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Cheapest Ways To Send Money From The Us To Europe

Cheapest Ways To Send Money From The Us To Europe

Many European countries have a single currency, which makes life a little easier for you, especially if you are sending money to numerous different European countries. In addition, buying and selling Euros is very easy because they are used by many different countries and are therefore very popular. Here is how you cheaply send money from the US to Europe.

Cheapest Ways To Send Money From The Us To Europe With Bitcoin

Convert your currency into bitcoin and send it overseas. Transfer fees are fairly low, unless you are transferring very small amounts. The fact that transfer fees are so low, and the fact that overseas transfer times are relatively fast when compared to other transfer methods, means that bitcoin is now a viable method for sending money overseas.

Why Is Bitcoin A Cheap Way To Send Money From The Us To Europe?

If you and your recipient find a small collection of good and honest bitcoin exchange companies, then you and your recipient may be able to exchange your money at a fair rate. It will not be perfect, but with a little bit of clever buying (buying low, sending high), you should be able to save a bundle when compared to other forms of currency exchange.


  • Buy at the time right, buy cleverly, and it will cost very little to exchange your US dollars into bitcoin. Your recipient may also sell cleverly and at the right time in order to receive his or her Euros.
  • You can buy and stockpile bitcoin when its price is low and then send it whenever the price of bitcoin rises. At the time of writing, bitcoin prices are up and down like North Korean rockets, which means that observant buyers can snatch a good deal from time to time.
  • There is more than one way to find cheap bitcoin. At the time of writing, there have been many people who have invested a lot of money into bitcoin because they think it is the next get-rich-quick scheme. Their funds have now run out and they are desperate to sell their bitcoin. Look locally and advertise locally on online classified adverts for people who are looking to sell bitcoin for cash in hand, and you may find a few good deals.


  • You have to convert your money into bitcoin, transferring overseas, and your recipient convert it to Euros, which is a long and laborious process, (I use the word “laborious” loosely, I know it is not the same as re-tiling a shingle roof). However, if you and your recipient want to get the best prices and enjoy the best conversion rates for your currency, then the process will involve oodles of your attention and the timing required to buy when bitcoin is low and send when it is high.
  • Buying and selling bitcoin can be a bother. I know from personal experience that bitcoin exchanges want multiple forms of ID and they want to know everything about you. It really bothered me that I had to give away so much personal information, which left me open to identity theft in a big way. If I wanted to buy anonymously, it usually cost me 15% more than the average exchange, and in one case (on a bitcoin marketplace), it almost cost me double the usual price of bitcoin.
  • Buying and stockpiling bitcoin in order to send it when the price of bitcoin is up is a great way of saving money when transferring funds from the US to Europe. The biggest problem is that most people want the transfer to happen by a certain date, and the whole stockpiling and sending method is only useful if you don’t have a deadline. Buying bitcoin when the price of bitcoin is cheap may occur in days, weeks or months.

Cheapest Ways To Send Money From The Us To Europe With Transferwise

If you are transferring more than a couple of hundred, then a company like Transferwise is probably going to be your cheapest option. The best transfer and exchange deals are often the ones that offer you an exchange rate that is as close to the real exchange rate as possible.

Exchange companies make their money through fees, through the exchange rate, or both. When a company says it has no fees, it means they are making money through their exchange rate. For example, if Google/Bing/ says that the exchange rate is set so that you get £0.74 for every $1.00, then the exchange company may offer a rate that only gives you £0.70 for every $1.00.

When the exchange company says that it doesn’t charge fees, it is not lying to you, but it can be intentionally misleading, and there are plenty of ways an exchange company may intentionally mislead you. One common example is to give a great deal for the first $1000, so that it appears as if the company offers a great exchange rate with no fees, and then ramp up the fees and disfigure the exchange rate after the first $1000 has been spent.

Why Is Transferwise A Cheap Way To Send Money From The Us To Europe

I could sing on about how the company is one of a very small minority of companies that is completely transparent where you can see from start to finish exactly how much you are going to send and how much will be received without any sort of tricks, but that isn’t the reason why Transferwise may be the cheapest way for you to send money from the US to Europe.

Transferwise charge fees, which means it isn’t economical if you are sending just a couple of hundred. However, since you get the same exchange rate that is shown on Google/Bing/, you are able to make massive savings when compared with other transfer companies.


