Some of our international courier customers get paid in the UK and prefer to pay us in Pounds because of the cost of currency conversion from the UK to Spain.
I have found this brilliant new company www.CurrencyFair.com through www.economist.com . Banks charge a fortune for transferring money between the £ Pound Sterling and the € Euro. There are commissions where they take a fixed transfer fee which can be as high as €20 and then there is the completely unfair “spread” where they take a huge margin on converting the money.
We used to use our UK Nationwide building society account to withdraw small sums while in Spain because they used to offer a market exchange rate and no fees. Now they charge £1.00 + 2% for any withdrawal.
We used Currencies Direct to bring the money over for the purchase of our house but they, too, take a wide cut over the current exchange rate. One of our customers wrote to us and said “After a prolonged wait I was severely messed around by a currency service which, as it turned out, was more expensive than PayPal itself. Don’t ever use currenciesdirect.com !”
I recently needed a hotel in Istanbul, Turkey, to do me a favour by removing the labels from an international courier parcel and printing and fixing new ones so our customer’s supplier and the recipient did not make direct contact. The agreed fee with the hotel was €15 and Western Union charged €9.50 for the transfer from Spain!
So it is really refreshing to find a company with brilliant customer service who will convert your money instantly at the market rate and charge you only €3 – yes that’s all – to transfer your money. Once your account is set up you can do everything on-line so you don’t have to sign forms and have them couriered to your bank’s headquarters or write a cheque.