How to send money from PayPal to Wise: Complete Guide [2024]

If you have money in your PayPal account and want to switch it to a different currency you might be wondering about the best way to convert and withdraw currencies from PayPal.

While PayPal is a global leader thanks to its fast and intuitive services, it’s not always the cheapest option when it comes to international payments and currency conversion. Switching your currency via a free to open Wise multi-currency account could save you a significant amount thanks to lower fees and a better exchange rate.

Quick summary: PayPal to Wise

  • Link PayPal to Wise using your local account details for USD
  • Transfer money conveniently to Wise from PayPal
  • Hold in USD, or change to the currency you need with Wise, using the mid-market rate
  • Send payments locally or internationally, or spend your funds with a Wise card easily

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Why sending money from Paypal to Wise can save you money

PayPal tends to have high fees when sending international payments or performing any sort of currency exchange. That means that if you need your USD PayPal balance switching to a different currency – you may get a better deal by avoiding PayPal’s currency conversion process.

The good news is that you may be able to do that by opening a Wise multi-currency account, and linking it to your PayPal account for withdrawals.

The Wise account comes with local bank details for 9 currencies which let you get paid conveniently from over 30 countries. Simply send your PayPal balance to Wise using these account details, and you can then convert it to any currency you need within Wise using the mid-market exchange rate.

It helps to know that the bank accounts you can link to PayPal do vary based on your residence and where you opened your PayPal account. If you have a PayPal US account you can link US bank accounts only, allowing you to withdraw in US dollars. The good news is that you’ll get USD bank details with your Wise account to make it easy to send money from PayPal to Wise. More on that later.

Here are a few other things you can do with Wise:

  • Hold 40+ currencies, send payments to 160+ countries
  • Get paid like a local in 9 currencies
  • Order a Wise card for spending in 150+ countries
  • Manage your money and your card with just your phone or laptop
  • Make mobile payments by adding your Wise card to your favorite ewallet like Apple Pay
  • Open accounts for personal or business use

Read our full Wise Multi-Currency Account review to learn more.

How to send money from PayPal to Wise

Let’s get into the details of how to withdraw money from PayPal to Wise. Depending on your situation there are a couple of things you may need to do:

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We’ll run through these steps one by one now.

How to transfer money from PayPal to Wise: Step by Step

Got a Wise account already? Great – you can simply set up a link from your Wise account to PayPal online or in the PayPal app. If you don’t have a Wise account just yet, don’t worry, getting set up is free and doesn’t take long. That’s covered in detail below.

Step 2: Verify your Wise account with PayPal

To keep your money safe, PayPal will ask you to complete a verification step before you use your linked account for the first time. You can do that in a couple of ways – either by selecting your bank from the options provided and adding your online banking credentials, or through a manual process.

If you use the option of logging in with your online banking details, your bank could be linked instantly – PayPal simply checks your details with your bank and you’re good to go. If you use the manual process you’ll be sent 2 transactions of small amounts, and will need to then enter details from these transactions into your PayPal account to verify it. This can take up to 6 days to complete.

Step 3: Log into PayPal and view your Wallet

Once your Wise account is linked to PayPal you’ll just need to log into PayPal online or in the app, and head to the Wallet section. Here you should be able to see the account balance and transfer it out.

Step 3: Click Transfer, then withdraw to your linked bank account

Under the balance amount you’ll see the option to transfer money – select this to be taken to details of how you can transfer money out. You should be able to select the button to withdraw to your linked bank account, and you’ll be presented with the accounts you’ve linked.

Just choose the Wise account and follow the prompts on screen to add the withdrawal amount details. You’ll also get an estimate of the time it takes to get your money deposited in your account – which could just be a few minutes.

Step 4: Review and confirm your withdrawal

Finally, check over the details of your withdrawal and confirm it if you’re happy. You’ll get a confirmation screen and you’re all done.

Summary: While there are a couple of different steps to take to withdraw money from PayPal to Wise for the first time, none of them should take very long – and all can be done conveniently from your laptop or mobile device.

Ultimately once you’ve integrated your Wise account with PayPal it becomes really easy and fast to make withdrawals to your linked account – and you could stand to save a significant amount by completing your currency conversion with Wise instead of PayPal, too. More on that later.

