Moving money abroad is one of my biggest gripes with modern banking. It doesn’t cost you £20 to move my cash from London to Italy so don’t charge me for it! Because my boyfriend lives in Northern Italy and I’m based in London I spend a hell of a lot of time travelling to and fro between the two, and so does my money.
Most high street banks will charge you transfer fees (robbery!) but there are ways around this, as I’ve found out. If you too get cross with transfer fees when moving your money abroad then have a read of these tips below to see how you can make sure you’re not paying over the odds.
After slamming high street banks, I realise that I am now starting my recommendation list with a high street bank. However, bear with me.
HSBC actually have a great international transfer rate. If you both have an HSBC account then the cost is £0.
If you don’t both have an HSBC account then the fee is only £4. (This is in comparison to Lloyds’ £10 European transfer rate, or Santander’s £25 European and International fee).
This is useful if (like me) you are moving smaller amounts every now and then. For example, if I need to send my boyfriend the £100 I owe him for our holiday flights.
This is a good company to look at if you are looking to transfer slightly larger amounts. (They have a minimum transfer amount of £1,000.)
They have no transfer fee at all.
This is probably worth looking into more if you have slightly larger amounts of money to move every now and then, as opposed to smaller chunks of money at more frequent intervals.
Again, this is useful if you are trying to move money from a British to an International or European bank account.
Torfx is a specialist service designed to assist you with international transfers at minimum cost.
They charge you no fees and they have no maximum transfer limit.
Their Regular Overseas Payments system is meant for recurrent transfers between £500 - £10,000, but you can move as little as £100 with no transfer fee.
You would need to open an account with them, so it could be worth it if you intend to make more regular transfers, probably not what you’re looking for if you only want to make a one off payment.
This great little app is a real game changer. If you live between two countries, and therefore two currencies, then this app is for you. It’s also really useful if you are going away on holiday. Revolut also doesn't charge a fee for cross-currency transfers for up to £5,000 per month.
It’s essentially a pre-loaded card. (You can also get a physical card for £5 if you wish). If you don’t have a European bank account, but need to have money whilst you’re in Europe, then this is what you’re after.
Once you’re in the app you can ask for your money to be transferred to a number of different currencies. They give you the best exchange rate at the time and there’s no fee. This means you can transfer your money when the exchange rate is good and every time you go to Europe you have Euro’s ready to spend in your bank account.
If you are going on holiday you can decide to leave your money in your original currency and change amounts as and when you please, this means you can follow the exchange rate (in case it swings in your favour). If you have a physical card and decide to withdraw cash at an ATM then Revolut will convert your account balance into the local currency using the real interbank exchange rate, and not charge you for the withdrawal (for up to £200), Unlike your High Street banks!
Sending money to people with a Revolut account is also free. It has a ‘split the bill’ option, which is a great little extra if you are out with friends. You can send your share of the bill directly to their Revolut account.