Transferring Money From Spain to the UK

By 
Russell Gous
Last Edited Oct 10, 2023

If you’re looking to send money from Spain to the UK, you’ll want a solution which is safe, fast and low in cost.

It’s important to know that you DON’T HAVE TO use a bank to transfer money from Spain to the UK, as nowadays, there are a number of safe and cost-effective alternatives.

In fact, in the majority of cases, we believe the best way to transfer money from Spain to the UK is by using a specialist, non-bank, international payment company. 

These trusted and well-reviewed service providers easily operate alongside your existing bank account and are almost always cheaper than a bank to send money from Spain to the UK.

In this guide we’ll highlight the fees associated with your international transfer, make recommendations on the cheapest way to send money from Spain to the UK, and demonstrate the potential savings of choosing a provider with lower fees and better rates.

Currency Exchange Rates

EUR to GBP

Current Rate: 0.8531 GBP

Estimated Bank Rate (2.5% markup): 0.8318 GBP

Provider Rate (0.6%): 0.8480 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.

GBP to EUR

Current Rate: 1.1722 EUR

Estimated Bank Rate (2.5% markup): 1.1429 EUR

Provider Rate (0.6%): 1.1652 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.

 

Transfer Money From the UK to Spain

Cheapest Way to Send Money From Spain to UK [4 Steps]

Follow these four simple steps and you’ll soon be transferring money from Spain to the UK in a speedy, safe, and cheap manner.

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

Knowing the huge impact it can have on cost (more on this below), choosing the correct international money transfer service is the most important decision you’ll make ahead of sending money to the UK.

It will also influence the speed and safety of your transfer.

When it comes to sending money from Spain to the UK, there’s a long list of providers to choose from; some are well known organisations like PayPal, whereas many other leading providers you may not recognise at all.

It’s not just about choosing a recognised brand though – every provider has their own specialist areas and accompanying advantages and disadvantages.

The best providers also vary depending on where you’re sending money to and from, so we have dedicated guides for different corridors such as the cheapest way to send money from the UK to Australia.

The following range of financial institutions can all assist in different ways to send money from Spain to the UK:

As with transferring money from France to the UK, all of the above categories support EURGBP transfers.

⭐ Best Way to Send Money From Spain to UK⭐

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 need to make a decision fast, we’d recommend using any of the above three providers, as they will almost certainly be cheaper than using any Spanish bank.

All three of these providers offer a range of value-adding functionalities that banks don’t (not for private customers or SMEs anyway), which includes dedicated account management, telephone guidance and a suite of FX payment products.

For example, a Spanish resident looking to buy a property in the UK may want to fix the exchange rate with a forward contract and guarantee today’s rate for a point in the future. For most individuals, the bank simply won’t allow them to do this but the above companies will.

In the case of Currencies Direct, they have been in Spain since 1999 and have 18 branches spreading from Costa Blanca to Costa del Sol. Clients can visit the team in-branch or speak to them over the phone in English or Spanish.

Currencies Direct’s offices in Spain are in cities where there’s a big international community (including many British expats), such as Marbella, Valencia, Fuengirola, and Playa.

Using Remittances Providers from Spain to UK Money Transfers?

Highly publicised remittance companies like Moneygram or Western Union are notoriously expensive and better suited for instances where cash needs to be sent to remote destinations around the world.

Newer breed remittance companies like Remitly are cheaper than Western Union but again, are better suited for cash delivery and mobile top ups.

They’re also likely to be more expensive than currency brokers and money transfer companies for a bank transfer from Spain to the UK.

As you get familiar with the market, you’ll see that some currency brokers can also act as purely online money transfer providers given the quality of their online platform.

Let’s explore the role that each of these companies perform in the market here.

Transferring Money from Spain to UK With Different Providers

The summary below compares a variety of ways to transfer money from Spain to the UK.

Spanish BanksCurrency BrokersOnline Money Transfer CompaniesRemittance Companies
Example Providers

Banco Sabadel

CaixaBank

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

If you want to keep things simple, it might seem easiest just to use your existing current account provider. This does, however, come with some serious red flags when it comes to cost.

When you transfer euros to pounds, there are two ways a bank or payment provider will make money.

Firstly, there’s the payment fee charged.

Banks are infamous for charging a high payment fee, which in Spain, is usually a variable cost. Major banks like CaixaBank and Banco Sabadel’s international fees start from between €22-€36.

Secondly, there’s the FX spread applied.

Banks are also notorious for wide FX spreads (a variable payment fee that works as a % of the total transfer). It’s the FX spreads which will soon start to dwarf payment fees and could cost you thousands of pounds if you’re not careful transferring money from Spain to the UK.

Spanish Bank International Wire Transfer Fees

Banco Sabadel

Transfer Amount (€)Fee (€)% of Transfer
500224.4
1,000222.2
5,00037.50.75
10,000750.75

CaixaBank

Transfer Amount (€)Fee (€)% of Transfer
500367.2
1,000363.6
5,000360.72
10,000700.7

All of the costs in the table above are based on online transfers from bank to bank, so it’s worth noting that paying either by telephone or in branch would likely incur higher fees.

