Tis the season to be jolly, deck the halls with boughs of holly! It’s that wonderful time of year again. Friends and family gather from near and far to enjoy the holidays. For those who can’t make it to our Christmas celebrations, there are other ways to show them that they are loved.
The art of gift-giving over the holidays is an age-old tradition. Thanks to advances in technology, it’s much more affordable to spoil your loved ones abroad.
With Christmas less than a week away at the time of writing, everyone is searching for the best way to transfer money abroad. Until recently it has been rather expensive to send money abroad. People were required to set up international money transfer order and pray that Santa’s sleigh would be able to deliver in time.
What Do Banks Charge to Send Money Abroad?
Of course, there are many cost considerations with traditional banking systems. Traditional systems of sending money abroad are often associated with high fees, commissions, and charges.
Ways To Send Money:
When you send money abroad there are several channels you can use. These include money transfer services, prepaid cards, online transfers, and traditional banks. This is a caution against simply picking an option without carefully considering the cost, reliability, and speed of processing.
In the UK, High Street banks are notorious for high fees and outrageous commissions. Believe it or not, banks are actually the least efficient and most expensive options available nowadays.
If you’re thinking of sending £200 to a friend or relative abroad, you may pay £20+ in fees and commissions. Making the gift kind of pointless. The types of fees levied by banks are so prohibitive, that it’s worth checking other options.
Fees Charged by High Street Banks in the UK Nowadays
The fees charged by Barclays UK range from £5 to £15, with exchange rate markup + likely fees from intermediary banks. National Westminster Bank a.k.a. NatWest has international wire transfer fees of £10 per transfer. AND that’s only on the standard payment option. Fees are £30 per transfer if you require the money to arrive immediately.
NatWest fixed fees for sending money to EC countries in currencies other than EUR is £22, standard. This takes 2-4 business days. It then costs £30 per immediate transfer and even that is delayed by a day sometimes.
Lloyds TSB charges a fee of £9.50 per payment from your account. There is a bank fee of £12 in Zone 1 and £20 in Zone 2. HSBC international money transfers can incur high charges if you don’t have globally-linked HSBC deposit accounts. Unfortunately, there are no set rates as these are determined at the time of the transfer, and include exchange-rate + markup. Thus, making alternative options very attractive.
Are Currency Brokers A Good Choice for Sending Money Abroad?
Currency brokerages typically account for approximately 10% of all international money transfers that take place. If you have a lot of money to send abroad, you could use the services of a currency broker. The nice thing about currency brokers is that you can often set the exchange rate at a fixed figure for a transfer at a later date. These are great for sending small amounts of money overseas.
Doing it online is smart. Once again, due diligence is advised to ensure that you are getting the best possible rates. Nowadays, the advances in FinTech are such that it is possible to have £0 fixed fees levied on international monetary transfers.
Pick a Reliable Online Money Transfer Service
Don’t get caught in the cold this holiday season. Online money transfer services are cheaper options compared to banks. This is great news for anyone wanting to send Christmas holiday money to friends, family, and loved ones abroad. There are many popular online money transfer service companies on the market such as TransferWise, CurrencyFair, Currencies Direct, TorFX and World First among others.
These highly-rated money transfer services routinely top banks in terms of efficiency, cost, and ease-of-use. They have low/no fees and/or commissions, they also offer competitively-priced exchange rates for sending/receiving countries. Get a maximum reward from your GBP this holiday season – pick online money transfer services over banks.