How to get started on Wise

Opening a Wise account can be done entirely online or through the Wise app. The process is simple:

  • Register in minutes with an email address, Google, Facebook or Apple account
  • Verify your identity – more on that below
  • Enable the currencies you need within your Wise multi-currency account
  • Use your Wise account details to get paid by others and make PayPal withdrawals

To keep customers and their money safe, Wise will ask you to complete a verification step when you open a multi-currency account. That’s just like when you head into a bank to show your documents and open a new account – but this time you can do it online or via the Wise app without needing to leave home.

You’ll usually need to upload images of a proof of identity and a proof of address, and you may also be asked to take a selfie with your document to show it matches. You’ll be guided through the process – and you don’t have to upload everything at once, either. If you run out of time just save your progress and return to it later.

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PayPal to Wise transfer fees

PayPal US may charge a fee whenever you withdraw funds to a linked account or card:

  • Standard withdrawal of USD funds to a linked bank account: no fee as long as no currency conversion is required
  • Withdraw USD funds instantly to a linked bank account: 1.75% + any currency conversion fee
  • Standard withdrawal of USD funds to an eligible linked bank card: no fee as long as no currency conversion is required
  • Withdraw USD funds instantly to an eligible linked bank card: 1.75% + any currency conversion fee
  • Have a paper check mailed to you: 1.50 USD
  • If currency conversion is required before you make a withdrawal from PayPal there’s an extra fee of 3% – 4%

If you want to receive a payment to Wise in USD, you can do so for free via ACH. There’s a 4.14 USD fee if you’re sent a USD wire transfer. Wise does not charge to receive payments using the local bank details that come with your account for other major currencies, including GBP and EUR. Learn more about Wise fees.

Is there a transfer limit?

PayPal doesn’t declare any limit to the amount you can withdraw to your linked account through the standard process. However, limits apply for instant transfers. You can withdraw up to 25,000 USD per transaction instantly to a bank, or up to 5,000 USD per transaction to a linked card.

PayPal vs Wise: International money transfer fees

If you have a balance in PayPal and need to send money to someone overseas, you can also do that directly from your PayPal account. However, it’s good to know that PayPal’s fees for currency conversion and international payments can stack up quickly.

Here’s a look at the costs for PayPal transfers for both local and international payments to friends and family – compared against the same transactions from Wise.

International transfers5%, from 0.99 USD to 4.99 USDCost depends on send amount and currency: From 0.43% + low, fixed fee
Domestic transfersNo fee when funded from PayPal USD balance or linked bank account

When funded with a card a fee of 2.9% + fixed fee applies

Card fee waived for Amex Send accounts

Low, fixed fee
Exchange rateCurrency conversion fee of 3% – 4%Mid-market exchange rate with no markup

Read our detailed comparison article on Wise vs Paypal with fees, international transfers and more.

PayPal to Wise transfer time

PayPal offers both standard and instant transfer options. If you withdraw to Wise using a standard transfer there’s usually no fee, but the money may take 3 – 5 business days to arrive. Instant transfers have a fee but usually arrive in 30 minutes.

How to connect Wise to PayPal

Linking Wise to PayPal should be pretty straight forward, and can be done by logging into PayPal online or in-app. Once you connect PayPal to Wise, you’ll be able to make instant or standard withdrawals from PayPal to Wise which you can then use for sending or spending around the world.

Here’s how to link a Wise account to PayPal:

  1. Log in and go to your PayPal Wallet
  2. Click Link a card or bank, then Link a bank account
  3. Search for your bank or select it from the list
  4. Link your bank instantly by entering your bank login details, or enter your bank account details manually and click Agree and Link

How to add money to Wise from PayPal

Once your PayPal and Wise accounts are linked, you can withdraw a PayPal balance to Wise conveniently.

Here’s how to add money to Wise from PayPal:

  1. Log in and go to your PayPal Wallet
  2. Click Transfer Money, and then Transfer to your bank
  3. Select In minutes or select in 1-3 days (No fee)
  4. Follow the instructions to pick your linked Wise account to withdraw to, and confirm

Learn more about how to top up a Wise account.

