Send money internationally

Overseas money transfers can be cheap, quick, convenient and safe

Sending money abroad is much cheaper today thanks to strong competition among independent transfer providers and banks. There are more options than ever to send funds to friends, family or businesses overseas, and not just the time-tested providers like Western Union or your bank. Newer companies such as World First, OFX (formerly UKForex), TransferWise and HiFX are undercutting the competition to earn your business — and get you a good deal. With these services comes the ability for quick cash pickups, often on the same day. Learn more about money transfers below.

Compare international money transfer services

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Ofx Logo

Save money on your personal or business international money transfer today. Fill in the form and you’ll be contacted by a foreign exchange expert to have an obligation-free discussion about your options.

With over 17 years of foreign exchange expertise and over $100 billion transferred, OFX can help with all your currency exchange needs, including:

  • Buying property abroad
  • Emigrating
  • Regular overseas payments
  • Risk management
  • Forecasting

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Services Amount Received Description CTA Details
TorFX International Money Transfers
GBP 50 1 day USD 0.00 - Online, Phone EUR
4,474
TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction
Conditions apply
Go to site View details
OFX International Money Transfer
GBP 100 1 day USD 0.00 - Online, Phone EUR
4,571
OFX is the new UKForex. Same savings, new name Go to site View details
Moneycorp International Money Transfers
GBP 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 - Online, Phone EUR
4,580
The longest standing and largest full service specialist currency provider in the UK. Go to site View details
RationalFX International Money Transfer
GBP 1 2 days USD 0.00 - Online, Phone EUR
4,543
Make same day international money transfers in over 40 currencies. Go to site View details
Currencytransfer International Money Transfer
GBP 5,000 1 day USD 0.00 - Online, Phone EUR
4,555
Award winning business foreign exchange platform supported by dedicated business specialists. Go to site View details
Frontierpay International Money Transfers
GBP 500 1 day USD 0.00 - Online, Phone EUR
4,562
Frontierpay has a proven reputation for competitive rates and a refreshingly open and honest approach to transferring money worldwide. Go to site View details
Currencies Direct International Money Transfers
GBP 100 1 day USD 0.00 - Online, Phone EUR
4,571
$0 online transfer fee that you can access 24/7. Go to site View details
Halo Financial International Money Transfers
GBP 5,000 Same day USD 0.00 - Online, Phone EUR
4,557
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 View details
World First International Money Transfers
GBP 1,000 2 days USD 0.00 - Online, Phone EUR
4,578
Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee for life Go to site View details
Azimo International Money Transfers
GBP 10 1 day - - Online, Cash Transfer Transfer money faster online or using the user friendly mobile app. Go to site View details
CurrencyFair International Money Transfers
GBP 2.50 2 days USD 4.00 - Online EUR
4,569
Get complete control over your international money transfer with the world's first P2P currency exchange Go to site View details
WorldRemit International Money Transfers
GBP 1 2 days USD 2.99 - Online EUR
4,540
Send money online anytime, anywhere. Go to site View details
Currency Solutions International Money Transfers
GBP 1,500 2 days - - Online, Phone Send money overseas for a range of reasons, including regular payments and buying overseas property. 97% Trustpilot score. Go to site View details
Transferwise International Money Transfers
GBP 1 2 days - - Online Leading peer to peer international money transfer service. Go to site View details
FC Exchange International Money Transfers
GBP 3,000 1 day USD 0.00 - Online, Phone EUR
4,582
No transfer fee via online, branch or phone. Go to site View details
HiFX International Money Transfers
GBP 50 2 days USD 5.00 - Online, Phone EUR
4,564
Transfer money between 20 currencies and enjoy scheduled regular transfers. No fee for transfers over £3,000. Go to site View details
Western Union International Money Transfers
GBP 1 Same day - - Online, Phone, Agent, Cash Transfer Send money online to friends and family around the world with Western Union. Go to site View details
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Compare up to 4 providers

What is an international money transfer?

