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Placid Express International Transfers

Placid Express was founded in 1996 with a focus on international money transfers to South Asia. It’s an online transfer company that now services a few dozen Asian and European countries.

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About Placid Express

Placid Express advertises good rates, security, and convenient cash pickup options. The company seems to be well-received by customers. So, let’s have a closer look at exactly what Placid Express has to offer.

Placid Express Exchange rates and fees

International money transfer services typically make money in two ways:

  1. Transparent, often-flat, transfer fees
  2. An exchange rate margin, which they may list on their site, but which won’t be shown when reviewing transactions

Exchange rate margins are comprised of the transfer companies’ exchange fee which surpasses the mid-market rate. So, it functions as a “hidden” fee for the currency conversion aspect of the transaction.

Placid Express charges a mix of these two factors.

Exchange rate & Transfer Fees

Unlike most of its competition, Placid Express charges different exchange rates for different transfers. The method and speed of the transfer will result in very different rates. Placid Express is very transparent about this as well, but their rates vary extremely widely based on transfer type. 

As an example, let’s look into transfers to Germany from the United States. The mid-market rate at the time of writing is USD 100 for EUR 84.06. If you want to send USD 100 to Germany with Placid Express, you have three options:

  1. A bank transfer where you pay $1.99 in fees
  2. A debit card payment where you pay $21.99 in fees
  3. A credit card payment where you pay $25.99 in fees

In all three of these cases, the recipient gets EUR 81. That’s over 3.6% for the exchange rate margin. These exchange rates are well above the mid-market rate. Apart from the bank transfer option, the transfer fees represent over 20% of the transaction as well. The good news is that the percentage of the transaction going to those fees drops as the transfer balance rises.

Debit and credit card payments incur large fees no matter how large your transfer is. Even if you send $1,000, the debit transfer fee is $129.99 and the credit transfer fee is $169.99. These are extremely high transfer fees. 

Interestingly, the bank transfer fee in our example remains the same. Fees total just $1.99 no matter how large the transfer is.

To compare, you can always use the Placid Express currency exchange calculator. Compare their offer with the mid-market exchange rate to see how much they charge. This is an important step, as their rates are very inconsistent as you change currencies and recipient locations.

Additional costs

There are no additional costs unless a bank transfer cannot be completed directly. In that case, an intermediary bank may charge additional fees. This is a rare scenario, however.

How do Placid Express transfer fees compare to using other money transfer providers?

Assuming you stick with bank transfers, Placid Express ends up cheaper than most other providers. Their exchange rate margins are high, but their bank transfer fees are so low that they offset much of that hidden cost.

However, if you pay transfer fees with your debit or credit card, Placid Express is several times more expensive than most other international money transfer services.

 Placid Express pros and cons

Pros
Transparent rates. You can find out how much you have to pay Placid Express for their services quickly. Just go on their website and let them know how much money you’re sending and the destination.
Fast transfers with cards. If you pay with a card, your money can be transferred in well under one hour. Sometimes, it only takes 10 minutes. However, you pay a lot more for that speed.
SpotCash service. This service enables the recipient to pick up the cash from the transfer from a local Placid Express agent.
Cons
Transfer fees with cards are very high. Depending on the details of the transfer, you could pay less than what was outlined in our examples. But in most cases, using a card means paying an extreme premium for extreme speed.
Bank transfers can be slow. While it’s normal for international transfers to take a few days, you can find better balances between speed and cost. With Placid Express, you’re choosing either relatively cheap rates for normal wire transfer speeds, or extremely high rates for very fast service.
Inconsistent offers across countries are confusing. Different countries come with vastly different transfer fees, exchange rates, and even transfer limits. This makes it difficult to rate Placid Express alongside similar money transfer services.

Answers to key questions about Placid Express

Can I open a Placid Express account in any country?

Yes, you can. But you can only use their services to send money to and from the countries they offer service in.

Does Placid Express have an app?

Yes. You can download the “Placid Money Transfer” app on Google Play or the App Store.

Are there transfer limits?

If you’re sending money from the US, you’re limited to $2,400 per week.

How long do transfers take with Placid Express?

Transfers made with debit or credit card payments typically take less than one hour. 

Bank transfers will normally take 2 to 5 business days, depending on bank networks and other variables.

What customer support options are available?

  • Phone
  • Email

Can I use a Placid Express debit card when travelling abroad?

Placid Express does not offer its own cards. However, you can use your debit or credit cards to fund Placid transfers while you are abroad.

 How to open an account and transfer money with Placid Express

Opening an account

To sign up for Placid Express, just:

  1. Go to the Placid Express website
  2. Click “Sign Up”
  3. Fill in your basic information and review the terms and conditions
  4. Confirm your information and start using your account

Transferring money

Once your account is created and your payment method is connected, you can start sending money. You can start from the dropdown menu that is always visible on the desktop version. If you’re using one of their apps, just click the send money option.

Once you’re on the right page, you will be prompted to provide:

  1. The recipient’s details
  2. The currency and amount you want to send

From here, you will need to choose from one of the three payment options. After you review and accept the terms of the transfer, you can make a payment to send the money. Then, you just need to wait for the recipient to receive the money.

Additional Information

If you want, you can arrange for cash pickups using SpotCash. SpotCash transfers are instant, and the recipient just needs to go to their nearest agent with the tracking number and their government ID.

Customer service details for users of Placid Express

Phone details for different regions are listed on their website.

Email: webhelp@placid.net

Can I use Placid Express for international bank transfers?

Yes, you can. In fact, bank transfers are the cheapest way to send money with Placid Express.

Summary

Placid Express offers you one of two things if you need to send money:

  1. Low rates with normal transfer speeds
  2. High rates for lightning-fast transfer speeds

For the second option, you will pay a high cost. Overall, Placid Express is an option worth exploring if you need to send money to the countries they service. Just keep in mind the money you pay for fast service.

Despite the seemingly limited payment options, cash pickup and transparent rates keep Placid Express’s offers competitive. If you aren’t in a rush to have your money arrive at the destination, Placid Express offers good rates for the service you’re looking for.

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