Sending Money Abroad from the UK

Sending Money Abroad from the UK

Sending money abroad can be daunting, especially if it’s your first time. With so many different options, fees, and regulations, it’s hard to know where to start. Fortunately, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to make your money transfer as smooth and efficient as possible. 

We’ll cover the various methods of sending money abroad, the costs associated with each, and the regulations you need to be aware of. Whether you’re sending money to family, paying bills, buying property, or making an investment, this guide will provide you with the knowledge and confidence you need to complete your transaction safely and securely.

Keep on reading to find out more. 

How to Choose the Best Method for Sending Money Abroad? 

When choosing a method for sending money abroad, you should consider a few factors. First, think about how quickly you need the recipient to receive the funds. If time is of the essence, then a bank wire transfer may be your best option.

If cost is your main concern, then a money transfer service may be your best bet. Finally, make sure that the method you choose is available in both your country and the recipient’s country before making any decisions. 

The Cost of Sending Money Abroad 

The cost of sending money abroad varies depending on a number of factors, including:

  • The amount of money you’re sending 
  • The currencies involved 
  • The exchange rate 
  • The transfer fee charged by the provider 

Generally speaking, it’s cheaper to send smaller amounts of money and often cheaper to send money within Europe than it is to send funds internationally. When choosing a provider, be sure to compare their rates so that you can get the best deal possible. Some providers also offer special deals or promotions, which can further reduce your transfer cost. 

Exchange Rate 

When sending money abroad, the exchange rate is something you need to take into account. The exchange rate is the rate at which one currency is converted into another. For example, if you are sending US dollars to Europe, the exchange rate will determine how many euros you will get for your dollars.

The exchange rate can fluctuate, so it is important to check the current rate before you make a transfer. There are several ways to do this, such as using an online currency converter or checking the rates at your bank or credit union. 


In addition to the cost of the exchange rate, there may also be fees associated with sending money abroad. These fees can vary depending on the method you use to send money and the country you are sending it to.

For example, if you use a wire transfer service, there may be a fee for each transfer. Or, if you use a credit card to make a foreign currency transaction, your card issuer may charge a foreign transaction fee. Be sure to ask about any potential fees before you make a transfer, so there are no surprises. 

Other Costs to Consider 

There are other costs to consider when sending money abroad besides the exchange rate and fees. For example, if you are sending a large amount of money, you may need to pay taxes on the transaction.

Additionally, some countries require that money be sent through an authorised agent or institution, which may charge its own fees. It is important to research all potential costs before making a money transfer to avoid surprises down the road. 

The Risks of Sending Money Abroad

There are a few risks associated with sending money abroad, but they are typically minor compared to other financial transactions: 

  • Exchange rate risk

The value of your currency may change when you make and complete your transaction, meaning that you could end up losing (or gaining) money depending on how the market moves. However, this risk can be mitigated by using a service that locks in an exchange rate for a certain period of time. 

  • Fraud risk

There is always a small risk that your personal or financial information could be stolen from any online transaction. To reduce this risk, make sure that you only use reputable providers who have security measures in place to protect your data.

Is There Much Difference Between Money Transfer Companies? 

Remittance Companies

When it comes to sending money abroad, there are a few different types of companies that can help you with the process. One type is known as a remittance company. These companies specialise in helping people transfer money to another country, usually for a fee. Some popular remittance companies include Western Union and MoneyGram

Remittance companies typically have a network of physical locations around the world where you can send or receive money. They also usually offer an online service that lets you send money electronically. Some even have apps that let you conduct transactions on your smartphone. 

The main advantage of using a remittance company is convenience. These companies can be a good option if you need to send money quickly and don’t have time to set up a bank transfer. They also tend to have very competitive rates, meaning you’ll get more bang for your buck when using their services. 

However, there are some disadvantages to keep in mind as well. First, remittance companies typically charge high fees for their services. This can eat into the amount of money you’re sending, so it’s important to compare rates before deciding on a provider.

Second, these companies are not always reliable – sometimes transfers don’t go through or take longer than expected. And finally, because they’re focused on convenience, they may not offer the same level of customer service as banks or other financial institutions. 

