Sending money abroad? Join us on our mission to find the cheapest way of transferring money overseas, as we compare some of the best international money transfer companies in the world. We only recommend fully-regulated, proven, client-friendly money transfer services. We do so after carefully reviewing their trading history and currency offering, testing their online platform, and speaking their expert dealers.
View our top choices for a cheap and reputable international payment providers below:
* Expected Rates reflect our rate expectations based on our research. We do not guarantee accuracy. For some companies we used a range of rates because they offer wholesale rates for large trades and higher rates for small trades.
All our recommended companies through our website InternationalMoneyTransfers.org are approved by UK’s Financial Conduct Authority as Payment Institutions, and registered with HM Revenue & Customs. To view additional similar options top-notch option you can view this: top international transfer company list.
How International Money Transfer Work
Money Transfer Comparison
We have made our best efforts to ensure we recommend only the best international money transfer services out there. We constantly compare dozens of money transfer providers, but only include companies that comply with the following requirements:
- In the business of sending money abroad for over 10 years.
- Trading at least hundreds of millions of Pounds annually.
- Have at least 85% positive client reviews online.
- Allow clients to send payments through an online platform, via email and through telephone.
- Deal with more than 20 different currencies and able to transfer money to all the popular destinations.
- Have offices in at least 2 countries.
- Offer dedicated account managers to provide guidance on currency movements.
- Offer cheap foreign exchange rates for international wires and charge no fees, to enable saving at least 50% in costs compared to banks.
Minimizing Foreign Exchange Risks: For Businesses and Recurring Payments
Whether you’re a large corporate, small business, or even a private individual who receives money from abroad or makes an overseas wire payment, currency hedging may be right for you. Besides finding the cheapest way to send money internationally, which an important step towards cost reduction, fixing the current rate for a period of up to 12 months may prove useful for you. Fixing rates through hedging tools like forward transfers, limit orders, and swaps, can help you reduce the volatility and budget yourself better.
For more information you may sign up with either of the companies and request more details from the staff, or read our foreign exchange hedging guide.
6 Things To Monitor When Sending Money Abroad
You have decided to make an international money transfer, so here are some easy tips to ensure your currency transfer stays on the straight and narrow. These are all considerations we have made before recommending on the cheapest companies. It’s not only because their wire fees are the lowest and exchange rates are the cheapest, it’s because we understand the industry and the concerns of our readers.
1. Your own strategy:
Something that may sound straightforward, but is often overlooked by customers. The most important thing to monitor when doing a foreign currency wire payment abroad is to have a clear aim goal in mind.
Many customers decide to move money abroad without actually thinking deeply about why they’re doing so, as long as it’s cheap. They are actually not searching for the best companies in the market, but rather make an arbitrary call.
Some easy questions that should be answered even before considering a foreign currency provider is:
- Is the transaction a one-off or the first of many?
- Does the transaction have to be done immediately, or can it be done at a later date with a potentially better exchange rate?
- Is a simple spot transaction the most appropriate solution? Or will an FX forward rate be more suitable?
The simple and easy solution is to stick to large brand names companies, such as the ones featured on this website, who have all the required capabilities.
2. Additional charges:
Any currency transfer to a bank account abroad is likely to involve a commission fee based on the size of the transfer or sometimes as a flat standard rate.
For customers, a key consideration is what those charges can add up to if they’re not agreed upon beforehand. Depending on where the money is being sent and in what currency, there will invariably be a range of associated fees including bank charges that can become unmanageable rather quickly if you’re planning on doing multiple transactions in a short period of time.
One easy example is ‘transfer speed’. For an additional charge, customers can reduce the time it takes for their payment to reach its destination. Unless specifically determined or agreed beforehand, the currency provider may select the fastest, and most expensive, delivery time thereby increasing the amount paid in charges.
The simple and easy solution is to stick to cheap money transfer services as the ones which are compared on our website. We have already inspected their fee structure and verified they are favorable for the client.
