PayPal Fees for New Zealand: A Full Guide 2024
PayPal is a huge global online shopping and digital payment provider, with a presence in almost every country in the world.
Thanks to its convenience, many people use it when making purchases abroad, transferring money overseas, or receiving payments from other countries.
However, PayPal’s handling fees can be high compared to other providers. If you want to reduce the cost of spending and sending money overseas, there are other alternatives such as Wise or OFX, that can offer cheaper and more transparent fees.
In this article we’ll explain everything you need to know about PayPal fees, how they compare to alternative providers, and we’ll share some useful tips to help you avoid some of the fees that PayPal charges.
PayPal fees: an overview
If you’re spending online or in person with a retailer based here in New Zealand there’s no fee as long as no currency conversion is needed.
If you’re sending a payment domestically in NZD, there are also options available to let you avoid PayPal fees entirely. Simply pay with your PayPal balance, or a linked bank account for a fee free PayPal domestic transfer. Fees do creep in if you’re using a card to make your NZD payment – in this case you’ll pay 3.4% + a fixed fee based on the currency involved (0.45 NZD if you’re sending locally).
Where PayPal fees become unavoidable – and on the high side – is when you’re converting currencies or moving money across borders. Here’s what you’ll pay in this case:
|Send a personal PayPal payment overseas
|Shop online internationally
|Cross-border transaction fee
|6.99 NZD if you pay with a linked bank account or PayPal balance
6.99 NZD + 3.4% + fixed fee for card payments, which varies by currency being sent
|No fee (exchange fees still apply)
|3% – 4% on top of the wholesale rate
|3% – 4% on top of the wholesale rate
The exact charges you pay when using PayPal may vary depending on how your account is set up, and your location. Check your account terms and conditions to learn more before you get started.
Once you add up all the PayPal fees that apply to your international transaction, you may be surprised by how much it pushes up your overall costs. We’ll dive into this a little more later – and look at a comparison with alternative providers like Wise and OFX, which may present a cheaper alternative for your payment.
PayPal currency conversion fee
PayPal adds a 3% – 4% markup fee to the conversion rate used to switch your dollars to the currency you need whenever you send a payment overseas, convert currencies in your account or shop with an international retailer. Generally, if you convert currencies in your account before a transaction, the fee will be 3%, and if you allow PayPal to convert as part of the transaction, the fee is 4%. However, the rules around currency conversion fees can vary a bit depending on exactly how you set up your transaction, purchase or payment, so it’s worth reading them carefully to find the best options in your particular case.
The conversion fee means that PayPal takes the wholesale or mid-market exchange rates, and adds this markup to calculate the rate used for your transaction. This makes it difficult for users to see the full costs of the transfer, whether these are charged to their own bank account or to that of the beneficiary.
You can check the PayPal exchange rate of the day by following these steps:
- Go to “Wallet”
- Open the menu to the right of any currency balance and select “Convert Currency”
- Select the desired currency and click “Next”
- Enter the remittance amount to check the exchange rate
PayPal transaction fees
The transaction fee applies when you sell products and services in-store or online.
There are different rates for each type of transaction. You might also hear this fee described as a payment processing fee, or seller fee. The exact fees you pay will depend on whether the transaction is considered domestic or international, and the payment method.
There are lots of different ways to get paid as a seller with PayPal, so you’ll need to check out the full details online if you’re looking to compare all the alternatives – but here are the standard PayPal transaction fees for domestic and international transactions:
|Receive money for goods/services
|3.4% + fixed fee (0.45 NZD)
|4.4% + fixed fee which varies based on the currency
PayPal withdrawal fees
Once you have money in your PayPal account you may want to withdraw it to your linked bank account. The options available vary depending on the currency you’re withdrawing and where the bank account you’re withdrawing to is located. Generally, there’s no PayPal fee if you’re withdrawing money without needing currency conversion. Here are the details, which apply for both personal and business customers:
|Standard withdrawal to a New Zealand bank account
Currency conversion fees apply if PayPal funds are held in a foreign currency
|Standard withdrawal to a US bank account
|No fee (this option is not always available – check your own account for details)
Currency conversion fees apply if PayPal funds are held in a currency other than USD
|Currency conversion fee
|3% – 4% depending on how you set up the transaction
PayPal fees: a comparison
Choosing an international payment specialist like PayPal may be cheaper than sending money using your bank. However, some providers might offer more competitive fees and rates.
