How to get paid in USD or EUR for remote work

This post complements a webinar I did for Brazilian professionals about how to get a remote job in the US and Europe as a designer or developer.

On my webinar I explained the 4 step process to get a job, I left out the part of how to deal with payments because that’s only relevant if you get the job first.

Despite that, I had so many questions about this subject that I decided to create this article explaining my personal solution for the first year working remotely for a company in Germany.

I’m writing this article for professionals in Brazil, but most of the information will apply to any other country with maybe some changes on exact numbers for the fees.

Let’s get started.

There’re many ways you can get paid; you can use Paypal, Wire transfers or my favorite so far Payoneer. I’m going to explain the pros and cons of each one these.

Paypal

You’re probably familiar with this service; you can get payments via email from anybody in the world on virtually any currency.

The thing with Paypal is that you will need to pay between 5% to 8% on fees depending on how you receive the payment. Those usually are credit card processing fees.

You can set up your Paypal account to accept payments in USD and EUR. After you get the payment, you can choose to transform into the currency of your country account using the “not so high” rate exchange that Paypal decides for the day.

Once you converted the USD or EUR amount to let’s say, BRL (R$), then you can request Paypal to transfer to your bank account without any extra fees. It will take 2 to 5 business days.

Wire transfer

Could be an entire post in ti self. But I’ll try to make it short.

First you need to know that wire transfers are expensive, slow and bureaucratic as hell! Your local bank will ask you for documents to prove where the money comes from; you’ll need to pay high fees and absurd exchange rates.

My recommendation is to use TransferWise, a quick money transfer service that matches the exchange rates of senders and receivers and make things a lot easier and cheaper.

Just run their little simulation to see how much you’ll save with them compared with regular bank transfer.

You just ask your employer to transfer the money with TransferWise, and it should drop on your account as usual.

Learn more about TransferWise here

Another way is to go to the US or a country in Europe and open a checking account there, that way your employer can do a domestic wire transfer and you can use the debit card from the bank anywhere in the world, as long as you authorize first on the website.

I have a US bank account on Wells Fargo, and I know they charge $15 to receive a transfer, plus every time you use the debit card in another country they’ll cost $5 + 3% (exchange rate) of the amount.

Payoneer

Is by far my favorite solution.

If you’re working for a legitimate company in the US or Europe, you can use user Payoneer to get paid directly with an international debit card.

I’m going to talk about the US/EU Payment Services. These work only to receive money from companies and not individuals. The fees and terms change depending the country you request the payment.

With this services, your employer just needs to transfer the money to a particular bank account in the US or Europe that Payoneer links to your debit card.

The fee to get paid from US companies, is 1%, seriously! And from Europe it’s free. So, yea! That’s why is my favorite.

You’ll get the money in 3 to 5 business days on your debit card, and then you’re free to use the money as you like. Shop in stores, online and withdrawal from ATMs.

If you’re in Brazil it will cost you nothing per debit card payment transaction (this can change, so check the actual fees on their website) and 2.5 Euros or 3 dollars for each withdrawal transaction.

One of the best things is that the exchange rate they offer is fair and compatible with the commercial value of the day.

There’s a 5k USD limit to expend a day with the debit card and each withdrawal it’s limited to 400 USD depending on the ATM. But if you live in Brazil 400 bucks a day it’s a lot of money.

If you’re interested, use this special coupon to get $25,00 with your first Payoneer payment.

About income taxes

You need to understand that neither of these methods is seriously considering your local income taxes. So it’s your responsibility to get informed about the right government organization on how to processed.

If you live in Brazil, I’ll have more information about income taxes soon. Just subscribe to the email list and I’ll let you know.

Conclusion

Please don’t transform the paymenent situation into an excuse to procrastinate and avoid taking action to find your dream job. It’s not like you’ll get screwed and not paid because lack of information.

The best way to find your system and start getting paid what you deserve is to experiment, fail and try again.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment.

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  • Rafael Rodrigues

    I love the motivational conclusion! <3
    "JUST DO IT"

  • Sallo Szrajbman

    Nice tips!!!

    Just do it!!!!
    Thanks!

  • Pando Luis

    Remember that in Europe everyone, and I really mean everyone has a bank account (mine was open only days after being born). So wire transfers are used everytime. In Spain most banks give you wire transfers for free even within the EU. And if the transfer is ordered before 1 pm the money will be on your account on the afternoon.

    Paypal is not used at all for companies to pay. Credit card neither (I have never heard of a project paid to a freelancer directly using credit card). Only wire transfer.

    So if payoneer will allow the customer to simply do a wire transfer to an european account that will you avoid a lot of problems for being paid.

    • Juan Pujol

      Thanks for the comment @pandoluis:disqus

      This post was really more focused to professionals in Brazil, but I’m sure that opening an account in Europe. Payonner provides it’s european accounts with an IBAN number to receive payments without extra fees.

      • Pando Luis

        Yes. My idea was to explain how a typical european company pays. Here everyone has his bank account and wire transfer is the standard.

        If you are a brazilian professional and don’t want to introduce friction with your customer you have to find a way to receive payments using wire tranfer, in my opinion. Otherwise you are putting him in trouble.