Understanding The Real Cost to Transfer Money from Australia to the UK

transfer money

There are no strict transfer regulations when transferring money from Australia to the United Kingdom. There are different options available when sending AU to GBP. 

Comparing options amongst these is the best way when transferring money, not just to the United Kingdom, but anywhere domestically and internationally. What’s important is that you understand how transferring money works and the exchange rate’s volatility. Banks and money transfer also offer different services, exchange rates, and fees.

Here are the factors you need to consider when sending funds. However, these factors are not only applicable if you wish to transfer money from the UK to an Australian account, but these can be applicable to any currency and nation:

Availability of the Currency.

First, make sure the method you wish to use in transferring money internationally has the needed currency available. 

Good Customer Service.

Sending money overseas comes with a risk. You need to make sure the company has a quick customer service available whenever you need help with your transaction. 

Reasonable Fees.

Fees can affect the overall cost of your transfer transaction, and this varies from one provider to another. There are companies that charge their transactions fees by percentage, and there are that offers flat rates. And if you’re sending large sum, there are providers that waive the fee.

Fast Turnaround Time.

This also varies depending on what type of method you use – banks, cash transfers, or money transfer services. 

Exchange Rate.

The little difference in the exchange rate can sum up to a significant amount affecting the total cost of your transaction. Shop around and compare AUD and GBP exchange rates on all providers.

Options to Pick-up the Cash.

There are companies that offer pick-up service. If need be, check which providers offer bank deposits that can be picked up in person.

Options for Transfer.

If you wish to secure the exchange rate you want, there are companies that accept forward contracts or limit orders. If sending money from AU to the UK will be a recurring process, look for a regular payment option among the providers available.

The real cost of money transfer from Australia to the UK also varies on what options you choose. Here are the different ways of sending AU to the UK and their estimated costs:

Banks

When sending money internationally, especially a large sum, going through your bank will sound like a much more logical choice. You get peace of mind knowing that your transaction is being handled by your trusted financial institution. And using your everyday transaction account makes it look convenient. 

Making an international transfer directly from your regular bank is possible. However, their exchange rate is low. Their exchange rate is often below the mid-market rate, which comes with higher transfer fees. Most banks charge large transaction fees roughly around AUD$15 or more on overseas transfer.

To provide a general overview, here are some common banks used in sending money and their respective charges:

  • CommonWealth Bank. They charge AUD$6 for international money transfer less than or equal to AUD$1000. For amount more than AUD$1000, the fee is AUD$12. Further, they charge AUD$6 for international money transfer from a Foreign Currency Account and AUD$22 for funds debited and credited in AUD. 
  • Westpac. It costs AUD$10 to send foreign currency and AUD$20 for sending Australian Dollars via Westpac Live Online Banking. If done in the branch, the fee is AUD$32 for any available currency and AUD$10 if it goes to a Pacific Westpac account.

Cash Transfer Companies

Western Union and MoneyGram are both rivals in operation when sending international money. Both allow you to send money within minutes that can be picked up as cash immediately by the recipient at the nearest branch. Both have countless pick-up points throughout the UK. 

  • Western Union. The fees depend on a lot of factors, such as a form of payment like using a credit or debit card if paid in cash or wired to a bank, how fast the money delivery is, where it is delivered, where it is sent from, international transfers and the exchange rate.
  • MoneyGram. Sending money through an agent is more costly than doing it online. They also use SWIFT network causing additional fees imposed by the corresponding bank.

Money Transfer Services

These providers often offer competitive exchange rates compared to banks for a minimal fee. They provide a wide range of currencies and options, like forwarding contracts and limit orders, to get you a better value of your money.

  • Transferwise. It’s regulated by ASIC and registered with AFSL just like banks. They still don’t support a number of global currencies and with limited support in Australia. The transfer cost depends on the exchange rate, how you pay, and the amount you’re sending worked out as a percentage. 
  • OFX (formerly known as Ozforex). They have a minimum transfer amount of AUD250, but no limit on the maximum amount you’re sending. The transfer fee is free if done online while it’s AUD15 if done over the phone. However, they don’t accept credit cards, cash or cheques. 
  • WorldFirst. They require a minimum transfer limit of AUD 2,000. No transaction fees apply and no maximum transfer limit.
  • Global Reach. Requires a minimum transfer of AUD 3,000 with an AUD3 transfer fee.
  • Send. The minimum transfer amount is AUD 250 and no transaction fee for both online and phone transfers. They also have no limit on the maximum amount of transfer.
  • ANZ. There’s no transfer fee charge for transfer over AUD10,000 via Internet banking, but an AUD12 transfer fee is applicable for transactions over AUD10,000. Their exchange rate is not as promising compared to the other money transfer services.
  • NAB. They charge a flat fee on their transactions. AUD30 for transactions done at a branch or international transfer. Requires no minimum transfer amount but offers uncompetitive exchange rates.
  • WorldRemit. They require no minimum amount for transfers. Transaction fees, however, are determined on the amount you’re sending, where it’s sent, and how you want it to be received.

Paypal

What makes this method fast and convenient is when both you and the recipient have Paypal accounts. You just have to link a bank account or credit card to it to pay for the transfer. The fees will be calculated as a percentage of the amount you’re sending and the form of payment you used. 

Conclusion

Sending funds, not just from Australia to the UK but anywhere around the world, can be overwhelming. With the fluctuating exchange rates, fees, and different methods available. 

However, checking all these parameters is all worth it when sending your hard-earned money. Being regardful on the impact of both the exchange rate and fees on your overall transaction can lead to a better deal.