Send Money to Portugal. Cheap And Fast Ways To Transfer Money abroad

Compare 6 providers to find the best way for you to send money from the United States to Portugal

What’s the Best Way To Send Money to Portugal from the United States

The best way to send money to Portugal from the United States will depend on the details of the payment, as well as your personal preference. Here are some things to think about:

  • How does your recipient want to get the money? Different providers have different payout options including bank deposits and cash collection.
  • How do you want to pay? You’ll find a range of options to pay by bank transfer, card or cash depending on the provider you pick.
  • How fast do you need the money to get to Portugal from the United States? Banks can take a few days while some specialist transfers are instant.
  • What happens if something goes wrong with your payment? Picking a well rated provider can offer some reassurance that there will be help on hand if you run into any issues.
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How to send money from the United States to Portugal

Making a payment from the United States to Portugal – or sending money internationally anywhere else in the world – can be a bit daunting.

You want your transfer to go through smoothly, with low fees, a fair exchange rate and a fast delivery time. But how do you find a provider that ticks all your boxes? And what is required to set up your payment? Here’s how to send money from the United States to Portugal in just a few simple steps.

1. Take a look at our comparison table

You have a couple of key choices when sending money from the United States to Portugal – use your normal bank, or pick a specialist provider. The good news is that our comparison table can quickly show you which options are best for your specific transfer. We only ever compare reputable providers so you know your money will be safe – and our data is transparent so you can make sure you’re getting the best possible deal every time. Before you decide how to arrange your international payment, check out the transfer fees and exchange rates available, and compare the final received amount for different providers. This will help make sure you get great value for your transfer. You’ll also want to look at other important factors like the delivery speed, payment options and how providers keep your money safe, so you know your payment will go through hassle free.

2. Register with your preferred provider

Specialist providers typically require new customers to register an account – which is usually free – and complete a verification step. This is to comply with the law and keep your money safe. Luckily, some providers also have new customer offers to thank you for registering and reduce the cost of your first payment or two. If you pick an online or in-app service you’ll be able to register your account digitally. Usually all you’ll need is your email address – or you may be able to register through your Google or Facebook account instead. Create a secure password, and upload images of your documents to get verified. Verification usually requires a proof of ID like a passport or driving license, while proof of address can often be a bank statement or utility bill in your name. Finally, some providers let you get verified by uploading a selfie with your paperwork, with instant or near-instant verification common.

3. Make your transfer

Once your account is up and running you’ll be able to create your payment from the United States to Portugal. Log into your provider account and generate a personal quote for the transfer. Once you’re happy with the details, you’ll need to enter your recipient’s information to get the payment started. Usually you’ll need to add your recipient’s full name, bank account number, bank name and any other local details needed – like a CLABE number for Mexico or a sort code for the UK. Transfer times can vary depending on the provider you pick. Specialist services can often get your money moving faster than a bank, but it still makes sense to set up your payment as soon as you can to avoid unexpected delays.

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How much will my money transfer to Portugal cost?

The costs of sending an international money transfer to Portugal varies widely depending on the type of payment you’re making.

To send money to Portugal using an international money transfer provider, the fees range from 50.91 USD to 767.47 USD, but if you plan to send with a traditional bank you could pay more overall. Traditional bank costs include a transfer fee, exchange rate markup, and SWIFT fees which are paid to third parties involved in the transfer.

What’s the cheapest way to transfer money from the United States to Portugal?

The costs of sending international payments from the United States to Portugal can vary widely. Specialist providers are often cheaper than banks, with better exchange rates too.

In our comparison the cheapest option to send 10000 USD to Portugal would be Wise. By sending money with Wise you could potentially save up to 716.56 USD compared to the most expensive provider in the table.

When you choose how to send your international money transfer, remember to check the transfer fees, the exchange rate offered, and what third party charges may apply, to build a full picture of the cost of your payment.

How long does it take to transfer money to Portugal?

How long it takes to transfer money to Portugal depends on the provider you pick. Bank international transfers often take a few days to arrive, while specialist services may get your money moving faster.

What is the fastest way to send money to Portugal?

While traditional banks can be a familiar way to send money to Portugal, they’re seldom the fastest. Specialist services often use their own payment networks to make it faster to move money around the world. While banks may take 3 – 5 business days to get your money where it needs to be, choosing a specialist to send money to Portugal could mean your payment arrives instantly, or at least within 24 hours.

Based on our comparison the fastest way to send money to Portugal would be with Wise, arriving in only 0-2 Days.

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What is the best rated provider to transfer money to Portugal?

