Planning your trip to Europe is about planning the money too.
This involves cash for daily expenses when you can’t use or better don’t trust the credit card situation (not uncommon in Europe).
And what if you need to transfer larger sums for whatever reason and you are looking for the best company for transferring money internationally?
Let’s say you found your dream house in the South of France (Incroyable!!) or that gorgeous piece of Art Nouveau furniture (Oooh!!-Aaaah!!) at the art gallery behind Brussels Sunday market?
Daily cash and where about is the euro?
Well known fact is a large part of the European Union pays with the single currency, the Euro. But not all countries do.
The United Kingdom is on its way out of the European Union (let’s see what happens after Brexit – and by the way : which forces were behind it?), but for instance Sweden and Denmark are in the European Union but hold on to their own currency and Norway and Switzerland (where you may find ATM’s with Euro service though) are outside the EU, with their traditional currency.
And some of the EU members that joined more recently may change to the Euro in the future, like Hungary, Romania. Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Lithuania.
To confuse that a bit more, Montenegro and Kosovo are not part of the EU and use the Euro as their currency.
Now with all the ATM services around, you won’t find yourself in much trouble withdrawing daily cash in the local currency at a reasonable rate.
You will lose on the exchange rate anyhow as that is the way the financial industry is set up.
But you can keep the loss lower by using the ATM’s, where banks give you, the client (!), a much better rate, compared to exchanging your cash money.
Low-cost transfer and good exchange rates.
So transferring money internationally when traveling can involve a larger amount, but transferring smaller amounts ahead to family or friends in Europe can be a profitable option also if you want to keep costs low.
For a long time, our options for transferring money internationally were only via banks, and the non-bank providers MoneyGram, and WesternUnion.
Recently, specialized money transfer companies sprang up, with much lower handling fees and much better exchange rates.
This healthy competition has turned out very profitable for us clients.
To give you an idea, I found a huge difference in costs and rates made by comparing a couple of those companies, which made me a profit of hundreds of Euros per transaction recently.
So if you want to save more of your (holiday) money, continue reading!
Transferring money – cheapest way
TransferWise is a fast growing United Kingdom-based company that offers money transfers to many destinations, I recently had a good and profitable experience with them.
The exchange rates are cheap – the same rates that banks use between them – and handling fees are low.
This makes TransferWise one of the cheapest options to book money overseas and is available in 59 countries covering over 500 currencies routes.
The service is very fast also and their customer service is excellent!
Currencyfair is another company offering low rates for money transfer.
They are doing a good job by comparing their rates and fees to most other companies on their website. Unfortunately, the comparison dates mostly from 2015, but it gives a good overview on who is active in this billion dollar market and makes it easy to check out competitors and compare today’s rates.
Currencyfair offers another great option, called the Exchange, which makes it possible to get a transaction at an even better rate on their platform if you are not in a hurry. That way you can up you holiday money before or during your overseas trip.
I had a very good and profitable experience recently with the also United Kingdom – based company World First.
World First doesn’t charge any fees to their private clients, you pay them the charges from the banks who handle the transfer along the way.
You set up an account, World First will quote you the current rate, you send the money over and the company will send it out.
WesternUnion has the largest network of agents if you want to send money abroad, to a bank account or to over half a million of agent locations worldwide in urban and rural areas.
Moneygram has a slightly smaller number of agent locations compared to WesternUnion.
You can use your Visa or Master credit card for online transfers, but Moneygram limits to lower maximum amounts.
With so much competition it is worth it to invest some time into comparing the rates of the ones I mention above.
To sum it up
Check out these three companies TransferWise, Currencyfair and Worldfirst for current rates, and again if you have got time to wait for the best rate, try the Exchange platform at Currencyfair.
By checking current rates, I made a good profit using Worldfirst when transferring money internationally.
Again, it has saved me hundreds of Euros, just by comparing!