Find the best way to send money to the US

Learn how to send money to the US 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 the United States (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 USD exchange rates and lower fees, so for the same amount of pounds you send, your recipient will receive more US dollars.

Of the companies we've compared, PassTo is among the cheapest, with competitive exchange rates and fees starting from £1.40. Need a really fast transfer? CurrencyFair can get money to your recipient in the United States within minutes.

Best ways to send money to the US from the UK

The best way to send money to the United States 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 US dollars 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 the United States 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 the United States.
  • 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 the US

Use our table to compare the best money transfer companies to send money to the United States. 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 the United States.
1 - 9 of 9
£
Name Product Finder score Fastest transfer Fee Key benefits Amount received
DISCOUNT
PassTo
4.0
★★★★★
Within minutes
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.
N/A
OFFER
Atlantic Money
Not rated yet
Within minutes
£3
Pay no fees on your first Atlantic Money transaction with this link.
$3,203.60
OFFER
CurrencyFair
3.5
★★★★★
Within minutes
£3.19
New customers get unlimited fee-free transfers for their first 3 months. T&Cs apply.
$3,189.01
OFFER
WorldRemit
3.5
★★★★★
Within minutes
£2.99
Use promo code 3FREE and pay no fees on your first 3 transfers. Conditions apply.
$3,167.50
OFFER
TorFX
4.5
★★★★★
Within minutes
£0
Get a £50 Amazon voucher for each friend you refer who transfers £5,000 or more. T&Cs apply.
$3,158.18
OFFER
Wise (TransferWise)
4.0
★★★★★
Within minutes
£0.26
Refer 3 friends to receive up to £50 referral bonus
N/A
OFX
4.5
★★★★★
24 hours
£0
$3,194.99
OFFER
Currencies Direct
4.0
★★★★★
24 hours
£0
Get a £50 Amazon voucher for each friend you refer who transfers £5,000 or more. T&Cs apply.
$3,166.91
Lloyds Bank International Transfers
Not rated yet
24 hours
£9.5
$3,085.72
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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 the US

Bank transfers are typically the cheapest way to get your money to the United States. PassTo and WorldRemit 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 the United States, 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/USD 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 US dollars your recipient will end up with.

Fastest way to send money to the US

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

Here are some of the fastest average transfer speeds to the United States:
  • CurrencyFair — within minutes
  • Atlantic Money — within minutes
  • PassTo — within minutes

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

Safest way to send money to the US

The safest way to get your money to the United States 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 the United States.

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 the US

If you need to make a sizable money transfer to the United States, 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 the United States 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 USD 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 Wise (TransferWise) and Atlantic Money can give you support over the phone.

How to send money to the US from the UK

To send money to the United States, 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 the United States. 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 American 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 US dollars your recipient gets.
  5. Complete your transfer.
    Send your money transfer to the United States. Keep your transaction reference number safe so you can track your transfer. Your recipient may need it too.
  6. Example: Robert sends money to the United States

    Robert is working in the United Kingdom as a doctor and he stays in regular contact with his elderly parents back home in the United States. His parents need some funds to help pay off a mortgage, so Robert 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 = 1.22 USD 1 GBP = 1.24 USD
    Transfer fee £10 £2.50
    Transfer method Bank account deposit Bank account deposit
    Processing time 2 - 5 working days Next day
    Amount received 2,433.34 USD 2,474.85 USD

    The money transfer company enables Robert to send an extra $41.51, which is transferred straight to his parents' Wells Fargo account.

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

    When choosing a money transfer provider to send money from the United Kingdom to the United States, 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 USD 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 the United States for a flat or low fee might work out better if you plan to send a large amount.
    • Transfer type. Does your recipient have an American 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 the United States 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 CurrencyFair allows transfers up to £10,000,000.
    • 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 US dollars.

    Is this a good time to send money to the US?

    Compared to a month ago, the pound is weaker against the US dollar. Currently £5,000 is equivalent to $6,226.00, whereas a month ago, £5,000 was equivalent to $6,398.50. That's a decrease of 2.7% over the past month.

    Similarly, compared to a year ago, the pound is again a little weaker against the US dollar. A year ago, £5,000 was equivalent to $6,242.50. That's a decrease of 0.26% over 12 months.

    What's more important, however, is where the strength of the pound against the US dollar goes from here – which is harder to call. Based on those two quick glances back, your pounds might not go as far as they would have, so shopping around for the best deal on your transfer is key.

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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.

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    2 Responses

      Default Gravatar
      JohnAugust 24, 2019

      I have inherited 50,000 pounds sterling in the UK. How much will I receive in USA at today’s bank rate of 1 pound sterling = $ 1.22, using the least expensive service available?

        AvatarFinder
        JeniAugust 25, 2019Finder

        Hi John,

        Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

        I’m afraid that we wouldn’t be able to provide the accurate even the estimate amount you might receive if it’s via bank transfer as banks have their own exchange rate as well as fees on processing money transfer. It is recommended to seek further info from the bank that will process the money transfer for you.

        I hope this helps.

        Thank you and have a wonderful day!

        Cheers,
        Jeni

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