What is a limit order?

Limit orders can help you get a better price on your currency transfer.

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If you have to make a transfer overseas, but the exact date is flexible, a well-placed limit order could get you a good deal.

What is a limit order?

With a limit order, you set instructions to carry out your transaction — a forex trade or money transfer, for example — once the market price reaches your specified exchange rate.

Why is a limit order useful?

Maybe you think a currency is overvalued right now, and want to wait for its price to go down. You could set up a rate alert, but you’d run the risk of your target exchange rate being reached at a time when you can do nothing about it (for example, you may be asleep).

With a limit order, once your goal rate becomes available, the transfer will be locked in and carried out automatically.

Anika sends money to India

Anika’s nephew, who lives in India, is turning 21. As a gift, she wants to contribute £2,000 to his savings. However, the Rupee has recently gone up in price, with £1 being worth 82.0 INR, making her gift amount to 164,000 INR. Believing the Rupee will go back down, Anika places a limit order requesting an exchange rate of GBP/INR = 85.8. Nine days later, this rate is reached, and 171,600 INR is sent to her nephew’s account.

Thanks to the limit order, Anika managed to send an extra 7,600 INR to her nephew.

Compare providers

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Our table below lets you compare services you can use to send money abroad. Compare fees, exchange rates and discounts from different money transfer services, and when you have made your choice, click Go to site.
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
Wise (TransferWise)
4 hours
From £3.75

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

View details
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Central FX
24 hours
£0

View details
Central FX's dedicated team will guide you or your business from first call to final payment.
Currencies Direct
24 hours
£0

View details
CurrenciesDirect makes transferring money abroad simple with bank-beating exchange rates.
CurrencyTransfer
24 hours
£0

View details
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
XE Money Transfer
Within minutes
£2
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ £25 Amazon voucher when you refer a friend

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XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Wise (TransferWise)
4 hours
From £3.75

View details
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
CurrencyFair
24 hours
€3
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Zero fees on your first 10 transfers

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CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Azimo
Within minutes
From £0.99
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ First two transfers free for new customers.

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Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries.
Remitly
Within minutes
From £1.49
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Free transfers and better exchange rates for new customers

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Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
VertoFX Business
24 hours
£0

View details
Special offer: New customers get $100 trade credit after their first transaction. T&Cs apply.
VertoFX sends money via bank transfer at competitive rates and fees in 35+ currencies.
Wise (TransferWise) Business
2 days
From £3.75

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

View details
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Currencies Direct Business
24 hours
£0
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ https://www.currenciesdirect.com/en/info/refer-a-friend

View details
CurrenciesDirect makes transferring money abroad simple with bank-beating exchange rates.
CurrencyFair Business
24 hours
€3

View details
Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
WorldFirst Business
WorldFirst Business
24 hours
£0

View details
WorldFirst sends 60+ currencies at competitive rates with no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Are there any drawbacks?

Limit orders do not guarantee that your transfer will happen, as they rely on the exchange rate reaching the specified value.

For example, maybe you think the dollar will go down — but what if it keeps going up? If you placed a limit order hoping the dollar would go down, you may find yourself waiting endlessly.

Explore other risk management options

A limit order is one of many ways to lock in desirable exchange rates. Other methods include:

  • Stop-loss orders. Set a minimum acceptable exchange rate, to protect yourself should the mid-market rate drop too low.
  • Forward contracts. Lock in today’s exchange rate for a future transaction.
A common tactic, known as a one-cancels-the-other (OCO) order, is to combine a limit order with a stop-loss order. This means if the market goes in the opposite direction to what you had hoped, your losses are capped. As the name suggests, once either the limit or the stop-loss order is triggered, the other is cancelled.

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