Are you tired of expensive money transfers to Europe? So was I.
In this post, I’ll explore the cheapest money transfer services available. I’ll dive into their key features, advantages, and drawbacks, giving you the insights you need to choose the perfect service for sending money to Europe.
Say goodbye to high fees and hello to cost-effective transfers!
But first, let’s get the most important question out of the way…
Is it possible to send money to Europe for free or almost for free?
While the cost of sending money to Europe has decreased considerably in recent years, transferring funds completely free isn’t possible. Even if you pay zero transfer fees, there’s still a markup on the exchange rate to consider.
There may be occasional promotional offers for some individuals to send money to Europe without a fee. Although these opportunities are usually limited to new customers.
For affordable money transfers to Europe, consider using peer-to-peer money transfer services like Wise, OFX, and Xoom. These services typically offer cheaper rates than traditional banks, making it easier and more cost-effective to send money to European countries.
See our article Cheapest International Transfers.
What is an international money transfer and how do they work?
Sending money from one country to another is an international money transfer. It can involve the same currencies or different ones depending on the destination country.
This type of transfer enables people to send money to their loved ones living overseas, pay for goods and services abroad, or conduct business transactions around the world in different currencies.
International money transfers usually come with fees from both the sending and receiving banks or money transfer companies. These charges may include transfer rates, conversion fees, and markups on the exchange rate.
Generally, banks charge higher fees for international money transfers than specialized money transfer companies. These companies tend to offer lower fees and better exchange rates.
Best Cheapest Options
- Wise – best for low-cost international transfers
- Remitly – best for availability and cash pickups
- XE – best for transfer speed and availability
- Instarem – best for fee-free payments in the U.S. and InstaPoints on transfers
- OFX – best exchange rates for large transfers
- Xoom – best for the variety of transfer and receiving options
Wise is a fintech company that specializes in providing international money transfer services. Launched in 2011 by two Estonian friends, Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus, the company operates in over 77 countries and has a multi-currency account that lets you hold more than 50 currencies.
The main advantage of using Wise is that it provides mid-market exchange rates for international transfers without adding a markup. Its fees are relatively low and it’s transparent about all costs.
- No markups on the mid-market exchange rate.
- Low transfer fees.
- Fast transfers.
- Multilingual customer support online, in-app, and over the phone.
- Doesn’t offer cryptocurrency features.
- No cash collection.
See our review of Wise.
Remitly offers a fast, secure, and user-friendly experience for its over three million customers. The service provides customers with various transfer methods, including bank transfers, cash pickups, and mobile money transfers, and offers 24/7 customer support.
One significant advantage of Remitly is the ability to send money in 47 different currencies, giving customers flexibility in choosing a currency that’s convenient for the recipient.
Additionally, recipients can collect their money in cash at any Remitly partner bank in Europe.
- Cash collection is available at over 140,000 locations.
- Locked exchange rate feature.
- The minimum transfer limit is just $1.
- The maximum transfer limit is $20,000.
- Sending accessibility is limited to only 28 countries.
See our review of Remitly.
XE is a well-known online foreign exchange and currency converter service that provides real-time exchange rates and currency conversion services. The company was founded in 1993 by Steven Dengler and Beric Farmer, and its headquarters are located in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada.
Today, XE is a subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide, a leading provider of payment and transaction processing services, and it continues to be a trusted source of currency-related information and services for millions of people around the world.
- Fast transfers
- No monthly transfer limit.
- Available in 11 languages.
- Available in over 130 countries.
- Exchange rates are a little high.
See our review of XE.
Instarem is a Singaporean-based money transfer service that was established in 2014 to offer individuals and businesses a means of conducting international fund transfers. The service is currently available in over 55 countries worldwide.
One unique aspect of Instarem is that there are no fees for U.S. customers when sending money in U.S. dollars, but a fee of 1% of the total transfer amount may apply if the funds are sent from a bank account.
- Low fees and exchange rates.
- Provides fast and secure money transfers.
- Instapoint awards on transfers.
- Exchange rate markups.
- The Instarem card is only available in Singapore.
