You need to send money to Spain from USA for your dream vacation home or maybe just need a company to help you wire money to Spain in a cheap and easy way? Well, you are in the right place because we have dedicated an entire article about this topic and we will be showing our readers how easy and cheap, or even free, it is to transfer money to Spain.
If you are accustomed to use banks for your international money transfer needs, you will quickly find out how much money you have thrown away. Just look at the table below and see how these institutions charge ridiculous fees:
|Bank||International Wire Transfer Fee|
|Banco Santander||0.75% of send amount (€34-40 minimum)|
|BBVA||0.2%-0.7% of send amount (€6-35 minimum)|
|Banco Popular||0.3%-0.7% of send amount (€3-30 minimum)|
|CaixaBank||0.4%-0.6% of send amount (€3.95-8 minimum)|
Unaware or sceptical of alternatives, bank customers lose hundreds, even thousands of EUR annually. However, international money transfer companies in Spain are cheaper, quicker, and just as safe as established providers.
Millions of customers enjoy their low/no fees, and thin exchange rate margins every day. By switching, you could do the same.
Our Top 3 International Money Transfer Companies for Spain Transfers
Not long ago, we did detailed research on how to send money from Spain to UK. Based on what we found, here are the top three firms for international money transfer from Spain.
International Money Transfer Providers – Your Low-Cost Alternative to the Banks
So, given all the benefits of online international money transfer from Spain – why do people stick to the big banks? For starters, convenience keeps many rooted where they are. In many cases, it’s easier to stick to the status quo than risk disappointment with something new.
Others legitimately fear the unknown. Sure, their bank might be greedy, but what if online money transfer is a scam? Also, many people don’t know how to send money from Spain to USA. So, they leave these matters to their banker.
This objection is easy to overcome – just like established financial institutions, financial regulators monitor the activities of international money transfer companies. The fact that they have licenses from the FCA and the Bank of Spain should assure you that they are legit firms.
On the other hand, overcoming convenience is much more challenging. In the absence of significant evidence, it’s tough to convince anyone to change their financial institution. Fortunately, the numbers are very much on the side of international money transfer providers. Allow us to show you an example.
Let’s assume you live in Spain, but you transfer money from Spain to UK to pay your mortgage. Every month, you send 1,500 GBP back home. Use Banco Santander, and they’ll start by charging a fee worth 0.75% of your send amount. In this example, you’ll have to pay at least 34 EUR, as that’s the minimum fee they charge. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s 2% of the send amount upfront – ouch!
But, as bad as that is, they’re just getting started. Unlike other banks, Banco Santander isn’t upfront with their international exchange rates. However, these institutions will often charge rates that are 3% off the interbank rate, or the real rate of exchange.
In our example, this means that Santander would charge a EUR/GBP rate of 0.8687. To send 1,500 GBP back home, you’ll need to cough up 1760.72 EUR. To put that in the proper context, though, let’s see what you would have paid if you could have used the interbank rate. At press time, the EUR/GBP interbank rate was 0.8956. Sans fees, you would only have to ship 1674.86 EUR back to the UK.
Now, you can’t move money like a broker. But, with firms like Currencies Direct, you can get close. For transfers like the one in this example, they often offer rates 0.5% off interbank. In this case, that would mean they’d offer a EUR/GBP rate of 0.8910. At this price, without fees, you’d only have to send 1683.51 EUR back to Great Britain. In other words, you’d save roughly 77 EUR per month, or 924 EUR every year.
How on Earth do companies like Currencies Direct do this? They lack the overhead and shareholder pressure that burdens the banks. As a result, they can cut deep into the fat in the existing system, while still making comfortable profits.
That’s the beauty of competition – everyone wins, except for those dependent on monopolies.
Why People Transfer Money From Spain
Every day, people and businesses move millions of Euro to/from Spain. Below, we’ll address the top reasons for doing so.
- Best money transfer companies UK
- Best money transfer companies Australia
- Best money transfer companies USA
- Best money transfer companies Canada
- Best money transfer companies France
- Best money transfer companies Ireland
- Best money transfer companies Hong Kong
- Best money transfer companies UAE
Buying Overseas Property
Most nations in Europe have a high degree of integration with each other. While many people live their entire lives in one country, some choose to move to other parts of the EU for work. At the same time, some opt to purchase recreational properties in another country.
