Sending Money Abroad From the UK

The world has become increasingly interconnected, making it easier than ever to send money abroad. Whether you’re paying a contractor, making overseas investment, or simply sending money to your family or friends in another country, there are several ways to do it.

In this article, we’ll outline how to send money abroad from the UK. We’ll cover what international money transfers are and how they work and give you tips on choosing the best money transfer option for your needs. We’ll also touch on some of the costs of sending money internationally.

So, if you’re looking to send money overseas, read on!

What Exactly Is an International Money Transfer and How Do They Work?

In a nutshell, an international money transfer constitutes sending money from one country to another. Money transfers can be done through a bank (i.e., wire transfers), credit union, or an online service provider.

Whenever you transfer money (or data representing that money) from one person to another, you can do so instantly. For a small fee, you can send and receive money online using a web-based, secure service from any computer with Internet access.

The sending and receiving parties usually only need to provide their contact information, such as cell phone numbers or email addresses that are linked to their bank accounts. You don’t have to go anywhere, not even to a bank or telegraph station, to wire money.

When sending money abroad, here are some things to keep in mind:

Exchange Rates

If the recipient receives the money in a different currency, you’ll need to consider the currency exchange rate. The exchange rate is prone to fluctuations depending on the currency in question. Make sure you have this sorted out before you make a transfer. You can check the exchange rate on websites like

Transfer Fees

The transfer fee is charged by the bank or service provider for processing the transaction. Depending on the transfer method, the fee can either be a fixed amount or a percentage of the total transaction.

What Are the Best Ways to Send Money Abroad?

There are a few different ways to send money abroad, and the best option for you will depend on your specific needs and circumstances.

Here are some of the most popular options:

Bank Transfers  

A bank transfer is one of the simplest and most common ways to send money overseas. All you need is the recipient’s bank account information, and your bank will handle the rest. Fees can vary depending on the banks involved, but they are typically minimal. Transfers can take a few days to process, so this may not be the best option if you need to send money urgently.

If you’re sending money abroad through your bank, you typically have three options available: a SEPA transfer, an international bank transfer or an international money transfer. All of these methods have their own pros and cons.

SEPA transfers are quick, cheap, and easy to arrange but they have a relatively small maximum transfer limit. International bank transfers are much the same but with a bigger transfer limit. International money transfers are slower than SEPAs and bank transfers but they have larger transfer limits.

These transfer methods all allow you to send money abroad at the current exchange rate. This means that you’ll be charged the standard exchange rate for the amount you’re sending. However, there are some banks that offer preferential exchange rates for international payments.

Money Transfer Services

Many companies specialize in international money transfers, such as Western Union or MoneyGram. These services are convenient because they have locations all over the world, so recipients can pick up the money quickly and easily. Fees tend to be higher than with bank transfers, but they are often worth it for the convenience and speed.

You’ll read more about money transfer services below.

Credit Cards

If you’re sending money abroad with a credit card, you’ll probably get a better exchange rate than if you were using a bank account. However, it’s important to note that you’ll also be charged a fee as well as interest on the money if you don’t pay it off in full.

When you use a credit card for overseas payments, the amount of money you send is first placed on hold in your local currency. A few days later, the amount is converted into the currency of the country you’re sending money to.

At this point, two fees are applied: the foreign exchange conversion fee and the international transaction fee. The foreign exchange conversion fee is a percentage of the amount transferred, while the international transaction fee is a set amount.

Credit cards often have lower foreign exchange conversion fees than banks but have higher international transaction fees. This means that the overall cost of your transfer is likely to be lower when using a credit card.

An International Wire Transfer Company

These types of companies are best suited to people who want to send large amounts of money abroad regularly. Companies such as Currencies Direct offer international money transfer services with fixed exchange rates. This means that you know exactly what you’ll pay before your money is ever sent.

With these services, you have to open an account and set up a payment schedule. This gives you more control over when you send your money, but it also means that you won’t be able to send it on the same day that you receive the payment. This means that banks and credit cards are better for one-off payments.

Bitcoin (Cryptocurrencies)

Bitcoin is a digital currency that can be used to send money anywhere in the world almost instantly and with very low fees. However, it can be tricky to navigate it if you’re not familiar with technology, and there’s always a risk that the value of Bitcoin could fluctuate wildly (although it has been relatively stable lately).

