There are more than 40,000 people of Portuguese descent living in Australia today, while Australia and Portugal enjoy strong diplomatic and trade relations. With this in mind, there are plenty of reasons why you might want to send a personal money transfer from Australia to Portugal or vice versa.
Whether you’re sending money to family, buying goods from an overseas seller or you need to transfer funds for any other reason, you have plenty of transfer options to choose from. It’s essential that you shop around and compare a range of these options to find an affordable deal.
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If you need to send money from Australia to Portugal, the first option you may very well consider could be your bank - they look after all your other financial needs, so why not use their services when you need to send an international money transfer?
Unfortunately, banks have a bad reputation for offering very poor exchange rates to their customers, not to mention charging unnecessarily high transfer fees for each transaction. In other words, a significantly smaller amount of money will arrive in your recipient’s bank account than the amount you pay for the transaction.
The good news is that there are much more affordable options available. Recent years have seen the rise of specialist online money transfer companies that offer dedicated money transfer services. These companies, for example OzForex and CurrencyFair, offer better exchange rates and lower transfer fees than the big banks. In some cases they even waive their transfer fees altogether when you send a large amount, so they can offer you a much better deal when you need to send funds to Portugal.
Cristiano Sends Money to Portugal
Cristiano is living and working down under after meeting an Australian girl and moving to Melbourne. However, he wants to send some of the money he has earned (AUD $2,000) back home to his parents in Lisbon as a gift for their retirement. He decides to compare the services of his bank with those of a money transfer company to see which provider can offer him the better deal.
Money transfer company
1 AUD = 0.6046 EUR
1 AUD = 0.6377 EUR
Bank account transfer
Amount received (in EUR)
As the table shows, Cristiano can save $15 in transfer fees if he uses a money transfer company instead of his bank and his parents will also receive almost €60 extra.
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring and receiving money via Portugal?
You’ll need to consider the following factors when comparing money transfer companies:
Exchange rates. The better the exchange rate you receive, the more money will arrive in your recipient’s pocket. Shop around for a company that consistently offers great exchange rates, but watch out for companies that attach high transfer fees to their attractive exchange rates.
Transfer fees. Consider how much it will cost you to send a transfer. Fees can vary substantially from one provider to the next, and some companies will even allow you to avoid their fees if you transfer a large amount of money.
Transfer methods. How can you place a transfer? Is the transaction handled entirely online or can you also place a transfer over the phone or by visiting a branch?
Transfer options. While some companies only offer one-off transfers, others offer flexible options such as limit orders and forward contracts to help you get the exchange rate you want for your transaction. Some money transfer providers will also offer the convenience of scheduling regular payments in advance.
Transfer time. Make sure you look at how long it will take for the funds you send to make it to your beneficiary. If a company claims to offer super-fast transfers, you might have to be prepared to pay extra for this service.
Minimum amounts. Check to see whether there are any minimum transfer limits that you must exceed with each transaction and whether or not it is feasible for you to do so.
Pickup methods. How will your recipient access the money you send? Will the funds go directly to your bank account or can you collect the cash from an agent location?
Customer service. Check to see what customer service options are available so that if you ever need help, you can access it quickly and easily.
Online money transfer companies. Known for their attractive exchange rates, low transfer fees and convenient transfer options, online money transfer companies can help you send money from Australia to Portugal. OFX, WorldFirst and CurrencyOnline are three examples of these types of companies.
Cash pickup transfer companies. If you want to send funds to Portugal and allow your recipient to collect cash from an agent location, companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram can help.
PayPal. PayPal’s international money transfer service makes it affordable to send smaller amounts of money to Portugal and other locations around the world.
Bank transfers. Any major Australian bank can help you send funds to countries in all four corners of the globe, but banks offer higher fees and mediocre exchange rates when compared to online transfer providers.
International cheques. International guaranteed cheques can be obtained from your bank and sent overseas, but this transfer method is time consuming and costly.
There are plenty of unfortunate situations where you might need to send an emergency cash transfer in either direction between Australia and Portugal. For example, perhaps you need to send funds to a broke relative travelling through Portugal.
When using your bank or any other provider to send an emergency transfer, make sure to double check the exchange rate that will apply to your transaction. There’s a good chance you’ll have to pay a higher transaction fee as well, so make sure to closely check all the details of your transaction before sending your funds.
Cash pickup locations in Portugal/ Western Union / MoneyGram branches in Portugal
Western Union and MoneyGram are the world’s two largest providers of international money transfers. Each offers hundreds of thousands of agent locations around the globe and can make it easy to send money from Australia to Portugal.
Details of some popular cash pickup locations are provided below. Make sure your recipient takes along photo ID and a transaction reference number when they go to collect the cash, while it’s also recommended that they phone ahead to confirm locations and opening times.
Millennium BCP Avenida Almirante Reis 15 B Anjos Lisboa, Lisboa 1100 +351-21-3937462 Open 8:30am to 3pm Monday to Friday
Banco BPI Rua Da Palma 292 298 0522 Martim Moniz Lisboa, Lisboa 1100394 +351-808200510 Open 8:30am to 3pm Monday to Friday
Millennium BCP Rua Mouzinho Albuquerque 136 Julio Dinis Porto, Porto 4100 +351-21-3937462 Open 8:30am to 3pm Monday to Friday
Lucdeia LDA Rua Nossa Senhora Fatima 429 Porto, 4050 428 +351-2-214245179 Open 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday
Novobanco Rua da Palma Lisboa, 1100391 218834015 Open 8:30am to 3pm Monday to Friday
Mini Mercado Rua da Palma 263 RC Lisboa, 1100-391 961869165 Open 8am to 11pm seven days
Novobanco Rua Julio Dinis Porto, 4050327 228336263 Open 8:30am to 3pm Monday to Friday
Montepio Rua da Boavista 782 Cedofeita Porto, 4050105 351226009377 Open 8:30am to 3pm Monday to Friday
Shirley Liu is Finder's global program manager. She was previously the publisher for banking and investments and has also written comparisons for energy, money transfers, Uber Eats and many other topics. Shirley has a Master of Commerce and a Bachelor of Media, Journalism and Communications from the University of New South Wales. She is passionate about helping people find the best deal for their needs.
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