How to transfer large amounts of money internationally


Joe Baker
Joe Baker
Senior Copywriter
Joe is a Senior Copywriter working on reports, news and analysis. Previously, he worked as a B2B copywriter, journalist and editor covering a broad range of topics, including technology, transport,… Read more

Transferring large amounts of money internationally can be a daunting prospect. However, with FXcompared, you can do it the right way, ensuring your money reaches its final destination safely, swiftly and at a low cost. 

There are more options than ever for sending money abroad, but that can also make the process a little overwhelming – particularly if you are trying to shop around for the best deal. 

FXcompared allows you to compare the cost and speed of sending money abroad across some of the most well-known and trusted money transfer companies, helping you make a final decision. 

That being said, what are the main things to consider when transferring a large amount of money abroad? We’ve answered some of the biggest questions on this topic below. 

What is the best way to transfer large sums of money internationally?

There are two main routes for sending large amounts of money abroad; you could opt to send it through your bank, or you could choose to use a money transfer provider, such as Remitly, Western Union or MoneyGram

While your bank might seem like a safe bet, it might not always be the best option for sending a large amount of money to another country. 

Banks send messages via the Swift network to correspondent banks in order to transfer money through different countries, which operate in different time zones and need to comply with different regulations. This can rack up the time (and indeed the cost) of making a transfer. 

By comparison, money transfer providers have built streamlined systems and global partnerships with liquidity providers to speed up the transfer of funds and make them cheaper. 

This can potentially make money transfer providers a better option for transferring large sums of money abroad.

How much does it cost to transfer large amounts of money abroad?

The cost of transferring money abroad is determined by two aspects:

  • The exchange rate, which consists of the interbank rate plus an additional margin that your chosen bank/provider will add to the money transfer.
  • The fee, which is a one-off payment alongside the transfer.

High street banks will often charge both a margin on the exchange rate and also a fee for making the payment. Money transfer providers, on the other hand, are much more competitive and will sometimes charge either the fee or the margin alone. 

Often, money transfer providers will offer lower exchange rates or fees for transferring large sums of money abroad. Using our tool, you can easily find out which provider will offer you the best rate for your chosen transfer. 

How can I reduce the cost of sending money abroad?

Some banks and providers will allow you to transfer money without a fee if you are sending to a linked bank abroad – for example, a division of the bank that exists abroad. 

This is worth bearing in mind, as if your recipient uses the same bank or provider this could work out cheaper than sending via other means. 

Aside from comparing providers to find the best rate, you may wish to also consider hedging options (offered by specialist currency transfer providers) to help you get the best deal possible. 

For example, limit orders can help you transfer money at the exchange rate you want, as they allow you to schedule the transfer only when the rate rises to a specified amount. Alternatively, a forward contract can allow you to lock in a favourable exchange rate for a future date. 

For more information on FX hedging options, read our guide on how to manage foreign currency risk.

What is the limit on bank transfers in the UK?

You should bear in mind that certain providers might have limits on the amount of money you are allowed to transfer abroad, depending on the provider. 

For example, we’ve highlighted some of these limits below for major banking providers in the UK (as of April 2024). 

NatWest: £20,000 online, no limit on manual payments (telephone, in-branch, by letter)
HSBC: £50,000 online, £10,000 by phone (higher for premier customers) (daily)
Lloyds Bank: £100,000 (daily)
Barclays: £100,000 (daily)
Santander: £25,000 (one transaction) £100,000 (daily)

Send large amounts abroad with a provider you can trust

FXcompared can help you send large amounts of money abroad quickly, safely and at a great price. 

Head to our comparison tool, input the amount of money you want to send and the destination country, and we’ll help you compare the providers to find the deal that suits you.

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Editor's Choice is an fx money comparison site for international money transfer and to compare rates from currency brokers for sending money abroad. The website and the information provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer, solicitation or advice on any financial service or transaction. None of the information presented is intended to form the basis for any investment decision, and no specific recommendations are intended.  FXC Group Ltd and FX Compared Ltd does not provide any guarantees of any data from third parties listed on this website. FX compared Ltd expressly disclaims any and all responsibility for any direct or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from (i) any error, omission or inaccuracy in any such information or (ii) any action resulting therefrom.