Welcome to our thorough overview discussing the best way to transfer money abroad. Every single service recommended on this page has been carefully and inspected by our staff, and we welcome you to read reviews of companies like World First, Currencies Direct and OFX on their respective pages.
All overseas money transfer services offered by these companies are fee-free, with local payment functionality in the most relevant regions, and most importantly – they are safe, secured, and regulated! We look not only for the cheapest way to transfer money abroad, but also for the most reliable, trouble-free, and smoothest way of transferring money abroad.
Transferring Money Overseas, Location-Based Recommendations:
- Handle 135+ Currencies
- Helpful Staff
- No Fees from UK
- Industry Leader
- Publicly Traded Company in Australia
- Industry Giants 20bn in Turnoever
- Accepting Clients from Across the USA
- 90%+ Reviews Of the Firm are Positive
- Easy to sign up
- Operating since 2004
- Local offices in Singapore and HK with local staff
- Publicly Traded Company in Australia
- Industry Giants 20bn in Turnoever
- Expertise in Outbound Australian Transfers
- 90%+ Reviews Of the Firm are Positive
- Local office in Tokyo
- Strong banking connections locally
- Years of experience with Yen transfers
- Local Offices in Dubai
- No fees for outbound transfers
- Operating in UAE for 10+ years
- Great rates on the AED
- 90% Positive Client Reviews
- One of few companies that can operate for outbound transfer from South Africa
- No fees
- Great ZAR rates
- Great reviews globally and specifically in SA
- No fees
- Local offices in India
- Strong reputation
- NOTE - Currencies Direct does not handle transfers originating in India abroad
Local Offices / Local Settlements
The most prominent factor on our sending money abroad comparison for private clients page is the localisation of each firm. Most companies can handle clients globally, but few companies have local offices outside of the UK (90% are headquartered there). When a certain company has local offices in any region, it is a strong signal that the sign-up process for clients from that region would be easy and comfortable, and that the support would be provided from a local employee from that office.
In addition, if a client would like to meet up in person with their trader (or simply have local customer support in their timezone), but the company they are dealing with does not have local offices near them, they would not be able to do so unless they travels abroad to do so. Over the past few years, money transfer companies have opened local offices in many expat hubs around the world such as UAE, Singapore, South Africa and Canada – so wherever you currently reside, you are bound to find a solution.
It’s just about understanding which money transfer company overlaps your territory.In addition, if a client would like to meet up in person with their trader (or simply have local customer support in their timezone), but the company they are dealing with does not have local offices near them, they would not be able to do so unless they travel abroad. Over the past few years, money transfer companies have opened local offices in many expat hubs around the world such as UAE, Singapore, South Africa and Canada – so wherever you currently reside, you are bound to find a solution. It’s just about understanding which money transfer company overlaps your territory.
The 10 Best Rated Money Transfer Companies – Where do They Have Offices?
Understanding where our top 10 money transfer companies have an office is a great indication of where they hold local settlement accounts too.
If a firm holds a local settlement account in your country it means you can process a local transfer to fund your FX transfer.
Likewise, if the FX firm has a settlement account in the country you are sending money to, the FX company will be able to complete a local transfer to your beneficiary as well.
It’s in these scenarios, where FX firms have a local account in both the sending and receiving country of your transfer, where real value can be added. You can expect to pay less in fees and experience a faster transfer. To learn more about this, read our guide on how to avoid intermediary and beneficiary bank fees that are involved in bank-to-bank transfers.
It’s worth noting that some of the FX companies listed below will hold local accounts in more countries than simply the ones they have an office in so it’s worth checking with the firm before you process your transfer.
Note: Global Reach has merged with its sister brand FC Exchange in October 2018. This is a joint review of both the Private and Corporate services of the merged firm.
TransferWise pride themselves on a transparent fee structure and excellent exchange rates. The online system is easy to use and users are almost unanimously satisfied. Read more about all aspects of the firm in this TransferWise review.
Best Way to Transfer Money Abroad – An Example
To look at an example, if you are an Australian expat living in the UK, this is how the process will look like with a company that has local settlements in both UK and Australia, eliminating intermediary fees and recipient bank fees and allowing you to know precisely how much money should be received by the recipient after the overseas money transfer is completed: How long will this take? View our speed of international money transfers guide on the topic.
