Find the best way to send money to China

Learn how to send money to China from the UK in our step-by-step guide.

Looking for the best way to send money from the United Kingdom to family, friends or businesses in China (or even to your own overseas bank account)?

Don't head straight to your British bank – compare specialist money transfer services instead. They nearly always offer better CNY exchange rates and lower fees, so for the same amount of pounds you send, your recipient will receive more Yuan renminbis.

Of the companies we've compared, OFX is among the cheapest, with competitive exchange rates and fees starting from £0. Need a really fast transfer? CurrencyFair can get money to your recipient in China within minutes.

Best ways to send money to China from the UK

The best way to send money to China depends on your payment method, how you want your money to be received and how fast you need it to arrive.
  • Online money transfer provider. When buying pounds or Yuan renminbis money transfer specialists typically offer better rates and cheaper fees than a local bank.
  • Bank transfer. Bank transfers are an easy way to send money to China but they charge extra for the convenience and are often slower than other methods. UK banks generally add a 3% to 6% markup onto exchange rates.
  • Cash pickup. If you need your money to arrive fast, cash pickup gives your recipient instant access to the money you've sent when they collect it from their agent location in China.
  • Mobile wallet. Essentially an electronic wallet service, mobile wallets allow users to store, send and receive eligible currencies using their phone, often with fees attached.
  • Prepaid phone credit. Specifically used to top up a recipient's prepaid mobile phone plan, prepaid phone credit is usually added instantly or within a few minutes.
  • Home delivery. If your recipient may struggle to get to a cash pickup location, you may be able to opt for door-to-door cash delivery.

Compare the best money transfer companies to send money to China

Use our table to compare the best money transfer companies to send money to China. You can compare deposit and receiving options, fees and transfer speeds, then click the "Go to site" button when you've found the best one to get your money to China.
1 - 17 of 17
Name Product Filter values Finder score Pay by Receiving options Fastest transfer Fee (pay by bank transfer) Key benefits
OFFER
TorFX
4.5
★★★★★
Debit card, Bank transfer
Bank account
Within minutes
£0
Get a £50 Amazon voucher for each friend you refer who transfers £5,000 or more. T&Cs apply.
OFFER
Wise (TransferWise)
4.0
★★★★★
Credit card, Debit card, Bank transfer
Bank account, Alipay (China only)
Within minutes
From 0.41%
Refer 3 friends to receive up to £50 referral bonus
DISCOUNT
PassTo
4.0
★★★★★
Credit card, Debit card, Bank transfer
Cash pickup location, Bank account, Mobile wallet
Within minutes
From £1.40
No fees on your first transfer. Refer 3 friends to PassTo and earn £50 once they each make a transfer of at least £200. They'll earn £5 too. T&Cs apply.
Remitly
4.0
★★★★★
Credit card, Debit card, Bank transfer
Cash pickup location, Bank account, Mobile wallet, Home delivery
Within minutes
From £0
OFFER
WorldRemit
3.5
★★★★★
Credit card, Debit card, Bank transfer, Apple Pay
Cash pickup location, Bank account, Mobile wallet, Home delivery, Prepaid phone credit
Within minutes
From £1.99
Use promo code 3FREE and pay no fees on your first 3 transfers. Conditions apply.
OFFER
CurrencyFair
3.5
★★★★★
Bank transfer
Bank account
Within minutes
€3
New customers get unlimited fee-free transfers for their first 3 months. T&Cs apply.
CurrencyTransfer
Not rated yet
Bank transfer
Bank account
24 hours
£0
OFFER
Currencies Direct
4.0
★★★★★
Debit card, Bank transfer
Bank account
24 hours
£0
Get a £50 Amazon voucher for each friend you refer who transfers £5,000 or more. T&Cs apply.
TorFX Business
4.5
★★★★★
Debit card, Bank transfer
Bank account
Within minutes
£0
OFX
4.5
★★★★★
Credit card, Debit card, Bank transfer
Bank account
24 hours
£0
Western Union
3.0
★★★★★
Cash, Credit card, Debit card, Bank transfer
Cash pickup location, Bank account, Mobile wallet
Within minutes
From £0
OFX
4.5
★★★★★
Credit card, Debit card, Bank transfer
Bank account
24 hours
£0
CurrencyTransfer Business
Not rated yet
Bank transfer
Bank account
24 hours
£0
Xe Business
Not rated yet
Bank transfer
Bank account
24 hours
£0
Special offer: £25 Amazon voucher when you refer a friend
OFX Business
Not rated yet
Credit card, Debit card, Bank transfer
Bank account
24 hours
£0
Currencies Direct Business
4.0
★★★★★
Debit card, Bank transfer
Bank account
24 hours
£0
CurrencyFair Business
Not rated yet
Bank transfer
Bank account
Within minutes
€3
Zero fees on your first 10 transfers. T&Cs apply.
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Please note: You should always refer to quotes you receive from transfer services themselves directly for exact amounts as they may vary from our estimates.

Cheapest way to send money to China

Bank transfers are typically the cheapest way to get your money to China. OFX and Remitly have some of the lowest bank transfer fees of the brands we've compared.

When you're hunting down the cheapest ways to send money to China, it's more important to look at the overall cost of your transfer. This has a couple of elements:

  • Transfer fees. While still cheaper than your British bank, some money transfer services charge either a fixed or percentage-based fee for making your transfer.
  • Exchange rates. Another way money transfer providers make money is to add a margin to the mid-market GBP/CNY exchange rate.

