If you have a balance on your PayPal account, you can get it mailed to you as a paper check. There's a fee for this service. You can also transfer the funds to a linked bank account or debit card, use them to buy something or send them to a friend or family member. In the United States, it can take up to two weeks to get a check from PayPal, and it can take longer in other countries.
Requesting a Check
If you have a PayPal balance and want to receive a check, you can request one through PayPal's website. The company says U.S. customers should receive a check within one to two weeks, though getting the check can take up to six weeks in other countries. PayPal advises you to contact the company if a check doesn't arrive within that time, using the contact options on its website.
PayPal does charge a fee for receiving a check. Once the check arrives, you can deposit or cash it as with any other paper check.
If you don't want to wait for a check or don't want to pay the fee, there are other ways to get money out of a PayPal account.
If you have a linked bank account, you can transfer money there from PayPal for free, and it should arrive the next business day, assuming you made the transfer before 7 PM on a weekday. You can also transfer money to a Visa or MasterCard debit or prepaid card for a small fee, and the funds typically arrive within half an hour.
If you want to keep your balance with PayPal but be able to spend it and withdraw it from ATMs, you can get a PayPal Debit MasterCard, which allows you to use your PayPal balance anywhere MasterCard is accepted. You can also withdraw up to $400 from ATMs per day, though you may have to pay ATM fees.
You can also send funds for free to friends and family in the U.S. and Canada, which may be helpful if you owe someone money or they can more easily withdraw the funds. You can send to other countries as well, though there are fees involved, which vary from country to country.
It's also free to make purchases with your PayPal balance at online stores that accept it, though the merchant is charged a fee to accept PayPal.
- To get your money more quickly, you can have the funds transferred to your bank account, which takes only three to four business days. There is no fee for this service.
- The PayPal debit card is even faster. You can access funds immediately through an ATM or charge purchases directly to the card. ATM or foreign currency transaction fees may apply.
- PayPal will issue the check in the name of the account holder, so you will not be able to send a PayPal check to someone else.
- Sending a check to someone else's address requires you to provide the recipient's credit card number to add the mailing address to your PayPal account.
Steven Melendez is an independent journalist with a background in technology and business. He has written for a variety of business publications including Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, Innovation Leader and Ad Age. He was awarded the Knight Foundation scholarship to Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.