These situations lead to Spaniards buying homes in places like the UK, Croatia, and other places. However, international real estate purchases aren’t as easy as they look. Firstly, you must be aware of local regulations. Also, the viewing process can get time-consuming, as it’s never a great idea to buy a property sight unseen.
However, your choice of transfer provider matters as well. When purchasing within Europe, this generally won’t be an issue. After all, most international wire transfer companies in Spain offer currencies like GBP, CHF, and even HRK.
But, what if you wanted to buy a villa in an “exotic” country like North Macedonia? Whenever possible, ensure that your provider offers the local currency. When reviewing a site, quickly skim through the currencies they offer. In our example, if they offer MKD, you’re good to go.
Next, when looking into wire transfer companies in Spain, see if they impose a maximum transfer limit. Firms that apply these caps pose problems for medium-sized businesses and in pricier real estate transactions. Because of this, we don’t recommend Transferwise. Right now, this top transfer provider limits transactions to a maximum of 1.2 million EUR.
Lastly, hedging tools are a must for real estate transfers. The bigger your transaction gets, the more risk you are exposed to. In recent times, geopolitics and other events have caused currency rates to become unsettled. Thanks to this instability, moves of 1% or more are no longer unusual. If the market moves against you while you are waiting to transfer money from Spain to USA, you could lose thousands of Euro.
By having a forward contract in place, you’ll be safe. In exchange for a slightly less favourable price, you’ll gain cost certainty, as it locks in a guaranteed rate. This way, you can sleep easier at night.
Every service recommended on this page offers its customers forward contracts. All three also offer dedicated dealers. So, which service should you choose, then? In our opinion, we think TorFX is your best option. According to our analysis, they offer average margins of 0.5%. The larger your international money transfer from Spain, the better it gets for you.
However, an honourable mention goes to Moneycorp. While their margin is the worst of the three options, they offer more than 120 currencies. If you’re buying somewhere exotic, they likely have the currency you’re seeking.
Solution – TorFX
Making Mortgage Payments From Abroad
Many Britons own a holiday or retirement property in Spain. At the same time, though, they may also have real estate back in the UK. Usually, it’s paid for, but sometimes, they are still paying down their mortgage back home.
So, while they soak up the sun, they still need to meet their obligations in Britain. As they do this, though, they slowly bleed money due to excessive fees and fat bank margins. Over many months and years, this sum can add up to an embarrassing amount.
Stop the haemorrhaging – transfer money from Spain to UK using an online money transfer firm. By doing so, you’ll cease paying fees, and you’ll move your mortgage payment at exchange rates that are far more favourable.
But, that’s not the only way these firms can save you cash. They also offer forward contracts, which can protect you against sudden market movements.
So, which company offers the best deal on international money transfer from Spain? Once again, TorFX is the best. All three money transfer firms don’t charge fees, have excellent customer service, and have hedging tools. So, it all comes down to margins.
On this point, TorFX is just better. Their average exchange rate margin sits around 0.5%, while their competition is notably higher. And, the occasional time they get beat, TorFX will gladly price match better rates.
As a result, TorFX offers international money transfer from Spain for mortgage transfers.
Solution – TorFX
Recovering Overseas Profits
Many online sellers have based themselves in Spain. It’s not hard to see why – Spain is openly courting online entrepreneurs, and the weather there is fantastic year-round.
However, the online-selling life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. When moving cash from international marketplaces, conversion fees can gouge their profits. Amazon is particularly shameless when it comes to ripping off their sellers. Whenever you need to move money from one currency to another, this site can charge rates as high as 3.5%.
Here’s an example to show you how bad this can get. Let’s say you make an average of 20,000 USD/month on your Amazon.com shop. When the time comes to move your USD to EUR, Amazon applies their 3.5% rate to your revenue. Every month, you give up 700 USD to Bezos & company. Over an entire year, that’s 8,400 USD you’ll never see.
There is a way you can get around this thievery, though. Some of the best money transfer companies in Spain have receiving accounts that online sellers can use to collect revenue locally. After you do this, you can change the currency at a far more acceptable exchange rate.
Of the top money transfer companies in Spain, Currencies Direct is best for online sellers. They offer dedicated accounts for online sellers and go to great pains to serve this business niche. Moneycorp also offers solutions for online sellers, but their margins are higher than Currencies Direct. Thus, Currencies Direct gets the nod from us.
