Over 42,000 British citizens live in Portugal, making it one of the largest expat communities.

Whether you want to financially support family and friends or pay a Portuguese business for services, you can transfer money from the UK in several ways.

In this article, I will explain the options available so you can decide the best way to send money to Portugal for your circumstances.

Send Money to portugal

Best Way to Send Money to Portugal: My Verdict

Specialist online money transfer services like Currencies Direct, OFX and TorFX are usually the best way to send money to Portugal.

These services offer lower fees and more competitive exchange rates than traditional bank transfers.

Transfers through online services can be completed within minutes to a few hours, while bank transfers may take several business days to process, especially for international transactions.

However, some providers limit the amount you can send in a single transaction or within a specific period, which could be an issue for larger transfers. 

Alternatively, you can send money to Portugal using a traditional bank transfer

Banks, such as RBS, NatWest and Nationwide, offer secure and reliable services for international transfers. 

Bank transfers may require visiting a branch or submitting transfer requests in person, which can be less convenient. 

However, they may be the best option for individuals who do not have access to online banking or prefer in-person transactions.

What’s the Cheapest Way to Send Money to Portugal from the UK?

ServiceTransfer Fee (£100)Exchange Rate (£100)Transfer Fee (£2,000)Exchange Rate (£2,000)Learn More
TorFX£01.1654£01.1654Visit TorFX
OFX£01.1653£01.1653Visit OFX
Currencies Direct£01.1645£01.1644Visit Currencies Direct
Wise£1.061.1705£8.771.1703Visit Wise
XE£1.991.16490£1.16470£0Visit XE
Remitly£1.991.1500 (pay by card)1.1601 (pay by bank transfer)£1.991.550 (card)1.1655 (pay by bank transfer)Visit Remitly
Atlantic£31.170467£31.170467Visit Atlantic

TorFX is the cheapest way to send money to Portugal, with a competitive exchange rate of 1.1654 and zero transfer fees.

OFX and Currencies Direct also don’t charge transfer fees, but the exchange rate is slightly less favourable. 

However, it’s worth noting that while these providers don’t have any upfront costs, there are hidden fees through the exchange rate markup.

The exchange rate banks and service providers offer you is often lower than the rate at which they can convert currency, meaning you get fewer Euros for your pound.

The closer you get to the interbank exchange rate, the better the deal.

At the time of writing, the interbank exchange rate for GBP to Euro conversions is 1.1702. 

Wise‘s exchange rate is actually higher than this rate. Despite having to pay an upfront transfer fee, the total cost of the transfer may be more cost-effective, and your recipient may receive more Euros.

Some providers, such as Remitly, also offer different rates depending on how you pay for your transfer. 

Transfers paid for by bank transfer have a more favourable exchange rate but take longer to process, so they are unsuitable if your recipient needs to receive the money urgently. 

What’s the Fastest Way to Send Money to Portugal from the UK?

ServiceTransfer TimeLearn More
RemitlyWithin minutes (card) or within 2 hours (bank transfer)Visit Remitly
Atlantic1 to 3 working days or Instantly for a 0.1% feeVisit Atlantic
WiseWithin 2 hoursVisit Wise
XEWithin 24 hoursVisit XE
TorFXSame day to 2 business daysVisit TorFX
Currencies DirectSame business day if received by 10 am, usually within 24 – 48 hoursVisit Currencies Direct
OFX1 to 2 business daysVisit OFX

Remitly is the fastest way to send money to Portugal from the UK.

Unlike traditional bank transfers, which may take several days to complete, online services leverage digital technology to expedite the transfer process. 

They often have direct connections with banking networks in Portugal, enabling swift delivery of funds to your recipient.

It took me just a few minutes to sign up and verify my account for all providers mentioned in the table above. 

Payments through Remitly can be received in Portugal within minutes if you pay by a card or within 2 hours if you pay by bank transfer. 

Generally, transfers paid for using a debit or credit card are faster than those funded by bank transfer.

Although Remitly is the fastest way to send money to Portugal, most specialist online money transfer services have a similar processing time. 

The recipient will usually receive the funds within two business days. 

