With the increasing number of people moving or traveling from the USA to France, the need to transfer funds to France becomes even more necessary. French Nationals may often need to send money to loved ones or for investment purposes. Getting the best rate when exchanging money is important, so you don’t get the feeling of being ripped off or having to pay higher charges.
The internet has given us the chance to save smartly and easily on the internet. Saving on currency transfers does not have to be a difficult task. With proper research and detailed comparison, you can easily get the best money transfer provider with cheap rates, and which suits your needs.
In this guide, we’ve highlighted ways to save on banks fees and transfer charges. We have also explored situations where you may have to use a particular payment method. In a hurry? Our quick comparison table of exchange rates and fees will give you an overview of the best exchange rates and fees.
So What Are The Best Ways to Transfer Money to France?
If You Are Moving from France to the USA
Every US bank allows you to transfer money to and from France. But not all will accept Euro (EUR).
Chances of getting the best exchange rates in banks are slim. Also, you will have to pay high charges on international money transfers. In this case, using online money transfer services is the best alternative to avoid paying the high costs. This is especially helpful if you prefer having the freedom to pick and choose your transfer provider.
Our Verdict: OFX for great exchange rates on USD and EUR transfers to France. Particularly for payments under $10,000.
Business Currency Transfers
Note these two key points when considering the best option for business currency transfers between USA and France:
- The exchange rate margin – this is the difference between the wholesale exchange rate you can see on xe.com and the rate you get
- The business products they offer – like forward exchange contracts, foreign currency accounts, and limit orders.
Our Verdict: HIFX. Why? Their exchange rates and $0 fee structure will allow you to maximize your overseas receipts or payments. They also offer Foreign Currency Accounts which allow you to keep the funds in foreign currency and convert them when you feel the time is right.
To read our review on HiFX, click here.
Watch this video to learn more about Foreign Currency Accounts.
Buying a Property
France has a strict policy for citizens and foreigner when it comes to buying properties. Employing the services of a provider with a strong presence in the US and France will provide you with the support and flexibility you may require when purchasing a property.
Our Verdict: TorFX is an ideal choice for property settlement transfers. A local account manager will be appointed to guide you every step of the way. They are fully licensed in the US and also offer a global support network.
To find out more about TorFX, click here.
Sending Money Home
Perhaps you have been missing out on a couple of birthdays back home and would like to send a gift to your family members. A transfer service like Western Union is perfect for transferring small amounts. On the other hand, there are other providers that will also offer to waiver transfer fees if the amount is larger.
That’s why it is important to look around and discuss your individual needs with a currency exchange and money transfer specialist.
Tuition fees can be quite expensive these days. Depending on your course, you would be expected to pay between $15 000 to $50 000, annually. Add accommodation, bills and living expenses- the amount could get a little overwhelming. For large payments like these, make sure you search for the best exchange rate.
Taking a part time course? With smaller payments, look out for the transfer fee that is being charged.
Click here to read our review on WorldFirst.
Ways to Send Money to France
The Costs of Sending Money to France
Calculating the cost of your transfer can be tricky. Depending on how you send the money, the fees, charges and margins aren’t always obvious. Here are the most common charges to transfer money from one bank account to another
- A Transfer Fee – Also known as a TT, Telegraphic Transfer, Wire or Remittance fee
- Exchange Rate Margin – this is the difference between the wholesale exchange rate you can see on xe.com and the rate you get
- Correspondent Bank Fees – The fee your bank will take out for getting the money to the right account. It’s deducted from the amount that finally arrives in the account and is almost impossible to estimate or reverse
- Receiving Bank Fee- If you are paying foreign currency into an account, the receiving bank will charge you for it. For instance, if you send Euros to your US bank account, your US bank will charge you to convert it.
What are your options?
Although banks in the US have higher fees and uncompetitive exchange rates, this doesn’t mean you should never use them. French banks tend to have more competitive exchange rates. Using a bank is the quickest way to transfer between bank accounts.
This is a great option for anyone sending smaller amounts under $1000. The exchange rate you’ll get are comparable to a bank, but the fees are significantly lower. It is particularly handy when the person you are paying has a Paypal account.
A Money Transfer Company
Money transfer companies like OFX and HiFX are often the cheapest option when you are sending between $1000 and $1,000,000 at a time. This is because they offer better exchange rates and lower (and sometimes no) fees. The downside to using a transfer company outside of a bank is that you’ll have to set up an account with them first. This can take between 10 minutes to 2 days depending on how much information they need from you. Also, the transfer itself will usually take 1 day longer than using a bank.
How to use a money transfer company (instead of a bank)
Sending money using a money transfer company is similar to using a bank, but there are some important differences. Here are the main steps to do it online
Setting things up (only has to be done once)
- Log on to their website and register your details. You’ll need to have some I.D handy
- Once your account has been approved, you’ll get a login and password
- Enter the banking details of where you are sending the money. They are usually called the “Beneficiary” or “Recipient.”
- Get a quote for the amount you want to send
- Confirm the details including the rate and how much it is in US dollars
- You’ll get a deal confirmation. Finally, you’ll need to pay them the US dollars before the money is sent to France.
Information you’ll need before you make your transfer
To send money overseas, you’ll need the following information of the bank account you are sending the money too. These are commonly known as Beneficiary or Recipient Details
- The Account Name of your Recipient (person/business you are paying)
- Their address
- The SWIFT Code of their bank
A note about sending money to France
It is particularly important to make sure ALL the bank details you use are correct. Banks are picky and will reject a payment even if a single digit is wrong or a single letter is out of place.
Here is a list of SWIFT codes for the biggest banks in France:
How long does it take to send money to France?
Paypal, HSBC and Western Union (cash pick-up) are the fastest options. The transfer can be done in minutes. If you are sending the money to a bank account, it will take 1-2 days if you are using a bank or 2-3 days if you are using a money transfer company.
Is there a minimum transfer amount?
Banks and Paypal don’t have a minimum transfer amount but most money transfer companies do. If you are sending less than $500 to France and intend to use a money transfer company, make sure you check their minimum transfer amount.