3 cheap and easy ways to send money to Bulgaria

by Rob Rawson
send money to Bulgaria

The process of sending money from one country to another has been simplified through the availability of dozens of services to choose among. Sending money from Australia to Bulgaria is easy.

Apart from the standard bank services, there are various other options to consider. Each service comes with its specific fees and charges.

Let’s say you sell a property in Bulgaria and move to the UK. The selling price is 200,000 pounds. Using a bank to transfer the money from Bulgaria to the UK will cost you three percent of the sum in a hidden currency conversion fee, which is approximately 6,000 pounds.

Popular money transfer services also have hidden charges. Let’s say you send 1,000 dollars from Australia to Bulgaria via Moneygram. You will be charged 128 dollars for the transfer.

If you need to send money from the US to Bulgaria, there are three methods that are cheaper than your standard wire transfer. The following tables will show you how to send money to Bulgaria and how to avoid high charges and hidden conversion costs. Keep in mind that the charts include solely methods that enable the recipient to withdraw the money in a local currency.

Note: The link to the Wise, formerly TransferWise website will give you a free first transfer of up to 3,000 pounds and also provide us with a referral commission.

Table 1: Sending $1000 from the US to Bulgaria
Transfer Method Fees to send $1000 USD Hidden currency conversion cost Total fees Time for the transfer to arrive
Wise, formerly TransferWise $10 $0 $10 1-2 days
Ria Money Transfer (slow) $5 $18 $23 3-5 days
XE Trade $0 $29 $29 3-5 days
Payoneer $3 $28 $31 3-5 days
Wire transfer $25 – 55 $10 – 30 $35 – 85 3-5 days
MoneyGram (slow) $25 $11 $36 3-5 days
Ria Money Transfer (fast) $20 $18 $38 minutes
Paysera $4 $36 $40 3-5 days
Western Union (slow) $25 $35 $60 3-5 days
Skrill $14 $50 $64 3-5 days
Western Union (fast) $14 $50 $64 minutes

Notes regarding this table:

  1. If you’re not sure what I mean by “hidden currency conversion” check out our explanation in this article.
  2. The fees for wire transfers are estimates and vary from bank to bank.
  3. When sending money from other countries than the US, you have more options.
Table 2: Sending money to Bulgaria from different countries. How much does it cost to transfer $1000 in TOTAL including HIDDEN currency exchange fees
Transfer Method From the US From the UK From Canada From Western Europe From Australia
Wise, formerly TransferWise 1% 0.7% Not available 0.7% 0.7%
Ria Money Transfer (cheapest method) 2.3% Not available Not available Not available Not available
XE Trade 2.9% 3% 3% 2.9% 3.1%
Payoneer 3.1% Not available Not available Not available Not available
MoneyGram 3.6% 4.6% 8.1% 1.6% 12.8%
Wire transfer 2.5 – 5.5% 2 – 4.5% 2.5 – 5.5% 2 – 4.5% 3 – 6.5%
Paysera 4% 4.2% 4.2% 3.1% 5.1%
Western Union (cheapest method) 6% 3% 7.5% 1.9% 5.1%
Skrill 6.4% 6.4% 6.4% 6.4% 6.4%
Azimo Not available 2.3% Not available 2.9% Not available
Opal Transfer Not available 3% Not available Not available Not available

Note that this article is about sending money and receiving it in Bulgarian Lev. If you want to receive money in Euros there are some other options and the fee will likely be less especially if you’re sending Euros. (no currency conversion!)

In conclusion I have one more important point about hidden fees. Let’s say you sell a house in Bulgaria and move to the UK. You sell it for the equivalent of 200,000 pounds. If you just use a bank, they could charge you a hidden currency transfer fee of up to 2-3%. This is not pocket money folks! We’re talking about 4-6,000 pounds.

Or let’s say you innocently send $1000 from Australia to Bulgaria using Moneygram. Whoops! You just dropped $128 without knowing it!

We are talking real money down the drain for no reason. Bottom line- always check out any hidden fees.

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