Finding The Best Exchange Rates for Bank Transfers

Matt Di Vincere (Chief Editor)
Last Edited Sep 23, 2022

Why Are People Shopping for Better-Than-Bank Rates?

If your aim is to find the best foreign exchange rates for bank transfers to an account abroad or domestically, then you already know how much finding a better fx rates than the bank’s is going to save you.

As a rough estimate using a bank-alternative provider can save customers from regions such as UK, USA, Australia, Asia or EU…

MORE THAN 50% of all associated bank transfer costs,

Together with several other benefits which we will briefly touch in this guide.

Best FX Rates for Bank Transfers Currently (Bank Alternatives)

We recommend look at our lists of best international money transfer companies and currency brokers by overall rating where we factored in the fees, exchange rates, and other factors to determine which is the best provider overall.

We believe this is the most recommended method, particularly if you have large requirements.


How exchange rates work

The official currency exchange rate is the real mid-market price in which banks trade currency in between themselves or the central bank. W

Currencies trade in the same fashion as other assets, so by mid-market we mean the price of the last deal that was made.

When you’re reading the morning news, or hearing some gloom and doom story over the television, when reports would mention “the rate” or the “official exchange rate” they mean exactly that.

The interbank or mid-market rate. The acceptable rate as reflected by the latest deal between banks. The official interbank is not the best forex rate achievable for private clients.

Markup: The Bank’s Buy and Sell Rate

Currency exchange board showing cross rates between various countries

However, that interbank exchange  rate is not the same as the foreign exchange rates offered to private or corporate clients.

Even a very large corporation, trading massive amounts of foreign exchange, using the best money transfer company or a bank’s corporate desk, isn’t going to get the exact interbank rate. Just like with any service there are costs to provide it – whether that be the investment in the currency trading infrastructure, regulatory and compliance requirements or simply staff costs we have to understand banks aren’t able to provide the service for nothing.

There will always be a SPREAD added into the mix, and our only gripe is that banks are often charging a far higher spread than is necessary to cover their costs and make a small profit.

The spread is usually shown in percentages.

A 0.5% spread means the amount of foreign currency you’ll receive in the deal will be 0.5% less of what you would have received if you were trading at official interbank exchange rates.

In almost all cases, both for private individuals and most businesses, the banks exchange rates are the worst on offer.

This is because a standard bank spread in the UK will be between 2-3% (for pairs like Pound v Euro or Pound v Dollar, or an even higher spread potentially for trades involving more exotic currencies).

View the current daily exchange rates

🔥 Customers Don’t Know What Exchange Rates Are 🔥

View this survey to learn most Australian customers don’t even know what bank exchange rates are and how markups work.

Buy/Sell currency spreads existing in cryptocurrencies too

Similarly to fiat currency exchanges, cryptocurrency brokers, exchanges, and sellers are also embedding a markup into their sales.

Some customers believe they can circumvent the costs of foreign exchange by using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, , Ripple, ethereum or Cardano for international transfers, but the truth is that the costs of exchanging fiat money for crypto as even higher than the cost of exchanging domestic money into foreign currency.

While we have shown above that the best foreign exchange rate for businesses with WorldFirst will cost 0.15% to 0.5% per exchange, popular cryptocurrency exchanges would charge between 1.5% (using PayPal’s new Crypto option) and 5% (most local Crypto brokers), per exchange of GBPBTC/GBPETH or any other pairing.

An example using the live foreign exchange rate:

The current exchange rate for Pound in Australian Dollars is 1.9070 AUD, and you need to transfer abroad an amount of £100,000 to Australian Dollars. Your bank’s spread is 2% so you’ll end up with 186,885.1934 AUD after the exchange.

Definitely not the best fx rate for money transfers!

It means the spread fee you paid in practice (whether they’d like to call this a fee or not!) is £2,000 or 3,813.9835 AUD.