The same would apply for many other currency corridors. If you move money from Germany to USA, choose a company which is recommended in the EU, and also has an American office. If you need to swap funds between UAE and South Africa, UK to Singapore, Sweden to USA, or New Zealand to Australia – just search for companies that havehas offices in both locales.
Where Are Our Readers Transferring Money Abroad?
* Approximate figures
** There are a lot more countries/ currencies which compose the remaining 15%
** We did not list how long it will take a transfer to reach its destination, for that we have created a specific guide on the speed of international money transfers. For Additional Information on the topic, including examples, view our FX Companies VS Banks comparison.
There are hundreds of companies that allow you to transfer money abroad. We reviewed the largest ones here on MoneyTransferComparison, and analysed the advantages and disadvantages of each. Our top companies have demonstrated consistent cheap rates, high quality support, true global reach, and user-friendliness all across their platform. Every choice we have made, whether for international transfers to Canada, Japan, Spain or New Zealand is backed up by thorough research.
Money Transfers From UK to Spain
The most common reason to make a money transfer from UK to Spain is to buy property. The UK has long been the biggest foreign market for buying Spanish properties, and despite a slowdown due to COVID, Britains are still leading demand. In Q2, 2020 there were 1,003 Spanish homes acquired by British buyers. Despite being a 54% drop on the same period in 2019, the UK was still the biggest national market by a wide margin, almost double the French and German markets combined. 30% of British buyers are opting for the province of Alicante, while 23% have decided on Malaga and 10% of the British market is in Murcia.
Why is Currencies Direct the best way to transfer money from UK to Spain?
Founded in 1996, Currencies Direct has held a Spanish branch since 1999. With multilingual capabilities, the firm offers local support for customers both prior to and after they emigrate from the UK to Spain. A range of products including forward contracts and regular transfers (great for house deposits and overseas mortgage payments) makes Currencies Direct the complete solution for money transfers from UK to Spain.
Money Transfers From UK to USA
The GBPUSD currency pair, nicknamed cable (due to the old transatlantic cable that used to run under sea in the 1800s), is one of the most heavily traded currency pairs in the world today. Daily trading volumes are estimated to be $431 billion, with a large portion of trading for speculative purposes only. That’s not to say it isn’t a popular route for deliverable FX either with huge volumes coming from businesses who pay for items in USD and individuals emigrating between the countries, making one-off large transfers for high-value items.
Why is OFX the best way to transfer money from UK to USA?
OFX holds offices in both the UK & USA and has a number of foreign exchange solutions for individuals moving between the two countries. Impressively, OFX can onboard clients from virtually all US states (all bar just two) – no mean feat considering you need a separate money transmitter license for each state.
Money Transfers From UK to France
Just as with money transfers from UK to Spain, property purchases contribute to a large number of money transfers from UK to France. British house-hunters are still the most active non-resident foreign buyers in France despite numbers falling since the 2016 Brexit referendum. Between 2007 and 2017, Britons bought a whopping 67% of property sold to foreign nationals. Nowadays, Britons make up 26% of all non-resident buyers.
Why is Currencies Direct the best way to transfer money from UK to France?
Currencies Direct has been helping clients transfer money from UK to France since its inception in 1996. With English and French speaking support staff, the website is available in both languages too.
Money Transfers From UK to UAE
The UAE (primarily Abu Dhabi and Dubai) have long been a hotspot for British expats. With no income tax, many see the reward in emigrating as a short to mid term plan for saving cash. In 2008, it was estimated there were 20,000 Britons living in the UAE, with that figure increasing tenfold and 200,000 Brits now estimated to be living in Dubai. Virtually all money transfers from UK to UAE involve British expats. Flows in the opposite direction will see money transfers from UAE to UK in order to repatriate salary.
Why is Currencies Direct the best way to transfer money from UK to UAE?
Moneycorp specialises in middle Eastern transfers with offices in the gulf. The company has been offering currency services since 1979.
Money Transfers From UK to Canada
The English have been emigrating to Canada since colonisation of the country began in the 16th century. According to the UN, Canada is the third most popular destination for British expats. Ontario is by far the most popular destination, with almost 265,000 British residents. British Columbia is home to 33,600 Britons, Alberta is home to 19,700 Britons and Quebec is home to 12,900 Britons.
