Transferring Money From the UK to Spain

By 
Russell Gous
Last Edited Oct 13, 2023

You are looking for a safe and low cost solution for sending money from the UK to Spain.

This guide provides a clear overview of all the available transfer options and walks you through each step required to complete your transaction.

Perhaps most importantly, we explain why opting to use a bank for your international transfer is one of the most expensive methods.

Choosing one of the leading specialist, non-bank international payment companies, will likely save you money and prove to be the best way to transfer money from the UK to Spain.

We’ll compare the fees associated with your international transfer, to help demonstrate the potential savings of choosing one of our recommended providers.

If you are one of the million Brits who currently own property in Spain, or you are looking to buy a property in Spain this year, this guide will also determine the best way to send money, specifically for property transactions.

Whether that’s buying a property in Spain, repatriating rent or paying overseas mortgages.

Currency Exchange Rates

GBP to EUR

Current Rate: 1.1711 EUR

Estimated Bank Rate (2.5% markup): 1.1418 EUR

Provider Rate (0.6%): 1.1641 EUR

Indicative rates only. 2.5% was applied as the bank margin and 0.6% as the provider rates, but we don’t guarantee either.

EUR to GBP

Current Rate: 0.8539 GBP

Estimated Bank Rate (2.5% markup): 0.8325 GBP

Provider Rate (0.6%): 0.8488 GBP

Indicative rates only. 2.5% was applied as the bank margin and 0.6% as the provider rates, but we don’t guarantee either.

 

Transfer Money From Spain to the UK

You are just 4 easy steps away from transferring money from the UK to Spain, hassle free and cost effectively.

Step 1: Choose a Payment Provider (w / offices in UK + Spain)

There’s a wide variety of providers to choose from, and selecting the right international money transfer service is the most important decision in the process.

Which provider you choose can affect the safety, speed, and cost of your transfer.

When reviewing your options, you’ll likely recognise some of the more popular organisations like PayPal.

However, your decision should not be driven by simply choosing the most recognised brand.

Each provider specialises in different services and will therefore be more or less advantageous depending on your unique circumstances.

Your available options for sending money to Spain will typically fall into one of the below 4 categories, and all support GBPEUR transfers:

⭐ Best Way to Send Money From the UK to Spain ⭐

Based on Security, Speed and Cost; companies operating in Spain and UK

UK Spain USA Canada Moneycorp: #1 Rated Money Transfers UK - Spain 🔝 EUR/GBP Rates
Headquarters in UK. Local Spain Offices:
Blvd. de la Cala, 29649 Las Lagunas de Mijas, Málaga
93.2% Editorial rating
13,500 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
€100
Why Them?
  • #1 Rated on MTC
  • Industry Leader with £40bn in Annual Turnover
  • No Transfer Fees, Great Rates
+Read more
Moneycorp
Moneycorp: #1 Rated Money Transfers UK - Spain 🔝 EUR/GBP Rates
93.2%
Editorial rating
UK Spain Key Currency: Up and Coming Currency Broker with Local Presence UK/Spain
Headquarters in UK. Local Spain Offices:
Ctra. de Villamartín, 2, 03189 Dehesa de Campoamor, Alicante
90.2% Editorial rating
800 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
€250
Why Them?
  • Recipient of Multiple Industry Awards
  • Close and Personal Touch
  • Specialists in the UK-Spain Corridor
+Read more
Key Currency
Key Currency: Up and Coming Currency Broker with Local Presence UK/Spain
90.2%
Editorial rating
#3
UK Spain USA Australia OFX: ASX Traded, Australian Household Name
Headquarters in Australia. Offices in UK, USA, NZ, Canada and more. Local European Offices (Ireland):
Fitzwilliams Court, 2 Leeson Close, Dublin 2 D02 YW24
90.8% Editorial rating
5,000 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
AU$100
Why Them?
  • Australian Company
  • Traded Publicly
  • 20bn Turnover per Year
+Read more
3
OFX
OFX: ASX Traded, Australian Household Name
90.8%
Editorial rating
#4
UK Spain Corpay: 99% Positive Client Feedback
Headquarters in UK. Local European Offices (Netherlands):
Zuidplein, 1077 XV Amsterdam
90.2% Editorial rating
4,400 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
£1,000/€1,000 or equivalent
Why Them?
  • 99% of its Past Clients Gave the Firm a Positive Review
  • Strong Global Reach with Offices in UK, Europe, and Canada
  • More than Two Decades of Experience
+Read more
4
Corpay
Corpay: 99% Positive Client Feedback
90.2%
Editorial rating

If you’re in a hurry, we can confidently recommend any of the four providers above.

