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Find the best way to send money to the UK

Learn how to send money to the UK from Canada in our step-by-step guide.

Looking for the best way to send money from Canada to family, friends or businesses in the United Kingdom (or even to your own overseas bank account)?

Don't head straight to your Canadian bank – compare specialist money transfer services instead. They nearly always offer better GBP exchange rates and lower fees, so for the same amount of Canadian dollars you send, your recipient will receive more pounds.

Of the companies we've compared, Instarem is among the cheapest, with competitive exchange rates and fees starting from $0. Need a really fast transfer? Instarem can get money to your recipient in the United Kingdom within minutes.

Best ways to send money to the UK from Canada

The best way to send money to the United Kingdom depends on your payment method, how you want your money to be received and how fast you need it to arrive.
  • Online money transfer provider. When buying Canadian dollars or pounds money transfer specialists typically offer better rates and cheaper fees than a local bank.
  • Bank transfer. Bank transfers are an easy way to send money to the United Kingdom but they charge extra for the convenience and are often slower than other methods.

Compare the best money transfer companies to send money to the UK

Use our table to compare the best money transfer companies to send money to the United Kingdom. You can compare deposit and receiving options, fees and transfer speeds, then click the "Go to site" button when you've found the best one to get your money to the United Kingdom.
1 - 4 of 4
Name Product _compare_ Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
Xe Money Transfers
Within minutes
$0
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
OFX
Finder Award
OFX
24 hours
$0
Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for your first and ongoing transactions. $0 transfer fee.
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 50+ currencies.
Wise (TransferWise)
24 hours
From 0.43%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Instarem
Within minutes
From $0
Use code HELLO to get $20 off on first two transfers on a min transfer of $250. Valid until November 30, 2023.
Instarem offers zero transfer fees on all transfers.
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Cheapest way to send money to the UK

Bank transfers are typically the cheapest way to get your money to the United Kingdom. Instarem and Xe Money Transfers have some of the lowest bank transfer fees of the brands we've compared.

When you're hunting down the cheapest ways to send money to the United Kingdom, it's more important to look at the overall cost of your transfer. This has a couple of elements:

  • Transfer fees. While still cheaper than your Canadian bank, some money transfer services charge either a fixed or percentage-based fee for making your transfer.
  • Exchange rates. Another way money transfer providers make money is to add a margin to the mid-market CAD/GBP exchange rate.

Some providers may charge the mid-market rate but add fees on top. Others may have very low fees but apply a markup on the exchange rate. This means it is important to compare exactly how many pounds your recipient will end up with.

Fastest way to send money to the UK

Many online providers can offer transfers to the United Kingdom within minutes, although you're likely to pay a premium for the convenience.

Here are some of the fastest average transfer speeds to the United Kingdom:
  • Instarem — within minutes
  • Xe Money Transfers — within minutes
  • Wise (TransferWise) — within hours

Actual transfer times from Canada to the United Kingdom can depend on several different factors including transfer amount, payment method and currency.

Safest way to send money to the UK

The safest way to get your money to the United Kingdom is to use a provider registered with Canada's industry regulator, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. All of the companies we've compared in our table are overseen by a local regulator and comply with the relevant laws and regulations in both Canada and the United Kingdom.

A great way to dive deeper is by reading our extended reviews of each transfer service and researching first-hand customer feedback on Trustpilot and similar platforms.

Large money transfers to the UK

If you need to make a sizable money transfer to the United Kingdom, consider using a provider such as OFX to benefit from its expertise in handling larger transfer amounts.

Using a large transfer specialist can have the following advantages:
  • Tax guidance. Large transfers to the United Kingdom may have tax implications for you or your recipient. A transfer specialist can help get you up to speed on CRA's latest advice.
  • Foreign exchange (forex) tools. Advanced tools such as forward contracts, limit orders and stop-loss orders can help you lock in the GBP exchange rate you want.
  • Account manager. Some money transfer providers assign a personal account manager who can help and advise you on your transfer needs.
  • Phone service. If you want to talk your transfer through with someone, providers such as OFX and Wise (TransferWise) can give you support over the phone.

