How to withdraw money from PayPal

TransferWise content team
15.05.19
7 minute read

If you’ve got money in your PayPal account, maybe because a friend sent you some cash, or a freelance client paid using PayPal, you’ll want to know how to withdraw the balance.

To get your hands on your PayPal cash, you can either transfer it to a bank account, or use a linked debit card to withdraw money from an ATM. It’s worth checking out the fees and charges for the services you need in advance - especially if you need to convert your balance from one currency to another.

This handy guide covers all you need to know about PayPal transaction fees, and how to transfer money to your UK bank account, or spend it using your PayPal debit Mastercard. We’ll also cover some smart ways to limit the transaction costs, including using a TransferWise multi-currency account to get low cost currency conversion with no exchange rate markup to worry about.

How do I withdraw money from PayPal?

If you hold a PayPal balance and want to access your money, you have a few options:

  • Withdraw your funds to your own registered bank account¹
  • Spend your PayPal funds online, or send them to friends or family
  • Use your PayPal debit Mastercard to spend wherever you see the Mastercard symbol, or to make ATM withdrawals²

The transaction fees you’ll pay for these services vary, so it’s important to understand your options fully. More on that in a moment.

How to transfer money from PayPal to bank account

If you want to get money out from your PayPal account, you can withdraw funds to your own bank account online or using the PayPal app. If you want to transfer the money online, here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Log into your PayPal account, and go to wallet
  • Click the withdraw money option
  • Choose the account you want to send money to, if you have more than one linked bank account
  • Confirm the amount to withdraw, and click continue
  • You’ll have one final chance to check the amount and the account details, before you confirm the transfer

Using the PayPal app, you simply go to your PayPal balance, and tap withdraw money.

If you’re moving money to your registered UK bank account, it is usually available in your bank account within just a couple of hours.¹

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Now, back to what you came here to read.

PayPal currency conversion fee

PayPal charge a cross border conversion fee if they have to convert the currency of your funds.

This means that they’ll likely take the mid-market exchange rate - which is the rate you’ll find on google or using an online currency converter - and then add a margin to it before converting your currency. The margin added will depend on the currency, and the exact transaction you’re carrying out.

Let’s say you hold a balance in US dollars, after a client paid you using PayPal for some freelance work. You want to transfer this money directly to your UK sterling bank account. In this case, the exchange rate you’ll get will be the base exchange rate, plus a markup of 3.5% if your PayPal account was opened in the UK. The same transaction from Australian dollars would include a 4% markup.³

Full details of the exchange rate markups used, by currency, is available online at the PayPal website. Details on how to reduce or remove this markup, coming right up.

Convert your balance first, for a better rate from PayPal

If you want to pay less, one option is to switch your funds first within PayPal - and then make your withdrawal. That’s because the exchange rate applied for currency conversion without withdrawal includes a lower exchange rate margin of 2.5%.

That means - for example - that you can convert the foreign currencies you hold in your account to sterling first, and then withdraw them to your linked UK bank account. You’ll pay a margin of 2.5% when you convert your funds, and then the withdrawal to your account in the UK is fee free.³

Use TransferWise to avoid the exchange rate markup

If you hold a balance in sterling, and want to send it to a bank account held in a different currency, a better option might be to withdraw your funds in pounds to a TransferWise multi-currency account, and then carry out your currency conversion there before sending it on to your foreign bank account. TransferWise offer the mid-market exchange rate for all currency conversion, with no markup. There’s just an upfront fee to pay instead, which can work out much cheaper than withdrawing foreign currency using PayPal.

Paypal debit card

PayPal offer a linked debit card, called the PayPal Access card, for UK customers. This allows you to spend your PayPal balance more conveniently, online or in stores.

PayPal Access cards are on the Mastercard network, so you can use them wherever you see the Mastercard symbol. You can also withdraw cash from ATMs, at home or abroad - although there are fees for these services you should know about before you get started. More on the fee you’ll pay to get money from your PayPal account via your Access card, in a moment.²

It’s good to know that the TransferWise borderless account, which we mentioned above, also comes with a linked Mastercard debit card. The borderless card lets you spend for free in any currency you hold on the card, and withdraw up to the currency equivalent of £200 from ATMs for no fee. There’s no exchange rate markup, if you need to switch from one currency to another - just a small transparent fee.

How to apply for PayPal debit card

You can apply for a PayPal Access card if you’re aged over 18, resident in the UK, and have a verified Premier or Business account with PayPal.

You’ll apply online, by visiting the PayPal website, and following the steps on screen.³ If your application is approved, your card will be posted to your registered address, usually within about 15 days. You’ll need to sign the card, and activate it online by logging into your PayPal account and agreeing to the terms and conditions which are published there. You’re PIN will then be revealed to you, and can get started using your debit card.⁴

PayPal Fees: How much does PayPal charge for withdrawals?

Full details of PayPal transaction fees are available online. Here’s a roundup of the most common withdrawal costs you need to know about, to get you started.

Service PayPal fee
Withdraw funds to registered UK bank account - no currency conversion Free Some banks charge to receive incoming payments - check your account terms and conditions for details
Withdraw funds to a bank account - including currency conversion Currency conversion fee (exchange rate markup) of 2.5%-4% depending on the currency and the way you withdraw your funds You may also be charged fees by your bank for receiving incoming payments - check your account terms and conditions for details³
Withdraw funds at an ATM in the UK, using your Access Card £2
Withdraw funds at an overseas ATM, using your Access Card £3 + 2.75% + exchange rate markup
Spend balance using your Access card, outside of the UK 2.75% + exchange rate markup²

Contact PayPal

If you’re already a member of PayPal, you can get in touch easily by signing into your account online. If you don’t have a PayPal account, you’ll need to contact their customer service team as a guest. Here are a few ways to get advice or answers, from PayPal:

  • Check out the PayPal online help centre, which has FAQs on many common topics
  • Use the community forum or resolution centre, available online, for help with specific issues relating to your account
  • Email or chat with a service advisor, if you’re already a member, by logging into your PayPal account online⁵
  • Call customer services as a guest on 0800 358 7911, or log into your account online to get the right number to call based on your particular issue⁶

Getting your money out of your PayPal account isn’t difficult, but there are charges you should know about before you make a withdrawal. Compare your options, including the best ways to access and convert your money via PayPal - but also consider how other providers can help you. Alternatives like a TransferWise multi-currency account to withdraw your balance before converting it to a wide range of currencies using the google exchange rate. See if you can save with TransferWise, today.

Sources used:

1.https://www.paypal.com/uk/smarthelp/article/how-do-i-withdraw-money-from-my-paypal-account-balance-faq1189
2.https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/accesscard
3.https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/ua/useragreement-full#r04
4.https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/accesscard-terms
5.https://www.paypal.com/uk/smarthelp/home
6.https://www.paypal.com/uk/smarthelp/contact-us

Sources checked on 15-May 2019.


This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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