Top 10 International Money Transfer Companies (Good Advice)

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April 9, 2024
7 min read
Using your bank to make international transfers is going to cost you. Fortunately, there are plenty of other options out there to save you money.

Even in 2024, your bank will still probably charge you the most for an international transfer.

They are going to give you a poor exchange rate while at the same time, charging you a transfer fee.

In comparison, a specialist money transfer company will do the opposite.

You’ll get a much better rate of exchange, with, normally, no fees.

And to top it off, you'll get a better service.

In this article, I’ll give you our top 10 international money transfer companies with their pros and cons.

I’ll also talk about safety, rates and features and what to look out for in a money transfer company.

Wise app
Nowadays, there are lots of options for international money transfers

Quick Look: My Top 10 Money Transfer Companies

Company Online Transfers Premium Service Strong Point Rates
#1 Currencies Direct tick tick Consistent market leader for two decades. Both of all worlds. View Rates
#2 Key Currency tick tick Hungry for business and friendly. View Rates
#3 TorFX tick tick Specialists in large transfers and business transfers. View Rates
#4 Xe tick tick Since 1993. Excellent onlien system and app. View Rates
#5 OFX tick tick Great solutions for ecommerce businesses and sole traders. View Rates
#6 Wise tick Good app, excellent for small transfers online, great multi-currency function. View Rates
#7 WorldRemit tick Best remittances app - wide reach. View Rates
#8 Remitly tick Great promotion for small transfers. View Rates
#9 Western Union tick Available where others aren't. The world's largest and first money transfer company. View Rates
#10 Atlantic Money tick Really good pricing (but young and unproven company). View Rates

Footnotes:

By online transfer, I mean that you can book a trade online through their website or app.

By premium service, I mean you will be assigned with a private dealer, or account manager.

That person will be readily available for your needs - over email and telephone, and will guide you on various aspects as well as follow up on your transfer on your behalf

Online transfers are more suitable for small transfers, and private dealers can be useful for large transfers.

By small or large transfers, I mean under £5000 worth or over.

This mostly comes down to the type of service they provide, but I’ll talk more about that further down.

Why is Currencies Direct ?

Currencies Direct is my favourite money transfer service because it is all-inclusive.

You can transfer online, and you can transfer through email or on a phone call.

You can DIY and you can sit back and relax while an expert is helping you.

Currencies Direct is one of the best known in the industry and has been operating successfully since the mid-1990's.

It maintains a 4.9 / 5 score on Trust Pilot and has ALWAYS been highly regarded.

And the rates you will receive can beat any other company.

Currencies Direct
4.7
Based on 4 metrics
Safety & Trust
4.7
Exchange Rates & Fees
4.5
Customer Reviews
4.9
Service & Features
4.7

What is a money transfer company?

Money transfer companies provide a more cost-effective way to transfer money internationally.

While they offer the same level of safety and security as a bank, their rates are better and fees are less.

There’s a few different types of money transfer companies:

  • Remittance company
  • Money transfer app
  • Currency broker

Remittance companies, like Western Union and Moneygram, are best for ultra-small payments.

I’m talking between £100 and £500, for paying bills or sending money to family.

This is because their rates and fees are high in comparison to the other types.

However, they offer more transfer options and destinations.

Money transfer apps are great for transfers between £500 - £5000.

Examples are Wise and XE.

Their rates are good and fees low, but there’s one caveat.

You download an app, sign up, and do all the work yourself. There’s no one to speak to.

When transferring large amounts, I always like to have someone there to help me.

That’s where currency brokers come in.

For any transfers over £5000, companies like Key Currency and Currencies Direct are best.

This could be for property purchases or sales, or repatriating inheritance.

You’ll get a great rate, and impeccable service. Just call them whenever you want and get the help you need.

When you’re transferring that big of an amount, it’s reassuring to know that you aren’t alone in the process.

You won’t get the same treatment with other types of companies.

Why you should use a specialist money transfer company (and not your bank)

To put it simply, there are no reasons as to why you should use your bank for international transfers.