Before you set up your payment with PayPal, take a look at how much your recipient will get with PayPal, and then run a quick online comparison with companies like Wise and OFX to see which is best. You won’t need an account to generate a quote with Wise – just head to the desktop site and enter the amount and currency you want to send. Plus, if you tap the Compare button under your quote, you can then see what your recipient would get with other options, like OFX and a few major New Zealand banks.
|With PayPal recipient gets:
|With Wise recipient gets:
|With OFX recipient gets:
|Recipient gets most with:
|1,000 NZD to GBP
|5,000 NZD to GBP
- Fees and rates correct at time of research – 11th December 2023
As you can see, for the payments we analysed in our comparison, Wise and OFX are both cheaper options to send money abroad compared to PayPal.
Specialist services like these also tend to offer their own specific competitive advantages. For example, Wise also has a multi-currency account and the Wise card which you can use to hold and exchange 40+ currencies with the mid-market exchange rate, and spend in 150+ countries around the world. OFX on the other hand offers currency risk management solutions to individuals and businesses with a 24/7 phone service when you need support or advice.
How to avoid PayPal fees?
Let’s look at some tips on how to help lower the cost when using PayPal to send payments or shop internationally.
- Try to avoid using your credit or debit card with PayPal where possible as this often means extra fees to pay
- Look at your PayPal currency conversion options carefully – the charge varies depending on the transaction type
- PayPal merchant transaction fees vary according to the way your customers pay – check out which works best for your business as you may be able to minimise fees here
- Consider using alternative ways to process your payments, like Wise or OFX
Conclusion: is PayPal a good deal?
PayPal is easy for both business customers and personal customers to use. It’s also extremely commonly used and globally accepted.
If you’re a merchant or business customer, the benefits of offering PayPal payments may outweigh the fees you pay, at least for domestic transactions. But if you’re making or receiving regular international transactions for business or personal use, you may want to compare PayPal to a few other providers which could offer lower fees and better exchange rates, with just as convenient and quick a service.
On our Currency Shop comparison page, you’ll find the best deals to send your money abroad depending on the currency and amount that you need to exchange.
How much are PayPal fees?
PayPal fees vary depending on your account type and the specific transaction.
Domestic fees are often low, with many transactions completely fee free to personal customers. However, international payments can be more costly: sending money overseas has a charge of 6.99 NZD + conversion fee of 3% – 4% on top of the wholesale rate. Fees are even higher if you pay by credit card.
How can I avoid PayPal fees?
Cut the costs of using PayPal domestically by sticking to NZD payments funded from your bank account or PayPal balance. To avoid PayPal’s fees when sending money internationally, pick an alternative provider which offers lower charges and a better exchange rate.
How much are PayPal seller fees?
PayPal seller fees vary based on the type of transaction. Usually you’ll find costs of 3.4% to 4.4% depending on whether the payment is made from abroad.
How can I send money with PayPal without fees?
Send domestic PayPal payments from your linked bank account or PayPal balance fee free. For international payments you’ll need to pick a different provider to avoid PayPal fees, as charges apply to all payment methods.
How do I avoid PayPal conversion fees?
Avoid PayPal conversion fees by sticking to local transactions funded with your bank or PayPal balance only – or pick a different provider like Wise or OFX when you need to send or spend in a foreign currency.
Is PayPal free to send money internationally?
No. Sending money overseas with PayPal has a charge of 6.99 NZD + conversion fee of 3% – 4% on top of the wholesale rate.
How do I avoid PayPal foreign transaction fees?
Pick a different provider like Wise or OFX when you’re sending payments internationally or spending in foreign currencies. Otherwise you’re likely to find that conversion and international transaction fees apply.