International Money Transfers

A recent survey shows that 62% of people are still turning to their bank to transfer money overseas.

Banks do not offer the cheapest way to send money abroad, they often charge a large commission on top of the exchange rate and additional transfer fees too.

Foreign exchange specialists are experts in international money transfers, they regularly offer competitive exchange rates and will save you money.

Choosing to transfer funds through a foreign exchange specialist could save you as much as 85% versus the cost of a bank

Selecting the right exchange company could save you thousands


Need to know

  • Whilst banks may claim to charge no extra commission on top of their exchange rate, this is often made up by manipulating the exchange rates to cover losses.

  • As well as charging higher fees, banks are often slow to make the exchange

  • However, on top of competitive rates, foreign exchange specialists streamline the exchange process and many don’t charge extra transfer fees.

  • Exchange rates depend on a number of factors including the amount you are transferring, the time frame you are working with (e.g locking into a rate over a period of 12 months), the stability of the currencies you are buying and selling and the exchange rates at the time of purchase.


Types of transfer

  • International money transfers generally fall into four categories, low end, high end, regular transfers and property.

  • Low end payments are typically capped between £1000 and £2000 and are can be used for one off payments like eBay purchases or sending monetary gifts to family abroad.

  • High end purchases can be anything over the low end cap and are used for transfers such as a lump sum cash conversion. High end transfers can also include larger regular payments for things like overseas mortgages.

  • Property often falls into its own category as many high end transfers are usually due to the purchase of property.

  • Regular transfers are just that, it might be for something like pension payments or overseas bills. It can be beneficial to lock into a rate for a set period as this will protect you from bad exchange rates but could also stop you accessing even better rates.


The inside track

  • As with many financial products, it pays to shop around and look at multiple exchange specialists. This will save you money.

  • To get the best idea of rates you should compare exchange specialists on the same day and in one go as rates change regularly

  • Make sure that the firm you choose is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority as this will ensure your cash is safe should they go bust.

  • If it’s a smaller firm and they are just ‘registered’ then there is no guarantee your money is safe. You can search the FCA register to see how a firm is regulated before you make your decision.

  • If you’re transferring large sums be sure to thoroughly research different specialists as this can save you thousands

  • If you want to spend whilst you’re abroad then an overseas spending card is the perfect solution

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