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How to Send Money to Spain

Last updated 5th Aug 2022
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A perpetually in-demand holiday destination and a dream place for expats and pensioners for relocation, Spain is always in style, which means there are plenty of reasons to send money to the country — and luckily, plenty of ways to do it. We singled out Xe Money Transfer, TorFX, and Currencies Direct as the best options that meet varying requirements. Scroll down to find out why and learn everything there is to know on how to send money to Spain!

How to Send Money to Spain Using a Money Transfer Provider?

The process of sending money to Spain by using an online money transfer service is simple. You only need to follow these three steps to execute a transaction!

Step 1: Compare providers to find the one that best fits you
Step 2: Sign up with the chosen provider
Step 3: Transfer money

How to Send and Receive Money in Spain

The inflow of remittances to Spain reached an all-time high in the first quarter of 2021 with €4,362 million. There are numerous ways to transfer funds to cover this massive influx, and high competition means loads of choices to compare and choose from — the best of which are reviewed below.

Ways to Send Money to Spain

Below, you can find all the alternative ways to transfer funds to Spain — reviewed under basic considerations, including transfer fees, delivery speed, and security.

Money Transfer Services

Online money transfer services such as Xe Money Transfer, TorFX, or Currencies Direct are essentially the modern-day equivalent of wiring money — they are regulated by leading financial institutions and differ from banks in their speed and low cost.

They tend to complete the transaction in a couple of business days, instantaneously in most cases. Most services use competitive exchange rates from independent sources like Reuters and openly display all fees before the transaction.

Being in the Eurozone, many money transfer services cover Spain in their offer and are the fastest and cheapest way to transfer funds. After registration, you can transfer your money from your bank account, credit/debit card, or payment services like Apple Pay.

Wire Transfers

Wire transfers run the funds through banks and use the SWIFT system to communicate. Due to the involvement of multiple banking systems, it comes at a high cost, with fees possibly going up to €50. A transaction may take up to two business days to be complete. While it provides the high-end security of established banking systems at a relatively fast pace, it is a costly option for sending money to Spain.

Bank Account Transfers

As per the SEPA agreement, transfers from within the EU are treated the same as domestic as far as the fees go — they are much higher for transfers from non-EU countries. The SWIFT system imposes additional costs, and due to its tedious fraud prevention procedures, a transfer can take up to five business days.

Spain’s leading banks, including BBVA and Banco Santander, support international transfers, with fees depending on the originating country and the sum. In terms of speed and cost, bank transfers are not ideal — as costs quickly add up if you send a large amount or make regular payments.

Challenger Banks

Developed to “challenge” the traditional banks; challenger banks are characteristically digital-only. Without the overhead costs, banks like Revolut or Monzo can offer discounted services. While they need to be regulated by leading authorities to operate, startups as such are always at a high risk of failing, so it is crucial to check their liquidation plans before opting for one for large transfers.

PayPal

PayPal has become a household name for a reason; it’s been in business for over 20 years, mastered usability and customer service, and does the job instantly. It has a comprehensive buyer protection plan and the option to stay anonymous — all of which come at a high cost. The service is now notorious for its unfavorable exchange rates and high fees on both personal and business transactions, falling short compared to other money transfer providers.

Transfer Money to Pickup Location

This way, the recipient can go to the closest branch of the operator and collect the money sent in cash. Western Union is the staple brand for physical cash pickup services — it has over 5,000 agent locations across Spain and is always reliable in its timing and security. Unless there’s an emergency where the recipient can’t access their bank account/digital app, cash pickups are typically the less desirable option due to higher costs.

International Money Orders

Provided that the service is offered in your home country, you can head to a postal office and create an order to send money to Spain to withdraw your money when you are there. It’s fast and convenient, but you are likely to get a poor exchange rate.

What Do You Need to Send Money to Spain?

While it was possible to use services as such with only your name and email address before, now the majority requires some sort of ID verification for registration, among other details;

  • Photo ID, such as driver’s license, residence permit, or passport,

  • Some operators ask for the reason for transferring money, this could be for friends and family, paying bills, pension/salary transfers, or emigration purposes,

  • Recipient’s full name as it appears on official documents,

  • Recipient’s bank details, including the bank code (SWIFT/BIC) and IBAN,

  • The address and phone number of the recipient,

  • Based on the reason why you are sending the money, you may have to submit documents detailing the source of the money.

What Are the Ways of Receiving Money in Spain?

There are several ways to receive money in Spain. Besides making the most financially sensible decision, knowing all your options in case of emergencies where access to a bank account is not possible is particularly handy.

Location Pickup

Recipient can pick up their cash from a specified branch of the chosen service operator. They may need a reference number, the name of the sender, and proof of identity to verify the transaction.

