The Best Ways to Save When Transferring Money from Abroad

One of the biggest challenges facing anyone who is transferring money from the UK to a foreign country is excessive fees. High Street banks are notorious for eating into the value of your funds whenever you make an international transfer. There are multiple cost components to consider if you stray into the murky waters of international money transfers through banks.

International transfer fees through UK banks are subject to all sorts of hidden costs, charges, commissions, and unfavourable spreads. This is not news to anyone – private individuals or businesses – using Lloyd’s, HSBC, Barclays, or other UK banks. To get the most bang for your buck, it’s important to read up on why banks have gained their reputation as the least cost-effective way to make money transfers abroad.

Exchange rate fluctuations are not the domain of currency traders and international investors; they are relevant to anyone wanting to transfer money from the UK to France, or to transfer money from the UK to Germany etc. In fact, it doesn’t matter where you’re transferring money to from the UK – exchange rate fluctuations are a major determinant of how much bang for your buck you will get.

Brexit concerns have played havoc on the buying power of the GBP, and we are likely to see further volatility in sterling in time to come. These fluctuations have a biting effect on the buying power of your £s. For example, if you wanted to send £1,000 to the US shortly after the June 23, 2016 Brexit decision, you may have purchased $1,210 worth of currency.

Prior to the Brexit, that same £1,000 was worth $1,480. Clearly, the foreign exchange rates (FX rates) are increasingly important when £1,000 becomes £10,000, or £100,000. Similar trends are evident if you are transferring funds from the UK to the EU, Australia, or Asian countries. It’s important to gauge exchange rate fluctuations to ascertain when to lock in a favourable exchange rate with international money transfer companies.

What Are Your Options When Transferring Money Abroad?

Rather than going to a High Street bank in the UK as your default option, it’s important to consider your alternatives. Once you’re ready to transfer money from the UK to France for example, seek out cheap international money transfer services.

As one of the leading review sites for international money transfer companies, MoneyTransferComparison’s top 3 services include the likes of World First, TorFX, and Currencies Direct. What’s great about these non-bank entities is that they provide the best money transfer services at a fraction of the cost you would pay through your bank.

Many of these providers have low minimum transfer amounts, particularly Currencies Direct which allows you to send £100 and it currently supports 39 currency options. The company offers professional money transfer services with no fees, a variety of offices around the world, and a fully online money transfer platform. Other options like TorFX are equally affordable, and support at least 3 dozen + currencies with a minimum transfer amount of £500.

Remember, banks charge incoming and outgoing wire fees. If you are the sender and receiver of these international money transfers through your local HSBC bank for example, you will be responsible for paying all these fees on top of the unfavorable spreads that banks levy on international money transfers. The spread is the difference between the price at which banks buy foreign currency and the price at which they sell foreign currency.

Banks Are in the Business of Maximizing Their Profits Not Minimizing Your Costs

Banks are in the business of maximizing their own profits, not minimizing your costs. Therefore, you can always expect bricks and mortar banks to milk you for as much as they can get. Often, you won’t be able to even lock in an exchange rate through your bank, but you can when you choose a reputable international money transfer company. You may wish to consider the services of cheap international money transfers through Moneycorp, FC Exchange, OFX, TransferWise and other reputable providers.

While you’re comparing the services of international money transfer companies, it’s important that you consult with reputable aggregator platforms such as MoneyTransferComparison. The only way to know which money transfer company offers the best international money transfer services is through expert assessments of these companies. Comparative analytics evaluate the overall performance of these companies, assessing customer service, timeliness, deposits and withdrawals, safety and security, and service excellence.

Makeda Waterman

Makeda Waterman is an online journalist with writing features on CNBC Make It., Yahoo Finance News and the Huffington Post. She also runs an online writing business with 3.5 years of experience.

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