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.

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XE Money Transfer

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  • 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
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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

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Our table below lets you compare services you can use to send money abroad. Compare fees, exchange rates and discounts from different money transfer services, and when you have made your choice, click Go to site.
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
Wise (TransferWise)
4 hours
From £3.75

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Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
TorFX
24 hours
£0

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TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Central FX
24 hours
£0

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Finder exclusive: New and existing customers through Finder pay zero fees. Valid till 31 January 2022. T&Cs apply.
Central FX's dedicated team will guide you or your business from first call to final payment.
Currencies Direct
24 hours
£0

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CurrenciesDirect makes transferring money abroad simple with bank-beating exchange rates.
CurrencyTransfer
24 hours
£0

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CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
XE Money Transfer
Within minutes
£2
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ £25 Amazon voucher when you refer a friend

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XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Wise (TransferWise)
4 hours
From £3.75

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Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
CurrencyFair
24 hours
€3

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Special offer: New customers get unlimited fee-free transfers for their first 3 months. T&Cs apply.
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Azimo
Within minutes
From £0.99
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ First two transfers free for new customers.

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Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries.
Remitly
Within minutes
From £1.49
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Free transfers and better exchange rates for new customers

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Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
WorldRemit
Within minutes
From £1.99
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.

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Use code Take10GB to get £10 off when you spend £20. Valid till 31 January 2022. T&Cs apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
VertoFX Business
24 hours
£0

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Special offer: New customers get $100 trade credit after their first transaction. T&Cs apply.
VertoFX sends money via bank transfer at competitive rates and fees in 35+ currencies.
Wise (TransferWise) Business
2 days
From £3.75

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Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
TorFX Business
24 hours
£0

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TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Currencies Direct Business
24 hours
£0
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ https://www.currenciesdirect.com/en/info/refer-a-friend

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CurrenciesDirect makes transferring money abroad simple with bank-beating exchange rates.
CurrencyFair Business
24 hours
€3

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Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
WorldFirst Business
24 hours
£0

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WorldFirst sends 60+ currencies at competitive rates with no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
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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.

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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
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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.
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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

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