The Best Ways to Transfer Large Sums of Money Abroad

We are covering a very large variety of international money transfer services since 2014 and our focus has been, since day 1, in finding the best way to transfer large sums abroad. This is what this article would tackle but more over, our entire website, Money Transfer Comparison is based on that. When you read each of our 80+ reviews, you will see our angle is always “how good is this service for transferring large amounts between bank accounts”, rather trying to figure out whether the service helps saving money on smaller amounts. That doesn’t mean that each of the services we have covered is able to serve the need of those looking to transfer large sums from UK, but our best recommended (featured) companies are definitely able to do that.

To start off from the top, we will present to you 5 recommended and easy ways to transfer large sums of money overseas:

The Best Way Transfer Money Abroad & Save Money 🇪🇺 🇬🇧 🇦🇺 🇺🇸

Transferring large amounts of money between UK, EU, USA, Australia, Other European Countries, Asia, South-Africa, NZ & More.

UK EU USA #1 Currencies Direct: Best Way to Send & Recieve Foreign Transfers
Headquarters:
1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AA, UK
97.8% Editorial rating
3,000 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
£100 / €100 / $100 or equivalent
Why Them?
  • 96% Positive Feedback from Customers, Since 1996
  • Service Oriented - Specialising in Large Transfers - Friendly Dealers
  • Very Competitive Rates, No Wire Fees
+Read more
UK Australia EU #2 TorFX: Strong Guidance and Staff
Availability:
Pz360, St Mary's Terrace,Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4DZ, UK
93.4% Editorial rating
3,000 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
£100 / €100 / $100 or equivalent
Why Them?
  • Headequarters Outside of London - Lower Staff Costs Rolled Over to the Client
  • Quick Onboarding Process and Highly Professional
  • Trading Desk with 100+ Years of Experience
+Read more
UK EU Australia USA UAE #3 moneycorp: Most Reputable Foreign Exchange Service + Multi-Currency Account
Headquarters:
Zig Zag Building, 70 Victoria St, Westminster, London SW1E 6SQ, UK
93.2% Editorial rating
7,000 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
£50 / €50 / $50 or equivalent
Why Them?
  • The First UK Service to Help People Send Money Abroad and Receive Money from Abroad - Est. 1979
  • Very Recognisable Brand with Excellent Reputation - £36.9in Transfers Annually with Offices in Every Continent
  • You Can Receive Money into Your Named Account in Multiple Currencies and Also Hold It (Multi-Currency Solutions Like Revolut)
+Read more
UK Spain #4 Key Currency: Up and Coming Currency Broker with Local Presence in Spain
Local British Offices:
St Piran House, Technology Park, Heron Way, Truro TR1 2XN, United Kingdom
90.2% Editorial rating
800 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
€250
Why Them?
  • Recepient of Multiple Industry Awards
  • Close and Personal Touch
  • Specialists in the UK-Spain Corridor
+Read more

This guide is focused towards large-sum transfers in the following currency corridors:

Transferring money from UK to USA, transferring money from UK to Spain, transferring money from UK to France, transferring money from UK to Australia, transferring money from USA to UK, transfer money from Australia to UK, Australia to NZ, transfer from UK to Sweden, Switzerland to UK, transfers from UK to Portugal or Italy etc.; i.e. the above selections specialise in HNW individuals and businesses residing in UK, EU, EEA, USA, Australia, HK, Singapore, South Africa, NZ, and a few other wealthy countries. If your aim is to make smaller transfer check these two resources: best remittances service comparison and our best online money transfer ranking.

Why Send Money Abroad with a Specialist?

All the specialist currency brokers listed above offer fee-free transfers and close to mid-market exchange rates that generally beat the exchange rate for international transfers that are handled by UK banks.This is particularly true for large-amount overseas money transfers. Brokers are also our best overall winners in terms of safety and level of service, making them particularly apt for a large international money transfer. To learn more about currency brokers view our guide: best UK currency brokers list.

To send money overseas and fund your transaction you could use either a debit card or a direct local bank transfer using local currency, and we recommend sticking to bank transfers to avoid a 2% estimated debit card fee.

The funds you have transferred abroad will get to its receiving bank account abroad in foreign currency in his destination country (cash pick up and mobile wallets not supported).

Here is a recap of why a specialist is our method of choice for transferring money overseas, and particularly large sums.

