ABN AMRO international transfer: Fees, rates and transfer time

24.02.18
8 minute read
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If you need to either send or receive cash from abroad to your ABN AMRO account, it’s a good idea to understand a bit about how international money transfers work. As you’d expect, different types of transfers will take different lengths of time to process - and fees can vary, too. A lot depends on where you’re sending money to, and in what currency. Likely, you could actually save even more money by using a transfer service like TransferWise. But more on that later. Understanding your options means that you can pick the best service based on your needs.


A quick example before we get started.

A theoretical online bank transfer sending €1000 from the Netherlands to a pound sterling bank account in the UK.

While the prices between the two may not look too different at first glance, it isn’t just the stated fees you need to pay attention to.

What isn’t often mentioned is that, on average, banks and money transfer providers often mark up an exchange rate by 4-6% to make money on converting your currency. Which means it’s a good idea to compare the exchange rate you’re offered with an online currency converter to find out how much your international transfer is really costing you.

In addition, nearly all transfers sent internationally are sent via SWIFT. Which means there are likely 1-3 intermediary banks in addition to the recipient bank that may levy fees of their own. Costing you even more.

Provider Fee Exchange Rate Total Cost
ABN AMRO (Holland) €9 Exchange rate + markup €9 + exchange rate markup + likely fees from both intermediary and recipient banks
TransferWise €4.98 The real exchange rate - the same one you find on Google €4.98

(Source 1, Source 2 13 February 2018)


Now that you know a bit more about how much an international transfer really costs, here’s all you need to know about making an international transfer with ABN AMRO - so you can send your money safely and with no unwelcome surprises.

What are the fees for an international transfer with ABN AMRO in the Netherlands?

ABN AMRO’s normal international money transfer rates, and the terms attached to a transfer, vary depending on the destination and currency, and the specific account you hold.

(Source 13 February 2018)

ABN AMRO International transfer fees table

Before you start, it’s a good plan to understand the fees involved, as there are various differences based on whether you’re transferring online or in a branch.

ABN AMRO Bank Transaction Regular Fee
Incoming international transfer ABN AMRO doesn’t charge for receipt of international transfers made in euros, through the SEPA system. If your money is coming from outside the SEPA area or isn’t in euros, there’s a charge of €9
Outgoing international transfer Payments made online in euros to European accounts at SEPA compliant banks are fee free. However, fees might be applied for urgent transfers, or to make your transfer in a branch rather than online.Payments made in a currency other than euros or to any account outside of the SEPA area are charged at €9 if processed online, and €11.50 in branch, with additional fees if you need an urgent transfer
Additional fees may apply See additional fees section

(Source 13 February 2018)

ABN AMRO exchange rates

If your transfer is being done in a different currency, it’s not only the flat fees which are important. The amount your recipient will actually get depends also on the exchange rate used - so as a sender, you also need to know if the exchange rate used is fair. ABN AMRO’s terms and conditions clarify:

>The bank exchanges the amount on the instruction date in the case of outgoing payments and on the date on which the bank credits the amount to the account in the case of incoming payments. For this purpose the bank uses the exchange rate which is set by the bank and applies at the time that the bank exchanges the amount.

In general terms, ABN AMRO will be able to tell you the rate applied when you place your transfer. However, it’s not always ABN AMRO that sets the exchange rate used. Instead, an intermediary bank might choose the exchange rate to apply, and this may vary widely from the exchange rate given on Google. If an intermediary bank chooses the exchange rate, you’re unlikely to find that you’re getting a great deal.

(Source 13 February 2018)

Additional fees from ABN AMRO

ABN AMRO has a few other charges you should be aware of, they’re all detailed in the terms and conditions if you want to read more.

International transfers with ABN AMRO Additional fees
Recipient fee (OUR) You can opt to cover the costs applied by the recipient bank, known as OUR. These costs vary depending on the bank and transfer details.
Queries and/or inquiries about an international transfer €25
Changing details or completing the international transfer form €20
Handling fee for cancelled international transfers €25

Aside from these charges, you might also find that banks other than ABN AMRO add flat fees if your transfer is processed using the SWIFT system. That’s because there are often several banks involved in getting your money to the right place, and they can also take a cut as a fee for helping to process the transaction.

