Disclaimer: This article may link to products and services from one or more of ExpatDen’s partners. We may receive compensation when you click on those links. Although this may influence how they appear in this article, we try our best to ensure that our readers get access to the best possible products and services in their situations.
Do you have to send money from Spain to a recipient in another country somewhere in the world?
You’ll probably want to pick the cheapest online money transfer service provider so you get the most money on the receiving end.
To do this, you need to know a few things about sending money from Spain and, more importantly, which options are available to you.
This guide will help you determine all that plus much more, but it’s always a great idea to check the rates on Monito as well. It posts the best services on any given day, saving you both time and money.
Having said that, let’s jump in.
This article will take approximately 16 minutes to read. Don't have the time right now? No worries. You can email the ad-free version of the article to yourself and read it later!
- Legal Considerations When Sending Money from Spain
- Transfer Speeds
- Transfer Options
- Cheapest Way to Send Money from Spain
- Now on to You
Legal Considerations When Sending Money from Spain
Remittances are an activity recognized and protected by Spanish law Law 10/2010 to fight against tax fraud, which could make sending large amount of money from the country challenging.
Because of this, you have to declare any amount sent out of or into Spain that is larger than EUR10,000. Moreover, when doing so, you have to fill out and submit form S.
With that covered, let’s jump into the specifics of transferring money out of Spain.
When sending money from Spain, there are two types of fees you should be aware of:
- transfer fees
- exchange rate fees
Let’s look at each one more closely.
Every time you send money from Spain, your money service provider charges you a transfer fee.
This fee can come in the form of a fixed fee. For example, BBVA charges a minimum fixed fee of EUR35 no matter how much money you send from Spain. Fixed fees are usually good when you need to send large amounts of money.
In addition to fixed fees, some money service provider charge percentage fees. For example, Wise charges you around 0.75 percent when sending money from Spain to Thailand.
Then there are combination fees, in which you need to pay both a fixed fee and a percentage fee.
Transfer fees, however, aren’t your only concern.
In addition to transfer fees, money transfer service providers usually take a percentage of the mid-market exchange rate.
Considering that, some money transfer service providers may offer low transfer fees to attract customers, but they may take large percentages of the exchange rate, making it more expensive than other options.
Unfortunately, some providers are less transparent with their exchange rate fees than they are with their transfer fees.
Wise is one of the few online money transfer service providers that offers mid-market exchange rates. To check how close of an exchange rate you’re getting, you can refer to the rates on XE.com.
There are many factors that affect how long it takes to send money from Spain. We cover most of them in the following sections.
When transferring through banks, keep in mind that they determine how fast your money will be transferred.
If both the sending and receiving banks belong to the SEPA network, it should take two business days for a transfer. If they use SWIFT, it may take up to five business days.
If the currency you’re sending from Spain isn’t Euros, conversions might delay the transfer speed.
Weekends and Holidays
There is a reason why business days are always mentioned when talking about international transfer times. Banks don’t operate on Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays.
So, if you transfer money out of Spain on a Friday night, the bank won’t begin the process until Monday morning. The receiving account will then get the money anywhere from two to five business days from then.
For Wise and other online transfer service providers, transfer speeds also depend on the destination country, payment method, banking hours, and security checks.
For example, a transfer from Spain to the U.K. will arrive within two business days, if not sooner.
You have many options when sending money from Spain to another country, but not all of them are equal. In fact, some are more expensive than others.
Having said that, let’s jump into some of the more popular choices.
Revolut is an online money transfer service provider that helps you make international transfers.
Revolut is ideal to use if you want to avoid the high fees associated with traditional banking transfer fees, especially if you plan to send less than EUR1,000 out of Spain.
Also, its exchange rates are based on the mid-market rates found on XE.com, so you know you’re getting fair exchanges.
However, they do charge some fees you need to be aware of. For transfers outside the SEPA network, Revolut charges a 0.30 percent fee of the total amount transferred.
Moreover, for transfers made with currencies other than that of the recipient’s country, you’re charged additional fees. Currencies like USD, GBP, EUR, or CHF warrant a minimum charge of EUR3, while sending any other currency will cost EUR5.
