PayPal can let you get money nearly instantly from all over the world. For people doing digital work online, this has opened up a global marketplace.
But PayPal is not actually a bank. There are ways to spend money from your PayPal account online, but most people will want to simply withdraw the money. The two primary ways this happens is by transferring the balance to a bank account or going to an ATM in person and using a linked debit card to get cash.
Exchange Rates and Markup Fees
Getting payments from around the world means sometimes those payments originate in other currencies. PayPal charges a fee if they need to convert the currency. This can mean you get less money than you were really expecting.
If you get a lot of foreign funds, you may want to research your alternatives. Some services provide multi-currency accounts that make it possible to convert currency on the cheap without a markup.
You can find the mid-market exchange rate by doing an online search or going to an online currency converter. PayPal is likely to use this rate and add a fee on top of that for converting currency. The fee will vary from one type of currency to another and may also be influenced by the kind of transaction involved.
For example, if you have a British bank account and you are converting US dollars to UK sterling, the markup on the transaction would be 3.75 percent. But if you are converting from Australian dollars to UK sterling, the markup would be 4 percent instead.
Withdrawing Funds From PayPal Online
One of the great things about PayPal is that you can do everything online from the comfort of home or wherever you happen to be. You can go to their website interface on a PC or download the app to your smartphone.
If you don’t like having an app for every single thing, you can also go to their website interface using a browser on your phone. Unlike some sites, PayPal will not hassle you constantly to download their app if you choose to use their website in a browser on your phone.
Using The Website Interface
You will need to go to their website and log into your PayPal account. Then go to your online Wallet.
Indicate you wish to “withdraw” funds. It will give you some options. This will include choosing which linked bank account you want your funds to go into and the exact transfer method.
The exact list of options presented to you will vary, depending upon your history with PayPal and the kind of set up you have. Maybe they have your debit card information. Or maybe they only have your bank account information.
An instant transfer will usually arrive in your account within a few minutes, but there is a transaction fee. “Standard” transfer can take a day or more, but there is no fee.
Enter the amount of money you wish to withdraw. PayPal makes it easy to see exactly how much you have available and calculates all fees for you to make this process as seamless as possible.
It will give you a screen showing you everything you selected. You should read through all the details to make sure you chose the options you actually wanted, then confirm the transfer.
If you also bank online, you can go check your bank account balance. You may have the funds immediately or it may take some time, depending upon where you are and what options you chose.
PayPal will also send you a notification of the transaction when it goes through successfully.
If you are using the PayPal app, the process is short and sweet. Just go into your app, go to your balance and hit “withdraw money.”
You Need A PayPal Mastercard To Withdraw Funds At An ATM
In order to exercise this option, you will need to have a PayPal debit Mastercard. If you don’t already have one, you will need to first set one up.
This is currently only available with PayPal business accounts. If you only have a personal account, you would need to upgrade to a business account, then apply for their Mastercard.
Having a PayPal Mastercard will do more for you than just let you go to an ATM and get cash out of your PayPal account. It will also let you spend your PayPal account directly in brick-and-mortar stores as conveniently as you currently spend it online.
It will also open up more spending options online. It will make it possible to spend your PayPal balance at online venues that don’t currently process PayPal payments, but do take traditional credit cards.
If you do a lot of business via PayPal, the added convenience of having their Mastercard can revolutionize your life. It can make PayPal almost as good as a regular bank account for purposes of meeting your shopping needs.
If you already have a PayPal account, log into your account to check out their FAQ. This is the best place to go when you have questions. Many basics have already been addressed in a detailed descriptions of exactly how to handle the problem.
They also have a help center and a resolution center. The help center is general information. The resolution center is for trying to address specific issues you are having with your account.
If you don’t have a PayPal account, you may be able to contact them by email or chat or call their customer service line as a “guest.” If you do have an account, you can do all of those, plus look up specific phone numbers to use for specific issues to expedite the process.
A Note About Alternatives
Over the years, there have been a number of alternative means to access your PayPal account. They tend to be short lived and soon stop being an option.
If you do a search, you will find you aren’t the only person who ever wondered if you could get money out of your account via Moneygram, Western Union or similar. You may even find some instructions for how to do this.
These instructions are typically old and out of date. The option is probably defunct. Make sure you double check and don’t count on this option when making spending plans.
Some people may have older accounts and these older accounts may have grandfathered in ways to access their funds. Some may be able to get funds put directly on a debit card that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to get.
But these are generally edge cases. You really need a bank account linked to your PayPal account. You may be able to link it directly or by using a debit card.
If You Are Traveling
There are ways to convert the currency within your PayPal account before you withdraw funds. This is cheaper than converting it at the time of withdrawal.
If you know you will be doing a lot of business in a particular currency because you are traveling or because you have developed a client list in a particular area, it is worth exploring the PayPal interface to see what the latest options are. You may also want to check out third-party services that can help you save money on currency exchanges.
If you are a digital nomad, you should really check out multi-currency options, like Transferwise and Revolut. This is the latest wave of payment options for an increasingly global world. They can help you cut your currency conversion fees down to size while managing everything all in one place.
Short and Sweet
There are two basic options for getting your funds from PayPal. You can move those funds to your bank account or you can withdraw them from an ATM if you have their Mastercard debit card.
So if you trip across some article suggesting some other method, don’t get too excited. First, check the date on it, if at all possible. The article may be out of date and it may not be possible to do it this way any longer.
If you need more options or services than PayPal is currently offering, you may want to look at other vendors. PayPal helped revolutionize payments for the world and they are the current standard, but they are no longer the only option.