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How to send money to Brazil
How to find safe, cheap international specialists to transfer money to Brazil.
Sending money to family and friends in another country can be a a worrisome process. Getting the funds to your recipient quickly and reliably without spending too much on fees is crucial.
Sending money from the US to Brazil doesn’t have to be expensive and stressful. Compare the transfer fees and exchange rates of your many options to get the most Brazilian real for your dollar.
Our pick: TransferWise
When you need to send money, benefit from competitive mid-market exchange rates and straightforward fees with TransferWise.
- Fair service fees and mid-market rates — a major market differentiator.
- Next-day delivery to your loved ones and businesses.
- Trusted the world over, with five-star ratings on Trustpilot.
Compare money transfer services to Brazil
How do international money transfers work?
An international money transfer allows you to send money to businesses, friends and family overseas. Generally, it involves you sending cash or money from your bank account to an intermediary transfer service or bank, which then exchanges and sends the money to your recipient in another country — in this case, Brazil.
Depending on the provider, you can initiate a money transfer in person, online or by phone. Your cash or bank account transfer is then either deposited into your recipient’s bank account or mobile wallet. With some providers, it can be made available as cash for pickup at a location in their country.
Making a large transfer? Here’s what to know about the laws and tax implications.
Steps to sending money to Brazil
- Select a money transfer provider from our comparison table with the rates, fees and delivery speed you need.
- Create an account and provide your name, contact information and proof of identity.
- Choose a payment option; if you aren’t using cash, provide your bank account info so the funds can be withdrawn.
- Complete your transaction; an email receipt or reference number to track your transfer should arrive in your inbox.
Why should I compare my options beyond my bank?
ou may think that because it handles your other finances, your local bank is the simplest option when sending money overseas. In truth, international money transfers are no longer a game for big financial institutions. Newer companies promise to undercut the competition to earn your business.
Because banks offer a diverse range of financial products and services, their exchange rates can be among the weakest around. Poor exchange rates and high fees of up to $64 per international transfer can eat up a sizable chunk of the amount you’re sending.
A reputable money transfer specialist can offer better exchange rates and also charge lower fees — typically offering more flexible options for repeat payments — resulting in savings for you and more Brazilian real for your recipient.
Sending money to Brazil
Case study: Ronaldo sends a gift to his cousin in São Paulo
Ronaldo has lived in the US since he was 12, but he keeps in contact with his big family back in his home country. About twice a year, at least one of his siblings, cousins, tias or tios is getting married or having a baby, allowing Ronaldo to spread some of the wealth he’s accumulated in the States.
Ronaldo typically uses an account at his local bank to transfer money to celebrate with loved ones. But he’s slowly becoming aware of money transfer companies available that might offer a cheaper alternative. He compares two well-known money transfer providers when sending $1,000 to find the best deal.
|Money Transfer Company A||Money Transfer Company B|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 3.57 BRL||1 USD = 3.44 BRL|
|Transfer method||Bank account deposit||Bank account deposit|
|Transfer speed||1 business day||3 business days|
|Total real received||3,570 BRL||3,440 BRL|
Ronaldo learns that can pay lower fees and send an extra 130 BRL — stretching his generosity and goodwill — by using Money Transfer Company A.
What’s the best way to send a business transfer to Brazil?
Buying supplies, fulfilling orders, paying global employees — a modern business finds many reasons to regularly exchange money the world over. If you aren’t sure how to get the best value for your money, these transactions can weigh heavily on your bottom line. Learn more about cost-effective ways to send international business transfers.
How should I compare money transfer services to Brazil?
While exchange rates and transfer fees affect how much you’ll pay, you’ll also need to consider how quickly your money needs to get to where it’s going, among other factors.
- Exchange rates. Nearly all providers skew exchange rates for a profit. Look for a company that’s close to the mid-market rate — or the rate banks and transfer services use when trading among themselves. Remember that companies with strong exchange rates may also require higher fees.
- Transfer fees. Find out whether the provider charges a flat fee or a percentage of your transfer. If you’re sending a large payment, ask whether you qualify for a fee-free transfer.
- “Hedging” options. Ask whether you can schedule payments ahead of time or protect your transfer against market fluctuations with a limit order or forward contract.
- 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.
- 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 Brazil’s real is worth in another currency. When the real is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weak currency. Brazil’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 Brazil
How to send money to Brazil from the US
- Bank transfers. Many major US banks will allow you to wire money to a Brazilian bank account. However, a downside is the frustratingly high fees and weak exchange rates you’ll typically receive.
- Online money transfer services. Trusted providers make it simple and convenient to send money from your business or home to Brazil.
- Providers with cash pickup. Companies like Western Union, MoneyGram and Ria offer the option of cash pickups from thousands of agent locations across Brazil.
- Peer-to-peer apps. Venmo, Circle and PayPal are just a few of the apps you can use to send money to Brazil.
- Checks and money orders. Although not a quick option, you could send an international check overseas, obtained from your bank or US Postal Service.
Making a same-day cash transfer to someone in Brazil
You might need to send an emergency cash transfer to Brazil. 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.
Tips for picking up cash in Brazil
Whether picking up funds in Rio 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.
Cash pickup locations in Brazil
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