Some providers may charge the mid-market rate but add fees on top. Others may have very low fees but apply a markup on the exchange rate. This means it is important to compare exactly how many Yuan renminbis your recipient will end up with.

Fastest way to send money to China

Many online providers can offer transfers to China within minutes, although you're likely to pay a premium for the convenience.

Here are some of the fastest average transfer speeds to China:
  • CurrencyFair — within minutes
  • PassTo — within minutes
  • Remitly — within minutes

Actual transfer times from the United Kingdom to China can depend on several different factors including transfer amount, payment method and currency.

Safest way to send money to China

The safest way to get your money to China is to use a provider registered with the United Kingdom's industry regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). All of the companies we've compared in our table are overseen by a local regulator and comply with the relevant laws and regulations in both the United Kingdom and China.

A great way to dive deeper is by reading our extended reviews of each transfer service and researching first-hand customer feedback on Trustpilot and similar platforms.

Large money transfers to China

If you need to make a sizable money transfer to China, consider using a provider such as Wise (TransferWise) or TorFX to benefit from its expertise in handling larger transfer amounts.

Using a large transfer specialist can have the following advantages:
  • Tax guidance. Large transfers to China may have tax implications for you or your recipient. A transfer specialist can help get you up to speed on HMRC's latest advice.
  • Foreign exchange (forex) tools. Advanced tools such as forward contracts, limit orders and stop-loss orders can help you lock in the CNY exchange rate you want.
  • Account manager. Some money transfer providers assign a personal account manager who can help and advise you on your transfer needs.
  • Phone service. If you want to talk your transfer through with someone, providers such as CurrencyTransfer Business and Wise (TransferWise) can give you support over the phone.

How to send money to China from the UK

To send money to China, you'll need the necessary documentation, your recipient's details and a way to pay.

  1. Compare your options.
    Use our table to find a money transfer provider that sends funds to China. One may be better for cash pickups while another may suit a bank transfer. Once you've found the best one for your requirements, click "Go to site".
  2. Create an account.
    You'll need to give your name, address, contact details, proof of ID and method of payment.
  3. Provide your recipient's details.
    Enter your recipient's name and contact information. If you're sending straight to their Chinese bank account, you'll need the account number, SWIFT or IBAN plus their bank branch's address.
  4. Enter your transfer amount.
    Check you're happy with the fees, exchange rates and transfer speed, then enter the amount you wish to send. Double-check the total Yuan renminbis your recipient gets.
  5. Complete your transfer.
    Send your money transfer to China. Keep your transaction reference number safe so you can track your transfer. Your recipient may need it too.
  6. Example: Wang sends money to China

    Wang is working in the United Kingdom as a financial analyst and he stays in regular contact with his elderly parents back home in China. His parents need some funds to help pay off a mortgage, so Wang plans to send them £2,000 from the United Kingdom.

    He decides to compare a bank and a money transfer specialist to see which one can save the most money on his transaction.

    Bank Money transfer company
    Exchange rate 1 GBP = 8.85 CNY 1 GBP = 8.97 CNY
    Transfer fee £10 £2.50
    Transfer method Bank account deposit Bank account deposit
    Processing time 2 - 5 working days Next day
    Amount received 17,616.35 CNY 17,916.83 CNY

    The money transfer company enables Wang to send an extra ¥300.48, which is transferred straight to his parents' Bank of China account.

    How to choose the best money transfer companies to send money to China

    When choosing a money transfer provider to send money from the United Kingdom to China, it's important to consider the cost, how you want your recipient to receive the funds and the turnaround time. Here are other features to review:

    • Exchange rates. Banks and transfer services use the mid-market rate to trade with one another. It is the best rate you can get. However, not all money transfer providers offer you this mid-market rate so compare the CNY you're offered to the mid-market rate and look for the smallest difference.
    • Transfer fees. Are you being charged a flat fee or a percentage of your transfer amount? For example, a provider offering to transfer your money to China for a flat or low fee might work out better if you plan to send a large amount.
    • Transfer type. Does your recipient have a Chinese bank account or is cash or cell phone top-up a better option? Each transfer type will have different fees. For example, instant cash pickups tend to be more expensive than bank transfers.
    • Transfer speed. If you need your transfer to arrive quickly, you can pay for an express delivery. Companies such as WorldRemit offer instant cash pickups but may charge more. If you're not in a rush, online money transfer services offer the best value and get your money to China faster and cheaper than banks.
    • Transfer limits. Find out how much you can send with each service. For example, PassTo has a transfer limit of £5,000 while OFX allows unlimited transfers.
    • Discounts. Some providers may offer you a free transfer simply for signing up. Others may offer a discount if you transfer more than a specific amount of Yuan renminbis.

    Is this a good time to send money to China?

    Compared to a month ago, the pound is weaker against the Yuan renminbi. Currently £5,000 is equivalent to ¥45,073.50, whereas a month ago, £5,000 was equivalent to ¥45,832.00. That's a decrease of 1.65% over the past month.

    But compared to a year ago, the pound is stronger against the Yuan renminbi. A year ago, £5,000 was equivalent to ¥42,614.00. That's an increase of 5.77% over 12 months.

    What's more important, however, is where the strength of the pound against the Yuan renminbi goes from here – which is harder to call. But whichever way it goes, shopping around has the potential to get you more Yuan renminbis for your pounds and can help you get the best out of any market conditions.

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    Frequently asked questions

    We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables is provided by Moneyfacts.

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