Having said all this, Revolut is still one of the cheapest online money transfer service providers when it comes to sending money out of Spain.
For example, when sending EUR1,000 to the U.S., after paying all the fees mentioned above, you’d get US1,097 on the receiving end.
When it comes to transfer speeds, if the recipient has a Revolut account, the transfer is immediate. However, a transfer to the recipient’s traditional bank account might take up to three business days.
Wise is another popular online money transfer service provider that expats all over the world use to send money internationally.
As we mentioned earlier, Wise is one of the few providers that offers mid-market exchange rates. And using its service is quite simple.
You just need to open a Wise account, which is free, and then enter the amount you want to send and the destination currency. The system will automatically show the fees and the exchange rates. After entering the recipient, you make the payment, and Wise handles the transfer.
As for fees, Wise charges the following amounts for a EUR1,000 transfer to the U.S.:
- debit or credit card – EUR8.72
- bank account – EUR4.66
But how does is it match up to Revolut? Here’s what a EUR1,000 transfer would look like from Spain.
If you send EUR1,000 to the U.S. using Wise, you’d get US1,091.44 on the receiving end if you go with the cheapest payment option.
This makes Wise a great choice for anyone who has to send money from Spain to other countries.
Another convenient online money transfer service provider that helps you send money from Spain is WorldRemit.
WorldRemit has no minimum transfer amounts and works in over 140 countries. Moreover, it offers quite competitive exchange rates and allows for cash pickups.
To transfer money from Spain, you can use your debit or credit card, Apple pay, or more. With all these options, the maximum amount you can transfer out of the country is EUR8,000 per day.
WorldRemit’s fees depend on the method you choose to send money and the country where you it to. As for exchange rates, they also depend on the payout method you choose. However, these amounts are listed before you commit to a transfer, so you know exactly how much money your recipient will get.
With a EUR1,000 transfer from Spain to the U.S. using a bank transfer, you’d pay a EUR3.99 transfer fee, yielding US1,084.80 on the receiving end.
Still not cheaper than Revolut or Wise, but still better than the options below.
One traditional way of sending money from Spain to another country is to use a bank transfer.
Depending on where you’re sending money to and the currency type, there are two types of international transfers:
- SEPA international transfers: remittances of money carried out via bank transfer between companies or individuals within the so-called Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) network.
- SWIFT international transfers: regulated by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). These international transfers are used outside of the SEPA network.
Spanish banks won’t charge fees for standard transfers made in countries within the SEPA zone. You will, however, have to pay additional fees for transfers outside of the SEPA network.
SWIFT transfers are used for international transfers made in countries not included in the SEPA network. In this case, fees tend to be higher.
You might have to deal with the additional costs of the intermediary banks and the destination bank as well. Depending on the delivery method you choose for your transfer, you’ll have indicate who’s responsible for the transfer fees using the codes below.
- OUR sending method: the sender is responsible for all costs.
- SHA (shared costs) sending method: the fees are split between the sender and the receiver.
- BEN sending method: the beneficiary is responsible for all costs, so all the fees are deducted from the amount sent.
For example, when using BBVA bank, if you choose the OUR option, you pay 0.70 percent in fees with a minimum charge of EUR35. On the other hand, if you choose the BEN or SHA methods, you pay 0.60 percent with a minimum charge of EUR18 for sending money and 0.40 percent with a minimum of EUR21 for receiving money.
In addition, with all international transfers outside of the SEPA network, there is a EUR10 fee for SWIFT transfers.
With all of these fees in mind, if you transfer EUR1,000 to the U.S. using a bank transfer, you can expect to get US1,081 on the receiving end. Keep in mind that the fees vary with each bank, though.
Generally, banks that operate entirely online are cheaper. So expect banks such as EVObank and ING to have lower fees because they are online banks. On the other hand, banks such as Santander, BBVA, and Bank Sabadell have higher fees, as they are brick and mortar banks.
Transfer speeds inside the SEPA network fall somewhere between one and two business days; SWIFT transfers might take two to five business days.
