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Paypal USD to CDN exchange rate actually decent now?

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  • Feb 27th, 2015 8:51 am
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[OP]
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Oct 15, 2003
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Vancouver

Paypal USD to CDN exchange rate actually decent now?

So just a few weeks ago I noticed that my exchange funds when transferring $1000 USD from my Paypal to a Canadian bank account became ~$960 CDN, whereas in my RBC account it was at $1006 CDN when I transferred to my RBC USD account then did the exchange directly through RBC.

However, I just checked now and the exchange rate is actually better within Paypal.
$200 USD to my TD Canadian account became $206.64 CDN whereas if I did it through my RBC USD account it would have yielded $206.04 CDN (difference in cents I know).

So is it better to use Paypal to transfer USD funds directly into a Canadian bank when our dollar is much much lower, and the Paypal exchange only sucks when the Canadian dollar is at parity or higher than the USD? I just find it a bit interesting that's all, and am wondering how it works exactly (or maybe I just caught Paypal for the ~$960 CDN rate because they just so happened to not have adjusted their rates yet). :)
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Aug 18, 2008
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Ottawa
Generally, paypal rate is worst, then bank is better, then it's the forex kiosks (depends on your amount), then it's brokerage accounts, and finally, XE trade or a similar currency swapping account.

At least, that's my observations anyways :)
[OP]
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Oct 15, 2003
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That's what I thought too (reason I got my RBC account recently). It was true in the beginning when the Canadian was closer to parity, but for some reason as it dropped in the last week or so, the RBC rate became slightly (just very very slightly) worse than the Paypal rate.
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Jul 27, 2010
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+1
Akitakara wrote:
Oct 4th, 2011 9:08 pm
Generally, paypal rate is worst, then bank is better, then it's the forex kiosks (depends on your amount), then it's brokerage accounts, and finally, XE trade or a similar currency swapping account.

At least, that's my observations anyways :)
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Jun 19, 2001
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the dollar has been moving so much this week it would differ on the time (or the time they pegged the rate, which isnt instantaneous with the currency market) the spread they are charging is key, paypal at 2.5% each way will be slightly worse then the back 9or the same as a Can cc). If paypal was better at a given time it was just luck based on the timr and how the dollar moved, it was just as likely they'd be the same amount worse.

if you really want to know who is better, convert the amount, then convert it back at the same time and see how much you lost at each.
[OP]
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Oct 15, 2003
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I guess it was just luck based on timing then, I will still compare both from now on and just go with the better one in case I get lucky again with Paypal. :p

EDIT: I really do think it is better to convert to Canadian from Paypal when you receive USD as a payment right now, but you will lose money if you do it the other way around. So it is good if you receive USD from a buyer or something.
Sr. Member
Mar 25, 2011
708 posts
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Guelph
Not since a week ago when the US made some strides in the exchange.

When we were 1.02-1.04 Paypal/Ebay was actually exchanging our money more than the USD.
[OP]
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Oct 15, 2003
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Okay, I am certain that the USD -> CDN rate from Paypal right now is around or almost 5% better than the USD -> CDN rate from RBC (online banking). I just double-checked again today (checked yesterday too).
I am really kicking myself for transferring my Paypal USD funds to my RBC USD Savings account now as I cannot transfer that USD back so I probably lost $50 or something. :(

Current RBC rate is $1 to $1.012 or something, $500 only gives me around 6 bucks more when exchanged to CDN.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 17, 2007
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I think Paypal only updates their rate overnight, once a day. With the big swings we've experienced daily, lately, it's possible that for a given day, Paypal's rate based ont he previous day's close is better than the "live" rate elsewhere. Doesn't change the fact that Paypal is pretty much equivalent to CC's rates of 2.5% commission.

+1 on AKITAKARA's assesment.
Newbie
Feb 17, 2012
1 posts
I have noticed that Paypal is now above the banks and slightly better than XE for the Australian Dollar. Interesting. Perhaps they have become more competitive? :)

- - -
Leshita wrote:
Oct 4th, 2011 9:01 pm
So just a few weeks ago I noticed that my exchange funds when transferring $1000 USD from my Paypal to a Canadian bank account became ~$960 CDN, whereas in my RBC account it was at $1006 CDN when I transferred to my RBC USD account then did the exchange directly through RBC.

However, I just checked now and the exchange rate is actually better within Paypal.
$200 USD to my TD Canadian account became $206.64 CDN whereas if I did it through my RBC USD account it would have yielded $206.04 CDN (difference in cents I know).

