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Tips to initiate an international bank transfer cheaply

Whether you want to gift a nephew overseas a few quid or send an emergency fund to a backpacking son, the cost of an international bank transfer falls in either of two basic categories: standard fee or commissions charged for both the sender and recipient and international exchange rate which are hidden charges for the bank transfer. In order to wire money abroad cheaply, you will need to carefully check both categories. Here are some tips you can apply to ensure you transfer bank money overseas cheaply.

Compare transfer charges

Before you choose an international wire transfer service,check with your local bank to see if they offer international bank transfer services and how much they charge for the service. If your bank does not offer international bank transfer services, you may have to pursue a different option.

Be sure to also compare charges with other international transfer services like Western Union and MoneyGram before you settle for your local bank transfer service, if your bank offers the service. Comparing transfer charges ensure you get the best deal for the service. Look out for both standard fees and hidden charges. Some companies might offer 'commission free' charges, but have high exchange rates.

Use online money transfer companies

Online money transfer companies like PayPal and MoneyBookers allow you to open free accounts with them that allows you to send money online for a small fee. Services specially designed for international money transfers like the Post Office International Payments service that is run by HiFX can also prove useful for sending money overseas cheaply. These companies offer safe, secure and convenient money transfers over the Internet, through e-commerce systems or through systems that deposit money directly into the recipient’s bank account. You will, however, need to choose the correct online money transfer system, depending on your specific need and how much money you want to transfer.

Leverage free bank transfer services

Local banks like Lloyds and Citibank have relationships with overseas banks that allows them to offer free international bank transfer to linked bank accounts overseas. Usually, all you will have to do is open a bank account with the same banking group that the person you want to send money to overseas operates. Once you both have accounts with the same banking group, you simply deposit money into the recipient’s account overseas in the same way you would deposit or send money to a local bank account for free.

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