Send Money to the Balkans Cheaply

Information verified correct on January 20th, 2017

Here’s how to send a secure international money transfer to the BalkansBalkans without breaking the bank.

The Balkans, or the Balkan Peninsula as the region is more formally known, are found in southeastern Europe and cover more than 250,000 square miles. The area includes Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia and part of Turkey, and has a population of well over 50 million people.

If you ever need to send money to the Balkans from the USA, maybe to provide financial support to your family back home or just send some urgent cash to a travelling friend, there are many companies who can help. However, it’s vital that you shop around and find the company that offers the best value for money.

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Rates last updated January 20th, 2017

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Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received
Payoneer International Money Transfers
Send Mass Payments To Your ... Send Mass Payments To Your Payees Worldwide
USD 20
OnlinePhone
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WorldRemit International Money Transfers
An online money transfer service ... An online money transfer service with cash pickup, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
USD 1 Within an hour
OnlineCash Transfer
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World First Foreign Exchange
Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee ... Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
Transfer money into a range of currencies online and over the phone.
USD 500 2 days
OnlinePhone
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Transferwise International Money Transfers
Make online transfers in a ... Make online transfers in a range of currencies and enjoy high maximum transfer amounts.
USD 1 1 day
Online
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HiFX International Money Transfers
Transfer money between 20 currencies ... Transfer money between 20 currencies and enjoy scheduled regular transfers. No fee for transfers over US $5,000.
USD 100 2 days
OnlinePhoneAgent
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Currencies Direct International Money Transfers
$0 online transfer fee that ... $0 online transfer fee that you can access 24/7.
USD 100 2 days
OnlinePhone
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OFX International Money Transfers
Exclusive offer: Special exchange rates ... Exclusive offer: Special exchange rates and $0 transfer fee
OFX is currently offering finder.com exclusive exchange rates and $0 transfer fee on all transfers.
USD 150 1 day
OnlinePhoneAgentInternational Money Order...
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TorFX International Money Transfers
TorFX guarantee to beat any ... TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction. Conditions apply
USD 150 1 day
OnlinePhoneAgent
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Banks versus money transfer companies

The first piece of advice when sending an international money transfer is to stay away from your bank. Although banks can easily send secure wire transfers to the Balkans for you, they will only do so by attaching high fees and a low exchange rate to the transaction.

A much more affordable solution is to use a specialist money transfer company, for example WorldRemit or USForex. These companies offer much better exchange rates and lower fees than banks, while at the same time offering reliable transfers to your beneficiary in the Balkans. Other companies, such as Western Union, even offer a convenient cash pickup option for your recipient.

Case Study: Ivan Sends Money to Croatia

Ivan immigrated to the United States five years ago and is happily living in California with his young family. His parents still live back home in Croatia, however, and Ivan wants to send them $1,000 to provide financial support in their retirement. Instead of accepting the mediocre exchange rate offered by his bank, Ivan decides to compare two money transfer companies to see if he can save a bit of cash.

Money transfer company 1Money transfer company 2
Exchange rate1 USD = 6.46 HRK1 USD = 6.45 HRK
Transfer fee$4$58
Transfer methodBank account depositCash pickup
Processing time1-2 business days10 minutes
Amount received (in HRK)6,460 HRK6,450 HRK

As you can see, not only does the first company allow Ivan to send an extra 10 HRK but it also saves him $54 on transfer fees.

How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to the Balkans

  • Exchange rates. The exchange rate determines how much money your beneficiary will receive, so the higher the exchange rate the better. Compare rates between providers to see which one offers the best deal.
  • Fees. Check how much you will have to pay in order to send a transfer. Can you avoid fees if you send a large amount?
  • Transfer methods. Some companies only offer online transfers while others also allow in-branch transfers, mobile app transfers, and over-the-phone transfers.
  • Transfer options. Limit orders, forward contracts, and the ability to schedule recurring payments are some of the features companies may offer.
  • Turnaround time. Transaction processing times can range from a few minutes to a few days or more, so make sure you know how long each company will take to get the funds to your recipient.
  • Minimum transfer amount. Some companies impose minimum transfer limits — check to see if the limit is too high for your requirements.
  • Pickup methods. Can the cash be collected in person from a transfer agent or will it be deposited into your beneficiary’s bank account?
  • Customer service. Will phone and email customer support be available 24/7? Is there an online help centre as well?
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How to send money to the Balkans from America

  • Bank transfers. Bank-to-bank transfers are a safe way to send money to the Balkans but can be expensive.
  • Online money transfer providers. Online money transfer companies like WorldRemit can help you send money to the Balkans.
  • Money transfer companies with cash pickup options. Western Union and MoneyGram are the world’s two largest providers of this transfer service.
  • PayPal. PayPal is not just for online shopping; it can also be used to send international money transfers.
  • Checks. Ask your bank about the process and fees involved in sending an international check.
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Emergency cash transfers in the Balkans

If you need to send an emergency cash transfer, just be wary of the fact that it will cost you more than a regular transaction. Higher fees and lower exchange rates are the norm for urgent transfers, and they can leave you significantly out of pocket if you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. Read the fine print to make sure you know how much the transfer will cost before you can over your money.

Find a money transfer location near you

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Tips for picking up cash in the Balkans

  • Only visit a transfer agent in locations where you feel safe
  • Phone ahead to confirm an agent’s opening hours before visiting
  • Take a friend with you for peace of mind
  • Keep your cash hidden and don’t display it in public
  • Don’t carry the money around with you for any longer than is absolutely essential
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How to send money to the Balkans

You’ll need to provide a range of information in order for a money transfer company to process your transaction, including:

  • Your name, address, and contact details
  • A valid form of photo ID, for example your driver’s licence
  • Your beneficiary’s name and contact information
  • The amount of money you wish to send and the currency you wish to send
  • The destination country for your transaction

In addition, it’s important that you remember to keep track of any reference number you receive after paying for your transaction. You can use this number to check up on the progress of your transaction and make sure the money is safely transferred to your beneficiary.

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US International Money Transfers Offers

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WorldRemit International Money Transfers

An online money transfer service with cash pickup, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.

OFX International Money Transfers

Exclusive offer: Special exchange rates and $0 transfer fee
OFX is currently offering finder.com exclusive exchange rates and $0 transfer fee on all transfers.

World First Foreign Exchange

Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
Transfer money into a range of currencies online and over the phone.

Transferwise International Money Transfers

Make online transfers in a range of currencies and enjoy high maximum transfer amounts.

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