In contrast, transfer money specialists such as Currencies Direct, Key Currency and Moneycorp charge no payment fees whatsoever to private clients.

It doesn’t matter if payments are made to the EEA or to the rest of the world, or if payments are made online or over the phone, there are no payment fees.

As we’ve already touched on, the cost incurred in the FX spread can soon start to dwarf the payment fee.

To help demonstrate this, we’ve included below the current FX spread being applied by two of Spain’s biggest banks for EURGBP transfers up to the payment value of €10,000.


Bank
Current margin for EURGBP transfers
Banco Sabadel3.25%
CaixaBank2.30%

The FX spread is the difference between the actual interbank exchange rate at the time and the rate you’re offered as a client (learn more about exchange rates for international bank transfers here).

It’s very rare that banks actually publish the FX spread they apply. Normally, they choose to hide behind the obscurity of simply providing an FX rate and leaving it to customers to make their own calculations.

A €10,000 money transfer from Spain to the UK incurs a 3.25% FX spread with  Banco Sabadel. That’s €325 a customer is set to lose in the exchange rate margin, in addition to a €70 fixed fee.

With Wise, a €10,000 money transfer from Spain to the UK incurs no FX markup costs, as Wise offers the mid-market rate.

Instead, they’ll only pay €56.14 in fees. So, opting for Wise to send money from Spain to the UK, customers could save €318 on a €10,000 transfer. If you’re happy to accept the daily exchange rate and you’re only looking to save by paying lower  fees, then Wise is likely your best option. The totally online platform puts the onus of the transfer on the user and allows them to transfer money from a Spanish to a UK bank account with a no-fuss, low-fee approach.

However, opting for the provider with the lowest fees is not the only method to drive the cost of sending money from Spain to the UK down.

The timing of a foreign currency-denominated bank transfer is also vitally important as large currency swings can have a big impact on your transfer..

For example, if you were transferring money from Spain to the UK in December 2020, you’d have received £0.92 to the €1. Transferring money from Spain to UK in April 2022 would have achieved £0.82 to the €1. A difference of 11%.

It’s for this reason  we recommend currency brokers, as they offer the advantage of both low fees and tight FX spreads.

They also provide expert guidance and accompanying foreign exchange solutions that can improve the timing of a wire transfer from Spain to the UK.

Once you’ve been able to determine the right provider for your requirements, it’s time to initiate the money transfer.

Step 2: Register With Your Service of Choice

Upon registering with any financial service, you’ll have to complete an identification and verification check. These ‘Know Your Customer’ obligations are conducted by payment companies for the purpose of adhering to anti-money laundering regulations, as per money transfer regulations in the UK or Europe.

To learn more about this, we have guides which run through the KYC documents required to sign up with a money transfer service.

This process is always completed at the point of account opening and it should take no longer than a few hours. The KYC process is notoriously slow with banks and has been identified as a pain point for customers.

In response, most fintechs have purpose built solutions that conduct most of these checks online which removes all manual processes and simply requires the customer to take a ‘selfie’ with their ID held next to their face.

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

Once your account is approved, it’s time to format the details of your money transfer from Spain to the UK.

You’ll do this either online or over the phone (if you’re using a currency broker as opposed to an online-only provider).

It’s very important to input the beneficiary details correctly to avoid delay and, in the worst case scenario, transferring euros to pounds to the wrong UK bank account.

All UK bank accounts are formatted as an International Bank Account Number (IBAN). It’s this IBAN that you need to input when you send money from Spain to the UK.

If you have an invoice for the payment you’re making, the IBAN should be included on this. If you have no invoice and you’re simply transferring money from Spain to the UK between your own accounts, you can use an IBAN generator to find the correct details.

Simply input your UK sort code and bank account number into the IBAN generator and it will reveal the IBAN for your account.

You may also be asked to provide a SWIFT code, which is a unique identifying code for each UK bank. To make things easy, we have a dedicated page where we’ve compiled a list of UK SWIFT codes.

Once the beneficiary has been set up, either input the amount of EUR you want to convert, or the GBP amount you want to receive at the end of the currency exchange.

As you make the payment you’ll then be able to lock-in the exchange rate. At this point, customers enter into a legal contract to convert euros to pounds for your bank transfer from Spain to the UK.

IBAN Format to Transfer Money From Spain to a UK Account

22 Alphanumeric characters

GBkk BBBB SSSS SSCC CCCC CC

GB = Country Code

kk = Check Digits

B = First four of BIC

S = Sort Code

C = Account No

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

Once you’ve set up your trade to transfer euros to pounds, you’ll need to fund the deal in EUR. Your chosen payment company will provide their account number for you to settle the trade as soon as you’ve set it up. Details will be displayed either through the online portal or communicated over telephone/email.