As well as offering a variety of value-adding functionalities not typically available with banks, these providers are almost certainly cheaper than the vast majority of UK banks.

Say you are looking to purchase a property in Spain, you might benefit from dedicated account management, telephone guidance and a suite of FX payment products.

For example, a forward contract would allow you to fix the exchange rate for a point in the future when you will complete your purchase.

Currencies Direct are a very well established provider, who are regulated by both the UK’s FCA and the Bank of Spain.

They have had a presence in Spain for more than two decades, so by choosing them as your provider, you’ll have the option to visit their teams in person, both in the UK or in one of their 18 Spanish branches.

There are alternative providers who also have offices in the EU if this is a specific requirement.

Some even specialise in UK-Spain money transfers like Smart Currency Exchange, and Lumon Pay.

Britain’s favourite relocation programme – A Place in the Sun, even runs their own currency exchange at A Place in the Sun Currency service.

What About Using Remittances Providers for UK – Spain Money Transfers?

We would suggest excluding remittance providers from your consideration set, unless your beneficiary can only receive funds in cash (i.e. they don’t have a bank account).

Some of the more popular names in the remittance space work out very expensive, including the likes of Moneygram or Western Union, as they are best suited for delivering cash to remote destinations.

There are cheaper remittance alternatives such as Remitly, however, they will most likely still be more expensive than a currency broker or money transfer company for a bank transfer from the UK to Spain.

Transferring Money from UK to Spain With Different Providers

Here we compare the variety of ways to transfer money from the UK to Spain.

British BanksCurrency BrokersOnline Money Transfer CompaniesRemittance Companies
Example Providers

Barclays

HSBC

Santander

Lloyds

Currencies Direct

TorFX

Moneycorp

PayPal (Xoom)

Wise (formerly TransferWise)

Western Union

Moneygram

Remitly

Advantages

Use your existing bank, no need to register with another provider

Safe & secure

Handle payments of all sizes

Branch network if prefer to make payments in-person (though usually more expensive)

Various hedging tools to manage exposure in currency market

Guidance from a dedicated currency specialist

Trade online or over the phone

Handle payments of all sizes

No payment fees

Slick online offering can make payments in minutes.

Lower FX spreads compared to banks and usually transparent

Lower payment fees

Can arrange cash pick-up

Choose to settle deals either online or by visiting a local branch

Disadvantages

Hedging tools not made available to private clients and SMEs

Expensive payment fees

Wide FX Spreads

Can’t speak with a currency specialist

FX spreads smaller than banks but not always transparent.

Other than Currencies Direct, few currency brokers have a branch network in Spain.

No hedging tools, must accept the FX rate at the time you want to make the payment

No guidance from a currency specialist

No branch network

Wide FX spreads (perhaps still smaller than bank FX spreads)

No hedging tools, must accept the FX rate at the time you want to make the payment

For simplicity, many individuals’ first thought is to use their existing current account provider.

Be aware, that in doing so, you will more than likely be incurring some very high costs compared to using a specialist provider.

When transferring pounds to euros, a bank or payment provider will make money in one of two ways.

The first of which is a payment fee, which is normally a fixed cost.

Banks are known for charging comparatively high payment fees, which can be up to £25 per international transfer.

Secondly, there’s the FX spread.

This is a variable fee that is calculated as a % of the total transfer.

FX spreads can very quickly exceed payment fees by a considerable amount, potentially costing thousands of pounds if you were to choose an expensive provider.

UK Bank International Wire Transfer Fees

OnlineBusiness (online)Telephone/Branch
Barclays£0£15£25
Lloyds Bank£0 to EEA / £9.50 ROW£15£21
Natwest£0 to EEA / £10 ROW£150.3% (£21 – £40)
HSBC£0 to EEA / £5 ROW£17 – £30£0 to EEA / £5 ROW

The majority of banks charge no payment fees for international payments sent online to Spain and the European Economic Area (EEA) for private customers.

Fortunately, the introduction of the SEPA payment scheme in 2009 democratised euro payments for all member states (which includes the UK), which radically reduced the cost of EUR payments.

However, should customers wish to arrange the payment on the phone or in-branch the fees could be anywhere from £21 – £40.

Businesses are charged an average of £15 for international payments.

What’s more, banks will charge customers to receive overseas payments.

There’s also a chance the sender and receiver may incur additional payment fees from correspondent and beneficiary banks.

Private clients will not have to pay any fees when using alternative providers like Currencies Direct, Key Currency and moneycorp.

The ‘zero payment fee’ policy applies worldwide, and it makes no difference if payments are made online or over the phone.

