THE BEST FX RATES AVAILABLE FOR INTERNATIONAL MONEY TRANSFERS
One of the most frustrating things about transferring money internationally is the exchange rate that banks or foreign exchange (fx) brokers will offer you relative to the official exchange rate.
By using large buy-sell ‘spreads’ on either side of the official exchange rate, banks and fx brokers rip everyone off. If you want to buy currency they offer a rate higher than the official rate. If you want to sell currency, they offer a rate lower than the official rate. Why? Because they can get away with it. Well not any more.
Enter a brilliant new service called TransferWise (transferwise.com).
TransferWise is a foreign currency exchange platform that allows you to transfer money at the mid market fx rate ie. the actual exchange rate. They charge a small fee for the transaction (0.5% of your payment amount or a flat fee of £1 for payments under £200) but by using their service to transfer money internationally you can literally save hundreds compared to using a bank or fx broker.
To use TransferWise, you’ll need a bank account in both currencies of your transfer, as you pay into their UK or Euro account and then receive the proceeds in your international account. However, once you have the accounts set up, TransferWise is an extremely easy service to use and their customer service is outstanding.
Here’s an example of TransferWise in action: Suppose you want to transfer £2000 GBP into USD. The official fx rate at the time of writing is approximately 1.51. However, the rate a bank will offer you is likely to be around 1.47. So, a bank will give you $2940 (minus their service charge of around £10-15). TransferWise give you the spot rate (1.51) so you’ll receive $3020 from them (minus their fee of £10). Which earns you an extra $80 on that small transaction. Transfer the GBP into their UK account, and two days later your USD account will be credited with the funds.
At the moment, TransferWise offer the following currency conversions with plans to offer more currencies in the future:
GBP to: USD, EUR, PLN, CHF, NOK, SEK, DKK, AUD.
EUR to: USD, GBP, PLN, CHF, NOK, SEK, DKK.
We’ve been using TransferWise for a while now, and have been very impressed with both the ease of use of the platform and also the client service levels. Add this to the fact you can save hundreds per transaction and you’re on to a winner!
A further tip: TransferWise can also be used to obtain foreign currency if you are travelling abroad and have a friend or family member in the destination country. Simply transfer funds to your contact and collect from them on arrival – you’ll get a much better rate than withdrawing funds at the local ATM or buying foreign currency at a bank or fx broker.
Next time you need to transfer money internationally, check out TransferWise and enjoy the extra funds in your pocket.