PayPal currency conversion service review

21 June 2017

PayPal payment system has many benefits, one of which is set-in currency conversion service. This feature opens doors to unlimited possibilities, for example, to making purchases in foreign online stores. However, in addition to convenience of the service, there are pitfalls associated with currency exchange. Let’s figure out what to do in order not to lose money on currency conversion in PayPal.

Features of PayPal currency conversion service

PayPal currency exchange assumes that credit and debit card used with PayPal payment system can be opened in one currency, and transactions should be carried out in currency of the recipient’s account, usually U.S. dollars, Euros, British pounds. Therefore, there is a “currency conversion in automatic mode” in the course of the operation. However, after payment, the client may notice that the resulting amount of the purchase is significantly more than the actual one, approximately by 5-7 percent. Reasons for this may vary:

Overvalued currency compared to the bank. The internal PayPal currency rate is completely different, usually unfavorable to customers as compared to that used by financial institutions. When the amount of conversion is insignificant, the difference in the exchange rate may be unnoticeable. However, when making large payments, it is quite sizeable.


Double conversion. Uncontrolled double conversion of the system actually increases the purchase price up to 10%. Fee is charged when paying for goods and transferring funds to a currency different from the main one.

PayPal conversion by default. The system sets the currency exchange service automatically for all registered users according to PayPal conversion rate.

For these reasons, benefit from the purchase itself is sometimes lost. There is possibility of avoiding this inconvenience, and better to do it in advance. It is as simple as ABC: customers are given the opportunity to choose who will convert the funds. It can be a bank that has issued a payment card (now all banks automatically exchange, if transaction currency differs from the card’s currency) or PayPal itself.

Alternative ways of currency exchange

Many comfort lovers appreciate the opportunity to make purchases without thinking about the details. Therefore, when implementing regular payments via PayPal, clients can use other ways to avoid losing a considerable sum because of conversion fees.

Disable PayPal conversion mode. Using this option, customers need to change the settings of each plastic card linked to the account. After making modification, subsequent payment operations will be performed according to the selected mode. Also, the way of debiting funds can be changed directly in the course of transaction. Sometimes this method may fail using debit and credit cards of certain banks. In some cases, this problem is solved by changing the browser to Internet Explorer.

Change the currency of the card account

Change the currency of the card account. This method is less common due to the fact that not all credit and debit cards support this option. Most of the banks issue cards that are rigidly tied to one currency, and it is not possible to change the account afterwards. However, some financial institutions allow multiple accounts. Usually, for their clients banks open three accounts at once: in local currency, U.S. dollars and Euro. For this purpose, MasterCard or Visa cards are issued. In the future, this will eliminate the need to convert via PayPal.

Link multiple currency cards to PayPal account. In any case, after adding a new card to PayPal account, it is highly desirable to immediately change the conversion center by specifying the “bank” by default. In this case, the currency conversion is carried out at the rate of the issuing bank. Do not forget about this, because it is almost impossible to cancel an operation due to disagreement with the exchange rate.

PayPal is quite convenient and universal payment system, which provides numerous financial opportunities. However, it is necessary to be attentive to details, as due to the seeming trifles, customers can lose unreasonably high amount of funds because of conversion fees, especially at frequent and regular transactions.

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