P2P Companies

Another type of company that can help you send money abroad is known as a peer-to-peer (P2P) company. These businesses match people who need to send money with others who are looking to receive funds – essentially acting as an intermediary between the two parties. Popular P2P companies include Wise and WorldRemit

Like remittance companies, P2P businesses usually have an online presence and may also offer mobile apps. And like remittance companies, they often have very competitive rates. But there are some key differences between these two types of providers as well. 

For one, P2P companies tend to have lower fees than remittance businesses. This is because they’re not spending as much on things like marketing and brick-and-mortar locations. Second, P2P firms typically offer more transparency when it comes to pricing, so you know exactly how much your transfer will cost before you initiate it. Finally, P2P platforms usually offer more flexibility in terms of how and when you can send your money – some even let you hold onto funds in multiple currencies. 

How Do I Send Money Abroad Over the Internet?

  1. Sign up for an account.

Most money transfer companies will require you to set up an account with them before you can start making transfers. This is usually a simple process involving providing some personal details and proof of ID. Once your account is set up, you’ll be able to log in and transfer money. 

  1. Verify your details.

Before making your first transfer, the money transfer company will need to verify your identity. This is usually done by asking for some additional documents, such as a passport or utility bill. Once your identity has been verified, you’ll be able to make transfers up to the limit set by the company. 

  1. Set up your transfer.

Once you’ve logged in to your account, you’ll need to specify the amount of money you want to send, the destination country, and how you want the recipient to receive the funds. You’ll also need to choose a suitable exchange rate and pay any applicable fees. Once all of this is complete, you’ll be able to confirm and submit your transfer. 

  1. Fund your transfer.

Once you’ve submitted your transfer, you’ll need to provide the funds that will be used for the transaction. This can usually be done by making a bank transfer from your own account or using a credit or debit card. Some companies may also allow you to fund your transfer using PayPal or another online payment service. 

  1. Track the progress of your transfer.

Once you’ve funded your transfer, it will usually take one or two business days for the funds to reach their destination. Most money transfer companies will provide tracking information so that you can see exactly where your money is and when it’s expected to arrive. 

Are There Limits to the Amount of Money You Can Send Online?

Yes, most money transfer companies will have limits in place on how much money you can send in a single transaction. These limits are typically based on the company’s internal risk management policies and may vary depending on the destination country. For example, WorldRemit has a limit of $10,000 per transfer for most countries, while Wise has a limit of £500,000 per transfer for UK residents sending money to Europe. 

General limits apply to all international money transfers, set by both the sender’s and recipient’s banks. These usually fall into two categories: daily and monthly limits. Daily limits tend to be lower, around $5,000-$10,000, while monthly limits are usually higher, at $50,000-$100,000. 

If you need to send more than the limit allows, you can often do so by breaking your transfer into multiple transactions. For example, if you’re sending $20,000 to France, you could make two separate transfers of $10,000 each. Alternatively, some companies offer premium services for high-value transfers with dedicated support and no limit on the amount you can send. 

What Payment Options Are Available When Sending Money Online? 

Bank Transfer 

Sending money abroad via bank transfer is one of the most common methods. This process can be done through your personal bank account or online money transfer service. When sending a bank transfer, you will need the recipient’s bank account details, including the name of the bank, account number, and routing number. The funds can take 1-5 days to arrive in the recipient’s account. Bank transfers are typically free or have a very low fee. 

Credit/Debit Card 

Another popular method for sending money internationally is with a credit or debit card. You can use your card to send money through an online money transfer service or your personal bank’s website. The funds can take 1-5 days to arrive in the recipient’s account and there is usually a fee associated with this method. 


If you need to send cash abroad, there are a few options available. You can use an international money order that you can purchase at most post offices. Money orders can be sent via mail or courier service and typically take 5-10 business days to arrive.

Another option for sending cash is a wire transfer service such as Western Union or MoneyGram. Wire transfers are typically completed within minutes, but there is usually a fee associated with this service. 

