Transferring money to Spain doesn’t need to be overwhelming and costly, and you don’t need a bank to complete the process. International money transfer services are a better option than banks because of their competitive rates and fees. When it’s time to send money to Spain, compare the transfer fees and exchange rates of the options available to you to get the best deal with the least amount of hassle.
Top picks are our selection of some of the best money transfer products and services, based on our extensive research and market experience. Our top picks are displayed at the top of some pages to help you make decisions faster, but our top pick may not be the best pick for you.
While you might be tempted to visit your bank for a wire transfer to Spain, a reputable money transfer service can typically offer better exchange rates, lower fees and faster delivery — often without you having to leave your home.
Banks don’t often publish exchange rates, but you can sometimes find the rate you’ll receive by logging in to your online bank account.
Having married a British woman and relocated permanently to London, Xavi still maintains strong ties with his family in Barcelona. When his sister gets into financial trouble and urgently needs cash to pay her bills, Xavi offers to send her £1,000. Rather than fork over the hefty fee charged by his bank, Xavi decides to see how much it will cost him to transfer the money through a money transfer provider. He compares two different providers.
Money transfer company 1
Money transfer company 2
1 GBP = 1.078 EUR
1 GBP = 1.036 EUR
Bank account deposit
3 business days
Total EUR received for £1,000
As you can see, while the second company allows rapid transfers it also charges a much higher transfer fee (£53 greater) and offers a poorer exchange rate. Xavi can send an extra 42 euros if he uses the first provider.
How to compare transfer companies when sending money to Spain
By comparing a few elements of your transfer, you can ensure that you get the cheapest deal for your needs.
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.
The eurozone’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 Spain
When processed through a reputable provider, your funds are safely tracked until in the hands of your recipient. It’s industry standard for international money services to use 128-bit SSL encryption systems at a minimum. Many also are licensed with UK financial regulators.
Picking up cash
Whether picking up funds in Madrid 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.
Same-day cash transfers in Spain
You might need to send an immediate cash transfer to Spain — for example, if a friend travelling 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.
Adrienne Fuller is the head of publishing at Finder US. With a decade of experience creating guides in finance and education, she aims to deliver the accurate and transparent information she wishes she had when she made some of life's important financial decisions. For the past 3 years she has been the publisher of money transfers, helping readers save when they send money all over the globe. She has a BA from Colorado College and loves to hike with her two Catahoula dogs around her home in San Diego.
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