Direct Bank Deposits

It is just the way it sounds; the money is directly deposited to the recipient’s bank account — no need to sign up for another service or pickup physical money. As convenient as it is for the receiving end, it comes with high fees, poor exchange rates, and a long waiting time.

Cash Delivery

Operators that allow international money orders, like Global Exchange, sometimes offer to deliver the cash to your address in Spain directly. But, you guessed it, it comes at a high cost as a very premium service — though it’s not bad to have the option in case of a nightmare scenario.

What Do You Need to Receive Money in Spain?

What do recipients need to verify their transaction? Based on the chosen service, you may need the following;

  • A valid photo ID, such as a passport, driver’s license, or residence permit,

  • Sender’s information as it appears in official documents,

  • Reference or tracking code of the transaction,

  • A valid bank account and details such as the bank code and IBAN.

Top Money Transfer Providers to Send Money to Spain

Money Transfer ProviderFeesDeposit MethodsSpain RegulatorXe Money TransferFrom €2.39. No fees over a certain limitDebit card & bank transferDutch Central BankTorFXNoneBank transferFCACurrencies DirectNoneDebit card & bank transferBanco de España

Xe Money Transfer - Best for Sending Money to Spain

Xe Money Transfer is the most reliable, budget-friendly, and accessible option out there. It accommodates people without bank accounts or who can’t access their cards with over 2,500 cash pickup locations across Spain.

There’s no additional fee required for over €250. While the minimum amount is relatively high, the fees are as low as €3, and the exchange rate is competitive. Besides the cost and speed, Xe Money Transfer has an excellent customer satisfaction rate — the comprehensive guides and prompt customer service make the process a breeze.

Advantages

  • Service available in eight languages

  • Rate alerts

  • Scheduled transfer with a fixed rate

Disadvantages

  • Third-party fees might occasionally apply

  • Limited number of countries to send money from

Getting Started in Three Steps

  • Step 1: Head to the Xe Money Transfer website.

  • Step 2: Use the converter tool to check the rates.

  • Step 3: Fill in your details and confirm the transaction.

Best Alternatives

  • Wise, TransferGo, Currencies Direct

TorFX - Best for Sending Large Sums of Money

TorFX has tailored offerings, with money transfers for emigration and buying a property among the most notable ones. With a personalized experience and a dedicated account manager, TorFX helps keep what can be a daunting project an exciting affair. It supports a rate improvement guarantee where users can demand lower margins on mid-market rates if they can prove a competitor is offering lower rates — regardless of the transfer amount.

Advantages

  • Money transfers to Spain from 25 countries

  • 6-day customer support

  • Fee-free recurrent payments

Disadvantages

  • Higher margin for smaller transactions

  • Only accepts bank transfers

Getting Started In Three Steps

  • Step 1: Visit the TorFX website.

  • Step 2: Get a free quote for your transaction.

  • Step 3: Fill in your details and approve the transaction.

Best Alternatives

  • Xe Money Transfer Money Transfers, OFX

Currencies Direct - Best for Batch Payments for Contractors in Spain

Currencies Direct distinguishes itself from the crowd with its flexible solutions, no-fee policy, and competitive rate margins. Its business plans go beyond money transfer, offering personalized risk assessment tools, mass payment options, and more — making it among the best providers for foreign establishments to do business in Spain.

Advantages

  • 16 branches in Spain

  • Buying currency in advance

  • Fast transfer times

Disadvantages

  • Transfers are made to bank accounts only

  • Spotty customer service

Getting Started in Three Steps

  • Step 1: Go to Currencies Direct website.

  • Step 2: Fill in your transaction details to get a free quote.

  • Step 3: Proceed with the offered rate.

Best Alternatives

  • Wise, PayPal, TransferGo

What Are the Fastest Ways to Send Money to Spain?

While it is possible to transfer funds to Spain within minutes, this usually means either unfavorable exchange rates or additional costs. To ensure speedy delivery, it’s best to opt for established providers or ones that guarantee same-day transfer for a reasonable additional fee.

Money Transfer ProviderTransfer SpeedFeesTransferGo30 minutes to same dayFrom €2Xe Money TransferSame day%0 over €250InstaremSame dayVaries

The providers above offer a range of solutions to send money to Spain quickly without bizarre additional fees, sacrificing competitive exchange rates, or compromising on security.

What Is the Cheapest Way to Send Money to Spain?

If you are after cutting the cost as much as possible, you might have to sacrifice the speed of the delivery. Low-cost operators typically offer small percentage mark-ups or small fixed fees. To ensure competitive exchange rates, it makes more sense to go for small transaction fees instead of profit margins added on top of mid-market rates.

