Shop around for the best money transfer service when you need to send money to the Balkans
Our pick: InstaReM
InstaReM offers fast transfers at no-margin mid-market rates adding only a nominal fee.
- Sends to popular currencies. InstaReM sends to 51 countries and 21 currencies.
- Loyalty points and bonus coupons. The more you use, the more you earn in bonus and points.
- Charges only a nominal fee. No hidden fees.
Compare money transfer services to the Balkans
Use our comparison calculator to assess transfer fees, exchange rates and other details for sending funds to the Balkans with our money transfer partners.
Banks vs. money transfer companies
While you’ll be tempted to visit your bank for a wire transfer to the Balkans, a reputable money transfer service can typically offer better exchange rates, lower fees and faster delivery — often without you having to leave your home.
Banks don’t often publish exchange rates, but you can sometimes find the rate you’ll receive by logging in to your online bank account.
Steps to send money to the Balkans
- Register for an account with a provider, supplying your name, address, contact details, proof of ID and information about your selected payment method.
- Designate your recipient and provide their contact information.
- Choose the amount of your transfer and complete your transaction.
- Save any receipt or other proof of your transaction so you can monitor your transfer.
Case study: Jack sends money to the Balkans
Jack’s sister is traveling throughout the Balkans and has run out of money. She reaches out to her brother an asks him to send her $1,000. Because the Balkans comprise several Southeastern European countries each with its own currency, Jack decides to send his sister euros, which she can exchange locally. Instead of accepting the mediocre exchange rate offered by his bank, Jack decides to compare two money transfer companies to see if he can save a bit of cash.
|Money transfer company 1||Money transfer company 2|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = .914 EUR||1 USD = .886 EUR|
|Transfer method||Online||Online, bank account to bank account|
|Processing time||1 day||1 day|
|Amount received (in HRK)||914 EUR||846 EUR|
As you can see, not only does the first company offer a better exchange rate, it also saves him $45 on transfer fees.
How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to the Balkans
By comparing a few elements of your transfer, you can ensure that you get the cheapest deal for your needs.
- Exchange rates. Nearly all providers skew exchange rates for a profit. Compare the rate you’re offered to the mid-market rate — the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves — and look for the smallest margin between them.
- Transfer fees. Find out whether the provider charges a flat fee or a percentage of your transfer. If you’re sending a large amount, ask whether you qualify for a fee-free transfer.
- Payment and delivery options. Some transfer companies allow you to pay with a credit card online, by phone or through an app. Others offer agent locations for cash payments and pickups. Also ask how your recipient can receive your funds: bank account, cash pickup, mobile wallet and more.
- Transfer speeds. If it needs to be there fast, companies like Western Union and MoneyGram allow for quick cash pickups, often in minutes. If you have more time, you’ll get better rates and fees with an independent provider.
- Transfer limits. Your best option might depend on how much you want to send. For large transfers, weigh the best exchange rate — especially since providers encourage large transfers by offering low fees. For smaller amounts, consider the fees you’ll pay on top of the exchange rate.
- Flexible transfer options. Ask whether you can schedule payments ahead of time or protect your transfer against market fluctuations with a limit order or forward contract.
- Customer support. Most companies offer customer service by Internet chat, phone, in person or by email. Make sure help will be available if you need it.
Foreign exchange rates explained
The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another currency. A strong currency yields more money when exchanging for a weak currency. The Balkans is a region that encompasses multiple countries, the majority of which use the euro as their currency. The euro’s exchange rate is flexible, which means it can change from moment to moment. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
Currency exchange rate for the Balkans
Options for sending money to the Balkans from the US
- Bank transfers. Many major US banks will allow you to send money to the Balkans.
- Money transfer providers. Providers like Ria and XE can help you quickly and easily transfer your money online.
- Providers with cash pickup. Western Union and MoneyGram allow you to send funds for cash pickup at agent locations.
- PayPal. Electronic payment giant PayPal allows you to send money from the US to the Balkans
- Checks and money orders. Although not a quick option, you could send an international check overseas, obtained from your bank or US Postal Service.
Tips for picking up cash in the Balkans
Whether picking up funds in Prizren, Kosovo or anywhere else around the world, take a few simple safety precautions to prevent yourself becoming a target for thieves.
- Call ahead. Learn the company’s business hours and choose a safe time to pick up your cash. Daylight hours are best.
- Bring a friend. Carrying money when alone can be dangerous. Ask a friend to come along.
- Deposit your money immediately. The likelihood of losing your money to theft or simple carelessness grows the longer you have it with you. Go straight to a bank and deposit your cash as soon as possible.
- Keep your cash hidden. Place your money in your purse or wallet before leaving the office. Carrying cash out in the open could make you a target.
Sending money to the Balkans in an emergency
You might need to send an emergency cash transfer to the Balkans — for example, if a friend traveling through the country loses their wallet. When you need to transfer funds urgently, your fastest possible transfer will often be your most expensive option. Carefully review the exchange rate and transfer fee against your needs so that you understand exactly how much it will cost you.Back to top