Given that the FX spread is often the more costly part of an international transfer, we’ve used Lloyd’s bank as an example to demonstrate how high these costs can be.

Payment Value in GBPCurrent margin for sending money outside the UK or in a foreign currency
0 – £10,0003.55%
£10,000 – £50,0003.55% – 2.40%
£50,000 – £100,0002.40% – 2.10%
£100,000 – £250,0002.10% – 1.50%
£250,000 and above1.50%

The FX spread is calculated as the difference between the interbank exchange rate at the time of your transfer versus the rate you’re offered as a client.

You can learn more about exchange rates for international bank transfers here.

It’s very rare that banks publish their FX spread.

Instead, they will simply advertise their own fx rate, so it is left for the customer to calculate how much of a markup the banks will make on their transfer.

In this regard we have to give kudos to Lloyds for being the only UK bank to publish their spreads.

We can only assume the banks that choose not to, give customers an even worse rate.

A £10,000 money transfer from the UK to Spain incurs a 3.55% FX spread with Lloyds. That’s £355 a customer is set to lose in the exchange rate margin.

International account specialists ‘Wise’ do not charge an FX spread, as they offer transfers at the mid market rate.

Instead they make their money by charging a variable transfer fee, which for a £10,000 GBPEUR transfer, amounts to just £43.02.

Meaning that by choosing Wise to send your money from the UK to Spain, you’d save £311 on a £10,000 transfer.

For a £100,000 transfer, Lloyds applies a 2.1% spread versus Wise’s 0.43% transfer fee, meaning customers could save £1,670 by choosing Wise for a transfer of this size.

It’s for this reason Wise will prove to be the best option for many customers, particularly those sending lower amounts, as they offer some of the lowest total costs in the industry.

Their online platform and app puts the onus of the transfer into the user’s hands, making transferring money from a UK to a Spanish bank account a zero fuss process.

One consideration for those choosing Wise, is you will have to accept the current mid-market exchange rate on the date and time that you lock in your transfer.

This raises the interesting point that choosing the lowest fee provider is not the only way to reduce the cost of sending money from the UK to Spain.

Large currency swings can mean that the timing of your transfer stands to have an even bigger impact on costs than the FX spread.

Make a GBPEUR transfer at the beginning of February 2023 and the rate was as low as 1.11. Make a GBPEUR transfer in July 2023 and the rate was as high as 1.17. That’s a 5.4% increase in just a few months.

With so many unforeseen circumstances that can have a similar impact, we recommend currency brokers as the best way to send money from the UK to Spain.

As well as offering low fees and tight FX spreads, currency brokers also have the expert guidance and accompanying hedging solutions to improve the timing of your UK-Spain transfer.

With all this information in hand, you should now confidently be able to choose the best provider for your requirements.

Time to initiate your money transfer.

Step 2: Register With Your Service of Choice

Registering with any financial service requires an identification and verification check.

These ‘Know Your Customer’ checks are conducted by payment companies to adhere to anti-money laundering regulations, as per money transfer regulations in the UK or Europe.

Our guide on the KYC documents required to sign up with a money transfer service covers this process in greater detail.

While this is a notoriously slow process with banks, most fintechs have purpose built solutions that simply require customers taking a ‘selfie’ with their ID held next to their face.

Step 3: Format the Details of Your Bank Transfer from UK to Spain

Once you’re registered and authorised to trade, the next step is formatting the details of your UK-Spain money transfer.

Depending whether you’ve chosen a currency broker or online-only provider will determine whether this step is completed online or over the phone.

Inputting the beneficiary details correctly helps to prevent delays and avoid the worst case scenario of transferring your money to the wrong account.

Each Spanish bank has an International Bank Account Number (IBAN).

It’s this IBAN you need to input when sending money to Spain.

The IBAN should either be included on the invoice you have, or, if you’re simply transferring money between your own accounts, you can use an IBAN generator to find the correct details.

Spanish IBAN’s are formatted as follows:

IBAN Format for Transferring Money From UK to Spanish Bank Account

24 Alphanumeric Digits

ESkk BBBB GGGG KKCC CCCC CCCC

ES = Country Code

kk = Check Digits

B = Bank Code

G = Branch/Office Number

C = Account No.

In some instances you may also need to provide a SWIFT code. Again, each bank has a unique code and you can find a list of Spanish SWIFT codes here.

With all beneficiary details confirmed, you simply input the amount of GBP you wish to convert, or the total EUR you want the beneficiary to receive.

It’s at this stage you will lock-in the exchange rate.

It’s also at this point where you enter into a legal contract to convert pounds to euros for your bank transfer from the UK to Spain.

