Best Way to Transfer Money to the United Kingdom
With so many different names and providers to choose from, making a money transfer to the United Kingdom can be frustrating. Where do you start? Who do you trust? Luckily we have you covered. In this guide, we help you find the best way to send very small, small, medium and large amounts of money to the United Kingdom from Australia.
In this guide, we will show you:
- The cheapest money transfer option with our comparison table
- How to transfer money to the United Kingdom
- How long does it take and how much can I transfer to the United Kingdom?
- What information do I need to make a transfer?
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How to transfer money from Australia to the United Kingdom
While each bank and money transfer service is different, you will always need to follow these steps to transfer your money safely and quickly:
- Setting up an account usually takes 10 minutes and make sure you have some I.D. on hand
- Enter the bank details of the person or company you are sending the money to
- Pay for your transfer using a card or bank transfer
Now that you know how to transfer money to the UK, you can compare your options. We understand, this isn't easy.
Every bank and money transfer company offer different exchange rates and transfer fees depending on how much you want to send.
That's why using our table compares the total cost of the transfer, based off the amount of your transfer.
How much will it cost to make my international money transfer?
There are 3 fees you'll usually be charged to send money to the United Kingdom:
- Exchange rates - The better the exchange rate, the more British pound you get in the bank account in the UK. Money transfer services that offer better exchange rates will usually charge you a separate transfer fee.
- Transfer fees - These can range anywhere between $0 to $5. Some online transfer companies offer fee-free transfers for sending large amounts of money. These companies usually charge a slightly worse margin on their exchange rate, but are still better than bank fees.
- Hidden fees - You or the person you're sending money too will often get charged a bank receiving fee or banks intermediary fee of approximately $25 each.
How long does it take to transfer money overseas?
Money Transfer Services can take 0 - 3 business days
When using a money transfer service like TransferWise, they tend to quote transfer time in hours not days. Unlike banks, they keep you updated on the movement of your funds.
Remittance Companies can take 0 - 5 business days
An instant transfer is available with remittance companies if you pay a higher transfer fee and the person can collect in cash. You can send money using a bank transfer and it can take up to 5 business days.
Bank to Bank Transfer can take 2 - 5 business days
Also known as a 'wire' or 'telegraphic transfer'. These transfers are slow, because the money may go through a network of correspondent banks before landing into the account in the UK.
What information do you need to transfer money to the United Kingdom?
- Your personal information: Your full name, address, date of birth and valid I.D.
For security reasons money transfer service's need your photo id scanned or photographed using your phone. It also needs to be high quality. Also note, you can't give your work/office address or PO box address
- UK bank account details: The full name on the account and address. Plus the 6-digit bank sort code (BSC) together with the 8-digit bank account number. Alternatively, you can provide an IBAN, which in Europe is 14–34 alphanumeric characters long in this format: GBKK BBBB SSSS SSCC CCCC CC.
You can usually get these details by logging into your online banking or checking the bank statement.
- How you wish to pay: Your bank details, account numbers and address or debit/credit card details to pay for your transfer.
How can I send very small regular amounts to the UK?
If you have family in the UK then you might need to frequently send them small amounts for birthday gifts, Christmas gifts or the be part of a family surprise gift. Two great options are Revolut and TransferWise.
Sending money to the UK is very quick on your mobile, very small transfer fees and close to mid market exchange rates.
With TransferWise sending very small amounts is affordable and fast. For example, you might send 7 lots of A$30 over 12 months to family in the US. The cheapest bank transfer would cost you roughly A$65 in total transfer fees. It'll only cost you A$8 with TransferWise
How do I send small amounts to the United Kingdom?
You can send small amounts to the UK from Australia with remittance companies like PayPal or Western Union. Typically these companies offer a service to instantly send cash to the UK, which can be very handy in emergencies, however the exchange rate for sending cash is very poor.
To send £100 British pounds it will cost A$5 if you pay using a bank transfer. If you pay with credit or debit card it will cost you A$7.60 Australian dollars plus £0.20 British pounds.
For the person overseas to access the money you sent them, they need to sign up or sign in to their PayPal account.
To send A$500 in cash instantly it will cost A$9 with a credit card and A$7 with a bank transfer. The exchange rate is poor so the person in the UK will receive roughly £34 less than if you sent it through a money transfer company like TransferWise.
How do I send medium amounts of money to the United Kingdom?
TransferWise has been a major player in the money transfer industry for over 10 years. It offers a consistent and transparent way to send money to over 71 countries. They are very competitive in the under A$50,000 range.
However, TransferWise can be less competitive with larger amounts, because they charge a percentage based transfer fee. TransferWise also offer great products such as their Borderless account with a Mastercard Debit Visa card.
How do I send large amounts to the United Kingdom?
Transferring large amounts of money cross borders can be very scary but not with TorFX or OFX. These two companies have built solid reputations for transferring large amounts over the years for emigration, retirement, inheritances and buying or selling property overseas. They are a trusted options when sending large amounts from Australia to the United Kingdom.
TorFX offer a dedicated account manager who is available to contact on the phone. TorFX understand that clients who move large sums of money want to speak with someone directly about their money transfer. They don't charge transfer fees and they add a small mark up on the exchange rate.
OFX specialise in sending large sums of money from the United Kingdom to Australia and charge no transfer fees for transfers over A$10,000. Transfers under A$10,000 attract a A$15 fee. They offer a quick online registration and 24/7 customer support.
What are the limits and tax implications on money transfers to the United Kingdom?
There are no limits on the amount of money you can transfer to an UK bank account. Your money transfer service or bank might have a restriction, however these are sometimes as high as £1 million per transfer. Some money transfer services do not have maximum limits.
Whether you pay tax is based on your residence status. If you are a non-resident (stayed less than 16 days in the UK from 6th April to 5th April) you will generally not pay tax on money transferred to a UK bank account.
A resident stays more than 183 days in the UK during the tax year and is subject to pay tax on money transferred to their UK bank account.
Non domiciled residents who reside in the UK but have their permanent home overseas may not have to pay tax on money transferred to the UK. Your domicile is the normally the place you father had his permanent home when you where born.
If you decide to claim the 'remittance basis', it's best to contact a tax professional for advise to make sure you qualify for the rules.
Keeping your money safe
One of the main questions people ask us is “will my money be safe online?" The answer is yes.
We've made sure that all the money transfer services and banks you compare are safe. Each company:
- Is regulated in Australia and the United Kingdom - AUSTRAC in Australia and by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.
- Holds an appropriate financial services license - with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in Australia.
- Have strict privacy and verification policies - this is to ensure they fully identify all of their customers. They invest in identity protection, fraud prevention and encryption to create a secure connection with your browser when you register and login into their online services.
How can I pay for my money transfer to the United Kingdom?
Depending on your provider, there are several different ways to pay. Many providers accept direct bank transfers, wire transfers, or debit or credit card payments. They may charge a small additional fee, depending on how you decide to pay.
Is it safe to use The Currency Shop to compare?
Yes. The Currency Shop holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (462269) and is a member of the Financial Ombudsman Service. We closely vet our providers and only partner with the largest, safest and most trusted money transfer companies in the world. That just makes sense.
How does The Currency Shop make money?
The Currency Shop does not charge you. Instead, we receive a referral fee from the banks and money transfer companies that we are partnered with. This does not affect the price you pay.
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