Send money to the United States

Find the best way to transfer money from the United Kingdom to the USA.

Compare quotes for sending money to the United States

Use this table to compare quotes from transfer specialists that send money from the UK to the United States. Check out what your recipient would receive in US Dollars with each, then click “Go to site” when you’ve found the best one.

1 - 8 of 8
Name Product Fastest transfer Fee Key benefits Amount received
OFFER
Xe
Within minutes
From £0
Refer a friend and you'll each get a £25 Amazon voucher when they transfer over £1,000
$2,981.80
OFFER
CurrencyFair
24 hours
£3.19
New customers get unlimited fee-free transfers for their first 3 months. T&Cs apply.
$2,996.67
OFFER
WorldRemit
Within minutes
£2.99
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
$2,976.46
Wise (TransferWise)
4 hours
£0.35
N/A
OFX
24 hours
£0
$3,002.29
OFFER
TorFX
24 hours
£0
Get a £50 Amazon voucher for each friend you refer who transfers £5,000 or more
$2,967.70
OFFER
Currencies Direct
24 hours
£0
Get a £50 Amazon voucher for each friend you refer who transfers £5,000 or more
$2,975.91
OFFER
Revolut
Within minutes
From £0
Sign up and get a free £10 top-up plus 1 month of Revolut Premium
$2,997.43
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Compare up to 4 providers

Looking for the best way to send money from the UK to family, friends or a business across the pond (or even to your own bank account)? As convenient as it might seem to use your regular bank, this will usually work out significantly more expensive than a dedicated online money transfer service. These nearly always offer better exchange rates and lower fees – which means that you could either save some pounds or send some more dollars (a nice decision to have to make, right?).

Ways to send and receive money

Sending money to the United States

  • Bank deposit. Most major banks in the UK let you wire money to banks in the United States. However, you might get weaker exchange rates and pay higher fees all for the privilege of a slower transfer.
  • Online money transfer services. Online companies like make international money transfers to the United States easy with bank transfers or cell phone top ups often offered as easy delivery options.
  • Transfer agents across the UK. Many transfer providers have locations dotted all across the UK, making it easy for you to send money that can be easily picked up in similar agent locations in the United States.
  • Cheques and money orders. If speed is not an issue, you can always pick up an international cheque from your bank or the Royal Mail to send to the United States.

Receiving money in the United States

  • Bank deposit. If you have an American bank account, you can have money transferred directly into this without having to make any trips to a money transfer agent location.
  • Cash pick-up. you to collect cash, even if you don’t have a bank account in the United States.
  • Cheques and money orders. Both personal cheques and money orders can be sent directly to you where you live but these tend to be the slower options.

How to send money to the US with a money transfer service

Here's the step-by-step process for sending money with an online money transfer service, as a cash pickup or bank transfer (the process for sending is similar, while it's a little different for receiving).

  1. Compare transfer services. Use our table above to compare quotes for sending GBP to the US.
  2. Register for an account. You'll need to give your name, address, contact details and confirm your ID (which typically involves submitting a selfie along with a photo of the page in your passport which has your headshot).
  3. Provide recipient details. Enter your recipient's name and contact information. If you're sending straight to their US bank account, you'll need their account details – namely their "IBAN" and their bank's "SWIFT" code.
  4. Enter the transfer amount. Double-check you're happy with the fees, exchange rates, transfer speed and the amount of dollars your recipient will receive.
  5. Complete your transfer. Add your payment details and action your transfer to the US! Keep any reference safe so you can track your transfer (your recipient may need this).

The whole process can take as little as 1 hour and all you'll need is a smartphone or computer, an internet connection, your passport or driving licence, your recipient's account details and a means of payment.

If you send to an American bank account, your recipient will need to wait for the funds to arrive. For a cash pick up, your American recipient will need to show some form of photo ID in order to pick up the funds. It’s also important that you give them the transaction reference number to streamline the process.

Case Study: Anna sends money to the USA

Anna is spending two years working in the UK for a media company, but she stays in regular contact with her elderly parents back home in the USA. Her parents need some funds to help pay off a debt to a previous landlord, so Anna plans to send them £3,500 from the UK.

Anna decides to check out an online money transfer specialist to see if it works out any cheaper than her bank

Bank Money transfer firm
Exchange rate 1 GBP = 1.16 USD 1 GBP = 1.20 USD
Transfer fee £0 £2.50
Transfer method Bank account deposit Bank account deposit
Processing time 2-5 working days Next day
Amount received 4,064.82 USD 4,196.90 USD

As you can see, while the transfer fee is slightly higher for the online money transfer company, it allows Anna to send an extra 132.07 USD, which is transferred straight to her parents' Wells Fargo account.

What documents do I need to transfer money to the United States?

To send money from the United Kingdom to the United States, you’ll need the following:

  • Photo identification. Most providers require a driver’s licence, passport or other British government-issued ID. You can send transfers without the above but may need to give alternate ID instead.
  • Payment method. Your options depend on the provider’s services. Popular methods include cash, debit or credit card payments, bank account transfers and personal cheques.
  • Recipient information. You’ll need their name (matching their ID) plus contact details. If sending to an American bank account, you’ll need the account number, SWIFT|IBAN and branch details.

What documents do I need to receive money in the United States?

To collect money in person in the United States, the recipient will need:

  • Transfer number. The reference number – sometimes called a PIN, MTCN or tracking number.
  • Government-issued ID. A official ID, such as an American passport or driving licence.
  • The transfer amount. To know how much has been sent, usually to within 10% of the total.
  • Sender information. The sender’s name and address and the country from where the money was sent.

How much does it cost to send money to the United States from the UK?

While transfers between pounds and US Dollars are of course at the mercy of interbank exchange rates, there are other key factors at play, including: –

  • Platform exchange rates. The “mid-market” or “interbank” rate is the rate banks and transfer services use to trade between one another. It’s the best rate going, but many banks and money transfer providers use a slightly less preferential rate (and the difference plus any fees cover their costs).
  • 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 speed. If you need your transfer to arrive quickly, you can often pay for a faster delivery. Companies offering instant cash pickups may charge more. If you’re not in a rush, online money transfer services can offer the best value, usually getting your money to the United States faster and cheaper than banks. Many also let you set rate targets at which a transfer can be actioned.
  • Discounts. Some providers may offer you a free transfer simply for signing up while others may offer you a discount if you transfer more than a certain amount.

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

Compared to a month ago, the pound is weaker against the US dollar. Currently £3,000 is equivalent to $3,618.00, whereas a month ago, £3,000 was equivalent to $3,746.40. That's a decrease of 3.43% over the past month .

Similarly, compared to a year ago, the pound is again weaker against the US dollar. A year ago, £3,000 was equivalent to $4,146.00. That's a decrease of 12.74% 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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2 Responses

  1. 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 Customer Care
      JeniAugust 25, 2019Staff

      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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