Home Cheapest way to send money internationally

Cheapest way to send money abroad

Sending money overseas doesn’t have to be expensive or confusing.

Save time and money on your overseas money transfers with OFX.

Our OFXperts could help you save more on overseas money transfers. Register online or speak to an OFXpert

Michael, OFXpert

Find the best ways to transfer money internationally

There are several ways to transfer your money overseas. Here are the different methods:

  • Online money transfer services
    Compared to traditional banks, online money transfer services like OFX could offer better exchange rates with no (or low) transaction fees, depending on the amount of your transfer and currency pair. Opening an account is quick and easy. Plus, you have the flexibility of moving money in your own time.
  • Banks
    You could send money from your bank account into an overseas bank account through a transfer (also known as a telegraphic transfer or SWIFT transfer). Banks may offer reliability and familiarity, but they may not provide you with the best exchange rates.
  • Third-party payment services
    A third-party payment service (peer-to-peer transfer) is when you send and receive money directly into a linked bank account or card through a third-party website or mobile app. There could be fees involved for overseas transactions, depending on which provider you choose.
  • Cash pick-up
    Opting for a cash pick-up allows your recipient to collect funds in a physical location. If the transfer involves currency exchange, senders may need to pay a transaction fee and an exchange rate margin.
  • International or overseas money order
    An international money order is a paper document that is used as a form of payment. You buy the amount you wish to send, and mail it to your recipient’s country. Your recipient then exchanges the document for cash when they receive it.

Run an eCommerce or international business? Our multi-currency account can help

If you make regular online payments such as to overseas employees, vendors or suppliers, a multi-currency account allows you to manage multiple currencies in a single platform. Get to know our Global Currency Account.

How much does it cost to send money abroad?

Did you know that sending money overseas could cost you an average of 6% of the amount sent. This can be broken down into two main costs:

1. Fees

To send money in another currency from the UK, you may need to pay a fee depending on the service you choose to go with and your type of transfer. The fees also vary from bank to bank, and the account of your recipient. At OFX, you receive fee-free transfers when you send GBP or EUR overseas. Third-party fees may apply. This fee may vary and OFX receives no portion of it.

2. Exchange rate margin

When you trade currencies, banks and money transfer companies typically charge a margin (or mark-up) on the rate they offer to cover their operational costs and make a profit.

This margin is the difference between the rate banks or companies obtain from the wholesale foreign exchange market (i.e. the Market Rate), and the rate that is quoted to you (i.e. the Customer Rate). 

Our OFX margin is based on the currency exchanged and your transaction amount. If you’re planning to send large amounts of money, OFX could be a cheaper option. We offer customised rates for large money transfers and corporate customers.

Enjoy extra savings on your first transfer

New to OFX? Take advantage of a great introductory rate across 7 currencies (GBP, EUR, USD, AUD, NZD, CAD, SGD) on your first personal transfer. Terms and conditions apply.

How to send a cheap money transfer

1. Find the cheapest rate

Compare the rates and fees from different money transfer providers. Going with a dedicated money transfer service like OFX could be cheaper, with better exchange rates and low (or no) fees.

2. Mode of

Explore the different payment methods available. A direct transaction straight from your bank account could be the cheapest way to fund your money transfer.

3. Send GBP and receive in 50+ currencies

Submit your transfer, track it online and receive the selected currency straight into your recipient’s bank account. OFX offers over 50 currencies for money transfers abroad.

What to consider when comparing the cheapest ways to send money abroad

1. Fees

Transfer fees for sending money overseas varies, depending on the banks or money transfer providers you go with. Choosing to go with a bank may incur a high international or foreign transaction fee. Some banks may even charge your recipient a fee to receive money from overseas.

  • Cheaper alternative

Using a non-bank money transfer service could mean minimal or no fees. At OFX, you receive fee-free transfers* for sending GBP internationally. We use our global network of 115 local bank accounts to make our transfers within the same country, so you won’t be hit by any international transaction fees.

*Occasionally, third-party banks may deduct a fee from your transfer before paying your recipient. This fee may vary and OFX receives no portion of it.

2. The exchange rate

Banks use the wholesale rate (also known as the market or interbank rate) to trade currencies with each other. It is what you’ll see if you do a search online for ‘1 GBP to USD’. But that’s not the rate that the banks will give you.

Instead, you’ll be given a ‘retail’ or ‘Customer Rate’. Most banks and currency exchange providers may add a margin to the market rate. For personal transactions, most banks could charge up to a 5% margin on the interbank rate. This could cost you thousands depending on the size of your transfer.

  • Cheaper alternative

OFX Customer Rate is an estimated rate that is based off the current Market Rate and includes our margin but excludes any fees (if applicable). Enjoy great rates, especially if you’re sending large sums of money. Speak to an OFXpert to lock in a customised quote.

