Finances & Money

Smart Decisions When Sending Money To Another Country

There are a variety of reasons why you may need to transfer money to another country. The transfer may be a weekly or monthly occurrence, or the transfer may be urgent, due to an emergency. Invest the time to understand your options for transferring funds and the related costs.

Using an online service

The easiest way to send money to someone in another country is to send money online using a transfer service. This process gives you several options for sending the funds and choices for the recipient of the funds. You can transfer funds directly from a bank account, or you can use a debit or credit card to make the transfer.

Once you create an account, select the country and the dollar amount. The transfer company will then show you the exchange rate for the dollar amount you selected, and the related fees. Assume, for example, that you want to transfer $1,000 US dollars to someone in Germany, which uses the Euro as its currency. If the exchange rate is $1 US to 0.80 Euros, you would send 800 Euros, less any transfer fees.

Next, you need to determine how the recipient will access the funds. A recipient can have funds transferred to a bank account, or pick up the funds at a location in their area. Some transfer companies also offer a home delivery option. When you send your funds, you’ll receive a tracking number.

Reasons to transfer money

There are a variety of reasons why you may need to transfer funds to another country, and the reason may be urgent or planned in advance. Here are some examples:

  • Lost ATM card: If your child or a relative is traveling in another country, he or she may lose an ATM card, or simply leave the card in the ATM machine. To prevent someone from finding your ATM card and using it, each AMT machine has a control that sucks the card back into the machine, if no one removes the card after making a transaction.
  • Financial transactions: Many people buy property or vacation homes in other countries, and you may need to transfer funds to make the purchase. Because the dollar amount is large, you need to verify that the exchange rate you receive is close to the current market rate. Once you purchase the property, you may also need to send money to make loan payments in another country.
  • Family member support: You may send funds each week or month to provide financial support to a family member who lives in another country.
  • Paying vendors: If your business purchases products and services from vendors in other countries, you may pay for the purchases using a money transfer service.

Work with a transfer company to determine the amount in fees you’ll pay for frequent money transfers. Typically, a transfer company will decrease the percentage amount of the fee as the total amount you send increases over time.

Exchange rates by country

The amount of currency you receive when you exchange US dollars can vary greatly by country, and the fluctuation in exchange rates can also vary. Countries with stable economies and financial stability tend to have less fluctuation in their exchanges rates. Countries in Western Europe, for example, have more stable exchanges rates with the US dollar than less-developed countries.

Plan carefully

A money transfer to another country is important, so plan carefully. Make sure that you clearly understand the exchange rate you receive, and how the recipient will receive the funds. If you plan ahead, you can transfer money quickly and keep your costs down.

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Susan Paige

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