My name is Amy, and I’ve been sending money to Portugal from my UK bank for over a year now, with the view to travel and eventually buy a property and live there. I always get asked questions on how to send money to Portugal, so here are my best tips.
Why you might need to send Money to Portugal
If you are currently working in the UK and looking to spend money and time over there you might want to transfer money to a Portuguese bank account. Some people set their hearts on buying a property in Portugal and need to transfer their deposit into Euros. If you are considering either of these you will want to know how to send money to Portugal.
Sending Money to Portugal via your Banking App
Most UK banking apps now have the option to do an international bank transfer. You will need to add your Portuguese bank as a beneficiary and put in the bank account number and the IBAN. When you do a transfer, the app will give you the exchange rate and let you know how much you are sending in pounds and how much will be received to your Portuguese bank in Euros.
It takes a little more time than a local transfer which usually appears in two hours. You might need to give it an extra day or two before it shows up in Portugal. Once I actually sent it twice because I wasn’t sure if it had gone through and both payments appeared the next day!!!
The Problem with Bank transfers
The main problem with bank transfers is the often hidden charges. Most English banks such as Barclays will allow you to do an international transfer for what appears to be free, but they are adding their percentage cut by increasing the exchange rate. Very underhand!
Initially I was sending just small amounts like a couple of hundred pounds to my Portuguese account to travel in Portugal. I was sending it through my Barclays app to my Activobank in Portugal. It all seemed efficient and there were no charges. I didn’t know until I spoke to someone at A Place in the Sun that Barclays were increasing the exchange rate and profiting form my transfers. So I was essentially paying hidden charges without realising it.
Although this wasn’t too much of a big deal because the difference was negligent, when I start to send more money to buy an apartment in Portugal then it’s on these bigger transfers that I will take the hit. I could be losing £20, £40 even a few hundred pounds per transfer. Therefore it’s better to use a money transfer app or a broker.
Wise Money Transfer App
The best and easiest way to send money to Portugal
The easier and cheapest way that I’ve found to transfer money to Portugal is using the WISE app (used to be TransferWise). It’s very easy to use and will work out much cheaper than transferring through your bank. It works great for relatively small amounts such as £250-500. I worked out that I would be saving at least £20 in every thousand using Wise instead of Barclays.
Using a Currency broker
There are a number of currency brokers who will shop around and get the best live rates for you to send money to Portugal. They can also alert you when there are good live rates if you intend to transfer a lump sum. The chances are that they will beat your banks exchange rates and it will save you some money, especially if you are transferring large amounts. Some brokers (such as Currencies Direct have a low minimum of £250 per transfer, others it needs to be over £1000. Have a look to see who has the best rates and the conditions that suit you.
Check that the broker you choose to work with is authorised and regulated by the FCA and this should give you a degree of trust.
Best Currency Brokers for Sending Money to Portugal
Some of the most popular brokers are: