Sending money overseas is a piece of cake – with the only caveat being that you have to know exactly what you’re doing, otherwise that piece of cake can start to look a little like a lump of coal. Of course, you can ask your bank for help. Your bank will be able to set up an international transfers account for you, and your request will be processed in due course. Your other option is to go through a money transfer service, which we’ll get into shortly.
If you’ve been busy reading articles with titles like “3 ways to send money to Norway” and “5 cheaper ways to send money to Australia” or even “How to get the best rates on your foreign money transfer”, you may be wondering what your options actually come down to. What are the various ways of sending money abroad and which way is best? Let’s get into it.
Your bank will be able to help
Banks know money. Banks know everything about money. That’s why banks are a great place to start. Your bank will be able to set up a foreign money transfer account for you, meaning you can pass money from your specialist transfer account to a foreign account with all the basic securities in place to protect your money. However, your bank isn’t a dedicated overseas money transfer service, meaning your request will be in a queue. Your account setup time and the transfer time should be considered if you need a fast transfer.
Money transfer services
Dedicated overseas money transfer services are generally much faster than banks as the staff you will deal with specialise in nothing but making sure your money reaches the foreign account as fast and as safely as possible. This means an expedited service that can be a very attractive prospect for members of the public and business people alike. However, the exchange rates may not be as high as exchange rates offered by banks (see explanation of rates). Which brings us on to the last point to consider.
Is commission-free really commission-free?
Rarely is the answer. Consumers love a commission-free service. Cutting out the middle salespeople means you get more bang for your buck. But wait. Commission-free in this case may mean that the bank or money transfer company alters the exchange rates to help with the costs of their overheads. Research the exchange rates and be aware of these hidden charges.