What is the cheapest way to send money overseas? How to transfer money abroad

In fact, the pound is currently trending at a six-and-a-half-week high of €1.179.

Compared to transferring money on the day Article 50 was triggered, sending pounds overseas now would get you 2.7 per cent more on your funds – which can amount to a big difference on larger transfers.

But when it comes to sending money abroad, is timing the only thing the dictates how much money you can get?

There are actually a lot of factors you can bear in mind when it comes to making your funds go further, starting with who you entrust with your transfer.

Many people assume that their bank is the best choice for sending money abroad; they deal with all your domestic money needs, after all.

But is that actually the case?

Better rates

Financial institutions buy their currency from the interbank market (which isn’t open to consumers) add on a small mark up and sell it on.

The size of the mark-up they add dictates how good an exchange rate you’re able to receive.

Because currency brokers are focussed entirely on foreign currency, they have the scale and resources to offer lower margins than banks, getting you a better exchange rate.

Protect yourself

Banks tend to only offer what’s known as a ‘spot transfer’, which means your money is exchanged instantly at the going exchange rate.

As they provide such limited options, using a bank means you’re missing out on an array of options that could help make your money go further.

A ‘forward contract’ is one of these options; it’s an agreement that allows you to fix the going market rate for up to two years in advance of needing to make the transfer.

This means you can use the exchange rate you secured to buy your chosen currency later down the line, even if the exchange rate has weakened.

Imagine you’d secured a ‘forward contract’ on the GBP/USD exchange rate just before the referendum.

Today, you would be able to exchange pounds for US dollars at a rate of $ 1.490, instead of the current market rate of $ 1.248.

If you were to transfer £100,000, you would get over $ 24,000 more because of your ‘forward contract’, or if you specifically needed $ 100,000 you could buy it for £67,114; £13,000 less than it would cost you at the current market rate.

Get more

Those with time to spare can also benefit from ‘stop loss orders’ and ‘limit orders’ offered by leading currency brokers.

A ‘stop loss order’ sets the minimum exchange rate at which you’d be happy to transfer your money; you can wait for a better rate, but if the market suddenly weakens your funds will be converted into your currency of choice automatically to prevent you losing out.

‘Limit orders’ work in the opposite direction, allowing you to set the rate you want, with the transfer being conducted automatically once the market strengthens to that level.

Combine the two and you have a secure way of waiting for better rates, but without risking being worse off.

Regular Overseas Payments offer another automated way of ensuring your money goes further.

Simply nominate a destination account, amount of foreign currency and payment date and your broker will make the transfer on time, utilising the best exchange rates they can offer.

Additionally, some brokers don’t charge transfer fees, adding to the savings you’ll be able to make compared to using a bank.

Daily Express :: Personal Finance Feed

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