Some providers, such as Atlantic, offer express delivery for an additional fee, ideal for emergency transfers. 


Can I Send Money to Portugal Online?

You can send money to Portugal online in several ways, including:

  1. Online Money Transfer Services: You can set up an account in minutes and send money using your debit card, credit card, or bank account. These services provide lower fees and faster transfer times, but some limit the money you send in a single transaction.   
  2. Bank Transfer: You can transfer money directly from your UK bank account to popular Portuguese banks such as CGD, Santander Totta and Novo Banco. Although secure and reliable, fees are usually higher, and it takes longer for the recipient to access the money.
  3. Digital Wallets: Services like Skrill and PayPal allow you to send money to the recipient’s Portuguese bank account or mobile wallet. This method is convenient and user-friendly, but transfer fees are higher, and exchange rates are less competitive than specialist money transfer services.
  4. Prepaid Debit Cards: You can load funds onto a prepaid debit card and then send the card to the recipient in Portugal. Although accessible for those without a Portuguese bank account, this method may incur card issuance, loading, and usage fees.

Cryptocurrency: Sending money to Portugal using cryptocurrencies involves using a digital currency like Bitcoin or Ethereum. Cryptocurrency transactions are fast but can be subject to price fluctuations and network fees.

Sending Large Amounts of Money to Portugal

CompanyMaximum TransferLearn More
Currencies DirectNo limitVisit Currencies Direct
OFXNo limitVisit OFX
TorFXNo limitVisit TorFX
AtlanticNo limitVisit Atlantic
WiseUp to £5,000,000 per transfer, depending on the payment methodVisit Wise
XE£350,000 per transactionVisit XE
RemitlyTiered limits for specific periods that vary between accounts. 24-hour limit ranges between £5,000 and £25,000. 30 Day limit ranges between £15,000 and £25,000. 180-day limit ranges between £50,000 and £150,000.Visit Remitly

Currencies Direct, OFX, TorFX and Atlantic all offer limit-free transfers, making them the best way to send large amounts of money to Portugal.

As you can see from the table above, maximum limits for specialist online money transfer services vary widely between providers, so it’s essential to check that your chosen service meets your needs.

Look for a service provider offering competitive exchange rates. Even slight differences in exchange rates can significantly impact the amount of money your recipient receives in euros.

You may want to consider using forward contracts or other hedging strategies to mitigate the risk and impact of currency fluctuations on your exchange rate.

You should also consider different service providers’ fees for transferring large amounts. Some providers offer lower fees or waivers for larger transactions, which can help minimise costs.

Choose a provider that offers responsive customer support channels if you encounter any issues or have questions about your transfer.

When I signed up for Currencies Direct, OFX and TorFX, I quickly received a call from a dedicated account manager to guide me through the transfer process. 

Finally, you should be aware of any tax implications associated with large international money transfers in the UK and Portugal. Consult with a tax advisor or financial professional if necessary to understand the potential tax implications of your transfer.

Can I Set Up Regular Payments to Portugal?

Setting up regular payments to Portugal can be done through various methods.

  • Online Money Transfer Services: Some providers, such as Wise and Remitly, offer the option to schedule payments by providing the recipient’s details and specifying the payment frequency and amount. These services often provide fast transfers with low fees, but exchange rates may fluctuate after you initiate the transfer, impacting the recipient’s final amount in Portugal.
  • Standing Orders: You can approve your UK bank to send a fixed amount of money to a recipient in Portugal at specified intervals, such as monthly or weekly. Although convenient and reliable, payments are fixed and can’t be easily adjusted without cancelling and setting up a new standing order.
  • Direct Debits: You can authorise a 3rd party, such as a service provider in Portugal, to automatically withdraw money from your bank account regularly to cover bills or subscription payments. Although more flexible than a standing order, the recipient will still need to authorise the payment and have the ability to accept it. 
  • Payment Platforms: Services like PayPal, Skrill, and Payoneer often provide options to schedule recurring payments to recipients in Portugal. While online payment platforms offer multiple payment options, including cards, bank transfers, and e-wallets, fees are high, and both the sender and recipient must have accounts with the same platform.