Step 4: Settle Your Deal and Wait for Funds to Hit the Spanish Account

As soon as you’ve set up your transfer, your chosen provider will provide their account number for you to settle the trade.

The payment company will also highlight any details you’ll need to include in the payment reference.

Following any reference requirements closely will speed up the settling of your transfer, so your pounds are converted to euros as quickly as possible.

Most providers stipulate 1-2 working days when transferring money from a UK to Spanish bank account.

However, nowadays, transfers are often completed within a matter of hours or even minutes.

Instant SEPA credit transfers in Europe are among the fastest payment types available.

⭐ Best Way to Transfer Money From the UK to Spain⭐ [For Each Use-Case]

Here we explore some of the most popular reasons for UK-Spain bank transfers, and provide our recommendations on the most suitable payment provider for each.

Overseas Property Purchase

Currencies Direct have a team of currency experts that are on hand to run through their range of FX hedging tool solutions that can be particularly helpful when buying a property overseas.

The most useful of these tools for a property purchase is likely a forward contract – which allows you to secure today’s exchange rate for up to two years in the future.

By initiating your forward contract at the right time, you can secure a favourable FX rate, as well as the added security of knowing your payments will remain within your budget.

Once living in Spain, you’ll also benefit from local account managers and the opportunity to visit one of Currencies Direct’s 18 Spanish branches.

Repatriating Rental Income / Paying Overseas Mortgage

If you have a requirement to transfer money monthly (or at other regular intervals) from the UK to Spain, you’ll likely want a provider that offers automated regular transfers.

This is particularly useful when repatriating rental yields or paying a mortgage overseas.

Currencies Direct’s regular transfers service gives you two options.

Either agree to accept the exchange rate at the time of each transfer, or set up a regular transfer as a forward contract – securing the current exchange rate for all regular transfers (up to 2 years).

Supplier Payments (B2B)

moneycorp is MTC’s no.1 rated business money transfer provider, as we believe they are the best all-round corporate FX provider on the market today.

They understand the many challenges that businesses face when trading internationally, and offer a market-leading online platform, dedicated relationship managers, and FX options for corporate customers.

moneycorp caters to the international payment needs of both SMEs and large organisations, helping to reduce their foreign currency risk.

They’re a well established organisation, helping more than 21,000 businesses move their money across borders.

Freelance Invoicing

Wise is likely your best option if you are invoicing a Spanish client in EUR, as you won’t be able to guarantee the amount you’re set to receive or when it is due.

For this reason you’ll want a provider with guaranteed low spreads and low fees, so Wise’s mid-market rate and low % fees are your best bet.

Their multi-currency account allows you to hold balances in both GBP & EUR – so you can spend and convert the balances into any number of currencies should you be working with other international clients.

Global Payrolls

With Papaya Global you can automate your international payroll using their all-in-one, safe, and regulatory compliant solution.

You can make payments to 160+ countries, in any currency, which of course includes transferring money from the UK to Spain.

Papaya Global also has UK and Spanish based offices, so you can seek guidance on local taxes, social benefits, hiring laws, employment law, and contracts.

Cheapest Way to Send Money to Spain

There are multiple factors that determine the cheapest method, however, the factor with the biggest influence is the total amount you’re looking to transfer.

  • Transfers Under £20,000: Wise will likely prove to be your cheapest option. There’s a chance a currency broker might be able to provide guidance which improves the timing of your trade and thus makes them a cheaper option. However, based on purely cost alone we’d recommend Wise for smaller amounts.
  • Transfers Over $20,000: We believe the cheapest method will be either of our highly recommended and well respected currency brokers: Currencies Direct and TorFX. Both of these companies offer online trading and a team of foreign exchange specialists to guide you through the entire transfer process. It’s also worth trying to negotiate the FX spread applied to your GBPEUR transfer when dealing in larger volumes.

Final Thoughts: International Bank Transfer From the UK to Spain

We can conclude from our research that UK banks provide one of the most expensive international payment solutions in the world.

Fortunately, as currency brokers and online money transfer companies continue to emerge and grow in popularity, individuals and SMEs have a variety of more cost effective solutions for sending money to Spain from the UK.

Many of these providers either specialise or have extensive experience in the GBPEUR corridor, and are regulated both in the UK and the EU.

Some even have offices based in both the UK and Spain.

The right provider will depend on your main purpose for transferring money to Spain, but customers should not be put off by having to register with a new international payment provider.

This is a quick and pain free process that once completed, means you stand to make significant savings, both on your first transfer and for any future transactions.

You’ll be able to send money to Spain in just a few clicks using a provider’s app, or over the phone with your dedicated account manager.