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.
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
1 USD = 3.57 BRL
1 USD = 3.44 BRL
Bank account deposit
Bank account deposit
1 business day
3 business days
Total real received
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.
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.
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
LEVYCAM – SAO PAULO – MATRIZ Address: RUA ANCHIETA 18 12 ANDAR SE Sao Paulo, Brazil 01016030 Hours: 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Phone: +55-11-32423999
LEVYCAM – OM DTVM – #46 – SAO PAULO Address: RUA S. BENTO 288 São Paulo, Brazil 01011 Hours: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Phone: +55-11-31061314
S. HAYATA CORRETORA DE CAMBIO SA – SAO P Address: RUA BOA VISTA 230 3 E 4 ANDARES São Paulo, Brazil 01014000 Hours: 9 a.m.–7 p.m. Phone: +55-11-31887400
BLUE BAY CENTER NORTE Address: Tv. Casal Buono, 120, Loja Suc São Paulo, São Paulo Brazil 2089900 Hours: 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Phone: +55-11-22522711
BLUE BAY MATRIZ Address: Av. Paulista, 2001 – Loja 08 Bela Vista São Paulo, São Paulo Brazil 1311200 Hours: 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Phone: +55-11-32530071
BRADESCO GATEWAY Address: Rua Tabapua 1227 São Paulo, Sp Brazil 04533014 Hours: 8 a.m.–10 p.m. Phone: +55-11-40977318
ULTRAMAR VIAGENS Address: AVENIDA RIO BRANCO 120 LOJAS 27 E 29 CENTRO Rio De Janeiro, 20040001 Hours: 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Phone: +55-21-25054705
DG CAMBIO TURISMO – RIO DE JANEIRO Address: EDIFICIO RODOLPHO DE PAOLI AVENIDA NILO PECANHA 50 SALA 312 Rio De Janeiro, 20020906 Hours: 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Phone: +55-21-22278300
ALEX & THUR – RIO DE JANEIRO Address: AVENIDA TREZE DE MAIO 45 SALA 1805 CENTRO Rio De Janeiro, 20031007 Hours: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Phone: +55-21-22622358[/fin_grid_col]
BANCO DO BRASIL Address: Av. Presidente Antonio Carlos, 51 Loja E Castelo Presidente Antonio Carlos-rio De Rio De Janeiro, Rio De Janeiro 20020010 Hours: 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Phone: +55-21-25245432
BRADESCO PRES A CAR URJ Address: Av Presidente Antonio Carlos 615 641 Ag 6595 Rio De Janeiro, Rio De Janeiro 20020010 Hours: 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Phone: +55-21-32996950
BRADESCO CASTELO URJ Address: Av Graca Aranha 226 A Ag 445 Rio De Janeiro, Rj 20030-001 Hours: 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Phone: +55-21-32990050
MULTIMONEY – SALVADOR – Salvador Shopping Address: ALAMEDA EUVALDO LUZ 1 LOJA 92 45 ANDAR HORTO BELA VISTA Salvador, 41098020 Hours: 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Phone: +55-71-34321263
COTACAO – SALVADOR Address: AVENIDA ANTONIO CARLOS MAGALHAES 3244 SALAS 708 A 711 PITUBA Salvador, 41800700 Hours: 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Phone: +55-11-40021010
CONFIDENCE – SALVADOR – BA SH ITAIGARA Address: AVENIDA ANTONIO CARLOS MAGALHAES 585 LJ 23 – ITAIGARA Salvador, 40280 Hours: 8 a.m.–6 p.m. Phone: +55-11-40045700
BANCO DO BRASIL Address: Petrobras Salvador Avantonio Carlos Magalhaes 1113 Salvador, Ba 41825903 Hours: 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Phone: +55-15-35220229
BANCO DO BRASIL Address: Rua Da Polonia, 01 1.andar Comercio Instituto Nacional De Seguridad Salvador, Bahia 40010000 Hours: 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Phone: +55-71-2415869
BANCO DO BRASIL Address: Matatu Brotas Rbarros Falcao 378 Salvador, Ba 40255370 Hours: 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Phone: +55-71-33277015
Zero fees on your first THREE money transfers
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Shirley Liu is Finder's global program manager. She was previously the publisher for banking and investments and has also written comparisons for energy, money transfers, Uber Eats and many other topics. Shirley has a Master of Commerce and a Bachelor of Media, Journalism and Communications from the University of New South Wales. She is passionate about helping people find the best deal for their needs.
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