Paypal: Convert EUR to USD?
Thread poster: Paulette Romero

Paulette Romero  Identity Verified
Colombia
Local time: 00:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
Nov 25, 2016

I have an American paypal account in USD and I have a client from Spain that pays me in EUR. Normally when they pay me I just convert the amount into USD, but I have a feeling that I am losing money by doing this.

What does everyone else do when they receive a payment via paypal that is not in their own currency? Do you accept the payment and convert it into USD or accept the payment but keep an account in EUR?

Thanks for any insight!


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:13
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I try to avoid conversions Nov 25, 2016

Paulette Romero wrote:
I have an American paypal account in USD and I have a client from Spain that pays me in EUR. Normally when they pay me I just convert the amount into USD, but I have a feeling that I am losing money by doing this.

What does everyone else do when they receive a payment via paypal that is not in their own currency?

I have exactly the opposite situation, but I keep a separate USD balance in my EUR PayPal account. When I find something online that I want to buy, and that's available in USD or in multiple currencies, I use some/all of my USD balance. It also came in handy a while back when I really wanted to donate to a charity. It's somehow easier to donate a foreign currency than your own. Illogical but there you are .

Normally though I try to dissuade clients from paying me in anything other than EUR. I do have a GBP bank account so that's acceptable from UK-based clients only, but I NEVER accept anything other than those three currencies.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:13
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I allow it Nov 25, 2016

Paulette Romero wrote:
What does everyone else do when they receive a payment via PayPal that is not in their own currency? Do you accept the payment and convert it into USD or accept the payment but keep an account in EUR?


I simply accept the payment in the currency in which it arrives (or whatever PayPal decides). There are bound to be conversion fees anyway. Only you can figure out (if you can, in fact) if PayPal's conversion rate is more favourable than that of your own bank.

The only slight downside to having multiple balances in PayPal is that if you want to withdraw the money, you can't withdraw from more than one balance at a time.

So, suppose you have EUR 1000 and USD 1000 in your account, then you can buy something worth USD 1500 (PayPal will simply grab the other USD 500 from your EUR balance (unless I'm mistaken)), but if you want to withdraw USD 1500, then you have to withdraw USD 1000 from your USD balance and then separately withdraw USD 500 from your EUR balance (you'll be withdrawing EUR, so your bank will do the conversion to USD then). And if your bank charges a fee with incoming payments, then you pay that fee twice, since it's two withdrawals.



[Edited at 2016-11-25 17:32 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:13
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Have both Nov 25, 2016

Paulette Romero wrote:

What does everyone else do when they receive a payment via paypal that is not in their own currency? Do you accept the payment and convert it into USD or accept the payment but keep an account in EUR?

Thanks for any insight!


Hi Paulette,

I don't know if it's possible in the US, it should be, but you can have 2 currencies' accounts under the same email address, one in USD, the other in Euros. That's what I have. PayPal's conversion rate is - of course - in their favor, e. g. the rate is 91,7889 and they'll give you only 91,78 instead of 91,79. But when you have both currencies you can decide when to convert. You have the option to see how much you would receive for the USD/Eur without actually exchanging the money.


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Preston Decker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:13
Member (2013)
Chinese to English
Try to avoid receiving EUR Nov 25, 2016

I convert if I receive EUR, but I've found that it's often possible to receive USD by simply asking the client ahead of time. I've only had one client say no (they're the one I convert for), but the rest have been happy to send USD. I'm sure all European agencies receive USD payments and probably maintain at least some USD in their account to avoid their own conversion fees . So be sure to ask if you can switch to USD payment.

[Edited at 2016-11-26 03:41 GMT]


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Paulette Romero  Identity Verified
Colombia
Local time: 00:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Currency account in EUR Nov 25, 2016

It seems to me the consensus is to keep a currency account in EUR so that's what I did. I'm guessing the long run I will probably lose less money this way by way of currency conversion and exchange rates. Thanks!

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
Euros vs US dollars Nov 27, 2016

Paulette,

Whatever the agency or financial institution you use (PayPal, Xoom, your local bank, Western Union, etc.), currency conversion fees are part of their bread and butter operations. They're unavoidable. The best we can do is minimize the cost but keeping in mind whether our workarounds are worth the extra time.

Whenever I am faced with a business-related dilemma, I remind myself that time is money, my money. Hence, if a workaround that will save me 2 dollars will take me 30 minutes of my time, and I've calculated my time to be worth, say, $20 an hour, then I'm wasting time and money.

I don't see why receiving payment in USD or euros should be an issue, however. Any fees charged by PayPal or the bank are a business expense. We America-based translators can deduct those expenses from our tax returns. I am assuming the Colombian tax authority extends a similar service?

Saludos.



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