Things to Consider When Sending Money Abroad

What Are the Costs of Sending Money Abroad?

When you send money internationally, you should also take into account:

  • The costs incurred by intermediary banks:

In some cases, there may also be fees charged by intermediary banks involved in processing your international payment. These fees are often passed on to you by your primary bank or money transfer service provider, so it’s important to check with them before initiating a transfer to see if any additional fees will be incurred along the way.

  • The overall cost:

When you’re comparing money transfer providers, it’s important to look at the overall cost of the transfer. i.e., the sum of all the fees involved, so that you get the best deal. For example, if Provider A has an upfront fee of 5% and an exchange rate margin of 4%, while Provider B has an upfront fee of 2% and an exchange rate margin of 6%, then Provider A is the cheaper option for sending your money abroad.

What Is the Cheapest Way to Send Money Abroad?

There are a few ways to minimize the cost of an international money transfer:

  • Use a service with low fees

Some companies charge per-transfer fees, while others take a percentage of the total amount being sent. Compare options and choose the provider with the lowest fees.

  • Check the exchange rate

The rate can fluctuate daily, so it’s important to time your transfer wisely to get the most value for your money. Check rates regularly and consider using a service that offers forward contracts or limits orders to lock in a favorable rate in advance.

  • Send larger amounts of money

Companies often offer lower rates for larger transfers, so this can be a good way to save on costs.

  •  Choose an efficient payment method

Wire transfers tend to be more expensive than alternatives like ACH or debit cards, so consider using one of these methods if possible.

  • Shop around for the best deal

Compare rates and fees from multiple providers before making a decision. Remember to factor in all costs associated with each option, not just the upfront fee.

By following these tips, you can minimize the cost of sending money abroad and get the most value for your money.

What International Transfer Fees Can I Expect and Why Do They Vary?

Based on the payment method you choose to send money abroad, you’ll incur different transfer fees.

Wire transfers are typically the most expensive option, with fees averaging around $30 per transaction. Online money transfers tend to be cheaper, with average fees of around $10 per transfer. Cash pickups are usually the cheapest option, with fees ranging from $5 to $15 per transaction.

The reason fees vary so much is that there are a lot of different factors that go into pricing a money transfer. The main ones include the size of the transfer, the destination country, the exchange rate, and the type of service used.

What Is the Safest Way to Send Money Overseas?

If you’re looking for the safest way to send money abroad, wire transfers and online payment platforms are two of the best options available.

A wire transfer is a direct bank-to-bank transaction that is typically used for large sums of money. The funds are transferred from your account to the recipient’s account within 24 hours, making it a quick way to send money abroad.

These companies handle billions of transactions for millions of customers. Globally, they are regulated by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and protect all of your information with state-of-the-art security.

Another safe option for sending money overseas is through a service like PayPal. PayPal uses some of the best end-to-end encryption available, making it one of the most secure financial services on the market. Two-factor authentication helps secure your account as well.

How Long Does It Take to Send Money Abroad From the UK?

It can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days to send money abroad from the UK, depending on the method you use.

Generally, the recipient receives the money through international wire transfers within 24 hours. With PayPal, standard transfers typically take 1 to 3 business days, while moving money out by check may take several weeks. With Bitcoin, sending times can range from seconds to 60 minutes.

There are a few things that can affect how long it takes for your money to reach its destination:

  • The country you’re sending money to – some countries are faster than others when it comes to processing international payments. For example, payments to European countries tend to be faster than payments to countries outside of Europe.

  • The amount of money you’re sending – larger amounts of money may take longer to process than smaller amounts.

  • The time of day/week that you make the payment – payments made during weekends or holidays may take longer to process than payments made during weekdays.

Are There Minimum and Maximum Transfer Limits?

Most banks and online money transfer services have minimum and maximum limits for international money transfers. These limits can vary depending on the provider, but they typically range from $100 to $10,000.

Some providers may have higher or lower limits, so it’s important to check with your chosen provider before making a transfer.

What Licenses and Accreditations Should I Look for?

