Find the best way to send money to the UK from the US

How to transfer money to the UK in 4 easy steps

  1. 1

    Register for an account with your chosen provider online or on their app in minutes and select the currenct amount you want to send.

  2. 2

    Add recipient information including their bank details. An 8 digit account number and a 6 digit bank sortcode or IBAN and address in the UK.

  3. 3

    Verify your ID. Sending from the US you’ll need a valid scanned government-issued photo ID.

  4. 4

    Pay for your transfer and you're done! Then you can track your transfer until it's received.

For more detail read our guide on how to send money abroad

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4 of the best companies for sending money from the US to the UK

Best exchange rate

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Same exchange rate you see on Google with no margins added. Transfer Fees of 0.45% up to US$135,000 or 0.35% above, plus a flat fee of US$1.09. Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK

  • Best rates up to $10,000
  • No hidden fees and charges
  • Super simple and fast to use
Fee free

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A good option for those who can wait 1-2 business days as they don't charge a fixed transfer fee. Rates are on average 0.5-2% more than the market exchange rate or that you see on Google. Licensed by the Department of Financial Services.

  • No fixed transfer fees
  • No minimum transfer limit
  • Better rates over $10,000
Best for over $20,000

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With personal account managers to help, no fixed transfer fees and a better rate the more you transfer, they are great option. It can take 1-3 days for large transfers to arrive. Licensed and registered in the US and UK.

  • No fixed transfer fees
  • Exceptional service
  • Overseas property experts
Best for cash
Xoom  logo which links to company website

Cash transfers are expensive but Xoom is one of the cheapest. With no fixed fees over $1,000, they charge a 2%+ margin from USD to GBP. Paying by card can cost up to $30, but they do have a money back guarantee.

  • Pickup available in minutes
  • 466 pickup locations in UK
  • Regulated by PayPal

What to know about sending money to the UK

All of the providers on our site are financially regulated in the countries they operate and hold the necessary Financial Services Licences. They have the highest security measures in place for fraud prevention and identity protection. However, it's still better to be safe than sorry. Here are some additional ways you can transfer funds safely:

  • Double check privacy policies and the tracking process for your money transfer provider
  • Use a strong, long and unique password with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols when you set-up your account
  • Ensure your money transfer service provides two-factor authentication, including SMS or email-based security code

Different companies charge you different fees. When you send money abroad using your bank or international money transfer company, you could be charged fees in several ways:

  1. They may offer a slightly worse currency exchange rate, also known as the exchange rate markup or margin.
  2. They may charge a fixed fee.
  3. They may charge a commission or service charge, also known as a percentage-based fee.

Something else to bear in mind — if you’re sending money to someone else’s bank account, their bank may charge receiving or processing fees. A money transfer company has no influence on these fees, and you should speak to the receiving bank to understand how much they might charge. Find out how much it really costs to send money internationally.

Potentially. It really depends on which service provider you use. Some providers like XE or OFX give better exchange rates or remove their fixed transfer fees for larger transfers above $10,000. Others providers like TransferWise already offer the market exchange rate you see on Google for smaller transfers, which is the best rate you can get.  

Remember, the better the exchange rate, the more money you get in the account abroad. For example, the difference between getting a 0.8015 and 0.7488 USD/GBP exchange rate is £58 when you transfer USD$1,000 to the UK.

Limits will vary depending on how much you wish to transfer, the countries you send money to, and what method of transfer you are using (be it a bank deposit, mobile payment, or cash pick-up).  Many providers have a minimum of $250 and a few providers have a maximum transaction amount up to $2 million.

  • For very small amounts our recommendation is Transferwise. They are available in most countries and have no minimum transfer amount and one of the most competitive services around. 
  • For larger amounts (over $20,000) we recommend Currencies Direct who specialise in this size of transaction and can offer great rates and service. 

There are many different ways to send and receive money from overseas. 

For sending funds:

  • A bank-to-bank transfer - known as a wire transfer in the US or telegraphic transfer in the UK
  • International money transfer provider - using a wire transfer, debit or credit card to pay
  • PayPal transfers 
  • Cash services such as WorldRemit, Western Union, and MoneyGram 
  • Cheques and money orders

For receiving funds:

  • Cash pick-up from locations across the UK
  • Into a PayPal account 
  • Into your bank account from an international money transfer provider transaction bank-to-bank transfer

Read our guides for more details about how to send funds or how to receive funds.

 

Yes there are fee-free options such as XE. However, you will pay an additional margin to the rate online, known as the mid market rate. Wether the company adds their costs into the exchange rate and has 'no fees' or whether the company gives you the mid market rate plus a separates 'transfer fee' one is not better than the other. This is just marketing and it makes it hard to see which option is more cost effective.  Ultimately what is important is finding out, when calculating all these different rates and fees - which one gives you more currency for your dollar? That's why comparing is so important!

Yes. When you have an account with any of the online money transfer services highlighted above, you can make transfers through their website, or via their iOS Apple and Android apps. However, some are easier to use than others, check out our guide on which providers have the best apps.

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By Natalie Robertson Updated September 18th, 2020