How to Transfer Money to Spain From the USA

By 
Russell Gous
Last Edited Oct 10, 2023

In this guide we explain how to send money to Spain from the USA in just four steps.

You’ll learn that the process is actually surprisingly simple, similar to transferring money from the USA to France.

There are, however, some crucial decisions you’ll need to make if you want to avoid paying unnecessary fees.

We’ll let you know how to weigh up these decisions, explain the cheapest way to transfer money from the USA to Spain, and the overall best way to transfer money from the USA to Spain.

We’ll take into account important transfer related aspects like safety, speed and service.

There will also be specific tips for transferring large sums of money from the USA to Spain.

Quick Verdict: Best Way to Transfer Money to Spain from the USA

#1
UK EU USA Currencies Direct: Best Rated Globally, Strong USA Presence
Local USA Offices:
4705 S Apopka Vineland Rd Suite 114, Orlando, FL 32819, USA
97.8% Editorial rating
7,500 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
£100 / €100 / $100 or equivalent
Why Them?
  • 96% Positive Feedback from Customers, Since 1996
  • Service Oriented - Specialising in Large Transfers - Friendly Dealers
  • Very Competitive Rates, No Wire Fees
+Read more
1
Currencies Direct
Currencies Direct: Best Rated Globally, Strong USA Presence
97.8%
Editorial rating
#2
Australia UK EU USA New Zealand OFX: Best for Transfers to Canada, Asia and Australia
Local USA Offices:
T49 Stevenson Street, 13th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105
90.4% Editorial rating
1,500 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
$100
Why Them?
  • Traded publicly, very well known name in the currency business
  • Great online platform and mobile app - easy to use, comprehend an sign up with
  • Good rates even for small transfers, and no transfer fees
+Read more
2
OFX
OFX: Best for Transfers to Canada, Asia and Australia
90.4%
Editorial rating
#3
UK EU USA UAE Moneycorp: Best for Businesses and Sophisticated Transfers
Local USA Offices:
4500 Park Granada UNIT 239, Calabasas, CA 91302
93.2% Editorial rating
7,000 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
$250
Why Them?
  • Personal and close service, perfect for large international money transfers and businesses
  • Competitive exchange rates and no transfer fees
  • Many industry and business awards - operating since 1979
+Read more
3
Moneycorp
Moneycorp: Best for Businesses and Sophisticated Transfers
93.2%
Editorial rating

We do not recommend rushing your decision, but rather taking the time to find a company that best meets your own personal requirements.

However, should you need to move quickly, then know that all of the above recommended services provide bank-beating exchange rates, have excellent client reviews and offer expert guidance from a local account manager in the USA.

US banks provide any number of financial services, from private checking accounts through to corporate finance and M&A. They derive the overwhelming majority of their revenue from multinational corporations and by and large investment banking activities. By contrast, the providers we have listed here provide currency exchange and international transfers only.

By having just one focus, it allows them to offer a streamlined and specialised money transfer service. Their staff are experts in foreign exchange and their whole solution is based around making it easier to move money overseas.

How do I Send Money to Spain From the USA?

In 2021, trade with Spain and the US totalled $34.7 billion.

Whether importing or exporting, there are a number of businesses looking to send money to Spain from the USA.

There are also estimated to be some 40,000 Americans who currently live in Spain and have regular requirements to move money between the two countries.

Whatever the reason you’re looking to transfer money from the USA to Spain, these four steps will tell you how to do it.

Step 1: Choose a Payment Provider

It really is worth taking the time to explore your options here as it will have the greatest effect on the cost of your transfer, the types of payment solutions you have at your disposal, how long your payment might take, and how safe your money is in the process.

These become even more important factors if you’re transferring large sums of money from the USA to Spain, such as for a property purchase.

The cost and speed of the transfer, the safety of your money and the quality of the service you receive are four important factors that will influence the best way to transfer money from the USA to Spain.

Cost

Our independent research on international bank transfer fees found American and Spanish banks to charge some of the highest fees in the world.

A USDEUR trade with Wells Fargo would see a payment fee of $30 incurred and an FX markup of 3.64%.

This FX markup is ‘hidden’ in the exchange rate and it’s the easiest way to get your fingers seriously burnt on a cross-currency transfer.

With a dedicated international money transfer service, you’re more likely to pay anywhere from 0.1% – 2.5%, depending on the size of your money transfer from the USA to Spain.

If you’re transferring large sums of money from the USA to Spain then costs can escalate quickly. On a $100,000 transfer, losing an extra 3% in the foreign exchange markup would equate to $3,000.

To avoid overpaying when you send money to Spain from the USA, we recommend registering with multiple providers.

Compare the rates for yourself. See how your bank stacks up vs the likes of moneycorp and OFX.

