Pros and cons of international money transfers

  • Cheaper than bank transfers

  • Quick transfers available

  • No limit on how much you send

  • No FSCS protection

  • Not ideal for small transfers

  • Requires account registration

International transfers are often more cost effective if you are sending a large amount of money overseas, such as when buying a property because the transfer fee is usually fixed.

How to get the best transfer deal

The more money you send, the more important the exchange rate will be. The table below shows how much difference it makes to find the right rate, even if it means paying a transfer fee on top.

Transfer amountExchange rateYou pay

Is it better than using a bank?

Most travel money companies do not charge anything to transfer your money abroad, but most banks do.

Sending money through a bank may also take longer than using a money transfer company, for example:

A money transfer may take between one and three days but a bank using a SWIFT transfer could take weeks.

Where can you send money to?

Almost anywhere in the world, but there needs to be an account open to receive the currency you send at the receiving country.

Some of the common locations you can send money to worldwide include:

Are there any restrictions?

The name on your bank account needs to match the name on your money transfer account, otherwise your transfer could get rejected due to European regulations.

Some travel money companies need you to complete your transfer by speaking with one of their account managers over the phone, though this is usually only for large transfers.

How safe is your money?

If the company you choose goes bust you could lose your money. This is because international money transfers are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Most companies are FCA regulated though, meaning they have to safeguard your money by keeping it separate to the company's operating funds. You can find out if a company is FCA regulated here.