How to transfer money to Spain


How to transfer money to Spain

If you, a relative or someone you know is living in Spain there is a good chance that the issue of transferring money to the country has probably arisen. We take a look at how you do it and the most cost effective options available to you.

The foreign exchange market

When transferring your money to Spain you need to be aware of the foreign exchange market, (FX, Forex or currency market) which is the market used to exchange and trade international currencies.  Financial organisations from across the globe act as traders between a vast variety of buyers and sellers, from massive businesses to expats. The market operates around the clock every day except for the weekends.

Using a bank

When most people look to exchange their money they often use the high street banks or post office. They may be the most obvious choice but they are by no means the best. If you do wish to use a bank for your transfer to Spain then you will need to provide a few things.

1. The recipients Spanish IBAN (international bank account) number. This should be 24 characters long and will start with Spain’s international code of ES.

2. The name and address of the receiving bank.

3. The SWIFT/BIC code A SWIFT Bank Identification Code (BIC) is used to identify the financial institution and is essential for rapid international payments and money transfers. BIC is commonly referred to as a SWIFT code or a SWIFT number.

4. The recipient’s name and address.

Be aware that the banks may be the most obvious and possibly convenient option but they are not the cheapest. Typically, banks will set a rate for the day and it won’t alter, regardless of what the markets are doing which means you will miss out on any advantageous movements in the forex market. There’s also a good chance that you will be charged transfer fees and possibly commission.


Another method of sending money instantaneously to Spain is to send it via the online system of PayPal. You have to pay a fee for the transaction but this is normally small depending on the amount of cash you want to send and the sender usually decides if they or the receiver pays this fee.

This method is the fastest method as the money arrives to its chosen destination within minutes and it is secure.

Using a specialist currency exchange company

Using a foreign exchange company, instead of a bank will certainly save you money. Foreign exchange (or Forex) brokers follow market movements and trends and can help you choose the right time to make a transfer, allowing you to get more for your money, and they don’t charge commission or transfer fees.

They can also offer you a more flexible rate than banks. Typically, banks will set a rate for the day and it won’t alter, regardless of what the markets are doing. The rate a foreign exchange broker can offer isn’t fixed but reflects the current situation in the marketplace; by using a foreign exchange company for your transfer you ensure that you don’t miss out on a positive movement.

Foreign exchange companies can also give you the option of ‘fixing’ a rate several months in advance – a benefit few banks provide. It can also be far more convenient to use foreign exchange company, particularly if you have to make regular transfers (to pay a foreign mortgage or international school fees).

Laura Barrett
This post was written by
Laura moved from the US to the UK several years ago. As a corporate sales executive for a leading foreign exchange company, Laura has expert knowledge of currency movements and market trends and is able to offer specialist guidance regarding making a trade at the most lucrative time and protecting transactions from currency risk.