They might be more familiar, and have that perceived “safety”, but it’ll still cost you loads more.

Most money transfer companies are also a very safe and secure option to send money overseas.

This is all to do with FCA regulation.

All banks are regulated, and so are most money transfer companies. 

If they aren’t FCA regulated, avoid them (more about this below).

Understanding how each company is regulated informs us of their obligations to keep your money safe.

As banks lend your money, they hold a full banking licence and must participate under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

This fully insures your money up to £85k, but not a penny more.

Money transfer companies do something different.

All of your money that a company holds is “safeguarded”.

Essentially, your money is held in separate, protected accounts.

These accounts cannot be used by the money transfer company for any purpose, and your money can only be moved according to your instructions.

If the company goes into administration, client funds get first priority over all other creditors and there’s no limit on the amount you can get back.

Skyscrapers
Most banks charge between 5-6% for currency conversion

Who is the largest money transfer provider?

In terms of company size and value, PayPal is the largest money transfer company.

Followed by Western Union and Moneygram.

However, I wouldn’t recommend these companies to you.

You’ll get some of the worst rates on the market, paired with a not-so-good service.

Out of the companies I would recommend, Wise is the largest.

Their revenue came out at over £840m for 2023.

What to look for in a money transfer company

When choosing your provider, you should look out for a couple of things.

Then, you can compare each one and rank them to your needs accordingly.

Security

As I said before, most companies will be regulated by the FCA or their countries' equivalent.

But, you still need to check.

If you go with a company that isn’t regulated, there’s no recourse if any issues arise.

Just take a look at the bottom of their website.

There should be a line about their regulation.

Key Currency regulation
Check the footer on the website of the provider to find out how they're regulated

If not, dig a little deeper or contact them and ask.

You can always search the FCA register yourself to be doubly sure. 

Cost

You need to find out how much a transfer would cost compared to other brokers.

There are two main costs:

  1. Exchange rates
  2. Transfer fees

The better the rate, the less it’s going to cost you.

So, you’ll want to find the provider with the best rate.

But, don’t forget about fees too.

For example, Wise offers the best rates on the market, but their fees can sometimes put them behind other providers.

If you’re looking for providers with no fees, we’ve found that Key Currency is the best. 

Availability

When I say availability, I mean transfer options and available destinations.

If a company cannot send money to your destination country, then obviously they aren’t suitable.

You might also need a certain type of transfer, for example cash or airtime.

In this case, only a select few can help, like Remitly or WorldRemit.

For vanilla transfers like Euros or Dollars to common countries, most providers will be able to assist.

How important is it to compare providers?

In short, very.

Every provider is different.

They will all have different costs, speeds, services and availability.

It mostly depends on the currencies you are exchanging and the countries you are sending from or to.

Your chosen payment method may also have an effect.

By comparing providers, you’ll not only find the cheapest one, but also the one that suits your needs the most.

I would have a sit-down and shortlist a few companies to compare before making your decision.

Top 10 International Money Transfer Companies

Here is my top 10, complete with some helpful knowledge and pros & cons.

1. Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct logo

Currencies Direct was founded in 1996 out of London.

They were the first non-bank money transfer provider in Europe.

As of 2021, they have 20 offices around the globe covering nearly every continent.

IS CURRENCIES DIRECT SAFE?

Currencies Direct is authorised and regulated in multiple countries.

This includes the UK, Spain, USA, Canada and South Africa.

They also have over 6k customer reviews on Trustpilot.

I don’t think they could be safer.

CURRENCIES DIRECT RATES & FEES

Currencies Direct’s spread is typically between 0.5% and 1%, but can reach well under that if you have a large enough inquiry.

This means that for every £10000 you transfer, they make about £50 profit.

To put it into perspective, most big UK banks set their margin between 3-4%.

So, you’re making big savings.

Currencies Direct doesn’t charge any fees, either.

Banks would charge £20 or £30, typically, in the UK.

