How to send money to Spain
Shop around for the best money transfer service when you need to send money to Spain.
Compare services that send money to Spain from the UK
Banks vs. money transfer companies
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.Back to top
Case study: Xavi sends money to Spain
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|
|Exchange rate||1 GBP = 1.078 EUR||1 GBP = 1.036 EUR|
|Transfer method||Bank account deposit||Cash pickup|
|Transfer speed||3 business days||10 minutes|
|Total EUR received for £1,000||1,078 EUR||1,036 EUR|
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.
Foreign exchange rates explainedThe 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
Steps to send money to Spain
- Choose a money transfer provider that suits your needs.
- Create an account with the provider, supplying your name, address, contact details, proof of ID and information about your selected payment method.
- Select the amount you want to send and complete the transfer process.
- Keep a record of any transaction reference number you receive so that you can review the progress of your transfer.
Ways to send money to Spain from the UK
- Bank transfers. Most banks in the UK will allow you to send money to Spain.
- Money transfer providers. Providers like Ria and XE can help you quickly and easily transfer your money online.
- Providers 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 UK to Spain.
How safe is a money transfer?
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.Back to top
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