If you have recently relocated to a new country or plan on doing so soon, it is important that you find a way to transfer money that suits your financial situation. For example, you may need access to your savings back home until you get established or even just want to send money home to help out family or friends from time to time.

Finding a way to transfer money is easy, but finding one that is fast, convenient and won’t cost you a fortune is another matter altogether. This article examines the pros and cons of four types of international money transfers.

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The best companies for sending money to the Netherlands

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How can you send money to the Netherlands?

Money transfer services

Anyone who has ever used these services in an emergency will tell you that they can be an absolute lifesaver. Fast, easy and with locations all over the world, all you need is the name and location of the recipient and transfers can be paid out in cash. All the recipient needs to collect the money is government issued ID and a transfer confirmation number.

These ultra-fast services are unfortunately quite costly, especially when sending a large amount of money, as the more you send the higher the fees. The foreign exchange rates offered are also heavily cut – as this is where these services make most of their money – and online transfers are extremely limited.

Bank transfers

The safest form of money transfer is the good old fashioned bank transfer and while it can take up to a week to process, if you are in no hurry it can be a good way to transfer large amounts. If you have the account number and personal details of the transfer recipient, you can even transfer the money from your home or office.

The issue with bank transfers is that they often charge fees to both send and receive money and also offer rather unfavourable foreign exchange rates. Bank transfer limits can also prove inconvenient if you need to send large amounts of money somewhat regularly.


If you and the recipient both have PayPal accounts – which are free to sign up for – you can send money between accounts instantly to over 200 countries. Transferring funds is as easy as providing a name, email or mobile number and customer support is available 365 days a year via email and phone.

However, if you need to transfer a large sum of money PayPal may not be your best option as fees are charged as a percentage of the amount sent. Not only is the sender charged a 1% fee, but the recipient incurs an even larger 3.9% charge and there are further fees involved if converting currencies. Another drawback of PayPal is that it takes on average 3 days to withdraw money from your account.

Foreign exchange brokers (Forex)

Not only do foreign exchange brokers offer the best exchange rates around, they even provide fee-free transfers for larger amounts. You can schedule your transfers to suit your needs, plan major transfers to take advantage of the best rates and you can rest assured that no one knows more about the latest currency markets than your Forex broker.

Forex brokers operate 24 hours a day, allowing you to get the best deal at any time of the day or night, but unfortunately, they only deal with relatively large transfers, typically those greater than €5,000 EUR.