Whether you want to move your savings, transfer your pension or make a significant purchase overseas, getting the best deal is vital to keep hold of as much of your money as possible.

Using an online money transfer overseas service can give you access to prices unavailable to high street providers, it's for this reason they are often touted as the cheapest and the best way to send money abroad.

By comparing the packages offered by money transfer services, you can make sure your money is working as hard is it can for you when you move it to another country.

How money transfers overseas work

Money transfer services treat each transfer you want to make individually; quoting a single cost that includes all of their fees, although the exact exchange rate you'll get is often unavailable to them until the time your transfer is confirmed.

While it can be relatively straightforward to compare the cost of different money transfer services based on their overall package cost, you'll still need to take steps to make sure you choose the right deal for you.

How to compare money transfer packages

You need to make sure the providers you compare are all able to put money transfers through to your chosen country in your chosen currency.

To a large part this also governs the exchange rate you'll be able to get for your transfer, although there are still steps you can take to try and get the best rates possible.

Most money transfer services only offer their best exchange rates if you want to transfer a larger sum of money, so it always pays to compare providers' thresholds for their premium rates to see if can save by sending one larger international money transfer as opposed to several smaller amounts.

Another thing to check is how you (or whoever the recipient is) will be able to access the money that you've sent abroad. Will you need to pay any receiving fees; or will you be able to access it at all from where you'll be? You can use our comparison table to check which providers offer international money transfers online, by phone or via an agent.

You should also consider your timeframe. Standard international transfers take 3-5 working days, while next-day services usually cost an additional fee that's incorporated into the total money transfer price. n. So be sure to specify when searching if you need the money to arrive faster than the described arrival day.

This is something that you'll need to consider when comparing providers' fees.

What next?

Once you've found a number of money transfer services that meet your needs, you can compare their best deals to find the cheapest ways to send money abroad. You'll then be required to pay the full amount you want to transfer, plus fees, to the service you've chosen upfront.

Your provider will then convert the remainder into the stated currency at its eligible exchange rate, before sending the money to your specified location.