do I link a debit or credit card to my PayPal account
  3. PayPal - the fees to use PayPal
  4. PayPal - PayPal consumer fees
  5. Wise

Sources checked on 27-September-2021.

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.

Money for here, there and everywhere

Find out more

Tips, news and updates for your location