Remitly vs PayPal

Compare a well-known payments giant to the newer Remitly and see which one can give you a better deal.

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PayPal is a renowned and well-known service used by millions to pay online. But is the juggernaut as good when it comes to international money transfers? We compare Remitly and PayPal side-by-side to see which international transfer service comes out on top.

The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of 6 March 2019.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
AUD 10 Same day AUD 3.99 0.688 USD
6,881
Quick, affordable transfers around the world. Remitly also has an express option that can transfer your money in minutes for a higher fee. The cheaper option takes several days. Show details
AUD 1 1 day AUD 5.99 0.664 USD
6,636
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?

Remitly

The Remitly fee structure is varied. Fees change depending on whether you do an "economy" or "express" transfer, what currency you're transferring and how much you're transferring.

Express transfers have higher fees, which tend to get higher the more you send. Slower economy transfers often stay quite low, around $2 to $4 no matter how much you send.

PayPal

PayPal has a flat fee based on the amount you are sending, no matter where you send it.

  • If you're sending $0-$49.99, the fee is $0.99.
  • If you're sending $50-99.99, the fee is $2.99.
  • If you're sending $100 or more, the fee is $5.99.

If you pay by credit or debit card, there is an additional 2.6% plus a small fixed fee (based on currency).

Trophy icon
Winner: Tie

There isn't a clear winner as it depends on where and how much you're sending. For example, if you're sending less than $49.99 with PayPal, you'll only pay $0.99, while many transfers less than $49.99 incur a fee with Remitly. However, if you transfer $500 or more with Remitly, it's often cheaper than PayPal's $5.99.

Let's crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000 to the Philippines

Let's compare a $1,000 transaction to see which provider wins out when fees and exchange rates are taken into consideration.

For the purpose of this comparison, we'll calculate it based on a bank account transfer, and a Remitly "express" transfer so that your money is getting there in the same amount of time.

Sending $1,000 to the Philippines
Remitly PayPal
Transfer fee $3.99 $5.99
Exchange rate 1 AUD = 36.14 PHP 1 AUD = 35.48 PHP
Transfer speed Same day 1 day
Total Philippine Peso received PHP35,995.80 PHP35,267.47
Receiver gets PHP728.33 more PHP728.33 less

Remitly saves you money in the end, as both the fee and exchange rate are better. Remitly charges a lower fee, and its Philippine peso exchange rate is better than PayPal's. Keep in mind that if you were doing an economy transfer with Remitly, you could save even more.

Which offers better exchange rates?

Remitly

Remitly doesn't have a standard rate rule, meaning the exchange rates they offer vary greatly and change daily. There's a margin added to most exchange rates, but that margin varies currency to currency and normally ranges between 0.4% and 2%.

For example, if you want to send money to South Africa:

  • Mid-market rate: 1 AUD = 10.256 ZAR
  • Remitly's exchange rate: 1 AUD = 10.15 ZAR

This is a margin of 1%.

PayPal

PayPal's exchange rates also include a margin. If you're transferring to US or Canadian dollars, it's 3.5% above the exchange rate. To all other currencies, it's 4% above the exchange rate. If you use your credit card to send a payment, you can usually opt to use your credit card provider's conversion rate instead of PayPal's, but remember to check your credit card provider's exchange rate first – its rates may be even less favourable.

For example, if you want to send money to South Africa with PayPal:

  • Mid-market rate: 1 AUD = 10.256 ZAR
  • PayPal's exchange rate: 1 AUD = 9.84576 ZAR

This is a margin of 4%.

Trophy icon
Winner: Remitly

While Remitly's exchange rates vary based on the currency, the margin is lower than PayPal's overall. It's always worthwhile comparing based on the currency you're transferring, but it's likely Remitly will net you a better rate.

Which is faster?

Remitly

Remitly offers an express option that will get your money to the destination within hours, if not minutes. However, it does mean you'll pay higher fees. If you opt for the cheaper economy option, you're looking at a transfer time of two to five business days.

PayPal

If you transfer from one PayPal account to another, the transaction is instant. For all other transactions, it generally takes one business day.

Trophy icon
Winner: Tie

Between the express option Remitly offers and PayPal's quick turnaround, it's hard to pick a winner. Both can get your money there fast – you'll just have to be willing to pay a higher fee and/or exchange rate.

General features

Payment methods Receiving options Maximum and minimum transfers Transfer speeds Currencies
Remitly Bank transfer, debit card, credit card Bank account, cash pick-up Minimum: $10

Maximum: $18,000

Same day 30+ currencies
PayPal Bank transfer, debit card, credit card, PayPal Credit PayPal transfer, bank transfer Minimum: $1

Maximum: $60,000

1 day 20+ currencies

Remitly

To use Remitly, you sign up for a free account using your email on the website or app. Once you've signed up, just enter the amount of money you want to send, your recipient's information and your payment information. Remitly will do the rest.

PayPal

To transfer money through PayPal, you'll need to create a free PayPal account. You can then send a transfer to your recipient's PayPal account, funding it with your PayPal balance, bank account, credit card, debit card or PayPal Credit. After your recipient receives the money, they can either keep the funds in their PayPal account or withdraw the money to their bank account.

Bottom line

Although it's completely dependent on the transfer amount, Remitly is likely to beat PayPal on most transfers.

PayPal's flat fees and rate approach mean that you are often paying more, particularly when it comes to the exchange rate margin. While PayPal will offer small fees on some transfer amounts, it'll make up for it in the exchange rate margin.

Looking for more options?

Find out more about the cost to use an alternative money transfer provider using our calculator below.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
AUD 1 2 days AUD 9.00 0.672 USD
6,712
Transfer to over 99 countries via online banking, phone banking or through an ANZ bank branch. Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.689 USD
6,894
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 AUD 0.00 0.689 USD
6,894
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 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.689 USD
6,894
SendFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.
Go to site Show details
AUD 250 1 - 2 days AUD 0.00 0.689 USD
6,894
$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
GBP 3,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.689 USD
6,894
Global Reach will match any competitor's exchange rates. Conditions apply.
Get no fees as a Finder customer when you transfer your money overseas with Global Reach.
Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.689 USD
6,894
BFX can help you send fee-free transfers to 30+ currencies. Go to site Show details
AUD 5 1 - 2 days EUR 3.00 0.685 USD
6,851
Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 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 0.684 USD
6,836
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee.
An online money transfer service with cash pickup, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 1 - 2 days AUD 45.00 0.692 USD
6,891
Make online transfers at the mid-market rate with transparent fees in 45+ currencies. Go to site Show details
AUD 200 1 day AUD 0.00 0.687 USD
6,866
Low minimum transfer amount of just AU$200, with no set-up fees or transfer fees. 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.

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Important Information*
Logo for ANZ International Money Transfer
ANZ International Money Transfer

Transfer to over 99 countries via online banking, phone banking or through an ANZ bank branch.

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 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

SendFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.

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