People end up sending money to Portugal for different reasons. While someone might want to pay for a new home, someone else might want to pay for a vacation, and instances of Portuguese expats sending money back home are fairly common too. The reason notwithstanding, it is normal for people to look for the best way to send money to Portugal. Only, an option that suits one person best might not work equally well for another.
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Currency Corridors & Swift Codes
Currency Symbol and Swift Codes
What currency is used in Portugal? The euro (EUR) replaced the Portuguese escudo (PTE) as the official currency of Portugal in January 1999. The escudo remained in circulation until February 2002. One euro is divided into 100 cents.
When sending money to a Portuguese bank account you will need the bank’s SWIFT code. Here are SWIFT codes of some of the top banks in Portugal.
|Caixa Geral de Depositos||Lisbon||CGDIPTPLXXX|
|Banco Santander Totta||Lisbon||BNIFPTPLXXX|
|Banco Comercial Portugues||Lisbon||BCOMPTPLB07|
Popular Currency Corridors
A tidy sum of money enters and leaves Portugal regularly. In 2016, more than U.S. $4.35 billion was sent to Portugal in remittances from other countries. Over U.S. $2.36 billion was sent as remittances from Portugal to other countries in the same year.
The corresponding tables show you how much money moved across Portugal’s popular currency corridors in 2016. The amounts are listed in American dollars.
How Do I Compare Companies When Sending Money to Portugal?
Given the number of alternatives from which you get to choose when sending money to Portugal, it is important that you compare your options across some crucial parameters.
- Exchange rate and fees. Most companies that let you send money to Portugal tend to follow different fee structures, and it is unlikely that you will get the same exchange rate through multiple service providers. Fortunately, all you need to do to find the cheapest way to send money to Portugal is to compare how much money the recipient will receive through different companies.
- Turnaround time. If you wish to send money to Portugal in a hurry, consider getting the recipient to collect the transferred funds from a cash pickup location. These transfers typically process almost immediately. Transfers to Portuguese banks accounts may take up to five working days, depending on where you reside, the company you select, and the recipient’s bank.
- Paying for the transfer. How you may pay for your transfer depends on the company you choose. Not all accept payments via debit and credit cards. Payments made using bank account transfers are the most commonly accepted. Some companies even let you pay using region-specific methods such as iDEAL, SOFORT, ACH, and POLi.
- Customer service. Selecting a company that provides good customer service is important because you never know when you might need some kind of assistance with your transfer. While some of the top companies provide local phone support in different countries, most offer online support via chat and email. To find out how customers rate different companies, you may turn to review-based platforms such as Trustpilot and Feefo.
How to Transfer Money to Portugal?
You get to initiate your money transfer to Portugal in different ways.
- Online. While several banks let their customers transfer money to Portugal online, specialist money transfer companies tend to fare better when it comes to cost effectiveness and speed.
- Over the phone. Some companies let you transfer money to Portugal over the phone, by speaking with a currency dealer. You may even get access to a dedicated currency broker depending on the company you select.
- In-person. Turning to a bank is one way to go about sending money to Portugal in person. However, choosing a money transfer company that operates out of physical locations might save you time and money.
Miguel, who lived in Portugal, turned 18 and got his unrestricted driving license soon after. Ricardo, his brother who had moved to the U.S. a few years earlier, had promised to buy him a car when he got a license, provided he kept doing well at studies. Miguel had lived up to his part of the bargain, so it was time for his brother to do his bit.
Ricardo decided to send U.S. $6,000 to Miguel, which was a little more than they have previously agreed upon, so he could buy a reliable used car. While using the bank Ricardo banked with was an option, he decided to compare it with a leading money transfer company. This is what he found.
|Bank||Money Transfer Service|
|Exchange rate||$1 = EUR 0.8042||$1 = EUR 0.8382|
|Amount received for $6,000||EUR 4,805.09||EUR 5,029.20|
|Transfer time||2 to 5 days||1 to 2 days|
|Transfer options||Bank account||Bank account|
|Difference of||EUR 224.11|
Miguel ended up receiving a little extra money because Ricardo used the money transfer company instead of the bank. Since Miguel was in a hurry to close a deal on a car he had shortlisted, the money getting to him sooner was also helpful.
Cash Pickup Locations in Portugal
Leading overseas money transfer companies such as Western Union, WorldRemit, and Ria have extensive agent networks in Portugal. You may use the services of these companies if you wish to send money to Portugal quickly, or if the recipient does not have a bank account.
|Western Union in Portugal|
|Lisbon Green Sylhet Travel and Money Transfer Rua De Sao Lazaro 229 Lisboa||Unicambio Av Almirante Reis No 52b Lisboa|
|Porto Millennium BCP Rua Mouzinho Albuquerque 136 Julio Dinis Porto||Millennium BCP Rua Goncalo Sampaio 159/203 Porto|
|MoneyGram in Portugal|
|Lisbon Green Sylhet Travel and Money Transfer Rua De Sao Lazaro 229 Lisboa||Raj Kumar Pandey Rua Dos Anjos 20-A Lisboa|
|Porto Lucdeia Rua Nossa Senhora De Fatima 429 Porto||Novobanco Rua Julio Dinis Porto|
Safety Tips for Picking Up Cash in Portugal
Instances of violent crime in Portugal are rare. However, petty crimes such as bag snatching and pickpocketing take place around areas frequented by tourists, as well as at beaches, restaurants, hotel lobbies, and train and bus stations. Thieves tend to work in groups, so remain vigilant if someone tries to distract you. Do not carry large sums of money if possible. Refrain from wearing expensive jewelry or watches.
When in Lisbon, remain cautious at all train and underground stations. If you visit Porto, do not venture out alone after dark.
What Information Do I Need to Transfer Money to Portugal?
You will need to provide different kinds of information based on the transfer method you choose.
- Sending to a bank account. You will need the recipient’s complete name, an IBAN, the receiving bank’s name, and the receiving bank’s SWIFT code.
- Sending to a cash pickup location. You will need the location of a desired cash pickup center along with the recipient’s complete name. All the recipient needs to collect the transferred money is a valid form of photo ID and a reference or transaction number.
Regulations When Transferring Money To and From Portugal
As part of the European Union (EU), Portugal does not have its own currency controls or regulations. Banco de Portugal (the central bank of Portugal) administers the country’s payments systems, whereas the country follows the single monetary policy set by the European Central Bank (ECB).
While there are no limits on the maximum amount you may bring in or take out of Portugal, you need to declare any transfer of over €50,000 to Banco de Portugal. All transfers that exceed €10,000 are reported to relevant EU authorities.
When you want to send money to Portugal the next time, make a shortlist of companies depending on where you live and compare them well. Look for ongoing promotional offers as they may lead to additional savings.
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