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A Guide to Transferring Money Overseas

A Guide to Transferring Money Overseas
Sue

If you’ve decided to “up-sticks” and move abroad, then you’ll soon need to consider the best way of transferring money from the UK to your accounts overseas. When it comes to making payments from the UK, there are a few different methods you can use to make sure you get the most out of your Pound.

If you’ve decided to “up-sticks” and move abroad, then you’ll soon need to consider the best way of transferring money from the UK to your accounts overseas. When it comes to making payments from the UK, there are a few different methods you can use to make sure you get the most out of your Pound.

Small payments

If you need to make smaller payments consider “purpose-built” products such as prepaid currency cards. The cards allow you to load funds in advance at competitive exchange rates and can simply be used like a debit card to pay for products and services online or when abroad, without further transaction or exchange fees. (Some providers charge an ATM fee for withdrawals in the UK and/or abroad).

With many highly competitive rates and providers now operating solely online, turn to the web to stretch your Pound. Ensure the provider is FCA Authorised and then choose one that meets your needs. Some also offer mobile apps, such as the FairFX app, which allows you to top up your prepaid card, transfer money or check your balance whilst on the go.

  • Anywhere/Sterling cards are loaded with Sterling and the currency conversion takes place at the point of sale, meaning they can be used in over 220 countries worldwide. If you’re likely to be travelling between countries, or paying in currencies other than Euros and Dollars then this is a great card to have, as you don’t need to worry about buying multiple currencies.
  • Euro and US Dollar cards are among the best ways to carry and pay for items in the Eurozone/USA as you can you lock-in exchange rates before you pay. These cards are very popular for paying for items online and you can benefit from them being Chip & PIN protected. Another benefit of prepaid is that the card is not linked to your bank account.

Top tip: Some merchants may give you the option to pay in a different currency other than the denominated card currency to make your payment. Make sure that you always select the local currency. For example, if you are in the USA, and you are given the option to pay in Dollars or Pound Sterling, make sure you select Dollars. If you permit the merchant to convert the amount back into Pounds they will choose their own exchange rate, generally a poor one, and you will be paying for two unnecessary exchanges.

Sending larger amounts abroad
If you need to make larger payments (generally £1,000+) then look for a foreign exchange specialist. Just like the prepaid cards there are many providers available, but look for one that offers International Money Transfers with little or preferably no transfer costs, great exchange rates and a secure payment facility. The advantage of an online provider means you can transfer money 24/7 and most providers will provide you with an online report to track your orders and keep record of your payments.

Make life easier by looking for one with an accompanying phone app. Once you’ve got the hang of it be sure to download the app onto your phone or tablet so you can make transfers on the go anywhere you have an Internet connection.

Top tip: Sign up to provider’s email distribution lists so you can get notifications of when the rates are favourable.

Transferring £50,000+
If you need to transfer a large amount then look to use a dedicated FX dealing service and speak to an expert. Get an account manager/trader who will work with you to reduce the cost of transacting and access highly competitive rates.

Some providers will give you the option to:

  • Rate watch – where the rate is monitored on your behalf and they contact you when the pre-defined level is achieved.
  • Limit order  – where you give the instruction to the dealer to buy or sell a fixed amount of currency on your behalf, at an agreed rate within a fixed timeframe via a tracker.

Top tip: Being flexible with your payment timings can be beneficial. Because the market is constantly moving you may get a better rate by simply waiting a few days. When you’re transferring a large sum the difference in rate could have a significant impact on the amount you pay/get.

Whichever way you decide to transfer money, whether through a prepaid, debit, credit, money transfer or dedicated broker service, make sure you speak to a specialist if you are unsure about anything, and always compare prices.

About the Author: Lisa Stone is the Marketing Manager for FairFX who have taken a revolutionary approach to the whole foreign exchange market for both individuals and businesses. They cut out the middle man and use state of the art technology to execute your orders and get your money to you. ҬӬProviding their customers with great value for money by offering highly competitive rates.