How to avoid Paypal currency conversion / foreign exchange fees on eBay for international purchases

By default, Paypal wants to do the foreign exchange conversion of your payment for you because Paypal pockets ~2.5% from your purchase, just like most credit cards would anyway. However, if you use a credit card that has no foreign exchange fees, you want to be billed in the currency of the seller when using Paypal on eBay for example.  In Canada the Chase Visa card has no forex fees and 1% cash back.  In the USA and other countries there are similar cards available. Below are the steps to set up Paypal so that you pay in the seller’s currency on your credit card.

  1. Click the Settings gear icon in the top right corner of Paypal after logging in.

  2. Click Payments tab, and then click Manage pre-approved payments button.

  3. Click Set available funding sources link at the top right corner of the section illustrated below

  4. Next to the card you want to use with no foreign exchange fees, click Conversion Options link.

  5. Click the circle Bill me in the currency listed on the seller’s invoice as shown below.  And then click Submit 

  6. On the next window click Save

    That is it. Now when you buy something on eBay you will have the option to select that credit card and the price displayed in the checkout on eBay should remain in the currency of the seller.


14 Comments on "How to avoid Paypal currency conversion / foreign exchange fees on eBay for international purchases"

  1. That’s a good tip about using a low-/no-forex fee cards. The problem is that such cards tend to have relatively hefty yearly fees which can easily surpass whatever little difference PayPal’s forex markup might be.

    That tip is best suited to people who make very large and frequent transactions because then, the yearly fee will be overshadowed by the savings. If you only make a the occasional small purchase on eBay or something, then you are probably better off just letting your card company do it’s normal bank-customer forex rate (either way, it’s the same result since PayPal’s rate is usually higher than the bank’s).

  2. So once you’ve started BIN and gone through the procedure and picked the “bill me in the currency listed…” and now have your new card in the PP system, do you still have to open Conversion Options all over again with next new purchase or will the process occur automatically? In any case, at that stage the card will now be in one’s PP account. Does it have to be removed and then re-entered via ebay again on next purchase to re-set the advantage? You said NOT to change card thru PP but to do it via ebay but it does end up showing as a funding source in PP; so I’m not sure about this last thing. BTW, I just bought something using this method a few minutes ago. It’ll be interesting to see what forex rate I end up paying. :-)

  3. Curtis, thanks for this helpful post. I have a Chase visa card. I’ll let my card handle the currency exchange, and not the exorbitant eBay/PayPal.

  4. IT WORKED!!! Thank you very much for thins info. I live in Guatemala but my credit card is in US Dollars and it kept charging in Quetzales (Guatemalan currency) i couldnt find a way, even contacted CS but nothing… THANK YOU VERY MUCH

  5. Those PayPal pigs hied convertion properties in the deepest hole like this:

    My Account -> Profile -> My Money -> My preapproved payments -> Update -> See Available Funding Sources (or Set Available Funding Sources) -> Conversion Options (for card you’d like to change this option)-> Bill me in the currency listed on the seller’s invoice -> Submit

    These bastards screwed me with double convertion fee where my card was in USD and invoice in USD but thanks to PayMore my USD invoice was converted to national currency and then taken from USD card where it took another fee.

    I lost about 7%. Actually it wasn’t very much thanks to small incvoice but I’d rather throw those money away than feeling how I was raped by them. These pigs try to work on Casino scheme where “Casino never loose”.

    1. Thank you so much James, I was looking for hours and hours for this. I even contacted ebay support who didn’t know and they said they would get back to me in a few days! Madness. As the PayPal website has changed slightly, here’s the most up to date road map:

      Paypal Account Home –> Settings –> Payments –> Manage pre-approved payments –> Set Available Funding Sources –> Conversion Options –> Bill me in the currency listed on the seller’s invoice.

      1. Hugh,
        So, just to confirm, we must choose to pay using Paypal, yes? On the payment page in ebay, we can’t just choose to pay using Credit Card. We must choose the “Pay using Credit Card through PayPal”.

      2. Hugh, your road map is still accurate today. May the Fourth be with you!

  6. Does this work for purchases at sites other than ebay once it is set up via ebay? If my card is already linked in Paypal, does it need to be removed before doing this?

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