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How to send money to Europe
Compare providers who can send euros based on cost and speed.
The euro is one of the world’s most popular currencies, which means that you have options when it comes to transfers to Europe. An online money transfer company is usually the cheapest option, but a cash transfer will arrive the fastest.
Send money to Europe with OFX
No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.
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- Multiple transfer options include forward contracts and limit orders
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Options for sending money to Europe
There are a few options to consider when you want to send Euros overseas:
- Banks. You can send an international transfer straight from your regular transaction account to your recipient’s account overseas. However, you’ll likely get a less competitive exchange rate and pay a transfer fee of around $15 or more.
- Online money transfer companies. Specialized transfer providers tend to offer superior exchange rates and lower transfer fees when compared to the banks.
- Cash transfer companies. If you need to send a fast cash transfer overseas, there are some providers that specialize in offering this particular service. Companies like Western Union and MoneyGram operate vast international transfer networks, allowing you to send funds overseas within minutes so your recipient can quickly access the cash you transfer. Some online transfer companies also have cash pickup options.
How to send an international money transfer to Europe
While the exact process for sending an online transfer varies depending on the provider you choose, you’ll generally need to follow a few simple steps:
- Sign up for an account.
This is typically free to do online and you’ll need to provide your personal details, proof of ID and bank account information.
- Enter your transfer details.
Specify the amount you need to transfer, where you’re sending it and the recipient’s bank account details.
- Review your transfer.
You’ll be given a chance to review the full details of the transaction, including the exchange rate and any fees that will apply.
- Send the funds.
If you’re satisfied with the transaction details, the next step is to pay for the transfer and send the funds.
- Track your transfer.
You may be given a tracking number you can use to monitor your transfer status, while some providers also provide email and SMS notifications once the transfer has been completed.
Crunching the numbers: Sending $1,000 to France
The table below shows how much it costs to send $1,000 to France with a bank and with a money transfer company.
|Bank||Money transfer service|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 0.8437 EUR||1 USD = 0.8655 EUR|
|Transfer speed||2 days||1–2 days|
|Overall||EUR€47.88 less||EUR€47.88 more|
Both transfer services get money to your recipient’s bank account in about the same time, but if you use a specialized transfer company your recipient ends up with over €47 more, or about US$55.
How to compare money transfer providers
Okay, so you’ve decided to find an online transfer company to help you send money to Europe, but how can you choose a provider from the several available? Make sure to weigh up the pros and cons of each company and consider the following factors:
- Exchange rates. Even a minor variation in the exchange rate can make a big difference to the overall transaction cost. Shop around to find out which company regularly offers the best rates for your regular transfer destinations.
- Transfer fees. Always remember to compare exchange rates alongside the fee that applies to each transaction, as some providers that suck you in with a great rate may also charge a high fee.
- Transfer time. How long will it take until the money you send is available for your recipient to collect? If you need to send funds as quickly as possible, you may need to consider using a company that offers instant cash transfers.
- Forward contracts. Check to see whether the provider offers forward contracts, which allow you to lock in an exchange rate today for a transaction that will take place weeks, months or even a year into the future.
- Limit orders. Some providers will also offer limit orders, which allow you to specify the exchange rate you want for a transaction, then execute the transfer when that rate becomes available.
- Regular payments. If you need to send a recurring payment overseas, for example if you’re paying rent on an overseas property, check to see whether you can set up a regular payment plan. This is a very convenient service that can save you a lot of time, but remember to make sure that it doesn’t attract any additional fees.
- Supported currencies. Not every transfer provider will support every global currency, so make sure the provider you choose allows you to send all your desired currencies.
- Customer service. If you ever need help with a transaction or have a question about your account, how can you get in touch with the provider? Does it have an online help center? During what hours can you contact the customer service team?
Emergency cash transfers to Europe
When you need to get money overseas quickly, consider using a company like Western Union, WorldRemit or MoneyGram to send an instant cash transfer. These providers have hundreds of thousands of agent locations around the world where your recipient can pick up the cash you send within minutes of you sending the transfer.
Cash pickup locations in Europe
If you’re sending an emergency cash transfer from Australia to Europe, both Western Union and MoneyGram offer multiple cash pickup locations throughout the Eurozone. The details on some easily-accessible locations can be found below:
La Banque Postale
9 Place De L’hotel De VilleParis,
Open 8am-6:30pm Monday to Friday, 8am-11:30am Saturday
Change Master Arcole
21 Rue D ArcoleParis,
Ile De France 75004+33-800900191
Open 9:45am-9pm 7 days a week
C So Vitt Eman Ii 299Roma Succursale SRoma,
Open 8:35am-3:35pm Monday to Friday
Open World System SRL
Corso Vittorio Emanuele Ii 274 ARoma,
Open 8:30am-8pm Monday to Saturday, 4pm-8pm Sunday
Tabac De La Raynie
26 Rue De La ReynieParis,
Open 1pm-8pm Monday to Saturday
9 Rue BergerMetro RER Chatelet-Les HallesParis,
7500133142360877Open 8am-7pm Monday to Saturday
Via Firenze 36Roma,
Open 8:25am-3pm Monday to Friday
Via D Manin 6 8Roma,
Open 5am-11pm 7 days a week
Exchange rates explained
To get the best deal on your transfer, you’ll want to compare exchange rates against the current mid-market rate. The closer a transfer provider’s quote is to the mid-market rate, the better the deal.
Below you can see the current USD to EUR exchange rates, updated daily.
Tips for picking up cash in Europe
If you’re picking up a cash transfer from an agent location anywhere in Europe, make sure to remember a few simple safety tips:
- Take a friend along for extra security
- Keep your cash concealed while in public
- Avoid carrying large sums of money on your person for any longer than necessary – deposit the cash in a safe place as soon as possible
- Remain aware of your surroundings at all times
The euro is one of the world’s most popular currencies, which means that you’ll have a lot of options if you’re sending money to a country that accepts it. If you’re sending to a European country with a different currency, you’ll want to double check that your transfer provider offers that currency before signing up. And to get the best deal on your transfer, compare money transfer providers before getting started.
Image source: Getty Images
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