Whether you’re planning to buy a house in the picturesque Algarve, retire in Lisbon, or embark on a new professional adventure in Porto, it’s almost certain that at some point, you’ll need to send money to a Portuguese bank account. 

This can be a crucial step in securing your new life in Portugal, but it’s important to navigate the financial aspects of your relocation or investment with caution and awareness.

In this guide, we will explore the various methods and precautions you can take to transfer money to Portugal in a secure and efficient way.

Currency in Portugal

The currency of Portugal is the Euro, represented by the symbol “€” and the ISO code “EUR.” Portugal adopted the Euro as its official currency on January 1, 1999, replacing the Portuguese Escudo (PTE) at a fixed exchange rate. This transition marked an essential step in Portugal’s integration into the Eurozone, facilitating trade and economic cooperation with other European Union member states.

The Euro is divided into several denominations, including banknotes and coins. Banknotes come in various values: €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, and €500. Coins are issued in denominations of 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, and 50 cents, as well as €1 and €2.

The Euro is divided into 100 cents, making it convenient for everyday transactions. Prices for goods and services are commonly displayed in Euros, and cash transactions are typically rounded to the nearest cent.

While Euro banknotes are used for larger transactions, coins are frequently employed for smaller purchases, such as public transportation fares, parking fees, and small snacks.

When writing prices, you’ll often see the Euro symbol (“€”) placed before the amount, such as €10 for ten Euros. Commas and periods are used differently in numeric notation compared to some other countries; for instance, 10,00€ represents ten Euros, not ten thousand Euros.

Sending money to Portugal

How to send money to Portugal?

Sending money to Portugal can be done through various methods, including bank transfers, online money transfer services, and traditional remittance providers. Here’s how you can use each of the mentioned options:

Sending money to Portugal via Bank Transfer

  • Using your trustworthy bank is one of the most secure way to send money.
  • Visit your local bank or use your bank’s online banking platform.
  • Provide the recipient’s full name, IBAN (International Bank Account Number). and SWIFT/BIC code of their bank.
  • Specify the amount you want to transfer and any necessary details.
  • Confirm the exchange rate, fees, and transfer time with your bank.
  • Initiate the transfer, and the funds will be sent to the recipient’s Portuguese bank account.

Wire money to Portugal

Western Union

  • Locate a Western Union agent location near you or use their online platform.
  • Provide the recipient’s name and location in Portugal.
  • Choose the “cash pickup” option if the recipient prefers to collect the funds in person.
  • Make the payment and obtain a Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN).
  • Share the MTCN with the recipient, who can collect the funds from a Western Union agent in Portugal.


  • Visit a MoneyGram agent location or use their online platform.
  • Provide the recipient’s name and location in Portugal.
  • Choose the “cash pickup” option if needed.
  • Complete the transfer by making the payment and receiving a reference number.
  • Share the reference number with the recipient, who can collect the funds from a MoneyGram agent in Portugal.

Online Transfers

Xoom by PayPal

  • Sign in or create an account with Xoom.
  • Enter the recipient’s information, including their Portuguese bank account details.
  • Specify the amount to send and the currency.
  • Review the exchange rate and fees.
  • Confirm the transfer, and Xoom will process the payment to the recipient’s bank account.

Wise (formerly TransferWise)

  • Sign up for an account with Wise if you don’t already have one.
  • Add the recipient’s bank details, including IBAN and BIC/SWIFT code.
  • Enter the amount you want to send and select the currency you’re sending from.
  • Review the exchange rate and fees upfront.
  • Confirm the transfer, and Wise will convert and send the money to the recipient’s Portuguese bank account at a competitive rate.

Alternative online options to send money to Portugal

Spartan FX distinguishes itself among online currency exchange and money transfer companies by offering a dedicated account manager to assist clients with sending money to Portugal and other international destinations. 

Unlike many online platforms where customers navigate transactions independently, Spartan FX’s personalized approach ensures that clients receive expert guidance and tailored solutions for their specific needs. It’s one of the safest way to transfer money.

online banking laptop mobile tax portugal residency advisors scaled

How long does it take to transfer money to Portugal?

The time it takes to send money to Portugal can vary depending on the method of transfer and the service provider you choose. Bank transfers, which are a common method, typically take 1 to 3 business days for domestic transfers within Portugal and a few business days for international transfers. 

If you opt for online money transfer services or fintech platforms like Wise or PayPal, the transfer can be faster, often within minutes to a few hours for international transfers, depending on the specific service and destination. 

Another quick option is using cash transfer services like Western Union or MoneyGram, which allow the recipient to collect funds within minutes to a few hours, making it a convenient choice for urgent transfers. 