Timing is another important factor and the cheapest way to send money abroad by standalone fees will not necessarily land you the best exchange rate.

What’s more, you’ll want to prioritise some other factors, particularly if you’re transferring large amounts of money.

Service / Solutions

If you plan on trying to time your trade to achieve a better rate then there are two things that can certainly help in doing so.

Firstly, you’ll want to have access to a currency expert that can run you through the factors which impact the USDEUR rate and when might be the best time to trade in order to achieve the best exchange rate.

Secondly, having access to a variety of currency hedging solutions means you have more tools in the armoury to achieve a better rate or protect against downside movements.

Look at a recent example…

On the 3 Nov 2022, the USDEUR rate was 1.03. On the 25 Nov 2022, the USDEUR rate was 0.96. In just over two weeks, the rate had fallen by 6.8%. If you were transferring large sums of money from the USA to Spain, say $100,000, the date you made the transfer would have seen you receive either €103,000 or €96,000. A staggering €7,000 difference.

When you transfer money from the USA to a Spanish bank account with a bank, you’ll have one option, which is to accept the current exchange rate at the time you make the transfer.

This is known as a ‘spot transfer’.

Specialist currency companies provide a number of other FX solutions which can help you to achieve a better rate, or protect you from downside movements.

One of these is a ‘forward contract’ which allows you to guarantee today’s exchange rate for the future.

As an example, if you were speaking with a currency specialist on the 3rd Nov they may have advised that the USDEUR rate was at one of its highest levels in 20 years and it might be worth locking in the rate via a forward contract.

So even if you didn’t have to actually move money on the 3rd Nov, you could guarantee the rate of exchange for when you do. It would have protected you from a 6.8% drop in the exchange rate, compared to making the transfer on 25 Nov.

If you’re transferring large amounts of money from the USA to Spain, or vice versa, it’s definitely worth having a currency expert on your side and some different FX tools to hedge your currency exposure.

Speed

Banks like BoA, Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo (none of which are deemed the best bank for international transfers) will send international transfers over the SWIFT network.

It’s a pretty outdated system and payments often encounter lengthy delays.

USDEUR is one of the currencies which can achieve same-day value but unless you transfer money from the USA to Spain first thing in the morning, you’re more likely to see the funds reach their destination account the next day. This is particularly true if you’re based on the west coast.

By working with a dedicated international money transfer service you may improve your chances of achieving same-day value.

Specialist currency companies operate in multiple jurisdictions and hold bank accounts in multiple countries.

This means they can accept local transfers to settle FX payments in the US and then disburse funds to the beneficiary from a local bank account in Spain too. Thus, your provider could make a local EUR transfer to the beneficiary in Spain as soon as your money has credited their USD account in the US.

Safety

US banks are generally considered to be one of the safest ways to transfer money from the USA to Spain.

When you hold money with a US bank it is covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) should that bank go bust.

However, if you hold money with a specialist foreign exchange provider, it is not covered under the scheme.

Despite this, the FDIC still recommends using specialist money transfer providers and explains “using a bank or a money transfer company to ‘wire’ funds electronically is an easy and convenient way to send cash to someone. And when consumers wire money to people they know, the transaction typically takes place without a problem.”

Provided you opt for a credible and financially sound money transfer company, the primary risks associated with sending money from the USA to Spain can be reduced.

Currencies Direct, for example, has been operating soundly since 1996 and a company like moneycorp launched in the 1970’s and now handles over $90 billion in transfers every year.

Speak with your payment provider and understand the processes they have in place to keep your money safe.

Regulated companies are required to keep your money in separate safeguarded accounts with banks. So should the payment provider go bust, you should get most of your money back.

Thus, well-established and reputable money transfer providers are also one of the safest ways to transfer money to Spain.

Reflect on these factors – cost, service, solutions, speed and safety – and then determine which is most important for you.

The regulatory complications in the US means there are a smaller number of providers to choose from but we’ve still identified three of the best international money transfer services in the USA.

Step 2: Register With One or More Providers

Once you’ve found the provider that best matches your requirements, you can register with them.

You’ll be able to register online within minutes and then the company should have you fully up and running on the same day.

Regulated payment providers have a legal obligation to identify and verify who you are in order to fight financial crime, only once they’ve done this will they let you actually make a transfer from the USA to Spain.

By working with one of our recommended currency brokers you’ll be appointed a personal account manager. Now is the perfect time to get to know them and see what advice they have for your transfer requirements and the USDEUR currency pair.

Step 3: Set Up an International Money Transfer From the USA to Spain

Once you’ve registered, you can make a transfer.

Do this either via a provider’s app, online platform or by speaking to your account manager over the phone.

We always think it’s worth arranging over the phone to see if you can negotiate a better FX rate.

This is where it pays to register with two or more providers, particularly when transferring large sums of money from the USA to Spain.