CURRENCIES DIRECT AVAILABILITY

Alongside the usuals like forward contracts and limit orders, Currencies Direct offer a few other things, too:

  • Mobile app
  • Batch payments (business clients)
  • Risk management solutions (business clients)
  • Options (business clients)
  • Multi-currency accounts (business clients)

If you’re a business owner, these features can help you hedge your currency exposure.

IS CURRENCIES DIRECT FOR ME?

Currencies Direct can help you with all transfers of any size.

However, their large team of personal account managers make them a great option for large volume transfers.

They’ll be there every step of the way to make sure your money gets from A to B safely.

They offer some great features for business clients, too.

With a leading online money transfer platform, and an app, Currencies Direct are the most well-rounded money transfer company option for the majority of our readers.

Currencies Direct Pros Currencies Direct Cons
4.9/5 stars on Trustpilot Limited African currencies
Veteran company - 25+ years experience No cash pickups
More trading features available Smaller amounts can cost more

2. Key Currency

Key Currency logo
Key Currency logo

Key Currency, founded in 2016, is a high-volume currency broker based in Cornwall, UK.

They provide an old-fashioned, service-orientated brokerage service, conducting all of their business via telephone and email. 

By operating out of Cornwall, they save a hell of a lot of money on business expenses and wages compared to their London counterparts.

This allows them to pass the savings onto their customers in the form of better rates.

They are mostly targeting UK and European customers (and not American or Australian customers).

IS KEY CURRENCY SAFE?

Yes, Key Currency is safe.

They are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Not only that, but they have over 1000 customer reviews on Trustpilot.

KEY CURRENCY RATES & FEES

Key Currency offers tight spreads with a no fee policy.

For large transfers, you probably won’t get a better deal elsewhere.

For transfers of £200k and up, I’ve worked out their spread to be around 0.2%.

Compared to most banks, this is thousands upon thousands of savings.

KEY CURRENCY AVAILABILITY

Key Currency offers standard trading options like forward contracts and limit orders.

Most destination countries are available to send to.

However, there is a lack of African currencies available.

IS KEY CURRENCY FOR ME?

If you have a large transfer to perform, then yes.

Key Currency’s rates and level of service is tailored for high-volume transfers.

This could be for an international property sale or purchase, or repatriation of inheritance.

However, if your transfer is small, you might be better suited for a money transfer app.

Key Currency Pros Key Currency Cons
4.9/5 stars on Trustpilot No mobile app
Very thin FX spreads No way of viewing rates online
Great service - no hold times Not available to some customers in the U.S.A

3. TorFX

TorFX logo

TorFX was founded in 2004 in Penzance, Cornwall.

As one of the leading money transfer companies, they focus on providing the best possible service for their clients.

In 2011, TorFX was acquired by the same company that owns Currencies Direct.

IS TORFX SAFE?

TorFX is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Being regulated provides the highest level of protection and safety for customers.

Any company that is regulated is safe to use.

They also have over 5k customer reviews on Trustpilot.

TORFX RATES & FEES

TorFX’s spread is usually between 1-2%, getting lower with large volumes.

With most banks charging 5-6%, there’s great savings to be made.

TorFX does not charge transfer fees.

TORFX AVAILABILITY

Although being 15 years old, TorFX still offers the basics.

This includes forward contracts, limit orders and stop losses.

However, they do have a fancy mobile app which you can use for smaller transfers.

IS TORFX FOR ME?

TorFX is a high-volume currency broker.

They have over 100 personal account managers.

While you can use them for small transfers, I recommend using them for international property sales and purchases.

You’ll get a good rate of exchange and great service.

TorFX Pros TorFX Cons
4.9/5 stars on Trustpilot, 5000+ reviews Not available to customers in the U.S.A
Mobile app available Exchange rate can get worse with small amounts
100+ traders Bank transfers only

4. XE

XE logo
XE logo

XE is an app-based money transfer company and currency conversion tool.

They were founded by two friends out of a basement in Canada, in 1993.

XE was acquired in 2015 by Euronet, a Nasdaq company, for $380 million.

IS XE SAFE?

Xe is one of the world's best known currency brands.

