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Top 3 Money Transfer Providers for UK to USA

Provider Amount Received Fee Exchange Rate Speed
TorFX TorFX USD $13,691.70 No Fee 1.3692 1-3 days more...
OFX (UK) OFX (UK) USD $13,516.00 No Fee 1.3516 more...
Currencies Direct Currencies Direct USD $13,691.70 No Fee 1.3692 1-3 days more...
Daniel Webber

FX Expertise and Experience

Daniel Webber

Founder & CEO, FXCompared

Daniel is one of the world experts on the money transfer sector. He is widely quoted across the industry with over 20 years of experience in the international finance world focused on international payments, technology, and the property sectors. More about Daniel.

Send money from UK to USA

How to Transfer Money from UK to USA

UK to USA Guide

UK to USA Summary

Given how closely linked the two economies are, there are relatively few barriers to transferring money between the UK and the USA, and transferring money between the two countries is relatively simple. The UK has the sixth largest population of expatriate workers from the USA, which has significantly increased the demand for services that facilitate sending money to USA from UK. Similarly, a common language between the two countries also facilitates the ease with which currency can be sent between.

Top 11 Money Transfer Providers

Latest prices for transferring money from UK to USA
Exchange Rates as of 22 October 2021, 21:00

TorFX

Est. 2004

Excellent exchange rates | No transfer fees | Thousands of 5 star reviews 

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FXcompared Rating
Amount Received
USD $13,691.70
GBP £253.32
saved vs. banks

OFX (UK)

Est. 1998

OFX (previously UKForex in the UK), provides secure and speedy international money transfers to over 300,000 people in 55 currencies at better-than-bank rates

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Amount Received
USD $13,516.00
GBP £125.64
saved vs. banks

Currencies Direct

Est. 1996

Great exchange rates | Specialist services | No added fees, 24/7 transfers | Safe and secure

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Amount Received
USD $13,691.70
GBP £253.32
saved vs. banks

Moneycorp

Est. 1979

One-off payments | Regular payments | Great rates | Safeguarded customer funds

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Amount Received
USD $13,457.77
GBP £83.32
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Global Reach (formerly FC Exchange)

Est. 2005

Great rates | One-off payments | Regular transfers | E-Money Institution | No fees for FXcompared customers

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Amount Received
USD $13,636.66
GBP £213.32
saved vs. banks

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GBP and USD

The GBP and the USD are not only two of the most powerful currencies in the world, they are also two of the oldest. Given how long the two currencies have been in continuous circulation, they have cemented themselves in the position of being two of the most actively traded, forming part of a huge number of currency pairs. The GBP/USD, for example, is in the top five most widely traded currency pairs. For this reason, the central banks of both the USA and the UK — the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England respectively — both exert a huge amount of influence on the global economy. For this reason, the exchange rate UK to USA is closely watched by industry analysts.

 

Economic, trading and political relations

The UK and the USA are two of the largest economies in the world, and for this reason, have significant trading links. In 2018, for example, the total goods and services trading volume between the two countries totalled an estimated $261.9bn, which directly supported millions of jobs across the two countries. Additionally, the two currencies are two of the most frequently traded on the forex markets, which helps to deepen the trading links between the two. As a former colony of the British empire, there are also deep historical ties between the two countries.

 

Bank accounts and credit cards

Despite the significant trade links between the UK and the USA, none of the main UK banks have significant banking networks in the US market. A number of banks have a limited presence in major cities, such as Santander, HSBC, and Barclays, although these are still quite limited. Using any of these banking networks, it should be relatively easy to send money from UK to USA. Furthermore, it is generally quite easy for both US and non-US residents to hold domestic and foreign currency accounts. This makes it much easier to transfer money from UK to USA.

It should be noted that other banking services, such as credit cards and loans, are much more difficult for non-US residents to obtain given the lack of a US credit rating. The use of digital wallets as an alternative may help any difficulties you run into initially.

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Top 11 Money Transfer Providers continued...

RationalFX

Est. 2005
Established in 2005, RationalFX helps individuals and businesses achieve significant savings on international payments
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Amount Received
USD $13,643.54
GBP £218.32
saved vs. banks

Western Union Business Solutions

Est. 2009

The Personal Payments team at Western Union Business Solutions look after the overseas currency requirements for private individuals.

