How to put money into PayPal: a UK guide

Gert Svaiko

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 account.

Learn more about the Wise account

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

How to put money in your PayPal account?

The first thing to know is that you don’t actually need funds in your PayPal account to pay for things online.¹ 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 steps

  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 have your friends and family send the funds to your account. It’s free to receive personal payments into your PayPal account⁴ 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 Wallet, go to Transfer Money and select ‘Add money to your balance’.² Then, follow any instructions on-screen, such as selecting a bank account to fund the payment and entering the amount you want to transfer.

📖Read more: How to withdraw money from PayPal

What are the PayPal fees for adding money?

How do I add money to PayPal for free?

The good news is that it’s freeto 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 fees⁴
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 multiple currencies, and send money with 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 account and you can send and spend in over 40 currencies - all with the fair mid-market exchange rate, so there are no hidden fees to worry about.

Register with Wise today

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

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 - payment methods
  2. PayPal - add money to your account
  3. PayPal - how do I link a debit or credit card to my PayPal account
  4. PayPal - the fees to use PayPal

Sources checked on 22-06-2023.

*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.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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