Finding The Best Exchange Rates for Bank Transfers

By 
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 1.9397 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 190,086.6514 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 3,879.3194 AUD.

Approximated Best Exchange Rates Possible (Vs Banks)

Forex PairInterbank exchange rate*High Street Bank Exchange Rate (Estimated) **Recommended Provider Rate (Estimated) ***
Pound to Euro1.1688 EUR1.1338 EUR to 1.1455 EUR1.1572 EUR to 1.1630 EUR
Euro to Pound0.8555 GBP0.8299 GBP to 0.8384 GBP0.8470 GBP to 0.8513 GBP
Pound to Dollar1.2678 USD1.2297 USD to 1.2424 USD1.2551 USD to 1.2614 USD
Dollar to Pound0.7888 GBP0.7651 GBP to 0.7730 GBP0.7809 GBP to 0.7848 GBP
Pound to Australian Dollar1.9397 AUD1.8815 AUD to 1.9009 AUD1.9368 AUD to 1.9300 AUD
Australian Dollar to Pound0.5156 GBP0.5001 GBP to 0.5052 GBP0.5104 GBP to 0.5130 GBP
Pound to Swiss Franc1.1167 CHF1.0832 CHF to 1.0944 CHF1.1056 CHF to 1.1112 CHF
Pound to Hong Kong Dollar9.9188 HKD9.7204 HKD to 9.6212 HKD9.8196 HKD to 9.8692 HKD
Pound to UAE Dirham4.6565 AED4.5168 AED to 4.5634 AED4.6099 AED to 4.6332 AED
Pound to Singaporean Dollar1.7049 SGD1.6537 SGD to 1.6708 SGD1.6878 SGD to 1.6964 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 €1.1688 EUR
  • 10,000 Pound are €11,688.4024 EUR 

Current  Pound to US Dollars Rate:

  • 1 Pound is $1.2678 USD
  • 10,000 Pounds are $12,677.5973 USD 

Current  Pound to Australian Dollars Rate:

  • 1 Pound is A$1.9397 AUD
  • 10,000 Pounds are A$19,396.5971 AUD

Current  Pound to Japanese Yen Rate: 1 Pound is

  • ¥191.1338 JPY
  • 10,000 Pounds are ¥1,911,337.9556 JPY

Current  Pound to South African Rand Rate: 1 Pound is

  • R24.4865 ZAR
  • 10,000 Pounds are R244,865.2562 ZAR

Current  Pound to New Zealand Dollar Rate:

  • 1 Pound is $2.0542 NZD
  • 10,000 Pounds are $20,542.2715 NZD

Less Common Currencies Pairings – From GBP

  • Pound to Canadian Dollar Rate: 1 Pound is $1.7134 CAD.
  • Pound to Israeli New Shekel Rate: 1 Pound is ₪4.6173 ILS.
  • Pound to Hong Kong Dollar Rate: 1 Pound is $9.9188 HKD.
  • Pound to United Arab Emirates Dirham Rate: 1 Pound is 4.6565 AED.
  • Pound to Brazilian Real Rate: 1 Pound is R$6.3150 BRL.
  • Pound to Argentine Peso Rate: 1 Pound is $1,065.7181 ARS.
  • Pound to Mexican Peso Rate: 1 Pound is $21.6651 MXN.
  • Pound to Chinese Yuan Rate: 1 Pound is ¥9.1247 CNY.
  • Pound to Indian Rupee Rate: 1 Pound is R105.0585 INR.

Common Currency Pairs – From EUR

euro flag

Current Euro to Pound Rate:

  • 1 Euro is £0.8555 GBP
  • 10,000 Euro are £8,555.4892 GBP

Current Euro to US Dollars Rate:

  • 1 Euro is $1.0846 USD
  • 10,000 Euros are $10,846.3046 USD

Current Euro to Australian Dollars Rate: 1 Euro is

  • A$1.6595 AUD
  • 10,000 Euros are A$16,594.7376 AUD

Current Euro to Japanese Yen Rate:

  • 1 Euro is ¥163.5243 JPY
  • 10,000 Euros are ¥1,635,243.1145 JPY

Current Euro to South African Rand Rate:

  • 1 Euro is R20.9494 ZAR
  • 10,000 Euros are R209,494.2043 ZAR

Current Euro to New Zealand Dollar Rate:

  • 1 Euro is $1.7575 NZD
  • 10,000 Euros are $17,574.9181 NZD

Less Common Pairings – From Euro

  • Euro to Canadian Dollar Rate: 1 Euro is $1.4659 CAD.
  • Euro to Israeli New Shekel Rate: 1 Euro is ₪3.9504 ILS.
  • Euro to Hong Kong Dollar Rate: 1 Euro is $8.4860 HKD.
  • Euro to United Arab Emirates Dirham Rate: 1 Euro is 3.9838 AED.
  • Euro to Brazilian Real Rate: 1 Euro is R$5.4028 BRL.
  • Euro to Argentine Peso Rate: 1 Euro is $911.7740 ARS.
  • Euro to Mexican Peso Rate: 1 Euro is $18.5356 MXN.
  • Euro to Chinese Yuan Rate: 1 Euro is ¥7.8066 CNY.
  • Euro to Indian Rupee Rate: 1 Euro is R89.8827 INR.

