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I live in the eurozone and have about $13000 (USD) legal income on my PayPal balance. One of my bank accounts is in usd, but apparently PayPal only wants to transfer money in the main currency of the country where the bank account is based. The commission on he exchange rate is around 3% so I would end up losing almost $400.

Does anyone know if there is a way to get around this?

So far I see 2 options:

1)ask a friend in the U.S. to accept the money and wire it to me. I don't know if the IRS could make any trouble here?

2) find a foreign exchange service that will accept PayPal money and will wire on euros. Does anyone know of such a service? I've looked at transferwise and a couple of others but none seem to accept PayPal money.

Any thoughts?

Thank you very much in advance!

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    You really should have figured this out before getting the money into PayPal... Why not attach it to a bank account in a more convenient currency? (Standard reminder on this kind of question: Beware of scams.)
    – keshlam
    Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 21:55
  • Yes I should have thought about that earlier... You can only attach at PayPal account to a bank account with the main currency of the country where the bank account is based. So to transfer USD one needs a bank account in a country with USD as the official currency. I have a USD bank account but bc it starts with BE (Belgium) PayPal only wants to transfer euros. Commented Oct 8, 2014 at 17:50
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    I have the same problem. I have received legal USD on my European PayPal account. How did you guys fixed this finally to receive the dollars at a normal ratio? PayPal only wants to send EURO's to our bank account after using a very bad conversion ratio from 3%. I cannot move the money to a US customer because then we lose again 3,5 % on the money because of the PayPal transaction ratio.
    – Tom
    Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 21:27
  • Didn't find a way to solve it... Sorry! Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 15:29

2 Answers 2

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I don't see how Paypal can stop you from transferring USD funds from your paypal account to a USD account held with a bank. Just tell them to do the transfer to your account.

The issue could be around USD onshore / offshore regulation. Is the US government preventing EU citizens from taking USD income offshore?

If that's the case then you need a correspondent bank. So in other words, like using your friend. But what you can do is ask your bank who is their correspondent bank in the US, and whether they have the license required to transfer USD funds offshore.

So you shift the regulation issues to your bank, and then you have to accept your bank's exchange rate - which is going to be better than paypal, who charges too much for FX transactions.

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  • Thanks for your comment. PayPal says it has to do with regulation, they only get a license for one currency per country or something like that? It's definitely not specifically for usd. Commented Oct 8, 2014 at 17:45
  • Yes ok, so you need to find out your European bank's USD correspondent, and tell Paypal to send the USD accordingly. That means, as long as your bank allows it, your USD gets sent to a USD "account with" your bank. You then instruct your bank to change the USD funds to EUR and send to your EUR account. So you use your bank's exchange and commission rates instead of Paypal's.
    – rupweb
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 8:47
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I understand it's pretty late but I had this problem back in 2014 (what a coincidence) and I have it again now. It's not by choice, unfortunately some marketplace pay out profits only in USD on PayPal and if you want a slice of that market you have to stomach PayPal fees and conversions problems

The correct answer back in 2014 was:

  • Open an eToro account
  • Load the account with your cash in USD from PayPal
  • Close your PayPal account
  • Contact support and explain you want to withdraw money and your original PayPal account has been closed
  • Withdraw the money on another PayPal in a different currency

Nowadays, I suspect the same trick could be pulled off (albeit I noticed eToro requires an initial deposit before accepting PayPal deposits) but I haven't tested it.

Sending the money to a friend overseas doesn't work as they now charge for international payments (even if it's a much lower fee compared to their conversion fees).

An alternative could be to purchase gift cards (or anything else - Apple accepts PayPal, Airbnb accepts PayPal) with PayPal in USD for a friend in need and get them to send you money in the currency you want or in USD on Revolut or Wise.

The reason PayPal does it is not because of regulations, there are cases of people who managed to add a USD bank account added to their EU PayPal account by massaging customer care reps (I tried unsuccessfully a few times), it's pure profiteering on PayPal side.

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