An international money transfer, also known as an international remittance, is an electronic transfer of your money to family, friends or companies overseas. Generally, it involves you sending cash or money from your bank account to an intermediary transfer service or bank, which then exchanges and sends the money to your recipient in another country.

With an international money transfer, you initiate a transaction that deducts the amount of your transfer from your bank account. That amount is sent to an intermediary bank or transfer service, which exchanges your money into the currency of the country you’re sending it to. That bank or service then sends the exchanged amount to the bank account of your recipient or a location where they’ll be picking up your cash.

How much will a money transfer cost?

There are two ways that a provider makes money on your transfer. The obvious one is the transaction fee. But the sneakier one is what your bank or transfer service marks up on the exchange rate.

 Fees

Most providers either charge a set fee or a percentage of your transaction.

Keep an eye out for special deals.

For example, OFX has discounted exchange rates exclusive to finder.com customers.

Keep in mind that a lower fee doesn’t necessarily translate to the biggest savings. A lower fee might be accompanied by a poor exchange rate, negating any savings from the low fee.

 Exchange Rate

Most transfer services will advertise the real exchange rate, or “mid-market rate” — the mid-point between the buy and sell prices of two currencies on the global market.

But when it comes time to make your transfer, you’ll notice you almost never get this rate. The provider will mark the exchange rate up — and pocket the difference. Using a provider with flat or £0 fees, plus a competitive exchange rate, could save you hundreds on your transaction.

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Suresh Sends Money to India

Manjumping

Suresh immigrated to the UK from India as a young boy more than 15 years ago, but he still maintains a close relationship with his grandparents in Mumbai. Whenever circumstances require it, Suresh sends his grandparents a one-off transfer of funds to help them meet unexpected expenses that may arise.

When his grandfather must pay a sizable insurance excess following a car accident, Suresh promises to transfer him £1,000. Because his grandfather needs the funds urgently, Suresh decides to send a cash pickup transfer from his nearest MoneyGram agent.

Bank transferMoney transfer service
Exchange rate1GBP = 100.565913 INR
Transfer fee£15.99
Total cost of transaction£1015.99
Amount Suresh’s grandfather receives100,565.91 INR

The funds are available for Suresh’s grandfather to collect within 10 minutes from his closest MoneyGram location in Mumbai.

Business or personal?

Consider the purpose of your transfer. Are you sending money to friends and family overseas, or are you a business looking to pay for goods and services, potentially regularly? For business owners, time is our greatest commodity. Without time to research our options, we often end up going with our bank. But a little planning can set you up for significant savings on your transfers.

If you send transfers of £1,000 every week, you could save £17.50 each time. That’s a savings of £875 a year simply by choosing a competitive independent service over your bank.

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Can I send money overseas instantly?

Most online money transfer services allow you to send and receive almost instantly. It’s transferring the money from the service into your bank account that might take a few days. Bank-to-bank transfers also take a few days to clear.

If you need to send a same-day or emergency transfer, most of the services allowing you to send and receive cash will allow your recipient to pick up their funds quickly, often within an hour.

How to safely make a same day money transfer to a friend or family member.

Larger payment networks allow for nearly instant transfers with cash pickup:

  • Want to save both money and a bit of time? Compare services to get the cheapest rates.

How do I compare international money transfer services?

exchange rates icon

Exchange rates

This is the rate at which your money will be converted to your target currency. Some transfer services offer lower fees but weaker exchange rates, while others charge no fees but profit from the margin between its rate and the mid-market rate. Compare the total cost of your transfer to make sure you’re getting the best deal.


Money transfer fees icon

Fees

Your bank or transfer service will usually charge fees for making a transfer. Fees can vary widely depending on who you’re transferring with. Generally, fees come in the form of a flat fee (such as £5 for transfers up to £5,000) or a percentage fee of your transaction (such as 1% of your transfer amount).


