If you are moving to another country there is a lot you need to take care of, not least of which will be your finances. Whether you are selling your house and need to have the proceeds sent to you after you have left or you have local bill payments you will need to take care of from abroad, the way you transfer your money can make a huge difference.

The main factors to consider are how much you need to send, how fast it needs to get there and how often you will need to make such transfers. There is certainly no shortage of ways to send money overseas, let’s take a look at your best options.

If you’re about to move to the UK, you’ll probably need to convert some of your savings into pounds. 

However, it’s best to avoid using high street banks for this process, as you’ll usually have to pay high fees, and you won’t get the best exchange rate. 

That’s why we’ve teamed up with TransferWise, an online international money transfer service which uses the real exchange rate, and charges low fees. How much could you save? Well, its service can be up to 8x cheaper than high street banks.

Join more than 7 million people and start using TransferWise today.

Bank transfers

Banks provide one of the safest ways to transfer large sums of money and you can do so from the comfort of your own home. All you need are the account details, the name and address of the recipient, and if you are with an international bank, transferring funds between accounts is simple, fast and often free.

Unfortunately, most bank transfers can take up to a week to process and there are usually fees involved with both sending and receiving money. Bank exchange rates are also far from competitive – which can cost you a fortune on a large transfer – and many banks limit how much money you can send and how often you can do so.

Money transfer services

Sending funds via services like Moneygram and Western Union can take as little as 10 minutes, the recipient doesn’t need a bank account and there are thousands of locations all over the world. All you need is the recipient’s name and all they need is photo ID and a confirmation number.

The downside is that these services usually offer rather unfavourable exchange rates; their fees are high, and the more money you send the more expensive it gets. Money transfer services also limit the amount you can send each day, for instance, Western Union limits transfers from Australia to $5,000 (AUS) per day.

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PayPal is free to join, available in over 200 countries and provides fantastic customer service. All you need is a PayPal account, a secure Internet connection and the name or phone number of the recipient – all the recipient needs is a PayPal account.

However, for cross-border transfers, PayPal charges the sender a fee of 1% of the sent amount and the recipient is also charged a fee of 3.9% – for this reason PayPal is best used for transferring small amounts of money. While the money is transferred instantly it takes roughly 3 days to get from PayPal into your bank account; additional charges also apply if a credit card is used to transfer funds or if the currency needs to be converted.

Foreign exchange brokers (Forex)

One of the best ways to send large amounts of money overseas is by using a foreign exchange broker. Not only will you enjoy the best exchange rates available, you can lock in rates for future transfers or even choose a preferred rate and have the transfer automatically sent once that rate is reached.

Best of all, there are often no fees or charges involved! Forex brokers have special deals for corporate clients and regular customers as well, so if you send money frequently you can save a considerable sum. The only downside is that many forex brokers require a minimum transfer, which is usually around $6,233.

Finding the right way to transfer funds can save you a fortune, so be sure to get the most out of your hard earned money by transferring it wisely.

The following table compares the fees associated with sending $6,233 to the United Kingdom using four main methods. All fee estimations include the combined cost of both sending and receiving money.

FromBank TransferMoney Transfer ServicesPayPalForex Brokers
Australia$45 (AUS)$450 (AUS)$524 (AUS)Free
Canada$27 (CAN)$400 (CAN)$501 (CAN)Free
USA$45 (US)$315 (US)$382 (US)Free
China279.43 CNY217.34 CNY2,376 CNYFree
India5,758.78 INRn/y24,442.84 INRFree
France20 EUR70 EUR348.50 EURFree