Money Transfer ProviderFeesTransfer SpeedWISEFrom 0.37% + fixed fee, which varies by currency.An additional fixed cost of €3.55 to send EUR outside of the SEPA regionNext dayAzimoFixed fee from €1.771-3 business daysXe Money Transfer%0 over €250Same day

The list above offers options of percentage mark-ups, low flat fees, and reasonable delivery times — the best choice will depend on the amount you wish to transfer to Spain.

What Is the Safest Way to Send Money to Spain?

While bank transfers are notoriously seen as the most reliable form of international fund transfer, there are operators with additional systems in place to prevent the problems they come with, including fraud susceptibility and liquidation risk.

Money Transfer ProviderExtra security optionFeesWestern UnionFraud hotlineNoneWISEDedicated anti-fraud teamFrom 0.37% + fixed fee which varies by currency.An additional fixed cost of €3.55 to send EUR outside of the SEPA regionTorFXEstablished company with a customer-first liquidation planNone

The above services have been around for a long time and are safeguarded by leading international financial institutions, thus going beyond industry standards to provide support for their customers in case of an emergency.

What Are the Best Apps to Send Money to Spain?

Most money transfer providers support an agile app through which you can send your payment with a few clicks. Provided that you are getting competitive rates, speedy delivery, and top-notch security, the next item on the list should be usability.

Money Transfer AppTransfer TimeFeesAzimo1-3 business daysFixed fee from €1.77 or percentage markupPayPalSame dayFrom 4%RevolutWithin minutes0.5% for transactions above €987. No fees for Premium and Metal plans

The apps listed above are sleek, modern, and easy to navigate, and also come with layers of data protection systems in place. Besides a user-friendly interface, the bunch also provides services beyond industry standards, including crypto trading, payment tracking, and budgeting services.

Things to Consider When Sending Money to Spain

Equip yourself with the right knowledge on choosing the best operator, avoiding legal trouble, and what your tax responsibilities are.

Local Authorities

Bank of Spain, or Banco de España, regulates all foreign exchange operations in the country. The amount you can deposit in a bank without declaring it is €10,000, but banks are obliged to notify the authorities for any deposit that exceeds €3,000. As long as you have a good reason to send the money over (such as paying for a wedding, buying a property, tuition payment, or simply helping a friend or family) that you can document and give proof of, it shouldn’t be a worry. Note that monetary gifts are subject to tax in Spain and need to be declared by the recipient, regardless of the value.

How Much You Are Sending Abroad

The transfer amounts may affect the fees, depending on the amount itself and the operators. You can opt for a flat fee or a percentage mark-up, but the transfers above transaction caps imposed by the operator might be subject to different regulations.

Large sums of money will raise suspicions, and operators typically take measures to avoid cancellations or legal trouble. Money transfer services, as well as traditional banks, will ask for documentation detailing the source of and the reason for payments above transaction caps.

The Cost of the Money Transfer

The international money transfer fee types vary by operators;

  • Bank transfers typically impose a high transaction fee to cover the additional costs that come with using the SWIFT system,

  • Money transfer providers may add a flat fee, ask for a percentage of the transfer amount, or ask for no transaction fees but apply a higher profit margin on mid-market exchange rates.

Even though you use fee-free services, you will be paying a higher exchange rate to send money to Spain — so there isn’t a really free way to transfer money. The best practice is to monitor the mid-market rate, compare different operators, or look out for low flat fees.

To mitigate currency challenges, you can look for features like forward contract, where the operator sends the money as soon as the desired rate is achieved.

Payment Type and the Reason for the Transfer

The type of transfer will affect your tax responsibilities.

Specific rates apply to certain types of remittances, so it’s best to liaise with a tax professional if you are sending money for business — you’d find that some money transfer services will have specific plans for such payments.

Donations are also fully taxable in Spain regardless of the amount. The tax rates vary from 7.65% for sums under €8,000 and 34% for those larger than €200,000. The recipient is responsible for declaring and filing a tax return for monetary gifts.

Safety and Security of the Provider

All money transfer providers listed here are regulated by a leading financial institution, such as countries’ central banks or Financial Conduct Authority. Adhering to international regulations provides safeguarding for your money and prevents unlawful activities or fraud from being done in your name. Using licensed operators is as safe as using any established institution, including traditional banks, PayPal, or Western Union.

Besides using a fully-licensed operator, you can take safety measures of your own when transferring funds to Spain. Most crucially, don’t send any money to a stranger using instant transfer methods or use operators with anti-fraud procedures in place.

Tax Regulations in Spain

Tax implications depend on the reason and the amount of the transfer in Spain, irrespective of the method used. If you are regularly paying for contractors in Spain, it's their responsibility to file a tax return. If you are doing business in Spanish territories, like investing or opening up a branch, then there are certain taxes to be aware of.

FAQs

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