Money transfer options icon

Transfer options

Independent transfer services like OFX and World First offer competitive exchange rates and fees. If you want to send and receive cash right away, compare options like Ria, MoneyGram and Western Union. Bank-to-bank transfers are safe and convenient but typically not your cheapest or fastest option.


Money transfer coin stack icon

Amounts

The best method for sending might depend on how much you want to send. If making a transfer of five figures or more, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the best exchange rate — especially since providers encourage large transfers by offering low fees. If you’re sending a small amount to friends or family, it’s wise to also consider any fees you’ll pay on top of the exchange rate.


Money transfer frequency icon

Frequency & Purpose

Sending a one-time transfer differs from sending regular transfers, whether to pay for bills like an overseas mortgage payment or for goods and services. With a one-time transfer, you may put more weight on speed and flexibility in delivery, such as cash pickup. But if you’re sending recurring payments, you’ll want to set up regular transfers that can save you the most on rates and fees over the long term.


Money transfer speed icon

Speed

Sometimes you or a loved one is in an emergency and needs funds quickly — and in cash. Thankfully there are global money transfer providers with tons of agent locations that allow you to pay and pick up in cash, often within minutes. If you have a little more time, however, consider an independent transfer provider that can get you much lower fees and stronger exchange rates.


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What currencies can I send overseas?

The currencies available for you to send overseas can vary substantially depending on the company you choose to manage your transaction. Some services may only offer transfers in a selection of up to a dozen major currencies, while others will allow you to send transfers in up to 50 or even more currencies.

Commonly traded currencies include:

Don’t see your country listed?

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Get the best rate for your exchange

We’ve gathered today’s best rates to inform your foreign exchange decisions.

Refreshing in: 60s | Wed, 26 Apr 09:53pm GMT
USD AUD CAD EUR CNY GBP INR MXN PHP
1 USD = 1.0000 1.3358 Inverse: 0.7486 1.3587 Inverse: 0.7360 0.9178 Inverse: 1.0896 6.8904 Inverse: 0.1451 0.7795 Inverse: 1.2828 64.1700 Inverse: 0.0156 18.9553 Inverse: 0.0528 49.7702 Inverse: 0.0201
1 AUD = 0.7486 Inverse: 1.3358 1.0000 1.0172 Inverse: 0.9831 0.6871 Inverse: 1.4554 5.1583 Inverse: 0.1939 0.5836 Inverse: 1.7136 48.0387 Inverse: 0.0208 14.1902 Inverse: 0.0705 37.2588 Inverse: 0.0268
1 EUR = 1.0896 Inverse: 0.9178 1.4554 Inverse: 0.6871 1.4804 Inverse: 0.6755 1.0000 7.5075 Inverse: 0.1332 0.8494 Inverse: 1.1774 69.9172 Inverse: 0.0143 20.6530 Inverse: 0.0484 54.2277 Inverse: 0.0184
1 GBP = 1.2828 Inverse: 0.7795 1.7136 Inverse: 0.5836 1.7430 Inverse: 0.5737 1.1774 Inverse: 0.8494 8.8391 Inverse: 0.1131 1.0000 82.3178 Inverse: 0.0121 24.3160 Inverse: 0.0411 63.8457 Inverse: 0.0157

Tips for saving on your international transfer

There’s no one best way to transfer funds overseas. It depends on how much you’re sending, how soon you need it to be made available and the exchange rates at the time. But below are a few tips you can use when sending money overseas.

          • Know your transfer currency’s mid-market rate. This rate is the midpoint between worldwide supply and demand for that currency — and the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves. Use it as a baseline to compare against the rates you’re being offered. The company that’s closest is offering you the best rate.
          • Send more money per transfer. Many services discount the fees or waive them altogether when you send larger transfers. HiFX, for example, waives fees for all transfers above £3000. Sending less comes with a flat £9 fee.
          • Use forward contracts and limit orders if sending money regularly. A forward contract allows you to lock in a favourable exchange rate for future transfers. This means you avoid unpredictable movements in exchange rates. A limit order allows you to wait until a favourable exchange rate is found and then locks it in for your transfer.
          • Send same-currency transfers. It can sometimes be cheaper to transfer US dollars to your recipient, allowing them to transfer the dollars into their own currency when received. Depending on the situation, your recipient could pay lower fees overall.

