Could you transfer money worldwide for less? Compare currency transfer companies to find the best deal for sending money abroad. These services can handle one-off transactions or regular payments.
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Explore and compare our best money transfer rates to find the company that’s right for you.
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Set up an account by entering a few personal details, such as your name and address.
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Enter the destination and send the funds to be exchanged. The company does the rest.
A money transfer is when you use a specialist service to exchange one currency for another and transfer the converted funds to another country. You usually use an international money transfer to move money from your UK debit card, credit card or bank account to a bank account in another country. Money transfers are sometimes called currency transfers.
The lowest amount you can send depends on the transfer company you choose. Some have a minimum transfer sum of £1,000.
Typically, there's no upper limit, but most currency transfer companies ask you to speak to one of their consultants for transactions over a certain level – for example, £15,000.
From a regulatory perspective, the UK government places no official limit on the amount of money you can send overseas. However, large transfers are likely to be monitored and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or HMRC may become involved if they suspect that the transfers are part of a money-laundering scheme or an attempt to avoid tax.
The first step in setting up a currency transfer is to find the best deal. You can compare international money transfer and currency exchange options using the table above.
Once you've decided which service is right for you, you need to arrange the currency transfer itself. Some international money transfer transactions can be done online using a mobile app like Wise or PayPal. For other currency transfer services, you might need to visit your local bank branch or a Western Union or MoneyGram location.
The cost of exchanging currencies and sending money abroad is based on several factors, including:
how much money you want to transfer
the current exchange rate
the exchange rate offered by your transfer provider
additional money transfer fees
Money transfer fees can vary depending on which company or app you're using, and the country to which you're sending money.
Fees and rates also vary between different money transfer companies. That's why it's important to compare deals.
The names registered on the bank accounts need to match the names given on the money transfer order. If they’re different, your transfer could be rejected.
Most transfers can be completed online, but some travel money companies ask for transfers to be confirmed over the phone, which means speaking to one of their account managers. Generally, you only need to do this for large transfers.
There are three key methods: international bank transfers, money transfer apps and money transfer agents. Here's what they offer:
With an international bank transfer – also known as a wire transfer – you send money directly to an overseas bank account using an international bank account number (IBAN) and/or a SWIFT code. The fees and charges for this service vary from bank to bank. Some let you send money internationally via their website or dedicated app, but others require you to visit a branch.
This comparison page doesn't cover wire transfers, but your bank should be able to help if you want to send money using this type of service.
Money transfer apps are the latest way to send currency abroad and they're probably the most convenient for many of us as you don't need to go anywhere to arrange a payment.
Instead, you download an application from the likes PayPal, OFX or Wise (formerly known as TransferWise) onto your iOS or Android device. Once it's installed, you connect it to a source of money, like your bank account. Once that's done, you can send money abroad at the tap of a button.
Back in the day, agencies were the only way of sending money abroad and it's a method that still works today.
To transfer money via an agency you need to visit a Western Union or MoneyGram branch in person. You meet face-to-face with the agent who arranges to transfer your money to another agent elsewhere in the world. The recipient can then visit their closest branch to collect the money.
This approach can be quick: sometimes the money takes just seconds to arrive.
It's worth noting that opting for a slower transfer or sending a different amount of money can affect the rates you’re offered.
You need to scrutinise the fees, commission and exchange rates when comparing international money transfer deals. These differ depending on how much money you're sending and where you're sending it. Fees can sometimes be charged to send and receive.
Some currency transfer companies advertise fee-free money transfers. In this case, look closely at the exchange rate: many money transfer companies mark up the exchange rate instead of publishing separate fees.
When you set up a money transfer, think about how much foreign currency you’ll get after fees and charges.
|Western Union||Western Union charges a fee to transfer money abroad. This varies depending on which country you're sending the money to, the currency you want, how you're paying for the transfer (bank account, debit card or credit card), and whether you're sending the money online or at a counter. Western Union also adds a charge on to the exchange rate.|
|Moneygram||MoneyGram’s transfer fees vary depending on which country you're sending the money to, the currency you want, how you're paying for the transfer (bank account, debit card or credit card), and whether you're sending the money online or at a counter. MoneyGram may also add a charge to the exchange rate, which can vary depending on whether you send the money online or via a physical agent.|
|XE money transfer||XE doesn't charge a fee for an international money transfer, whether you're sending or receiving. But sending money through XE isn't free, as it adds a charge on to the current mid-market exchange rate. That means XE receives a small percentage of the total amount transferred.|
|Wise||Wise charges a fee that varies depending on how much you're sending and which country it is being sent to or from. You get a true mid-market exchange rate, which means it's the same internal exchange rate that banks use.|
|PayPal||PayPal charges a wide range of fees for sending money abroad. The fees vary depending on the sender and the recipient's country and the currency being transferred. It can also be affected by how you're paying for the transaction, though it's cheapest to use a bank account. The sender can decide whether to pay the fees up front or pass them on to the receiver. PayPal also adds a charge to the exchange rate.|
Some firms revise the exchange rate they offer – which is based on the interbank rate used by financial organisations – to cover their costs rather than charging a separate commission fee. This is why it's important to look at the total cost of a transfer, including fees, rather than simply comparing exchange rates.
It depends on which currency transfer company or mobile app you use. With some, the money is transferred almost instantly, while others take up to five days.
This depends on the transfer company. Compare the companies above to find one that lets you send money to your chosen destination.
Some transfer companies only let you send money to an account in your own name. Check this before sending your money to avoid any delays.
Yes. Your money is kept separate to a transfer company's operational money, meaning you have a better chance of getting your money back if they go bust.
It depends on the company you choose. Some offer a worldwide money transfer service from one account, so look out for this.
Our comparison tables include providers we have commercial arrangements with. The number of listings in our tables can vary depending on the terms of those arrangements, as well as other market developments. They are all from lenders regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Here is more information about How our website works.
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You do not pay any extra, and the deal you get is not affected.
Comparing money transfers could help you save money. Our award-winning money transfer comparison service makes sure you get our best exchange rate with the lowest fees. Our aim is to provide you with the most up-to-date information, as well as useful tools and calculators to help you make life's most important decisions and take control of your money.
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Last updated: 8 July 2022