When looking for a safe and reliable way to send money abroad, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First, make sure the company you’re using is properly licensed and accredited. When looking for a money transfer service, be sure to check for licenses and accreditations from agencies like OFAC and FCA. This will ensure that they’re able to legally operate in your country and that they have a good reputation.

Secondly, look for companies that offer low or no international transfer fees. These can vary greatly depending on the company, so it’s important to shop around.

Lastly, consider the different ways you can send money abroad. Some methods may be faster or more convenient than others, so choose the one that best suits your needs.

Why Use a Money Transfer Service?

One of the best ways to send money abroad is by using a money transfer service. Money transfer services offer a number of advantages over other methods, such as banks, for sending money overseas.

Some of the main benefits of using a money transfer service include:

  • Speed: 

Money transfer services can be much faster than using a bank to send money abroad. This is because the process is often streamlined and there are fewer steps involved. If you need to send money abroad urgently, you will want to find a provider that offers fast transfers.

  • Costs: 

Money transfer services can be more cost-effective than banks, especially if you’re sending large amounts of money. This is because banks often charge high fees for international transfers. You will want to find a provider that offers a competitive exchange rate to get the most bang for your buck. Some providers charge transfer fees, while others do not. You should compare the fees charged by each provider to find the cheapest option.

  • Convenience: 

Money transfer services are typically very convenient to use. You can often initiate a transfer online or through a mobile app, and the recipient will usually receive the funds within a few days.

  • Security: 

Money transfer services are generally very safe and secure. They use robust systems to protect your personal and financial information, and they typically offer insurance in case something goes wrong with your transaction.

  • Payment methods:  

Some providers only allow bank transfers, while others also support payments via credit cards or PayPal. You should choose a provider that offers a payment method that is convenient for you.

  • Pickup locations:  

Some providers have several pickup locations. If you need to send money to a specific country, you should check that the provider has a pickup location in that country before signing up.

You can also use these parameters to compare different money transfers and make a well-informed decision.

Currencies Direct – Our Top Pick for Sending Money Abroad

Currencies Direct is a money transfer service that lets users transfer money between different countries. It’s a great way to send money to friends and family in other countries. This online money transfer service is provided by Currencies Direct, a UK-based company that has been in operation since 1996 and is part of the Moneycorp Group.

Currencies Direct is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. It is one of the largest international money transfer companies in the world, with over 3 million customers in 160 countries.

How Does Currencies Direct Transfer Work?

The Currencies Direct website is accessible in ten different languages to meet the needs of customers around the world. Compared to its competitors, this makes the company more accessible abroad.

Currencies Direct offers both personal and business solutions, offering customized solutions in multiple languages. Business customers can get assistance with large international payments, accounts for local collection, and risk management, while personal customers can obtain help with purchasing property overseas, expat emigration, or simply transferring money to family abroad.

Unlike most companies, Currencies Direct earns revenue by a small percentage of foreign exchange rates rather than charging transfer fees. In contrast, banks charge fees based not only on exchange rates but also on transfer fees and other bank charges.

Currencies Direct Pros

  • No matter how much money you transfer internationally, you’ll get great rates

  • Your case is handled by a dedicated account manager

  • With the mobile app, you can send up to 25,000 GBP at any time

  • With teams in several countries, you receive local specialized expertise

  • They can help you purchase a house in a foreign country

  • If there are any additional fees, you will be notified in advance

  • Your account is accessible online, on a tablet, or on a smartphone

  • Filing a claim gets you a free estimate.

Currencies Direct Cons

  • There is no cash pickup option available

  • Transfers via the mobile app are limited to $25,000 per transaction.

If you need to send money overseas, it’s definitely worth trying out a money transfer service like Currencies Direct. It’s much cheaper than other methods and more convenient than carrying large amounts of cash.


If you’re looking to send money abroad from the UK, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

First, you need to understand international money transfers and how they work. Second, you need to compare money transfer service providers to find the best deal. Finally, you should be aware of the costs of sending money abroad. With that said, there are a few ways to send money abroad from the UK that are cheaper than others.

If you’re sending money overseas, be sure to do your research and choose a reputable service that will keep your money safe. There’s no reason to take unnecessary risks with so many options available.