Cheap ways to send money overseas

What's the most affordable way to send money overseas from the UK? Find out with this guide.

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While banks do offer secure wire transfers around the world, they also tend to have weaker exchange rates, higher fees and fewer options to send and receive cash when compared with a money transfer service. Unlike banks, they specialise in one thing: transferring money to countries worldwide.

With this expertise comes cheaper and faster transfers, meaning more savings for you and more money in the pocket of your recipient. The table below lists some of the best services you can use to transfer money overseas.

WorldRemit International Money Transfers

WorldRemit International Money Transfers

Send money to 140+ countries for bank deposit, instant e-wallet, mobile top-up or cash pickup at 30,000+ agent locations worldwide.

  • Low upfront fees and exchange rates.
  • Easy to use with round-the-clock help.
  • Get cash to family and friends in minutes.

    Compare money transfer services to help you send money overseas

    Table: promoted deals sorted by a combination of service offering and the amount your recipient will receive

    Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
    GBP 2,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.172 EUR
    11,717
    TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction (conditions apply)
    (Conditions apply)
    Go to site Show details
    GBP 3,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.172 EUR
    11,717
    Get no fees as a Finder customer when you transfer your money overseas with Global Reach. Go to site Show details
    GBP 1 1 - 2 days GBP 0.00 1.172 EUR
    11,717
    Whatever amount you transfer, XE will not charge you a fee for using their service. Go to site Show details
    GBP 2,500 Same day GBP 0.00 1.172 EUR
    11,717
    Central FX’s dedicated private client team will guide you through the money transfer process from first call to final payment. Go to site Show details
    GBP 1,000 1 - 2 days GBP 0.00 1.172 EUR
    11,717
    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 5 2 days EUR 3.00 1.171 EUR
    11,705
    Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
    Get bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
    Go to site Show details
    GBP 2,500 1 day GBP 0.00 1.172 EUR
    11,717
    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 1.172 EUR
    11,717
    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 2.99 1.165 EUR
    11,643
    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

    Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
    GBP 2,500 Same day GBP 0.00 1.172 EUR
    11,717
    Central FX’s dedicated private client team will guide you through the money transfer process from first call to final payment. Go to site Show details
    GBP 2,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.172 EUR
    11,717
    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 1.167 EUR
    11,670
    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. Show details
    GBP 2,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.167 EUR
    11,669
    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. Show details
    GBP 2,500 2 days GBP 10.00 1.171 EUR
    11,693
    Make the most of your money with Foremost Currency Group - excellent personalised service and bank-beating rates. Show details
    GBP 2,500 1 day GBP 0.00 1.172 EUR
    11,717
    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 1.172 EUR
    11,717
    Get no fees as a Finder customer when you transfer your money overseas with Global Reach. Go to site Show details
    GBP 2,500 1 day GBP 0.00 1.172 EUR
    11,717
    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 1.171 EUR
    11,711
    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 5 2 days EUR 3.00 1.171 EUR
    11,705
    Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
    Get bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
    Go to site Show details
    GBP 2,500 1 day GBP 0.00 1.168 EUR
    11,682
    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 1,000 1 - 2 days GBP 0.00 1.172 EUR
    11,717
    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 5,000 Same day GBP 0.00 1.168 EUR
    11,682
    London-based and operating for over 10 years, so you can feel confident in the knowledge that your money is in expert hands. Show details
    GBP 5,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.171 EUR
    11,705
    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 1.167 EUR
    11,670
    Send money overseas for a range of reasons, including regular payments and buying overseas property. 97% Trustpilot score. Show details
    GBP 2,500 1 day GBP 0.00 1.169 EUR
    11,693
    Send money abroad with the longest standing and largest full service specialist currency provider in the UK. Show details
    GBP 2,500 2 days GBP 0.00 1.165 EUR
    11,646
    Get a great deal for your international money exchange with no commission, no hidden costs and a guaranteed exchange rate. Show details
    GBP 50 Same day GBP 2.99 1.165 EUR
    11,643
    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
    GBP 50 1 - 2 days GBP 0.00 1.171 EUR
    11,709
    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). Show details
    GBP 1 Same day GBP 50.00 1.131 EUR
    11,253
    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. Show details
    GBP 100 Same day GBP 4.00 1.141 EUR
    11,406
    Show details
    GBP 100 2 days GBP 9.50 1.148 EUR
    11,467
    Send up to £75,000 online per day to almost anywhere in the world and take advantage of the Lloyds International Moneymover Service. Show details

    Compare up to 4 providers

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

    How can I transfer money overseas with an online specialist?

    Although the process differs by company, to send money overseas you’ll generally need to do the following:

    1. Register for a free account. You’ll provide your full name, contact info and date of birth. Most providers also require ID and proof of address.
    2. Provide your recipient’s information. Specify who’s receiving the funds by providing their name and contact information. If you’re sending money to a bank account, you’ll need to include the bank name, SWIFT code and your recipient’s account number.
    3. Add the details of your transaction. Enter how much money you’re sending and in which currency it’ll be received.
    4. Review and confirm. For most providers, you’ll see a summary of your transfer showing the amount you’re sending, the exchange rate, any fee you’ll pay and the total your beneficiary will receive.
    5. Pay for your transfer. Payment methods vary by company but could include credit or debit card, bank account, cash or mobile wallet.
    6. Track your transaction. You should receive confirmation that includes a tracking number or receipt for monitoring the progress of your transfer online or with a company branch.

