If you need to transfer money to Australia, the best deals are dependent on how much you want to send ‘down under’ – and why. We take a look at some popular options.
From the earliest British settlers to present day migrants, people in the UK have long been attracted by Australia’s reputation as a country of discovery and opportunity.
And when it comes to leisure, cheaper flights long ago turned Australia into a Mecca for sun worshippers – and those keen to explore a country that’s home to attractions like the Ayers Rock and the Great Barrier Reef, not to mention great cities like Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Darwin and Hobart.
In fact, our links are so strong that many of us will need to transfer money to Australia at one time or another – whether for a holiday, investment, property or to send to family.
But transferring money from sterling to Australian Dollars needs to be done carefully, especially for larger transactions – otherwise you could end up losing significant amounts of money in commission fees or needlessly high exchange rates.
That’s why we’ve taken a look at some of the most popular ways to transfer money to Australia – to help you choose the best deals for your situation.
Banks offer a number of ways for you to transfer money to Australia, and their suitability depends on how much you want to transfer – and for what reason.
Firstly, you can ask your bank to transfer money directly into an Australian bank account. To do this, you will need the Bank Identifier Code (BIC) and International Bank Account Number (IBAN) for your own account and that of the recipient.
You can arrange the transfer with your branch, or do it slightly cheaper online – but you are likely to end up paying charges at both ends of the transfer. These can rack up quickly if you transfer money often.
If you are Australian yourself, and you do need to transfer money to Australia on a regular basis, some banks have accounts designed for this purpose. The HSBC Passport Account, for example, offers easy money transfer even if you don’t yet have a permanent UK address.
However, remember that you still need to exchange your money from sterling to Australian dollars when you move it down under – and banks are not renowned for offering the most generous interest rates on the market. So shop around before deciding to use a bank to transfer money to Australia.
Online money transfer services
If you are transferring relatively small sums, you might want to consider an online payment service to transfer money to Australia. Because most will charge you a percentage of your transfer, it can work out cheaper than the fees imposed by banks.
Some of the more popular online payment services include:
- Skrill.com – If you are sending to countries with a different currency, foreign exchange rates start from 2.99%.
- Paypal – you can use this popular service to transfer money to other account holders in 16 currencies, but check the fees before you do.
- Tranzfers.com – a global money transfer service with a fee of $15 for each transaction to Australia and give you competitive exchange rates.
Online services like these can offer great deals, but be sure to check the interest rates on offer and the fees applicable to the amount of money you want to transfer to Australia. You may find they’re great for smaller payments, but less economical if you need to make major transfers.
Established money transfer companies
The two main companies in this category are Western Union and Moneygram. Both have offices in the UK and Australia, and you can also use the Western Union website to transfer money to Australia.
However, both services charge commission fees and you need to check their interest rates closely – so weigh up the cost with the convenience before deciding to transfer money in this way.
Currency exchange brokers
If you are are transferring large sums of money – to buy property, finance an Australian mortgage, make maintenance payments or even emigrate – then you need to give a currency exchange broker serious consideration.
Indeed, currency exchange brokers like TORfx can help you save money even if you are transferring relatively small sums of money (say between £300-£500) to Australia. Because they specialise in currency exchange, they offer some of the lowest currency exchange rates on the market – and they don’t charge commission or fees.
So, if you are buying property or other valuable items, you can literally save thousands of pounds when you transfer money to Australia – by using a currency exchange broker.
That’s got to be worth looking into.