Bank transfers are a common way of paying rent and other large bills in Hungary. In the states, we’d pay big bills by handwritten check. Not here.
(In fact, I’ve never heard of anyone paying a bill in Hungary via check. Do they even have those here?)
While most utility bills are paid via the post office, it’s common to pay rent and housing common costs via bank transfer. I also pay my school tuition this way. And, super essential, I pay for my Casino Mocca coffee subscription via bank transfer, too.
But I didn’t have to open a Hungarian bank account! I have a few credit cards and my bank account in the states. Nothing else.
And that’s the beauty of TransferWise. It’s a cheap and easy way to do online bank transfers. I’ve been using it since even before we arrived in Hungary, and I love it.
Here’s how it works:
[Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one, I might make a little extra money, but it won’t cost you anything extra. And here’s the thing: TransferWise is an amazing service. I love it. I use it several times per month, and I would never recommend it if I didn’t believe in it.]
When a Hungarian business asks for a bank transfer, they’ll give you their IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and/or Swift Code. You paste that into TransferWise, set up a funding source (I use my bank in the states, from which the money is taken via Electronic Funds Transfer) and type in either the amount you want to send or the amount you want the business to receive. A few days later, the money arrives. Simple and easy.
You can also pay via credit card, if you prefer.
For recurring bills, such as rent, I just open the app a few days before the end of the month, select the “Repeat this Transfer” option from last month, and hit send. That’s it.
By the way, this service doesn’t just work for Hungary. It functions worldwide. The owners of our flat in Budapest are Irish, and every month when I pay rent, I’m sending euros via TransferWise to their bank account in Ireland. Other bills, such as for common costs, are paid in forint to banks here in Hungary.