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

By closely adhering to the reference requirements you can ensure the funds are immediately settled by the payment company on your deal and converted to GBP.

Companies listed on this page and marked by us as “best money transfer from Spain to UK” all hold a local EUR bank account that can receive SEPA transfers, meaning you’ll just have to make a quick, low cost transfer from your EUR account to the payment company’s EUR account.

Most providers stipulate 1-2 working days when transferring money from Spain to the UK. However, nowadays, it’s very common for transfers to be complete within a matter of hours or even minutes. Particularly if you opt for an instant SEPA credit transfer in Europe.

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

The answer to this question depends primarily on why you’re transferring money from Spain to a UK bank account. We explore some of the most popular reasons here and provide our recommendations on the most suitable payment provider for each.

Best For Money Transfer from Spain to UK – Overseas Property Purchase

Currencies Direct provides a range of FX hedging tools that can be particularly helpful when buying a property overseas, supported by a team of currency experts that are on hand to run through these solutions and the current state of the FX market.

Arguably, the most important tool is a forward contract – allowing you to guarantee today’s exchange rate for up to two years in the future.

This can provide security around your budget and perhaps allow you to bag a better FX rate by timing your forward contract correctly.

Once living in the UK, you’ll also benefit from having local account managers and the opportunity to visit Currencies Direct’s London based, UK branch.

Best Way to Transfer Euros From Spain to UK – Repatriating Rental Income / Paying Overseas Mortgage

When making a regular money transfer from Spain to the UK (such as each month) you may want to work with a provider that offers automated regular transfers.

This could be useful when repatriating rental yields or paying a mortgage overseas.

When you set up a regular transfer with Currencies Direct you have two options; you can either agree to take the exchange rate it will be on the day or you can set each regular transfer up as a forward contract – locking in the current exchange rate for every regular transfer up to 2 years.

Best For Money Transfer From Spain to UK – Supplier Payments (B2B)

Moneycorp:  Moneycorp is our no.1 rated business money transfer provider. All in all, we think it’s the best all-round corporate FX provider on the market today.

With a market-leading online platform, a dedicated relationship manager for business clients and even FX options for corporate customers, Moneycorp understands the many challenges that businesses face when trading internationally.

Whether you’re a large organisation or a SME, moneycorp can cater for your international payment needs and help reduce your foreign currency risk. As things stand, moneycorp is already helping over 21,000 businesses move money across borders.

Best For Money Transfer From Spain to UK – Freelance Invoicing

If you’re sending money from Spain to the UK because you happen to be invoicing a client in GBP then we recommend Wise as you won’t necessarily know how much you’re set to receive or when it is due, meaning it’s best to opt for a provider with guaranteed low spreads and low fees.

They also have a multi-currency account solution which lets you hold balances in both GBP & EUR – allowing you to spend directly from these account balances or convert the balances into any number of currencies.

Best For Money Transfer From Spain to UK – Global Payrolls

Papaya Global : Papaya Global offers an all-in-one payroll solution that allows customers to automate their international payroll with a safe and regulatory compliant solution.

Payments can be made in any currency, anywhere to 160+ countries, including transferring money from Spain to the UK.

The firms hold offices in both the UK and Spain and provide guidance on local taxes, employment law, hiring laws, social benefits, and contracts.

Cheapest Way to Transfer Money From Spain to UK

This can be dependent on a number of factors but the biggest influence is how much it is you’re looking to transfer.

  • Cheapest Way to Transfer Money from Spain to UK – Under $20,000: On purely cost alone, Wise will likely prove cheaper than a currency broker when you transfer money to the UK from Spain under £20,000.

There’s a possibility that a currency broker might be able to provide guidance which improves your timing of a trade and thus make it cheaper but on standalone cost we’d recommend Wise for smaller amounts.

  • Cheapest Way to Transfer Money from Spain to UK  – Over $20,000: Currencies Direct and TorFX are two highly respected currency brokers offering both online trading and a team of foreign exchange specialists which are on hand to guide you through the transfer process.

When sending large volumes, it’s worth seeing if you can negotiate the FX spread that’s applied when you transfer euros to pounds.

Final Thoughts: International Bank Transfer From Spain to UK

If you have a requirement to transfer money from Spain to the UK, be aware that UK & European banks provide one of the most expensive international payment solutions in the world.

Fortunately, individuals and SMEs have a wide choice of alternatives from a  growing number of currency brokers and online money transfer companies that can send money from Spain to the UK, many of which are focused on the EURGBP corridor and  are regulated both in the UK and in the EU.

Choosing the right provider will depend on why you’re transferring money from Spain to the UK but nowadays there are many specialist companies that have you covered.

The first time you are transferring money from a Spanish to UK bank account might be more time consuming, as it could involve selecting and registering with a new international payment provider.

However, once you’re familiar with the process and have your beneficiary details saved, future transfers can be made with ease.

You can send money to the UK in just a few clicks online, through an app or by speaking with your account manager over the phone.