Where to Get the Best Exchange Rates on Currency Transfers
Do you need to transfer large amounts of money from one currency to another?
Maybe you are buying a property in Ireland? Or you might be in Ireland and planning on buying a property overseas.?
Perhaps you need to transfer a pension lump sum or move savings to another country?
Whatever your reason, when carrying out international transfers of large amounts of money you will usually get the best exchange rates by using a currency exchange specialist instead of using your bank .
Using a Currency Specialist
With most of the currency specialists listed below – you are able to lock in an exchange rate for up to 12 months in advance. This allows you to take advantage of a fall in the value of a currency and place a future order at today’s rates.
By locking in an exchange rate you remove the worry of any future negative currency fluctuations. This could prove very useful with the ongoing uncertainties caused by the Covid crisis and Brexit fallout.
If you have a target exchange rate in mind and you don’t need to move money immediately, you can use something called a limit order. When you use a limit order, you tell the broker your target exchange rate and they automatically transfer the money if the rate is hit.
Banks usually don’t have the best exchange rates.
On paper, the actual exchange rate differences may look tiny – just fractions of a cent. However, a difference of just 0.5% in the Euro to Sterling exchange rate will cost you €1000 on a €200,000 exchange!
Why let the banks have it?
Recommended International Money Transfer Companies.
Garton Global Payments
Garton Global Payments, based in London , was established in 2019 but they have plenty of experience in dealing with large money transfers for UK and Irish customers. They are members of The British Irish Trading Alliance.
Garton Global can deal with 38 different currencies in over 180 countries across the world.
Garton Global Payments get exchange rates directly from the interbank market, but having a much lower cost base than the banks means they can offer better rates for you. (Especially on amounts over €10,000) .
They can also offer the facility to fix an exchange rate for a date in the future. (max 12 months) .
All payments and transfers are carried out on the Currency Cloud platform which is fully authorized and regulated in the UK, EU, US, and Canada.
You can request a quote online – or call the Money Guide Ireland contact Niall Walsh on (UK) 020 8004 5841 or on their Irish number 01-6571484
OFX offers money transfers and foreign exchange services for consumer and business clients across 55 different currencies.
Founded in 1998 in Australia, OFX now has eight offices across the world, including Dublin. With over 400 staff globally, OFX can offer 24/7 support if required.
OFX is authorized by the Central Bank of Ireland to operate as an e-money institution in Ireland and the rest of the EU. They are also authorised in the UK as well as USA, Canada, Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Australia.
A large company like OFX can offer better rates to their clients because of the number of transfers they do. They don’t charge transfer fees and the minimum transfer amount is just €100.
Once you are registered with OFX , currency exchanges and transfers can be arranged online, over the phone or on the OFX smartphone app (Apple & Android). Help is always available over the phone and their personal, proactive approach will help you to access competitive rates of exchange.
Irish company Fexco is based in County Kerry , Ireland and has operations in 29 countries. Fexco is authorised as a payment services provider by the Central Bank of Ireland.
In the UK, Fexco is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for the conduct of payment business. Fexco also has ISO 27001 certification for Information Security Management .
Setting up an account at Fexco costs nothing and once you are registered you can transfer money over the phone or online at a time that suits you. Fexco normally deals in amounts larger than €5000.
The Fexco team of currency experts will be happy to answer questions and explain the options available to manage your currency risk and make the most from your currency transfers.
Currency Solutions is headquartered in London with offices in four countries. They have over 135,000 registered clients and have transferred over £6Bn around the world since 2003. Currency Solutions is authorised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority for the provision of payment services.
Enquiries about money transfers can be made over the phone on their Irish number 01 431 1344 or on their UK number 0044 (0)20 7740 0000.
Head broker Ernie Enver and his team of dealers, will give you a quick response to any queries.
Alternatively, you can enter your requirements on the Currency Solutions website and they will call you back.
There is no upper limit for phone transfers. Online transfers are capped at £20,000 for private clients and £50,000 for business clients. They prefer to deal with transfers over £3000.
Currency Fair :
Currency Fair is based in Dublin and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. In the UK they are registered with the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the Temporary Permissions Regime (TPR).
With Currency Fair – everything is done online, sign up and verification only takes a few minutes. You won’t be able to reserve an exchange rate for transfers in the future. But if you want to exchange and transfer a lump sum on the spot, then they are a good option. Sign up Here
Many people use them to pay for things like car imports or to send regular payments to family abroad. There is no minimum transfer amount with Currency Fair.
Once you have deposited money with CurrencyFair you can convert it online and transfer it to banks in any one of 20 different currencies.
Exchange rates at Currency Fair are typically about 0.4% above the interbank rate. Their transfer fees are set at low fixed rates for each currency. For example €3 for sending Euros and £2.50 for sending GBP.
They are currently offering the first Ten Transfers for Free
FairFx is a London based foreign exchange specialist company. They have been operating since 2007 and are regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority for the provision of payment services. You can arrange one-off international money transfers over £5000 with FairFx online or over the telephone.
FairFx will also enable you to set up regular transfers such as salary, pension or rental payments.
To get more information you can call FairFx on their UK number (0044) 207 858 2001 or on their Irish number (00353) (0)1 566 6546
Read our article about transferring money between Ireland and the USA
Hedging Your Bets
With most of the currency specialists listed above, you can take advantage of various “hedging tools” (Not with Currency Fair). These tools can protect you against unfavourable rate changes if you are planning a large transfer in the future. (For example on a property purchase or sale)
For example, if you were selling a house in Ireland and planning to buy a property abroad. If the Euro suddenly weakened, this would then result in the proceeds from your house sale being worth thousands less in Pounds or USD or Australian Dollars etc.
By reserving a guaranteed exchange rate, up to 12 months ahead, you can prevent exchange rate fluctuations from wrecking your plans. You will usually need to pay a deposit of around 10% to do this.
Currency Exchange for Business
If you run a business in Ireland or the UK with regular large payments or invoices in different currencies – then a currency exchange firm can save your business money on exchange rates and charges. You are probably already aware that exchange rate movements can affect your profit margins. However – by fixing your exchange rates in advance you can get some certainty. (It’s called Hedging – the big companies do it all the time). More here about Currency Exchange for Business
If you use your Irish debit or credit card whilst abroad for day to day spending there will usually be additional fees and charges when you spend outside the Eurozone.
Find out more in our article on Card Charges outside the Eurozone