For many students teaching English in Barcelona, dealing with finances can be frustrating. Especially when it comes to sending money back home or transferring money to your Spanish bank account.
It’s worth taking a moment to consider the best ways to transfer money abroad when living in Spain. That’s because so many people simply don’t bother, assuming it’s too complicated to work out. Or, even worse, they end up literally throwing money away by relying on outdated money transfer methods that charge a fortune!
For many of us, bank transfers are the go-to method when it comes to sending money overseas. However, they are so expensive compared to other options out there.
They can take up to 3 working days to be completed.
In the modern digital era, transferring money via an online money service is easier, cheaper and safer than ever before. Here are some of the ‘borderless banking’ platforms out there:
Formerly known as TransferWise, Wise is the most popular online money transfer platform with 16 million users. It’s also probably the cheapest, easiest way to transfer money abroad. Fees are a small percentage of your transfer, so it works if you’re transferring smaller amounts on a regular basis. Unlike many other services, Wise takes the mid-market exchange rate from Google, so you won’t get stung on terrible exchange rates.
One of the world’s most popular and trusted money transfer platforms, with over 12 million users worldwide. Revolut is easy to set up and even easier to use. If you’re regularly transfering under €800, it could be your best option. However, there are a few extra fees to keep an eye on, such as an increase on weekend transfers.
Another popular, trusted money transfer platform, OFX is great for large one off international transfers. It operates with a fixed transfer fee – around €13–€15 – and the larger the amount, the better the exchange rate. This means it doesn’t really compete when it comes to smaller transfers. However, for a large one off transfer, it’s hard to beat.
Owned by PayPal, Xoom is a highly trusted online money transfer platform. While it’s far cheaper than international bank transfers, it’s generally more expensive than the likes of Wise and Revolut. If you regularly use a PaPal account, it might be worth considering.
Let’s break it down shall we? Here’s a side-by-side comparison of our two favourite online money transfer platforms with Spain’s two most popular banks.
Here’s what you’ll get based on a €1,000 transfer *
* amounts correct at the time of writing
So, based on the table above, if you were transferring €1,000 to the UK through CaixaBank you’d end up with:
Finally, here are a few key tips to keep in mind when transferring money back home from your Spanish bank account, or vice-versa.
Read the TEFL Iberia blog for regular updates and advice on living and studying in Spain!