3. Honeymoon Rates:
Some of the best-known payment providers out there will often offer attractive promotional deals that provide ultra-competitive money transfer exchange rates — but will only do so temporarily. For holidaymakers, some companies will offer a fixed exchange rate to allow customers to receive the same rate when going on holiday as they do when coming back.
These types of deals can be enticing but customers should think whether they are suitable or advantageous given their specific circumstances and objectives. Remember that many offers and promotions come with extensive terms and conditions, which are also a good idea to read through before making a large monetary commitment to any deal. Make sure that for each and every large transfer, you compare money transfer companies.
The simple and easy way to avoid that is stick to reputable companies who have tens of thousands of satisfied clients, such as the money transfer services featured on this page.
4. Quoted rates:
This may be a bit of an obvious one, but customers should monitor global currency fluctuations on a regular basis and also have a strong understanding between retail rates and interbank rates.
Retail rates are typically more expensive than inter-bank rates with the actual differences varying immensely between various currency exchange companies. Customers should pay attention to the inter-bank market and note how their currency exchange provider determines the rate being quoted to them. This will help determine how ‘competitive’ their currency provider is, and how they compare to others.
The simple and easy solution for that is to view roughly expected rates we have listed on our website, and compare it in real time with your bank or current broker.
Rarely a huge issue when it comes to simple one-off currency transfers, but still a point well worth thinking about when sending money abroad.
Sending money to a G20 country is typically easier and less cumbersome than less-developed countries. Customers are not obligated to carry out various Know Your Customer (KYC) checks as part of anti-money laundering legislation, but their currency provider is. Therefore, it may be a good idea to deal through a fully regulated currency provider, especially when receiving money from a country designed as ‘high-risk’ or ‘medium-risk’ by regulatory agencies such as the FCA, NFA and FSMA.
This will ensure that your money is segregated and that the company handling your money is in control of its compliance and risk management operations.
The simple and easy solution for that is to stick to our top-recommend company choices. We have already checked the regulator’s database to make sure each company is operating legally.
6. Online reviews:
One final thing that may be of great help to customers aiming to get the most of their foreign currency transactions is online reviews.
The more reviews a company has online, the more likely it is to be genuine and offering a reliable service. However, that doesn’t mean that if a company has bad reviews that it is unreliable.
Ideally, customers should find it easy to communicate with their provider and as an indicator of best practise, should be accustomed to receiving regular information relating to the provider’s services, offers, policy changes and any upcoming product changes. A strong relationship with your provider can also help to reduce the amount of service fees/charges/commissions being paid.
There are of course occasional exceptions, but the bottom line is that if a currency provider doesn’t do right by its customers, it will not have customers for long. Reading the experiences of other customers may provide that little bit of additional information required for you to make your decision.
The simple and easy solution to that is reading through the variety of reviews we have on our website, with the best currency brands like World First, Transferwise, Payoneer and Currencies Direct, as well as side by side comparisons like Transferwise VS Paypal, and Transferwise VS Currencyfair.
The Currency Transfer FAQ
What is Commercial FX
Commercial FX companies are an alternative to the traditional banking system’s wire transfers. Similarly to banks, they are connected to financial messaging systems like SWIFT, allowing them to send money internationally between bank accounts.
What differentiates foreign exchange companies and banks is essentially pricing and service. Banks have high transfer fees, sizable spreads, and do not allow private clients direct access to the FX trading rooms; commercial FX firms are basically currency wholesalers: As such, they use smaller spreads, charge no fixed fees on international wire transfers, and enable clients to receive guidance and support directly from a licensed currency dealer.
What’s a Dedicated Dealer?
The top currency firms will offer another advantage in the form of a dedicated dealer. For large transfers, like property purchase, luxury payments, emigration, or business, there’s a certain level of complexity involved. It’s not only a matter of trading the currency at the price, but also at the right time, where conditions are most favourable. These companies will offer you impartial expert advice with the hope of saving your money.
Your dedicated currency dealer will:
- Weigh in the different options that you have, by educating you about different type of contracts that allow you to lock future price with today’s rates, or watch the exchange rates on your behalf and notify you once the rate has reached a certain point.
- Provide you with his expert opinion on currency trends. He will explain his forecast and reasoning, and can potentially save you thousands by telling you to lock the rate at the right time.
