Guide to bank fees for wire transfers

Make sure you don't overspend when you transfer money abroad.

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A wire transfer is an effective way to get money to friends, family members and merchants around the world. These transfers typically involve electronically transferring money from one bank to another. Though secure, the service can come at a cost — high fees.

Read this guide to find out how to minimise costs and find the service suited to your needs.

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Compare banks to these independent money transfer services

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 3,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.105 EUR
11,052
Make an informed decision with a personal touch, whether it's a business or personal transfer, with rate alerts, charts and live rates to help you make your choice. Go to site Show details
GBP 2,500 1 day GBP 0.00 1.106 EUR
11,063
TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction (conditions apply)
(Conditions apply)
Go to site Show details
GBP 2,500 1 day GBP 0.00 1.104 EUR
11,041
Make transferring money abroad as simple and safe as possible with bank-beating exchange rates - online, via the app or over the phone. Go to site Show details
GBP 50 Same day GBP 1.00 1.068 EUR
10,684
Instant or 1 hour transfers to over 50 countries, send money directly to bank accounts or over 280,000 cash pickup points. Go to site Show details
GBP 50 2 days GBP 2.99 1.104 EUR
11,038
Send money online anytime, anywhere, with a simple to use platform and transparent fees and exchange rates shown upfront. Go to site Show details
GBP 2,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.104 EUR
11,040
Outstanding exchange rates, same day currency payments and zero transaction fees. Book a transaction online or speak to one of Universal Partners FX's dedicated currency specialists. Setting up an account is quick, easy and simple. Go to site Show details
GBP 1,000 1 - 2 days GBP 0.00 1.104 EUR
11,041
Fast, fee-free transfers and great exchange rates. Book transfers over the phone through a dedicated dealing team or by using Virgin Money’s 24/7 online platform. Go to site Show details
GBP 2,500 1 - 2 days GBP 0.00 1.106 EUR
11,063
Exclusive offer: £0 transfer fee for life
Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 2,500 1 day GBP 0.00 1.106 EUR
11,063
TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction (conditions apply)
(Conditions apply)
Go to site Show details
GBP 1,000 1 - 2 days GBP 0.00 1.104 EUR
11,041
Fast, fee-free transfers and great exchange rates. Book transfers over the phone through a dedicated dealing team or by using Virgin Money’s 24/7 online platform. Go to site Show details
GBP 2,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.104 EUR
11,040
Outstanding exchange rates, same day currency payments and zero transaction fees. Book a transaction online or speak to one of Universal Partners FX's dedicated currency specialists. Setting up an account is quick, easy and simple. Go to site Show details
GBP 2,500 2 days GBP 10.00 1.107 EUR
11,063
Make the most of your money with Foremost Currency Group - excellent personalised service and bank-beating rates. Go to site Show details
GBP 2,500 1 day GBP 0.00 1.104 EUR
11,041
Make transferring money abroad as simple and safe as possible with bank-beating exchange rates - online, via the app or over the phone. Go to site Show details
GBP 3,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.105 EUR
11,052
Make an informed decision with a personal touch, whether it's a business or personal transfer, with rate alerts, charts and live rates to help you make your choice. Go to site Show details
GBP 2,500 1 day GBP 0.00 1.109 EUR
11,086
With 17 years of foreign exchange expertise, OFX know the money transfers business very well, offering facilities for one-off and recurring transfers. Go to site Show details
GBP 1 Same day GBP 0.00 1.108 EUR
11,080
Make simple, fast, secure payments online or over the phone - simply choose the service that best meets your needs. Go to site Show details
GBP 2,500 1 day GBP 0.00 1.108 EUR
11,076
Frontierpay has a proven reputation for competitive rates and a refreshingly open and honest approach to transferring money worldwide. Go to site Show details
GBP 2,500 1 - 2 days GBP 0.00 1.106 EUR
11,063
Exclusive offer: £0 transfer fee for life
Go to site Show details
GBP 5,000 Same day GBP 0.00 1.105 EUR
11,052
London-based and operating for over 10 years, so you can feel confident in the knowledge that your money is in expert hands. Go to site Show details
GBP 5,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.107 EUR
11,074
Take advantage of fee lock-ins and live bookable rates, helping you save up to 85% in hidden bank fees. Go to site Show details
GBP 1,500 2 days GBP 0.00 1.104 EUR
11,041
Send money overseas for a range of reasons, including regular payments and buying overseas property. 97% Trustpilot score. Go to site Show details
GBP 2,500 1 day GBP 0.00 1.106 EUR
11,063
Send money abroad with the longest standing and largest full service specialist currency provider in the UK. Go to site Show details
GBP 2,500 2 days GBP 0.00 1.102 EUR
11,019
Get a great deal for your international money exchange with no commission, no hidden costs and a guaranteed exchange rate. Go to site Show details
GBP 50 2 days GBP 2.99 1.104 EUR
11,038
Send money online anytime, anywhere, with a simple to use platform and transparent fees and exchange rates shown upfront. Go to site Show details
GBP 50 1 - 2 days GBP 0.00 1.108 EUR
11,078
Start your low cost money transfer with Travelex Wire, at an average of 3 times cheaper than leading money transfer providers. Travelex Wire is provided by Travelex Europe Limited, FCA regulated (FRN 900537). Go to site Show details
GBP 1 Same day GBP 50.00 1.07 EUR
10,647
Use PayPal to safely send money and receive payments from around the world in over 25 currencies with just an email address or mobile number. Go to site Show details
GBP 100 Same day GBP 4.00 1.084 EUR
10,836
Take advantage of the convenience, speed and ease of using HSBC for your international payments. Go to site Show details
GBP 100 2 days GBP 9.50 1.086 EUR
10,849
Send up to £75,000 online per day to almost anywhere in the world and take advantage of the Lloyds International Moneymover Service. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

*’Popular providers’ are those most frequently chosen by finder.com visitors.