Why is Global Reach the best way to transfer money from UK to Canada?
Having recently acquired the canadian based EncoreFX, London-headquartered Global Reach is well served to offer international money transfers in both the UK and Canada. With eight offices in Canada the firm is well placed to handle money transfers from Canada to UK as well as money transfers from UK to Canada.
Money Transfers From UK to Singapore
It goes without saying that Britain and Singapore have a deep history. As a former British Crown colony, trade remains strong between the nations and Singapore remains a popular living destination among people from the UK. Currently, around 50,000 British expats are living in Singapore. Similar to money transfers from UK to UAE and money transfers from UK to Canada, expats contribute a lot to the bank-to-bank money transfers from UK to Singapore. A typical reader of ours will look to repatriate their salary home from Singapore to UK.
Why is WorldFirst the best way to transfer money from UK to Singapore?
Headquartered in London, WorldFirst has a strong presence throughout Asia and can easily onboard clients in both the UK and Singapore. In Singapore, there are a few onboarding procedures to be aware of when registering for a new financial services company which WorldFirst are long familiar with so they can ensure the registration process is still smooth and quick.
Money Transfers From UK to Australia
There are a significant number of Australian expats living in the UK – around 140,000 – with many looking to repatriate their salary home. British expats living in Australia will also need to transfer their savings or make high-value purchases when in Australia such as a new car or house. Money Transfers from UK to Australia are a popular corridor and a number of the companies we have reviewed on MoneyTransferComparison have opened an Australian office.
Why is WorldFirst the best way to transfer money from UK to Australia?
WorldFirst has been operating in Australia for over 10 years. With offices in London and Sydney and local bank accounts in both the UK and Australia it means money transfers from UK to Australia are easy and fast.
Money Transfers From USA to UK
There are a similar number of British expats living in America as there are in Canada – roughly 600,000. Around 24% of Brits in the USA are thought to be pensioners and may initiate money transfers from UK to USA in order to transfer their pension or savings. Many of the Brits working in the US repatriate their USD salary back to the UK and contribute to the significant volume of money transfers from USA to UK.
Why is OFX the best way to transfer money from USA to UK?
The process to register as a money transfer provider in the US is costly from both a money and time point of view. Firms are required to register with each state individually and this is exactly what OFX has done, making it a great option for money transfers from USA to UK.
Money Transfers From Australia to UK
Around 1.2 million Britons live in Australia – making it the most popular destination in the world for UK expats. To put that into perspective there are more Britons living in Australia then there are living in the US and Canada combined. Britons earning their salary in AUD can repatriate their earnings with money transfers from Australia to UK.
Why is WorldFirst the best way to transfer money from UK to Australia?
Just as with money transfers from UK to Australia, WorldFirst is the best option for money transfers from Australia to UK. The local accounts in both countries benefit transfers in both directions and the Sydney office is a benefit for expats wanting to interact with a firm in the same time zone.
Money Transfers From Australia to USA
Money Transfers from Australia to USA are largely driven on the private side by expats – just as with money transfers from Australia to UK. There are slightly less Aussies living in the US than the UK – estimated to be around 106,000 Australian citizens residing in the USA. The major hubs include 25,000 Aussies living in Los Angeles, 17,000 in San Francisco, 17,000 in Washington and 15,000 in New York. Business transfers will play a significant role in money transfers from Australia to USA with many Aussie importers paying suppliers in USD.
Why is OFX the best way to transfer money from Australia to USA?
Not only does OFX hold offices in the UK and USA, it holds offices in Sydney too. In fact the firm is Australian-headquartered and listed on the Sydney stock exchange – making OFX a very sound choice for money transfers from Australia to USA.
Money Transfers From Australia to NZ
Australia and New Zealand have a rich history. In fact, New Zealand and Australia’s economic and trading relationship is recognised as one of the closest, broadest and mutually compatible in the world. The Australia – New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement was also the first free trade agreement to cover services as well as products. As a result of these close trading ties, business payments account for a significant volume of the money transfers from Australia to NZ.
Why is WorldFirst the best way to transfer money from Australia to NZ?
OFX is another great option for money transfers from Australia to New Zealand but given WorldFirst has committed to transparent pricing between 0.15% – 0.5% and is available in both Australia and New Zealand they just make it as our most recommended provider for money transfers from Australia to NZ.
