With an estimated 370,000 Americans with Brazilian ancestry, according to the latest United States Census Bureau in 2012, there are strong links between the two countries. Brazil is also a popular destination for US tourists, with more than 580,000 soaking up the sun on a Brazilian getaway in 2012 alone.
There are plenty of options to choose from when you need to send funds from the United States to Brazil.
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- Buying property abroad
- Regular overseas payments
- Risk management
Banks versus money transfer companies
Typically banks don’t offer competitive exchange rates or fees compared to those offered by specialist money transfer services.
With the increasing number of money transfer companies plying their trade in the digital sphere, there are plenty of cost-effective options at your disposal. These companies usually offer far better exchange rates than banks along with much lower fees, the end result being that you and your recipient both end up with more cash in your pockets.
Ronaldo is an American citizen and has lived in the USA since the age of three, but he still maintains a strong relationship with his grandparents in Rio de Janeiro. He wants to send them a $1,000 gift to help fund their retirement, but he’s deterred by the $45 transfer fee charged by his bank. Ronaldo decides to compare the services of two dedicated money transfer companies to see which one offers the better deal.
|Money transfer company 1||Money transfer company 2|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 3.57||1 USD = 3.44 BRL|
|Transfer method||Bank account deposit||Cash pickup|
|Processing time||1 business day||10-15 minutes|
|Amount received (in BRL)||3,570 BRL||3,440 BRL|
As you can see, Ronaldo can send an extra 130 BRL by using the first transfer company and also save on fees, but he will need to wait longer for his funds to arrive.
How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Brazil
- Exchange rates. The better the exchange rate, the more money will make it into your recipient’s pocket. However, remember that some companies will offer higher exchange rates in conjunction with higher fees.
- Fees. Be prepared to pay a transfer fee when you send money overseas, although some companies will waive the fee when you transfer more than a minimum amount.
- Transfer methods. Common methods for placing transfers include online, by visiting an agent, over the phone or even using a mobile app.
- Transfer options. Can you place a forward contract to lock in an exchange rate for a future transaction? Can you place a limit order or schedule a recurring transfer?
- Turnaround time. Take into account how quickly you need your funds to arrive to your recipient, as transfer times can vary from minutes up to several working days.
- Minimum amount. Some providers will require you to transfer more than a set minimum, for example $500; other providers will let you send smaller amounts.
- Pickup methods. Will the funds be available for collection from a money transfer agent, or will your recipient have to wait for them to be deposited into his or her account?
- Customer service. If you have a problem with a transaction, knowing that phone or email customer support is available offers peace of mind.
How to send money to Brazil from America
- Bank transfers. International wire transfers from your US bank account to a Brazilian bank account are a secure transfer option.
- Online money transfer providers. Send your money quickly and easily online through a company that specialises in moving funds internationally.
- Money transfer companies with cash pickup options. Companies like Western Union, MoneyGram and Ria offer this service.
- PayPal. PayPal may be better known for its use when online shopping but it also allows you to send secure international money transfers.
- Checks. International guaranteed checks are a secure international money transfer method.
Emergency cash transfers in Brazil
If you need to send money to Brazil as quickly as possible, don’t be surprised if you have to settle for a poor exchange rate and higher fees when transferring your funds. Faster transfers usually cost more than ordinary ones, so review the full cost of your transaction before you commit to it.Back to topFind a money transfer location near youBack to top
Tips for picking up cash in Brazil
Ranked as one of the top 20 countries in the world in terms of the homicide rate per person, Brazil has a high crime rate. With this in mind, it’s essential that you exercise caution when picking up funds. Take another person along for security, keep your cash hidden and be aware of your personal security at all times.
Rather than carrying the funds around with you until you spend them, deposit them in your bank account or another safe place as soon as possible.Back to top
How to send money to Brazil
Many providers will require you to sign up for an account before you can transfer your funds. This usually means you will need to provide your name and address, your contact information and photo ID.
Once a transfer has been lodged, make sure you keep hold of any receipt or tracking number you are given – this can be used to check up on the progress of your transaction.