    You may also receive an email or text when your recipient has received your funds and the transaction is completed.

    What are the ways I can send money overseas?

    With so many specialised money transfer companies to choose from, it’s no surprise that you have options when it comes to how your recipient receives your funds.

    How you send your money and how it’s received will ultimately affect delivery speed and how much you’re paying in fees. In general, your options include the following:

    • Bank transfers. Many major UK banks can safely transfer your funds to countries around the world. Banks rely on existing links between banks and banking systems worldwide and it’ll often be called a telegraphic transfer. However, two downsides are the high fees and the weaker exchange rates you’ll often receive in comparison to other options.
    • Online money transfer services. These specialists offer more affordable transfers than banks do, allowing you to quickly and easily manage your transactions from home. With competitive exchange rates and lower fees, you can send funds from your bank account. Many also allow you to pay with a credit or debit card.
    • Services with cash pick-up. Services like Western Union and MoneyGram offer the key advantage of giving your recipient fast access to the cash you send – sometimes within minutes. You can pay online or at one of the thousands of agent locations worldwide. However, services typically cost more than an online transfer specialist and vary by where you’re transferring your money and how you’re paying for it.
    • PayPal transfers. Not just for online purchases, PayPal offers transfers to more than 100 countries and supports multiple currencies. Its exchange rates are often better than those you’ll get from a bank but not quite as strong as rates from money transfer companies. PayPal calculates its transfer fee as a percentage of the amount you’re sending – meaning it’s often better for sending smaller amounts of money.
    • Cheques and money orders. Although not a quick option, you could send an international cheque overseas, obtained from your bank. It costs a little more – you’ll have to purchase the cheque and your recipient may be charged a fee by their own bank when cashed.

    How can I minimise costs when making a money transfer?

    • Compare exchange rates. Use your currency’s mid-market rate as a baseline to compare against the rates you’re offered. You want a provider whose rate is closest to the mid-market rate.
    • Send more money per transfer. Many providers discount transfer fees or waive them altogether when you send larger amounts.
    • Look for hidden fees. Avoid surprises by reading the fine print for fees that could apply to your transfer, including charges your recipient will need to pay.
    • Sniff out special offers. Keep an eye on promotions that offer, for example, no fees on your first transfer. While ideal for limited transfer needs, you could also end up with a new preferred service.
    • Shop around. The best way to save is by comparing rates, fees and transfer speeds of each provider, closely looking at their benefits and drawbacks.

    Tools to help you save more on international transfers

    There’s a lot riding on a competitive exchange rate and low fee. But depending on how much you’re sending, how soon your recipient needs it and rates at the time of transfer, you could save even more with the following tools.

    • Forward contracts. With this tool, you lock in a favourable exchange rate for a future transfer, avoiding unpredictable movements in the rate.
    • Limit orders. A limit order allows you to request a transfer that’s executed only when a specific rate is reached, at which point your provider locks it in.
    • Regular, automated transfers. You may be able to shave a few pennies off an exchange rate or pay lower transfer fees by setting up a plan to automate more regular payments overseas.

    What to be aware of

    Exchange rates

    You’ve probably noticed that the exchange rate you see online or reported in the media (known as the wholesale or mid-market rate) isn’t the same rate you get when you make a transaction. Banks and most money transfer services make their profit on the margin added to this wholesale exchange rate, but it can vary from 0.1% to 10%.

    With this in mind, it pays to compare the products available to make sure you find the best overseas money transfer solution for you.

    Fee-free transfers

    Unfortunately, fee-free transfers are never really free. Even though international money transfer companies are cheaper than the banks, they still have margins and fees. While there might not be a fee included, the company is still making money by adding a margin to the mid-market rate.

    How to get the best exchange rate

    How do I send money from my bank?

    Please note that the process is different for every provider. The example below shows just one of the ways you can initiate a transfer.

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    Frequently asked questions

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    6 Responses

    1. Default Gravatar
      PeterFebruary 20, 2017

      Can you help me with tracing an international payment from HSBC?

      • Avatarfinder Customer Care
        MillieMarch 1, 2017Staff

        I’m afraid we are a comparison site and therefore I recommend that you contact HSBC or your bank with this query.

    2. Default Gravatar
      PeterFebruary 20, 2017

      Hello – I am waiting for a wire transfer from HSBC in Hong Kong and it has not arrived.

      • Avatarfinder Customer Care
        MillieMarch 1, 2017Staff

        I’m afraid we are a comparison site and therefore I recommend that you contact HSBC or your bank with this query.

    3. Default Gravatar
      SimonFebruary 2, 2017

      What should I do if the company does not offer me the same rate as the one displayed above?

      • Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JonFebruary 2, 2017Staff

        We actively monitor the rates to ensure they are accurate for each of the providers, however if you are quoted a different rate once you have created an account please take the following steps;
        1) Exchange rates are updated in realtime so please double check the rate above again to see if the currency has moved.
        2) Ask the provider to match the rate quoted above, most of the time they will, quote finder.com as the source.
        3) Please do leave a comment here to let us know how you get on.

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