Skip to Content

PayPal vs Payoneer: What is best for a student’s money?

Students are always looking for ways to save money. The cost of living is going up every year, and their limited income doesn’t allow them to spend relentlessly. This is why those students who work as freelancers and have a lot of online transactions need to choose their money platform wisely.

If that’s the case with you, you’re probably trying to figure out which service is better for your money: PayPal or Payoneer.

PayPal and Payoneer are two of the most widely used money transaction platforms today. At first glance, they may seem similar. But, there are differences that students need to consider before choosing which one to go with. Below, we’ll discuss those differences.

PayPal and Payoneer: Overview

Let’s begin by doing a quick overview of both companies to cover the basics and understand how each one works.

−        PayPal Basics

PayPal is an American company and the world’s most popular system for making online money transfers. It currently takes 54% of the digital payment market share. This electronic commerce company currently has around 400 million active users.

It’s based on a simple principle that allows users to create an account and then link it to their credit or debit card, and finish all transactions directly through PayPal, instead of through the bank. It’s almost like a mediator between its users and their bank.

Additionally, it allows its users to shop and pay directly from their PayPal balance, without transferring all the money to their cards. That means students can pay for their clothes, school supplies, or even professional writing services on GrabMyEssay. It’s a significant convenience, especially for students who do a lot of online shopping.

−        Payoneer Basics

Payoneer is also an American company that enables users to receive and send money online, and overseas. Users need to create an account that will allow them to start the process of managing their money transfers online. This simple technology that Payoneer uses, allows them to connect with employers or merchants and easily transfer money.

Once the money is on your account, there are different things you can do with it:

  • transfer it to a local bank account
  • make payments directly
  • withdraw money on ATMs with the Payoneer debit card
  • pay for a variety of services

It’s simple to use and makes the process of receiving and sending money extremely easy, especially if it’s overseas.

Both companies offer similar services and students can benefit from using each one. But, we need to dig deeper to find out which company is better for your money.


As a student, you’re probably most interested in the fees each of the platforms will charge you for your money transfers. Naturally, this will depend on your specific case – who’s sending you money, where from, and how you plan on spending it.

We’ll compare the fees and rates of both companies to help you decide which might work better for your unique case.

−        PayPal Fees

Let us first take a look at the fees you’ll be facing if you choose PayPal as your money transfer management system.

1.    Receiving Money

When you’re receiving earned money via PayPal, you’ll need to pay the payment processing rate which ranges from 1.9% to 3.4% for each transaction. If you receive a lot of transactions, this could add up to quite a sum on the yearly level. But, if you receive money rarely, it’s not so bad.

2.    Withdrawing Money

If you’re transferring money to a bank account domestically, the fee will range around 2.9% plus a fixed fee per transaction that is $0.30. If you’re sending it internationally, outside the US, the fee will be 5% of the transaction. However, the minimum fee is $0.99 and the maximum fee is $4.9.

3.    Paying

When you’re paying directly from your PayPal balance, no fees apply if the payment is in the same currency as your balance. Let’s say you want to pay for the services of If your PayPal balance is in USD, there will be no additional fees.

−        Payoneer Fees

Now, let’s analyze the fees that run through your Payoneer account, to see if it’s similar to what PayPal offers, or if it provides a different customer experience.

1.    Receiving Money

Receiving money on Payoneer is free if the sender also has a Payoneer account. But, if the clients are sending you money via credit card or ACH bank debit (which is only available in the US), then the fee rate will go from 1% to 3%, depending on the specific case.

Also, if you’re receiving payments from integrated platforms such as Wish, Fiverr, Upwork, or Airbnb, fees that are set by the marketplace will apply.

2.    Withdrawing Money

Withdrawing money from your PayPal balance will also cost a couple of dollars, once again, depending on how and where you’re doing it. Here’s how it works:

  • withdrawing money in a local currency that differs from your Payoneer balance currency will cost up to 2% of the transaction amount
  • withdrawing money in a local currency that is the same as your Payoneer balance currency is $1.50 per withdrawal
  • withdrawing money in a non-local currency will cost up to 2% of the transaction amount

3.    Paying

If you want to pay using your Payoneer account directly, it’s free to pay another Payoneer user. But, if you’re transferring money to their bank account, the fees will go up to 2%.

Final Verdict

As you can see, there are a number of similarities between the two most popular money transfer platforms. Students need to consider their unique needs and think about the type of transactions they’ll be conducting mostly.

This will help them decide which fees are working better for them, and which platform will save them more money. Hopefully, this guide helps you make the right decision and start managing your money transfers simply and wisely.

Author’s Bio

Barbara Fielder is a financial advisor and a blogger. She loves sharing easy-to-apply tips to help people improve their budget, save money, and manage their finances like professionals.


Jeff Campbell