Cryptocurrency Remittances: For tech-savvy individuals, cryptocurrency remittance platforms allow you to send regular payments to Portugal using digital currencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum. These platforms often offer fast and low-cost transfers, but values can be volatile, leading to fluctuations in the value of transferred funds.

Sending Money to Businesses in Portugal

Several methods are available for sending money to businesses in Portugal.

One of the best ways is to use online money transfer services like TorFX or XE, which specialise in international transfers. 

These services typically offer competitive exchange rates and lower fees than traditional banks. 

They also provide fast and convenient transfer options, allowing you to send money to businesses in Portugal within minutes or hours. 

However, online money transfer services may have transfer limits or restrictions, especially for larger transactions.

Some businesses in Portugal may also prefer traditional banking methods or may not have the infrastructure to receive funds through online money transfer services. 

Alternatively, you can consider using corporate payment solutions or treasury management services offered by banks or financial institutions. 

These services are designed for businesses that need to make regular payments to suppliers, partners, or employees in Portugal. 

They often provide features such as bulk payments, foreign exchange hedging, and reporting tools to streamline the payment process. 

However, these services may involve more complex procedures and higher fees than other methods.

How to Send Money to Portugal

There are several ways to fund a transfer to Portugal, including

  1. Bank Transfer: Best suited to large transfers, bank transfers are a direct and secure method that most providers widely accept. However, transfers paid by bank transfer are processed slower than other methods, such as by card. 
  2. Debit Card: Convenient and quick, with funds deducted directly from your bank account. However, exchange rates may not be as competitive as those for bank transfers. 
  3. Credit Card: Similar to debit cards, transfers funded by credit cards are processed quickly but usually have higher fees than debit cards and may only be accepted by some services.
  4. Digital Wallets: Services such as PayPal and Skrill are easy to use for online transfers and offer some buyer protection. However, not all providers accept digital wallets, and you may incur higher transfer fees.
  5. Mobile Wallets: Ideal for transferring money to Portugal from your smartphone, mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay are secure and encrypted but aren’t compatible with most transfer services.
  6. Cash Deposits: This method is suitable for those without a bank account but often has higher fees and is less convenient than online transfer methods.
  7. Bank Drafts or Cheque: Although accepted by most banks, cheques take longer to process, have an increased security risk and may incur higher fees than online money transfers.

What Details Do I Need to Send Money to Portugal?

To send money to Portugal, you may need to provide the following information:

Your Details:

  • Your full name or the name of your business.
  • Contact information, including your address, email, and phone number.
  • Your payment information, such as credit/debit card details, for funding the transfer.

Additional Requirements (if applicable):

  • The source of the funds, like employment income or business revenues.
  • A copy of your identification, such as a passport or driver’s licence.
  • Proof of address to meet regulatory compliance.

Recipient’s Details:

  • The recipient’s full name or their registered business name.
  • The recipient’s address, including street name, city, postal code, and country.
  • Details for receiving the money, such as bank account, email address, or mobile number.

If transferring to a bank in Portugal:

  • The SWIFT/BIC code, an 8 to 11 alpha-numeric code, to identify the Portuguese bank.
  • The IBAN, 25 alphanumeric characters, for identifying the specific account in Portugal.
  • The recipient’s bank’s name and address.

Additional Requirements (if applicable):

  • The recipient’s nine-digit Portuguese Fiscal Identification Number (NIF) or equivalent.
  • A photocopy of identification, like a driver’s licence or passport.
  • Documentation for compliance, such as proof of address.

Transaction Details:

  • The amount you wish to transfer, specified in GBP.
  • A reference or message to help the recipient identify your payment.
  • The reason for the transfer, whether it’s for personal, business, or other purposes.
  • Intermediary bank details, if necessary.

Aside from basic contact details for you and the recipient in Portugal, you’ll need to provide details of where the recipient should receive the money such as a bank account number, e-mail address or phone number. 

Transfers to Portuguese banks such as Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD), Santander Totta and Nova Banco require additional information.