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Amount Received
USD $13,554.09
GBP £153.32
saved vs. banks

Currency Solutions

Est. 2003

Currency exchange specialists ranking No.1 on Trustpilot for the past two years

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Amount Received
USD $13,649.04
GBP £222.32
saved vs. banks

Smart Currency Exchange

Est. 2004
Smart is focused on helping clients to effectively and efficiently send and receive payments internationally
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Amount Received
USD $13,643.54
GBP £218.32
saved vs. banks

Rates From The Average UK High Street Bank

Est. 1934

Banks are the most expensive way to do an international money transfer, the quotes from the providers above show you the typical savings that can be made. All providers on FXcompared.com are regulated in the UK  by the FCA, in the USA by FinCEN, In Canada SSC and Australia, ASIC.

We check all rates regularly and this quote is an actual quote of the average from UK banks for this month. It includes all major and small banks. Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC, Santander, NatWest, RBS, Coutts, Handelsbanken, Metro bank and more - tracked every month. We obtain our rates via our IMTI platform.
 

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Amount Received
USD $13,307.51
No saving vs. banks

PayPal

Est. 1998

Shop with PayPal and you’ll still earn your points, airmiles and cashback. Fees are shown as part of the overall exchange rate.

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FXcompared Rating
Amount Received
USD $13,324.18
No saving vs. banks

Visa and Immigration

The UK and US visa systems can be complex. Most people moving to either country to work, however, will be sponsored by a company that will handle the process. The UK visa system is based on points. When moving to the UK, the most common type of work visa is a Skilled Worker, although those moving within a company should instead apply for an Intra-company visa. There is a yearly quota for these. Applicants who are considered “high-value migrants” such as entrepreneurs and investors can apply for a range of separate visas – entrepreneurs can apply through either the Start-up visa or Innovator visa, while investors with at least £2,000,000 of disposable funds can apply for an Investor visa (income and proceeds from such investments can be sent back to the US).

If you are planning to move to the US to work and are considering sending funds to finance this, then you will need to obtain a valid visa. The most common visas are non-immigrant visas, where you are either sponsored by your UK company (L class visas) or are moving over to work for a US firm that is sponsoring you (H class visas). Students obtain F visas, and there are also E class visas available for investment and entrepreneurial activities. You will need to have obtained your visa before you can start work in the US. It is also possible to be sponsored by a family member who is already living in the US. This will help to speed up the process to gain both a visa and residency.

Bank Accounts and Credit Cards

None of the major UK banks have a significant network in the US. There are some groups though that have a presence in the major cities or regions, such as Santander, HSBC and Barclays, and it will be easy for you to switch from dollars to pounds when banking. Having a US account set up will also provide somewhere for any overseas transfers sending money from the UK to the US. In both the US and the UK, residents and non-residents can hold both domestic and foreign currency accounts.

Obtaining a credit card in the US can be exceptionally difficult if you do not have a US credit rating, which anyone moving to the US from the UK will not have. If your UK employer is sponsoring your move to the US, then it is possible that the employer can underwrite a small-level credit card initially to allow you to obtain one. Once you start using the card and paying it off, you will be able to build up your own credit.

One aspect that makes things easier when banking in both the US and the UK is the ability to use e-wallets to carry out transactions.

Taxation

A double tax treaty exists between the UK and the US, but there is not a full overlap between all categories. The US tax regime is very complex, particularly for US citizens living and working overseas, who must pay tax in the US on their foreign earnings – so engaging expert advice on this matter is essential. Intended to detect tax evasion, the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which came into force in July 2014, requires that foreign banks, investment funds and insurers – or in some cases, such as in the UK, the national revenue agency – hand over to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) information about accounts with over US$50,000 held by Americans.

The US tax year is the calendar year, and this is different from the UK tax year, which is from 6 April to 5 April of the following year. Given the difference in tax years, the timing of your move can have an impact on your tax position. It is common in the US to pay income tax at city, state and Federal (national) levels, which means that it is possible that your tax rates in the US will be more than your marginal tax rate in the UK. It is vitally important to take out advice with regard to tax to attempt to limit the impact of potential double taxation while carrying out your move.