- Help you execute the payment itself, including options like regular payments (for things like salary, pension, mortgage). He will optimize the payment plan so the least amount of fees (including recipient banks’ fees or taxes) will be incurred.
What Does It Take to Sign Up?
When you choose to work with a currency firm, you firstly need to sign up. It is advisable you’ll do that using our website, because some of our partner links provide clients with benefits (example: with Moneycorp our link saves all fixed transfer fees which are usually incurred by the company).
We only recommend companies where this process is as hassle-free and seamless as possible.
It’s absolutely easy for UK-based, European, New-Zealander or Australian clients to get verified accounts, but International money laundering laws make it a tad more difficult in other regions of the globe. American clients might need to send more documents, as does middle-eastern and east-Asian clients, but they are happily accepted by the majority of these firms. Transferring currency from regions like India, Pakistan, or Africa is virtually impossible with our recommend companies.
How Does The Process Look Like
Once you are registered with any firm, you are able to receive quotes for your international money transfer inquiry. You can get it directly on your online payment platform, or via telephone. It’s recommended you’ll use the phone for large transfers because you may be able to get a better foreign currency than the default price stated on the online system. If you are on the market to compare exchange rate spreads, and get the absolute cheapest quote, you can sign up with multiple companies and test their offering in real-time.
If you like the price you have received, you could book the transfer immediately. Either through the online payment system, or by verbally agreeing to the price offered to you by telephone. At that moment, your price is locked, and you are able to transfer money to fund the transaction in up to 5 days. One option is to pay the due amount by credit card or credit (optional only in some companies like World First). That makes the deal more expensive and ill-recommended unless the amount transferred is very small. The other option is to locally wire the funds to a domestic bank account that will be communicated to you. That company owned bank account will be a safeguarded account dedicated only for client funds.
Once the funds have reached the company’s domestic bank account, your transferred will be automatically wired to its destination as you specified, and you will receive a confirmation. In most popular destinations should take no more than 24 hours to receive the cross-border payment.
How Do You and These Companies Make Profit?
International currency transfers incurs fees derived from the Buy/ Sell currency rates. The prices you see on places like Yahoo! Finance’s currency converter are the mid-market rates between bank transactions (where banks trades currencies with other banks). The retail price is completely different than that. Banks can charge markups that are high as 5% of the lump sum transferred, in addition to a fixed fee, while commercial currency transfers use tighter margins (usually around the 1-2% but could be much lower for high-volume transfers). That 1-2% represents their revenues (while it’s definitely not all-profit).
We drive in profits by referring clients to the foreign exchange companies listed on our site. Getting to a company through our affiliated links will not incur any additional fees. On the contrary, in many cases you can save money by using our partner links because it would induce extra perks. Our choices are well elaborated, and we only work with companies which have proved themselves as market leaders in the currency industry. You are welcomed to read the detailed reviews we have created for each of the companies to learn more about them.
What Do We Do?
What we do
InternationalMoneyTransfers.org provides information on international money transfers. We don’t handle currency exchange, send money overseas, or receiving payments from abroad ourselves. We don’t provide individual financial advice. We try to help our audience to make an informed choice on what is the cheapest ways to move money between different countries. Nothing more, nothing less.
More About This Guide
Our goal here at InterantionalMoneyTransfers.org is to provide our target audience with a complete and enjoyable experience. That audience consists of SME owners, expatriates, immigrants, property investors, foreign stock market investors, luxury buyers and people who have relatives abroad. These audiences are somewhat diverse by nature, and that’s exactly why we have decided to branch out and offer specialized guides dealing with a variety of topics.
Be sure to check the most popular emigration destinations in the world like the USA (number of expats and immigrants: 45m) , Germany(number of expats and immigrants: 9m), UAE (number of expats and immigrants: 7m), France (number of expats and immigrants: 7m), Canada (number of expats and immigrants: 7m), Australia (number of expats and immigrants: 6m), and Spain (number of expats and immigrants: 6m).
Don’t forget to control your FX exposure using our hedging guide.
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