TRANSFERRING MONEY OVERSEAS CHEAPLYIf you are reading this blog, there is a very good chance that you are one of many expats living and making a living in Barcelona.  Many foreigners who work in Barcelona send some money to their home country on a regular basis but unfortunately the costs involved with using your bank or even money sending services such as Moneygram or Western Union almost don´t make it worth sending money, as the fees are so high.  Whether you are just sending money to your family or paying off a mortgage in foreign currency, you lose a lot of your hard earned cash due to unnecessary fees.

safe_image We recently needed to send some money overseas and were pleasantly surprised to come across a service called Transferwise.  The service was started in 2011 by two Estonian friends living in London who felt the frustration of having to send money back home and pay really high fees to do so. This lead to them starting Transferwise which essentially is a peer-to-peer money transfer service which is now backed by Sir Richard Branson!

By clicking on the link below and registering you can start enjoying these savings immediately and your first transfer is completely free!

How does it work?

Essentially the process is the same as any other way of transferring money:  you choose a recipient, the currency and the amount. The money is transferred, the transferring money charges their fee and the recipient receives their money in the chosen currency. The difference is how payment is routed. 

The money is redirected to the recipient of an equivalent transfer going in the opposite direction instead of transferring the money directly to the recipient. In the same way the recipient receives the funds from the sender of the equivalent transfer, not from the initiating sending. (see chart below)


What are the fees?

On smaller amounts, Transferwise charges a nominal flat fee and after a threshold it´s a percentage instead. 

For example:

Send less than €200 and a flat fee of €1 applies. Send more than €200 and 0.5% fee applies.

If you send money to their “Tier 2” pricing plan which includes currencies such as RON and TYR, the percentage fee is 1%

For a 200GBP to TRY transfer, the fee would be £2, rather than the standard £1. Over £200 and the fee is 1% of the amount sent.

 “Transferwise” by Shaviraghu – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons –