How to pay bills in another country with an international money transfer

Do you need to send an international money transfer to pay an overseas bill? Here’s how you can shop around for the best exchange rate and lowest fees on your international payments.

Updated

Fact checked
Promoted

XE Money Transfers

XE Money Transfers logo
  • Send money to 130+ countries
  • Competitive exchange rates that are often better than banks
  • XE doesn’t charge any transaction fees, commissions or ongoing fees
Go to site

Countries all around the world are better connected today than they ever have been before. As our technology continues to bring previously far-flung countries closer together, the reasons why we need to send money overseas are always increasing. If you rent a property overseas, buy goods or services internationally, or are studying abroad, you’ll need to find a safe and cost-effective way to pay overseas bills.

Compare international money transfers

Table: 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 1 2 days GBP 20.00 1.124 EUR
5,598
TransferWise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies. Go to site Show details
GBP 2,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.113 EUR
5,565
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000. Go to site Show details
GBP 1,000 Same day GBP 0.00 1.113 EUR
5,565
SpartanFX has fee-free transfers, a best exchange rate guarantee and personalised one-to-one support for every customer. Go to site Show details
GBP 2,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.113 EUR
5,565
CurrenciesDirect makes transferring money abroad simple with bank-beating exchange rates. Go to site Show details
GBP 5,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.118 EUR
5,590
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace. Go to site Show details
GBP 2,500 Same day GBP 0.00 1.113 EUR
5,565
CentralFX's dedicated team will guide you or your business from first call to final payment. Go to site Show details
GBP 1 Same day GBP 0.00 1.118 EUR
5,591
XE has fast transfers with no fees and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
GBP 10 Within an hour GBP 1.99 1.11 EUR
5,545
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.
Go to site Show details
GBP 5 2 days EUR 3.00 1.119 EUR
5,593
Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details
GBP 10 Within an hour GBP 2.00 1.118 EUR
5,589
First two transfers free for new customers.
Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries.
Go to site Show details
GBP 50 Same day GBP 2.99 1.113 EUR
5,561
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
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.
Back to top

With a growing number of international money transfer providers to choose from, you have more transfer options at your disposal than ever before. You just need to compare a range of companies to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees.

How does paying overseas bills work?

To pay an overseas bill, you’ll first need to choose an international money transfer provider. You could choose your bank to handle the transaction, but you’d need to be willing to settle for high fees and pretty dismal exchange rates if you take this route.

The next option is to use a specialist online transfer service such as Currency Fair or FairFX. These reputable providers are based solely online and can provide secure transfers from your bank account to overseas bank accounts. They can also usually offer better exchange rates and lower fees than the banks, saving you a substantial amount of money.

Another option is to use a money transfer provider that offers a cash pickup option, such as Western Union or MoneyGram. Your recipient can then pick up the funds from the Western Union or MoneyGram location closest to them, often just a few minutes after you pay for your transfer. Other options for sending money overseas include banker’s drafts and PayPal.

The process of sending a transfer is simple. You may have to sign up for a free account with a transfer company before you can then provide details of how much money you’re sending, where to and in what currency. You can then pay for the transaction (including a transfer fee), and the provider will convert the Pounds you wish to send into the currency at your destination – for example US Dollars or Indian Rupees. The funds will then be send to your beneficiary’s bank account or made available for cash collection.

Back to top

Why might I need to pay an overseas bill?

You may need to pay an overseas bill for the following reasons:

  • You are renting a property overseas
  • You are paying off an overseas loan
  • You need to pay school or university tuition fees to an overseas educational institution
  • You need to pay a utilities bill
  • You are a business owner and you need to pay an international supplier
  • You may need to pay overseas staff members
Back to top

What questions should I ask when comparing services?

Compare the following features of international money transfer providers to find one that meets all your transfer requirements:

  • How high are their exchange rates? Does the company regularly offer exchange rates in line with or better than the competition? How much can you save by sending a transfer with one company versus another? Do those companies with better exchange rates also charge higher fees?
  • How high are their transfer fees? You need to make sure you’re aware of all the fees and charges that apply to a transaction for you and your recipient.
  • Can you avoid paying a transfer fee by sending a larger amount? Some companies offer more cost-effective transfers when you send larger amounts of money.
  • Are there flexible transfer options available? Can you place a limit order (your transfer is only sent if the exchange rate you want to receive becomes available) or forward contract (secure an exchange rate today for a future transfer)?
  • Can you set up regular payments? Instead of entering all your transfer details every time you need to pay a bill, can you save time by setting up a recurring transfer? How big is the fee you’ll have to pay to do so?
  • How do you lodge transfers? Can you only place a transfer online or will you need to visit a branch? Are phone transfers available as well?
  • How will your beneficiary receive the funds? Will the provider send the money directly to your recipient’s bank account or will they need to visit a transfer agent to collect the cash?
  • How long will the money take to arrive? While some companies offer transfers within minutes to certain destinations, in other cases you will need to wait several business days.
  • Which currencies are supported? Does the provider allow you to pay an overseas bill in the currency you need to send?
  • How can you access customer support? Can you access customer support over the phone, via email and/or online? It’s also worth checking the hours when this support is available.
Back to top

What are the pros and cons of paying bills overseas using an international money transfer?

Pros

  • Manage international payments. Never miss a bill payment and get out of debt quicker by sending safe and secure international transfers.
  • Save money. You don’t have to send an international money transfer through your bank – there are plenty of options available that offer better exchange rates and lower fees.
  • Plenty of choice. The international money transfer business is quite a competitive sector, so shopping around for a better deal can save you a lot of money.

Cons

  • Fees usually apply. In the majority of cases you will need to be willing to pay a transfer fee when sending money overseas.

Frequently asked questions

More guides on Finder

  • How to invest in the Tokyo Stock Exchange from the UK

    Find out the cheapest way to buy shares on Asia’s largest stock exchange.

  • How to invest in the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) from the UK

    Here’s the cheapest and easiest ways to invest in the world’s 4th-largest stock exchange.

  • Business bank accounts for non-UK residents

    We’ve put together some tips and information on how to open a business bank account in the UK as a non-resident.

  • Business bank accounts for contractors

    Contractors usually need a business bank account, so we’ve put together a guide on how to find one that works for you.

  • How to improve your business’ cash flow

    Cash flow can be hard to deal with, but the right business practices can make it easier to keep your company’s finances in good health throughout the year.

  • Bank accounts for charities

    Opening a bank account is one of the very first things you need to do when setting up a charity. Here we look at how to go about finding the right account, from comparing different options to saving on fees.

  • Types of bank accounts

    Should you get a current account, a savings account, or both? What about joint accounts and premium accounts? Banking can be messy if you don’t know the jargon. This guide looks at the main types of bank accounts and what services they offer to help you figure out what you need exactly.

  • Online business accounts

    Opening a business bank account can seem like a stressful process, but in fact there are now a number of banks and providers that will let you do it quickly and easily online. Here’s where to look and what to expect.

  • Premium bank accounts

    Premium bank accounts offer additional perks for people who hold significant sums with the bank providing them, and can be good value for money. We take a look at how they work, what features they offer and what the eligibility criteria can look like.

  • How to invest in a falling market

    Find out 5 key ways to invest in a falling or “bear” market. Paid content.

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site