How to teach online


Online teachers - You could literally be saving yourself up to $100 a month each time you get paid online by switching to any one of these banks PLUS find out why Paypal may not be the best option ...

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The three best online banks are …

Yep, it’s a  popular question and  is one from the online teaching community to Digi-teach that we get asked again and again so here’s all the info you need to make qualified decisions on how you can get the most bang for your buck when your online teaching pay hits your account. 

… And this is obviously a really important question if you don’t want to get skipped in the pay cycle be it working for yourself or working for an online platform.

online teachers pay

The most important thing that most online teachers forget when they first start teaching online

You may be surprised to learn that before you start worrying over conversion rates and conversion charges when you start teaching online that there is one super important fact that you must not overlook and that is to find out how does your chosen company, employer of client pay?

This may seem totally ridiculous  as you reading this as you may be thinking, hang on a minute everyone uses Paypal – right, or my actual high street bank like Barclays – right; So receiving my online pay will  no problem -right? Actually nope, totally wrong. 

Now here’s the thing! Online platforms in particular are super particular about how they ‘will’ send payments. Note the ‘will’ Their is a finite difference in the ESL online teaching world when it comes to ‘will’ and ‘can’. Just know that now so you don’t have a steep learning curve, in many areas …

Anyway what I mean by that is one online ESL company in China may not and often do not pay in the same way as another online ESL company.

The fact that they are both ESL companies and both in China here means nothing for the purpose of receiving your online teaching or freelance pay.

For example, Palfish will only pay teachers pay to Payoneer. You are paid by Palfish In Chinese Yuan, so your lesson rate is in Chinese Yuan.

DaDaabc will only use Paypal and they set your online teachers pay in dollar. So your lesson rate or pay per hour is in Amercian dollars.

ITutorgroup will only pay to a high street bank in your country of residence!! They also pay teachers the rate of the country they are living in. So if you live in the UK, the US or Canada for example you can achieve a pretty decent lesson rate. 

See the difference? So it is really important that you know this from early on and open up a few of the most used online banks if you want to receive your online teaching pay. 


Most ESL platforms will pay you your hourly online teaching pay in dollars. A few will pay you in Chinese Yuan and then convert that each month into US dollars – so getting a good conversion rate each month is key (more on how you can save on this later). Some companies like iTutorgroup will only pay you in the currency of the country that you are actually resident in when teaching. So, having options for receiving online payments is really important – more than one option possibly three is wise.


Paypal has been around now for donkey’s years and is often the preferred ‘go-to’ for online payments.

Paypal has also built a solid reputation of being a really secure means of both receiving and making online payments but you can stand to loose a little chunk of your online pay in two ways if you get paid online with Paypal.

The first reason is in Paypals conversion rate.


In the world of International money and the subject of converting money from one currency to another their is only one rate that counts and that is what si called the ‘mid-market’ rate. It is also known as the ‘wholesale, spot or interbank rate.’ The mid-market rate is what  most banks use. 

When Paypal convert your online teachers pay they then add a mark up to the ‘mid-market’ rate that they get from third parties, like banks.

Paypal then add a further 2.5% charge if and for online teachers receiving their online teaching pay, the following will be the general norm for most online teachers:

  • Converting money from one currency to another, not in connection to any transaction.
  • Withdrawing funds from your paypal balance held in a currency other than U.S dollars to the bank account linked to your Paypal account.

So Paypal may not be the best option if Cash is king in your book. Now let’s look at the high Street bank.


Along with many changes in the digital world that have sped up processes in most things globally, high street banks are still highlighting the fact that they really can’t keep up with the pace here either.

If you get your online teaching pay paid into a high street bank not only will it take on average 3-10 days longer to go through  their archaically slow clearing, process which means you generally get your salary later but they also charge you for this priviledge.

Yes, High street banks, like Paypal also add a percentage, mark up to the ‘real exchange rate’, on top of tha they then add a transaction fee – that’s nice, isn’t it? 

So how do you navigate through all this, get your online teaching pay and not get stung each month with hefty and inflated mark ups? 

Well Digi-teach and the Digi-teach online teaching community have been using Payoneer, Transferwise and Revolut for a number of years. Unlike Paypal and most banks, as these three online banks have got bigger the benefits to the consumer, so that’s you and me have got better. Isn’t that how it really should be?  So let’s compare them.

Online teacher pay

Revoult is an excellent alternative to the high street bank. Payment, direct debits and online purchases as well as receiving online teachers pay is just some of the many things that you get with Revoult. The best part is they take 0% and charge 0% for receiving your online teachers pay from another country.

I personally love the fact that not only do they not make money out of my online transactions each month but they keep my money safe. I hate  cards, they always get lost somewhere by my computer. With Revoult, they can issue you a real card and or a virtual card. The virtual card you can lock on your phone and lock all the details of the card. 

You can also open different currency accounts on Revoult and even transfer Cryptocurrency as quick and simple as a swipe. A neat feature is setting up currency price alerts. So you can hold money in one currency account and as soon as it peaks or drops swap it to another.

Many online ESL companies will pay into Revoult instead of a high street bank, so if you haven’t already consider making the switch to save more money. Making payments from their app is as simple as calling someone on your phone and as quick. Check it out here, you won’t be dissapointed. 

Transferwise now called Wise is very similar to Revoult. Wise is a borderless account and because of that means that with the one card, you can pay for things in up to 30 different currencies and not be stung with hefty fees or conversion costs, as on average they are 8X cheaper than most high street banks. Urghh, it’s horrid to think isn’t it how much High Street banks have been making out of online teachers all these years!!

And just incase there are any none believers out there, here is a handy info graph for ya! Transferwise takes literally minutes to open and is currently the Digit-teach preferred bank due to it’s total flexibility at rates yet that have not been beaten elsewhere. 

Payoneer is a really handed alternative to getting your online teachers pay if you get paid in a foreign currency and that is because they give you a local USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, AUD, CAD & MXN receiving account so your clients can pay you as easily as if you had a local bank account. 

But it is not automatic, you do need to ask for it and the process can be quite lengthy. Nothing like as quick as Transferwise for example.

So let’s say you sign up to work with Palfish for example, who are a great company to teach online with especially if you don’t have a degree. Our advice would be to start the process with Payoneer immediately because Palfish only pay via Payoneer.

Of course all of the above online banks lend themselves perfectly well to one other thing that online teachers really need to take full advantage of and that is a little holiday time or a few weeks away somewhere different to teach.

Get $40 off your next AirBnb with Digiteach here and save even more with Digi-teach with your next flights anywhere here.

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