The Best Way to Send Money from Germany to Other Countries

The Best Way to Send Money from Germany to Other Countries

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Sending money from Germany to other parts of the world is easy, especially if the receiving bank is in the European Union.

However, transferring money out of the country to banks not included in the European Union is quite easy as well – although you may pay a slightly higher transfer fee.

That said, this guide breaks down the cheapest ways to send money from Germany when comparing some of the more popular transfer methods available.

But if you’re looking for an overview of the cheapest methods on any given day — as the prices change often — then check out Monito. Monito scans the internet for the most affordable online money transfer services, saving you both time and money.

Let’s jump into it.

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Good to Know

When sending money from a bank in Germany to banks in other countries, you have to be aware of a few key things. Three of them are transfer fees, exchange rates, and transfer speeds.

You’ll be able to pick the best money transfer service provider and get the most money on the receiving bank if you know what to look for in these key areas.

Having said that, let’s take a closer look at each of them.

Transfer Fees

Anytime you transfer money out of Germany, you have to be mindful of the transfer fees, which come in three forms: fixed fees, percentage fees, and a combination of both.

Let’s look at each one more closely.

Fixed Fees

Fixed fees don’t change with the amount you’re sending out of Germany.

For instance, when paying a fixed fee, it doesn’t matter if you send EUR1,000 or EUR10,000 — you’re going to pay the same amount.

This means that for larger transfer amounts, you should always find a money transfer service provider that charges fixed fees.

Paying a percentage fee of 5 percent might make sense for transfers of EUR1,000, but you never want to pay that much for EUR10,000 transfers.

Lastly, you’ll find it difficult to locate a bank in Germany that charges fixed fees for international money transfers, as most of them charge percentage fees.

Percentage Fees

Percentage fees are another type of fee you’ll have to pay when sending money out of Germany.

Unlike fixed fees, percentage fees change with the amount you send from your German bank account.

If you use Deutsche Bank, for example, you’ll pay a 1.5 percent fee on all outgoing money transfers (not including the EUR25 flat fee for receiving banks).

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This isn’t much when sending a few hundred Euros but could add up when transferring thousands of Euros.

Combination Fees

Combination fees include both fixed fees and percentage fees and are some of the more common fee structures for banks and online money transfer service providers.

Wise and XendPay both use this fee type structure for international money transfers leaving Germany.

With transfer fees covered, we can now look at exchange rates.

Exchange Rates

Whenever you send money from Germany to another country, you want to be sure you’re getting exchange rates that are as close to mid-market exchange rates as possible.

You can find and compare mid-market exchange rates on XE.com.

Wise is known for offering mid-market exchange rates when considering all the banks and online money transfer service providers on our list.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s always the cheapest service to use, but we’ll cover more about that in our section on money transfer service providers.

Transfer Speeds

The last thing you’ll want to consider when sending money out of Germany is the transfer speed.

If you’re in a rush to get your money, you’ll want to pick the money transfer service provider that offers the quickest transfers, such as Western Union.

However, be aware that you will pay a lot more in fees for these quicker transfers, so ask yourself if it’s really worth using that method.

To be safe, you can use a service like Wise or XendPay, which transfers money in just a few hours to a few days in most cases.

Money Transfer Service Providers

In the following section, we’ll look at the fees that some of the more popular money transfer service providers charge for international transfers out of Germany.

XendPay

XendPay offers free transfers to all first-time senders, making it a great service to move money from Germany to other parts of the world.

xendpay

On a first-time EUR1,000 transfer from Germany to the U.S., for example, you get US$1,072 in the receiving account.

However, after you send more than GBP2,500 in any given year, you will have to pay XendPay’s standard transfer fees, which range from 0.41 percent to 1.5 percent per transfer.

You can also expect XendPay to take anywhere from 2 percent to 3 percent of the mid-market exchange rate as another charge.

Still, XendPay remains one of the cheapest ways to send money from Germany to other parts of the world.

Wise

Wise is the second cheapest money transfer service provider on this list. For a EUR1,000 transfer from Germany to the U.S., you’d receive US$1,065.61 into your American bank.

Moreover, you have three payment options when using Wise:

  • Low cost transfer from your bank account – EUR5.22
  • Easy transfer from your bank account using an online payment – EUR6.41
  • Fast transfer using a credit or debit card – EUR9.28

To find out more about how you can save money on your next international transfer from German, check out our in-depth review of Wise.

Bank Transfers

If you transfer money from a bank in Germany to a bank in another country in the European Union, you’ll save money because both banks will most likely be part of the SEPA network.

However, when you send money from Germany to a country that’s not in the SEPA network, your costs may go up a little bit.

Considering that, if you send EUR1,000 to the U.S. using a bank transfer from Deutsche Bank, after the average 2.52 percent to 5 percent in fees you’re charged, you’d get US$1,043.03 in the best-case scenario.

It’s not the cheapest option for sending money from Germany on this list, especially when transferring small amounts. And those fees only increase as your transfer amount increases.

However, if you have a Deutsche Bank account in the U.S., you can save on additional fees that non-account holders have to pay.

Western Union

Usually, Western Union comes in near the bottom of the list for cheapest ways to send money internationally. But in this case, it’s a cheaper option than bank transfers.

western union

A EUR1,000 transfer from Germany would yield you US$1,0429.24 in a bank account in the U.S.

Moreover, Western Union doesn’t charge a transfer fee. But don’t let that fool you. It does take 2.3 percent of the mid-market exchange rate to make a profit.

That is quite a high percentage compared to Wise, who offers mid-market exchange rates.

So, use Western Union only if you’re in an absolute bind and need money within minutes to cover a financial emergency.

Other than that, it’s best to go with an online money transfer service provider like Wise or XendPay.

Xoom (PayPal)

Using PayPal’s Xoom to send EUR1,000 from Germany to the U.S. would get you US$1,051.50 in your bank account in America, which ranks it smack-dab in the middle of our list as far as costs.

Whether you use your PayPal account, bank account, or credit card, Xoom charges a fixed fee of EUR1.99 for a EUR1,000 transfer. It also charges 1.9 percent in exchange rate fees.

Considering this, use Xoom only if you have to. When you can save money using Wise or XendPay, it doesn’t make sense to spend more on international money transfers if you can avoid it.

The Best Method to Send Money from Germany

XendPay slightly beats out Wise as the cheapest way to send money from Germany using a EUR1,000 transfer to the U.S. as an example.

MethodSpeedSendReceive
Xendpay1 to 3 DaysEUR1,000US$1,072.00
Wise1 to 3 DaysEUR1,000US$1,065.61
Xoom1 DayEUR1,000US$1,051.50
Western Union1 to 4 DaysEUR1,000US$1,049.24
Deutsche Bank2 to 3 DaysEUR1,000US$1,043.03

Now, on to You

That brings our guide on sending money from Germany to a close.

By now, you should know exactly what to watch out for when transferring money out of Germany to other parts of the world.

Moreover, don’t forget about Monito. It could save you time and money on your next transfer, as it lists the cheapest transfer methods by comparing the top service providers every day.

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John Wolcott is the global editor for ExpatDen. He's a New Jersey native who now lives in Bangkok with his wife and two daughters.