NEW! Our Hero’s Journey tool can help you with your next step towards financial freedom - click here to try now.
Advertiser Disclosure

The best ways to send money abroad

The best ways to send money abroad
Image source: Getty Images.


Whether you are sending money to relatives or buying a property overseas, there are a number of different methods to send money abroad. We take a look at the safest and most cost-effective options.

Plot your path towards financial freedom with our Hero’s Journey tool!

MyWalletHero is here to help you learn about taking control of your money, whether that’s paying off debt, working towards a short-term money goal, or investing for your future.

This tool can help you understand the next steps on your journey – simply choose a goal that best describes your current interests to get started.

Things to consider

Your choice of method to send money abroad will depend on a number of factors.

Fees and charges

Companies that organise foreign exchange money transfers can charge you in three different ways:

  1. The person sending the money has to pay a fee.
  2. The person receiving the money has to pay a fee.
  3. Many companies offering their services ‘free of commission’ will modify the exchange rate in their favour.

Amount

Fees and charges can vary depending on the amount you are sending and the method you use. Many companies charge lower fees and better exchange rates for larger amounts.

Type of currency

As a rule of thumb, transferring ‘well-known’ currencies such as euros or US dollars tends to be cheaper and easier.

You may have problems finding a company that will transfer lesser-known currencies, and if you do, they may charge a higher rate.

Speed

Some methods are faster than others, so if you need a quick transfer you will need to choose accordingly.

Frequency

If you want to send money regularly to the same location, a more permanent solution might be best, such as a foreign bank account.

Best methods for sending money abroad

There are three main methods to send money abroad.

1. Using your bank or building society

This is a safe, secure and convenient method. If you contact your bank or building society they will talk you through the process.

4 iron-clad rules for saving money on everything

Our Editor Sam Robson has been on a personal cost-cutting mission for years – and it’s time to share his wisdom.

Check out his choicest saving tips and tricks in this free report, “Sam’s 4 Iron-Clad Rules For Saving Money On Everything”.

Just enter your email below for instant access to your free copy.

By checking this box and submitting your email address, you agree to MyWalletHero sending you emails with money tips, along with details of products and services that we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from future emails at any time. You also consent to us processing your personal data in line with our privacy policy, and our cookie statement. For more information, including how we collect, store, and handle personal data, please read our Privacy Statement and Terms & Conditions.

You will need an International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and the Bank Identifier Code (BIC) for both your bank and the bank that will receive the funds.

The main disadvantage of using this method is that you may not get the best deal on larger amounts. Also, this type of transfer takes four to six business days, so it’s not the fastest option.

2. Using a specialist money transfer company

Examples of this type of company include Western Union, XE Money Transfer and CurrencyFair.

No account is necessary, and the transaction can be completed the same day.

Once the fee is paid and the money to be transferred is submitted, the sender is given a reference number. This number is given to the receiver who can use it to collect the money at an overseas office.

Before committing to this method, make sure you are aware of the fees and charges. They can be high depending on the company. Bear in mind that this type of company is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) so your funds are not protected if they go bust.

3. Using a foreign exchange broker

This method is useful for sending larger sums of money abroad. These brokers tend to charge lower fees and competitive exchange rates when transferring larger sums. This type of transaction can be completed the same day.

You may need to open an account to use this type of service, so you may need to plan ahead. Foreign exchange brokers are not covered by the FSCS.

Take home

If you are planning to send money abroad, think about your requirements first. This will have a big influence on the method you choose. Further information on sending money overseas is available from the Money Advice Service.

If you want to buy foreign currency for a holiday, check out our articles on how to buy travel money online and how to use an online currency exchange.

Was this article helpful?
YesNo

Reviewed and rated 4 stars out of 5 by MyWalletHero

Need a financial adviser? Get a free initial review lasting up to 1 hour, plus £50 off any follow-up advice.

MyWalletHero has sourced you a £50 discount off the cost of advice when you find an independent or whole-of-market financial adviser through Unbiased.co.uk*. All advisers are FCA-regulated, qualified and give fully unbiased advice. To find yourself an adviser fast and for free – use the Unbiased matching tool.

*This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. For more information on why and how we work with partners, click here.


Some offers on MyWalletHero are from our partners — it’s how we make money and keep this site going. But does that impact our ratings? Nope. Our commitment is to you. If a product isn’t any good, our rating will reflect that, or we won’t list it at all. Also, while we aim to feature the best products available, we do not review every product on the market. Learn more here. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays, Hargreaves Lansdown, HSBC Holdings, Lloyds Banking Group, Mastercard, and Tesco.