What is the Best Way to Transfer Money From a Bank in Europe?

When it comes to sending money overseas from your European bank, you’ve got plenty of options. Choosing the right method for your international currency exchange will save you money and ensure the recipient gets their funds quickly and safely. We’ve done the research, so sit back, relax and learn the very best ways to transfer your money out of Europe.

 

Why Your European Bank Won’t Be Your Best Option

Of course, your first instinct is to use your European bank to send money overseas. Stop right there! Although your bank might be convenient, you’ll end up spending much more to send money with them rather than through a specialist money transfer provider. Here’s why:

  • Banks charge high, fixed fees for international money transfers
  • You’ll typically get a worse exchange rate from your European bank than you can find elsewhere
  • Your payment may have to go through several other banks, who all charge fees
  • The recipient may be charged a fee to receive the money into their account
currency exchange rate board on a bank

That high, fixed fee is a real problem if you’re sending smaller amounts of money, as European banks might charge up to 50 euros to send an international money transfer. For example, if you’re sending 500 euros to the U.S., that 50 euro fee will eat up ten percent of the whole amount.

Banks will also give you a worse exchange rate than you can get elsewhere, sometimes up to three or four percent below the base rate. Additionally, international money transfers may need to pass through other, intermediary banks, and each of those may charge an additional ten euros to process the transfer. FInally, the recipient’s bank will probably charge to deposit the funds into their account.

This all adds up to a bad deal for you and the recipient. For lower value transfers, you may pay 15 to 20 percent of the whole value of the transfer in fees and exchange rates.

 

There is a Better Way to Send Money Out of Europe

We have some good news for you. If you want to send money outside Europe, you can use a specialist money transfer services to save yourself a small fortune in fees. Setting up an account is quick and easy, your money is safe, and the recipient will get their funds quickly.

Because these money transfer companies only focus on exchanging and transferring funds, they offer much more competitive fees and rates, meaning you get a bargain. Here are some of our favorite money transfer services.

Best Overall Online Service

Best online international money transfer company

TransferWise is a great online option if you want a hassle-free and low cost way to send money from Europe. They also offer an easy to use online service and mobile app and are ideal for sorting out your international money transfer straight away. But don't just take our word for it, they also have a 9.1/10 rating on TrustPilot.

How to transfer money from Europe with TransferWise?

  • Create an online account and login.
  • Tap in how much and where to. Enter your recipients details including IBAN number.
  • Make local EUR payment to TransferWise, using your debit account, a bank transfer, or your debit or credit card.

What are the costs?

TransferWise offers you the best exchange rates — identical to the rate you find on Google. They then charge a small, percentage-based service fee. The best way to figure out how much your transfer from Europe will cost, is to use TransferWise's calculator. TransferWise offers 3 types of transfer when you send money from Europe.

  1. Low cost transfers - this is your cheapest option. All you need to do is to send money directly from your bank account, but it also means you need your bank account details.
  2. Fast transfers - this is the most expensive option, but it's the most convenient. This is because you can use your debit or credit card to make the transfer quickly.
  3. Easy transfers - a bank transfer with an online payment is slightly more expensive than the low-cost transfer option, but you do need more information from your bank.

Speed of transfer:

  • Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) countries: 0-1 business days
  • Sending EUR to countries outside of SEPA will take 2-5 working days

Is TransferWise safe?

Yes they are. Click here to see our full review of TransferWise.

Best fee free money transfer service

OFX is one of the oldest online money transfer companies in the market, with over 20 years under its belt. While they are especially good for sending money from the UK, USA or Australia, they also have the capabilities to send money from any European bank account in Europe to over multiple countries worldwide. OFX pride themselves on trying to take the mystery out of foreign exchange and offering rates that are better than the banks and are therefore a good option.

How to transfer money from Europe with OFX?

  • Create a free online account and login to get a live quote for your transfer.
  • Enter your recipients details including bank account number, the IBAN number and the SWIFT/BIC code.
  • 'Finalise transaction' and pay using a bank transfer. Business customers can use direct debit.

What are the costs?

OFX offer zero transfer fees when you send money from Europe. They make their money by charging you slightly worse exchange rate than you would find on XE or Google. They also have a currency exchange calculator on their website, but it shows the interbank rate. This is the rate BEFORE they apply their margin. To get an accurate quote, you need to set up an account. Alternatively, use our exchange rate comparison engine. You'll see OFX's actual exchange rates and fees and comparison with other services.

Speed of transfer:

It can take 1-5 business days for transfers from Europe.

Is OFX safe?

Yes they are. See our full review of OFX for more information.

Best instant funds transfer company

WorldRemit is an online money transfer company that focuses on remittances. This means they offer  They're especially good for money transfers from Europe to other regions within Europe, parts of Asia, Africa and South America. Two million users online use WorldRemit and they pride themselves on being able to transfer money quickly (within 10 minutes!) and conveniently. 90% of bank transfers are received the same day.

How to transfer money from Europe with WorldRemit?

  • Create an online account and login. Verify your account with personal ID and address documents.
  • Tap in how much and where to. Enter your recipients personal details and address or IBAN for a bank transfer.
  • Make local European payment to WorldRemit, using your bank account, debit, credit or prepaid cards, Apple/Android/Google Pay, or online payment platforms like Sofort, iDEAL, or Trustly, depending on where you're sending money from in Europe.

What are the costs?

WorldRemit's transfer fees are a bit confusing, because they differ depending on the amount of money you send and where you send your funds. They charge a fixed fee and add a margin to the exchange rate, but are still a better option than transferring money through your European bank.

Speed of transfer depends on transfer type:

  • Bank transfer: Instant for selected banks
  • Cash Pick-up: Instant collection
  • Mobile Money: Same day
  • Home delivery: 1-7 days, depending on location

Is WorldRemit safe?

Yes they are. Learn more about how trustworthy WorldRemit are.

Safest money transfer company

The overall XE business has been around since 1993, so they know a thing or two about sending money overseas! Not only are they a well-established brand, they are also one of the biggest and most trusted international money transfer companies with a 9.3/10 rating on TrustPilot. They are completely regulated and have correct licenses in every country they operate in. In addition to their money transfer service, XE offers a wealth of reliable information on exchange rates, including currency price history, news and more.

How to transfer money from Europe with XE Money Transfer?

  • Set up account online or over the phone.
  • Tap in how much, where to and which currency.
  • Pay XE and they will transfer the funds to your recipients bank account.

What are the costs?

XE Money Transfer don’t charge a fee for sending money from Europe. Instead they make a profit by offering you a slightly worse exchange rate than the base rate you would find on their website.

Speed of transfer:

Allow 1-4 business days for money transfers from Europe.

Is XE safe?

Yes they are. They are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Services Regulations 2017.

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General advice: The information on this site is of a general nature only. It does not take your specific needs or circumstances into consideration. You should look at your own personal situation and requirements before making any financial decisions.