Sending money in Europe isn’t that bad as it used to. It takes around 1€ for the transfer which is pretty okay. What bothered me was that I had no chance of getting to the exact exchange rate which I am going to get when I was buying euros. There are always some hidden fees when changing your currency to some other. Banks don’t use the mid-market exchange rate, which is used by Google or Reuters. No, banks use their own rates, which of course come with 0% commission, but the fees are included in the rate already. So they make you think that you don’t pay anything extra but the truth is the opposite. So I was wondering, How to transfer money without fees?
Well it’s impossible, however you can minimize these fees by a huge amount, if you stop using banks (or those exchange places at airports …). I’ve used this method personally when I was studying in Finland (Jyväskylä) on Erasmus. I got a scholarship in CZK but needed EUR. So I send my CZK via TransferWise to my account in Finland. My CZK were exchanged to EUR for the most fair exchange rate in no time. How?
How does TransferWise work?
TransferWise uses a peer-to-peer platform that matches your payment at the mid-market rate with one or several other people who are making an opposite exchange.
You send money from your bank account (for example in CZK) to the Transferwise account in your country. It’s usually free, because it’s a normal interstate transfer between banks, so no fees. Once TW accepts your payment it sends money from their bank account in desired country (my case Finland) in local currency (EUR). Actually, this way the money never leaves the origin country, and you can transfer money without fees. It’s really that simple. Whenever I have to send money abroad I use this service and it has already saved me a lot of money over the years.
While banks could charge you up to 5% in hidden costs when sending money abroad with Transferwise you know right from the beginning what is the transfer going to cost you. Here you will find out more. It depends on the currency you are transferring from/to. It’s probably not going to save you much when you transfer 20€, however once you transfer more than 100€ this will surely save you a lot. I usually pay only 0,5 – 1 % for the transfer (including the exchange via mid-market rate).
TransferWise and safety of my money
As you could probably already noticed from my other articles I am very careful and suspicious about spending money. So of course I tried to find out how secure is TW overall and if saving few € on fees is worth the risk. To my satisfaction TW is authorised by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means that the business is subject to European rules designed to protect customers who use payment services. Long story short it’s safe.
Some facts about the size of TransferWise
- Founded in 2010
- 650 employees
- More than €1 billion is send through TransferWise every month
- Over 1,5 millions customers (2016)
If you found the information on this page useful and want to transfer money abroad, you can register through this link. This way your first transfer will be completely free (up to 500€) and I will get a small reward for taking time to write this article.
Everyone needs to send/exchange money from time to time. Even though I don’t do it every month I like to save every bit and transfer money without fees. If you have any questions or other tips, please write a comment down below.