Delivery Options 

Bank Deposit

When you send money online, one of the delivery options is a bank deposit. With this option allows the recipient to have the funds deposited directly into their bank account. This is a convenient option if they have access to online banking. The sender will need to provide the recipient’s bank account number and routing number. 

Cash Pickup 

Another delivery option when sending money online is cash pickup. With this option, the recipient can go to a specific location to pick up the cash. Those not having bank accounts or online banking access can use it as a convenient solution. The sender will need to provide the recipient’s name and photo ID. 

Home Delivery 

With home delivery, the recipient can have the funds delivered directly to their home address. This can be a practical option if they aren’t able to pick up the cash in person or do not have a bank account. The sender will need to provide the recipient’s home address and phone number. 

Digital Wallets 

A digital wallet is an electronic version of a physical wallet where you store your money. Some digital wallets can be used to send money internationally. You may find this method convenient if you already use a digital wallet for other purposes, such as shopping online or managing your finances. The sender will need to provide the recipient’s email address or phone number so they can receive the funds. 

Mobile Payments 

Mobile payments refer to using your mobile device, such as your smartphone, to send money electronically. This can be done through apps or mobile websites that offer this service. This may be a convenient choice if you already use your mobile device for other purposes, such as shopping or managing your finances. The sender will need to provide the recipient’s email address or phone number so they can receive the funds. 

How Fast Can You Send Money Internationally?

Real-Time Transfers 

When you need to send money abroad quickly, you can opt for a real-time transfer. This type of transfer is usually processed immediately, meaning your recipient can access the funds right away. In some cases, however, it may take a few minutes for the funds to be processed and made available. 

One advantage of real-time transfers is that they’re often available 24/7, so you can send money at any time of day or night. However, they typically come with higher fees than other types of transfers, so it’s important to compare your options before choosing this option. 

Next-Day Transfers 

If you don’t need to send money quite as urgently, you may be able to save on fees by opting for a next-day transfer. As the name suggests, this type of transfer will reach your recipient the following day (or sometimes even sooner). Again, though, it’s important to compare your options and consider how much the fees will be before making your decision. 

Standard Transfers 

For less urgent payments, you can choose a standard transfer. These are typically processed within 1-3 business days, although the exact time frame may vary depending on the provider you use. Standard transfers usually have lower fees than real-time or next-day transfers, so they can be a good option if you want to save money on your international payment. 

Can You Track Money You’ve Sent Online?

When you send money internationally, you want to be sure that your money arrives safely and on time. That’s why it’s important to choose a money transfer service that offers tracking tools. 

With most online money transfer services, you can track your transaction every step of the way. You’ll usually be able to see when the money has been deposited into the recipient’s account, and in some cases, you’ll even be able to see when the recipient has received the funds. 

This tracking information can give you peace of mind that your money is where it’s supposed to be. It can also help you troubleshoot if there are any delays in the transfer process. 

Tips for Sending Money Abroad


Before you send money abroad, it’s important to do your research and understand the process. This includes understanding the exchange rate and what fees may be involved. You can find this information by contacting the financial institution or service you’re using or doing an online search. 

Compare Rates and Fees

When sending money abroad, it’s crucial to compare rates and fees from different providers. This way, you can ensure you’re getting the best deal possible. 

There are a few ways to compare rates and fees: 

  • You can use an online tool to compare rates from different providers
  • You can contact each provider directly and ask for quotes
  • You can visit your local bank or post office and ask about their rates and fees

Consider the Timing of Your Transfer

The timing of your money transfer can also affect the cost. For example, if you need to send money urgently, it may cost more than if you were to wait a few days for the transfer to go through. Additionally, certain times of day or week may be cheaper than others for making a transfer. It’s important to consider these factors when choosing a time to send your money abroad. 

Use a Reputable Service 

When sending money abroad, it’s essential to use a reputable service so that your money is safe and arrives on time. 

Some factors to consider when choosing a service include:  

  • How long has the company been in business? 
  • What do customer reviews say about the company?  
  • Is the company regulated by a government body?  

Once you’ve considered these factors, you’ll be able to choose a reputable service that meets your needs. 

How to Get the Best Exchange Rate When Sending Money Abroad?