You have two options for sending international money transfers using your PayPal account:
- You can send money directly to the recipient’s PayPal account.
- You can use PayPal’s XOOM and send money directly to the recipient’s bank account.
Also, you should send money using the personal payment option, as these are free within the SEPA network. However, PayPal charges higher fees for international transfers made outside of the SEPA network.
And one thing to note is that its exchanges rate are less favorable than the mid-market exchange rates found on XE.
The total cost of sending money from Spain using PayPal is at least 2.5 percent of the total transfer amount, including payment and currency conversion fees. On some occasions, sending money through PayPal could cost close to 10 percent of the money you transfer.
Considering all that, if you send EUR1,000 from Spain to the U.S. via XOOM, the recipient will get US1,071.50. That’s after a transfer fee of EUR1.99 plus the hidden fees connected to the exchange rate.
If you transfer money directly to the recipient’s PayPal account, he or she will receive it immediately. If you transfer money through Xoom, the speed depends on the country you’re sending to and the currency you use.
For example, if you send it to a recipient’s bank account in U.S., the money usually shows up on the next business day. If you send to a Visa or MasterCard issued by an eligible bank, the money usually arrives in minutes. If you choose the pickup option, your money typically gets there within minutes.
Western Union has been a popular choice for people who want to send money from Spain to another country, but like PayPal, it is not the cheapest option.
Western Union does have some advantages, including the following:
- You aren’t require to have a bank account for sending or receiving.
- Transfer speeds are fast; the recipient receives money in minutes.
- Western Union services practically the entire world (200 countries).
The main disadvantages to using Western Union are its high transfer fees and its maximum transfer amount of EUR3,000 per day.
Western Union fees depend on the amount of money you spend, the sending and receiving countries, and the payment and delivery methods.
Sometimes paying for your transfer with a credit or debit card and then receiving cash is the most expensive combination. And fees for withdrawing money at the agent location are generally higher than when sending money online.
Like most money transfer service providers, Western Union makes part of its profits by taking a percentage of the mid-market exchange rate.
So, when sending EUR1,000 to the U.S. using Western Union, you get US1,034.61 after it takes its cut of the exchange rate and transfer fee of EUR4.90.
Western Union is often not the cheapest service for transfers, but it’s available in many countries and might be useful in extremely urgent cases.
Postal Money Orders
The postal money orders are transfers carried out through the Correos, or Spanish Post Office.
We mention it as an option because it has been one of the most traditional ways for people to send money from Spain to Columbia, Cuba, Marruecos, Uruguay, Peru, Portugal, Chile, Ecuador, and Paraguay.
You can send money from Spain’s Post Office to other countries, but they will use Western Union in this case, so you can expect additional fees.
The biggest plus of choosing the postal money order is that you and the recipient don’t need a bank account. You transfer cash at the post office and the recipient collect the cash at an agency on his or her end.
It’s secure as well, but you can only send a maximum of EUR2,500 per day.
The transfer fee is roughly EUR4.75 plus a 1.25 percent surcharge for currency exchanges. The recipient receives the money in 15 minutes.
Cheapest Way to Send Money from Spain
However, not everything is cut and dry when sending Money from Spain. For instance, if you need to transfer over EUR10,000, then a bank transfer with fixed fees might be the way to go.
Whichever money transfer service you pick, be sure to always check Monito first, as it lists the best online money transfer service providers for any given day.
|Method||Speed||Sending Euros||Receiving US Dollars|
|Revolut||1 to 3 Days||EUR1,000||US1,097.10|
|Wise||1 to 3 Days||EUR1,000||US1,091.44|
|Banks||2 to 3 Days||EUR1,000||US1,081.16|
|Xoom (PayPal)||1 to 3 Days||EUR1,000||US1,071.50|
|Western Union||1 to 4 Days||EUR1,000||US1,034.61|
Now on to You
There are many ways to send money from Spain, so you won’t run out of options. However, there is no perfect option that suits everyone.
You have to make the best choice for yourself depending on how much your sending and how fast you need the money – all of which this article has hopefully helped you with.