There are many different ways of transferring money to family overseas. There are also a number of factors to consider when choosing which is best for you and your particular transaction. Things to consider include exchange rates, the fees being charged and the features offered by your chosen method of transfer.
Can I use a credit or debit card?
You can. The following companies accept credit and debit cards to send money overseas.
Send money to family overseas with PayPal
The beauty of PayPal is its ease and convenience and if you are sending small amounts under around £200 then it could be your best option. PayPal do not set a limit on your payment size so this is also a feature that may be appealing. PayPal may also be cheaper than using a bank transfer as their fees may be lower.
If the recipient of your funds already has a PayPal account set up, then this method of transfer will unquestionably be the quickest way to send funds. If they don’t already have an account set up then they may end up waiting up to 28 days for the funds to arrive, after they have set their account up.
No bank account?
What if the person you want to send money to does not have a bank account? In this case a good option would be to transfer via Western Union or Moneygram as both of these providers have a cash pick up service. If your recipient can provide identification then they can pick up the transfer in cash quickly and with very little hassle. However, bear in mind that for cash pick ups the cost in fees in considerably higher and the exchange rates far less favourable. It is always cheaper to transfer funds to a bank account if this option is available.
Using a British bank like Barclays, Lloyds or Natwest to pay into a bank account
Using your British bank account is the most common way to transfer money abroad. They might not realize, however, that it is also one of the more expensive ways. Bank charges vary depending on which bank you have an account with and could be between £22 and £32 to do it in branch. This reduces to between £18 and £22 if you can do it online.
Despite the costs, it is very easy to transfer money overseas from your bank account in the UK. If you do it on-line, here’s how.
- Log-in to your on-line bank account.
- Click on Payments or Transfers. There should be an option for ‘International Money Transfer’, click on it.
- You will be prompted to enter the bank details of where you would like the money sent. This could be referred to as the ‘recipient’ or ‘beneficiary’.
- Choose which of your accounts you want the transfer to come from.
- Click ‘confirm’ if prompted.
Money Transfers – The Specialists
There are companies that specialize in transferring money from your UK bank account to friends and family members overseas. There are similarities with using your bank account directly but the fees you pay will be lower and the exchange rate you receive will be better.
You will firstly have to set up an account with them on-line. After that you’ll be ready for your first transaction.
- You’ll be offered an exchange rate quote for your overseas transfer.
- Enter the bank account details of the recipient of the funds.
- Confirm all the details and the exchange rate will be ‘locked in’.
- Transfer the British pounds to their account. This is usually done through Bpay.
Marcel has been living in the UK for a number of years but still sends regular payments back to his family in Romania. For small amounts such as birthday and Christmas gifts he uses PayPal but for larger and more regular payments he always simply transferred the funds directly from his UK bank account into his family’s Romanian bank account.
Marcel has now found that he can save a considerable amount of money by changing the way he sends the larger amounts. He now uses a money transfer specialist. He saves money on fees and the exchange rate he receives is always the most favourable available.