You’ll need to obtain an 8- to 11-character alphanumeric character SWIFT/BIC code to identify the Portuguese bank and a 25-character IBAN to ensure the money goes into the correct bank account. 

Depending on the size of your transfer, you may also have to provide copies of government ID like a passport or driver’s licence and documentation for compliance like proof of address and the source of the funds you are sending.

It’s essential to double-check the accuracy of your information to avoid delays or errors in processing the transfer.

How Much Does it Cost to Transfer Money to Portugal?

Depending on the chosen method and service provider, several fees may apply when sending money from the UK to Portugal. 

Here are the different types of fees you might encounter:

Transfer Fees 

Transfer fees are charges levied by the service provider for processing the transfer. 

These fees could be a flat fee, a percentage of the amount transferred or a combination of the two, depending on the method and provider. 

For example:

  • Online Money Transfer Services: Often offer lower transfer fees than banks, ranging from £0 to £3 per transfer, depending on factors such as the amount sent and the payment method used.
  • Bank Transfers: Usually a flat fee per transfer, ranging from £10 to £30+, depending on the bank and whether it’s a standard or express transfer.
  • Cryptocurrency Remittance: Fees can vary depending on network congestion and the cryptocurrency used but generally range from a few pence to a few pounds per transaction.

Exchange Rate Markup

When transferring money between different currencies, the service provider may apply a hidden fee known as an exchange rate markup to the mid-market exchange rate. 

The higher the markup, the fewer Euros you will get for your pounds.

Often, services that don’t charge transfer fees have a higher exchange rate markup to cover their costs and make a profit.

Exchange rate markup can vary significantly between providers, so you should compare the total cost of sending money to Portugal and not solely the transfer fees.

Currency Conversion 

Some providers charge a fixed cost or percentage of the transaction amount for currency conversion. 

For example, banks may charge currency conversion fees of around 2% to 3% of the transaction amount.

Online money transfer services may have lower currency conversion fees, typically 0.5% to 2%.

Recipient Fees

Sometimes, the recipient’s bank in Portugal may impose charges for receiving international transfers. 

These fees are typically deducted from the transferred amount. 

Recipient fees can vary depending on the bank’s policies and the type of account the recipient holds.

Additional Charges

Depending on the service provider and transfer method, additional charges may apply for services such as express transfers, same-day payments, or cancellations/modifications to the transfer. 

These charges vary by provider, ranging from a few pounds to more significant amounts.

How Long Does it Take to Send Money to Portugal From the UK?

The time it takes to send money to Portugal from the UK depends on the method you use.

Generally, online money transfer services like Atlantic, Wise and XE can send money to Portugal within 1 to 3 business days. They may also offer instant or same-day transfers for an additional fee. 

In contrast, bank transfers are processed more slowly, taking  1 to 5 business days to reach Portugal.

Several factors influence the speed of sending money to Portugal, including:

  • Payment Method: The method used to fund the transfer can affect its speed, with bank transfers taking longer than card payments due to processing times and verification procedures.
  • Service Provider: Some services, like Atlantic, offer expedited services or faster processing for an additional fee, while others may have standard processing times.
  • Banking Systems: Delays may occur if there are technical issues, holidays, or weekends that affect the processing of transactions.
  • Currency Conversion: The transfer speed may be affected by exchange rate fluctuations and the time it takes to complete the conversion.
  • Verification and Security: Some providers may conduct additional checks on transfers, prolonging the processing time. These checks are intended to prevent fraud and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Time of Transfer Initiation: Transfers requested outside banking hours or on weekends may take longer to process, as they may not be processed until the next business day.

Recipient’s Bank: Delays may occur if the recipient’s bank in Portugal requires additional verification or has lengthy international transfer processing procedures.


FAQs about Money Transfers to Portugal

Can I send money to Portugal with PayPal?

What currency exchange rates should I expect when sending money to Portugal?

Are there any limits on how much money I can send to Portugal?

Can I send money to Portugal with Western Union?

Can I send money directly to Portugal from a UK bank account, or do I need to use a third-party service?

Are there any special considerations for sending money to specific regions or cities in Portugal, such as the Azores or Madeira?