When you’re wanting to send money to family or friends in the UK, it’s important to be on the lookout for cheap exchange rates, low fees and a simple transfer process. Compare a range of international money transfer providers here with Savvy to help you find the best exchange rates and lowest fees available. Consider a range of options with us before getting your international money transfer underway today.
Disclaimer: Savvy is not advising or recommending any particular product to you. We provide general information on products for the purposes of comparison, but your personal situation or goals are not considered here. Although we try to make our comparisons as thorough as possible, we do not have information on all products on the market on our site.
If you decide to initiate a money transfer with one of the providers listed above via our website, you will not be dealing with Savvy; any applications or enquiries will be conducted directly with the provider offering that product.
It’s estimated that almost $360 million is sent to the UK each year, with the UK being the most popular international transfer destination from Australia. For this reason, there are many ways to transfer money to the UK. In terms of how to send your money to the UK, your options include:
International money transfer services
Specialist international money transfer services can move funds from your bank account to another in the UK without the money going through the international SWIFT payment system. This means they can transfer money faster and more cheaply than the banks can, with lower fees and markups on exchange rates. Your funds can be available at their destination seconds after you send them, or within two days in most cases. They are the best way and cheapest method of sending money to the UK.
Instant cash transfers
Some international transfer providers can send money to the UK almost instantly via cash transfer, for it to be collected by someone at the other end. However, instant cash transfers aren’t available from all providers and may not be the best way to send money to the UK. Often higher fees will be charged for cash transfers and the exchange rate you’ll be offered may not be the most competitive one available.
You could look at using your normal bank to send money to the UK. However, be prepared to pay $6 up to $30 or more in transfer fees, as well as not receiving the best exchange rate. It’ll also typically take from three to five business days for your money to arrive in the UK, or longer if there’s a weekend or public holiday in the way.
PayPal offers same-day global money transfers; however, even though the money will appear in the UK PayPal account the same day, there will still be a three to five-day delay to get that money from PayPal to your recipient’s bank account. Transfers with PayPal often attract higher fees and a weaker exchange rate too.
In almost all cases, international money transfer services will get your money overseas more quickly and at a lower cost than your bank or PayPal can. Compare rates with Savvy and get a quote before booking your transfer today.
The UK is one of the cheapest places to send money to from Australia, as there’s such a large volume of currency being transferred each day and no issues with the availability of British pounds. There are two cost aspects to look at when transferring money internationally: the fees charged to make the transfer and the exchange rate you’re offered.
Look for an exchange rate that is closest to the mid-market exchange rate, as this will be the cheapest exchange rate available. The mid-market rate is halfway between the buy price and the sell price on the international money markets, and it’s the accepted standard inter-bank exchange rate. The closer to the mid-market rate you’re offered, the better the deal and the more British pounds you’ll be able to buy with your Aussie dollars. This is especially relevant if you’re sending a large transfer of thousands of dollars, so it’s important to compare this aspect when choosing your ideal transfer provider.
Some international money transfer companies charge a set fee (often between $6 and $15), whilst others charge a percentage of the transfer amount (which ranges from 0.4% to 0.65%). In general terms, those companies who charge a percentage fee are the cheapest for smaller transfers (under $5,000), whilst set fees advantage larger transfers.
The reason for this difference between percentage fees and set fees is easy to understand with just a simple percentage calculation. 0.5% of $200 is just $1, which is a very small fee to pay to transfer that money to the UK. However, if you were looking to transfer $20,000, the 0.5% fee would rise to $100, which is a far more substantial fee. In this case, it’s easy to see that a $15 set fee for that $20,000 transfer would be a far cheaper option.
While the exchange rate you receive is the most important factor which will determine how many pounds are received in the UK, there are other factors to compare when looking at which transfer company is the right one for your transfer:
Minimum and maximum transfer limits
There are usually minimum and maximum transfer limits for international money transfers. For example, TorFX has a minimum limit of $200 and a maximum of $50,000. However, there are other companies that will set their maximum at a much higher level (such as Xe) having a maximum transfer limit of USD $500,000. Other companies allow you to transfer as little as $1 and have maximum limits in the millions in certain cases. Compare and check transfer limits to make sure you choose a transfer service provider compatible with your needs.
Exchange rate guarantees
Check to make sure the money transfer provider you choose offers a guaranteed spot price on the quoted exchange rate. The price you’re quoted should be guaranteed not to change for a set number of hours, often up to 36. This is an important point to check if you don’t wish to make your transfer immediately, as exchange rates are often quite volatile and can change rapidly in a short space of time.
Currency exchange tools
Some companies offer a range of tools to assist you to get the best exchange rate when you’re transferring your money to the UK. You can receive an alert when the currency exchange rate reaches a set limit you’ve had your eye on. As well as exchange alerts, there are also limit orders that only send your transfer through once a specific exchange rate is reached. Forward contracts can help you lock in your exchange rate for up to a year in advance, which can be useful if you’re thinking of making regular transfers to the UK. All these tools can help you access the best exchange rate for your international money transfer, so compare these features before deciding which money transfer is the right one for you.
Check whether you can pay for your international transfer using the method most convenient to you, either in cash, by EFTPOS, BPAY or direct debit. Be aware that if you choose to pay for your transfer by credit card, you may also be charged international exchange fees by your card provider, which can turn out to be very expensive. A direct debit, cash or EFTPOS will be your cheapest payment options. It’s also important to consider how your recipient will be able to receive the funds in the same way, so you should always compare these factors when choosing your international money transfer service.
When you first set up an international money transfer account, you’ll need a form of Government-issued ID to prove your identity as part of the account establishment process. This could be:
In addition, you’ll need details of who you’re sending the money to. This will include their full name as it appears on their identity documents, which is particularly important if you’re sending a cash transfer. The name of the UK recipient you give has to match the ID of the person collecting the money exactly, or there may be delays in handing over the money.
If you’re sending a transfer to a UK bank account, you’ll also need all their bank account details which will include:
Once you’ve set up your account with a transfer provider, you won’t need to prove your identity each time you make another transfer.
Transfers over $10,000
If you wish to transfer more than $10,000 out of Australia, that transfer must be reported to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). Your transfer service provider will complete the AUSTRAC declaration on your behalf, as it’s their responsibility to report on all transfers they make over $10,000. However, you may be asked to provide further details to be included in the AUSTRAC declaration, particularly if you intend to make large transfers quite frequently. The details you may be asked to provide may include:
For example, these are some of the documents you may be asked to provide to back up your transfer information:
If additional detailed documentation such as this is required, it may cause slight delays in your transfer while your documentation is being checked for compliance. However, smaller transfers of less than $10,000 won’t be subject to AUSTRAC regulations so they’ll frequently be received in the UK on the same day.