HomeSending MoneyTransfer‌ ‌Money‌ ‌to‌ ‌Europe‌ ‌

Sending Money to Europe

Sending money across international borders is easier than ever, thanks to improving technology and communication and the emergence of specialised money transfer providers. It means making international payments to Europe and countries within Europe is straightforward, cheap and fast - with a multitude of options available depending on your needs.

Money Transfer Comparison
Fill in the form and we’ll find you the best rates.
United Kingdom

Europe is a big place - and the best way to send money to the continent will depend on where you need to send money, how fast it needs to arrive, and how much you want to pay. This guide will explain the particulars of sending money to Europe, including how money transfers work, what documents you’ll need and the best way to send money.

How to send money to Europe

You’ll be able to send money to countries in Europe in a few different ways, but the first question to consider is where the money is coming from:

  • Sending money within Europe: If the money is being transferred within Europe between two of over 30 participating countries, it will be carried out through the SEPA system. SEPA transfers are like normal bank transfers, but they’re designed specifically for cross-border payments within the EU and certain other countries. Read our full SEPA guide here

  • Sending money from outside of Europe: If you’re sending money to Europe from outside the continent, then your money transfer will follow the same protocols as most other international payments, in that it will likely go through the SWIFT banking system

Whichever system your money transfer will use, you’ll still generally have the following options when it comes to actually sending the money:

Find the best rates on transfers to Europe
Fill out the form to see the best transfer rates
United Kingdom

Money transfer providers

The best, and usually the fastest and cheapest, way to send money to countries in Europe is by using a money transfer provider. As these companies specialise in international money transfers without providing other banking services, it means they’re generally able to offer better rates than banks and other financial institutions.

The biggest money transfer providers include names like Wise, WorldRemit and Western Union, although there are a number of different companies offering these services. They each have their pros and cons, mostly concerning the speed and cost of your transfer as well as the currencies and countries they support.

This is why it’s so important to compare money transfer providers and the rates and transfer times they offer. When you use to compare international payments, it’s much easier to find the best deal - so you know you’re getting value for the money you send.

With a money transfer provider, you’ll be able to send money from bank account to bank account, debit cards or credit cards, as well as cash pickups and mobile wallet deposits - depending on the countries, currencies and amount of money involved.

Alternatives to money transfer providers

While money transfer providers usually offer the best deals for sending money abroad, there are other alternatives you may want to consider, depending on your personal circumstances.

  • Direct bank transfer: You might choose to send money abroad directly via a bank transfer, bypassing money transfer providers - but this can often be more expensive as well as time-consuming

  • International money orders: International money orders are documents that are paid for by the sender, that can be cashed by the receiver who will then get the amount of money specified in the order. They are a somewhat outdated way of sending money abroad, with low transfer limits and waiting times in excess of a day or two

How do I receive money in Europe?

If you’re located somewhere in Europe and you need to receive an international payment, you’ll generally be able to get the money via the following:

  • In your bank account: The money will be deposited directly into your bank account - or sometimes to your linked debit card

  • On your mobile phone: The money will be sent to your mobile wallet, such as Google Pay or PayPal, but you might have to pay an extra fee to withdraw it from the wallet into your bank account

  • As a cash pickup: The money will be sent to one of hundreds of thousands of cash pickup locations across Europe, belonging to the biggest money transfer providers such as MoneyGram, WorldRemit and Western Union

How long does it take to send money to Europe?

Most countries in Europe have well-developed remittance networks, so you should be able to complete a money transfer in a day or two - and to some locations, with some providers, potentially in minutes.

How much does it cost to send money to Europe?

The cost of sending money abroad to anywhere in Europe will depend on a range of factors, but the two main fees to factor in are transfer fees and exchange rate markups.

Transfer fees are what some money transfer providers charge to use their service - it will either be a fixed fee, so it’s always a set amount, or a percentage of the amount transferred. Some transfer providers don’t charge a fee at all, instead making their money through exchange rate markups.

An exchange rate markup is the extra amount charged to convert one currency into the other - it’s usually a percentage markup on the mid-market exchange rate. Make sure you check what transfer fees and markups are involved before completing your transfer to ensure you get the best deal possible.

How much does it cost to send money abroad within the EU

If you’re making an international payment within the EU, then EU law states that for all transfers up to €50,000 you will not pay more than the cost of a domestic money transfer for the same amount - so long as the payment is made in euros or Swedish krona.

