Send money to China: Best money transfer services | Finder UK

Send money to China

Secure, low-cost ways to transfer funds to China.

The best way to send money to China comes down to your specific needs. A specialised money transfer company will offer more competitive exchange rates than a traditional bank, but which company is best for you depends on how much you’re sending and how quickly you need it to arrive.

Compare services that send money to China from the UK

Table: sorted by promoted deals first
Our table below lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Choose if you want to send under or over £10,000, and you’ll be shown a list of services that can help you.
Data updated regularly
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
Wise (TransferWise) for large transfers
Within an hour
From £3.75

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

View details
CentralFX's dedicated team will guide you or your business from first call to final payment.
CurrencyTransfer
24 hours
£0

View details
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
Wise (TransferWise)
Within an hour
From £3.75

View details
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Azimo
Within minutes
From £0.99
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ First two transfers free for new customers.

View details
Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries.
PassTo
PassTo
24 hours
From £0.99

View details
PassTo specialises in remittances to bank accounts and cash pickup locations in 45+ countries.
Remitly
Within minutes
From £1.49
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Free transfers and better exchange rates for new customers

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

View details
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

What’s the best way to send money to China?

Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees on money transfers to China. Some offer transfers straight to Chinese bank accounts, while others allow the money to be picked up in Chinese yuan in person. Banks, PayPal and other options are available but come with high fees, weak rates and longer turnaround times.

Digital money transfer services

Companies like XE and CurrencyTransfer specialise in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective transfers. Most offer transfers directly to your recipient’s Chinese bank account, often in as little as a day or two.

Cash transfers

Services like MoneyGram allow you to transfer cash for pickup at a local branch in China – often in 15 minutes. While it’s a fast way to send money, you’ll pay for the convenience in weak exchange rates and high fees. If a cash pickup is necessary, compare MoneyGram to digital services like WorldRemit or Wise when possible.

Banks

Chinese yuan may be carried by your bank, especially if you visit the main branches offering international service. Although your local bank can convert your pound sterling into Chinese yuan, beware of high fees and wide margins on the exchange rate compared to digital and other options.

Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending £5,000 to China

Let’s say you need to send £5,000 to family in China. Here’s what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of 23 September 2020.

Digital money transfer serviceCash transferBank transfer
Fee£0£3£20 + additional correspondent bank fees
Exchange rate1 GBP = 8.63 CNY1 GBP = 8.58 CNY1 GBP = 7.88 CNY
Transfer speed1-2 dayMinutes2-5 days
Amount receivedCNY¥43,186CNY¥42,910CNY¥39,434
Verdict
  • Best value
  • Fastest
  • Slowest and most expensive

The bank option ends up being both the slowest way to send money to China and gets the smallest amount of money to your recipient. If you go with the digital money transfer service, your recipient ends up with CNY¥3,752 more than the bank offers. If speed is crucial, a cash transfer can typically have your transfer to China in as little as 15 minutes for just a slightly higher fee.

How to send money to China online

Sign up and send money with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:

  1. Sign up for a free account. Pick a provider and sign up for a free online account using your contact information, proof of ID and your preferred payment method.
  2. Provide transfer details. Submit your recipient’s contact information and pick a delivery method. If you’re transferring to a bank, you’ll need your recipient’s Chinese bank account details.
  3. Confirm transfer details. Double-check your payment method, expected fees and destination.
  4. Save your receipt. Record your receipt’s confirmation number to track the progress of your transfer to China. Some money transfer providers send a text or email when your transfer is complete.

How to get the most out of your money transfer to China

Weigh costs and fees against convenience, and learn how to compare money transfer providers that send to China to meet your needs:

  • Exchange rates. The GBP-CNY remains relatively stable, with occasional shifts on a larger scale. Exchanging currency ahead of time, or locking in prices, can help you prepare for these shifts.
  • Transfer fees. Transferring money overseas nearly always requires fees, but they might be hidden in the exchange rate. When sending large amounts, it may be cheaper to pay a flat fee to secure a stronger exchange rate.
  • Transfer limits. How much you can send varies by company, and different amounts can attract higher or lower fees. Shop around for the best deal on the amount of Chinese yuan you’re sending.
  • Turnaround. It can take a business week or longer to send money to China through a local bank. If you need the funds delivered quickly, seek out a digital specialist that offers instant transfers.
  • Maximum limits. When exchange rates are favourable, sending more money can save you money in the future. If you plan to send large amounts of money to China, be sure to pick a provider that won’t limit you.
  • Transfer methods. Whether you want money sent to a Chinese bank account or picked up as cash at a local agent, narrow down a company that matches your preferred delivery method.

