Getting Paid

Keeping more of your hard-earned money when teaching English online.


U.S. Account Holders

If you already have a U.S.-based bank account, it will be easy for you to collect your paycheque. The majority of these companies pay directly into U.S. bank accounts that have ACH or ABA numbers.  This means you can get paid without paying any banking fees.

For those of you who do not have U.S.-based bank accounts, it can be a little trickier. Most of the companies will pay via international wire transfer and cover some of the costs, but if you are working over 20 hours a week, you can lose up to $100 in banking fees. This is because your home bank will often charge a fee to accept the foreign wire transfer AND it will skim some of your money when you exchange the currency.

For Canadians:

We here at Online English Teaching live and work in Canada. A number of Canadian banks offer U.S. currency accounts, however they are actually not based in the U.S. and getting paid into these accounts will still require your employer to use an international wire transfer.

Two Canadian banks (TD and RBC) actually offer U.S.-based accounts.  The problems with these accounts are:

  • you may have to visit the branch to open the account

  • you may have to pay monthly banking fees (in addition to exchange fees) if you do not maintain a minimum balance

  • you may have to call the bank to move your money from your U.S. account to your Canadian account

  • you have to pay your bank’s exchange rate (usually much worse than market value)



The solution for all non-americans

We personally recommend TransferWise for anyone who does not have a U.S.-based bank account.

Why? TransferWise allows you to open a virtual U.S. bank account, no matter what your nationality is.

Because most of the companies we work with will pay into a U.S. account with no fees, you can get paid into your virtual TransferWise U.S. account.

From there, you can then use TransferWise to withdraw the money from your virtual US account to your local bank account. TransferWise doesn’t skim any money when converting your currency, unlike other services such as PayPal. They give you the Google market exchange rate for that day.

Look at this real-life example:

PayPal says there is no fee, but look at the exchange rate. The market exchange rate that day was $1.330970 CAD. PayPal skimmed over $100 on the exchange.

PayPal says there is no fee, but look at the exchange rate. The market exchange rate that day was $1.330970 CAD. PayPal skimmed over $100 on the exchange.

A flat fee and no exchange rate skimming with TransferWise.

A flat fee and no exchange rate skimming with TransferWise.


It’s a little difficult to see the difference between these two photos because the amount I was exchanging was slightly different.

However, in the photo on the left, I transferred $2,594 USD to my Canadian account using PayPal. The ACTUAL market exchange rate on that day was $1.330970 CAD. You can see in the red circle that PayPal gave me an exchange rate of $1.286318. 

Using the real exchange rate that day, I should have gotten $3,452.87 CAD.  But, using PayPal’s exchange rate, I got $3,337.03. That means I essentially lost $115.84 in that transaction.

Now, look at the photo on the right.

Using TransferWise with a similar amount of money, I only paid $11.35 USD in fees.  That’s it. TransferWise uses the Google exchange rate that day without skimming any money on the exchange.

That’s a difference of over $100. This is significant, especially when you think about how much you would lose in a year.

We like TransferWise because:

  • it’s free to sign-up for

  • you can set up your account from the comfort of your home

  • there are no monthly fees

  • you can move money from your computer

  • you don’t pay an inflated bank exchange rate

  • their fees are quite low, and

  • you can calculate your total fees before proceeding with any transaction

  • Check out their fee structure here.


*If you use the links on this page to sign up for TransferWise, you will pay ZERO FEES on your first $650 in transfers. 



Payoneer is another online financial service, similar to PayPal and Transferwise.

Payoneer is REQUIRED for teachers who teach with PalFish. It is an option for those teaching with Whales English.


Payoneer is free to sign up for, but it does charge some fees for certain transactions. With Payoneer, if you are withdrawing your money to a “real” bank account in the same currency, you pay:

  • $1.50 USD,

  • €1.50 EUR, or

  • £1.50 GBP per withdrawal.

As you can see, this only works if your local bank is in USD, EUR, or GBP.

If you are withdrawing your money from Payoneer to your local bank account and exchanging currency, Payoneer gives you the mid-market rate (which you can find on and applies a 2% fee to the transaction.

For example, if you got paid $2000 USD into your Payoneer account, and wanted to withdraw it to your Australian account using today’s rate, you would pay the following:

$2000 USD = $2,837.12 AUD
2% conversion fee = $56.74 AUD
Total received = $2780.38

If you use our sign up link you can get a $25 bonus after you receive your first $1000 in pay. We also receive a $25 bonus.



PayPal was one of the first companies to start using online payment, invoicing and exchange technology.

PayPal is a great option if you do not have to exchange currency. This is great for U.S.-based teachers. It’s free to sign up for, and it’s fees are very low if you aren’t exchanging currency.

Gogokid gives its teachers the option to be paid into PayPal. And, VIPKid is also going to be giving teachers this option very soon.

However, if you have to exchange currency, we strongly recommend TransferWise. See above for more details.