Common Currency Pairs – From USD

Current US Dollar to Euro Rate:

  • 1 US Dollar is €0.9220 EUR
  • 10,000 US Dollar are €9,219.7300 EUR

Current US Dollar to Pound Rate:

  • 1 US Dollar is £0.7888 GBP
  • 10,000 US Dollars are £7,887.9300 GBP

Current US Dollar to Australian Dollars Rate:

  • 1 US Dollar is A$1.5300 AUD
  • 10,000 US Dollars are A$15,299.9000 AUD

Current US Dollar to Japanese Yen Rate:

  • 1 US Dollar is ¥150.7650 JPY
  • 10,000 US Dollars are ¥1,507,650.0000 JPY

Current US Dollar to South African Rand Rate:

  • 1 US Dollar is R19.3148 ZAR
  • 10,000 US Dollars are R193,148.0000 ZAR

Current US Dollar to New Zealand Dollar Rate:

  • 1 US Dollar is $1.6204 NZD
  • 10,000 US Dollars are $16,203.6000 NZD

Less Common Pairings – From USD

  • US Dollar to Canadian Dollar Rate: 1 US Dollar is €1.3515 CAD.
  • US Dollar to Israeli New Shekel Rate: 1 US Dollar is ₪3.6421 ILS.
  • US Dollar to Hong Kong Dollar Rate: 1 US Dollar is $7.8239 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$4.9812 BRL.
  • US Dollar to Argentine Peso Rate: 1 US Dollar is $840.6310 ARS.
  • US Dollar to Mexican Peso Rate: 1 US Dollar is $17.0893 MXN.
  • US Dollar to Chinese Yuan Rate: 1 US Dollar is ¥7.1975 CNY.
  • US Dollar to Indian Rupee Rate: 1 US Dollar is R82.8694 INR

Common Currency Pairs – From AUD

australia flag

Current Australian Dollar to Euro Rate:

  • 1 Australian Dollar is €0.6026 EUR
  • 10,000 Australian Dollar are €6,026.0067 EUR

Current Australian Dollar to Pound Rate:

  • 1 Australian Dollar is £0.5156 GBP
  • 10,000 Australian Dollars are £5,155.5435 GBP

Current Australian Dollar to US Dollar Rate:

  • 1 Australian Dollar is$0.6536 USD
  • 10,000 Australian Dollars are $6,535.9904 USD

Current Australian Dollar to Japanese Yen Rate:

  • 1 Australian Dollar is ¥98.5399 JPY
  • 10,000 Australian Dollars are ¥985,398.5974 JPY

Current Australian Dollar to South African Rand Rate:

  • 1 Australian Dollar is R12.6241 ZAR
  • 10,000 Australian Dollars are R126,241.3480 ZAR

Current Australian Dollar to New Zealand Dollar Rate:

  • 1 Australian Dollar is $1.0591 NZD
  • 10,000 Australian Dollars are $10,590.6575 NZD

Less Common Pairings – From AUD

  • Australian Dollar to Canadian Dollar Rate: 1 Australian Dollar is €0.8833 CAD.
  • Australian Dollar to Israeli New Shekel Rate: 1 Australian Dollar is ₪2.3805 ILS.
  • Australian Dollar to Hong Kong Dollar Rate: 1 Australian Dollar is $5.1137 HKD.
  • Australian Dollar to United Arab Emirates Dirham Rate: 1 Australian Dollar is 2.4007 AED.
  • Australian Dollar to Brazilian Real Rate: 1 Australian Dollar is R$3.2557 BRL.
  • Australian Dollar to Argentine Peso Rate: 1 Australian Dollar is $549.4356 ARS.
  • Australian Dollar to Mexican Peso Rate: 1 Australian Dollar is $11.1696 MXN.
  • Australian Dollar to Chinese Yuan Rate: 1 Australian Dollar is ¥4.7043 CNY.
  • Australian Dollar to Indian Rupee Rate: 1 Australian Dollar is R54.1634 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
GBPEUR1.75May-00
EURGBP0.97Dec-08
GBPUSD2.64Mar-72
USDGBP0.95Feb-85
EURUSD1.59Apr-08
USDEUR1.21Oct-00
GBPAUD3.03Sep-01
AUDGBP0.78Oct-76
EURAUD2.07Dec-08
AUDEUR0.85Aug-12
USDAUD2.07Apr-01
AUDUSD1.48Mar-74
GBPJPY1014.1Mar-62
USDJPY359.8Jul-70
AUDJPY402.97Jul-70

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