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Send money to Portugal
Understand what your options are when transferring funds to Portugal.
A money transfer company will offer lower fees and more competitive exchange rates than most banks — but which provider is best for you depends on how much you’re sending and how fast you need it to arrive.
Whether you’re sending money to family, buying goods from an overseas seller or you need to transfer funds for any other reason, you have plenty of transfer options to choose from. It’s essential that you shop around and compare a range of these options to find an affordable deal.
Compare Money Transfer Services
Banks versus money transfer companies
If you need to send money from South Africa to Portugal, the first option you may very well consider could be your bank – they look after all your other financial needs, so why not use their services when you need to send an international money transfer?
Unfortunately, banks have a bad reputation for offering very poor exchange rates to their customers, not to mention charging unnecessarily high transfer fees for each transaction. In other words, a significantly smaller amount of money will arrive in your recipient’s bank account than the amount you pay for the transaction.
The good news is that there are much more affordable options available. Recent years have seen the rise of specialist online money transfer companies that offer dedicated money transfer services. These companies offer better exchange rates and lower transfer fees than the big banks. In some cases, they even waive their transfer fees altogether when you send a large amount, so they can offer you a much better deal when you need to send funds to Portugal.
Cristiano Sends Money to Portugal
Cristiano is living and working in South Africa after meeting a South African girl. However, he wants to send some of the money he has earned (R10,000) 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 ZAR = 0.06046 EUR||1 ZAR = 0.06577 EUR|
|Transfer method||Bank account transfer||Online transfer|
|Processing time||1-4 days||1-3 days|
|Amount received (in EUR)||€604.60||€657.70|
As the table shows, Cristiano can save R15 in transfer fees if he uses a money transfer company instead of his bank and his parents will also receive €53 extra.
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring and receiving money via 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 consistently 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. While some companies only offer one-off transfers, others offer flexible options such as limit orders and forward contracts to help you get the exchange rate you want for your transaction. Some money transfer providers will also offer the convenience of scheduling regular payments in advance.
- 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 exceed with each transaction and whether or not 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 your bank account or can you 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.
How do I send money to Portugal from South Africa?
- 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 South Africa to Portugal.
- 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. South African banks 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.
How do I receive money from Portugal in South Africa?
- Online money transfer. There are several online money transfer companies that offer quick and easy transfers from Portugal to South Africa.
- Cash pickup transfer. You can collect funds sent from Portugal via a company like Western Union or MoneyGram from a branch location in South Africa.
- PayPal. PayPal’s international money transfer service makes it simple and convenient to receive small transfer amounts.
- Bank transfers. Your bank offers easy international money transfers and can also offer urgent transfers in an emergency.
- Cheques. You can cash an international cheque with your South African bank, but make sure you’re aware of any fees that will apply to your transaction.
Emergency cash transfers in Portugal
There are plenty of unfortunate situations where you might need to send an emergency cash transfer in either direction between South Africa and Portugal. For example, perhaps you need to send funds to a broke relative travelling through Portugal.
When using your bank or any other provider to send an emergency transfer, make sure to double check the exchange rate that will apply to your transaction. There’s a good chance you’ll have to pay a higher transaction fee as well, so make sure to closely check all the details of your transaction before sending your funds.Back to top
Cash pickup locations in Portugal/ Western Union / MoneyGram branches in Portugal
Western Union and MoneyGram are the world’s two largest providers of international money transfers. Each offers hundreds of thousands of agent locations around the globe and can make it easy to send money from South Africa to Portugal.
Details of some popular cash pickup locations are provided below. Make sure your recipient takes along photo ID and a transaction reference number when they go to collect the cash, while it’s also recommended that they phone ahead to confirm locations and opening times.
Tips for picking up cash in Portugal
Exercise the following simple safety precautions when picking up cash:
- Take a friend along to provide extra security
- Don’t display your cash in public
- Avoid travelling 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 South Africa 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.
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