How to send an emergency cash transfer to China

When it’s more important to get your money to China quickly, look for money transfer companies that support cash pickup in minutes. You can pay with a credit or debit card for fast pickup, but fees are higher than other methods.

How to send money to China without a bank account

If you don’t have a bank account, you can still use cash transfer services to send money to China. Similarly, a recipient can get the money with a cash transfer if they don’t have a bank account. These services are widely available around the world and although they’ll typically not be the cheapest available, they can be fast and convenient.

Mobile top-ups

Many companies that we use for money transfers in the UK offer “reload” services for prepaid credit cards and mobile plans that make it easy to convert cash into communication – often within minutes.

If you need to send minutes to a prepaid phone in China – whether for you or a loved one – consider online providers WorldRemit and Xoom. To add or gift minutes from an agent location, standbys Western Union, MoneyGram and Ria are an option.

Back to top

China’s exchange rates explained

The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another country’s currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weaker currency. China’s exchange rate doesn’t often fluctuate when compared to the pound sterling, so expect relatively stable exchange rates between these two currencies. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.

Today’s exchange rate GBP to CNY

1
0
Updated: 20 Apr 2021 14:40:01 UTC

Documents needed for sending to and receiving money in China

To send money to China from the UK, you’ll need government-issued ID and other documents, while documents needed to pick up money in China may be different by company.

Documents to send money from the UK

To send money from the UK to China, you’ll need documentation and details that include:

  • Identification. Most services require a driver’s licence, passport or other government-issued ID.
  • Payment method. Your service may accept credit or debit cards, cash, bank accounts or personal cheques.
  • Recipient information. Submit your recipient’s name as it appears on their ID, along with their phone number, Chinese bank account and routing number if sending to their bank.

Documents to receive money in China

To pick up money in person, documentation can include:

  • Transfer number. The person sending you money can forward the transfer’s confirmation details – called a PIN, a MTCN, a reference number or a tracking number, depending on the company.
  • Government-issued ID. A China Identification Card, a passport (excluding Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan passports), or a mainland travel permit (for Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan residents only) will be accepted for identification for most money transfer cash pickups.
  • Amount sent. You may need to know how much was sent, usually within 10% of the total.
  • Sender’s information. Take along your sender’s full name, the sending country and their address, if known.

Learn more about using the Chinese Yuan Renminbi in China

Bottom line

It shouldn’t cost a fortune to send money to China. Compare transfer companies that specialise in foreign for the strongest rates, lowest fees and flexible delivery. For transfers to other countries, rely on our country specific guides the next time you need to make a transfer.

More guides on Finder

  • List of countries using Western Union money transfers

    Which countries does Western Union let you send money to? See the list of 200+ countries with Western Union money transfers.

  • Compare international money transfers

    Learn how to compare international money transfer services so you can get the best exchange rates and lowest fees.

  • Compare international money transfers

    Learn how to compare international money transfer services so you can get the best exchange rates and lowest fees.

  • Compare the best business credit cards of 2021

    Saving time on expense reports and streamlining your cash flow are just a couple of the many perks you could enjoy with a business credit card. Compare interest rates and check your eligibility today.

  • How to buy Bitcoin in the UK

    Want to buy Bitcoin but don’t know where to start? This comprehensive guide provides step-by-step instructions on how and where to buy BTC in the UK.

  • Review: Spartan FX international money transfers

    Spartan FX offers easy, fast and secure international transfers in 40 currencies, with a best exchange rate guarantee and no hidden fees or commission.

  • Paysend review

    Paysend offers transfers to more than 70 countries through its app and online service.

  • 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.

  • Best international money transfer services

    Learn how to compare international money transfer services so you can get the best exchange rates and lowest fees.

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