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How to send money to Germany
Secure, convenient ways to send your US dollars to Deutschland.
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 providers who can help you send money to Germany
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 do international money transfers work?
If you don’t already have an account with the company you choose for your transfer, you’ll need to open one either in person or online. The money you send can be in cash or from a bank account, a debit card or even a credit card. Simply put, once you’ve signed over your funds and designated a recipient, the bank or transfer agency whisks it through electronic money networks to its destination, where your recipient either picks it up in person or finds it deposited into their bank account.
Banks versus money transfer companies
Think the obvious way to send money abroad is through your bank? It may also be the slowest and priciest, with high fees and weak exchange rates — resulting in fewer euros for your recipient.
You can save time and money by using a money transfer company that specializes in zipping funds around the world. They stay in business by offering low fees, and most take a minimal cut of the exchange rate. You pay less upfront, and your recipient gets more euros.
Case study: Klaus Sends Money to Germany
Klaus has been settled in Boston for more than five years now but he still maintains strong ties with his family back in Munich. Every year around Christmas time he sends them a $1,000 money transfer to help fund their holiday shopping spree, but Klaus is growing tired of paying a $45 transfer fee imposed by his bank every time he makes a transfer. He decides to compare the services of two money transfer companies to see if he can find a better deal.
|Money transfer company 1||Money transfer company 2|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 88.20 EUR||1 USD = 87 EUR|
|Transfer method||Bank account deposit||Bank account deposit|
|Processing time||4 business days||3 business days|
|Amount received (in EUR)||882 EUR||870 EUR|
As you can see, a small difference in the exchange rate makes a noticeable difference in the amount that makes it to Klaus’ family, while fees and processing times also vary between companies.
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How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Germany
- Exchange rates. The exchange rate that applies to your transaction can have a huge impact on the affordability of your transaction, so search for a company that regularly offers competitive rates.
- Fees. Make sure you’re aware of any fees that will apply to your transfers, keeping in mind that companies with higher exchange rates may also have higher fees.
- Transfer methods. Available transfer methods include online, over the phone, using a mobile app or visiting a branch.
- Transfer options. Can you lock in an ideal exchange rate now and transfer the money later, known as a forward contract? Does the institution offer limit orders, which allows you to take advantage of changing market conditions by executing the money transfer when a certain exchange rate is met? Can you schedule recurring payments, or does the company only provide one-off spot orders?
- Turnaround time. Processing times can vary from within 10 minutes to up to 5 business days, so check each company’s turnaround time if fast transfers are a priority for you.
- Minimum transfer amount. Some companies will force you to transfer more than a minimum limit each time you send funds overseas, which can be frustrating if you only need to send small transfers.
- Pickup methods. Can the funds be collected from a transfer agent, or will they be deposited into your recipient’s bank account?
- Customer service. Will phone, email and/or live chat customer support be available when you need it?
Foreign exchange rates explained
The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it will yield more money when exchanging it in a country with a weak currency. The euro’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 Germany
Ways to send money to Germany from America
- Bank transfers. Bank-to-bank transfers are a safe and convenient way to send funds overseas.
- Online money transfer providers. Companies like TransferWise and OFX offer affordable international money transfers.
- Money transfer companies with cash pickup options. MoneyGram and Western Union are the two best-known providers of this service.
- PayPal. PayPal offers secure and quick transfers between the United States and Germany.
- Checks. Obtaining an international check from your bank is a reliable but slow transfer method.
Steps to send money to Germany
- Choose from among the numerous transfer providers who send money to Germany.
- Register with the provider of your choice on their website providing your name, address, contact information and date of birth. A valid photo ID will also be required.
- Provide your recipient’s name, address and contact details. Depending on the transfer method you may also have to supply their bank account information.
- Enter the amount you want to send, complete your transaction and save your tracking or receipt number to follow up on the progress of your transfer.
Making a cash transfer to Germany
If you ever need to send an emergency cash transfer to Germany — maybe your teenage son or daughter is backpacking through Europe and has run out of money — remember that urgent transfers often don’t come cheap. Fees rise and exchange rates often fall when you send a transfer ASAP, so take a little time to examine the full cost of your transfer before you send it.
Tips for picking up cash in Germany
Keep the following safety tips in mind if you ever pick up a cash transfer from an agent in Germany:
- Make sure your wallet and bag are secure.
- Never leave your bag or wallet unattended in a public place.
- Don’t carry around large sums of cash – deposit the funds with a bank as soon as you can.
- Ask a friend to accompany you and act as a deterrent to thieves.
- Don’t publicize your cash in front of strangers.
Cash pickup locations in Germany
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