Money Transfers From NZ to Australia
Australia is New Zealand’s largest trading partner in terms of both imports and exports of goods and services. Australia is also the primary destination and source for foreign direct investment. 54% of New Zealand’s foreign direct investment is in Australia, and 36% of all foreign direct investment in New Zealand comes from Australia. Just as with money transfers from Australia to New Zealand, businesses are responsible for a lot of the money transfers from New Zealand to Australia. Due to the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement, individuals moving between the two countries also contribute a lot to money transfers from NZ to Australia.
Why is OFX the best way to transfer money from NZ to Australia?
The fact OFX holds a local New Zealand office and WorldFirst doesn’t, means OFX just pips WorldFirst as the best way to transfer money from NZ to Australia.
Money Transfers From Singapore to USA
Money transfers from Singapore to USA are largely business related. Bilateral relations between the United States and Singapore have existed for a long time with the United States first opening a consulate in Singapore in 1836. In 2003, the United States and Singapore signed a free trade agreement, to come into force from 1st January 2004. Since the agreement was signed, the growth of US investment in Singapore has grown as has the large number of Americans living there.
Why is WorldFirst the best way to transfer money from Singapore to USA?
As we have mentioned before, WorldFirst‘s local office in Singapore is well versed in the heavy compliance procedures that are involved in operating in Singapore. Their expertise will make money transfers from Singapore to USA drastically easier.
How Did We Determine The Best Way to Transfer Money Abroad Per Location?
The way the international money transfer industry has developed has seen different money transfer providers focus their efforts around different parts of the world. Currencies Direct is very strong throughout Europe and South Africa, WorldFirst has a strong presence in Asia, whilst OFX has Australia and the US well covered. Moneycorp is global and can be found around the world – of all money transfer providers it covers South America the best. When a company holds an office in a certain country it is usually with the intention to offer money transfer services to citizens of that country.
THE EXCEPTION IS THE USA:
Sending money overseas from the US requires the payment company to be regulated on a state-by-state level. Many of the companies don’t handle USA-based clients at all. The companies we have selected for sending money from the USA and Canada are the ones that handle most states. Still, there are some variations in our company selection between different areas.
THINGS WE HAVE PUT INTO CONSIDERATION INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
- Whether company is dealing with local currency
- Whether the company has local offices in the country or nearby
- Whether the site is translated to the local language
- Whether we have received a clear verification from the company they have a client base in that country
- Whether there are promotions/offers specific to a locale
For instance, our recommended company to move money from the UK is Currencies DirectWorld First, which is headquartered in London, and able to move money abroad to 120 different regions including sending money to Australia, Europe, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand and many more locations. The majority of its clients are UK-based or Brits abroad, and it also offers a price rate guarantee for this audience.
How does it work really?
Sending money to a bank through an international wire is something a licensed payment facility can do. In the UK, the regulatory authority is the HM Revenue & Customs, and the Financial Conduct Authority. We, of course, only recommended companies which specialise at transferring money across borders, and are authorised with the FCA as such. Many of which are also registered with other powerful regulators like the Australian ASIC, or the Central Bank of Ireland.
The way the process works is as following:
1. CHOOSE A COMPANY. Get to its website by clicking on the “Get Free Quote” button. You can choose several companies if you have a large transfer, and compare the costs. You will get quoted once you provide preliminary details about your identity, and before you have completely registered with the company.
2. REGISTER. You will have to supply documentation (quite similar to the one you provide when you open a new bank account).
3. EXECUTE. Execute the transfer via an online platform (recommended for smaller transfers of up to £5,000), or via telephone (recommended for larger transfers)
4. TRANSFER FUNDS DOMESTICALLY. You will now have to send the money in your local currency to a secured, segregated clients-only account, owned by the company you have chosen to work with.
5. MONEY EXCHANGED AND SENT ABROAD. Most transfers will happen in up to 48 hours, and money will be executed on the same day. The amount of money received will reflect the exact quote you were provided with, unless the recipient bank decides to charge incoming funds (won’t happen in UK, EU, Australia or the USA, but can happen if you send money overseas to Asia).It also works the other way around with repatriation of funds, of course.
BANKS – ARE THEY THE BEST WAY TO MOVE FUNDS ABROAD?
The case study of globetrotting John.