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What are the best international money transfer services?

These are the best services for:

Here’s our list of providers that can help you send or receive a money transfer in the best way for your needs.

Security-icon

Most Secure

HiFX

Cash-pickup-icon

Lowest minimum

TransferWise

large-stack-cash-icon

In large amounts

OFX (Formerly UKForex)

exchange-rate-icon

Best rate

TransferWise

coin-in-hand-icon

Lowest fees

World First

How important is the exchange rate?

A solid exchange rate is crucial. When it comes to larger amounts, even two cents in your favour can save — or cost you — hundreds of dollars.

If you have the luxury of time, you may be able to take advantage of a limit order. A limit order allows you to set a target exchange rate with a service or broker, which monitors the markets 24/7 to ensure you don’t miss that target. Once rates meet your what you’re looking for, you give the OK to complete the transfer. Services like OFX offer limit orders for transfers of £20,000 and more.

When a few pence totals hundreds

How important is the exchange rate? Say you need to get 500,000 euros to a broker in Spain for a down payment on a pied-à-terre.

The mid-market rate for pounds to euros (on 1 March 2017) is 1 GBP = 1.17 EUR. You’re happy to find two online services that are pretty close to the mid-market rate — one is offering 1.16 for your pound and the other 1.15. But to be sure, you crunch the numbers.

Service AService B
Exchange rate1 GBP = 1.16 EUR1 GBP = 1.15 EUR
Inverse exchange rate1 EUR = 0.86 GBP1 EUR = 0.87 GBP
500,000 euros in pounds£430,000£435,000

Finding the inverse rate, you learn that the exchange rates are a mere 1p difference. Yet, when applying these rates to 500,000 euros, you’d lose £5000 to the first money transfer service on the exchange rate alone. That’s a lot of rioja you could be sipping in Madrid.

How do I find the inverse exchange rate?

The world of finance can feel hopelessly complicated. But it’s easy to find the inverse exchange rate for your currency. If you think of an exchange rate as A = B, you’d simply divide the number 1 by B: 1/B

Take 1 GBP = 1.17 EUR. To find how much 1 euro is worth in pounds using this same exchange rate, divide 1 by 1.17: 1/1.17 = 0.85. With this exchange rate, 1 euro is worth £0.85.

Compare minimum and maximum transfer limits

Minimum and maximum transfer limits often apply and vary among companies and currencies.

ProviderMinimum transfer amountMaximum transfer amount
OFX£100No limit
HiFX£50Online: £300,000
Larger amounts available via account manager
World First£1000No limit
Travelex International Payments£300No limit
TorFX£50No limit
Western Union£1Online: £800 for first year, £4000 after.
Higher limit otherwise, depending on sending and receiving countries
TransferWise£1Depends on currency
PayPal£0.01Undefined – contact PayPal for this information
MoneyGramUndefined – contact MoneyGram for this informationOnline: £649.99
£5000 otherwise
RIAInformation unavailable – contact Ria if needed

Understand transfer limits:

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How to avoid a money transfer scam

You’ve undoubtedly heard about somebody who’s fallen prey to a money transfer scam. Scammers are becoming more sophisticated, using increasingly elaborate plans in an effort to separate you from your money.

Common scams to look out for include:

  • Advance fee scams. Maybe you’re notified you’ve won a prize or the lottery, but you need to first pay a fee to receive it. Perhaps you’re “approved” for a loan but must wire a down payment. In both cases, you’re probably dealing with a scammer.
  • Bogus check scams. You may have gotten a reply to your online auction with a check that’s for more than your item — all you need to do is wire back the difference. The check is likely fake, leaving you on the hook for both the money you wire and a bounced check fee from your bank.
  • Wire payments only scams. If anybody online says you can pay only with a wire transfer, find another retailer to do your business with.
  • Phishing scams. Be wary of unsolicited emails or calls asking you to resend or confirm personal information or passwords. Instead, take down the name of the company and contact them directly with questions.