Approximated Best Exchange Rates Possible (Vs Banks)

Forex PairInterbank exchange rate*High Street Bank Exchange Rate (Estimated) **Recommended Provider Rate (Estimated) ***
Pound to Euro1.1838 EUR1.1483 EUR to 1.1601 EUR1.1719 EUR to 1.1779 EUR
Euro to Pound0.8447 GBP0.8194 GBP to 0.8279 GBP0.8363 GBP to 0.8405 GBP
Pound to Dollar1.2718 USD1.2336 USD to 1.2463 USD1.2591 USD to 1.2654 USD
Dollar to Pound0.7863 GBP0.7627 GBP to 0.7706 GBP0.7784 GBP to 0.7824 GBP
Pound to Australian Dollar1.9070 AUD1.8498 AUD to 1.8689 AUD1.9041 AUD to 1.8975 AUD
Australian Dollar to Pound0.5244 GBP0.5087 GBP to 0.5139 GBP0.5191 GBP to 0.5218 GBP
Pound to Swiss Franc1.1250 CHF1.0913 CHF to 1.1025 CHF1.1138 CHF to 1.1194 CHF
Pound to Hong Kong Dollar9.9280 HKD9.7294 HKD to 9.6301 HKD9.8287 HKD to 9.8783 HKD
Pound to UAE Dirham4.6713 AED4.5311 AED to 4.5778 AED4.6246 AED to 4.6479 AED
Pound to Singaporean Dollar1.7180 SGD1.6664 SGD to 1.6836 SGD1.7008 SGD to 1.7094 SGD
ANY CURRENCY2 – 3% Currency Spread1% to 0.5% Currency Spread

* Current rates provided to us by external provider, updated hourly.
** Represeting a 2%-3% bank margin, which is the average bank margin in the UK for internaional currency exchanges based on our indepedent research.
*** Representing a margin of 0.5% to 1% which is the average margin for most trades with brokerages.

Flexible Spreads with Brokerages

As mentioned in the above section the price you will be paying for your transfer in the form of foreign exchange spreads (the bank’s or the provider’s “offered exchange rate” is actually consisting of a spread integrated into it) will vary based on the circumstances of your trade.

First off there is a different spread altogether which varies between a spot trade (exchange money today) and a forward contract (pay a deposit on a transfer that will take place years into the future with a fixed exchange rate).

Secondly, some currencies are just more expensive than other to handle.

Major currencies as per definition such as the following pairings: EURUSD, USDJPY, GBPUSD, AUDUSD, USDCAD, USDCHF, NZDUSD are going to, on average, be less costly than exotic currencies.

Example of exotic currency pairings would be GBPAED, EURAED, GBPILS, GBPZAR, and these on average have slightly higher spreads because they are less “liquid” i.e. associated with more costs and risks for the bank or provider (this is how foreign exchnge companies make money, and they have to be careful not to take unnceseccary fx risks themselves).

Thirdly, brokers tend to offer better deals based on volumes.

The best foreign exchange rates offered to someone exchanging or transferring £10,000 will not be as to someone exchanging £100,000.

Moreover, one of the advantages of moving big volumes is that it’s possible to negotiate the exchange rate offered.

The best way to do that  first off get a quote from your bank but the way banks obfuscate the actual exchange rates offered could be tricky, so this stage can be skipped. The next stage, would be to get a clear quote from another broker (or multiple brokerages) so you’d have a idea where you’re standing.

You could also easily colate exchange rate quotes easily enough through online money transfer providers which are cheap and straightforward (but you should know that in some cases brokers won’t be able to match an fx rate that good, and it could still “make sense” to use a broker considering the added values of using a broker vs an online platform, in spite of not obtaining the absolute optimal exchange rate obtainable at the moment).

Rate Alerts – A Powerful Tool

One added value when using a currency broker is to have the ability to subscribe to the exchange rates.

For example, if you want to exchange Euro to USD, but that is not an urgent requirement and you are waiting until the EURUSD exchange rate will improve, you can set up a rate alert – a nifty little tool that you can either setup online or through your dedicated currency dealer, in which you ask to execute a certain trade when a certain rate level was reached.

As much as having lower spreads i.e. obtaining the best fx rate possible of all banks and providers, matter, trading currencies as the right timing could save up as much money for you.

Check Your Spreads on Each Trade

The fact a certain broker made a deal with you with a certain margin you were happy with does not mean the broker will continue to honour the same spreads on each trade you made (unless you have been directly communicated that, which would be very rare of a broker to commit considering their own costs and risks can change over time and impact their spreads.