Can I do a PayPal transfer to someone else on TransferWise?

Generally when you send money with PayPal it’s deposited into their PayPal account. From there the recipient can withdraw the funds to their own linked account or card as they wish.

That means you can’t easily send money from your PayPal balance directly to someone’s Wise account. However, you can withdraw your funds from PayPal to your own linked bank account and then use this balance to send a local or international payment with Wise. Because Wise uses the real mid-market exchange rate and low, transparent fees, sending money this way can work out far cheaper than going directly with PayPal.

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Can I pay with PayPal on Wise?

If you want to send a Wise payment funded in USD you can pay using:

  • Bank transfer (ACH)
  • Debit or credit card
  • Wire
  • Your Wise account balance

That means the easiest way to use your PayPal balance to make a Wise transfer is to withdraw your PayPal funds to a Wise multi-currency account and then transfer this balance out in the currency you need.

You can use PayPal to fund a Wise money transfer directly if your Wise account is based in a country located within the European Economic Area. This service is available for personal customers only at the time of writing.

Read complete Wise review to learn more.

Why does PayPal have a fee compared to Wise?

Wise is a financial technology company which was built to make it cheaper, faster and easier to move money internationally.

Wise has created its own payment network to drive down the costs of sending money across borders, and passes the savings achieved on to customers in the form of low prices.

One of Wise’s key principles is price transparency – so Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate for all currency conversion, and splits out any fees so they’re easy to see and understand.

PayPal is a great service which has built a huge global fan base. When you’re shopping online, PayPal can often make it easier and faster to pay, with extra buyer protections in place so you know your transaction is safe.

However, when it comes to international transfers and currency conversion, PayPal fees are high. This is in part because it’s not PayPal’s core business – it’s just not been necessary to drive down the costs involved.

Conclusion: How to send money from PayPal to Wise

If you need to withdraw a balance from PayPal to send a payment overseas – you could save by using a linked Wise multi-currency account. Exactly what your options are will depend a little on your PayPal account type.

However, by linking your Wise account to PayPal you may be able to withdraw funds in USD, which you can then hold or convert to any currency you need using the real mid-market exchange rate.

Overall, if you need to send a payment internationally, you’ll probably pay less with Wise compared to PayPal thanks to Wise’s low fees and better exchange rates.

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PayPal to Wise FAQs

How much does it cost to create a Wise account?

You can create a Wise personal account online or in the Wise app for free. If you’re creating an account as a business owner you’ll pay a one time fee of 31 USD.

How much does it cost to create a PayPal account?

You can create a PayPal account in most cases for free. Transaction fees apply on the services you then use.

How long do PayPal and Wise take to send money internationally?

The amount of time it takes for a payment to arrive depends on the destination and currencies involved. 50%+ of Wise international payments are instant, and the vast majority arrive within 24 hours. PayPal transfers to other PayPal accounts can be instant – but fees on currency conversion are typically high.

Is TransferWise really cheaper?

The best provider for your payment will depend on the details of where you’re sending to, how you want to pay and the value of the transfer. You’ll need to compare a few options to decide which fits your needs. However, Transferwise (Wise) consistently comes out as one of – if not the cheapest – providers available for international transfer and currency conversion. That’s usually because Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate and low, transparent fees for services. Compare providers on Exiap to see which is best for you.

Can I transfer money from PayPal to Wise account?

You can usually transfer money from PayPal to Wise by connecting your Wise account to PayPal using the local USD account details available from Wise. Just head to your PayPal Wallet and follow the instructions to link a bank account, then make a withdrawal to Wise from within the PayPal Wallet.

Can I connect Wise to PayPal?

Whether or not you can connect Wise to PayPal may depend on where your PayPal account was set up and the account type. However, you can usually link your Wise bank account details for USD to PayPal, to allow you to withdraw from PayPal to Wise conveniently.


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Claire Millard
Fintech Content Writer
Claire Millard is a content and copywriter with a specialty in international finance. Her work has featured in The Times and The Telegraph, as well as industry magazines and leading personal finance blogs.
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Seyma Mektepli
Seyma is an experienced content writer and editor-in-chief at Exiap, delivering informative articles on personal finance, and money transfers.
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Last updated
July 27th, 2023