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1st Contact review

Hassle-free international transfers with low fees and good exchange rates

Make a quick, secure and cost-effective money transfer without setting foot in a bank. Complete your transaction online in three easy steps with excellent rates and low fees. 1st Contact also offers regular promotions, including “refer a friend” and getting your fifth transfer for free.

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24 hours

Fastest Transfer Speed


Minimum Transfer Amount

1st Contact is best for:

  • Frequent users. Your fifth transfer is free.
  • Large transfers. There is no maximum amount, and the more you transfer, the better the rate you’ll get. However, Individual transfers equal to or greater than £10,000 (or the equivalent in another currency) will need additional documentation.
  • Bank-to-bank transfers. Your recipient cannot pick up cash.

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How much does 1st Contact cost?

1st Contact’s transfer fee is determined by the amount of the transfer and the destination.

How are 1st Contact’s exchange rates?

1st Contact’s exchange rates fall between the interbank rate (the truest exchange rate) and the rate offered by big banks. They are able to undercut the big banks and pass the savings on to you in the form of great rates. While the rates on their site are updated throughout the day, they’re not guaranteed to be the final rate you pay.

Available currencies

See how other services compare to 1st Contact Forex

Our table lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Compare services on transfer speeds and fees, then click Go to site when you're ready to send.
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OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
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Dunbridge Financial offers competitive exchange rates and zero fees on transfers to more than 120 countries.
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SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally £5,000)

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Exclusive: Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally $5,000).
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
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XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
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From $1.99

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New customers send USD 20 to Lebanon and use code ADD10 for a USD 10 discount. Valid till 7 November 2021. T&Cs apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Wise (TransferWise)
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From $2.26

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Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
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Exclusive: Use code GET60 to save 30 USD on each transaction over 200 USD. Valid for the first two transactions and till 30 November 2021. T&Cs apply.
Instarem offers zero transfer fees on all transfers.
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SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers

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Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Western Union
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Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
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MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.

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What types of transfers can I make?

You can make one-off transfers with 1st Contact. You also have the option to secure a rate in advance when transferring a large amount. But you must put down a 10% deposit.

Transfer limits

There is no minimum or maximum transfer amount. However, when transferring £10,000 (or foreign currency equivalent) or more in a single currency transaction, or £30,000 (or foreign currency equivalent) in a number of transactions over a 12 month rolling period, 1st Contact Forex requires proof of “source of funds” as prescribed by HMRC’s Money Laundering Regulations.

How do I use 1st Contact for money transfers?

  1. Register. Register online in under two minutes. And there is no obligation to use the account once you have registered.
  2. Activate. Once you register you will receive an email requesting scanned or photographed copies of your passport and proof of your physical address.
  3. Transfer. Log into your account. Confirm the amount you want to transfer, the currency and the recipient’s details. Pay for your transfer, and once 1st Contact receives the funds, they’ll process your transfer.

Benefits and drawbacks of using 1st Contact


  • Great exchange rates. You can get better exchange rates when compared to most banks.
  • Free transfers. Every fifth transfer you make using 1st Contact Forex does not incur any fees.
  • No minimum. There is no minimum transfer amount.


  • No cash pickup. Your recipient cannot pick up the transfer as cash.
  • Slow speeds. 1st Contact is not the fastest method of making an international money transfer

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What is 1st Contact Forex?

1st Contact Forex is an arm of 1st Contact, a financial services company located in London that helps international citizens pursue their lives, careers and travel aspirations in the UK. 1st Contact Forex has been helping people send money around the world for more than 20 years.

Bottom line

Using 1st Contact Forex to send money overseas can lead to savings. However, it’s important to compare your options to find the best way to send money abroad.

Frequently asked questions about 1st Contact

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