It's tempting to go straight to the high-street banks and travel agents when you need to transfer cash overseas, but if you do you could be selling yourself short.

Banks are unlikely to offer the best exchange rates and they also tend to charge high rates of commission and other fees - meaning their all-round offering is poor when it comes to transfers.

Instead, when it comes to getting a good money transfer to Colombia, you're much better off approaching dedicated foreign exchange brokers.

Why you should use specialist companies

Many dedicated companies have popped up in recent years, capitalising on both the spread of the internet and banks' less than appealing currency exchange offers.

Not only are these companies more competitive because they have smaller overheads (compared to high-street banking behemoths) but they also have to match or better their rivals' deals - meaning they have to offer decent rates.

With dedicated brokers you're also more likely to get better service, competitive rates (with more transparent and lower charges) and a faster overseas money transfer to Colombia.

What impact do rates and fees have?

The exchange rate has a big impact on how much cash you get when you make a foreign money transfer to Colombia - or how much you save, depending on how you look at it.

Choosing to send money to Colombia from UK through a bank will see you lose out on money that should be yours.

The more you transfer through a bank compared to a broker, the wider the gap becomes - especially when you take fees into account.

To find the best rate, it (literally!) pays to get a number of quotes and compare money transfers to Colombia.

Dodge the fees

When you make a money transfer comparison, you'll notice that lots of foreign exchange companies claim they don't charge a fee. While this is true, it may only apply to transfers that are worth more than a certain amount - and they may have a minimum transfer amount in place anyway.

This still means you have the opportunity to send money to Colombia free of fees as long as you fit the bill, check the limits and fees charged by each provider to find the best rate for the transfer you want to send.

You will also need to check if there are any fees to receive the money in Colombia and what they will be. These are often charged by the receiving bank account and will be deducted from the final balance, so check if you need to send extra cash to cover them.

Send money to Colombia online

Not only does sending money to Colombia online allow you to do it from virtually anywhere and at any time, it also helps to cut down the time it takes for the transfer to go through.

Brokers are also able to offer more up to date rates than banks can, because they don't have to update a whole network of branches - they only have to update their site. How to transfer money abroad, our handy guide, has more detail on what you must know about moving cash from one country to another.