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For example: sending $100 at base US rates (2.9%, $0.30):

Fee is $0.30 + $2.8913 = $3.1913 (applying the % after the flat rate)
Fee is $2.90 + $0.30 = $3.20 (applying the % to the $ sent)

  • If you applied the % after the flat rate, you’d have a fee of $0.30 + $2.987 = $3.2087. It would be a higher fee than if the percentage is applied first. – Ben Miller Mar 29 '18 at 11:33
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According to PayPal’s What are the fees for PayPal accounts? page, the percentage does not include the flat fee:

The fee in the U.S. is 2.9% plus $0.30 USD of the amount you send. For example, if you send $100.00 USD by credit card, the fee would be $3.20 USD ($2.90 + $0.30).

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