Sending money from the UK to the US

Nov 13th, 2009, 03:00 PM
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Sending money from the UK to the US

I'd like to get some recommendations on the best and least expensive way to send money from the Uk to the US. My boyfriend lives in the UK and wants to send me some money. He heard something about sending it through Fed Ex... not actually sending money in an envelope, but through them, with a good exchange rate. I can't find anything on their site. I have used PayPal to pay for an apartment rental but don't know if that is the best way to go for personal use. Any help with this matter would be greatly appreciated, thank you !
izzie2 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2009, 03:22 PM
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You can wire transfer money from his bank account to your bank account (you will need to give him a routing number). The cost is not unreasonable. (I'm going to guess aroudn $35 or so).
JoeCal is offline  
Nov 13th, 2009, 07:12 PM
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$35 (fee from your bank) + the markup on the exchange rate, usually 1-1/2% if you use someone like or Oanda, but you'll need to set up an account first. If you go directly through your bank, you could end up adding around 7% to the exchange rate, plus the transfer fee.

If you do it right, then your boyfriend may be able to do a simple funds transfer directly into your bank account. He'll need the routing number, etc., but the bank will still charge an exchange rate fee. Banks are into making money. Service is secondary.
Robert2533 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2009, 07:50 PM
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If he has a checking account in UK he can send you a check in pounds, My bank gives me the prevailing rate with no fees. My family sends checks for birthdays etc. some banks may put a hold on it.until it is funded. but is easier and better. than paying for wire transfers
jean253 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2009, 09:44 PM
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" . . . . he can send you a check in pounds. My bank gives me the prevailing rate with no fees."

I'd think that is very unusual. In my experience, most Stateside banks charge both a fee and a marked up exchange rate. I once received a £27 check for a VAT refund (a snafu - wouldn't normally happen) and the various fees were higher than the check amount. Ended up framing the check as a 'souvenir'
janisj is offline  
Nov 13th, 2009, 09:58 PM
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From the U.S. to Britain, between two persons who trust each other, a BofA account would do the trick: get an extra ATM card and withdraw the money from any Barclays at no charge. I do not know if the reverse process is possible or worthwhile (a Barclay ATM card used at BofA ATMs).
Michael is online now  
Nov 13th, 2009, 10:30 PM
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Paypal works quite nicely, and costs less than many/most banks.
nukesafe is offline  
Nov 13th, 2009, 11:47 PM
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You could try Oanda - I think they are reputable but have not used them myself.

We used 1st Contact - and they were fine. We had to supply quite a bit of paperwork initially to set things up.

You should also be able to just transfer money online, as long as you have access to online banking. You need the bank account and sort code of the account you are sending money to. Some banks are set up for this, some aren't, but make sure you check the exchange rate and any fees.

KayF is offline  
Nov 14th, 2009, 01:14 AM
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We send money through our HSBC bank account online to Canada...perhaps his bank can help him?
jamikins is offline  
Nov 14th, 2009, 01:51 AM
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Thanks for all your helpful suggestions. I tried to do a wire transfer when I rented an apartment in Ireland but it ended up being so much trouble the owner agreed to take payment by PayPal. I no longer deal with a bank, just a credit union, so I don't know if things will work through them the same as a bank. My boyfriend doesn't have a PayPal account and is a little hesitant to set one up because he does as little online banking as possible, but I think they're safe.
izzie2 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2009, 02:13 AM
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Hi i2,

If your friend doesn't want to use online banking, one of you is going to have to pay the wire transfer fees or the costs of sending moneygrams.

ira is online now  
Nov 14th, 2009, 04:43 AM
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If either both of you have Paypal or only you, then it is the best and most cost effective way to do the money transfer.

He "pays" in pounds for a service, you receive it in dollars at the going exchange rate, minus the 3-4% rate PP charges.

He doesn't have to have a paypal acct to do this, just either a debit or credit card.

Here is the only thing that drives me nuts about Paypal (an eBay company). I can set up an account portion in other currencies, say Euros. I can move my funds between my dollar portion to my Euro portion, at the going exchange rate without a fee. Sounds great right? Wrong. I can only use these "Euros" to purchase stuff on eBay. I cannot purchase things in Europe with my paypal Euro portion, but instead it must go through my dollar account.
daveesl is offline  
Nov 14th, 2009, 06:19 AM
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My credit union allows foreign withdrawals without a fee. Would the reverse work? In other words, what type of fee would your boyfriend have to pay if you withdrew money via your credit union from a British bank?
Michael is online now  
Nov 14th, 2009, 06:21 AM
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I live in France, and have a PayPal account in Euros. From this I can pay people in dollars or in Sterling, as well as in Euros.

I have recently discovered that you can send money to 'friends and family' without the 4% charge. Normally people pay us for the houses we rent through PayPal, generally using a credit card, and we pay a 4% charge on what we receive. Aggravating, but worth it for the convenience.

But if you have money in your account, and choose the 'send money to friends' option, the recipient doesn't have to pay any charges. I recently send money to Britain (to actually pay a bill) using this option, using my Euro account to pay in Sterling. It cost me 42 pence for the exchange, (I had the choice to pay it, or to let the recipient pay it) and the recipient paid nothing. Not sure what the rate was compared to a bank, but it seemed like an easy option.
Carlux is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 11:27 PM
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Wow... I thank all of you sooooo much for all your help!! Because of your help I believe I have convinced my boyfriend to try PayPal. That seems the best way to go. Carlux that 'money to friends' tip is great! I'll have to post another time for finding good fares from the UK to SW Florida for January!
izzie2 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2009, 04:28 AM
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Carlux, are you saying that Paypal now allows us to pay for things in, say, Euros at restaurants or shops in Europe? I know it has been a few years since I wanted to do this, and they said no at the time, but if they have changed their policy this would be great.

To make it clear. I live in the US. I have a Paypal acct that allows me to put in funds in dollars and then change them over to my euro "area". In the past I could only use these "euros" to purchase stuff on eBay, nowhere else. I have a Paypal debit card too.

It never made sense to me that they would allow me to create a Euro area, but not be able to actually use them for day to day purchases in Europe.


daveesl is offline  
Nov 29th, 2014, 06:02 AM
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bilboburgler is offline  
Nov 29th, 2014, 07:06 AM
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This is an old posting, but for those interested, TrasnferWise does have the lowest costs:

I used TransferWise for €1000 from a French bank. The process is not as straightforward as from the U.K. or Germany--nor would another type of self-generated transfer such as through be simple--but it cost me only €5 and the exchange rate was the daily posted rate.
Michael is online now  
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