Picking a trusted provider to transfer money to Portugal is crucial. Getting a personal recommendation, or using a resource like Trustpilot to see what others say about your preferred international money transfer service will give you peace of mind, and ensure there’s someone on hand to help if things go wrong. Here are the Trustpilot ratings for some popular transfer services to consider:

  • CurrencyFair   4.6 stars out of 5 – Excellent – with 5,954+ reviews listed
  • Wise   4.5 stars out of 5 – Excellent – with 173,589+ reviews listed
  • XE   4.3 stars out of 5 – Great – with 54,065+ reviews listed
  • Remitly   4.1 stars out of 5 – Great – with 37,083+ reviews listed
  • Western Union   4 stars out of 5 – Great – with 36,101+ reviews listed
  • OFX   3.9 stars out of 5 – Great – with 4,961+ reviews listed

Safest way to send money to Portugal

The safest way to send money to Portugal is to select a provider which is properly registered and regulated both in United States and Portugal. There are many global regulators around the world, and it’s common for international money transfer providers to be registered and regulated by dozens of different bodies, depending on where they operate.

In the US for example, you’ll usually find providers are registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), and they may also need to hold a state license depending on how they’re set up.

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How to do bank transfers from the United States to Portugal?

Here’s an outline of the 4 easy steps needed to send a bank transfer from the United States to Portugal:

  1. Create an account – choose the right provider for you and register – this can often be done online or through an app in just a few clicks
  2. Verify – to keep your account safe you’ll need to provide some paperwork. Usually online providers will ask you to upload images of a proof of ID and proof of address for verification
  3. Top up – add funds to your account in your preferred way. Local bank transfers are often the cheapest way to add money to your account ready to make a payment
  4. Add recipient details and send – enter your recipient’s name and bank account details, confirm the amount and currency you’re sending, and you’re ready to go!
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What details do you need to send money to Portugal?

When you send money to Portugal you’ll need to provide a few details to make sure your payment goes smoothly. The first time you make a payment with a provider you’ll usually need to provide proof of ID and address for verification. You might also be required to upload documents for some specific transfers, especially if you’re sending a high value amount.

You’ll also have to add your recipient’s information including their full name, bank name and account number and any local details required based on the country you’re sending money to.

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How can you pay for your transfer to Portugal?

Consider how you want to pay for your transfer to Portugal before you pick your provider as not all services are available from all international money transfer companies. Common options include:

  • Bank transfer – you can pay for your international transfer using an international wire from your normal bank, or by making a local bank transfer to a specialist provider
  • Online or in app – most specialist services let you pay with a bank transfer or card, through their website or app. You might also be able to pay using your bank’s online banking service if you choose to go with a traditional bank wire
  • Pay by cash in a branch/agency – some providers have branches or agent locations around the country, to allow you to walk in to set up your payment and hand over cash
  • Start online and pay in cash in a branch – finally, some services have an option to book your payment online or in an app and pay by cash at an agent location

To send money with the cheapest money transfer provider Wise, you can pay using Bank transfer, Card (debit or credit), SWIFT, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Online.

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How to send a large amount of money to someone in Portugal?

Before you send a large amount of money to someone in Portugal you may want to take the following steps:

  • Ask your provider if they have any payment limits, and check if your own bank has limits on local transfers, too
  • Complete your account verification in full to avoid delays
  • Ask your provider if you’ll need any further details of paperwork to send a large amount of money to Portugal – you might need to show the source of the funds, or give details about what the payment is for, for example
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What is the best provider to send a large amount of money to Portugal?

If you’re sending a large amount of money to Portugal you’ll be able to save money if you select a provider which uses the mid-market exchange rate – or as near as possible as you can find. That’s because exchange rate markups can mean extremely high overall costs when you send larger amounts of money. A small percentage amount added to an exchange rate quickly adds up when the amount you’re sending is on the high side.

USD/EUR exchange rate trends

Exchange rates move around all the time based on supply and demand in global currency markets. It’s a smart move to track USD/EUR exchange rates with a currency converter tool.

You may also be able to set up alerts with your favorite international payment provider, to get notified when USD/EUR exchange rates hit your preferred rate.

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What are the best apps to send money to Portugal from the United States ?

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Using an app to send money to Portugal from the United States can be convenient – and if you pick the right provider, you could also save money on your transfer. Here are a few good apps to look at when you make your payment from the United States to Portugal:

  • Revolut – Revolut offers free and fee paying accounts, to hold and manage 30+ currencies and send payments around the world. Good for people who want to manage their money on the move, with saving and budgeting tools, kids accounts and more.
  • Remitly – Remitly payments can be made on a selection of popular remittance routes, with great payout options and an easy to use customer interface. Strong option if you want to send money to someone without easy access to a bank account, for cash collection at an agent.
  • Wise – Wise international payments and multi-currency accounts are often the cheapest way to hold, send, spend and exchange 50+ currencies. Open a free personal account in the Wise app, to exchange currencies with the real mid-market exchange rate, spend on your linked international debit card, and receive payments like a local from 30+ countries.
  • OFX – OFX is a currency specialist offering good value for higher transfer amounts, as well as a range of more sophisticated currency risk management tools for individuals and businesses. Arrange transactions online or in the app – or call a currency specialist to talk through your options on the phone.
  • Western Union – Western Union is one of the most recognizable brands in international payments, with huge numbers of agents around the world. Good option for people who want to set up the transfer in app but pay in cash in a branch, or have the recipient get the money in cash at an agent close to them.

