Hunting around for the best exchange rate and lowest fees can save you money when you need to transfer funds to Portugal.
From bank transfers and online transactions to options that allow recipients to collect your funds within minutes, sending an international money transfer to Portugal is easy. However, do your research and shop around for the best available deal.
Compare Money Transfer Services
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With over 17 years of foreign exchange expertise and over $100 billion transferred, OFX can help with all your currency exchange needs, including:
- Buying property abroad
- Regular overseas payments
- Risk management
- If the provider quotes a different rate to the one above please let us know
Banks versus money transfer companies
The first place many people go when they need to send an international money transfer is to their bank. While banks can certainly send money overseas for you, their fees are often higher compared to companies that specialize in international money transfers. These money transfer companies focus on international transactions and can offer much better exchange rates than most major banks.
Cristiano is living and working in the U.S. after meeting an American girl and moving to Atlanta. However, he wants to send some of the money he has earned ($2,000) back home to his parents in Lisbon as a gift for their retirement. He decides to compare the services of his bank with those of a money transfer company to see which provider can offer him the better deal.
|Bank||Money transfer company|
|Exchange rate||$1 USD = $0.6046 EUR||$1 USD = $0.6377 EUR|
|Transfer method||Bank account transfer||Online transfer|
|Processing time||1-4 days||1-3 days|
|Amount received (in EUR)||€1,209.20||€1,268.87|
As the table shows, Cristiano can save $15 in transfer fees if he uses a money transfer company instead of his bank and his parents will also receive almost €60 extra.
How do I compare transfer companies when sending money to Portugal?
You’ll need to consider the following factors when comparing money transfer companies:
- Exchange rates. The better the exchange rate you receive, the more money will arrive in your recipient’s pocket. Shop around for a company that offers great exchange rates, but watch out for companies that attach high transfer fees to their attractive exchange rates.
- Transfer fees. Consider how much it will cost you to send a transfer. Fees can vary substantially from one provider to the next, and some companies will even allow you to avoid their fees if you transfer a large amount of money.
- Transfer methods. How can you place a transfer? Is the transaction handled entirely online, or can you also place a transfer over the phone or by 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?
- Transfer time. Make sure you look at how long it will take for the funds you send to make it to your beneficiary. If a company claims to offer super-fast transfers, you might have to be prepared to pay extra for this service.
- Minimum amounts. Check to see whether there are any minimum transfer limits that you must meet with each transaction and whether it is feasible for you to do so.
- Pickup methods. How will your recipient access the money you send? Will the funds go directly to their bank account, or can they collect the cash from an agent location?
- Customer service. Check to see what customer service options are available so that if you ever need help, you can access it quickly and easily.
What are my options for sending money to Portugal from the U.S.?
- Online money transfer companies. Known for their attractive exchange rates, low transfer fees and convenient transfer options, online money transfer companies can help you send money from the U.S. to Portugal. OFX, World First and CurrencyOnline are three examples of these types of companies.
- Cash pickup transfer companies. If you want to send funds to Portugal and allow your recipient to collect cash from an agent location, companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram can help.
- PayPal. PayPal’s international money transfer service makes it affordable to send smaller amounts of money to Portugal and other locations around the world.
- Bank transfers. Any major U.S. bank can help you send funds to countries in all four corners of the globe, but banks offer higher fees and mediocre exchange rates when compared to online transfer providers.
- International checks. International guaranteed checks can be obtained from your bank and sent overseas, but this transfer method is time-consuming and costly.
Emergency cash transfers in Portugal
There are certain situations when you might need to send a transfer as quickly as possible. When you do need to send an emergency transfer, remember that you will usually have to pay extra in order to get your funds to your beneficiary ASAP. Make sure to check the exchange rate and fees that apply so you know exactly how much it will cost.Back to top
Tips for picking up cash in Portugal
- Take a friend along to provide extra security.
- Don’t display your cash in public.
- Avoid traveling through any high-crime areas.
- Don’t carry large sums of money around.
- Deposit the funds into your bank account as soon as possible.
What are the steps to send money to Portugal?
While the exact process for sending money from the U.S. to Portugal will vary depending on the transfer provider you choose, you will generally need to:
- Set up an account. You can often do this online and you may need to provide your name, address, proof of ID and bank account details.
- Enter details about your transaction. You’ll need to provide details about the amount of money you wish to send, in which currency and where it will be going.
- Provide your recipient’s details. Provide cash pickup or bank account details for your recipient, including their full name.
- Pay for your transfer. Submit your transfer and pay for the transaction. In some cases you may need to pass on a reference number to your recipient.
There are plenty of options available when you need to send money to Portugal, so compare the choices at your disposal before you hand over any of your hard-earned cash.