You can use this comparison to find money transfer companies that let you send money abroad, from the UK to another country.

Before you make an international money transfer, be sure to compare the fees and rates from a few different money transfer companies and apps.

The cost of a money transfer is based on:

  • How much money you want to transfer abroad

  • The current exchange rate between pounds and the foreign currency you're sending money to

  • Extra money transfer fees, depending on which company or app you use, and the country you're sending money to

Fees and rates can vary significantly between transfer companies. Often there are different rates depending on how much money you're transferring.

What is a money transfer?

Money transfers are when you send money abroad, usually from a UK debit card, credit card or bank account to a bank account in another country.

In the case of some money transfer services, like Moneygram or Western Union, the cash can be collected in person rather than deposited into a bank account.

Depending on the company or mobile app used, the money can be transferred almost instantly - or it may take up to five days.

The term "money transfer" usually refers to specialist global money transfer companies like Western Union, Moneygram or Transferwise.

You can also send money abroad from your bank account with a wire transfer. This comparison doesn't cover wire transfers. You should talk directly to your current account provider if you want to use a wire transfer.

Money transfers can be arranged in a number of ways. You can send money online; by using a mobile app like Transferwise or Paypal; walking into your local bank branch; or by visiting a Western Union or Moneygram agent.

The different types of money transfer

There are many different ways of transferring money abroad. Depending on how urgent the transfer is, and how much you need to transfer, the best method for sending money can vary significantly.

  • International bank transfer. Also known as a wire transfer. This is where you send money to another 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; some require you to visit a branch.

  • Money transfer apps. The easiest way to transfer money today is via an app. You can download an app for iOS or Android, connect a source of money (a bank account is cheapest), and then send money abroad with the app. Paypal, OFX, Transferwise, Venmo, and other big names all have good money transfer apps.

  • Money transfer agents. This is the original way of sending money abroad: visit a Western Union or Moneygram agent and send money to another agent somewhere in the world. The recipient can then pick up the money - sometimes within seconds of sending the money.

Money transfer fees

When comparing international money transfers, take a close look at the fee structure, commission and exchange rates for sending money.

There may be different fees and rates depending on how much money you want to transfer abroad and which country you're sending money to. There can be a huge variety of fees, and they can be charged to both the sender and receiver.

If a company advertises fee-free money transfers, then look closely at the exchange rate. If you see one exchange rate on Google, but the money transfer company is advertising a lower rate, then they are charging you (or "marking up") the difference.

Ultimately, when sending money abroad, there's only one true way of comparing money transfer companies. After every fee and charge has been levied, how much foreign currency will you actually get?

Western Union fees

Western Union charges a sending fee that varies by country and currency, how you fund the transfer (bank account or debit/credit card), and whether you send the money online or at a physical location. Western Union also levies a charge on the exchange rate.

Moneygram fees

Moneygram charges a transfer fee that varies by country and currency, how you fund the transfer (bank account or debit/credit card), and whether you send the money online or at a physical location. Moneygram may also levy a charge on the exchange rate - and that charge can vary, depending on whether you send the money online or at a physical agent.

XE money transfer fees

XE doesn't charge a fee for international money transfers - either sending or receiving. However, sending money through XE isn't free: XE levies a charge on the current mid-market exchange rate, so they get a small percentage of the total amount transferred.

Transferwise fees

Transferwise charges a fee for international money transfers. The fee varies from country to country, and it also depends on how much you're sending. With Transferwise you get a true mid-market exchange rate - the same internal exchange rate that banks use.

Paypal fees

Paypal charges a wide range of fees for sending money abroad. The fees vary depending on the sender and recipient's country, the currency being transferred, and how you're funding the transaction (bank account is cheapest). The sender can decide whether to pay the fees up front, or pass them along to the receiver of the money. Paypal also levies a charge on the exchange rate.

International money transfer FAQs

Q

Can I agree an exchange rate now and send my money later?

A

Some transfer companies let you do this, also known as a forward contract transfer. Find out more here.

Q

Why do transfer companies offer different exchange rates?

A

They deduct their costs from the interbank rate (the rate banks use to exchange currencies with one another) to give you a personalised rate.

Q

How long does an international money transfer take?

A

Most take three to five working days, although they can take up to two weeks. Check with the transfer company before you send your money.

Q

Can I transfer money to any country?

A

This depends on the transfer company, so compare the companies above to find one that lets you send money to your chosen destination.

Q

Can I transfer money to an account in another name?

A

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.

Q

Can I transfer money abroad through my bank?

A

Yes, most banks offer a transfer service, but it is usually more expensive than using the companies in this comparison. Find out more here.

Q

Are money transfers FCA regulated?

A

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.

Q

Can I send money worldwide?

A

It depends on the company you choose, some offer a worldwide money transfer service from one account, so look out for this.

About our international money transfers comparison

Q

Who do we include in this comparison?

A

We include money transfer companies from our panel. They are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Here is more information about how our website works.

Q

How do we make money from our comparison?

A

We have commercial agreements with some of the companies in this comparison and get paid commission if we help you take out one of their products or services. Find out more here.

You do not pay any extra and the deal you get is not affected.