Money transfers: How to send money to & from the Netherlands

Money transfers: How to send money to & from the Netherlands

Do you live in the Netherlands or are you moving here? You will likely end up transferring money from your bank account in your birth country to a Dutch bank account, or vice versa. Perhaps you need the money to rent an apartment or buy a house in the Netherlands, or perhaps you want to make sure your family and kids are taken care of. No matter what reason, the following advice will apply.

Sending money from and to the Netherlands via online transfers

Traditional banks often charge excessive fees. So, it should come as no surprise that it’s becoming more and more popular to wire money abroad via an online money transfer. After all, it’s fast and secure and doesn’t cost a lot.

Popular money transfer providers & services

The following companies offer competitive rates for online money transfers:

How can you send money abroad?

Not only can online money transfer services save you money, but they can also save you time. There is no need to visit your bank in person. Instead, you simply open your browser on your laptop, smartphone or tablet and wire the money with a few clicks using your preferred online money transfer service.

Sending & receiving money from abroad: How does it work?

This is how sending money online works:

Open an account

Opening an account is very easy once you have decided which online transfer service you want to use. Simply make an account on their website, and fill in some necessary details, such as your date of birth and email address. Some online transfer services will also want to verify your identity.

Choose delivery option and amount

The next step will be to give further details, such as the amount you want to send, your money’s currency and which currency you would like to convert it into. Usually, at this step, you can also state whether this needs to be a fast transfer or whether it can wait a few days.

Add recipient's details

Of course, you will not only have to add your own details but those of your recipient as well, such as their name and account number. So, make sure you have these details at the ready.


Have you added all the necessary information? You can now pay the money to your chosen transfer company via credit or debit card or via a regular bank transfer. To ensure the money gets forwarded to the right place, it is possible you may need to enter a special reference number.

Finish the transfer

The transfer company will start transferring your money once it receives your payment. The transfer might take a couple of days, depending on which service you choose, of course. Once the recipient has received the money, you will get a notification.

How long do money transfers take?

A money transfer can take from as little as 10 minutes to 1-2 working days. It all depends on the money transfer service of your choice. Often bank to bank transfers take longer, especially if you are transferring money outside of the EU. Cash transfer options such as Western Union take just a couple of minutes. Often, when it comes to online transfers, larger amounts take longer (up to a couple of days)

Need your money quickly? Transfer money early in the morning on a weekday, as most banks have a cut-off time in the early afternoon. Note the term “working days”.

Cost of sending money abroad: fees, markup and rates

How much you end up paying for a money transfer service is determined by a combination of the following four factors:

  • How fast you want to transfer the money
  • How much money you are transferring
  • Which currencies you are using and the exchange rate at the time of transfer
  • How much your bank or transfer company is charging you for their service

Always check the total costs. Sometimes, a company charges really low fees, but it could be that their exchange rate is very high, so you still end up paying more! So, be diligent when choosing a transfer service.

How do markups work?

What is a markup exactly? Here is an example: If the interbank exchange rate for euros to US dollars is 1,113, for example, and a certain service is offering 1,083, they are charging a markup of 0,03 dollars per euro - the equivalent of 2,69 percent, before service fees and additional commissions are even added. This is how money transfer services make profits.

How to get the best exchange rates

Of course, you will want to get the best exchange rates possible, which means it’s a good idea to shop around. Why not use one of the comparison tools that we mentioned above? And make sure to always look at the total amount the recipient will get, for a true comparison.

Transferring foreign currency abroad: How does it work?

If you would like to save money when you are sending money to and from the Netherlands, here are some handy tips!

Send larger amounts

Try not to send small amounts several times, but instead send a large amount of money once. This almost always works out cheaper!

Don’t pay for speed

Transferring money fast costs money, so to save money, simply plan ahead and choose the longer time frame as an option.

Watch out for minimum transfer amounts

If you do want to send a smaller amount, be sure to check whether the online transfer company of your choice offers this, as some companies don’t allow you to send under a minimum amount.

Consider transfer options

If your transfer is not time-sensitive, some transfer brokers offer you the chance to lock in an optimal exchange rate, so your money only gets sent when this optimal rate is reached. This can save you a lot of money!

From “AUD to Euro” and "Euro to INR” and to “CHF to Euro" and “Euro to Zar”

Online money transfer providers make it possible for you to send money to almost every country in the world. Apart from dollars and pounds to euros and vice versa, you can exchange money to other currencies such as "CAD to Euro”, "RAND to Euro”, "Zloty to Euro” "HUF to Euro”, "Euro to Rupiah”, "Euro to Zar” and many more.

Tools international exchange providers offer

International exchange providers offer the following services besides allowing you to transfer your money between different countries and currencies, such as:

  • Real-time comparisons
  • Money transfer tips
  • Currency charts
  • Rate alerts
  • Currency converters
  • Glossaries of terms

Business transfers & International payments for self-employed

Are you a freelancer or do you have a business in the Netherlands? If so, you might need to send money to and from the Netherlands. Of course, you could use your business bank account, but specialist foreign exchange providers often offer better rates for business transfers than banks.

Alternative ways to send money abroad

If you don't want to send your money via the internet, there are other ways to transfer your money abroad, each with its own pros and cons. You can go to your bank, as they often charge a flat rate for international transfers, but they also offer higher exchange rates. You can also go for a cash pickup service, which allows the receiver to pick up their money from a physical location. There are also mobile money providers, allowing people to receive, store and spend money via their mobile phone.

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