Make sure you’re happy with the rate before you accept it as you’ll enter into a legal contract at this point and the provider will immediately buy the requested amount of euros or sell the requested amount of dollars.

To transfer money from the USA to a Spanish bank account, you’ll need to correctly format the bank details for where the money is going.

Spain uses an International Bank Account Number, or IBAN, format.

The Spanish IBAN Format is a follows:

ESkk BBBB GGGG KKCC CCCC CCCC

ES = Country Code

kk = Check Digits

B = Bank Code

G = Branch/Office Number

C = Account No.

Step 4: Send in Your USD and Settle the Trade

If you’re sending money to Spain from the USA, you should be able to fund your deal via ACH, fedwire or a debit/credit card.

We strongly advise against using a credit card as this incurs very high fees (3%+).

If you fund your deal via a bank transfer, be sure to input the reference provided by the payment company, this ensures funds are quickly allocated to your trade.

Once you’ve funded the deal, just sit back and let the payment provider handle the rest.

Either monitor the progress of your payment online, or wait for your provider to confirm once it’s reached its destination.

What is the Best Way to Transfer Money From the USA to Spain?

Best For: Service

moneycorp is a traditional currency brokerage that has invested heavily into a knowledgeable team of currency experts.

Account managers will inform their clients of currency exchange movements and recommend risk management strategies in order to protect against fluctuations in the exchange rate.

Rated ‘excellent’ on customer review platform Trustpilot, customers regularly praise moneycorp for their brilliant customer service.

Operating since the 1970’s they are known to be one of the most courteous, knowledgeable and professional outfits in the money transfer industry today.

Best For: FX Solutions

All of the specialist currency providers listed on this page provide customers with flexible FX solutions that can help to protect against adverse movements in the currency markets, or potentially benefit from improvements in the USDEUR rate.

Given their experience and knowledge, we recommend moneycorp who provide customers with; spot contracts, forward contracts, market/stop loss orders, rate alerts and even FX options for business.

Best For: Safety

Operating since 1996, opening a Spanish office in 1999 and a US office in 2007, Currencies Direct is one of the largest and most credible money transfer services in existence today.

With a level 1 credit rating from Dun & Bradstreet (the highest a firm can get) the firm is built on a sound financial model and helps to move billions of dollars on behalf of its clients each year.

Employing over 500 staff, the firm has an experienced senior leadership team and continues its positive growth trajectory YoY.

Best For: Transferring Large Sums of Money

All three of Currencies Direct, moneycorp and OFX have decades of experience in handling high-value cross currency transfers.

Given their reputation, quality of service and safety profile, we’d probably have to opt for Currencies Direct when transferring large amounts of money from Spain to the USA.

To learn more about high-value transfers then see our dedicated guides transferring large sums abroad or receiving large sums from abroad.

Best For: Paying Staff

Papaya Global is a US-headquartered and world-leading global payroll service offering global payroll in both the US and Spain.

Experts in employment law in the US and Spain, Papaya Global can also assist with providing employer of record services in Spain.

What is the Cheapest Way to Send Money to Spain from the USA?

Finding the cheapest money transfer method depends on how much you’re looking to send and how well you can time the currency markets.

As a general rule of thumb, online-only providers are cheaper for smaller amounts (but grant no flexibility with regards to when and how you’d like to make the transfer) and specialist currency brokers are cheaper for larger amounts.

Cheapest Way to Transfer Money to Spain From USA  < $10,000: Wise

Wise is most likely going to be the cheapest way to transfer money from the USA to Spain when you’re sending under $10,000.

There are no currency specialists to help you through the process and you can’t access the sort of currency hedging tools which may help you to achieve a better rate, but Wise provides low fees with a no-fuss approach.

They’ll be much cheaper than US banks (up to 3-4% cheaper on certain amounts) and they’ll probably be cheaper than currency specialists who generally offer more favourable rates on higher value transfers.

Cheapest Way to Transfer Money to Spain From USA > $10,000: Currencies Direct

A currency broker like Currencies Direct provides a lower FX markup with the more that you send.

For money transfers from the USA to Spain over $10,000 we recommend comparing rates from at least two providers.

When transferring large sums of money from the USA to Spain, differences in exchange rate could mean losing hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Whether this is through the provider you choose, or the day you make your trade, both factors can severely influence how much you have to pay.

Last Word

US banks charge some of the highest fees and foreign exchange markups in the world.

To save money, you should consider working with a dedicated money transfer service.

While there is a smaller selection to choose from in the US, three of the most trusted and reputable money transfer companies are available – Currencies Direct, moneycorp and OFX.

When we consider a blend of all the important factors like cost, service, speed and safety, these firms come out on top as the best way to transfer money from the USA to Spain.