How To Send Money Abroad This Christmas | moneyfacts.co.uk

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Derin Clark

Derin Clark

Online Reporter
Published: 09/12/2020

Being away from family and friends who live abroad for Christmas can be difficult and this year, with extra demand on postal services due to the pandemic, those looking to send gifts overseas through the post may find they have already missed the last recommended posting date. Instead, to ensure loved ones do not miss out, sending money instead of a gift this year could be a safer and more reliable option.

What is the easiest way to send money abroad for Christmas?

The best way to send money abroad for Christmas will depend on factors such as the amount being sent and how regularly payments would be made. For a one-off payment of a few hundred pounds, the sender may find it easier to use their existing high street bank, although they should be aware that they will likely be charged a fee.

A notable exception to this is HSBC, which currently does not charge a fee to customers wanting to send money to a country or region within the European Economic Area. The bank also does not charge a fee to customers transferring money to another HSBC account, no matter where in the world it is located.

Those who do not bank with HSBC and who are looking to transfer a significant amount of money or send money overseas regularly, should consider a specialist money transfer company. Often, these companies offer much better exchange rates than high street banks and charge a small fee or no fee at all. In addition to this, as long as senders use a trusted company , the money is sent securely and can be received within days or, in some circumstances, on the same day.

The downside to using a money transfer website is that the money must be deposited into a bank account and cannot be transferred into cash. For those who want to send cash, Western Union may be a good option, but there must be a local branch available to the receiver to ensure that they can pick up the money in store.

How to get the best exchange rate when transferring money

To get the best value when sending money abroad, senders should look to get the most competitive exchange rate on offer. Before sending the money, it is advisable to have an idea of the mid-market exchange rate. This can be found using a currency converter calculator, which will give a rough idea of what to expect when comparing exchange rates. Ideally, the sender should shop around and compare rates on several different money transfer companies and banks to find the best rate available. Senders should keep in mind that, with the exception of HSBC that can offer competitive rates, high street banks may not offer the most competitive rates when transferring money.

Is it too late to send money abroad for Christmas?

Sending money abroad is much quicker than sending gifts through the post so, fortunately, there is still plenty of time to send money and ensure it will arrive in time for Christmas. In some cases, such as those who already have accounts set up with a foreign exchange company, the money can be received within the same day. Normally, even for those who have never sent money abroad before, most money transfers can be completed within a few working days.

For more information about transferring money abroad, read our guide on international money transfers .

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