That means it would be a good idea to check for each individual trade what was the margin that was applied and whether the exchange rates offered by that broker are still the best in the market.

As recommended in this guide, it is never a bad idea to contact another broker, compare the rates, and potentially go back to your broker to renegotiate the exchange rate markups applied to your trades.

Best Euro, USD, AUD and Sterling Rates: Same Path to Follow

It doesn’t matter if you try to find the best bank exchange rates for your Pound Sterling, Euro, Dollar or any other currency because the options we have covered on this guide will handle the majority of currencies and countries.

You will have to follow the same path to obtain the best gbpeur rate, the best gbpusd rate, the best eurusd rate, or any other currency pairing.

How to Make Currency Predictions?

One of the absolute best ways to obtain the best currency exchange rate for your tranfer or trade is to simply make the transaction at the optimal timing in which the relative currency exchagne rate between the currency you are exchanging and the currency you are receiving is the highest.

For example, if you traded your GBP to EUR on August 22, 2022, you would have had the best rate of that year (about 1.20). Simply by trading at another time, say a month later circa Sept 11, 2022, you would have only received 1.11 Euro for each Pound Sterling traded. In other words, within 1 month apart, you could have as much as 10% different on the exchange rates.

As mentioned above, rate alerts can be a really good idea to stay in tune with the market and particularly since you can set it to notify you only on specific currency pairings, the tool by itself does not give you forward judgement on the currency rate, it just tells you what’s the current rate.

It can be difficult and tricky to make accurate predictions regarding currency exchange rates, but it may be possible.

There are certain things to learn and here are some useful guides on learning how currencies behave and work.

How to Fix the Best Exchange Rate?

If you believe that you are currently enjoying the best USD rate, for example, against the Pound Sterling, then you could switch from Spot Contract (trading currencies right now) into a Forward Contract (fixing current rates for a period of between months and years moving forward).

Hedging tools like Forward can be a very useful tool in the array of the currency trader, and are very heavily used by international companeis and HNW.

It is for the most part, a useful tool to protect against volatility and uncertainty.

Best Exchange Rates for Travelers

Wise Multi-Currency Card

The aforementioned Wise offers more functionality for its customes than a simple online money transfer service with superb foreign exchange rates.

It also enables customers to collect payments from abroad and store funds in 8 different currencies on their Wise international account.

In practice, Wise’s multi-currency account is a form of a virtual bank account – and the kicker is, for travelers specifically, that customers in UK, EU, USA and Australia (as well as multiple other countries) are able to issue a multi-currency card attached to that virtual bank account.

That card has no FX exchange rate fees and debits one’s wise account automatically.

For example, if you are in the UK and traveling to Europe, you could get the best GBPEUR exchange rate by transferring money to your Wise account, exchange it to Euros, and then spend it in Euros via the Wise Multi-Currency Account and Debit Card.

Current, Official, Foreign Exchange Rates

Rates are updated on an hourly basis from an external provider. We do not guarantee accuracy. These are not rates for foreign currency bank transfers but rather the official rate used in trading between central banks. To view the best foreign exchange rate for bank transfers click here.

Common Currency Pairs – From GBP

GBP ExchangeCurrent Pound to Euro Rate:

  • 1 Pound is €1.1838 EUR
  • 10,000 Pound are €11,837.8321 EUR 

Current  Pound to US Dollars Rate:

  • 1 Pound is $1.2718 USD
  • 10,000 Pounds are $12,717.8569 USD 

Current  Pound to Australian Dollars Rate:

  • 1 Pound is A$1.9070 AUD
  • 10,000 Pounds are A$19,069.9177 AUD

Current  Pound to Japanese Yen Rate: 1 Pound is

  • ¥200.9650 JPY
  • 10,000 Pounds are ¥2,009,650.3098 JPY

Current  Pound to South African Rand Rate: 1 Pound is

  • R22.8233 ZAR
  • 10,000 Pounds are R228,233.3879 ZAR

Current  Pound to New Zealand Dollar Rate:

  • 1 Pound is $2.0750 NZD
  • 10,000 Pounds are $20,749.8194 NZD

Less Common Currencies Pairings – From GBP

  • Pound to Canadian Dollar Rate: 1 Pound is $1.7439 CAD.
  • Pound to Israeli New Shekel Rate: 1 Pound is ₪4.7170 ILS.
  • Pound to Hong Kong Dollar Rate: 1 Pound is $9.9280 HKD.
  • Pound to United Arab Emirates Dirham Rate: 1 Pound is 4.6713 AED.
  • Pound to Brazilian Real Rate: 1 Pound is R$6.9386 BRL.
  • Pound to Argentine Peso Rate: 1 Pound is $1,151.9199 ARS.
  • Pound to Mexican Peso Rate: 1 Pound is $23.4485 MXN.
  • Pound to Chinese Yuan Rate: 1 Pound is ¥9.2299 CNY.
  • Pound to Indian Rupee Rate: 1 Pound is R106.1015 INR.

Common Currency Pairs – From EUR

euro flag

Current Euro to Pound Rate:

  • 1 Euro is £0.8447 GBP
  • 10,000 Euro are £8,447.4927 GBP

Current Euro to US Dollars Rate:

  • 1 Euro is $1.0743 USD
  • 10,000 Euros are $10,743.4003 USD

Current Euro to Australian Dollars Rate: 1 Euro is

  • A$1.6109 AUD
  • 10,000 Euros are A$16,109.2991 AUD

Current Euro to Japanese Yen Rate:

  • 1 Euro is ¥169.7651 JPY
  • 10,000 Euros are ¥1,697,650.6332 JPY

Current Euro to South African Rand Rate:

  • 1 Euro is R19.2800 ZAR
  • 10,000 Euros are R192,799.9880 ZAR

Current Euro to New Zealand Dollar Rate:

  • 1 Euro is $1.7528 NZD
  • 10,000 Euros are $17,528.3948 NZD

Less Common Pairings – From Euro

  • Euro to Canadian Dollar Rate: 1 Euro is $1.4732 CAD.
  • Euro to Israeli New Shekel Rate: 1 Euro is ₪3.9847 ILS.
  • Euro to Hong Kong Dollar Rate: 1 Euro is $8.3866 HKD.
  • Euro to United Arab Emirates Dirham Rate: 1 Euro is 3.9461 AED.
  • Euro to Brazilian Real Rate: 1 Euro is R$5.8614 BRL.
  • Euro to Argentine Peso Rate: 1 Euro is $973.0835 ARS.
  • Euro to Mexican Peso Rate: 1 Euro is $19.8081 MXN.
  • Euro to Chinese Yuan Rate: 1 Euro is ¥7.7969 CNY.
  • Euro to Indian Rupee Rate: 1 Euro is R89.6292 INR.

Common Currency Pairs – From USD

Current US Dollar to Euro Rate:

  • 1 US Dollar is €0.9308 EUR
  • 10,000 US Dollar are €9,308.0400 EUR

Current US Dollar to Pound Rate:

  • 1 US Dollar is £0.7863 GBP
  • 10,000 US Dollars are £7,862.9600 GBP

Current US Dollar to Australian Dollars Rate:

  • 1 US Dollar is A$1.4995 AUD
  • 10,000 US Dollars are A$14,994.6000 AUD

Current US Dollar to Japanese Yen Rate:

  • 1 US Dollar is ¥158.0180 JPY
  • 10,000 US Dollars are ¥1,580,180.0000 JPY

Current US Dollar to South African Rand Rate:

  • 1 US Dollar is R17.9459 ZAR
  • 10,000 US Dollars are R179,459.0000 ZAR

Current US Dollar to New Zealand Dollar Rate:

