Euros-Pounds. Commission-free exchange

Today we will talk about money. I have been here for two years and for personal reasons I have needed to send money to Spain. I have tried several methods: international ESP-UK transfer, changing euros in Spain or pounds in the UK, Western Union or asking friends to cash in money in Spain that I’d give them pounds in exchange here (the best way, but the most dependent and slowest one).

The official euro/pound exchange rate at the time of writing is 1£ = 1’36€. You can see this value using Yahoo! Currencies, my reference. (Checked on 30th Sep 15)

We’ll leave aside the best option (where an European friend arrives with euros and needs pounds, and wants to meet to do the exchange without formalities), and take a look at some others to see what is the most convenient way to send money to an account in Spain from the UK.

Say you want to send £1,000 (=1.360€) to your European bank account. What are the fees or expenses?

INTERNATIONAL BANK TRANSFER:
£1000 = 1315’79€ – £20 fee* = 1.289€ in the bank in EU. YOU LOSE 66€ ON THE WAY.

WESTERN UNION:
£1000 = 1313,44€ – £2.90 fee* = 1.309€ in the bank in EU. YOU LOSE 47€ ON THE WAY.

TRANSFERWISE:
£1000 – £0 fee* = 1.360€ in the bank in EU. YOU GET THE OFFICIAL CHANGE RATE AND DON’T PAY DURING YOUR FIRST TRANSFER

The truth is that the final option is the best because of the way TransferWise works. You make the deposit with your card (debit, credit or Paypal) and indicate the commission rate (from 0% to 2%), which is what you’re willing to lose. If you say 0% and someone makes you the same request but the other way round (euros to pounds), they will send you their euros and they’ll get your pounds. Since the euro-pound transactions are very frequent, you can have the money in the final account the next day. At least that’s how long it’s taken when I have made transfers. Although if the currency is not in high demand, it may take two or three days until someone makes the exchange counter offer.

Another advantage is that you don’t need to transfer big amount to get the best rate, as you do with banks or bureaus de change. If the amount is less than £200, you only pay a £1 fee. And for £500 the fee is £2.20.

Use our link to sign up and the first transfer is free! No fee!

http://transferwise.com/TheUkister

Until next time!

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