Here's a list of providers who can help you. We've listed them in alphabetical order.
- Free transfers and bank-beating exchange rates
- Transfer over the phone, 24/7 online or via their app
- Get ‘best rate guarantee’ on all your transfers
- Minimum transfer is £100
- Payment by debit card and bank transfer only
5* 'excellent' rating on Trustpilot - over 1500 reviews
- Access a dedicated personal service through the telephone dealing team
- Free Rate Watch Service
- Send money online or through the FairFX mobile app
- Transfers via telephone dealing desk. Minimum transfer amount of £3,000
- Payment by bank transfer only
- FairFX do not offer transfers from INR to any other currency
- Secure the exchange rate for up to two years in advance
- One-off or regular payments with a Best Exchange Rate Guarantee
- Transact online or over the telephone with a dedicated dealer
- For Indian Rupee the minimum transfer amount is £20,000
- Unable to facilitate transfers involving Chinese Yuan Renminbi
- Minimum transfer amount £3,000 and payments by bank transfers only
5* 'excellent' rating on Trustpilot - over 600 reviews
- Helpful, impartial guidance rather than pushy advice - consultants not incentivised by commission
- No transfer fees or hidden charges - what Frontierpay quotes, it sends
- Ease of use - move money online, by phone or via email
- Minimum transfer is £500
- Payment by bank to bank transfer only
- This service is not available to anyone domiciled in India
5* 'excellent' rating on Trustpilot - over 200 reviews
- High quality service from a dedicated, friendly and experienced currency consultant at the other end of the phone
- Online transfers, automatic rate watch and regular transfers services available
- Insights, updates and free guides on how currency markets affect you
- Minimum transfer amount £250. No cash transactions, bank transfer only
- For regulatory purposes, service not available to anyone domiciled in India
- Make money transfers online 24/7/365, using any device
- Competitive exchange rates and absolutely no transfer fees
- Authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority
- Minimum transfer £50
- No cash, bank transfers & debit/credit cards only
5* ‘excellent’ rating on Trustpilot from over 10,000 verified reviews
- Discounted rates and no transfer fees (exclusive to MoneySuperMarket)
- Competitive rates when compared to high street banks
- Money transfers available 24/7
- Minimum online transfer £50
- 24/7 online access to great exchange rates
- Award winning customer service
- If you get a better quote from another bank, contact Virgin within 3 hours and Virgin Money will beat it. Terms and conditions apply
- Minimum transfer amount of £1,000
- Telephone dealing team available 8.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday
- This service is available to UK residents only
International personal transfers
Let’s say you want to send between £500 and £5,000 abroad. If you – and the recipient – both have a bank account, you could contact your bank and arrange a transfer from your own account to the account overseas.
Exchange rate loading
The transfer could take up to five working days and the fee will typically be about £40, though you can usually pay extra for an express service. The fee isn’t the only cost involved as banks also load the exchange rate on international money transfers. You should therefore ask how many euros or dollars you will get for your sterling in order to fully understand the charges.
Foreign exchange broker
It’s always worth contacting your bank if you want to send money overseas, but it might be cheaper to carry out the transfer through a currency or foreign exchange broker. You normally have to register with the broker first, but the process is pretty straightforward and usually does not carry an obligation to carry out a transaction.
You then confirm the details of the deal, send the funds to the broker and the cash is transferred electronically to the recipient.
Many brokers do not charge a fee for transfers of £3,000 or more. They also tend to offer more competitive exchange rates than the banks, though you should always check the charges before you agree to the deal.
Time the transaction
A foreign exchange broker can also be more flexible than a bank because you can time the transaction, hopefully taking advantage of exchange rate movements. For example, you can choose to send the money immediately at the current rate of exchange, sometimes known as the spot rate.
Alternatively, a forward contract allows you to lock into today’s exchange rate but send the money at a date in the future. Or, there’s a limit order, which lets you nominate your ideal exchange rate. The money is then sent when the rate is reached.
If you don’t have access to a bank account, a money transfer firm might be the answer. You can usually conduct the transfer online but many such firms, such as MoneyGram and Western Union, also have a high-street presence.
Again, you need to check the charges as there will be a fee, plus the exchange rate loading. It’s then simply a question of handing over your cash or card and the firm will send the money overseas. The recipient can usually collect the funds immediately at a branch or agency of the transfer firm wherever they are in the world.
Whether you choose to send the money through a bank, broker or transfer firm depends to a large extent on the cost and the timescale. But you should also consider the security of your cash. Your bank will almost certainly be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It should also be a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so there are some guarantees if something should go wrong.
If you opt for a transfer firm or broker that is not authorised by the FCA, you are unlikely to be protected by the FSCS.
MoneySuperMarket’s comparison service is a quick and easy way to compare the costs of international money transfers, so you can be sure to get the best deal.