paypal“What? PayPal personal payment? I thought Singapore-based PayPal account is no longer allowed to make a personal payment?”. Yes, you are absolutely right. That’s why I put the word ‘Fair’ in the title of this post.

Ok, in case you’re wondering, the purpose of this post is to get better deal because PayPal’s exchange rate is sucks. For example as of today (01 Jan 2014):

  • USD-SGD in Yahoo! Finance is 1.2630. E.g. US$100 will get S$126.30
  • But if you withdraw from PayPal to your bank account, PayPal will give you rate 1.23067. E.g. US$100 will get S$123.06
  • Worse, if you convert your SGD balance to USD, PayPal will give use rate 1.2930. E.g. S$129.30 will get US$100

Consider the scenario where we have two person. Person A has USD PayPal balance to withdraw. Person B want to top-up his PayPal USD balance. Both of them agreed to use Yahoo’s rate, e.g. 1.2630. So first, Person B transfer to A’s POSB account S$126.30. Then, Person A send US$100 to B’s PayPal account.

Unfortunately, B will not have US$100 in his balance because PayPal charged transaction fee. The transaction fee is 3.9% + S$0.5, which is US$4.4. This means effectively the exchange rate used is 1.3211, which is very unfair to Person B.

To make it fair, Person A must send amount in which after transaction fee cut, is US$100. This value would be: US$104.57. This US$4.57 is the transaction fee, which will be split into two, i.e. US$2.285. So in this arrangement, Person A send US$104.57 to Person B. Person B transfer to S$129.18 (US$102.285 x 1.2630).

So using this scheme: Person B will save 11 cents in every US$100. Equally, Person A will get extra around 25 cents in every US$100. If you’re interested to use this scheme, you can use the calculator below.

PayPal Personal Payment Calculator

USD PayPal Amount intended to transfer:
Yahoo’s USD-SGD Rate:
SGD Amount for Bank Transfer
USD Amount for PayPal Transfer:

Above steps kinda look like too much hassle for just saving 45 cents in every US$100. But it might worth it if you transfer frequently.

Another method to get even better deal is the Person A buys directly the goods/services, with the Person B’s address as the shipping address. This way, both Person A and Person B will earn/save around S$3 for every US$100.


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