Send or receive money from overseas. Get instant live quotes from the UK's biggest money transfer brokers.
A money transfer is where you send money from one bank account to another. If you're looking for physical cash instead, see our travel money comparisons for today's latest rates.
See below for more frequently asked questions on how money transfers work and how they could save you money.
There are two types of costs involved when making an international money transfer:
Transfer fees are fees that are charged by the bank or money transfer broker for using their service. Not all companies charge a transfer fee and some charge different fees depending on how you pay. For example, many high street banks do not charge a transfer fee if you make the transfer using online banking on via their app, but if you make the transfer in a branch or over the phone you will be charged a transfer fee (usually around £25).
However, transfer fees only tell half the story. The exchange rate that's used to convert your money to the destination currency also needs to be factored in, and this usually has a much bigger impact on the final amount being received.
There is no such thing as a 'standard' exchange rate. The closest most people see is the interbank or mid-market rates advertised online and on the banks' websites, but these are not the rates you'll receive as a customer. Whoever you use to make the transfer will take the interbank rate, subtract a percentage from it (called the margin or mark-up) and use this lower rate to convert your currency. Banks are notorious for shaving 5% or more off the rate they offer you, but you won't realise this until the last minute because they don't publish their rates anywhere online.
So how can a money transfer broker save you money? Simply by cutting down on the transfer fees and / or offering better exchange rates. In fact, some money transfer brokers are now offering the actual interbank exchange rate on money transfers and just charging a small transfer fee instead. The savings can be huge (around £50 more for every £1000 you send) but don't just take our word for it. Check out our comparison table above and we'll show you the current live rates offered by a number of banks and brokers after all fees have been included.
Once you've created an account with your chosen broker you'll be given bank details for the country you want to receive money from, so for euros you'll be given a European IBAN number or for US dollars you'll be given a US account and routing number. You can give these bank details to the person you want to receive money from so they can make a payment to you as though you were both in the same country. The money they send will be converted into British pounds using the broker's exchange rate and sent directly to your UK bank account.
The person sending you money from overseas doesn't have to have an account with your broker and neither of you will pay any extra fees.
Simple transfers to or from Europe are normally done within a few hours. The vast majority of transfers are completed within 1 working day, but some currencies may take slightly longer to fully clear depending on the destination country, the amount being sent and the recipient's bank. The broker will estimate the length of time it will take for your transfer to arrive before you confirm the transaction.
If you're paying by bank transfer there no limits to the amount you can send. In fact, money transfers are especially suited for large transfers (e.g. buying or selling property abroad) where the savings on exchange rates can be massive compared to using a high street bank. Sometimes, banks will only allow you to transfer out a certain amount of money each day. If this happens you can just split your transfer up into multiple chunks spread over a number of days.
If you are making a transfer from your credit or debit card, your card provider may impose a limit on the amount you can spend. This limit is typically between £2,500 - £10,000 but you should check with your card provider to be sure. Some money transfer brokers may also impose a limit on transfers made by card, particularly for new customers making a large transfer for the first time.
When you open a bank account, you usually need to provide some ID to the bank so they can verify your identity. Opening a money transfer account is no different. The brokers we compare are all licenced and regulated financial institutions so they need to know who is using their service to help combat money laundering and keep everyone's money safe.
Sometimes your identity can be automatically verified when you pay. If you are paying by bank transfer and the name on your bank account matches the name you used to set up the money transfer account, you may not need to provide any further identification.
Other times, depending on how much money you're sending and where you're sending it from, you may be asked to verify your identity. In most cases you'll be asked to scan or send a photo of either your passport, driver's licence or national ID card. If you're sending a large amount, like £50,000 or more, you might need to provide some additional documents that show how you got the money.