John can’t get a straight answer on the markups he is expected to pay, especially when the “market is fluctuating”. He gets no guidance or support on the subject, besides being told to re-approach for a quote when the money is to be moved. There are no specific guidelines or tips which are based on John’s individual needs. For the bank, it doesn’t matter whether John needs to move money in Europe to his sister in France, buy an asset in Australia, or move his pension back from Ireland to a bank account in Singapore. It’s a “one-size-fits-all” service by a banker no specalised in foreign exchange.
COMMERCIAL MONEY TRANSFERS ABROAD
Commercial money transfer firms: When approaching one of the top-choice companies like Currencies Direct, World First, or Moneycorp with the intent of sending money abroad in the future, John will be offered Forward Contracts: a way to secure the current exchange rate for a period of up to 24 months from the day of the contract. That means, if John has set aside an amount of exactly 105,000 Pounds and signed such a contract with either of the companies, he can focus on finding an asset within a clear budget (in Euros), without spending anything that wasn’t intended for this cause. Not only will the quote be remarkably cheaper, it will also prevent the sorrow of currency fluctuations. Some companies, like Currency Solutions or Global Reach Partners, will allow John to make the currency exchange and transfer on an immediate basis, and save the money exchanged in the companies’ Euro account, until it has an address (for any period of time).
NOT ONLY MONEY MOVING….
John will be in contact with a dedicated dealer who has helped hundreds or thousands of clients invest, or move, abroad. Another set of eyes will never hurt. The dedicated dealer can give guidance on all aspects relating to the transaction, and put John in touch with solicitors, property agents and tax consultants (only the very best). Expanding internationally: Whether John would use these services in the future, he can always call his dealer and make an international payment to almost anywhere in the world. Companies such as World First support 150 currencies. John can move his rent money from France to his bank account in South Africa, to pay for a mortgage and invest in another property in New Zealand without ever going to the bank.
Best Way to Transfer Money Abroad Summarized
There is no one clear choice as to the best way to transfer money abroad. The competitiveness of the money transfer industry, particularly now in the UK, is such that different money transfer providers will be the best way to transfer money abroad depending on the country you are sending money from and the country you are sending money to. A lot will depend on your requirements and personal preferences.
Firstly, you will need to be clear about what it is you are looking for from your international payments provider when transferring money abroad. If you are looking for the cheapest way to transfer money abroad, then you have two ways of looking at it. The cheapest way to transfer money abroad from a pure fee and spread perspective is most often Transferwise. If you aren’t fussed about the timing of your transfer or setting a target rate at which your FX trade will be automatically executed then Transferwise is a great option when transferring money abroad.
If, however, you regard the cheapest way to transfer money abroad as the best possible rate you can achieve then you may value the expertise provided by Currencies Direct, WorldFirst or Moneycorp. Whilst they cannot provide direct advice, they can inform you of the potential happenings in the currency markets that could influence the rate of your currency pair. In any case, the cheapest way to transfer money abroad from UK is very closely fought between Transferwise and WorldFirst. For larger payments it’s likely WorldFirst will be the cheapest way to transfer money abroad from UK, plus you’ll also receive the perks of a dedicated account manager and multiple payment solutions that TransferWise can’t offer. If you are absolutely insistent on finding the cheapest way to transfer money abroad from your locale then it pays to compare transferring money abroad with a number of providers.
If you regard the best ways to transfer money abroad as a company that provides flexible payment options and hedging solutions that can remove a lot of the risk and uncertainty in currency markets then you would certainly prefer the services of Currencies Direct or Moneycorp. They can easily assist you in transferring money overseas and in receiving money from abroad – if you are repatriating an overseas salary then they can arrange for repeat transfers that are either executed at the rate the time the funds are received or hedged with multiple forward contracts.
When we look at the best way to transfer money abroad from UK or any country for that matter, we look at each provider’s global footprint and the experience they have in transferring money overseas from your country of origin to your destination country. We believe this is the best indication of a money transfer fim being able to effortlessly provide an easy and fast service to transfer money overseas and receive money from abroad from the countries it is you require. Remember it is just an indication though and who you deem to be the best way to transfer money abroad will be down to you. By using MoneyTransferComaprison you can easily understand those that are regulated, safe and have a wealth of positive customer reviews so are a good fit to transfer money abroad.