PayPal vs Travelex

Discover which one is better suited for your next money transfer.

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Travelex is well known for its prepaid travel cards and travel insurance, but it also offers online international payments. Similarly, PayPal is almost synonymous with online payments, but it's not as recognised for its international money transfer capabilities.

We'll highlight major features of both, so you can decide if either is your new go-to for sending money across borders.

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

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
AUD 1 1 day AUD 5.99 0.649 USD
6,486
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

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

When sending money with PayPal, you'll find a fee of up to $5.99, plus a small amount in the receiving currency (usually equivalent to about 50 cents).

The fees are lower for smaller transfers and will be only $2.99 for transfers under $100 and $0.99 for transfers under $50.

Travelex

Travelex has a very clear-cut fee structure of $15 for any transfer under $10,000, and no fee for transfers over that amount.

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Winner: Travelex

Travelex takes this one with a straightforward fee structure that can help keep costs low for some senders.

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

The table below shows you what a transfer with both PayPal and Travelex looks like.

Sending $1,000 to the US
PayPal Travelex
Transfer fee $5.99 $15
Exchange rate AUD$1 = US$0.692 AUD$1 = US$0.682
Transfer speed 2-3 business days 2-4 business days
Total US dollars received US$688 US$672
Receiver gets US$16 more US$16 less
Sending $10,000 to the US
PayPal Travelex
Transfer fee $5.99 $0
Exchange rate AUD$1 = US$0.692 AUD$1 = US$0.682
Transfer speed 2-3 business days 2-4 business days
Total US dollars received US$6,916 US$6,820
Receiver gets US$96 more US$96 less

In this case, PayPal is offering a more cost-effective transfer in both cases, even when you send enough that Travelex waives its fees.

However, the Travelex International Payment Price Promise still stands, so you could take the PayPal quote to Travelex and see if the company will beat the quote.

Which offers better exchange rates?

PayPal

PayPal receives a wholesale rate quote twice per day from its bank. Add 2.5% to the rate received, and that's used for all transactions that require a currency conversion. Here's an example of what it might look like if you sent money to the US:

  • If the mid-market rate is AUD$1 = US$0.71
  • PayPal's exchange rate may be AUD$1 = US$0.692

Travelex

Currency rates are updated live throughout the day on Travelex's International Payments site. Rates can be up to 4% above mid-market rates, but you're able to lock-in rates with a spot trade and take out forward contracts and limit orders.

Travelex also provides the International Payment Price Promise wherein if you get a better rate within 30 minutes of placing your order, Travelex will exceed that competing rate. Using the same example of sending money to Australia:

  • If the mid-market rate is AUD$1 = US$0.71
  • Travelex's exchange rate may be AUD$1 = US$0.682

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Winner: Tie

PayPal's exchange rates are consistently set at 2.5%, while Travelex's vary and may be better or worse than PayPal's in different situations. Neither is consistently better or worse than the other.

Which is faster?

PayPal

It depends on whether you already have the funds loaded into your PayPal account. Transfers may take only a few minutes from one PayPal account to another but can take several days if you need to transfer funds to or from a bank.

Travelex

You can expect the funds to transfer in two to four business days with Travelex.

Trophy icon
Winner: PayPal

PayPal can offer potentially instantaneous transfers, which is hard to beat.

General features

Payment methods Receiving Options Max and Min Transfer speeds Currencies
PayPal PayPal balance, bank transfer, credit and debit card PayPal account, bank transfer Minimum: $1

Maximum: $60,000

1 day 25+ currencies
Travelex Bank transfer Bank transfer Minimum: $500

Maximum: No limit

1 day 40+ currencies

PayPal

You'll need to register for a free PayPal account before you can send money using it. Once you log in, simply choose who you want to send the money to via the email or mobile number associated with their PayPal account (also referred to as a PayPal wallet) and choose how to fund it.

Some locations don't require the recipient to have a PayPal account and can have the funds transferred directly to their bank account.

Travelex

Travelex also requires that you create an account. You may need to verify your identity with Travelex, a process that can take one to several business days.

Once the account is fully verified, you can start sending money. You'll need to enter your information as well as your recipient's information, including their bank account details. Only bank-to-bank transfers are accepted.

Bottom line

Travelex wins out when it comes to a clear fee structure, but PayPal offers instant delivery. Meanwhile, the one with better rates will vary depending on the situation and the timing. Your needs will dictate which is the better service in terms of saving you money and getting the most to your destination.

But you'll find much more than just these two transfer companies out there. Take the time to compare your options before you settle to find the one that serves you best.

Looking for more options?

Enter your transfer details into the table below to see which one can help you save on international transfers.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.674 USD
6,737
Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
Send 60+ currencies at competitive rates and no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
Go to site Show details
AUD 250 1 day AUD 0.00 0.674 USD
6,735
Sign up through Finder and get a $50 Myer gift card when you send $10,000 or more. T&Cs apply.
SendFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.
Go to site Show details
AUD 200 1 day AUD 0.00 0.673 USD
6,731
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 250 1 - 2 days AUD 0.00 0.674 USD
6,735
$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. No transfer fee over AUD$10,000.
Go to site Show details
AUD 200 1 day AUD 0.00 0.671 USD
6,712
Low minimum transfer amount of just AU$200, with no set-up fees or transfer fees. Go to site Show details
AUD 5 1 - 2 days EUR 3.00 0.67 USD
6,697
Special offer: Pay zero fees on your first 5 transfers.
Get bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Within an hour AUD 3.99 0.668 USD
6,682
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 AUD 0.00 0.674 USD
6,739
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 1 1 day AUD 0.00 0.67 USD
6,698
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 50.00 0.677 USD
6,731
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.

Frequently asked questions

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Important Information*
Logo for WorldFirst International Money Transfers
WorldFirst International Money Transfers

Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
Send 60+ currencies at competitive rates and no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.

Logo for SendFX International Money Transfers
SendFX International Money Transfers

Sign up through Finder and get a $50 Myer gift card when you send $10,000 or more. T&Cs apply.
SendFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.

Logo for TorFX International Money Transfers
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.

Logo for OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers
OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers

$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. No transfer fee over AUD$10,000.

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