It is regulated by the FCA, as well as almost any other large regulator including the U.S, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Europe.

It has been running successfully since 1993 as a website.

It is owned by Euronet, a Nasdaq company.

XE RATES & FEES

XE's spread is usually between 1-2% for smaller volumes.

For higher volume transfers, or large requirements on an annual basis, you can be referred to a private account manager with a tailor quoted.

XE AVAILABILITY

XE offers the full suite of currency tools, for privates, small businesses and corporations.

It offers all types of currency contracts, like Forward and Swaps, a complete app, and a full trading system.

Moreover, the XE API is world renowned and many businesses use it in direct integration with their own system.s

IS XE FOR ME?

XE is not your run-of-the-mill currency broker.

It is an interesting and unique cross between a currency broker (previously known as HiFX), and the XE brand - a very well known currency website and app.

XE Pros XE Cons
98 different currencies available May experience long wait times for customer service
Owned by a NASDAQ traded company Rates can get worse for smaller amounts
50000+ reviews on Trustpilot Opening an account can sometimes be slow

5. OFX

OFX logo
OFX logo

OFX is an Australian currency broker.

They are publicly traded on the Australian Stock Exchange, completing their IPO in 2013.

They’re one of the biggest brokers in the industry, transacting over £40 billion annually.

OFX has an incredible online trading system alongside bespoke service, making them a unique combination of the "new and the old" of the money transfers world.

IS OFX SAFE?

OFX is regulated in the UK, Australia, USA, New Zealand, Canada, Europe and parts of Asia.

It boasts excellent customer reviews consistently over the past 20 years.

OFX RATES & FEES

OFX charges no fees.

OFX's margins are normally at around 1% for smaller transfers.

For larger transfers, OFX has dedicated dealers who can offer better spreads than mentioned.

OFX AVAILABILITY

OFX has an online trading system, and an app, but they are a little slower and less smooth than some of their competitors.

For businesses, OFX offers a multi-currency account with local bank accounts, hedging tools, and a high level of guidance.

IS OFX FOR ME?

OFX is particularly good for businesses who can take advantage of the multi-currency function, hedging and guidance.

For other customers, it is a solid choice - whether for large or small transfers.

OFX Pros OFX Cons
Positively reviewed mobile app Customer support can be slow to get hold of
Extra features for business clients No cash transfers
Publicly traded company Often eager to decline accounts

6. Wise

Wise logo
Wise logo

Wise (formerly known as TransferWise), is an online and mobile money transfer app.

They’re known in the industry for being one of the cheapest providers. 

They IPO’d on the London Stock Exchange in 2021, being the first of its kind to do so.

This took Wise’s market value to over £11 billion.

IS WISE SAFE?

Being a publicly traded company, Wise is very safe.

They’re also fully regulated in 14 countries.

Over 150k customers have left reviews on Trustpilot.

WISE RATES & FEES

Wise is one of the cheapest options for transferring money abroad.

This is shown in their prices, only charging 0.41%.

Technically, they offer interbank rates with the 0.41% being the fee.

So if you transferred £1000, you’ll be charged roughly £4.10.

WISE AVAILABILITY

Wise offers a multi-currency account and a debit card to pair.

I’ve personally used this feature and I must say, it is brilliant for travelling.

You can top up any currency at any time, using only one card for all currencies.

Wise will know which currency to debit based on where you are in the world.

However, they don’t offer trading options like forwards or limit orders.

IS WISE FOR ME?

If you’re sending money to friends and family, then yes.

If you’re travelling or going on holiday and want your currency on a debit card, then also yes.

If your transfer is large, you’ll want someone to speak to to make sure it goes through without any problems.

Wise do not offer that possibility.

So, for larger transfers, use a currency broker instead.

Wise Pros Wise Cons
Very cheap service Customer service isn’t the best
Multi-currency account and debit card Some customers have reported slow transfers
Publicly traded company No cash transfers

7. Atlantic Money

Atlantic Money logo
Atlantic Money logo

Atlantic Money is a new mobile-only money transfer app.