This applies to:

  • Transfers between bank accounts in all EU countries

  • Withdrawals from cash machines in all EU countries

  • Payments by debit card or credit card in all EU countries

  • Direct debit transactions in all EU countries

  • International money transfers between all EU countries

How do I pay for an international money transfer to Europe?

  • Bank transfer: Bank transfers are the most common way of paying for your international money transfer - just watch out for any extra bank fees

  • Credit card: Credit cards offer security and convenience, however they can also include extra interest fees and cash advance fees

  • Debit card: Using your debit card can be a cheaper method of payment, but watch out for currency exchange rates as they can be higher with debit cards

  • Cash: You may also want to pay in cash if you’re sending a money order or visiting a local money transfer agent

What currencies are used in Europe?

It’s commonly known that many countries in Europe use the euro as their currency - in fact, 19 of the 28 member states of the European Union use it, along with five non-European countries and other smaller territories. They include:

Akrotiri and Dhekelia (UK)
Aland Islands (Finland)
San Marino
Vatican City (Holy See)

However, it isn’t the only currency in Europe, and many other nations have their own legal tender:

CountryCurrencyISO 4217 Code
AlbaniaAlbanian lekALL
ArmeniaArmenian dramAMD
AzerbaijanAzerbaijan manatAZN
BelarusBelarusian rubleBYN
Bosnia and HerzegovinaBosnia and Herzegovina convertible markBAM
BulgariaBulgarian levBGN
CroatiaCroatian kunaHRK
CzechiaCzech korunaCZK
DenmarkDanish kroneDKK
Faroe Islands (Denmark)Faroese kronanone
GeorgiaGeorgian lariGEL
Gibraltar (UK)Gibraltar poundGIP
Guernsey (UK)Guernsey poundGGP
HungaryHungarian forintHUF
IcelandIcelandic kronaISK
Isle of Man (UK)Manx poundIMP
Jersey (UK)Jersey poundJEP
KazakhstanKazakhstani tengeKZT
LiechtensteinSwiss francCHF
MoldovaMoldovan leuMDL
North Macedonia (formerly Macedonia)Macedonian denarMKD
NorwayNorwegian kroneNOK
PolandPolish zlotyPLN
RomaniaRomanian leuRON
RussiaRussian rubleRUB
SerbiaSerbian dinarRSD
Svalbard and Jan Mayen (Norway)Norwegian kroneNOK
SwedenSwedish kronaSEK
SwitzerlandSwiss francCHF
TurkeyTurkish liraTRY
UkraineUkrainian hryvniaUAH
United KingdomPound sterlingGBP

Are there limits to how much money I can send to Europe

There aren’t generally any limits on international transfers to Europe, however you should check whether you need to pay any tax or declare any amounts you send before doing so.

Do I pay tax on money I send to Europe?

All European countries have their own laws regarding taxes on remittances and rules surrounding gifts, declarations and taxes. We recommend looking into the specifics of the country you want to send money to and from to be sure you’re following all the required rules.

What do I need to send money to Europe?

To send money to countries in Europe, you’ll need to have the following to hand:

  • A government issued ID document, such as a passport or driving licence

  • The details of your recipient, including their name, address and phone number, and their bank details, like their bank name, branch name, account number and SWIFT or SEPA code

  • A payment method, such as a bank transfer, debit card or credit card

Common reasons for sending money to Europe

Some of the most common reasons people send money to Europe are:

  • Purchasing overseas property

  • Making mortgage payments for overseas properties

  • Supporting family or friends abroad

  • Paying foreign tuition fees

  • Transferring an inheritance

  • Covering medical expenses

What is the fastest way to send money to Europe?
What is the cheapest way to send money to Europe?
What is the safest way to send money to Europe?
What is the best way to send money to Europe?
What countries can I send money to in Europe?
What financial regulators are there in Europe?

Related Content

Elliott is a former investment banker with a 20 year career in the city of London. During this time he held senior roles at ABN Amro, Societe Generale, Marex Financial and Natixis bank, specialising in commodity derivatives and options market-making. During this time, Elliott’s client list included Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Schroders Asset Management, and the Pennsylvania State Public School Employees Retirement System, amongst others.

Mehdi Punjwani
Mehdi Punjwani
Mehdi is a writer and editor with over five years of experience in personal finance, writing for brands including MoneySuperMarket, Equifax and The AA. He graduated from Brunel University with a BA and MA, and likes to spend his free time hiking, travelling, and reading.