Solution – Currencies Direct
Sending Cash Gifts to Loved Ones
While you’re down in Spain, your kids might be working back in the UK. Or maybe, they’re attending uni in Canada. Or perhaps, you’re working in a tourist business on the Costa del Sol, and want to send money home to loved ones.
Whatever your reason, you’ll want to maximise the amount you can send. When you use your bank or services like Moneygram/Western Union, you’ll pay too much in corrosive fees. Let’s say you need to send 300 EUR to help your adult child with car trouble. If you use Banco Santander, the upfront fee will cost you more than 10% of the send amount, which is insane.
Send that amount with the money transfer services in Spain, though, and you won’t have to deal with any fees. On this count, Moneycorp is best, as they have the lowest minimum send of our top three. With them, you can send as little as 50 GBP (~55 EUR), making it a fantastic option for remittance senders.
Solution – Moneycorp
Sending/Receiving Freelance Payments
As we’ve already discussed, Spain has become a haven for businesses. Many freelancers are also settling here, as cities like Barcelona are pleasant places to live and work. However, they still have headaches to deal with. Chief among them is the issue of currency exchange.
Many of these professionals depend upon processors like PayPal to receive funds. However, the rates they offer are terrible – often, you’ll pay a premium of 3-4% off the interbank rate. As if that wasn’t bad enough, they also offer zero protection against sudden FX fluctuations. If the market moves against you, you’re on your own.
All three wire transfer companies in Spain will save the average freelancer thousands of EUR. However, we like Currencies Direct the best. Of our recommended providers, Currencies Direct offers the easiest-to-understand small business tools. Combine that with approachable experts, and they get our vote.
Solution – Currencies Direct
B2B Money Transfers
With more businesses choosing to locate there with every passing year, it’s an exciting time to be in Spain. However, many of these firms are startups. As such, they can’t tolerate sudden gyrations in exchange rates.
For these firms, hedging tools are an essential tool. By using them for international money transfer from Spain, they have the cost certainty needed to take chances. All three firms recommended in this guide offer tools like forward contracts and stop-loss orders.
So, who wins? In our view, TorFX takes it down. As a business gets bigger, their transfers scale with it. The more you move across borders, though, the more you’ll lose to excessive margins. TorFX offers average margins of 0.5% off interbank. The more you move with this company, the thinner that margin gets. On some transfers, TorFX has offered margins as low as 0.15%.
As such, TorFX is our choice for B2B transfers.
Solution – TorFX
State of International Money Transfer in Spain
For decades, Spanish residents have used international money transfer providers to transfer money from Spain to USA (and other destinations). However, only in the past twenty years has there been serious competition in this niche.
Before then, the banks had free reign to charge whatever they wanted. Alongside Western Union and Moneygram (who were along for the ride), customers had to sack up and pay these rates.
However, things began to change for the better towards the end of the 20th century. Moneycorp, Currencies Direct, TorFX, and World First began to offer low/no fee transfers, and much better rates. Online transfers began in the 2000s, but grew slowly, as people were still sceptical of online commerce.
The 2010s ushered in significant change. First, Transferwise introduced “interbank rate” transfers, which drastically increased online traffic. Then, other transfer providers came online to ride that wave. All of a sudden, it became easy (and much cheaper) to transfer money from USA to Spain.
These days, the banks are still hanging in there. However, these players know they are in trouble. An internal Banco Santander memo revealed their sense of unease, as they know money transfer providers are flanking them on cost.
Soon, their older customers will lapse from this world. As they do, the bank’s advantage will dry up. As this happens, we expect the best international money sending companies in Spain to get even more competitive.
Other Money Transfer Options in Spain
Of course, there are more options for international money transfer from Spain than the top three promoted above. Below, we’ll list several others that Spaniards and expats use to send cash globally.
For almost 140 years, Western Union (WU) has sent cash around the globe. In 1872, they brokered the first-ever cash transfer over its telegraph wires. In fact, that’s why we often refer to money transfers as “wire transfers”.
Western Union is no longer the only show in town. However, thanks to its omnipresent network of cash pickup agents, they are still the world’s top money transfer provider by a mile. Because they continue to hold real and perceived monopolies in many countries, they continue to charge unfair rates.