How much does it cost to send money to Portugal?

The cost of transfer money to Portugal can vary depending on the method and service provider you choose, as well as the amount you wish to send. 

Typically, banks charge fees for international transfers, and these fees can range from around 10 euros to 50 euros or more, depending on your bank and the specific terms of your account. Additionally, banks often apply an exchange rate margin when converting currency, which can result in additional hidden costs. 

For instance, if you’re sending 1,000 euros from a bank in the United States to Portugal, you might end up paying not only the transfer fee but also a less favorable exchange rate, resulting in a higher overall cost.

On the other hand, online money transfer services like Wise (formerly TransferWise) tend to offer more competitive rates and lower fees for sending money internationally. For example, sending 1,000 euros from the United States to Portugal through Wise might involve a fee of around 5 to 10 euros, and you’d generally receive a more transparent exchange rate that closely matches the mid-market rate, minimizing hidden costs. 

calculator over the table

Tips for sending money to Portugal

1. Choose the Right Service

Evaluate various transfer methods, such as bank transfers, online money transfer services (e.g., TransferWise, Revolut, Wise), or traditional remittance providers. Each has its advantages and fees, so compare and choose the one that suits your needs and budget.

2. Consider Transfer Fees

Be aware of transfer fees, which can vary among providers. Look for services that offer transparent fee structures or waive fees for certain transaction amounts. Online money transfer services often provide better exchange rates and lower fees compared to traditional banks. They are also faster and more convenient.

3. Verify Banking Details

Double-check the recipient’s banking information, including the IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and SWIFT/BIC code. Accurate details are crucial to ensure the money reaches the correct account.

4. Secure and Reliable Providers

Choose reputable and regulated money transfer providers to minimize the risk of fraud or mishandling of your funds. Check for user reviews and ratings to gauge the reliability of the service.

5. Keep Records

Maintain records of all transactions, including receipts, confirmation emails, and transfer reference numbers. These documents can be helpful for tracking payments and resolving any issues.

6. Watch Out for Scams

Be cautious of unsolicited offers and requests for personal or financial information. Scammers may pose as legitimate transfer services. Only use trusted and well-established providers.

tips for sending money to Portugal

Opening a Portuguese bank account

Opening a Portuguese bank account is an essential step for individuals planning to move to or buy a house in Portugal due to tax obligations. Portugal has specific tax requirements for residents and property owners, and having a local bank account streamlines compliance. 

It allows you to easily report income, pay property taxes, and fulfill other fiscal responsibilities with ease. This not only ensures legal compliance but also helps avoid potential penalties and legal complications associated with non-compliance.

Furthermore, a Portuguese bank account simplifies currency conversion and financial transactions related to property purchases. When buying a house in Portugal, you’ll likely deal with significant sums of money, and using a local bank account minimizes currency exchange fees. 

Additionally, it facilitates the seamless payment of utility bills, property-related expenses, and mortgage payments, making your financial management more efficient.

You can read How to Open a Bank Account in Portugal for non-resident.

Are you looking to send money to Portugal?

At Portugal Residency Advisors, we specialize in assisting individuals like you in connecting with the most trustworthy financial partners in the market for sending money to Portugal. 

Our expertise is your assurance against potential mistakes, and we work diligently to secure the best exchange rates available, ensuring that your financial transactions are handled with precision and care.

Money transfer advisors

Frequently asked questions about How to Send Money to Portugal

What are the most popular methods for sending money to Portugal?

The most popular methods for sending money to Portugal typically include bank transfers, online money transfer services like Wise or PayPal, money transfer apps such as Western Union, and traditional cash transfer services like MoneyGram.

How long does it take to send money to Portugal?

Transfer times can vary depending on the service provider and the method chosen. Some transfers can be completed within minutes, while others may take a few business days.

What information do I need to send money to a Portuguese bank account?

You typically need the recipient’s full name, IBAN (International Bank Account Number), and the SWIFT/BIC code of their bank. Make sure to double-check these details to avoid errors.

Can I send money to Portugal from abroad using my credit card or PayPal?

Yes, you can use credit cards or PayPal for international transfers, but it’s essential to be aware of potential fees and exchange rate differences.

What are the risks associated with sending money internationally?

Risks can include currency exchange rate fluctuations, transfer fees, and potential delays. Using reputable and regulated transfer services can help mitigate these risks.

Can I track my money transfer to Portugal?

Yes, you can typically track your money transfer to Portugal. Most reputable money transfer services offer online platforms or mobile apps where you can monitor the status of your transfer in real-time. You’ll typically receive a tracking or reference number upon initiating the transfer, which you can use to check its progress.