Way of transferringProsConsBottom Line
CashSimple – just carry money with you abroadIllegal if you don’t report to HMRC, Risky, Messy, No proof of payment, You need to travel to the location you want to payWorst way to transfer money abroad
PayPal and the likesExtremely simple, Fast, Secure, Easy to defend from scams with the G&S policyVery high fees (up to 5% with PayPal), Recepient needs to have an account with the same provider, Need money on account or a debit/credit card that can handle large withdrawlsTerrible way to transfer large amounts
BankSafe, Doesn’t require you to sign up with another service, Not need to use a debit or a credit card to make paymentsHigh wire transfer fees (up to £30 per transfer), Bad exchange rates (up to 3% currency exchange rate), No dedicated support, Some banks don’t allow to make international transfers without physical presence in bankThe most standard way to transfer money abroad, safe but expensive without any additional perks
Currency specialistsNo wire fees (for top providers), Better than bank exchange rates, Dedicated dealer supporting large transfers internationally (from £10,000 or equivalent with most specialists), Ability to hedge currencies for future payments through tools like Forward ContractsAuthorised by FCA (or another regulatory body) which is less “safe” in a sense than banks which are authorised by the PRA and money is insuredThe most cost effective way to transfer money abroad today

How Much Money can You Transfer Abroad from the UK?

If you are transferring money overseas from a UK bank account, you should know that there is no set limit set by the FCA. Whether you are using a high street bank, a neo online banking solution, or trying to cut on the exchange rate by using an alternative provider, you are able to complete your journey sending money abroad regardless of the amount and payment method. As with any other banking transaction (or bank account payouts, if you are the recipient) you would have to prove that the source of the money is legit, has been taxed, and is used for a legal activity.

Careful When Sending or Receiving Large Sums in Cash

Business owners should be aware that if their business makes or receives cash payments in excess of €10,000 with any one trading partner, UK Government law states the business should be registered with HMRC as a high value dealer. Whether the cash is delivered all at once, or in batches, the €10,000 limit applies to each trading partner. The UK National Risk Assessments of 2015, 2017 and 2020 give a consistent view that cash is inherently high risk due to it being untraceable, readily exchangeable and anonymous. High valu dealers are currently assessed as medium risk for money laundering and terrorist financing.

How to Transfer Money to a Bank Account Without Using a Bank?

One of the biggest psychological hurdles that prospective customers face when trying to shop around for best exchange rates and better service than their bank for transfer of funds abroad, is that some customers refuse to believe that the cheapest way of transferring money abroad can’t also be the most effective. Too many private customers, as do small and medium businesses, are still fixated on the idea that financial service, online banking and otherwise, must be provided by their banks or that their banks are safer.

It’s true that customers are more covered with UK banks than with FCA-authorised financial providers in terms of government insurance on funds, and that the PRA (the Prudential Regulation Authority, regulating banks) is stricter in many ways (compared to the FCA), but since at least half of UK customers who transfer money abroad regularly / in high vamounts are using non-bank services, there is no real reason to be scared. Since one particular firm collapsed in 2009 (Crown Currency), there has not been a single money transfer service that collapsed and left its customers out of funds. In fact, the FCA, as per UK money transfer regulations, verifies the safeguarding of customer accounts which means customer’s funds shouldn’t mix up with the companies’ current accounts.

There are absolutely no additional restrictions or limitations when using a money transfer service, and you receive access to the cheapest way to transfer money abroad without compromising over anything.

bank transfer process

Comparing Popular Ways of Overseas Money Transfers

Before we can delve into what is the best way to transfer money abroad to a receiving bank account, we have to look at the many other means of sending money abroad nowadays, and understand the pros and cons.

Small Sums vs Large Sums

In the quest to discover the best way to transfer money overseas, the first thing to consider is one’s individual requirements. Transferring money abroad could vary between buying a $20 t-shirt from an online store through an instant payment to something more drastic – for example sending an ample amount of money abroad to buy property, make a business transaction, for inheritance / estate, or simply making a large international payment.

In our book, we consider transfers of £5,000 or more (or equivalent in other currencies) as a large amount overseas money transfer, and this is what we have focused on making the above selection detailing the best way to money to a bank account abroad.

large amounts of money

These designated services, which are covered thoroughly throughout our website, offer certain unique capabilities and qualities which make them the most adequate solution for those who are require to transfer money abroad to bank accounts abroad. Generally speaking this the aspects we have focused on:

  • Very high level of service and availability through the work-week.
  • Ability to choose between making transfers through an online system or via phone/email with a person.
  • Bank beating exchange rate.
  • Ability to hedge future transactions.
  • Functional apps to track transfers or initiate new ones.
  • Clientele which is composed of high net worth individuals, corporations, small businesses and property investors mainly i.e. a premium service by definition.