What to know about sending money to Portugal

How do I make sure my money is safe when transferring to Portugal?

All of the providers on our site are financially regulated in the countries they operate and hold the necessary Financial Services Licences. They have the highest security measures in place for fraud prevention and identity protection. However, it’s still better to be safe than sorry. Here are some additional ways you can transfer funds safely:

  • Double check privacy policies and the tracking process for your money transfer provider
  • Use a strong, long and unique password with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols when you set-up your account
  • Ensure your money transfer service provides two-factor authentication, including SMS or email-based security code
Why do provider exchange rates and fees vary?

Different companies charge you different fees. When you send money abroad using your bank or international money transfer company, you could be charged fees in several ways:

  1. They may offer a slightly worse currency exchange rate, also known as the exchange rate markup or margin.
  2. They may charge a fixed fee.
  3. They may charge a commission or service charge, also known as a percentage-based fee.

Something else to bear in mind — if you’re sending money to someone else’s bank account, their bank may charge receiving or processing fees. A money transfer company has no influence on these fees, and you should speak to the receiving bank to understand how much they might charge. Find out how much it really costs to send money internationally.

Do rates and fees get better the more I send?

Potentially. It really depends on which service provider you use. Some providers like XE or OFX give better exchange rates or remove their fixed transfer fees for larger transfers above $10,000. Others providers like Wise already offer the market exchange rate you see on Google for smaller transfers, which is the best rate you can get.

Remember, the better the exchange rate, the more money you get in the account abroad. For example, the difference between getting a 0.8015 and 0.7488 USD/GBP exchange rate is £58 when you transfer USD $1,000 to the UK.

How much (or little) can I send?

Limits will vary depending on how much you wish to transfer, the countries you send money to, and what method of transfer you are using (be it a bank deposit, mobile payment, or cash pick-up). Many providers have a minimum of $250 and a few providers have a maximum transaction amount up to $2 million.

  • For very small amounts our recommendation is Wise. They are available in most countries and have no minimum transfer amount and one of the most competitive services around.
  • For larger amounts (over $20,000) we recommend Currencies Direct who specialise in this size of transaction and can offer great rates and service.
What are the ways to send money from the United States
  • You can transfer using your bank to another bank account – watch out this can be very expensive!
  • Pay with a bank transfer to an International money transfer provider service
  • Some money transfer services offer debit card transfers such as Wise, TorfX, Currencies Direct, WorldRemit, Remitley, Currency Fair, InstaReM and Xoom
  • A select few offer credit card payments (usually a more expensive option) such as Wise, WorldRemit, Remitly and Xoom.
  • You can send PayPal transfers but this is a costly option when sending anything more than very small amounts
  • You can pay in cash in store for Western Union, and MoneyGram

Read our guides for more details about how to send funds

What are the ways to receive money in Portugal
  • Into your bank account from an international money transfer provider transaction, this is the most cost effective way with the most provider options available.
  • Transfer money for a cash pick-up with worldRemit, Remitly, Xoom, MoneyGram and Western Union. Note that cash option may not be available in all countries.
  • Into a PayPal from another Paypal account, this is a costly option when sending anything more than very small amounts
  • Other options include e-wallets and airtime topup with companies such as WorldRemit, Remitly and Xoom. Note that cash option may not be available in all countries.

Read our guides for more details about how to receive funds.

Is there a fee-free option when sending money from the United States to Portugal

Yes there are fee-free options such as XE. However, you will pay an additional margin to the rate online, known as the mid market rate. Wether the company adds their costs into the exchange rate and has ‘no fees’ or whether the company gives you the mid market rate plus a separates ‘transfer fee’ one is not better than the other. This is just marketing and it makes it hard to see which option is more cost effective. Ultimately what is important is finding out, when calculating all these different rates and fees – which one gives you more currency for your USD? That’s why comparing is so important!

Do all money transfer companies have a phone app?

Yes. When you have an account with any of the online money transfer services highlighted above, you can make transfers through their website, or via their iOS Apple and Android apps.

However, some areeasier to use than others, check out our guide on which providers have the best apps.

Can I use Venmo in Portugal?

No, you cannot use Venmo to spend EUR in Portugal as it is only available in the United States. Nor can you use it to send money to Portugal. The best alternative we found for sending money is Wise, who offers the best exchange rate for international transfers from United States.

Can I use Zelle to send money to Portugal?

No, you cannot use Zelle to transfer money to Portugal. Zelle is only available for transfers between United States bank accounts. If you want to send money quickly to Portugal, the fastest provider we found is Wise.

Can I use Cash App in Portugal?

Cash App is currently available in the United States and the United Kingdom only. If you want to make fee-free transfers to Portugal as you would with Cash App, the best fee-free provider is XE.

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By Justin Rampono Updated April 5th, 2021