International money transfers
International money transfers can become very expensive particularly if you decide to use your normal bank to do this. There are two things to be aware of when transferring money internationally, these are:
- Fees – Banks can charge fees for transferring money internationally (and sometimes receiving international payments) and these amounts will be very explicit.
- Exchange rate – This is the hidden charge. Banks can decide to transfer your money internationally at a much lower exchange rate compared to the inter bank rate (if in doubt you can check the interbank rate here on Google Finance).
Best comparison method is to see how much money is received
Ultimately the best way to compare international money transfer providers is to see how much money you will receive in your destination currency.
We have used two services which are the market leaders in international currency transfers, these are TransferWise and CurrencyFair. Both companies provide an exchange rate that is very close to the bank rate. Below we provide an overview of the fees for both providers and an example of how much money you receive in £ if you send €1000:
- Trust Pilot review score
- Speed of transfer
- Mobile app
- Minimum transfer amount
- £ received from a €1000 transfer
- €3 and c.0.5%
- 1-2 days
- 0.5% (min £2)
- 1-2 days
Currencyfair is cheaper but TransferWise we found easier to use
Overall you receive a slightly better rate using Currencyfair vs. TransferWise. However we would note that the user experience was slightly easier with TransferWise firstly because you can sign up to an account using your Facebook details and the layout/internal systems we found easier to use. Furthermore, TransferWise is more of an established brand and it has also received investment from people such as Sir Richard Branson.
However, if you don’t mind using the Currencyfair platform which may take you a few more minutes to understand and navigate then that is a great option for the cheapest way of transferring money.
How can I compare rates myself?
If you want to check out how much money you will receive when doing the international bank transfer then head over to the following links where both companies provide a pricing calculator for you to compare transfers:
How safe is my money?
Both companies are fully regulated with TransferWise being regulated by the Electronic Money Institution (EMI) via the UK Financial Conduct Authority. Currencyfair is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland under the European Communities (Payments Services) Regulations 2009. Both companies also have your money fully segregated in separate bank accounts. You can find more details in the help section of their website – but our view is that your money is extremely safe with both companies.