The concise guide to international bank drafts

Send money overseas safely and inexpensively with a bank draft.

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If you’re looking for a safe, secure and reasonably affordable way to transfer money overseas, you may wish to look into the possibility of taking out an international bank draft.

Also known as a ‘bank cheque’, bank drafts are accepted in most countries and are created in the currency of the destination where they are sent. Although there are much quicker methods of sending money overseas, international bank drafts still offer several benefits to consumers. If time is not a factor when you’re transferring money to someone overseas, bank drafts can be perfect.

XE International Money Transfers

XE Money Transfer

XE specialises in a wide range of foreign currency solutions and offers an affordable solution when you need to send money overseas.

  • Send money to 60+ countries.
  • Competitive exchange rates that are often better than banks.
  • Transfer up to US$500,000 online.
  • See exchange rates in real-time.

    How does a bank draft work?

    A bank draft is like asking a bank to write a cheque for you. Some people might ask to receive a bank draft as a more secure way of receiving money. It’s more secure because the funds for the transaction are withdrawn from the bank – rather than from the individual’s account.

    Crucially, a banker’s draft is prepaid and issued by the bank. A normal cheque, on the other hand, is not prepaid.

    Drafts can also be drawn in the foreign currency you choose and are available for personal or business use.

    Make your comparison of bank drafts that much more effective

    • Fees. This is the most important factor to look at when comparing bank drafts. Look at the different fees charged for obtaining a draft (Barclays, for instance, will charge you £15).
    • Available currencies and countries. Speak to your bank or financial institution about the currencies in which you can obtain a bank draft and the countries to which you can send them.
    • Processing time. Once you apply for a draft, how long will it take for your financial institution to process it?
    • Application options. It’s also a good idea to compare the different methods available when applying for a bank draft. You’ll typically need to visit a branch or apply in writing – though banks are increasingly offering bank drafts over the phone.

    Weigh up the pros and cons of a bank draft

    Pros

    • Accepted in most parts of the world. International bank drafts are accepted in the majority of countries around the globe.
    • Inexpensive. Although you will have to pay a fee when you apply for an international bank draft, drafts are still a relatively cost-effective method of sending funds overseas.
    • In local currency. As the cheque is made out in the local currency where it will be sent, it does not require conversion and is therefore able to be banked quicker than a cheque written in sterling.
    • Secure. Bank drafts must be deposited into a bank account and cannot be cashed.

    Cons

    • Slow. Bank drafts typically take several weeks to process, so they’re only a viable option where the speed of the transaction is not a concern.

    What are the risks?

    Keep an eye out for the following risks when it comes to bank drafts.

    • Funds not arriving in time. As mentioned, international bank drafts are quite a slow method of sending money overseas. If you need to send funds urgently, do not bother applying for a bank draft.
    • Fees. As with any financial product or service, it’s important that you’re aware of the fees and charges that apply to your bank draft. This can save you a lot of money in the long run.
    • Your country of choice may be unavailable. Make sure to check which countries and currencies your bank will allow you to send a draft in and to.

    Need to send money quickly?

    Table: sorted by a combination of service offering and the amount your recipient will receive
    The transfer services below are not bank drafts, but rather allow you to make bank transfers which can be received by your recipient in their bank account or as cash.

    Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
    GBP 2,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.157 EUR
    5,784
    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 1.157 EUR
    5,784
    Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
    Send 60+ currencies at competitive rates and no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
    Go to site Show details
    GBP 3,000 1 day GBP 20.00 1.157 EUR
    5,761
    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 1.157 EUR
    5,784
    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 2,500 1 day GBP 0.00 1.157 EUR
    5,784
    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
    USD 1 1 - 2 days GBP 0.00 1.157 EUR
    5,784
    Whatever amount you transfer, XE will not charge you a fee for using their service. Go to site Show details
    GBP 50 Same day GBP 2.99 1.163 EUR
    5,812
    Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee.
    Send money online anytime, anywhere, with a simple to use platform and transparent fees and exchange rates shown upfront.
    Go to site Show details

    Compare up to 4 providers

    Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

    Read answers to your most common questions about bank drafts

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    10 Responses

    1. Default Gravatar
      PaulDecember 7, 2018

      I have family members travelling back from China to UK on 21/12/18. what is the best way of moving money from a Chinese bank account to a UK bank account in that timescale

      • Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JoshuaDecember 12, 2018Staff

        Hi Paul,

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

        The best way of moving money would depend on your needs, preference, and budget. There are at least three ways for you to transfer money. One is through a bank to bank transfer. Next is using money transfer companies. Third is using a bank draft like what is described in this page.

