If you need to transfer money between banks in Ireland and the UK – it might seem like less hassle to just let your bank take care of it.
But you could possibly lose out on hundreds of Euros or Pounds by doing that.
If you need to transfer large amounts of Sterling to an Irish bank or send Euros to a bank in the UK – you will save money by not using your own bank to do the currency conversion for you. ( By large amounts – we mean figures over £5000 .)
So what is the Best Way to Transfer Money Between the UK and Ireland?
The Interbank rate is essentially the rate at which banks swap currencies between one another. Your high street bank will typically use a rate that could be as much as 3% to 4% away from the interbank rate. That is one of the ways the banks make their big profits.
Specialist currency exchange companies will typically use an exchange rate that maybe just 1% or 0.5% away from the Interbank rate. For example – a difference of just 2 percentage points in the exchange rate used would mean £1000 less for you on a £50,000 transfer.
What are the alternatives to using your Bank?
Listed below are a few currency exchange companies that you can use to transfer money between the UK and Ireland. They can help you send Euros from an Irish bank and convert it to Sterling to be sent to a UK bank. These firms will also help you send Sterling from a UK bank and convert it to Euros to be sent to an Irish bank.
With most currency specialists you are able to lock in an exchange rate for up to 12 months in advance (for a small fee) – and so remove the worry of any future currency fluctuations. (Very important with Brexit still looming.)
Currency Exchange Specialists based in Ireland.
Fexco is one of Ireland’s biggest multinational financial and business solutions provider, with operations in 29 countries worldwide. Established in 1981 in County Kerry, it now employs over 2,300. Fexco can exchange your Euros into Sterling and transfer the funds to your chosen UK bank account. Other currencies are also available.
Fexco’s payments specialists can also give advice on services like forward contracts and rate alerts to reduce your exposure to fluctuating exchange rates.
Fexco is authorised as a payment services provider by the Central Bank of Ireland, and are also regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for the conduct of payment business in the UK. You can get a quick quote online at the Fexco Website
Currency Fair: – If you prefer doing everything online yourself, you could use the online exchange marketplace CurrencyFair.
You won’t be able to get advice or arrange anything such as forward contracts with CurrencyFair.
Once registered with CurrencyFair, you can exchange money straight away at their best available rate, or request a better rate and, when (if) it is reached, your transfer will take place. (£2.50 fee per GBP transfer) .
CurrencyFair is based in Ireland and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. As well as bank transfers , they accept debit cards as a payment method (0.25% fee) and have no minimum transaction amount.
Transfermate is a Dublin based foreign exchange company, regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland to provide Payment Services within the 28 member states of the European Union. They are also authorised in the USA and Australia. You can set up an online account and arrange currency transfers via their website or you can phone them for a more personalised service in Dublin on 01 6353776 .
UK Based Currency Exchange Specialists
FairFx is an established foreign exchange specialist firm with offices in London and Dublin. FairFx has been operating since 2007 and is fully authorised as a Payment Institution by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. You can arrange large one-off or regular money transfers between Ireland and the UK with FairFx online or over the telephone. You can call the FairFx team on their Dublin number 01 5665546 or on their UK number 0207 858 2001. They will be able to advise you on exchange rates and the options available to you. Minimum amount €3000
Currency Solutions is a London based currency specialist firm that can carry out larger currency transfers between the UK and Ireland. They are authorised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. You can visit the Currency Solutions website here for a free no-obligation quote and they will get back to you. You can also call them on their Irish number 01 431 1344 or on their UK number 0044 207 740 0000 . Ask for the Money Guide Ireland contact – Ernie Enver. He should be able to give you a quick response to any queries.
TransferWise . is a UK based online exchange company that cuts out the banks and for a small fee allows you to get exchange rates that are pretty close to the interbank rates. You have the option to fix an exchange rate for a future transfer (unlike the companies listed above). Good for smaller amounts.
TransferWise is useful if you are getting third party payments sent to you in another currency. Even if your “main” bank in Ireland will accept inward payments in Sterling or Dollars – the bank will usually apply a poor exchange rate and may charge fees on top.
With Transferwise you can set up a “Borderless account ”. This gives you a Euro account with an IBAN and a separate UK account and sort code
So third parties can simply do a bank transfer of GBP into your Transferwise UK account and you can then exchange it on Transferwise, into Euros and then transfer it out to your Irish bank. Exchange rates are pretty close to the Interbank and fees are low. (About 0.4%)
Some Other Alternatives :
Revolut is an online money transfer app that comes with a prepaid debit card and a GBP account plus a Euro account. It is a useful thing to have for smaller transfers between GBP and Euro.
Revolut has a fee-free exchange limit of £5000 per month. Once you go over that you will be charged 0.5% . So on a transfer of £100,000 GBP into Euros, you would be hit with a fee of £475. (We wouldn’t recommend using Revolut for amounts larger than £5000/€5000)
Monese is another UK based app-based payment service available in Ireland that comes with a prepaid Mastercard. It also comes with a UK (Sterling) account as well as a Euro account.
If you are using an Apple device – you can get the Monese App here
Monese have a “Simple” account that has no monthly fees but it has some limits and usage charges on it.
- First €/£200 ATM withdrawals a month are free. Anything over that is charged at 2%
- The first €/£ 2000 a month spending on foreign currency transactions is free – after that, there is a 2% fee.
- 2% fee to transfer currencies outside Monese .
If you are just looking for the best place to get travel money (cash) – have a look at our page on The Best place to buy Sterling in Ireland before you travel.