If you suspect you might be the victim of a scam, contact the FCA.

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Enter your details to speak to a foreign exchange expert

By submitting this form, you agree to finder.com privacy policy
Ofx Logo

Save money on your personal or business international money transfer today. Fill in the form and you’ll be contacted by a foreign exchange expert to have an obligation-free discussion about your options.

With over 17 years of foreign exchange expertise and over $100 billion transferred, OFX can help with all your currency exchange needs, including:

  • Buying property abroad
  • Emigrating
  • Regular overseas payments
  • Risk management
  • Forecasting

Common questions about money transfers

How can I track the progress of my money transfer?

Most services will give you a tracking number or ID that you can use to check the status of your transfer. In many cases, your recipient will also receive one so they can check.

What’s the maximum amount I can send overseas?

The maximum you can send depends on both the transfer service you use and the type of transfer you’re making.

Compare minimum transfer amounts.

What’s the minimum amount I can send overseas?

The minimum you can send depends on the service you use. World First has a slightly higher minimum of £1000, while others such as TransferWise let you send as little as £1.

PayPal’s services are optimal for small transactions. Some forex providers also waive transfer fees when you send above a certain amount per transaction. This amount varies between providers.

Compare minimum transfer amounts.

Why can’t I send money to a particular country with my selected transfer service?

This could be for a few reasons — including whether the country is currently under economic sanctions (such as Iran) or your transfer service hasn’t yet built the facilities and networks needed to send money to a particular country. See the countries you can send money to on our individual review pages.

How long does money take to arrive?

The quickest money transfers will arrive instantly depending on the specific service you use and where you’re sending the money to. Western Union can have funds to your recipient almost instantly. MoneyGram, on the other hand, can send funds to China that are available in as little as an hour, but funds are available the next business day when sent to France.

Other services like OFX can take longer than quicker cash services like MoneyGram and Western Union. Sending money to Australia using OFX takes at least a day, whereas countries like Canada can take one to three days.

Is there such a thing as a free international money transfer?

Yes, a number of providers have fee-free thresholds for international money transfers. For example, HiFX charges no fee for transfers of £3,000 or more, while Halo Financial charges no fee for transfers of £5,000 or more. Keep in mind that even if a service is free, you’ll likely pay through a margin applied to the exchange rate.

Can I send money to someone using PayPal?

Yes, PayPal is a popular way to make international payments. Both the sender and the receiver need an active PayPal account. Once the funds are received, the money then needs to be transferred to a bank account to be withdrawn. PayPal international transfer fees vary according to the method of payment. Using a credit card to credit a PayPal account with money is more expensive than transferring the money from a bank account. The fee is a percentage of the total transfer amount.

Are international money transfers safe?

Yes. It’s industry standard for international money services to use 128-bit SSL encryption systems at a minimum. Many also are licensed with UK financial regulators.

Can I send the same currency overseas?

Yes, it’s possible to send the same currency overseas. One option is to buy funds in a foreign currency when you start the transfer. In this case, you’ll be charged a currency conversion fee. Another option is to deposit funds into a multicurrency account. Exchange rates may be as competitive using this method, and you may pay fees when making a deposit. The fees and charges could outweigh the cost of converting the money and sending it in your local currency.

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7 Responses to Compare FX rates & fees of international money transfer services

  1. Default Gravatar
    Peter | February 20, 2017

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

    • Staff
      millie | March 1, 2017

      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
    Peter | February 20, 2017

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

    • Staff
      millie | March 1, 2017

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

    • Staff
      Jon | March 1, 2017

      I’m afraid we are a comparison site and therefore I recommend that you contact your bank directly.

  3. Default Gravatar
    Simon | February 2, 2017

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

    • Staff
      Jon | February 2, 2017

      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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