For people who have a second home in Spain, it’s often necessary to send money there to pay bills, taxes and other living expenses that come with being an expat, but you don’t want the banks and money transfer companies to take advantage of you with inflated exchange rates and fees. So what’s the best way to transfer money from the UK to Spain?
Firstly, the most obvious way of sending money overseas is with a simple bank transfer – just head to your local bank branch with your debit or credit card and the account number of the Spanish bank account in you want the money to be paid into, and the bank does the rest. You can also do this at many ATMs nowadays.
One downside of international bank transfers is that the fees charged by banks to perform this service can be quite high. Sometimes you only want to send a small amount of money, but the bank rates you will have to pay mean it’s not worth it. Also, bank transfers can take a long time to arrive in the receiving account, which is annoying if you want to send money fast.
However, if you want to make regular transfers it can be good to have a bank account in your name with the same bank in both countries because it’s quicker and cheaper. Santander is an example of a bank which has branches in both the UK and Spain.
Money transfer companies
Due to the problems with bank transfers, many people these days prefer to send money online instantly using internet money transfer services and Apps. These are private third parties that work as a sort of intermediary between you and the account in Spain you want to pay money into. All you need are your personal details, the account number and contact details of the recipient, even if it’s yourself, and your reason for sending the money.
The good thing about these international money transfer companies are that they charge lower fees than banks and are faster too. You can send money abroad whenever you like, even when your bank is closed. Most people use them for one-off payments, but many money transfer companies allow customers to make regular payments too – this way, you could use a money transfer company to have your British pension paid into your bank account in Spain. It’s also a good alternative if you want to know how to transfer money from Spain to a UK bank.
You should keep in mind that there are a lot of different money transfer companies to choose from, so how do you know which one is best? It’s always advisable to compare and shop around the different companies until you find one that provides the best conditions for you. When comparing, pay careful attention to the transfer fees they charge and the exchange rates on offer.
These are 10 of the best money transfer companies:
- TransferWise Money Transfer
- Ria Money Transfer
- Virgin Money International Money Transfer
- Moneycorp Money Transfer
- Post Office International Payments (Post Office International Payments is powered by TTT Moneycorp Ltd.)
- XE Money Transfer
- The Currency Account Money Transfers
The best way to pay for things in Spain
When you’re in Spain, there are several different ways to spend money and buy things. You don’t necessarily have to change pounds to euro as it’s not always the most efficient way. For example, if you’re just popping over to Spain for a short time and want to place a cap on how much you spend, it may be best to use an international money order.
Another alternative to using cash when you’re abroad is to use a specialist bank card provided by your bank. Some banks offer services that allow you to pay for things on card and take money out without paying through the nose for international surcharges. For a small price, you can ask your bank to add this “specialist plastic” service to your account.
Specialist credit or debit cards for spending money in other countries are a good idea if you have a second residence or holiday home in Spain and spend several months there each year but don’t want to get a Spanish bank account. Just make sure you check beforehand that your gas, electricity and water supply companies will allow you to pay your bills using this card. At the end of the month, all you have to do is pay off all your expenditure so you don’t have to pay the interest on what you’ve spent, just like a normal credit card.