They launched in March 2022, with the aim to disrupt the money transfer industry.

With other providers like Wise and Revolut offering very cheap transfers, Atlantic Money is looking to one-up them even more.

They’re doing this by offering their customers the mid-market rate, with a fixed £3 fee.

IS ATLANTIC MONEY SAFE?

Atlantic Money is authorised and regulated by the FCA as a payment institution.

Any company regulated by the FCA is safe to use.

Atlantic Money has been audited, examined and scrutinised to see exactly how their systems work and how they keep their customers safe.

They’ve then been given the green-tick to say that they’re a safe company.

For the customer, it’s the highest level of protection you can receive.

ATLANTIC MONEY RATES & FEES

Atlantic Money provides the mid-market exchange rate for all transfers.

It’s the best possible rate you can get at any given time.

They don’t make any money by applying a margin or spread onto the rate, unlike most other companies.

Atlantic Money charges £3 for every transfer, to any currency and of any size.

ATLANTIC MONEY AVAILABILITY

Atlantic Money currently only provides money transfers via their iOS and Android apps.

They don’t provide any additional features like forward contracts, limit orders and stop losses.

They also do not have a web platform. It’s all done via your phone.

Atlantic Money currently only provides 10 currencies.

IS ATLANTIC MONEY FOR ME?

Atlantic Money can perform transfers of up to £1m.

However, I’d only recommend using them for smaller transfers.

Their customer service is only provided via text message.

WIth larger transfers, you'll need a 1-on-1 account manager to give that comfort and peace of mind.

Most currency brokers come with an account manager.

Atlantic Money Pros Atlantic Money Cons
They provide the mid-market rate of exchange No online platform, mobile only
Only a £3 transfer fee for every transfer, of any amount They're a new company, so little online reviews
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority Limited number of currencies

8. WorldRemit

WorldRemit logo
WorldRemit logo

WorldRemit is a digital cross border remittance and currency conversion app.

They specialise in small, frequent payments through less common corridors, such as Africa and Asia.

If you have family abroad or are working overseas, WorldRemit could be for you.

WorldRemit Pros WorldRemit Cons
130+ currencies More expensive than most
Can collect cash They charge transfer fees
Lots of ways to pay for your transfer Not as highly rated as others

9. Remitly

Remitly logo
Remitly logo

Remitly is an online remittance app based in the United States.

Similar to WorldRemit, they specialise in small payments to exotic countries.

If you’re an expat or just need to send money home, Remitly could be for you.

Remitly Pros Remitly Cons
Publicly traded on the NASDAQ More expensive than most
Can collect cash or get home delivery Transfer fees can be expensive
Highly rated mobile app Some major countries aren’t available

10. Western Union

Western Union
Western Union Logo

Western Union is the oldest money transfer company in the world, dating all the way back to 1851.

They’re best known for providing remittance services to almost anywhere in the world through their huge network of global agents. 

A typical customer might be a migrant who needs to transfer money to their home country or somebody looking to support a relative overseas.

Nowadays, they actually have a complete money transfer solution that allows bank transfers, cash pickup, paying international bills and airtime top up.

With that said, it’s their scale and ability to handle exotic .

Western Union Pros Western Union Cons
Huge global network, capable of transfers to/from most countries More expensive than most
Founded in 1851, safe as they come Low transfer limits
Improved app for digital transfers Canceled the Western Union rewards programme

Summary

In this article, I’ve given you some helpful advice on why to use a money transfer company, and how to choose one.

Then, I’ve given you my top 10 money transfer providers.

In short:

  • Using your bank will most likely cost you significantly more
  • When choosing a money transfer provider, look for security, cost and availability
  • Comparing providers will ultimately save you time and money
  • Key Currency is best for large transfers (£5k and over)
  • Wise is best for smaller transfers (£5k or less)
  • Often, lack of providers will drive you to choose more expensive providers with better reach (Western Union) 

Just below, you can get a quote from the leading money transfer providers and compare their rates.

Compare and save on your money transfer

£

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