We live in a time where it has never been easier to live or work abroad. As a result, most of us will end up transferring money abroad at one point or another – whether we are sending money home to our families or loved ones; paying for a service overseas; or moving our funds to a new country to start a new life.
As international money transfers become faster and more common, isn’t it time that you knew more about transferring money abroad as easily (and cheaply) as possible?
Our five essential tips will show you how.
Use a reputable transfer service
When you are making an international money transfer, you are trusting your bank or non-bank currency broker to take care of your money and make sure it gets to the right place. But unfortunately there are a lot of cowboys out here who will promise you the best rates, then widen the margin and leave you with a poor spread far from the real rate. If you are new to the world of money transfers, cross reference the real rate versus your sell rate. Research your options and make sure you are using a reputable service that can take care of your money properly.
Watch out for hidden bank fees
High street banks love to advertise 0% commission to get you in the door, but they then go on to charge exorbitant transfer fees and use poor exchange rates, so you end up losing a lot more money in the overall transaction without even realising it. Avoid making this mistake at all costs.
Find the best possible exchange rate
There is more than one exchange rate on the market and it pays to shop around. However, rates change by the second, so if you spend too long researching the best exchange rates, the deal you spotted earlier may no longer be available.
Use a comparison service such as MyCurrencyTransfer which will source the best deals on the market for you, saving you time and money.
Track and trace
There can often be a lag time between sending money abroad and the money arriving at its destination. This can result in a nerve-wracking wait as you wonder where the money is, and whether it has become lost in transit or delivered to the wrong place.
Get some reassurance in the form of using a service which can help you track payments.
Become an armchair ‘forexpert’
If you are going to be transferring money on a regular basis, it pays to know your market. You don’t have to be a foreign exchange trader to learn how the markets work – especially if you are only dealing in one or two different currencies.
Keep an eye on the daily fluctuations in the exchange rate, and you will soon get an idea of what represents a ‘good’ deal and what represents a ‘bad’ one. If you can afford to, buy up your chosen currency in bulk while it is cheaper than usual, and you could end up saving yourself a small fortune.
However, bear in mind that the markets work both ways, so there will always be some risks attached to any overseas transfer. Learn as much as you can about the market movements and you will be able to make a more informed decision.
Aviva Tabachnik is an expat and keen personal finance writer. She is Partnerships Executive at MyCurrencyTransfer – an OPP award winning currency comparison site. Recently, she helped launch sister site CurrencyTransfer.com by representing the UK as part of a UKTI trade mission to SXSW, the largest technology show in the USA.