See our review of Instarem.
OFX is a well-established provider of international money transfer services, offering a range of options such as spot contracts, forward contracts, limit orders, and other features to cater to the needs of individuals and businesses requiring to transfer funds overseas.
OFX distinguishes itself from other foreign exchange companies by striving to offer competitive exchange rates to its customers. They accomplish this by establishing direct relationships with banks and financial institutions, bypassing intermediaries, and enabling their customers to save money.
You can also send transfer amounts of over AUD$ 10,000 internationally for free.
- Competitive exchange rates for larger transfers.
- Both one-time and recurring transfer options are available.
- Extensive global bank network for convenient access.
- 24/7 reliable customer support.
- Only available in the English language.
- Only supports bank transfers.
- Higher cost for smaller transfers.
See our review of OFX.
Xoom was founded in 2001 by Kevin Hartz, Alan Braverman, and John Kunze and is based in San Francisco, California. Originally, Xoom focused on providing a money transfer service for immigrants in the United States who wanted to send money to family and friends in their home countries.
However, in 2015, the company was acquired by PayPal and has since expanded its services to include online bill payments and mobile phone reloads in addition to money transfers.
As a subsidiary of PayPal, Xoom operates in over 130 countries and supports transfers in over 70 currencies.
- Multiple transfer and delivery options.
- Low minimum transfer limit.
- Recipients do not need to be Xoom users.
- Some Xoom users experience money transfer delays.
See our review of Xoom.
Cheapest option from North America
Wise is one of the cheapest options for sending money from North America. One of the biggest advantages of using Wise is its low fees.
Wise charges a small upfront fee, which is typically much lower than what traditional banks charge for international money transfers. In addition, Wise offers competitive exchange rates with zero markups, which means the recipient can receive more money in the destination currency.
See our article Cheapest Transfer from the US.
Cheapest option from Africa
WorldRemit is an excellent option for those who need to send money from Africa because of the variety of transfer methods it offers. These include bank transfers, cash pickup, mobile money, and airtime top-up, enabling recipients to select the most convenient way to access their funds.
Moreover, WorldRemit provides transparent exchange rates and reasonable fees, making it an affordable option for international transfers.
Cheapest option from Asia-Pacific
Instarem is an affordable choice for money transfers in the Asia-Pacific region as it’s based in Singapore. If you’re sending money from the US in dollars, Instarem charges a very low fee of just 0.25% – 1%.
Cheapest option from South America
Remitly is ideal for sending money from South Africa due to how it works with a range of currency routes. It also offers an Express delivery option which is beneficial for fast worldwide transfers, including in South America.
Cheapest option from Europe
Choosing the most cost-effective way to send money may depend on several factors, such as the transfer amount, currency exchange rate, and transfer speed.
Wise is a reputable online money transfer service that offers competitive exchange rates and low fees. Their fee structure is based on a percentage of the amount being transferred, and they use the mid-market exchange rate, which closely tracks the actual exchange rate.
However, if you’re a European citizen, N26 is another viable option as it operates exclusively in Europe and its paid accounts allow for free transfers.
There are a variety of affordable options available for sending and receiving money in Europe, from free peer-to-peer payment apps to specialized money transfer companies that offer competitive rates.
Among these options, Wise is typically the cheapest service to send money from Europe. N26 is also a great alternative for money transfers if you live in Europe and want to make transfers exclusively in Europe.
Hopefully, the details throughout our post have put your mind at ease about what the cheapest money transfer services to Europe have to offer.
What are the best new-customer discounts?
Wise offers a discount on your first transfer if you are referred by an existing user, which may waive the fee for your initial transaction, regardless of the currency used. This discount is automatically applied to your next transfer.
New Western Union users can make their first transfer for free.
What is the fastest option to Transfer Money to Europe?
Remitly’s Express delivery option is great for sending money fast around the world, including Europe.
The cheapest way to Transfer Money to the UK?
The cheapest way to transfer money to the UK is through a direct bank transfer. Using an international bank is likely to cost you more. Using services, such as Wise, allows you to send money to a UK bank account but with lower transfer fees.