Money Exchange & Currency Transfer
How to obtain a higher rate of exchange

Read this if you are moving to Spain or to any country outside the UK

If you are considering buying a property, car or even a boat in Spain or elsewhere overseas, you need to arrange a method of payment and this usually means:-

A. Exchanging your Sterling into Euros
B. Transferring it over to a Spanish Bank Account

The exchange and transfer of medium to large sums of money abroad is, for most of us, an unusual event and knowing how to obtain the highest exchange rate and how to transfer it at the lowest cost is very important

There are three factors that affect the amount of actual cash you end up with in Spain after transferring s or $s into Euros

  1. The exchange rate you receive from the bank or money exchange company
  2. The transfer charge that is made by the bank or exchange company to send it to Spain.
  3. The charge made by the Spanish bank for receiving your money and opening an account.

The average person, quite naturally, thinks that the best way to arrange this transfer is via his own bank but, in my opinion, this is rarely to your best advantage.

Whether the amount is to cover payment of a deposit, staged payments or completion of a property purchase, the first priority should be to ensure that you obtain the highest rate of exchange available. Banks rarely offer this.

How do you get more Euros for your Pounds?  The Answer: Use a Money Transfer Company

Factor 1. The exchange rate

The best Money Transfer Companies are backed by one or other of the major financial institutions. They deal solely in the buying and selling of foreign currencies and because they buy such huge multi million sums, they obtain their Euros at an exceptionally advantageous rate. Their profit is made by selling the Euros or Dollars at a rate above the price at which they purchased them and reselling them to you, their clients, at an exchange rate considerably better than could be acquired from a normal high street bank

Factor 2. Money Transfer Charges

Whether you choose an English Bank or Transfer Company, a charge is usually made for handling the transfer of the money into your Spanish account.I recently carried out a survey and the results were quite startling. Bank charges for transferring your money into your chosen Spanish bank account varied dramatically. I was given figures from 20 up to 68 per transaction, depending on how quickly the money needs to be transferred. The banks also advised me that transfer can take up to six days and also that quick delivery could not be guaranteed, even at higher rates.

The Transfer Companies confirmed to me that they could offer fast transfer at a maximum cost of 15 and some make no charge at all.By discussing this transaction with both your Bank and the Transfer Companies you will be able to negotiate the very best rate, just as you get varying quotes in business for other services.

When you have chosen your Transfer Company and are ready to go ahead with your property purchase, you will be far better prepared by having established a personal rapport with a named contact within a chosen money exchange organisation.

Factor 3. Money Transfer Charges

This is the selection of a Spanish bank in which to open an account and the charges they will make for offering these services; this needs confirming before you finalise your money transfer contract. See here for my advice on selecting a Spanish bank.

Test it for yourself: complete the following form without commitment (it is without commitment and no charges). Phone your bank and ask what is the very best exchange rate that they you could offer you on £X0000 ? (the sum you are considering exchanging). Also ask what their bank charges would be. Again there is no commitment. It is the same as asking for a quotation.

To ensure objectivity, the form below will activate a telephone response to you from Three of the most respected UK Currency Transfer Companies.
Ask these three transfer company’s what there best rate would be on the same amount as requested from your bank and what their charges would be. I would be surprised if you were not delighted with the improvement.

As exchange rates fluctuate by the hour, you then wait and repeat this exercise when you are actually ready to move and require to transfer funds. Take the best one offered.

Click here to complete and send our form and match their exchange rate against that offered by your bank. You can also contact practicalspain.com by email at the following address: hamlin@practicalspain.com or phone Maurice Hamlin 0844 734 4154 (local UK call charge)

One last piece of advice

Remember Factor 3. Your Bank or Transfer Company will ask to which foreign (Spanish) bank account do you wish your money to be transferred?

How do you select your Spanish bank? If you already have an account in Spain, remember to ask them what charge they will make for accepting the transfer. It can be 0 % but of those I checked this month, it varied from 0.3 to 2.5%. That is, from 150 Euros to 1,250 Euros: again it was per transaction. Don't be caught!

Read full details of the excellent agreement I have just arranged with Sr Josep Banuls Vidal, Director of the Bank La Caixa, Espana.

As always I am pleased to receive comment on the quality and benefit derived from your use of information provided on this website. Please contact me using my feedback form.

[Practical Hints
to Living in
Spain - Gandia - Valencia]

General Information
Emergency services, natural hazards & daily life
Language & Education
The languages of Spain and the education system
Health Care
Registration, english speaking doctors, A&E, hospital etc
Property Matters
Property purchase & residency, pitfalls and property for sale
Currency Transfer
Better rates from foreign exchange service companies
Utilities
Telecomm, water, gas & electricity service & supply issues
Useful Contacts
Recreational, consular, medical, travel & service contacts
Sports & Leisure
Sports, leisure & tourist information and contacts
Cars & Driving
Motor vehicle useage and ownership in Spain
Working in Spain
Moving to Spain to work or run a small business
Spanish Taxation
Introduction to Spanish taxes and where to get help
Hospice Appeal
Please help the Franciscan Brothers