Online money transfer companies usually offer the lowest fees and the most competitive exchange rates, often beating your local bank by a long shot when you want to send money to Hong Kong. You’ll need to send cash if your recipient doesn’t have an account with a supported bank, so compare options to find the best deal for your situation.
Compare services that send money to Hong Kong 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.
Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees on money transfers to Hong Kong. Some offer cash pickup in as little as a few minutes, while others seamlessly transfer to bank accounts. Sending money through PayPal or your bank is also an option, but you’ll typically face higher fees and weaker exchange rates when going that route.
Digital money transfer services
Companies like WorldRemit specialise in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective transfers. Most offer transfers directly to your recipient’s Hong Kong bank account, often in as little as a day or two.
Services like MoneyGram and Western Union allow you to transfer cash for pickup at a local branch in Hong Kong – 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.
The Hong Kong dollar is a relatively popular currency, so your local bank should be able to exchange it. If it does support the Hong Kong dollar, beware of high fees and wide margins on the exchange rate compared to digital and other options when sending a wire transfer to Hong Kong.
Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending £2,000 to Hong Kong
Let’s say you need to send £2,000 to family in Hong Kong. Here’s what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of 24 October 2020.
Digital money transfer service
£20 + additional correspondent bank fees
1 GBP = 10.057 HKD
1 GBP = 9.886 HKD
1 GBP = 9.884 HKD
Slowest and most expensive
The bank option ends up being both the slowest and gets the smallest amount of money to your recipient in Hong Kong. If you go with the cash transfer service, your recipient ends up with HKD 979 more than the bank offers. If speed is crucial, a cash transfer can typically have your transfer to Hong Kong in as little as 15 minutes – just make sure there is a cash pickup location near your recipient before sending.
How to send money to Hong Kong online
Sign up and send money with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:
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 preferred payment method.
Provide transfer details. Submit your recipient’s contact information and pick a delivery method. If transferring to a bank, you’ll need their bank account information from Hong Kong.
Confirm transfer details. Double check your payment method, expected fees and destination.
Save your receipt. Record your receipt’s confirmation number to track the progress of your transfer to Hong Kong. Some money transfer providers send a text or email when your transfer is complete.
What are the ways that I can send money to Hong Kong
Bank transfers. Many major UK banks will allow you to send money to Hong Kong.
Money transfer providers. Providers like Wise and CurrencyTransfer can help you quickly and easily transfer your money online.
Providers with cash pickup. Western Union, WorldRemit and MoneyGram allow you to send funds for cash pickup at agent locations.
PayPal. Electronic payment giant PayPal allows you to send money from the UK to Hong Kong.
How to get the most out of your transfer to Hong Kong
Weigh costs and fees against convenience to learn how to compare money transfer providers that send to Hong Kong to best meet your needs:
Exchange rates. The GBP-HKD relationship fluctuates occasionally, so using a service that allows you to lock in exchange prices may help you save money down the line if the Hong Kong dollar rises against the pound sterling.
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 GBP-HKD 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 pounds you’re sending to Hong Kong.
Turnaround. Transferring money through a local bank can take a business week or longer. If you need the funds delivered quickly, look for a digital specialist that offers instant transfers to Hong Kong.
Sending limits. Comparing prices for one large transfer instead of many small transfers is typically easier, so picking the service you use based on how much you’re sending is a valid strategy for saving money.
Transfer methods. Whether you want money sent to a Hong Kong 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 Hong Kong
When urgency trumps cost to get your money to Hong Kong 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 Hong Kong without a bank account
If you don’t have a bank account, you can still use cash transfer services to send money to Hong Kong. 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.
Hong Kong’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. Hong Kong’s exchange rate is flexible compared to the pound sterling, and the GBP-HKD relationship fluctuates often. Factors that may influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
It shouldn’t cost a fortune for you to send money to Hong Kong. Compare money transfer companies that specialise in foreign transactions 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.
Zak Killermann is a writer at Finder. He’s ghostwritten hundreds of articles on fintech, finding his love for publication at St. Cloud State University. Traveling internationally for nearly half his life — and getting burned once by an OTC money exchange — Zak's vowed not to settle for anything short of the mid-market rate again.
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