Technically, many currency brokers fit the bill, but in practice there top-recommended currency brokers are just better than others by our subjective criteria.

Use Cases to Transfer Large Sums Abroad Using a Brokerage

  • Property transactions – selling or buying property abroad, needing to transfer a large amount to a bank account.
  • Property-related transactions – paying a solicitor, real estate agent, or someone involved in a property transaction.
  • Relocation – transferring one’s bank account from his homeland into his new country (and exchanging funds accordingly).
  • Relocation related transactions – paying a solicitor, a real estate agent, a moving company or one of many service providers you encounter upon moving to a new country.
  • Business abroad – moving a business between countries, receiving investments and so forth.
  • Business fx payments – paying suppliers, partners or any business of interest through a large b2b money transfer.
  • Pension transfers abroad – transferring one’s pension from UK to another country.

Website Statistics: Which Are the Most Popular Corridors for Overseas Transfers

Our website statistics, composed of readers to our website that we have referred over to recommended service to send money abroad, demonstrate the following:

Transfer Money FromTo% of readers, approximate figures
 UKFrance, Spain, Germany, Netherlands 35%
France, Spain, Germany, NetherlandsUK 10%
UKAustralia7.50%
AustraliaUK7.50%
CanadaUK5%
CanadaUSA2.50%
USAUK2.50%
UAEUK2.50%
UKUAE2.50%
USACanada2.50%
AustraliaUSA1%
USAFrance, Spain, Germany, Netherlands1%
AustraliaCanada1%
SingaporeUK1%
UKSingapore1%
Sweden, NorwayUKLess than 1%
UKSweden, NorwayLess than 1%
AustraliaNew ZealandLess than 1%
New ZealandAustraliaLess than 1%
UKRomania, Bulgaria, EstoniaLess than 1%
USAMexicoLess than 1%

Below, you can read a little more about the nature of these customers who are are using non-bank money transfer services for transfer large amounts of money internationally. It’s worth noting currency available with our top providers is limited, and that the average transfer amount, so the data is slightly slanted based on that. Numbers may vary in high street banks.

Most Popular Inquiries From Those who Need to Send Large Sums

How to transfer money abroad 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.

Learn more about UK Spain money transfers using this guide.

How to transfer money abroad 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.

Learn more about UK USA money transfers using this guide.

How to transfer money abroad 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.

Country-Specific Guide in Progress, but all countries on our International Money Transfer Comparison support that route.

How to transfer money abroad from UK to UAE

The UAE (primarily Abu Dhabi and Dubai) have long been a hotspot for British expats. With no income tax, and no tax implications on transferring money to UK, 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.

Country-Specific Guide in Progress, but all countries on our International Money Transfer Comparison support that route.

How to transfer money abroad 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.

Country-Specific Guide in Progress, but all countries on our International Money Transfer Comparison support that route.

How to transfer money abroad 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.

Country-Specific Guide in Progress, but all countries on our International Money Transfer Comparison support that route.

How to transfer money abroad 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.

Country-Specific Guide in Progress, but all countries on our International Money Transfer Comparison support that route.

How to transfer money abroad 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.

We have a prepared a Specific guide for the best international money transfer services in USA.

How to transfer money abroad 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.

We have a prepared a Specific guide for the best international money transfer services in Australia.

How to transfer money abroad 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.

We have a prepared a Specific guide for the best international money transfer services in Australia.

How to transfer money abroad 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.

We have a prepared a Specific guide for the best international money transfer services in Australia.

How to transfer money abroad 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.

We don’t have a NZ-specific guide just yet for large international transfers, but all the best international money transfer companies in Australia support that route.

How to transfer money abroad 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.

We don’t have a Singapore-specific guide just yet for large international transfers, but you can check out TorFX who have local offices in Singapore and are well-rated by us, and also WorldFirst which are Asia specialists but are only able to assist SME and corporate client.

Transfer large sums – online or via phone/email?

There is not right and wrong when it comes to one’s personal comfort and preferences. Some people feel savvy enough to input all the details correctly through an online money transfer system, look at the exchange rates and determine if those are the best foreign exchange rates at the moment, and go through with the transfer online. Whether it’s a large money transfer of £100,000 or a smaller one, everything can be done online.

