You could transfer money worldwide for less by using a service that charges lower fees. Compare companies to find the best currency transfer deal to send money abroad today or on a regular basis.
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Transfer money by entering the destination, send the funds to be exchanged and the company does the rest.
A money transfer, or currency transfer, is when you use a specialist service to exchange one currency for another and send the money 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.
The lowest amount you can send will vary depending on the transfer company you choose to use. Some may set a lower limit of £1,000.
You’ll usually find that there’s no stated upper limit, but most money transfer companies will ask you to speak to one of their consultants to authorise any transfers over a certain amount – 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 will likely be monitored and could cause an issue if either the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or HMRC suspects they are part of either tax evasion or a money-laundering scheme.
When you're planning a currency transfer, first find the best deal for you. You can compare international money transfer and currency exchange options using the table above.
Once you've decided which money transfer service works best for you, you'll need to arrange the currency transfer itself. Some international money transfer transactions can be done online using a mobile app like TransferWise or PayPal. For other currency transfer services, you might need to visit your local bank branch or visit a Western Union or MoneyGram location.
The cost of exchanging currencies and sending the 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 which country you're sending money to.
Fees and rates can also vary a lot between different money transfer companies. That's why it's so important to compare money exchange deals.
The names registered on the bank accounts need to match the names given on your money transfer order. If they’re different, your transfer could be rejected.
Most transfers can be completed online, but some travel money companies will require you to complete your transfer by speaking over the phone to one of their account managers. You‘re only likely to need to do this for large transfers, though.
There are three key methods to choose from: international bank transfers, money transfer apps, and money transfer agents.
An international bank transfer is also known as a wire transfer. It's where you send money directly to an overseas bank account using an international bank account number (IBAN) and/or SWIFT code. The fees and charges vary from bank to bank. Some banks let you send money internationally online or via their app, but some need you to go into a branch. This comparison doesn't cover wire transfers. Talk directly to your current account provider if you want to perform an international bank transfer.
An app is the easiest and most convenient way to do a currency transfer. Applications like PayPal, OFX, or TransferWise can be downloaded to iOS or Android devices and connected to a source of money like a bank account. You can then send money abroad at the tap of a button.
Agencies are the original way of sending money abroad. Visit a Western Union or MoneyGram agent, and they’ll transfer your money to another agent elsewhere in the world. The recipient can then visit their closest branch to collect the money. This can be quick: sometimes the money will be available within seconds of the transfer being made.
If you're looking for the best and cheapest way to perform a transfer, opting for a slower method or sending different amounts of money can affect the rates you’re offered.
When you compare international money transfer deals, you need to look carefully at the fees, commission and exchange rates. These will vary depending on how much money you're sending and which country you're sending it to. Fees can sometimes be charged to both the sender and receiver.
Some currency transfer companies will 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 charging separate fees.
When you compare money transfer companies, think about how much foreign currency you’ll actually have 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.|
|TransferWise||TransferWise 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.|
They deduct their costs from the interbank rate (the rate banks use to exchange currencies with one another) to give you a personalised rate.
Depending on which currency transfer company or mobile app you use, the money could be transferred almost instantly. With some international money transfer companies, it could 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: 27 April, 2022