FIND THE BEST WAY TO SEND MONEY TO THE UK FROM THE US

Compare international money transfer exchange rates and fees

Best Overall Online Service

TransferWise

If you prefer to transfer money online, TransferWise is the easiest way to do it. It's incredibly simple to set up an account or make a transfer using their app. They also have the best exchange rates, because they offer the same market rate you see on XE or Google and don't add any hidden exchange rate mark ups.

How much does it cost to transfer funds to the United Kingdom?

Transfer Fee: 0.45% up to US$135,000 or 0.35% above US$135,000, plus a flat fee of US$1.09.
Exchange Rate: TransferWise gives you the best possible rate for currency transfer. They do not use a margin.
Additional Fees: Bank debit (ACH) is the cheapest; then bank wire transfer; followed by debit card and credit card.

How to transfer money with TransferWise?

  • Create an online account, login and set up your first transfer.
  • Tap in how much and where to. Enter your recipients details.
  • Make local US payments to TransferWise, using a bank transfer, your debit or credit card.

How long does it take?

Your recipient will get the money in Great British Pounds (GBP) directly from TransferWise's local bank account within 0-1 business days.

Is TransferWise safe?

Yes they are, click here to see our full review of TransferWise. Their bank account is with Barclays in the UK and Wells Fargo in the US.

Best features:

  • Quick online set-up
  • Easy to get a quote
  • Transparent fees and offer the best exchange rates online
  • Simple cell phone app

Service details:

For TransferWise help online.

XE Money Transfers

As a trusted and seasoned name in foreign exchange, XE could be a good option for online users who aren't under time pressure. They don't charge fixed fees and don't have any minimum amounts so are good for any sized transaction.

How much does it cost to transfer funds to the United Kingdom?

Transfer Fee: Free, but there can be hidden charges at the local bank.
Exchange Rate: The GBP/USD exchange rate you receive depends on the amount of your transfer.

How to transfer money with XE?

  • Set up account online or over the phone.
  • Tap in how much, where to and which currency.
  • Pay XE and they will transfer the funds to your recipients bank account.

How long does it take?

Allow 1-2 business days for international money transfers.

Is XE safe?

Yes they are. They are licensed as a Money Transmitter by the DFS in New York and registered with FINTRAC.

Best features:

  • No fees or minimum amounts for money transfers
  • Better exchange rates for larger amounts
  • Well known and trusted brand
  • Business and individual support, plus accessible customer service

Service details:

For help from XE and phone number: US- 1-877-932-6640

OFX

OFX are particularly good for larger transfers because they have personal account managers that are really helpful, particularly if it's your first time sending money to the UK. They also offer better exchange rates, the more you transfer.

OFX is one of the oldest money transfer companies and have a good track record for security. They are a global business with offices in Sydney, London and many other international locations.

How much does it cost to transfer funds to the United Kingdom?

Transfer Fee: OFX no longer charge a flat transfer fee for customers in the USA.
Exchange Rate: OFX add a margin to the exchange rate when you convert your US dollars into British pounds (GBP).
Minimum Transfer Amount: US$150 for single transfer; US$250 for recurring transfers.

OFX has a currency exchange calculator, but it shows the interbank rate. This is the rate BEFORE they apply their margin. To get an accurate quote, you need to set up an account with OFX. Alternatively, use our money transfer exchange rate comparison tool. You'll see OFX's actual exchange rates and fees and comparison with other services.

How to transfer money with OFX?

  • Create a free online account and login to get a live quote for your transfer.
  • Enter your recipients details including bank account, financial institution number, account number and branch transit number.
  • 'Finalize transaction' and pay using a bank or wire transfer. Business customers can use direct debit.

How long does it take?

Your recipient will get the money in Pounds Sterling into their account in 1-2 business days.

Is OFX safe?

Yes they are. See our full review of OFX for more information.

Best features:

  • Easy online set-up
  • Good exchange rates and lock-in rate for larger amounts
  • 24/7 phone support
  • Cell phone app

Service details:

OFX FAQs

Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct are particularly good for larger transfers because they have personal account managers that are really helpful, particularly if it's your first time sending money to the UK. They also offer better exchange rates, the more you transfer.

How much does it cost to transfer funds to the UK from the United States?

Transfer Fee: Free, but there can be hidden charges at the local bank.
Exchange Rate: The exchange rate you receive depends on the amount of your transfer.  It is marginally above the mid market rate or the rate on google.

How to transfer money with Currencies Direct?

  • Set up account online or over the phone.
  • Tap in how much, where to and which currency.
  • Pay Currencies Direct and they will transfer the funds to your recipients bank account.

How long does it take?

Allow 1-3 business days for international money transfers.

Is Currencies Direct safe?

Yes they are. They are registered with Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and are part of a global conglomerate of money transfer services that include TorFX and Foremost Currency Group.

Best features:

  • Fee free transfers and minimum amounts for international money transfers
  • Well known and trusted brand, scores 4.8/5 from Trustpilot
  • Rate alert set up available

Service details:

For help, you can find their contact details here. In the UK, you can call them on +44 (0)20 7847 9400 or email london@currenciesdirect.com. For the USA, you can call +1 407 900 2174 or email usa@currenciesdirect.com

Xoom powered by PayPal

Xoom is convenient for money transfers, but costly compared to other money transfer specialists.

How much does it cost to transfer funds to the United Kingdom?

Transfer Fee: Differs depending on amount or transfer type. Under $1,000 bank transfer is $4.99, but it's free above $1,000. For $1,000, debit or credit card costs over $30.
Exchange Rate: About a 2% margin is added to the exchange rate when you convert your US dollars into British pounds (GBP).
Get a quote: Up to US$10,000 with 24 hrs with social security or passport number. Click here to find out the cost to transfer money to United Kingdom with Xoom.

How to transfer money with Xoom?

  • Sign up to an account and login.
  • Tap in how much and where to. Enter your recipients details. Enter how you would like to pay.
  • Recipient receives money in bank account or in cash available for pick up at agent location.

How long does it take?

It will take 1-2 business days.

Is Xoom (PayPal) safe?

Xoom is powered by PayPal and is safe. Paypal is one of the oldest online payment platforms. Learn more about PayPal's safety measures.

Best features:

  • Safe, trustworthy, fully licensed and authorized company
  • Pay recipients bills or phone reloads via app
  • Cash pick ups available through Ria outlets

Service details:

Xoom help phone number: (877) 815-1531 (toll free) or +1 (415) 395-4225 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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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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