If you’re looking for easy ways to make and receive electronic payments, you might be trying to decide: Cash App or PayPal? This full Cash App vs PayPal review is exactly what you need.
While many PayPal vs Cash App features are quite similar, there are differences in the exact ways you can use your accounts, and the fees you’ll pay. This guide covers all that.
We’ll run through feature by feature comparisons to see how a Cash App account measures up against a PayPal account in a moment. First, an overview to help you decide if PayPal or Cash App might suit you best.
|Account availability||US and UK residents only||Available in most countries around the world|
|Key features and uses|
Send and receive payments
Spend with a linked debit card
Receive direct deposits
Authorized user accounts available for 13 - 17-year-olds
Shop online and in person
Send and receive payments
Spend with a linked debit card
Buy now, pay later service
Receive direct deposits
Deposit checks and cash
|Fees||Limited fees, many services are free||Free to shop online in USD, some free domestic personal payments, fees apply for most other services|
|International services||International payments between US and UK only||International payments to most countries in the world|
|Cards available||Debit card available||Credit and debit cards may be available to eligible account holders|
|Speed||Payments between Cash App accounts are usually instant||Payments between PayPal accounts are usually instant|
|Limits||Send or receive 1,000 USD/month; or verify your account to increase your limits³||No limit for verified PayPal accounts, single transaction limits usually 10,000 USD - 60,000 USD depending on the account⁴|
|💡 If you’re new to Cash App and PayPal, you might also find these resources come in handy:|
When you’re choosing the best digital wallet or online account for your needs, it’s important to check out the overall costs before you sign up.
Different account types can come with very varied fees, which are often quite different to those you encounter when using a regular bank or credit union account. Understanding the charges upfront can help avoid surprises once you start to use your account.
Cash App has a limited range of fees, and many services are available to users for free.
PayPal US customers can open accounts for free, spend online for free as long as currency conversion isn’t required, and send domestic payments funded by a linked US bank account, AMEX Send account or PayPal balance for free. Other services have fees – see an overview here:
|💡 Want to find out even more? Learn more about Cash App’s fees here - or get your full guide to PayPal currency conversion costs here.|
Cash App users must be resident in the US or UK - that means you can’t use Cash App if you’re an American living overseas, for example. PayPal, on the other hand, is available almost across the globe, with the option to send and receive PayPal payments to a huge range of countries.
Cash App is may be limited when it comes to international services, as you can also only send money internationally between the US and UK.
Making payments to bank accounts based in other countries isn’t possible at the moment.
|💡Want to know more? Learn all about Cash App’s international availability here.|
As a payment service, PayPal account holders do have a better range of options when it comes to sending international payments.
However, if you need to send or receive money from overseas with PayPal, you’ll probably find that you or the other party has hefty currency conversion fees to pay.
|Mid-market exchange rates are used when you want to send a payment from USD to GBP, or vice versa⁶.||Calculated by taking the mid-market exchange rate and adding a percentage fee, as follows: |
|💡Get the lowdown on PayPal’s international money transfer service here or read on for more smart ways to beat currency conversion costs, with Wise.|
Create a free Wise account online or in the Wise app, to make international payments which use the real mid-market exchange rate with no markups.
You can send money to 80+ countries with the exchange rate you’ll find on Google, and low, transparent fees. Or open a Wise account to hold and exchange 50+ currencies, get bank details to be paid fee free like a local from 30+ countries, and a linked Wise international debit card for spending all over the world. No steep charges and no sneaky fees, just easy, low-cost ways to send, spend, hold and receive money in 50+ currencies.
Let's see an example. Say you'd like to send 1000 USD to your friend in the Eurozone:
Using a digital wallet or payment app is often much safer than carrying cash - as well as being far more convenient. Services like Cash App and PayPal are designed with security in mind, and built to use both automatic and manual processes to keep customers, accounts and money safe.
Cash App is part of the Square group, which processes millions of transactions every day through Square payment processing services. The same sort of technology used in Square point of sale transactions is used to keep Cash App accounts safe.
As one of the largest payment service providers in the world, PayPal also uses cutting edge approaches to make sure that customers and their accounts are secure. In fact, services like PayPal are handy because when you make an online purchase you won’t need to give your card details to a merchant, just use your PayPal account instead.
Here’s a look at how both PayPal and Cash App manage account security:
Here are some things you should know about Cash App security⁷:
Key PayPal safety features include⁸:
|💡If you’re interested in learning more about how PayPal keeps your money safe, check out this full guide.|
User experience is important when it comes to deciding if Cash App or PayPal is right for you. Here are a few factors to consider:
Whether PayPal or Cash App suits you more will depend on what’s important to you. If you’re looking for an account which makes it easy to send money to US based friends and family, and don’t mind a limited range of international options, Cash App might win thanks to its ease of use and the broad range of fee free services available. However, if you’re more interested in shopping online, PayPal might be the better option because it’s so widely accepted by merchants the world over.
|💡 Want to find out more?|
Where both PayPal and Cash App have limitations is in international payments. Cash App has fee free international transfers on offer - but only to the UK at present. PayPal offers payments all over the world, but with relatively steep fees to consider, including a markup on the exchange rate.
If international payments - or shopping online with retailers based abroad - are important to you, you may be better off with an alternative like the Wise account. See how much you can save with Wise today.
- Cash App
- Cash App FAQ - limits
- PayPal FAQ - limits
- PayPal fees
- Cash App FAQ - exchange rate
- Cash App FAQ - account safety
- PayPal FAQ - is PayPal safe?
- Google Play - Cash App
- App store - Cash App
- Google Play - PayPal
- App store - PayPal
All sources checked on 22 June 2022
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