PayPal instant transfer: Fees, limits and types

TransferWise
03.27.20
6 minute read

PayPal instant transfer lets you send money from your PayPal balance to an eligible bank account in just a few minutes. You can also transfer money from PayPal to a debit card, although this may take a little longer.

We’ll cover all this, including the PayPal instant transfer fee structure, limits, and how to avoid paying to send your money to a bank account. Ready to get started with a PayPal instant bank transfer? Let’s dive right in.

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Instant transfers to and from PayPal

If you have a PayPal balance you can use instant transfers to move your money to your bank or debit card. Maybe you sold something online and got paid via PayPal, or a friend sent you some money with PayPal to cover a split bill. If you need to withdraw the money to your bank account fast, an instant transfer might be the best option.¹

There are costs involved with using this withdrawal method, so make sure you read on to the fee section before you get started.

Instant transfer to PayPal

If you’re shopping online or using PayPal to send money to family or friends - and don’t hold a current PayPal balance - you’ll need to link your PayPal account to your bank account or card to allow instant transfers from bank to PayPal.² ³

To add a credit or debit card to your PayPal account, take the following steps:

  • Create your PayPal account, or log in if you already have one
  • Go to Wallet if you’re on a computer, or Menu, and then Wallet if you’re using the app
  • Choose Link credit or debit card
  • Add the details of the card you want to use, following the on screen prompts
  • Hit Link and you’re all done

To add a bank account:

  • Log into your PayPal account
  • Find the Wallet button if you’re using a computer, or click Menu, and then Wallet if you’re on a phone
  • Choose Link bank account
  • Add the account name and number, including routing number, following the on screen prompts
  • Confirm the details and you’re ready to go

It’s worth noting that this process doesn’t mean you’re withdrawing money from your account or adding money to your PayPal balance. It just means your card or account is linked so the next time you use PayPal to make a payment or transfer, the amount will be deducted from the payment method you select.

Instant transfer from PayPal

If you have a balance already in PayPal, you can either keep it in your PayPal account, spend it online, or withdraw it to your bank account. If you’re withdrawing the money to your regular bank, you’ll have the option of a standard withdrawal or instant transfer. The standard withdrawal takes longer, but is usually fee free - you’ll pay a charge to get your money faster with instant transfer.

Here’s how you can use instant transfer: ¹

  • Log into your PayPal account and hit the Balance button. This shows you how much you can transfer to your bank
  • Tap Transfer Money
  • Select the option Transfer to your bank
  • Choose the account or card you want to withdraw your balance to. If you want to transfer your money to a different account you’ll need to link it, following the steps set out above before you can proceed
  • Confirm how much you want to transfer, check you understand the costs, and tap Transfer to complete the transaction
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PayPal instant transfer fees

As we mentioned above, there are some charges you need to know about if you want to use PayPal instant transfer. Here’s a run through of the key costs - full details are available online on the PayPal website.

Withdrawing money to your bank account

Withdrawal type Fee and transfer time⁴
PayPal instant transfer 1% of amount transferred, to a maximum fee of $10 Transfers to bank accounts usually happen within minutes, or up to half an hour for a transfer to a linked card
PayPal standard transfer Free to arrange, a standard transfer takes 1 - 3 days to process

Other types of transfer

If you’re using PayPal as a way to send money to friends or family from your linked bank account or card there are different fees depending on the transfer details. Here’s an overview.

Transfer type PayPal fee⁴
Sending money to friends or family in the US If you fund the payment using your linked bank account or PayPal balance - no fee If you fund the payment using your linked credit or debit card, or PayPal credit - 2.9% of transfer amount + a fixed fee based on the currency used
Sending money to friends or family with a PayPal account based outside of the US If you fund the payment using your linked bank account or PayPal balance - 5% of transfer amount, from $0.99 to a maximum of $4.99 If you fund the payment using your linked credit or debit card, or PayPal credit - 5% of transfer amount, from $0.99 to a maximum of $4.99 + 2.9% of transaction amount + a fixed fee based on the currency used

PayPal instant transfer limits

If you want to use the instant transfer service, there are some limits you need to know about:

Instant withdrawal type PayPal instant transfer limit⁴
Instant transfer to a card Up to $5,000 per transaction, $5,000 per day and $5,000 per week in total. Up to $15,000 per month
Instant transfer to a bank account Up t $25,000 per transaction

Frequently asked questions

PayPal has resources online including an FAQ section and community answers to specific questions. If you need personal advice you can also notify the PayPal support team. Here are a couple of common issues and how to resolve them.

PayPal instant transfer pending: Why and what does it mean?

If you get a notification that your transfer is pending, or if it takes longer than you expect, it could be because it’s being checked by PayPal. Transfers are subject to review to help stop fraud, which can cause a delay.⁵

Other reasons your payment may be pending can be to do with your bank or card provider’s own processes. There’s advice online, and in the PayPal community forums which may help you troubleshoot in this situation.⁶⁷

PayPal instant transfer not working?

If you’re still struggling to get instant transfer to work it could be as a result of the following issues:⁸

  • A limitation or block on your PayPal account
  • Pending security checks
  • Your linked card or account may not allow transfers
  • PayPal may have blocked or delayed this transaction for your own security if there is a suspicion of fraud

You could try to use an alternative linked card or account to process the payment, or use a PayPal Cash Card. You’ll also be able to order a check to get your money. There are fees for some of these services, so be sure to look at the full terms and conditions online before you make a decision.

If you need to get in touch with someone at PayPal to ask questions about your account, or file a complaint, you can use the contact form available on the PayPal website.⁹

If you use PayPal regularly, instant transfer can be an easy way to send money to your bank account or linked card quickly. However, as we have covered above, there are fees you need to consider before you use the service.

Do a bit of research before you start using instant transfer to make sure it’s the best option available for you, and to avoid paying more than you need to for your PayPal balance withdrawal.


Sources:

  1. PayPal - Instant Money Transfer to Bank Account & Debit Card
  2. PayPal: Send Money, Pay Online or Set Up a Merchant Account
  3. How PayPal Works | How to Set Up an Account
  4. PayPal - Fees and transfers
  5. PayPal Community - 'Instant" Transfer to my debit card still has not shown up nearly 24 hours later
  6. PayPal Community - How long does it normally take for Paypal to instant transfer to your debit card?
  7. PayPal Community - Instant transfer nor working with debit card
  8. PayPal Help Center - Why can't I transfer money to my bank
  9. PayPal - Contact Us

All sources last checked on 17 March 2020


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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