Here’s an example of how bad things can get with WU. Let’s assume you want to send 100 EUR to Colombia. Off the top, WU deducts 2.90 EUR or 2.9% of your send amount. Then, they move your cash at a EUR/COP rate of 4,128. Right now, the EUR/COP interbank rate is 4,332 – or 4.7% off what Western Union is charging.
When it comes to specific currency routes, WU really puts the screws to its customers. However, players like WorldRemit are catching up. If you can’t move money to Colombia using the top three (or your recipient needs cash pickup) we recommend using WorldRemit.
The online world owes a debt of gratitude to PayPal. Because of their innovation, online shopping, finance, and business are now possible. However, as a money transfer provider, they are inferior to their competition in almost every way.
They worked closely with the banks when crafting their technology. And today, thanks to millions of loyal early adopters, they continue to get away with charging ridiculously high fees/margins. Whenever you transfer money from UK to Spain, their fees will take an unhealthy chunk of your money.
In Spain, that means paying a 3.4% on the send amount, plus a fixed 0.35 EUR fixed fee. And then, they’ll charge exchange rates that are usually 3%-4% off the interbank rate. If you use PayPal to accept money as a seller or freelancer, we recommend switching to Currencies Direct. This way, you can move money domestically, then change currencies at much better rates.
Through the 2010s, Transferwise has been the most dominant of the best money transfer companies in Spain. Once you learn their story, though, their popularity isn’t hard to figure out.
They rose to fame by offering trades at the interbank rate. In return, they charged a nominal, percentage-based transaction fee. Because of this arrangement, they often have the best rate in many markets around the world.
So, why don’t we recommend them as one of the top money transfer services in Spain? It’s not because they’re secretly evil – we love Transferwise if you need to transfer money from Spain to UK. Here’s the issue – when it comes to business accounts, they’re not that great.
Firstly, they have a maximum transfer cap. With Transferwise, you can only move 1.2 million EUR per transaction. If you are buying real estate, or if you are a medium-sized business, this policy can cause problems.
Secondly, their business tools are lacking. They do offer mass payout capability, but they seem to lack hedging tools. In today’s world of volatile currency rates, that simply won’t do. However, given their position in the marketplace, we expect this situation to change in time.
XE Money Transfer
XE gained their fame from the early days of the internet. Back in the mid-1990s, before online money transfer was a thing, they proudly broadcasted the interbank rate for all to see. At long last, people could see how badly they were getting fleeced.
By the mid-2000s, XE added a currency trading tool to their site, but it mostly went unnoticed. However, shortly after Euronet acquired XE in 2015, they rolled HiFX into this site, creating XE Money Transfer.
Now, you can move cash after checking the interbank rate. However, like all the money sending companies in Spain, XE has to make money as well. So, they charge margins that average 0.5% to 1% off interbank, which is very competitive.
However, like Transferwise, their lack of hedging tools is their downfall. In today’s environment, businesses need cost certainty. Sadly, it appears XE Money Transfer does not offer forwards or stop-losses at this time.
Because of this, they don’t make our top three.
Concluding Thoughts – Spain Money Transfers
Spain has recovered well from the Global Financial Crisis. Not only has its tourism and real estate sector rebounded, but has seen significant gains in automobile manufacturing and agribusiness. As capital flows have risen, though, so has the need to reduce losses from excessive fees.
Before the 2000s, many people had no idea how to send money from Spain to USA. These days, there are now viable alternatives to the banks. Currencies Direct, TorFX, and Moneycorp all offer fee-free transfers at low-margin exchange rates. And if you’re clueless about money transfer, they’ll walk you through the process.
Put this information in this guide into action, and we’re confident you’ll save thousands of EUR on your next international money transfer from Spain.
Prepping For A Move To Spain?
In love with tapas and cerveza? Liking good weather all year round? Than maybe Spain is indeed your ideal destination.
If you want to blend in with the locals, knowing the language is not the only problem. You need to understand the culture and to know the places. And that’s the reason for which we created the article with Best Spain Expat Blogs, a post full of tips from some of the best expat bloggers currently living in Spain. To check it out and read more, click the image below:
If you are still here, still reading this article, it means that you are now ready to change the way you send money to Spain. Forget about the banks that charge outrageous fees every time you need to make a wire transfer to Spain or send money from Spain abroad – you can do better. By using the FX companies we have listed in this guide you will get zero fee transfers, great currency exchange rates and all of this with the same day delivery.