Guide to fees and charges

What is a wire transfer?

A wire transfer is an immediate, secure way of transferring money to a recipient. It is an electronic transfer of money from one bank to another, using a secure network.

What kind of fees could I expect?

The fees your bank charges depend on whether you’re sending or receiving the money, as well as whether the recipient or sender is overseas. Some banks charge more depending on how you initiate the wire transfer — for example, online or in person.

Here are fees you can expect for wire transfers at your typical UK bank:

  • Incoming domestic fee. For receiving money from another UK bank account.
  • Outgoing domestic fee. For sending money to another UK bank account.
  • Incoming international fee. For receiving money from an overseas bank account.
  • Outgoing international fee. For sending money to an overseas bank account.
  • Initiation fee. This is when you do a wire transfer NOT online, for example in a branch or over the phone.
  • Tracer fee. For requesting tracing services for a previous wire transfer.

Beat the banks

We’ve tested the amounts a bank will give you against an average money transfer company, and the results could net you big savings. A £10,000 transfer to Australia with a money transfer company would save $378 AUD compared to a bank.

Why is this? Some banks charge up to £25 extra, which may be shown to you as a sum of small charges made of percentages and absolute fees. On top of this, there’s a hidden charge – the margin on the exchange rate. Money transfer companies tend to have much lower rates than banks and are generally a better option for sending money abroad. Don’t believe us? See our table below.

Amount received for £10,000
EUR USD AUD
FC Exchange FC Exchange €11,304 EUR (save €549) $12,903 USD (save $557) $16,662 AUD (save $398)
HSBC HSBC €10,755 EUR $12,346 USD $16,264 AUD

How can I compare these bank fees?

To make your decisions a bit easier, we’ve gathered wire transfer fees for several UK banks above.

When assessing these fees, how much you’ll pay depends on where you’re sending money to and other elements like:

  • Incoming vs. outgoing. Incoming wire transfers tend to be cheaper than outgoing wire transfers. This is because the sender usually bears the brunt of the costs associated with the wire transfer.
  • Domestic vs. international. Because domestic wire transfers involve less processing, they tend to be cheaper than international wire transfers. International wire transfers typically involve multiple banking systems and operators between the two countries.
  • Recurring vs. one-time fees. Some banks offer savings of a few dollars per transfer when you set up recurring wire transfers.
  • Initiation fees. Your bank could charge a fee for requesting the wire transfer in a branch or over the phone, instead of online.
  • Tracer fees. If your recipient hasn’t received your transfer as scheduled, you may need to trace it. This could incur more fees.
  • Exchange rates. An exchange rate shows how much one currency is worth in another currency. Nearly all banks skew the published exchange rate for a profit, and they aren’t always forthcoming about the margin they add. You may need to call your bank or initiate a transfer online to see the rate you’ll get.

Bottom line

Banks offer a secure and familiar way to complete wire transfers with friends, family members and merchants. However, you can expect to pay high transfer fees on top of weaker exchange rates than you would get by using an online money transfer service.

Ultimately, you’ll need to compare your options to find the service that’s best for you.

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6 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    BernardNovember 9, 2018

    I want to sponsor a teenager in Ethiopia and want to send him £40 each month. I’ve already checked and he’s genuine and he has a bank account. What would be the cheapest way to do this?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      joelmarceloNovember 10, 2018Staff

      Hi Bernard,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      There are multiple ways in sending money to Ethiopia. We have a comparison of money transfer services specific to Ethiopia if you click here. You can also read our guide from there so you can weigh your options.

      Please send me a message if you need anything else. :)

      Cheers,
      Joel

  2. Default Gravatar
    tgeorgeSeptember 17, 2018

    Hi – does anyone know where I can find a comparison of bank fees for receiving an international incoming payment in GBP (for UK-based banks)? There is lots of information online on the cost of sending transfers but not much on the cost of receiving them. Apparently, there are some banks that do not charge anything to receive an incoming international GBP payment but I don’t know which ones they are!

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaSeptember 19, 2018Staff

      Hi tgeorge,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      We currently don’t have a list of bank fees that are charged to the recipient when doing a money transfer. This is due to, like what you mentioned, a lot of transfer fees are charged to the sender.

      For you to confirm, you can directly get in touch with your bank or money transfer company to know more about their fees.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  3. Default Gravatar
    MichaelMarch 24, 2018

    Typically how much do overseas banks (US/ Europe/Asia) charge their domestic customers for making small bank transfers of for example £20, and will a receiving UK bank charge the UK account holder as well and if so how much?

    • Default Gravatar
      LiezlMarch 26, 2018

      Hi Michael,

      Incoming and outgoing bank transfer fees vary depending on the type of account the sender and receiver hold, the amount transferred, destination as well as whether the transfer is done in the branch, over the phone or online. Some beneficiary banks charge the receiver some fees unless the sender shoulder all the fees, which you have to indicate during the transfer.

      For small amounts though, it might be cheaper to do the transfer through a money transfer service since most banks charge a fixed wire transfer fee irregardless of the amount. If you can tell us the bank you’re dealing with, we can try to check the rates for you. Better still, contact your bank directly to know the fees they charge specifically for this amount.

      Best regards,
      Liezl

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