3 Cheap and Easy Ways to Send Money to Bulgaria

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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  • Avatar Disappointed customer says:

    I just have used TransferWise to transfer money from Middle Eastern country to East European one. As I wanted to experience how the system works, as well to check for any hidden fees. I did transfer $1000, however the recipient will get $980. The TransferWise fee announced while processing the transaction supposed to be around $10, but actually they did charge me double which I did not expect. Aside of this as a newly joined customer the first transaction should have been free. After communicating with customer support team, was not clear why the charge is $20 instead $10, even should be free of charge.

    • Avatar Disappointed customer says:

      An update on my issue has came later after my comment is being posted. Eventually I’ve got a reasonable TransferWise explanation on the mentioned in my comment issue. The fee was double because the sending bank (my bank) was not part as SEPA system, there is something to do with the correspondent bank and SWIFT system. The team is working to find a solution and make sure the customers are going notified about this double fee in case the sending bank is not part of SEPA.

  • Avatar Lubo says:

    Paypal has a fee of 0.5% when send money from Paypal account linked to a US checking account which is the lowest fee on the market. Funds are transferred to the recipient’s Paypal account and and can be spent from there or transferred to a Bulgarian bank account for withdraw. Each bank uses different method and financial charges for that kind of transfers. Some of them are free…

  • Wire transfer from US $25(SWIFT fee) + 0,5%

  • And what about PayPal and Payoneer? I use both and I don’t pay so much in fees for sure.

    Besides, the article lacks a VERY important point – it very much depends on the Bulgarian bank that you are sending money to. A transaction that costs 0.30 BGN in one bank might cost 30 BGN in another bank. Not to mention that different banks choose to use a different currency conversion rate, which adds more to the difference in “hidden fees”.


    • Rob Rawson Rob Rawson says:

      HI Diana, the methods mentioned in the article transfer in local currency. In Bulgarian Lev. This means that there are NOT additional currency transfer fees from the bank.

      How did transfer money out of PayPal when you receive the money in PayPal.

      PayPal charges 4% for business transactions PLUS the hidden exchange fee which will be at least 2.5%. So it’s not true that you are paying less fees. Did you calculate the entire fees when using PayPal? The same applies to Payoneer. Payoneer is not included because they don’t have an easy to calculate hidden transfer fee, so we can’t easily say how much they charge.

  • Avatar Yassen says:

    Great article!
    Paysera is another cheap way to send money to Bulgaria. If you send it in BGN it is only 1 BGN. And it is possible to convert money directly in your Paysera account. Transfer takes up to 1 working day, which is very convenient.

    • Rob Rawson Rob Rawson says:

      Ok great we will research the fees and include it in the article, we’re trying to make it as comprehensive as possible for any services where it’s possible to calculate the fees.

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