  • Transferwise offers a very prompt way of transferring and exchanging money while offering a great rate and a great deal. Of all the cheap methods for exchanging money, this is one of the fastest while still being one of the cheapest.
  • The fact that Transferwise offers a fast exchange method means you are able to snipe good exchange rates when the time is right. If you are lucky enough to be transferring and exchanging during a time when exchange rates are bouncing around like a power ball in a food mixer, then you may snipe the best rates whenever they drop a little.
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  • If you are sending a smaller amount, then Transferwise probably isn’t worth it. Even though their fees are fairly low, the point of using Transferwise is to take advantage of the market exchange rate that they offer. Sending smaller amounts such as $100 means that your fee takes up a higher percentage of your money than if you were sending something such as $900.
  • You still have to sign up and register to use Transferwise. It is true that you can start sending money the same day that you sign up, but there are restrictions and things such as security holds in place for new customers.
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Cheapest Ways To Send Money From The Us To Europe With Currencyfair

CurrencyFair is a company that allows you to transfer and exchange your money fairly easily and quickly, and they offer a rate that is very close to the current exchange rate. CurrencyFair makes its money through fees and by cleverly buying and selling currency. Another good thing about CurrencyFair is the fact that you may put your exchange on their marketplace and wait for a better rate from another person wishing to exchange his or her money. You can grab a good deal if you are lucky, but CurrencyFair’s quick exchange service means that people cannot make a workable profit on their currency exchange very quickly.


  • CurrencyFair gives you an exchange rate that is very close to the market rate. That means you may wait for the cost of Euros to drop a little or the price of your currency to rise a little, and you can snipe a good deal. There are plenty of online tools that will send you an email alert each morning if the exchange rate has changed in any way. Here is a free alerts tool that I use where you only have to give your email address, you don’t have to sign up in order to use it.
  • I may have overstated the greatness of CurrencyFairs’s peer-to-peer market in the past. You may put your money on the market with your preferred rate to see if another person on the market will exchange at the rate you desire. It is good, but your ability to save is lessened slightly because if people don’t like your rate, they can always take the quick-exchange rate that CurrencyFair offers. Nevertheless, if you put your money on the market when your currency prices are up and down like a kangaroo’s bum, then you may snag a better-than-expected rate for your currency exchange.


  • There are not many downsides to CurrencyFair, which is one of the reasons I mention it so much in other articles. Many of their hardcore users say that the system has changed so much that it is only possible to snag a 0.5% discount using their peer-to-peer marketplace. It is better than nothing, but it used to be better.
  • CurrencyFair’s fixed fees vary, which means you have to do a few calculations to figure out if CurrencyFair is truly the cheapest for your particular transaction. Also, if you use their marketplace to make your exchange, then you may be waiting a while because you have to wait until somebody else takes you up on the rate you are offering. You can use CurrencyFair to get a very cheap exchange and transfer, but getting the cheapest rate means waiting a little longer than you would with other transfer and exchange companies.

Cheapest Ways To Send Money From The US To Europe With Paypal

PayPal allows you to transfer money abroad, and it allows you to place different currencies in your account without charging you extra for the privilege. If your recipient is happy to accept US dollars, which many people in Europe are, then you may avoid PayPal’s exchange fees. Otherwise, you may upload your US dollars into your account and convert them to Euros before you send them. In fact, if your recipient sends you a payment request or an invoice, then you may pay your recipient without ever having to load money into your PayPal account. You simply pay the request or the invoice, and the money is drawn from your account, converted, and sent over to your recipient.


  • PayPal is very popular around the world and there are many people in Europe who already have PayPal accounts. Quite a few people in Europe are going to be more then happy to accept payment via PayPal because they already have an account, and because they know it is a quick way to get paid. Plus, the recipient and yourself may use your PayPal records when filling out tax returns. There are also sender and buyer protection policies that protect both yourself and your recipient.
  • PayPal takes a lot of fuss out of sending money. If your recipient hasn’t sent you a PayPal invoice or a payment request, you may use your recipient’s “Pay Me” link if he or she has created one, or you may use your recipient’s PayPal email address to send the money. You do not have to enter your recipient’s bank information and/or verify your recipient with your bank before being able to transfer. Your recipient’s PayPal email address is the email address that your recipient uses to sign in to PayPal


  • Your recipient is going to have to pay a receiving fee when he or she receives money from you. The fee your recipient pays will vary depending upon which countries your recipient lives in. Your recipient will probably be aware of this charge and will probably be willing to suck it up, but if not, your recipient may demand a little extra from you to cover the receiving charges.
  • PayPal is going to skim 2.5% of your money when you transfer and exchange to a recipient in Europe. In other words, if you were to go to Google right now and find out how many Euros you get for your US dollars, then your recipient is going to receive 2.5% less than that amount when you transfer and exchange with PayPal. I call it “Skimming from the exchange rate,” and even though it is a common practice with exchange companies, you may be able to find a better rate than the one that PayPal gives you. PayPal is a cheap way to send money from the US to Europe, but there are cheaper options out there; it is just that the other methods are not as easy, quick or convenient as PayPal.

Send Money From The US To Europe With A Personal Peer-to-peer Currency Swap

If you are looking for the cheapest ways to send money from the US to Europe, then you are going to have to put in a little extra effort. I have mentioned my peer-to-peer money swap idea before within our articles and it hasn’t gone down very well because it is very difficult. The hardest part is finding somebody else in another country who is willing to swap with you.

