Fees for PayPal & Banco Nacional in Costa Rica

With the enthusiasm of the small to medium sized businesses of Costa Rica now being able to use PayPal with the help of Banco Nacional as announced on April 27th, there are some things you should pay close attention to....YOUR MONEY.

Although this opens up online transactions that then can be transfered into your BN Account in Costa Rica, the fees to do so seem pretty darn high.


For a $100 transaction using this solution and your clients AMEX, you will actually NET $83.30 after it finally gets into your BN Account and this does not include any Currency Exchange fees that may occur. See the details below that was published in the Costa Rican Star and also linked in ElCocoBeach.com Here. Keep in mind that this is for sales of less than $3000 per month and takes 5 days after requesting your money from PayPal.

If it is a quick $50 sale and you want some fast cash, you will NET $36.05 and receive it in 5 days.


Monthly Sales Price Per Transaction*
Costa Rica  
$0.00 USD - $3,000.00 USD 5.4% + $0.30 USD
$3,000.01 USD - $10,000.00 USD (Merchant Rate qualification required) 4.9% + $0.30 USD
$10,000.01 USD - $100,000.00 USD (Merchant Rate qualification required) 4.7% + $0.30 USD
> $100,000.00 USD (Merchant Rate qualification required) 4.4% + $0.30 USD


Other PayPal Fees:

*Currency Exchange Transactions: If your transaction requires a currency conversion, PayPal charges a retail exchange fee based on the rates set by an external financial institution. The currency conversion amount also includes a 3.5% foreign transaction fee. The currency conversion fee varies by currency.

Withdrawing PayPal funds from Banco Nacional (PDF DOWNLOAD): This must be done from the online banking platform using the physical token. Withdrawals are limited to $10,000 per instance and per day. They can only be withdrawn in U.S. dollars and will take 5 working days to be transferred from the PayPal virtual account to the Banco Nacional account. The bank will take a fee of $11 as commission, or 0.5 percent of the requested amount over $2,200. This means that if you want to withdraw $20, you’ll pay $11, and if you withdraw $3,000 you’ll pay $15. This does not include the fees already paid to PayPal.

In addtion to the fees mentioned above, it should be noted that while PayPal users share very little information with each other, the company is known for its meticulous record keeping, data mining, and history of readily providing information to American law enforcement agencies with just a faxed request. The information released includes name, telephone number, address, email, and transaction information.

Should the above be a concern to Banco Nacional account holders? When dealing with any financial services provider, it is important to review all disclosures regarding record keeping and handling of information. Americans banking abroad already have to worry about FATCA and a proposed passport restriction for tax dodgers, it is thus incumbent upon them to make sure their privacy is not compromised further

It seems like a nice luxury to have this type of ability to received payments but read the details of everything before you jump in to bed with PayPal & Banco Nacional.


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