With that being said, the majority of people prefer to speak directly to a dedicated dealer when opting to transfer a large amount of money overseas from the UK or anywhere else. That gives them the sense of reassurance they require, and also gives them to opportunity to haggle in regards to the pricing.

All of our top recommended services for transferring large amounts of money internationally have both options available, though. Readily available dedicated dealers over the phone and on email, with state-of-the-art online systems and money transfer apps. The cheapest way to transfer money abroad today could be online or via an app using companies like Wise or Azimo (Azimo’s service was discontinued), but we always recommend the personal-touch type of services, it can be scary to move large sums of money abroad without speaking to anyone over the phone.

Can you make instant large transfer abroad?

Most people would want to have their transfer abroad happen within minutes so they can just move on to the next thing. That’s why banks can be so bloody annoying – it may take them a long time to transfer money abroad, and their response can be delayed so the client would be hanging in the dark not understanding whether the money has reached its destination. This is a nerve-wracking process but designated large transfer specialists make it easier:

  • Each customer is assigned with a dedicated dealer whom he can reach by email or phone and inquire about the transfer’s progress.
  • Each customer can log into the online system and see the current transfer status.
  • If there was any error in the transaction, the dedicated dealer will help you retrieve the funds faster than with banks.

On the other hand, transfers through an international money transfer company are not instant! You can read more about how long does an international money transfer takes here. We have a dedicated article for that about are is sending money abroad  instant. The fastest way is to use debit card for money transfers but it’s more expensive and only applicable for small transfers.

How good are the rates for large money transfers?

If you have come to read this guide to understand what’s the best way to transfer money abroad, for cheap, using a premium service, you should have received our opinion on the matter wide and clear. We believe that there’s no reason to transfer money abroad from UK to USA for example and pay more than 2% as you would pay with Natwest bank or “neo-bank” Virgin Money (which is almost as expensive as traditional banks), while you could pay much less using Moneycorp or another similar service.

With that being said, if you’re very sensitive on the price you’re going to pay then you should compare different recommended brokers and ask for quotes to see which one is offering the best deal for your money at that same day. While currency brokers are the best way to transfer money abroad in our book, their margins are set in stone and you could even squeeze them further by window-shopping and negotiating.

For large international transfers, improving the rate you’re getting even by a small percentage could add up to a lot of money. Choosing the cheapest way to send money overseas can make a substantial differences in your personal finances, and examples are available below.

Medium transfer

ScenarioAmountHow much you pay with a 2.5% marginHow much you pay with a 1% marginHow much you pay with a 0.7% margin
Transfer money from UK to USA£10,000£250£100£70
Transfer money from UK to Spain£10,000£250£100£70
Transfer money from UK to France£10,000£250£100£70
Transfer money from UK to Germany£10,000£250£100£70
Transfer money from USA to UK$10,000$250$100$70
Transfer money from Spain to UK€ 10,000€ 250€ 100€ 70
Transfer money from France to UK€ 10,000€ 250€ 100€ 70
Transfer money from USA to Germany$10,000$250$100$70
Transfer money from Australia to UKAU$10,000AU$250AU$100AU$70
Transfer money from Australia to NZAU$10,000AU$250AU$100AU$70

– Save £10 for each 0.1% better margin.

 

Transferring large amounts example:

ScenarioAmountHow much you pay with a 2.5% marginHow much you pay with a 1% marginHow much you pay with a 0.7% margin
Transfer money from UK to USA£100,000£2,500£1,000£700
Transfer money from UK to Spain£100,000£2,500£1,000£700
Transfer money from UK to France£100,000£2,500£1,000£700
Transfer money from UK to Germany£100,000£2,500£1,000£700
Transfer money from USA to UK$100,000$2,500$10,00$700
Transfer money from Spain to UK€ 100,000€ 2,500€ 1,000€ 700
Transfer money from France to UK€ 100,000€ 2,500€ 1,000€ 700
Transfer money from USA to Germany$100,000$2500$1,000$700
Transfer money from Australia to UKAU$100,000AU$2,500AU$1,000AU$700
Transfer money from Australia to NZAU$100,000AU$2,500AU$1,000AU$700

– Similarly to the above example, you can save £100 for each 0.1% better margin. So by improving your average bank’s fees at ~2% to a dedicated service provider offering 0.6% you could save £1,400 in one phone call, and this is exactly why brokers could very well be the best way to transfer money abroad in 2022.

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