The topic of transferring large sums of money abroad has been discussed a lot over the past few years. People are buying and selling property and other assets overseas more frequently than before. The average amount of money sent abroad by individuals and businesses continues to grow tremendously, recovering from a one-off fall during the pandemic.
This is exactly why wrote this piece dedicated to explaining what is the best way to transfer money abroad, and specifically the best way to transfer large amounts of money overseas. We have reviewed the ins and outs of more than 80 international money transfer services, and these are the ones we think are the best in transferring large sums.
Top 4 Ways to Transfer Money Abroad 🇪🇺 🇬🇧 🇦🇺 🇺🇸
Transferring large amounts of money between UK, EU, USA, Australia & More.
- 96% Positive Feedback from Customers, Since 1996
- Service Oriented - Specialising in Large Transfers - Friendly Dealers
- Very Competitive Rates, No Wire Fees
- Global Leader in International Money Transfers - £10bn in Annual Turnover
- 20+ Global Offices
- Very Friendly Online Platform
- Multi-Lingual Website and Staff
- Fully-Functional App
- Forward Contracts Available
- Will Handle Transfer of Any Size
- Fund Transfers via Domestic Bank Transfer or Debit Card
- Accepts Clients Globally (USA - depending on state)
- 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
- Excellent Online System
- Competitive Exchange Rates
- Many Satisfied Corporate Clients
- Many Hedging Options
- Clients Accepted Globally
- Expertise in Australia with Local Offices
- 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)
- Business Specialists - Long-Term Forward Contracts Available, With Many Other Hedging Tools
- Sophisticated Payment Solutions
- Smooth Online System (Tailored for Businesses)
- Many Consumer and Business Awards
- Accepts Clients from any Country
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; 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).
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.
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.
|Money transfer methods||Costs||Simplicity||Speed||Additional comments|
|High-street banks, such as Barclays, Halifax, NatWest, HSBC)||High, margins of 2-3% normally and wire fees||Medium (you already have an account but often you cannot transfer money abroad online with UK banks)||Medium to High (depending if you pay for a speedy delivery)||The “default” traditional mean to transfer money abroad|
|Ewallets like PayPal or Skrill||Very High, margins of up to 5%||Easy||Instant||The easy way to transfer money right here right now, but currency exchange fees are terrible and ill-recommended for large sum overseas transfers|
|Cash||Medium||Impossible level of risks to carry very large amounts of cash across borders||Very low||Potentially illegal depending on the amount you’re taking and where|
|Money transfer services such as Currencies Direct and TorFX||Low, as margins start at 0.25% depending on the destination and size of your transfer||Medium – you have to create an account and show as much paperwork as with a bank||Medium – you’ll be getting a premium service but these services still depend on banks at times||MoneyTransferComparison.com is dedicated to reviewing and analysing these type of service and overall 90% of all customers are happy with them|
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.
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 From||To||% of readers, approximate figures|
|UK||France, Spain, Germany, Netherlands||35%|
|France, Spain, Germany, Netherlands||UK||10%|
|USA||France, Spain, Germany, Netherlands||1%|
|Sweden, Norway||UK||Less than 1%|
|UK||Sweden, Norway||Less than 1%|
|Australia||New Zealand||Less than 1%|
|New Zealand||Australia||Less than 1%|
|UK||Romania, Bulgaria, Estonia||Less than 1%|
|USA||Mexico||Less 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.
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, 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.
|Scenario||Amount||How much you pay with a 2.5% margin||How much you pay with a 1% margin||How 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 UK||AU$10,000||AU$250||AU$100||AU$70|
|Transfer money from Australia to NZ||AU$10,000||AU$250||AU$100||AU$70|
– Save £10 for each 0.1% better margin.
Transferring large amounts example:
|Scenario||Amount||How much you pay with a 2.5% margin||How much you pay with a 1% margin||How 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 UK||AU$100,000||AU$2,500||AU$1,000||AU$700|
|Transfer money from Australia to NZ||AU$100,000||AU$2,500||AU$1,000||AU$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.