3. Transaction and time limits

Some banks and money transfer services may impose a maximum transaction limit. They could also limit the amount of money you can send in a 24-hour timeframe, over the course of a week or a month.

This could impact your transfer as you may need to split your transaction in multiple transfers, which may not be the most cost-effective solution. It could also prevent your recipient from receiving all of the money at once quickly, especially in an emergency. 

  • Better alternative

When you choose to use OFX to transfer money, you can send as much as you need to. There is no limit to how much you can send over a specific period of time. 

If you’re using a bank to fund your OFX transaction, your bank could impose a maximum daily transfer limit, and this may impact the speed of OFX receiving your funds. Contact your bank to enquire about your maximum daily transaction limit.

Sending a large amount of money overseas? Our team of dedicated OFXperts are available 24/7 to guide you through the process.

4. Delivery times

Delivery times vary depending on the money transfer service that you use. While some may be nearly instantaneous, others may require several days to reach their destination, including up to 1-5 business days. 

  • Better alternative

Most money transfers with OFX in major currencies such as AUD, USD, SGD, GBP, NZD, EUR, HKD, CAD can be completed within 1-2 business days of OFX receiving your funds. Less popular currencies could take around 3-5 business days. 

Track the status of your transfer by logging in to your account, or by choosing to receive email notifications along the way when we receive and pay your transfer. 

5. Customer support

Banks have fixed opening and closing times. And most online money transfer services generally only offer online customer support. If you need to send money urgently or require extra help with your transaction, having a real person to speak to makes a big difference.

  • Personal touch

No matter where you are, our OFXperts are ready to help 24/7. Speak to a real person at your schedule, any time of the day. 

What is the easiest way to send money with OFX

Bank-to-bank transfer 

Also known as Faster Payments for transactions under £1,00,000, this payment typically clears instantly or within 2 hours.

For transactions above £1,000,000, you can send it through your bank as a CHAPS transfer. This usually clears within the same-day or overnight, depending on what time of the day the sending bank has made the payment. 

Debit card

You can use your debit card for transfers up to £5,000 and £10,000 per rolling week. 

Ready to make a transfer? Create your free account to get started.

How to minimise costs when making international money transfers

1. Shop around for the best rates and lowest fees

Compare the best rates and fees online or call the various providers to learn more about their fees and rates structure. At OFX, you can always speak to a real person anytime of the day.

2. Take advantage of promotions or introductory rates

Keep a look out if there are any promotions or introductory rates for first-time users. However, be sure to consider the rates and fees beyond the introductory period.

Did you know? OFX is now offering an introductory rate for first-time users.

3. Choose a fee-free payment method

Some methods like credit cards may come with higher fees. Opt for bank transfers or other online payment methods with no fees to avoid unnecessary charges.

4. Get alerts when the exchange rate moves in your favour

Rates can fluctuate quickly. Using tools like currency rate alerts helps you save time by monitoring the market for you.

Sign up to our OFX Rate Alerts to get notifications straight to your phone or inbox.

Want to stay ahead of market moves?

Subscribe to email currency updates from our OFXperts. We monitor global events and FX markets day and night, so you don’t have to.

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How to make a cheap money
transfer with OFX

Create your OFX account

Start your registration online or via the OFX app. We’ll ask for some personal information including your contact details and nationality.

Verify your identity

Verification helps keep our platform safe, so we’ll check your details to ensure everything matches up.

Get your government-issued photo ID. We’ll ask you to submit a photo of yourself and your document and enter your social security number.

One of our OFXperts will call for final verification and to get you ready for your first transfer.

Enter your transfer details

Tell us the amount you want to send or the amount that you want the recipient to receive. See your customer rate.

Next, add your recipient and their account details and choose your payment option.

If everything looks correct, press confirm to lock in your transfer.

Send funds for your transfer

If you’re using Direct Debit we’ll withdraw the agreed amount from your nominated account and send to your recipient.

If you’ve selected a wire transfer, log in to your online banking or visit your branch to make payment. Be sure to follow the instructions in your OFX payment confirmation.

Track your transfer

We will send you email notifications when we receive funds and pay out your transfer to your recipient. You can also opt in for SMS updates or even track your transfer by logging in online or on the app and selecting ‘transfers’ on your home screen.

Stay informed with currency tools that could help you
save more when sending money abroad

Currency Outlook, your monthly overview

Markets can be confusing, so we create a jargon-free guide to what could impact exchange rates each month.

Check your currency’s past performance

See a currency pair’s performance over the last few days, weeks, months, or even years.

Never miss a rate with Rate Alerts

Got a rate in mind? Set up a Rate Alert and we’ll send you an email or SMS if the target is reached.

Check exchange rates

Exchange rates can change so quickly. Check the Interbank rate for different currencies as well as fluctuations over days, weeks, months or years.

See why people and businesses around the world choose OFX

Transfer money overseas with great rates