You can get better exchange rates in two ways: either through an online currency broker or through international wire transfers with your bank itself rather than going through an intermediary. 

When dealing with an online broker, always check reviews first and compare rates across different companies before choosing one – some will have lower rates but might have poorer customer service, while others will have higher rates but better customer service. 

When doing an international wire transfer with your bank, it’s best to first check what their base rate is (the rate they give without any markup) and then compare it to mid-market rates (the real exchange rate). If there’s a big difference, it might be worth shopping around for another bank. Some banks will also let you negotiate on rates, so it never hurts to ask! 

How to Ensure Your Money Arrives Safely When Sending Money Abroad?

You can do a few things to ensure that your money arrives safely when you send it abroad. First, make sure that you are using a reputable and reliable provider. Look for reviews online and see what other people have said about their experience with the provider. Make sure that the provider has a good reputation in the industry and is regulated by the relevant authorities. 

Second, ensure you understand the process of sending money abroad and all the fees involved. Ask questions if you are unsure about anything so that you are comfortable with the process before sending any money. 

Third, consider sending money in smaller increments over time rather than one large amount all at once. This will help to mitigate any risk if something goes wrong with the transaction. Finally, keep track of all documentation related to the transaction in case you need to follow up on it later. 

Regulations Involved With Sending Money Abroad 

Before making your decision, it’s also important to be aware of any regulations that might involve your chosen method of sending money abroad.

Firstly, some countries have restrictions on the amount of money you can send. Generally speaking, you can send up to $10,000 a year. 

It’s best to check with your local government to see if there are any specific regulations in your country. You also need to check if there are any taxes or fees involved. This varies from country to country, so it’s best to check with your local government to see what they are. 

Security and Privacy Considerations 

When choosing your method of sending money abroad, also consider the security and privacy of the service. Not all transfer methods are equally secure. This can include the security of the website (HTTPS), the payment method, the level of customer service, and the level of encryption used by the service. 

There are a number of different considerations when it comes to the security and privacy of your money transfer. Firstly, always use a reputable service. Secondly, make sure the site you’re using is secure (HTTPS) and has a high level of encryption. This will keep your money safe and protected. 

It’s also important to use a secure method of payment. Most services allow you to pay with your credit or debit card, but some only support bank transfers. If you’re going to be making a bank transfer, make sure you do it through an online banking site with two-factor authentication to add another layer of security to your transaction. 

Currencies Direct – Our Top Recommendation  

As a leader in the currency market with a 4.9-star TrustPilot rating, Currencies Direct stands out from its competitors. Based on its 1996 founding date, the company is much older than some of its competitors. Since then, they have served more than 250,000 customers. 

The exchange rates offered by Currencies Direct are extremely low and competitive, with no transfer fees. You can use your online or mobile devices to set up an account within minutes.

Considering this company has one of the best rates on money transfers internationally, it might be the best option for someone looking for the best price. The company does, however, have some downsides. 

In total, it transfers money into a little more than 20 different currencies. This particular company may not be able to handle money transfers to locations that aren’t exactly common or “the norm.” 

Many people don’t seem to mind this, as can be seen by the thousands of five-star reviews. The company is well known for its excellent customer service, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and for working on behalf of its customers instead of against them. 

Additionally, the company has been awarded several times. We recommend them as one of the leading providers of online money transfer services in the UK and around the world. 

  • Bank-beating Exchange Rates
  • Zero-Transfer Fees
  • Bespoke Currency Solutions
  • Expert Personal Advice
  • FCA Regulated


Sending money abroad doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive – there are many ways to do it, and with a bit of research, you can find the best option for your needs. By following the tips in this blog post, you can avoid hidden fees, get the best exchange rate, and ensure your money arrives safely. 

So whether you’re sending money to family or friends, or making a payment for goods or services, take the time to compare your options and choose the best way to send money abroad. 

by Matt Woodley
Matt Woodley is the Founder of Money Transfer Expert and is a recognised expert on international money transfers. Matt holds a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) majoring in Finance and Marketing and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in Economics and History from the University of Auckland.