Healthcare

For Americans relocating to the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) is free (though some services such as dentistry are excluded). Hospital services are free to residents, but non-residents will be charged. Anyone planning to live and work in the UK must register with a local general practitioner (doctor).

In the US, healthcare is much more expensive, and there is no universal health system comparable to the NHS. The introduction of mandatory insurance – “Obamacare” – had made healthcare much more affordable, but the bill was repealed, and currently healthcare is still an expensive proposition within the US.

Studying in the US

With its world-class universities, the US has become a popular place for overseas study, particularly since the introduction of tuition fees in the UK has narrowed the cost differential. According to a 2018 study by the Fullbright Commission, there were over 11,600 British students at US universities in 2018, half of whom were undergraduates. The UK is the 14th largest source of foreign students in the US.

US immigration is both strict and complex, and we strongly advise that you seek the help of a US immigration firm to help you obtain the visa you require. The exception is for student visas, where the process is much simpler, and the International Student Office at the university you are going to study at will be able to help you through the process. Once a prospective student is admitted to an accredited institution, the school becomes the sponsoring institution. The school will send an I-20 form with which the prospective student applies for a foreign student visa through the US Embassy or consulate in their home country. A visa is awarded once the US authorities have determined that they do not pose a terrorist, health or criminal risk. Upon arrival into the US, immigration inspectors verify the paperwork. The sponsoring school is then responsible for confirming that the foreign student is attending classes and must update the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with any changes in enrolment status, course, or any disciplinary actions.

Importing from the US to the UK

The US is the UK's largest export market for good and services, and the UK is the US’s seventh largest export market, with some US$49bn worth of goods and services flowing eastwards. The UK and US have their own bilateral trade relations, but also work through the EU. When importing goods from non-EU countries such as the US, you will need to declare your imports to customs and pay VAT and duty on them. Some goods may require an import licence. Given the volume of trade between the two countries, there are many options available when financing imports, transferring money to the US, and organising shipping. There may be changes in regard to trading with the US and the UK due to potential Brexit complications. Because the UK currently has a trading agreement with the US through the EU, if they do indeed leave the EU, then a new trading agreement will need to be negotiated.

Did you know?

The USD is one of the oldest currencies in continuous use, having first been issued in 1792 by the US Federal Reserve.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are the money transfer companies shown above safe to use?

All of the money transfer companies and services listed above are fully safe to use. Each of the above are authorised and regulated by the relevant financial authorities in each jurisdiction and are licensed to provide transfer services.

How long does an international money transfer take?

The length of time it takes to fully complete a money transfer will depend entirely on the service used and what currency you want to transfer. Transfers sent using banks — such as bank to bank transfers — will typically be quite quick, often taking between 1–2 working days. For more precise estimates, you should always check the estimated time with the relevant provider. Debit card and credit card payments might also take less time.

How do I use FXcompared?

To use FXCompared to make a money transfer from UK to USA, the first step is to use the above table to compare the rates from the various providers. To find the best provider to transfer GBP to USD, consider factors including price, speed and its overall rating. Once you have made a decision, simply click the green button to get taken through to the provider’s website. From there, you will be able to sign-up and register for an account. Once the verification process is complete, you can initiate the transfer.

What payments methods can I use to send money overseas?

The majority of transfers overseas will be made using a bank to bank transfer, although there are a number of other methods available. This includes cash, debit and credit card, as well as digital wallets. The methods available to you will depend on what provider you chose to make the transfer with.

What if the price shown above isn’t exactly what I am offered when I try to transfer money?

Although the prices shown above are generally accurate with market rates in real time, there may be some slight differences when you finalise your order. Exchange rates will fluctuate over the course of the trading day based on real-time market data. As such, when you are looking to transfer money to UK from US, for example, there may sometimes be a delay in how they are reported. Price fluctuations may also be caused by the individual site in question, depending on what services they have available.

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We welcome all suggestions for improvements. Send us an email at support@fxcompared.com.

All the providers listed are regulated by the relevant authority (e.g. the FCA in the UK, FinCEN in the US, ASIC in Australia) and have been vetted by FXcompared.

FXcompared.com 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.