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Review: Ulster Bank international money transfers

Convenient and fast transfers to countries worldwide, but check the exchange rate first.

  • Good for secure transfers and faster payments when you need to send money overseas quickly.
  • Not so great if you want the best exchange rate.

Ulster Bank exchange rates and fees

There are a couple of factors that affect the cost of sending an international transfer with Ulster Bank.

The first is the exchange rate. You’ll notice that the rate the bank gives you is different from the exchange rate you see quoted on Google. This is because Ulster Bank, like most transfer services, adds a margin on top of the mid-market rate. Compare the rate you’re given with the current mid-market rate to work out the size of the margin.

The second factor is the transaction fee. Ulster Bank doesn’t charge any fees on most standard transfers, but euro transfers to non-SEPA destinations will incur a small fee. And if you want to send an urgent transfer, a much larger transaction fee will apply.

Check out the table below to see real-time exchange rates and fees from a range of money transfer services.

Available currencies

Ulster Bank allows you to send international transfers to countries all around the world. Some of the popular supported currencies include:

  • AUD Australian dollar
  • GBP British pound
  • HKD Hong Kong dollar
  • INR Indian rupee
  • NZD New Zealand dollar
  • PHP Philippine peso
  • SGD Singapore dollar
  • USD US dollar

What types of transfers can you make with Ulster Bank?

You can use Ulster Bank to transfer funds to your recipient’s overseas bank account. There are a few transfer options available:

  • Standard transfers. You can send an unlimited amount of money in whatever currency you choose, and there are minimal or no fees charged. However, transaction processing can take a few business days.
  • Urgent transfers. If you need to get money to your recipient quickly, you can opt for an urgent transfer that will get the funds there the same day (for euro transfers to SEPA destinations) or in 1-2 business days. However, these transfers attract an additional fee.
  • Foreign drafts. You can also visit any Ulster Bank branch to send a foreign draft overseas. However, a draft can take up to five business days to clear after it is lodged by your recipient.

How long does a transfer with Ulster Bank take?

Transfer processing times vary depending on the type of transfer you select, the currency and the transfer destination.

Transfer methodTransfer timeProcessing cut-off time
Standard EUR transfer to SEPA destinationNext business day15:00
Standard non-EUR transfer to SEPA destination2-4 business days15:00
Standard transfer in any currency to the rest of the world2-4 business days15:00
Urgent EUR transfer to SEPA destinationSame business day13:30
Urgent non-EUR transfer to SEPA destination1-2 business days16:00
Urgent transfer to the rest of the world1-2 business days15:00

What payment methods does Ulster Bank accept?

You can pay for your Ulster Bank transfer using the following options:

  • Bank transfer
  • Debit card
  • Credit card
  • Travellers cheques

Is Ulster Bank safe to use?

  • Security and regulation: Regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland
  • Established: 1836
  • Number of customers: 1.1 million*
*According to Ulster Bank on 20/03/2020.

Established in 1836, Ulster Bank has a long history offering financial products and services to customers throughout Ireland. Regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, it has a range of security measures in place to help protect your funds. These include implementing Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) when you log in to your account, and 24/7 monitoring of accounts for fraud or suspicious activity.

How does Ulster Bank make money?

Ulster Bank makes money on international transfers in two ways:

  • By charging transaction fees. While most standard transfers don’t incur any fees, urgent transfers and standard EUR transfers to all countries except SEPA destinations do attract a fee.
  • By adding an exchange rate margin. Ulster Bank also adds a margin on top of the mid-market exchange rate. Also known as the interbank rate, the mid-market rate is the “real” exchange rate at which banks and transfer services trade foreign currency with one another.

How to register an account

You’ll need to hold an account with Ulster Bank before you can send money overseas. You can sign up for an account by completing the following steps.

How do I make an international money transfer with Ulster Bank?

These are the steps for sending an international transfer:

    1. Log in to Ulster Bank Anytime Internet Banking.
    2. Select “Payments and Transfers”.
    3. Choose “International Payments” and then “Make a Payment”.
    4. Select “Get a Quote for Paying Someone New” and then click “Next”.
    5. Provide the details of your transaction to receive a quote.
    6. You can then select your payee from the drop-down menu.
    7. Enter the amount you’d like to send.
    8. Choose the type of transfer you’d like to send and review the fees that apply.
    9. Click on “Make this payment”, choose the date when the transfer will be sent and select the account you’ll be sending money from.
    10. Review all the details of your transfer and click “Confirm” to finalise your payment.

What is Ulster Bank?

Founded in 1836, Ulster Bank is a retail and commercial bank with more than 1.1 million customers in the Republic of Ireland. A wholly owned subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Ulster Bank has more than 80 branches around the country. Its registered office is in Dublin.

In a nutshell

Pros
  • Send money anywhere. You can use your Ulster Bank account to send money to countries not just in Europe but all over the world.
  • Multiple payment methods available. Bank transfer, credit card, debit card and travellers cheques can all be used to pay for your transaction.
  • Urgent transfers available. If you need to send money quickly, you can select an urgent transfer and get the funds to your recipient sooner.
Cons
  • Exchange rate margin. Ulster Bank adds a margin on top of the mid-market exchange rate. You’ll generally be able to find better rates by comparing specialist money transfer services.
  • Urgent transfers cost extra. If you want to send an urgent transfer, you’ll need to pay much more in fees for the privilege.
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How does Ulster Bank compare to other services?

To find out how Ulster Bank international transfers stack up against the competition, enter the details of your transaction into the table below.

Name Product Minimum Transfer Transfer Time Transfer Fee
Wise (TransferWise) - Ireland
EUR 1
1-2 days
Varies
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Azimo - Ireland
GBP 10
Instant
Varies
Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries.
XE Money Transfers - Ireland
EUR 1
Same day
EUR 2
XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
WorldRemit - Ireland
EUR 1
Same day
Varies
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
CurrencyFair - Ireland
EUR 5
1-2 days
Varies
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Frequently asked questions

How do I contact customer support?

You can access help through Ulster Bank’s online support centre, via live chat, over the phone or by visiting an Ulster Bank branch.

Can I send an international transfer using the Ulster Bank mobile app?

Yes. The Ulster Bank Mobile Banking App is available for iOS and Android devices.

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