Are you sick to death of being ripped off by banks who charge ridiculous fees when you send money back home? Would you prefer a much cheaper, friendlier and easier-to-use service?
Well you’re in luck. Now you can get the best euro exchange rate available to make currency transfers and it hardly costs a penny (relatively speaking of course).
Having been an expat in Spain for over five years, I’ve had to change euros to pounds on many occasions, so I share and understand your frustration! I found the exchange rate offered by my UK bank for direct debit transfers from my Spanish account to be appalling. And to add insult to injury I was also required to cough up a totally unreasonable transfer fee. But I was loyal to my bank and I didn’t realise there was actually a much better alternative.
How to Get the Best Euro Exchange Rate? Use CurrencyFair.
CurrencyFair is a peer-to-peer currency exchange service which allows users – either individuals or businesses – access to the same great exchange rates for international currency transfers that are usually reserved for banks and large corporations dealing in millions.
I’ve been signed up since 2013, made several currency transfers (euros to pounds) and subsequently massive savings. For any other expat just like me – fed up with being constantly ripped off by their bank – this is undoubtedly a much, much better alternative.
After registering with CurrencyFair, making an exchange and transfer couldn’t be easier. You make a deposit to your CurrencyFair client account (up to 2 working days), exchange your currency either at the best currently available rate or bid on a better rate and wait for it to be matched, then transfer to the beneficiary account for £2.50 (takes 1 working day to clear) and that’s it. No terrible rates. No commission. All done in 3 days for just £2.50!
And there’s more! I am an affiliate of CurrencyFair and by clicking on the link below or at the end of this ‘how to’ post, registering an account and making an initial transfer of €1,000, you’ll be entitled to receive one fee-free transfer. This will make you instant savings and give you the opportunity to test it out! It will also help me out tremendously 😉
Click Here to Receive One Fee-Free Transfer When You Avoid Unfair Bank Fees By Using CurrencyFair To Send Money Abroad
But hand on heart, affiliate or not, this is a fantastic service that any ‘expat’ or business owner who deals in different currencies will benefit from a great deal. It’s incredibly easy to get set up. Let me take you through it.
How to Register to CurrencyFair
Head to the CurrencyFair homepage (link at the bottom of this page), select ‘Create Account’, enter your details and choose a personal or business account. You will then be given the first three digits of your PIN on the confirmation screen and receive an email with further details of how to verify your account.
The email will include the last three digits of your PIN. At this point you should make a note of the entire PIN and store it in a secure place!
Click the link to verify your email address.
Next, you will need to provide a copy of your passport, driving license or government ID and two proofs of address from separate sources (bank statement or utility bill for example). They need this to make sure you aren’t a money launderer or terrorist aid! You can scan these or just take a picture with your smartphone, providing the details are legible. You can even post them if you like, but I don’t see how that would be more convenient.
Adding your Bank Details
Once your client account is set up and ID verified, it’s time to add your bank account details.
To link your bank accounts to your CurrencyFair client account, just go into ‘My Bank Details’, enter your account info and then pass through a ‘two factor’ verification process. This involves requesting a code to be sent to a mobile device (which you add when registering) and then entering it on the screen to complete the process. This is necessary in order to add or amend any information in your CurrencyFair account, adding an extra level of security that many banks out there don’t offer.
Make a Deposit
Once your bank accounts are linked, you’re ready to make a deposit. There are two options: You can either keep your money in its original currency and exchange later or have it automatically exchanged and transferred to another bank account. If you choose the latter, you get an instant quote based on the best euro exchange rate available, from which the mandatory transfer fee is deducted (2.50 GBP).
Next, you select the deposit account (where the money is coming from), the beneficiary account (where the money is going to) and the purpose of the transaction. Then it’s just one more click and your pending deposit is created. CurrencyFair now knows that you plan to send money from the deposit account and will secure the quoted exchange rate, even if it changes in the meantime. You receive a confirmation email upon creating the deposit with instructions of what to do next – logging into your bank and sending the money with the given CurrencyFair account details (including your client reference number). Transfers are usually very quick, but it depends on which currencies you are using. Euros to pounds usually takes 1-2 business days.
Exchange Your Money
As mentioned above, you can choose to instantly exchange your deposited funds at the best exchange rate currently available on CurrencyFair, but you may also choose your own exchange rate and wait for other clients to match your order by using the ‘Marketplace’ feature.
In Marketplace, you start by entering the amount you want to change in your currency. This will automatically generate the best available exchange rate in the currency you would like (this is the same rate you would get using the ‘quick exchange’ option) AND give you a list of better rates which you may bid on. There is a ‘better requested rate’ which you are likely to secure at some point in the near future, and four others which are higher and obviously take longer to be matched.
Choosing the Marketplace option is worthwhile if you’d like to exchange a large chunk of money – say anything upwards of €1000 – since the difference is a matter of just £2-3 for anything lower than this and you might prefer to just make a quick and easy transaction. The extremely high figures on the right (hundreds of millions) indicate the amount of money in your original currency that has been bid at the corresponding rate. You also have the option to view the full market, your open orders and recent orders (within the last year).
If and when your bid is accepted, you will receive an email from CurrencyFair stating that your order has been matched and that the exchanged amount is ready for transfer.
Make a Transfer
Finally, you can make a transfer to the beneficiary account in your new currency. As with the automatic transaction, there is a transfer fee of 2.50 GBP or 3 EUR which you must pay. All you need to do is add the amount, reference (optional) and purpose of the transfer, before confirming your bank details. Then you have successfully completed a currency exchange and money transfer at the best possible rate available! Kiss goodbye to absurd bank fees forever.
Registering an account with CurrencyFair has saved me at least £150 in bank fees just from 10 transactions in the last three years. If you’re an expat living in Spain or anywhere else abroad and regularly need to exchange currencies, opening a CurrencyFair account really is a no-brainer. To do so, follow this link: