A Practical Guide to Sending Money to Spain

America’s immigrant population is large and continuously growing. With a diverse population, it means that daily international currency transfers are constant and regular. For Spanish nationals residing in the US, trying to support loved ones, or intending to purchase an investment property back home – sending money to Spain is an essential task. 

 

For most people, getting the best value for their currency exchange is highly necessary. That’s why it is important to understand the associated costs of money transfers, and how to minimize them.

 

There is no secret to becoming a smart saver. With the Internet and a good search and comparison tool, you can find the best real-time rates on offer.

 

In this guide, we created a shortlist based on different situations. In a rush? Our quick comparison table of exchange rates and fees will give you the information you need.

 

sending money to spain

The Best Ways to Transfer Euros

 

Moving to or from USA and Spain

All US banks allow money transfers to and from Spain. Unfortunately, not all will accept Euros (EUR). You’d probably be disappointed if you’re expecting to receive the best possible exchange rate. And adding to that, a high international money transfer fee is imposed.

 

An online money transfer service is a good option if you want to avoid these high fees when using a bank. This is especially helpful if you prefer having the freedom to pick and choose your transfer provider.

 

Transfer service providers that allow you to transfer money from the US to Spain include OFX, HiFX, TorFX, WorldFirst, Venstar, and APEX.

 

Our Verdict:  OFX for great exchange rates on USD and EUR transfers to Spain. Particularly for payments under $10,000.

 

Business from USA to Spain

Sending money to Spain for your business? Then consider these 2 key points:

  1. The exchange rate margin – this is the difference between the wholesale exchange rate you can see on xe.com and the rate you get
  2. 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.

Also, to get a clearer idea on Foreign Currency Accounts, watch this helpful video.

 

Buying a Property

Buying a property in Spain has strict processes and can be very difficult for foreigners. When purchasing a property, it’s vital to engage a provider that can provide you with the flexibility and support to close the deal. Select a provider with a strong presence in USA and Spain to make life easier for you.

 

Our Verdict: TorFX is an ideal choice for property settlement transfers. A local account manager will be appointed to guide you through each step. They are fully licensed in USA and also offer a global support network.

 

Sending Money Home

Being away from home can be difficult at times, especially when you’re missing out on important events with family and friends. When sending a small amount of money back home, a transfer service like Western Union is the best choice. If you have a larger amount on hand, look out for other providers that can offer to waive transfer fees. 

 

This is the reason why it’s important to look for providers that suit your needs, and discuss your options with a currency exchange and money transfer specialist.

 

Our Verdict: With the right foreign exchange specialist, such as OFX or TorFX it is possible to receive a spread of 1% – or even lower. And with fees reduced or removed.

 

Studying Overseas

These days, more students are choosing to study overseas. As an international student, annual tuition fees can range from $15 000 to $50 000 annually, depending on your course. That’s before adding living expenses such as accommodation and bills. 

 

For large payments like tuition, make sure you hunt down the best exchange rate.

 

Taking a part time course? With smaller payments, look out for the transfer fee that is being charged

 

Our Verdict: Worldfirst. This is perfect for students and their parents paying the bills to save on hefty transfer costs.

 

Best Approach to Sending Money to Spain

 

The Costs of Sending Money between USA and Spain

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

  1. A Transfer Fee – Also known as a TT, Telegraphic Transfer, Wire or Remittance fee
  2. Exchange Rate Margin – this is the difference between the wholesale exchange rate you find on xe.com and the rate you are offered.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?

A Bank

Banks in the USA have higher fees and non-competitive exchange rates but that is not a reason to shun them. Spanish banks tend to have more competitive exchange rates. Using a bank is the quickest way to transfer between bank accounts. 

 

PayPal

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”

 

Transferring Money

  • 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 Spain.

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

  1. The Account Name of your Recipient (person/business you are paying)
  2. Their address
  3. The SWIFT Code of their bank

 

A note about sending money to Spain

It is particularly important to make sure ALL the bank details you use are correct. Banks are very particular and will reject a payment if a single digit is wrong or a single letter is out of place.

 

SWIFT Codes

Here is a list of SWIFT codes for the biggest banks in Spain:

Banco Santander : BSCHESMM

BBVA : BVADESMM

CaixaBank : CAIXESBB

Bankia : CAHMESMM

 

How long does it take to send money to Spain?

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.

Related: How Long Does An International Money Transfer Take?

 

Is there a minimum transfer amount?

There is no minimum transfer amount for banks and PayPal. However, most transfer money companies do. If you are sending less than $500 to Spain and intend to use a money transfer company, make sure you check their minimum transfer amount.

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