PayPal money transfer review

By   |   Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 7 Nov 2022

PayPal money review
  • Find out how to transfer money via one of the world's most extensive and accessible digital payment systems.
  • Check out PayPal's transaction fees and currency exchange rates.
  • Discover where you can send money and how long it takes.

PayPal is one of the largest, if notthe largest, online money transfer services currently available.

But how good are their services, and can they be trusted to protect you when you send money online through their platform?

In our PayPal review, we share our thoughts on this worldwide platform and whether or not it is worth your time and money.

See how PayPal's rates, fees, and features stack up against other services with our money transfer comparison.

What is PayPal?

PayPal is an online money platform that allows users to link their credit cards or bank accounts to make payments or receive money online. If you have ever used an e-commerce site, then you are probably already familiar with PayPal.

It was founded in 1998 and added to the eBay brand in 2002. However, in 2015 it became a separately listed company and is now a worldwide recognised way to send money.

It is available around the globe in countries such as the US, UK, Australia and Germany to pay for goods, receive payments and transfer money online.

Currencies and countries supported

PayPal is currently supported in over 200 countries. It is most commonly used in countries such as:

  • US
  • Australia
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy

How PayPal money transfers work

First, you'll need to open a PayPal account if you don't already have one. There's no charge to open an account, and you can sign up online at PayPal's website or download the app. You'll be prompted to choose a personal or a business account, provide your name, email address, street address and phone number, and create a password.

The next step is to either add money upfront to your PayPal account to fund the transfer or link a bank account or credit card from which funds can be withdrawn when you're ready to make the transfer.

To make a money transfer, log in to your account online or via the app, and click 'Send'. You'll be asked to enter a name (from your PayPal address book) or email or mobile number for your recipient, plus an amount you want to send and your payment method. There's an option to add an accompanying message. You'll get to review your transaction and any fees attached before confirming the transfer.

How much does it cost to transfer money using PayPal?

Transfers within Australia

If you use PayPal for personal use, you can send money from your bank account or PayPal balance to friends and family in Australia without any added fees where there is no currency conversion. Business accounts, however, may have to pay additional charges.

But if you need to fund the transfer using a credit card, you'll be charged a fee calculated as a percentage of the amount sent (2.6% at the time of writing) plus a fixed price (currently $0.30).

Overseas transfers

Sending funds overseas is more expensive. For transfers funded from your bank account or PayPal account, you'll be charged a percentage of the transferred amount (5% at the time of writing, with a $0.99 minimum and a $5.99 maximum). Once again, there's the same additional percentage charge plus a small fixed fee for funding the transfer with a credit card.

Receivers may pay a small fee.

The recipient needs to have a PayPal account to receive funds. If they don't already have an account, PayPal will send them an email (using the address you supplied) explaining how to open an account so they can receive their money. Overseas recipients will also have to pay a small fee to their PayPal account in the currency they receive.

PayPal foreign exchange rates

PayPal will add a 3% margin to the base exchange rate if you send a payment in a currency other than Australian dollars. However, suppose you decide to send Australian dollars and have the conversion into local currency done when it arrives in your recipient's account. In that case, they will be charged an exchange margin of 4% above the base rate.

Are money transfers through PayPal safe and secure?

PayPal has over 300 million customers in a wide range of time zones, suggesting it is a reasonably secure site. They also have over 20 million merchant accounts, and when it comes to paying for goods online, it is easily one of the most used and trusted ways to send payments.

The company uses a high level of data encryption, plus fraud monitoring, and your bank account information isn't shared with the recipient.

Who is PayPal designed for?

Transferring money online using PayPal is relatively straightforward and suitable for many users. Its fee-free transfers within Australia make it ideal for anyone wanting to send funds across the city, country, or just across a restaurant table. But it can be expensive to send money overseas, especially if you pay with your credit card. And, unlike many competing money transfer services, it doesn't offer a cash pickup.

Does PayPal have an app?

PayPal offers its users a mobile app providing the means for money transfers and paying for goods quickly and easily. The app can be downloaded from most mobile stores, such as Google Play and Apple.

Why choose PayPal over other money transfer services in Australia?

The main reason you would choose it over its competitors is that it makes sending money around the globe accessible without the need for the recipient to either have a bank account or be prepared to pick up cash. Instead, funds can be safely stored in the recipient's online PayPal account or mobile wallet.

Although there are a lot of excellent competitors, it cannot be easy to find one available in as many countries. Unfortunately, some countries are unavailable, such as Afghanistan, Myanmar and South Sudan.

Pros and cons


  • A large number of existing users. So many users in so many different countries mean it is one of the most frequently available payment options online.
  • Direct browsing experience. Even people who aren't particularly tech-savvy or familiar with payment apps can start sending money with little effort.
  • Linking accounts is straightforward. Adding your bank account or credit card is simple and only takes minutes.
  • Free transfers of Australian dollars within Australia, as long as you don't pay with a credit card.


  • Business accounts must pay fees. Although personal users are exempt from paying transfer fees within Australia, transactions through a business account may incur an additional fee when sending money.
  • Costly exchange rates. Converting your currency from one type to another requires you to pay an exchange rate well above the base rate.
  • International transfers can be costly. You may have to pay an expensive transfer and currency conversion fee when transferring money to international destinations.
  • Credit card funding is expensive. There are significant extra fees if you don't fund your transfer from a bank account or PayPal balance.


Does PayPal steal your money?

PayPal itself will never steal your money. However, there may be instances where scammers will try to either get access to your account or trick you into sending them money.

Never share your account details with anyone. Never click on a link in an email claiming to be from PayPal asking you to supply or confirm your account login details or other financial or personal information. If PayPal needs information from you, you will be asked to log in and provide information via your account.

What are PayPal's foreign exchange rates?

When converting from one currency to another, you will be required to pay a 3% or 4% margin above the base conversion rate, depending on whether you are sending or receiving funds. This is higher than the rate charged by many Australian banks, so it may not be ideal for large money transfers.

Are there maximum or minimum transfer amounts?

Users who have verified their account won't be faced with a maximum send amount. If you are yet to verify your account, however, you will be limited to $60,000 in a single transaction, which may be reduced to $10,000 in some cases.

Again, this amount varies depending on the currency you use and the recipient's currency.

Is it safe to transfer money via PayPal?

PayPal uses high data encryption for online communications and constantly monitors transactions to detect possible fraud. In addition, their outgoing emails use authentication technology so that major email providers will mark unauthenticated emails as hoaxes, either preventing delivery or putting them in your spam folder.

How much does it cost to transfer money using PayPal?

Transfers of Australian dollars within Australia are free unless you pay for them using a credit card. Credit card payments attract a fee, currently 2.6% of the amount transferred plus a flat fee of $0.30.

International transfers cost 5% of the amount (minimum fee $0.99, maximum $5.99), plus the extra charge if you pay by credit card.

Currency conversions are charged at a base rate plus 3% for the sender or 4% for the receiver.

How long do PayPal money transfers take?

It depends on how the transfer is funded. Transfers from one PayPal account to another happen in seconds, but transfers paid for from a bank account, or card can take several days to clear.

Which countries can I transfer to?

PayPal is available in more than 200 countries and in 25 currencies.


PayPal is a good option if you want an easy way to pay for online purchases — especially on marketplaces like eBay — or to transfer Australian dollars to someone else in Australia whose bank account details you don't have.

If you need to transfer a small amount of money overseas and don't mind the fees and exchange rate margin — for example, paying freelancers — then PayPal is a helpful service.

However, if you want to transfer a large amount of money overseas, cheaper options with better exchange rates will save you a significant amount.