        You can explore each of these options and see which of them gives you the best offer.

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

        Have a wonderful day!

        Cheers,
        Joshua

    2. Default Gravatar
      AnnaJune 10, 2018

      I want to transfer EUR 172,000 through an international transfer of funds. What should I expect to pay?

      What should I do if the bank did not provide me with information on fees when making international transfers? On the contrary, the bank has demanded five different non-small charges and has always claimed it is the last one?

      • Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JoshuaJune 11, 2018Staff

        Hi Anna,

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

        Let me answer your questions one by one.

        When transferring a large amount of money, there are different fees you need to consider. One is the exchange rate. Depending on the amount of money you are transferring, the exchange rate can have a significant effect on how much money you are receiving.

        Next consideration is the money transfer service provider. There are many providers of International Money Transfers, but some specialise in large sums of money more than others. When picking a provider, it’s important to keep in mind not only the rate you are getting and fees they are charging (if any), but also the quality of the service.

        To learn more about transferring money overseas, please read our guide, “Need to send large amounts of money abroad?

        For your next question regarding the bank, it is important that you understand what you are being charged with. In this case, talking to the bank will help you know more about their services what you might expect to pay them. If in case you can’t accept the terms and conditions of a bank, you may want to look for another bank or other means of sending your money.

        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
      CraigMarch 6, 2018

      My internet bank does not provide bank drafts. Do I need to open an account with anorher bank in order for them to prepare an international bank draft?

      • Avatarfinder Customer Care
        nikkiangcoMarch 7, 2018Staff

        Hi there!

        Thanks for your question.

        Yes, you would need to open an account with another bank for. A personal account manager will prepare an international bank draft for you and you would immediately need to transfer the funds from your account to cover the amount of the cheque.

        Also, it is important to take note of these factors in using an international bank draft below:

        Fees: This is the most important factor to look at when comparing bank drafts. Look at the different fees charged for obtaining a draft and see if you could save money with a different provider.
        Available currencies and countries: Speak to your bank or financial institution about the currencies in which you can obtain a bank draft and the countries to which you can send them.
        Processing time: Once you apply for a draft, how long will it take for your financial institution to process it?
        Application options. It’s also a good idea to compare the different methods available when applying for a bank draft. You’ll typically need to visit a branch or apply in writing.

        In choosing the correct bank to get the international bank draft from, you may use this link: https://www.finder.com.au/international-bank-drafts

        Hope this help answered your concern,

        Come back to us should you need further assistance.

        Thanks and best regards,

        Nikki

        • Default Gravatar
          CraigApril 21, 2018

          Do you know which high street bank provides an international bank draft service?

        • Default Gravatar
          CraigApril 21, 2018

          Nikki, thank you. I am having difficulty in finding a high street bank that provides international bank drafts. I’ve tried RBS, HSBC, and Barclays. Do you know any bank that provides this facility? Many thanks.

          • Default Gravatar
            DaniellleAugust 21, 2018

            I would still like to know if there is an answer to the above question. I need to pay the US embassy with a Foreign Bank Draft (in dollars) but I can’t find ANYWHERE in the UK that offers this service. My next step is having my mother arrange it in the US! Any wisdom?

            • Avatarfinder Customer Care
              JoshuaAugust 23, 2018Staff

              Hi Danielle,

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

              If you are having trouble finding a bank that offers a foreign bank draft, this could be because of the fact that the use of international bank drafts is declining. While we don’t have a list of providers that offer bank drafts, you might want to try international money transfers which can be typically processed between 24 hours and five days.

              Aside from money transfer, you may also explore the option of having your mother pay the US embassy for your transaction.

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

              Have a wonderful day!

              Cheers,
              Joshua

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