(Source 13 February 2018)

A cheap and transparent alternative: TransferWise

If you’re worried about the fees involved in your international money transfer then it’s worth understanding all your options. Many customers can get a better deal using a specialist in international money transfers like TransferWise, rather than sticking to their regular bank. TransferWise uses the real exchange rate to process your transfer and add only a small transparent cost per transaction.

A TransferWise borderless multi-currency account is another useful tool for people who live and work overseas, or who like to travel regularly.

With a borderless account you can hold your money in any of several different currencies, and then exchange it using the mid-market exchange rate whenever you need it. If you get paid in the EU, the UK, Australia or the US but you don’t actually live there, a borderless account also allows you to get paid like a local using local bank details. It’s a great option for remote or freelance workers who aren’t fixed to a location or work with businesses across the world, because it cuts out international transfers entirely. So there are no extra, hidden fees to worry about.

See for yourself if you can get a better deal with TransferWise.

How do you make an international bank transfer with ABN AMRO?

The easiest and quickest way to make an international money transfer is online. However, to do this you might have to change your internet banking settings the first time. There’s a two hour waiting period after the settings are changed and before you’ll be able to use the international money transfer services for the first time, so be prepared. This is a step put in place to ensure the security of your account - if you have any problems, you’ll find a lot of information about how to make an international payment with ABN AMRO, online.

(Source 13 February 2018)


If you need to process your transfer in a branch, this is also possible. ABN AMRO offers English speaking telephone banking and has offices with staff specifically trained to support expats and non-residents, in the major cities. You can make an appointment here, or give the customer service team a call if you have any problems. Be aware, though, that fees charged for processing transfers in a branch are much higher than if you do it online.

(Source 13 February 2018)

What do I need in order to make an international money transfer?

To make your international bank transfer, you're going to need a few key details. The exact information you’re asked for will depend on whether you’re transferring within the SEPA (Single European Payment Area) area, or outside, but you can expect to need the following:

  • The transfer amount
  • The full name of the person you’re sending the money to, as written on the account
  • The recipient’s IBAN if you’re sending to Europe or destination country, account number and branch details if not
  • The SWIFT/BIC code, or routing code if you’re transferring to the USA

What do I need or what should I give to the sender in order to receive an international bank transfer?

You’ll need to give the sender the following to receive an international money transfer with ABN AMRO:

  • Your full name and address, and that of your bank
  • Your IBAN
  • The correct SWIFT/BIC code
  • The amount to be transferred - and the currency to be used. Don’t forget to take into account any charges when you agree on the amount.

You’ll find your IBAN on any bank statement, on your debit cards, or by logging into the online banking system, and you can use this helpful tool to find or check your SWIFT/BIC code.

How long does an international bank transfer with ABN AMRO take?

If you’re sending money within the SEPA the transfer will arrive within 1 working day at the latest.

Outside of Europe, ABN AMRO says transfers should take no more than a couple of working days - however, the speed of the transfer will be dependant on the recipient’s bank, and can’t be guaranteed.

(Source 1, Source 2 13 February 2018)

Is there any way to make a faster transfer for an extra fee?

You can make an urgent transfer, for an additional fee. Within the SEPA area, an urgent transfer will cost between €5.50 and €17, depending on how you place the transfer. Elsewhere, the costs are €9 in addition to the usual transfer charges.

(Source 13 February 2018)

Contact / Help - More questions around your transfer?

If you have specific questions about your transfer, you can talk to the advisors at ABN AMRO:

  • Get help in person at an ABN AMRO branch, which might offer services specifically for you if you’re an expat or non-resident. These services are available in the major cities, with an appointment usually required. If you don’t need an English speaking support, you can go along to any branch.
  • ABN AMRO phone number (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) - if you’re outside of the Netherlands - +31 10 - 241 17 23, or 0900 - 81 70 if you’re in the Netherlands

Wherever your money is headed, you’re more likely to get the best deal for your situation if you do your research in advance. That’ll mean your transfer is processed quickly and safely, and without any unnecessary fees, so you can save yourself some cash at the same time. Make sure to compare the cost of an international transfer with your bank, to those of TransferWise. There’s a chance that you’ll be able to save some money.

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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