Getting the Best Exchange Rates

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 are importing a car, transferring a pension lump sum or moving savings to another country ?
Maybe you run a business that deals with customers and suppliers using different currencies?
Whatever your reason, when carrying out international transfers of large amounts of money you should check the savings you can make by using a currency exchange specialist instead of asking your bank to do it .

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. You tell the broker your target exchange rate and they will make the transfer immediately if the rate is hit.

Banks usually have the worst exchange rates.

On paper, the actual exchange rate differences may look tiny  – just fractions of a cent. But 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.

Irish company Fexco is based in Kerry 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 and you can get a quick online quote at the Fexco Website.
You will get support and advice from the Fexco team of currency experts. They will be happy to answer questions and explain the options available to manage your currency risk and make the most from your currency transfers.

Garton Global Payments is based in London and they have plenty of experience in dealing with large money transfers for UK and Irish customers.
Garton Global can deal with 38 currencies in over 180 countries across the world.

Garton Global

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

Currencies Direct
Currencies Direct have a London HQ and have been operating since 1996. They have over 500 employees and transfer more than £7.5 billion annually. Currencies Direct Ltd is authorised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. In the EU they are authorised by the Bank of Spain to operate as an Electronic Money Institution.

Currencies Direct USA Ireland

You can get a quick free quote for currency exchange on their website.

Once you have registered with Currencies Direct you can arrange transfers over the phone with a broker, online or through its app. Personal advice and help are always available. You can pay in funds with UK or EU debit cards or use bank transfer.

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.

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 currency

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.

Read our  article about transferring money between Ireland and the USA

Hedging Your Bets

With most of the currency specialists listed above – (but not Currency Fair)   you can take advantage of various “hedging tools” . 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)  This could be very useful with the ongoing  GBP/EUR fluctuations caused by Brexit uncertainty.

For example – you might be selling up in Ireland and buying a property abroad. If the Euro was to suddenly weaken –  then the proceeds from your house sale could be 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 your profit margins can be severely cut by exchange rate fluctuations. 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

euro to sterling exchange rate

Spending Overseas

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