Whether you’re sending money to Sophia or Burgas, international transfers to Bulgaria can be expensive if you don’t know your options.
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- Enjoy competitive exchange rates.
- Get even better exchange rates with forward contracts and limit orders.
- Receive weekly updates on market exchange rates.
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Our interactive table lets you compare current fees, exchange rates, transfer speeds and other details about sending your money overseas. Enter the amount you’re transferring, and see how much will arrive at your destination.
How to send money to Bulgaria
Whether you send money through your bank, a money transfer provider or any other option, you’ll need to first register for an account with a provider, supplying your name, address, contact details, proof of ID and information about your selected payment method. Keep a record of any transaction reference number you receive so that you can review the progress of your transfer.
Ana arrived in the US as a student, and at the end of her studies got a job and decided to stay. She soon was able to budget in money to send home to her aging parents in Bulgaria. She decided she could afford to send $1,000 a month to her parents.
Before she decided which transfer company to chose, she compared two big names.
|Exchange rate||1 USD =1.6904 BGN||1 USD = 1.74970 BGN|
|Transfer speed||4 day||1 day|
|Transfer options||Agent location||Bank account|
|Total BGN received||1,690.44||1,732.38|
TransferWise is the clear winner here. With a better exchange rate and lower transfer fee, Ana’s parents get 42 more lev, in a shorter amount of time.
How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Bulgaria.
You’ll want to consider costs, of course. But other factors can also affect your choice.
- 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.
The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weak currency. Most countries’ exchange rates are flexible, which means they can change from moment to moment. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
Ways to send money to Bulgaria from the US
- Bank transfers. Most major banks offer wire transfers to Bulgaria.
- Money transfer providers. Providers like Ria and World First can help you quickly and easily transfer your money online.
- Transfer companies 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 Bulgaria
Picking up cash at a money transfer branch
Whether picking up funds in Sophia 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.
How safe is a money transfer?
When you use a reputable provider, your funds are safely tracked until in the hands of your recipient. There are federal protections in place that require banks, credit unions and money transfer companies to, for example, disclose all fees upfront and give you 30 minutes to cancel a transfer, assuming it hasn’t yet been picked up or deposited.
Emergency transfers to Bulgaria
You might need to send an emergency cash transfer to Bulgaria— 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.
You have lots of options when you want to send money to Bulgaria. Whenever you need to send money overseas its always important to compare the benefits and features of competing services to get the best rate.
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