The social payments app Circle may be an excellent option for international money transfers.
Circle started out as a bitcoin platform in 2013, but it recently pivoted to the social payments market. Basically, it’s a platform that lets you send money to your friends anywhere in the world.
How does Circle work?
Before you can send money on Circle, you need to add funds or link a payment source. You can do that by adding a debit card or bank account. (Circle used to allow credit cards, but it doesn’t anymore.) Circle is similar to Venmo, which lets you send money to and receive money from friends. The company is positioning itself as a platform for sending everyday payments — for example, to split the electricity bill with roommates or request money for the dinner tab you picked up. In this article, we’ll look at how Circle can work for international money transfers.
How can I send a transfer through Circle?
After you’ve linked a payment source — your debit card or bank account — click the Send Money tab of the Circle online platform or app. You can send money via email or text. Once your recipient receives the funds, they can cash out via debit card or bank account. On Circle, you can send US dollars, euros and British pounds.
Compare Circle to other money transfer services
How much can I send with Circle?
There’s no limit to how much you can send or receive through Circle. You can also cash out an unlimited amount weekly.
How much does it cost to transfer money with Circle?
It’s free to send and receive money. You can also cash out for free when you link a debit card or bank account.
How does Circle make money?
When you make an international money transfer, Circle makes a bit of money on the foreign exchange spread. For example, let’s say you live in the United States and want to send 1,000 euros to France. In this case, you can convert your US dollars to euros in the Circle app. According to the mid-market rate, you might be able to buy 1,000 euros for $1,050. However, Circle may charge you $1,053. This means that Circle effectively makes $3 for converting your money.
Circle usually makes about 0.25% above the foreign exchange spread. So if the mid-market rate says 10,000 British pounds are worth $12,270, Circle will charge you around $12,300.
What types of transfers can I send through Circle?
- Email transfers
- Text transfers
Pros and cons
- Highly favorable exchange rates.
- No fees for sending or receiving money.
- No fee for cashing out.
- Offers currency conversion in US dollars, euros and British pounds only.
- Due to debit card and bank processing, it could take up to four business days to withdraw money.
What other products does Circle offer?
You can store bitcoin in a Circle account (though you can’t buy or sell bitcoin on the platform). Beyond that, Circle is a straightforward payments app.
The bottom line
Circle is a simple way to transfer money, as long as you do so in US dollars, euros or British pounds. It has sleek web and mobile interfaces, and it can be inexpensive for international money transfers.