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How to Send Money Abroad Safely

Posted August 26, 2012 by Amey Bester to Finance 0 0
This post was written by a EasyFinance.com Community member. The views expressed below may not reflect the views of EasyFinance.com.

There are several ways you can send money abroad by safe and secure means, although most are unfortunately burdened with extortionate bank charges. For that reason we have decided to put together a few pointers that enable you to send money abroad safely and keep charges to a minimum.

Fees and Exchange Rates

There are two things you need to watch out for when you send money abroad; fees and exchange rates. It is often the case that the fees are hidden in the small print at the bottom, a loophole in advertising laws that allows providers to levy small charges without pinpointing them out directly to the customer. Effectively this is dishonest, but we are talking about banks here!

This is what it’s all about – money!

Also, beware of the phrase “commission free.” Whilst that may be true on the surface, providers load the exchange rate in order to make their money back. Ultimately you end up paying more for less and the bank does not go out of pocket. Finding a reliable source of exchange rates is a valuable starting point.  It stands to reason better rates are available for larger sums, but use these figures as a bench mark of what is available in the marketplace and aim for a rate as close as possible to it.

Be very careful using a credit card to pay money over the telephone (for example to pay your builder abroad) as these transactions are treated as cash withdrawals and most banks charge a transfer fee for cash withdrawals abroad. Unless you pay a monthly fee for an account that allows free overseas transfers you can almost certainly expect to be charged.

Internet banking

The solution to secure payment abroad then is through means of internet banking. PayPal offers one of the cheapest facilities available.  Providing you and the person to whom you are sending money to money both have accounts, no fees are charged. First time fees are sometimes charged, but the rates are more attractive than traditional bank charges. The drawback is, it takes 2 or 3 days for the recipient to receive the money in their bank accounts in order to access the money.

If speed is of the essence, MoneyGram and Western Union are able to make funds available to your opposite party in just 10 minutes. These are also ideal if you they do not have a bank account.  All they need to do is visit their local agent with their reference number and proof of identification, and your funds can be released to them

Money orders can be obtained from banks and post offices, but they have an upper cap on how much you can send at one time.  The person abroad may also be liable to incur charges at their bank when they come to cash the order, so watch out for hidden charges this way.


In today's digital age, there are a number of ways of how to send money abroad, but you should be prepared to pay some charges or expect a slight delay.  Don´t forget to pay particular attention to the small print and this is where most people come undone. Generally speaking, sending money abroad is safe and thankfully there are options which also make it affordable.


About Amey Bester: Know more about only at CurrencyIndex.co.uk

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