  • 1 US Dollar is $1.6316 NZD
  • 10,000 US Dollars are $16,315.5000 NZD

Less Common Pairings – From USD

  • US Dollar to Canadian Dollar Rate: 1 US Dollar is €1.3713 CAD.
  • US Dollar to Israeli New Shekel Rate: 1 US Dollar is ₪3.7090 ILS.
  • US Dollar to Hong Kong Dollar Rate: 1 US Dollar is $7.8063 HKD.
  • US Dollar to United Arab Emirates Dirham Rate: 1 US Dollar is 3.6730 AED.
  • US Dollar to Brazilian Real Rate: 1 US Dollar is R$5.4558 BRL.
  • US Dollar to Argentine Peso Rate: 1 US Dollar is $905.7500 ARS.
  • US Dollar to Mexican Peso Rate: 1 US Dollar is $18.4375 MXN.
  • US Dollar to Chinese Yuan Rate: 1 US Dollar is ¥7.2574 CNY.
  • US Dollar to Indian Rupee Rate: 1 US Dollar is R83.4272 INR

Common Currency Pairs – From AUD

australia flag

Current Australian Dollar to Euro Rate:

  • 1 Australian Dollar is €0.6208 EUR
  • 10,000 Australian Dollar are €6,207.5947 EUR

Current Australian Dollar to Pound Rate:

  • 1 Australian Dollar is £0.5244 GBP
  • 10,000 Australian Dollars are £5,243.8611 GBP

Current Australian Dollar to US Dollar Rate:

  • 1 Australian Dollar is$0.6669 USD
  • 10,000 Australian Dollars are $6,669.0675 USD

Current Australian Dollar to Japanese Yen Rate:

  • 1 Australian Dollar is ¥105.3833 JPY
  • 10,000 Australian Dollars are ¥1,053,832.7131 JPY

Current Australian Dollar to South African Rand Rate:

  • 1 Australian Dollar is R11.9682 ZAR
  • 10,000 Australian Dollars are R119,682.4190 ZAR

Current Australian Dollar to New Zealand Dollar Rate:

  • 1 Australian Dollar is $1.0881 NZD
  • 10,000 Australian Dollars are $10,880.9171 NZD

Less Common Pairings – From AUD

  • Australian Dollar to Canadian Dollar Rate: 1 Australian Dollar is €0.9145 CAD.
  • Australian Dollar to Israeli New Shekel Rate: 1 Australian Dollar is ₪2.4735 ILS.
  • Australian Dollar to Hong Kong Dollar Rate: 1 Australian Dollar is $5.2061 HKD.
  • Australian Dollar to United Arab Emirates Dirham Rate: 1 Australian Dollar is 2.4495 AED.
  • Australian Dollar to Brazilian Real Rate: 1 Australian Dollar is R$3.6385 BRL.
  • Australian Dollar to Argentine Peso Rate: 1 Australian Dollar is $604.0508 ARS.
  • Australian Dollar to Mexican Peso Rate: 1 Australian Dollar is $12.2961 MXN.
  • Australian Dollar to Chinese Yuan Rate: 1 Australian Dollar is ¥4.8400 CNY.
  • Australian Dollar to Indian Rupee Rate: 1 Australian Dollar is R55.6382 INR

The Best Exchange Rates in History

Below, we will provide a list of the best exchange rates in history to give some perspective.

  • The best GBP to EUR exchange rate in history was 1.75 in May, 2000.
  • The best EUR to GBP exchange rate in history was 0.97 in December, 2008.
  • The best GBP to USD exchange rate in history was 2.64 in March, 1972.
  • The best USD to GBP exchange rate in history was 0.95 in February, 1985.
  • The best EUR to USD exchange rate in history was 1.59 in April, 2008.
  • The best USD to EUR exchange rate in history was 1.21 in October, 2000.
  • The best GBP to AUD exchange rate in history was 3.03 in September, 2001.
  • The best AUD to GBP exchange rate in history was 0.78 in October, 1976.
  • The best EUR to AUD exchange rate in history was 2.07 in December, 2008.
  • The best AUD to EUR exchange rate in history was 0.85 in August, 2012.
  • The best USD to AUD exchange rate in history was 2.07 in April, 2001.
  • The best AUD to USD exchange rate in history was 1.48 in March, 1974.
  • The best GBP to JPY exchange rate in history was 1014.1 in March, 1962.
  • The best USD to JPY exchange rate in history was 359.8 in July, 1970.
  • The best AUD to JPY exchange rate in history was 402.97 in July, 1970.

Best Exchange Rates in History Table

From CurrencyTo CurrencyRateDate

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