Comparison of Money Movement Options from US to Portugal

I know that is true if you seek the GV through “capital transfer”, but I don’t know if it is otherwise necessary. Of course, most of us seeking the GV haven’t been living there and likely have had little reason to have a bunch of money socked away in Portugal, so the practical reality is that in most cases the money is being transferred in from elsewhere. I’m just not sure it is an actual requirement. Maybe one of the GV lawyers who monitor this thread can weigh in.

Yes, you’re probably right about that. The problem is that if we ask one person we will get one answer. If we ask two we’ll get two. :slight_smile: Seriously, though, I am going to have a meeting with a bank rep next week so I’ll see whether I can get some more clarity on this and will circle back her with some more details.

Regarding Wise, I could be mistaken, but I thought others have said that even though there is a fee for a large transfer with Wise (e.g., $1700), the recipient bank in Portugal may use an unfavorable exchange rate that effectively amounts to having been charged a built-in “fee” that ends up being more than what Wise charges. In other words, for comparison, I think you have to figure out when you transfer dollars to Euros, how much you actually end up with at the end of the transaction.

Interesting - I am not sure. I used it to transfer a few thousand dollars earlier this week and the rate I got was very much in line with what I was seeing on the exchanges.

Right, sorry, what I was trying to say is that even though Wise charges a fee, I think people have said that Wise is transparent about it and their exchange rate is good. Other bank to bank transfers may suggest there is no to little fee but they are building in an unfavorable exchange rate.

that is true enough.

1 Like

You can ask your PT bank what their spread rate is (bank exchange rate spread compared to market exchange rate). Knowing this you can calculate the costs. I have been banking with BIG Bank and recall when I transferred a large sum of dollars for investing in a €350,000 fund, it was surprising little compared to Wise. Typically, you get a better rate transferring from your US Bank dollar account to a Portugal bank dollar account. The bank manager can subsequently help you open a euro account, Where the transaction will involve the bank spread rate, and at least in the case of BIG bank, I could let them know precisely when I wanted to transfer and they would quote me the specific rate at that time if I wanted to engage the transaction or not.

Here is a copy of my November 2021 post with specifics-
Confirming the results of my 350k transfer:
For a $45 wire fee from my USAA Bank acct via Mellon Bank Intermediary, I transferred $410k to my to BiG bank (USD account) where $409,977,28 (not sure where I lost $22.72 - but not sweating it.)

This morning, I had BiG convert $409,977,28 from my USD account to 363, 374.50 Euros (conversion rate of 1.12825 which includes a 0.125 spread).

Had I used Wise to transfer dollars from USAA to my BiG Euro account this morning, I would have received 362,377.68 euros. NOTE for BiG account holders, BiG does NOT allow WISEtransfers, but I am citing this as a comparison for others who may be planning a transfer of large sums from their US account to their PT bank. I suggest you have your PT bank open a USD sub-account, so you can wire USD to USD, then convert to euros at your PT bank. Check with your PT bank what their fees/spread is for conversion so you can check which method may be the most cost efficient.
Good Luck
Roger :sunglasses:

Good Luck!