So is it better to use Paypal to transfer USD funds directly into a Canadian bank when our dollar is much much lower, and the Paypal exchange only sucks when the Canadian dollar is at parity or higher than the USD? I just find it a bit interesting that's all, and am wondering how it works exactly (or maybe I just caught Paypal for the ~$960 CDN rate because they just so happened to not have adjusted their rates yet). :)
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Apr 21, 2004
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I guess the extra layer of protection purchasing through paypal is worth the extra 1-2% fx fee, don't people think?

EDIT:

Should have clicked on OTHER CONVERSION OPTIONS (missed seeing that earlier today). I'll select the second option and opt for the mastercard fx conversion rate.

PayPal offers two ways to convert currency when you purchase from a seller who uses a different currency than yours.

The PayPal currency conversion process
The MasterCard and Visa currency conversion process

Please select your option below:

1.

Use PayPal's conversion process to complete my transaction using my card's currency.
Both the original transaction currency and the converted amount that I will be charged are disclosed for my convenience. I understand that MasterCard and Visa have a currency conversion process. I have chosen not to use the MasterCard and Visa currency conversion process, and I will have no recourse against MasterCard and Visa with respect to any matter related to this conversion.

2.

Bill me in the currency listed on the seller's invoice.
I will not know which foreign exchange rate has been applied to this transaction until I receive my card statement from my card issuer. I acknowledge that by choosing this option, my card issuer will determine the foreign exchange rate to apply to this transaction, and that I will not be informed of the foreign exchange rate or any additional foreign exchange fees applied until I am billed by my card issuer.
Newbie
Oct 14, 2015
85 posts
11 upvotes
Toronto
Can still confirm. RBC gives me 1.21 going from USD to CAD while paypal is 1.22, which is about $1 more more per 100 with the dollar at around .796
However, tangerine is at 1.231, which is better than both. SO, if you can get it to tangerine directly in USD (you can't - they don't have a Routing number apparently, while RBC Canadian USD account does), you'll win. You can always transfer out of RBC to your USD RBC account, just change your Paypal account to be in USD - it's easy- and then do a wire transfer to CurrencyFair.com ($25~ at most banks) and you'll get about 1.250 which is awesome, but you'll have to do a lot at one time due to the wire fee + $4 currency fair fee. URGH!
Banned
Oct 16, 2008
1010 posts
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just bought an item on ebay for $60.00 1 Canadian Dollar = 0.7708 U.S. Dollars
cost me $77.97 canadian
plus ebay global shipping
Member
Aug 23, 2008
249 posts
44 upvotes
Toronto
TimTaylor wrote:
Feb 22nd, 2015 10:14 pm
Can still confirm. RBC gives me 1.21 going from USD to CAD while paypal is 1.22, which is about $1 more more per 100 with the dollar at around .796
However, tangerine is at 1.231, which is better than both. SO, if you can get it to tangerine directly in USD (you can't - they don't have a Routing number apparently, while RBC Canadian USD account does), you'll win. You can always transfer out of RBC to your USD RBC account, just change your Paypal account to be in USD - it's easy- and then do a wire transfer to CurrencyFair.com ($25~ at most banks) and you'll get about 1.250 which is awesome, but you'll have to do a lot at one time due to the wire fee + $4 currency fair fee. URGH!
Cool. Keep us updated let us know what happens in another 3 years from now.
Newbie
Sep 9, 2013
1 posts
Montr
TimTaylor wrote:
Feb 22nd, 2015 10:14 pm
Can still confirm. RBC gives me 1.21 going from USD to CAD while paypal is 1.22, which is about $1 more more per 100 with the dollar at around .796
However, tangerine is at 1.231, which is better than both. SO, if you can get it to tangerine directly in USD (you can't - they don't have a Routing number apparently, while RBC Canadian USD account does), you'll win. You can always transfer out of RBC to your USD RBC account, just change your Paypal account to be in USD - it's easy- and then do a wire transfer to CurrencyFair.com ($25~ at most banks) and you'll get about 1.250 which is awesome, but you'll have to do a lot at one time due to the wire fee + $4 currency fair fee. URGH!
Gosh, I should have read this earlier... after opening a RBC US account, transferring money from Paypal in it and transferring from USD->CAD RBC accounts, I realized this morning that I was better with Paypal rates directly...

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