How to send money to the UK from Canada

To send money to the United Kingdom, you'll need the necessary documentation, your recipient's details and a way to pay.

  1. Compare your options.
    Use our table to find a money transfer provider that sends funds to the United Kingdom. One may be better for cash pickups while another may suit a bank transfer. Once you've found the best one for your requirements, click "Go to site".
  2. Create an account.
    You'll need to give your name, address, contact details, proof of ID and method of payment.
  3. Provide your recipient's details.
    Enter your recipient's name and contact information. If you're sending straight to their British bank account, you'll need the account number, SWIFT or IBAN plus their bank branch's address.
  4. Enter your transfer amount.
    Check you're happy with the fees, exchange rates and transfer speed, then enter the amount you wish to send. Double-check the total pounds your recipient gets.
  5. Complete your transfer.
    Send your money transfer to the United Kingdom. Keep your transaction reference number safe so you can track your transfer. Your recipient may need it too.
  6. Example: Oliver sends money to the United Kingdom

    Oliver is working in Canada as a doctor and he stays in regular contact with his elderly parents back home in the United Kingdom. His parents need some funds to help pay off a mortgage, so Oliver plans to send them $2,000 from Canada.

    He decides to compare a bank and a money transfer specialist to see which one can save the most money on his transaction.

    Bank Money transfer company
    Exchange rate 1 CAD = 0.58 GBP 1 CAD = 0.59 GBP
    Transfer fee $10 $2.50
    Transfer method Bank account deposit Bank account deposit
    Processing time 2 - 5 working days Next day
    Amount received 1,149.25 GBP 1,168.86 GBP

    The money transfer company enables Oliver to send an extra £19.60, which is transferred straight to his parents' Lloyds Bank account.

    How to choose the best money transfer companies to send money to the UK

    When choosing a money transfer provider to send money from Canada to the United Kingdom, it's important to consider the cost, how you want your recipient to receive the funds and the turnaround time. Here are other features to review:

    • Exchange rates. Banks and transfer services use the mid-market rate to trade with one another. It is the best rate you can get. However, not all money transfer providers offer you this mid-market rate so compare the GBP you're offered to the mid-market rate and look for the smallest difference.
    • Transfer fees. Are you being charged a flat fee or a percentage of your transfer amount? For example, a provider offering to transfer your money to the United Kingdom for a flat or low fee might work out better if you plan to send a large amount.
    • Transfer type. Does your recipient have a British bank account or is cash or cell phone top-up a better option? Each transfer type will have different fees. For example, instant cash pickups tend to be more expensive than bank transfers.
    • Transfer speed. If you need your transfer to arrive quickly, you can pay for an express delivery. Some companies offer instant cash pickups but may charge more. If you're not in a rush, online money transfer services offer the best value and get your money to the United Kingdom faster and cheaper than banks.
    • Transfer limits. Find out how much you can send with each service. For example, Instarem has a transfer limit of $3,000 while Xe Money Transfers allows transfers up to $750,000 online (no max offline) .
    • Discounts. Some providers may offer you a free transfer simply for signing up. Others may offer a discount if you transfer more than a specific amount of pounds.

    Is this a good time to send money to the UK?

    Compared to a month ago, the Canadian dollar is stronger against the pound. Currently $5,000 is equivalent to £2,940.50, whereas a month ago, $5,000 was equivalent to £2,902.00. That's an increase of 1.33% over the past month.

    But compared to a year ago, the Canadian dollar is weaker against the pound. A year ago, $5,000 was equivalent to £3,004.00. That's a decrease of 2.11% over 12 months.

    What's more important, however, is where the strength of the Canadian dollar against the pound goes from here – which is harder to call. But whichever way it goes, shopping around has the potential to get you more pounds for your Canadian dollars and can help you get the best out of any market conditions.

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