The key is to advertise on free-ad and free classified adverts both in your country and in the country where your desired currency is in use. Finding somebody who is willing to swap US dollars for Euros is difficult for two reasons. Firstly, it is a rather uncommon practice outside of something such as CurrencyFair’s marketplace. Secondly, when you mention currency swaps to people, they automatically think it is a scam.

I have done it a few times, but I cheated a little the last time I did it. Last time, I used a freelancing website and turned it into a freelancing job. It involves somebody uploading their Euros into the escrow system on the freelancing website, and me uploading dollars. The two currencies are released within the system, each person gets their agreed amount of currency, and you may leave positive reviews for each other on the freelancing website as an added benefit. I think it worked so well for me that time because the freelancer I had made contact with was based in the US, but he had been paid in Euros and wanted rid of them.

How you find your swapper is up to you, but there are plenty of ways to make big savings if you are creative about it. There are other people out there right now who want to swap their Euros for US dollars, but they do not want to pay exchange fees and suffer poor quality rates.


  • If you find somebody who is willing to swap his or her Euros for your US dollars, then you may both use the market rate that is shown on Google, so neither of you have to suffer a poor quality exchange rate. Plus, you may both run the swap through PayPal’s “Pay a friend or family member” function because it doesn’t come with fees. When you use the friends and family method, it means the other user is unable to charge back any of the money. Plus, you may conduct your transfers a bit at a time so that neither of you gets the shaft. For example, instead of you sending over $1000 in one go, you send 10% of your $1000, then the other person sends 10% of their Euros. You can do that instead of sending over $1000 in one chunk and then sitting back and hoping your swapper sends over the Euros.
  • If you build a small client list of people who regularly want to swap Euros for US dollars, then not only will you be able to build up trusting relationships so that you may conduct transactions quicker, but you may also remove the need to ever use an exchange company again.


  • When I push this idea, most people say it is impossible to find other people who are willing to swap currencies, but there are currency traders, overseas workers, and plenty of vacation makers overseas who are itching for US dollars. Your biggest issue is probably “trust” because asking to swap currency on free-online adverts looks like a scam. You need to convince people they can trust you by offering a safe method by which you swap your currency. As I say, the last time I swapped, I did it by bending the rules on a freelancing website.
  • Dealing with strangers and swapping money involves a lot of what I call “foreplay” because the other person needs to feel as if he or she can trust you. Add that to the fact that finding somebody will often take a while, and you are looking at a long process. This is not the sort of idea that you can pull off quickly, but currency exchange marketplaces have been doing it for years, and most of them started out by finding overseas contacts who were looking to swap currencies the same way you are.

Send Money From The US To Europe By Firstly Selling Something For Euros

If you are looking to get Euros in exchange for your dollars, then either buy something that is easy to sell in Europe and sell it on eBay, or consider selling your own stuff on eBay in Europe. Different countries have their different versions of eBay that you are able to access, such as how Germany has, and France has Plus, when you set your advert, you can limit where you deliver to a single European country, or you may set it to show that you only deliver to Europe. You can make it clear in your advert that you want paying with Euros. To find out what sells in the country of your choice, simply search the completed listings on eBay and click the box that shows you all the things that have sold.

Sold Listings On eBayIn the image above, I have highlighted the tick box that only shows you sold listings. In the image, you can see that I was searching for bra extenders. They are an example of small items that are easy to post and easy to sell for a break-even amount. Search through your own stuff, or find a source of goods that will sell easily in Europe.


  • You do not have to sell for a profit, which means you have the advantage over all the other sellers on eBay. You are only looking to break even so that you get the market rate for your US dollars in Euros. Other eBay traders have to price their goods in order to make a profit, but you do not, you simply need to price your goods so that you receive your desired amount in Euros.
  • If you sell the stuff you don’t want, then you are not really losing that much when you sell for a break-even price. Plus, there is always a chance that you may actually make a small profit when you try this idea, which technically means you are getting your Euros at a better-than-mid-market price.


  • Selling on eBay in another country means learning how the other country’s eBay system works, and it means doing things such as figuring out how long it takes for your item to arrive with your recipient. It can become a very long process, and you may be stuck with your sales inventory if you are unable to sell your products in Europe. There is a chance you may make a loss when you try this method, and it is very time consuming and not ideal for somebody who wants a quick US dollar to Euro exchange.
  • There is going to be a language problem too because very few countries in Europe use English as their first language. The UK is currently in Europe, but they use GBP and not Euros. You may have to create your adverts with an English description, and then go to Google translate so that you may copy and paste another language into your description. If you keep your descriptions short and concise, then Google translate should be able to convert your text fairly accurately.

About The Author

Ash The Great

After a varied career in different industries from the hospitality industry to the financial consultancy industry, Ash now spends his days working as a professional writer.

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