PayPal vs Currencies Direct

PayPal vs Currencies Direct

Find out which of these 2 money transfer services best fits your needs.

PayPal and Currencies Direct have each been in business for over 20 years, but PayPal tends to be the more well-known name. In this guide, we'll explore which has the lower fees, which is faster and which has better exchange rates so you can make an informed decision.

The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of 28 February 2019.

I want to send

to

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
AUD 1 1 day AUD 5.99 0.68 USD
676
Send money overseas to more than 20 countries. Rate last updated on 17/08/2018 at 1:30 pm. Find out how we calculate this exchange rate. Show details
AUD 1 2 days AUD 0.00 0.702 USD
702
$0 online transfer fee with access to a 24/7 online platform. Show details

Compare up to 4 providers


The "Rate" and "Amount Received" displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention "Finder" before you commit to a brand.

Which has lower fees?

PayPal

Fees vary based on the country you're sending to and your payment method. There's a flat fee based on the amount being sent, ranging from $0.99 for payments up to $50, a $2.99 fee for transfers up to $100 and a $5.99 fee for transfers of $100 or more.

On top of this, there's an extra fee charged in the receiving currency, usually equivalent to about 50 cents depending on the currency.

Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct has zero transfer fees and zero monthly fees, but there's a 0.1% receiving fee for incoming funds to your account.

Trophy icon
Winner: Currencies Direct

It's hard to beat free so Currencies Direct takes this one easily.

Let's crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000 and $10,000 to Japan

The tables below show how much it might cost to send $1,000 and $10,000 to Japan with these 2 services.

It shows just how much exchange rates and fees can impact the total amount that arrives to your recipient.

Sending $1,000 to Japan
PayPal Currencies Direct
Transfer fee $5.49 $1
Exchange rate 1 AUD = 77.22 JPY 1 AUD = 77.616 JPY
Transfer speed 3–5 days 1–2 days
Total Japanese yen received JPY¥76,757 JPY¥77,538
Receiver gets JPY¥781 less JPY¥781 more
Sending $10,000 to Japan
PayPal Currencies Direct
Transfer fee $5.49 $10
Exchange rate 1 AUD = 77.22 JPY 1 AUD = 77.616 JPY
Transfer speed 3–5 days 1–2 days
Total Japanese yen received JPY¥771,737 JPY¥775,383
Receiver gets JPY¥3,646 less JPY¥3,646 more

On a transfer of $1,000 the savings are equivalent to about $10 and on a transfer of $10,000 the savings are almost $50.

So while Currencies Direct has higher fees on a $10,000 transfer, the better exchange rate means more money for your recipient.

Which offers better exchange rates?

PayPal

PayPal adds a 2.5% mark-up to the mid-market rates for currency conversions within the PayPal account. Sending money to Japan, for example, might look like this:

  • If the mid-market rate is 1 AUD = 79.20 JPY
  • PayPal's exchange rate may be 1 AUD = 77.22 JPY

Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct applies no more than a 2% mark-up to the currencies it buys in bulk. Rate alerts, forward contracts and limit orders are also offered so you can secure the exchange rate you want. Using the same example of sending money to Japan, your rates might be:

  • If the mid-market rate is 1 AUD = 79.20 JPY
  • Currencies Direct might have an exchange rate of 1 AUD = 77.616

Trophy icon
Winner: Currencies Direct

With the ability to secure the rate you want and a smaller mark-up, Currencies Direct is the clear winner.

Which is faster?

PayPal

Sending to a person's PayPal wallet only takes a few seconds, while making an international transfer to a destination outside of PayPal may take anywhere from three to five days.

Currencies Direct

Transfers generally take one to two days once a quote is settled on.

Trophy icon
Winner: Tie

While Currencies Direct is able to transfer bank-to-bank faster, PayPal has an instantaneous option.

General features

Payment methods Receiving options Maximum and minimum Transfer speeds Currencies
PayPal Bank transfer, PayPal balance, PayPal credit, debit and credit card PayPal account, bank transfer Minimum: $1

Maximum: $60,000

1 day 20+ currencies
Currencies Direct Bank transfer Bank account Minimum: $1

Maximum: No limit

2 days 20+ currencies

PayPal

A free PayPal account is required to send money. Once you sign up, you can choose a bank transfer, credit or debit card payment, PayPal wallet or PayPal credit to fund the transfer. Your recipient will need to have a PayPal account to access the money.

Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct also requires you to open a free account. Once you have an account, choose the currency and amount you want to send and where you want to send it. From there you make your payment and as soon as it clears with Currencies Direct, the transfer is complete.

Bottom line

Both companies have some good and some not-so-good features. PayPal offers a lower minimum and a higher maximum, but the wallet-to-wallet service can be more costly than Currencies Direct. Your needs may not be met by either service, so it's important to compare your options.

Looking for more options?

Use the calculator below to compare other options and see if you can find a better deal for your next international money transfer.

I want to send

to

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
AUD 200 1 day AUD 0.00 0.698 USD
698
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
Send money overseas in 30+ currencies with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day N/A N/A N/A Send 60+ currencies at competitive rates with $0 transfer fees for Finder customers. WorldFirst will beat any eligible quote from another provider. Go to site Show details
AUD 250 1 - 2 days AUD 15.00 0.698 USD
688
$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
$0 transfer fee on transfers over AU$10,000, $15 flat fee applies otherwise. 24-hour customer service available with a local support team.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 1 - 2 days AUD 4.50 0.709 USD
705
Make online transfers at the mid-market rate with transparent fees in 45+ currencies. Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Within an hour AUD 3.99 0.707 USD
704
An online money transfer service with cash pickup, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available. Go to site Show details
AUD 3,000 1 day N/A N/A N/A Global Reach will match any competitor's exchange rates. Conditions apply.
No transfer fee when transferring more than £10,000 or equivalent. Send money in over 130 currencies. No maximum transfer amount.
Go to site Show details
AUD 0 1 day AUD 0.00 0.698 USD
698
With global payments provider XE, enjoy fast and secure transfers and a range of foreign currency tools and calculators while benefiting from $0 transfer fees. Go to site Show details
AUD 200 1 - 2 days AUD 5.00 0.709 USD
705
Exclusive: Finder customers receive $15 off their first transaction. T&Cs apply.
Quick and simple international money transfers with zero-margin exchange rates. There's a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers. Earn loyalty points on sign up, referral and every transaction.
Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers


The "Rate" and "Amount Received" displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention "Finder" before you commit to a brand.

Leah Fallon

Leah Fallon is a writer and editor for Finder.

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Important Information*
TorFX International Money Transfers

TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
Send money overseas in 30+ currencies with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.

WorldFirst International Money Transfers

Send 60+ currencies at competitive rates with $0 transfer fees for Finder customers. WorldFirst will beat any eligible quote from another provider.

OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers

$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
$0 transfer fee on transfers over AU$10,000, $15 flat fee applies otherwise. 24-hour customer service available with a local support team.

TransferWise International Money Transfers

Make online transfers at the mid-market rate with transparent fees in 45+ currencies.

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