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3 tips to save on currency transfers

15 May 2019

No news or research item is a personal recommendation to deal. All investments can fall as well as rise in value so you could get back less than you invest.

Whether you’re sending money to friends and family on the other side of the world, or buying that dream property abroad, there are tons of reasons to transfer money overseas.

Whatever your reason, you’ll want to make sure your money goes as far as possible.

Lots of people choose to use their high street bank, but our research shows this often leaves you out of pocket.

In this article we explore a few ways to help you make the most of your currency transfers.

  1. Use a currency specialist

    Whilst a high street bank may be your first port of call, you could make substantial savings by converting with our currency service.

    The exchange rate you see quoted in the news is what’s known as the interbank rate. It’s the rate at which banks and large institutions buy and sell to each other but is not generally available to the public.

    Every month we check our exchange rates against a range of high street banks.

    These quotes were obtained from seven high street banks on 1 May 2019 for a transfer of £10,000 to euros. Currency markets move constantly, so the rate you'll receive will be different from this example. For a personal quote just call our friendly team on 0117 311 3257 (Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm). We charge a small fee on low value transactions.

    Average high street bank €11,315
    Average fee: £13.80
    With Hargreaves Lansdown €11,487
    (+€172)
    No fee

    Banks can often charge high transfer fees on top of the exchange rate. If you’re making regular payments, or sending a small amount, these transfer fees can make a big difference to your overall costs.

    In addition to cost savings, currency specialists offer more sophisticated services than high street banks. These could help you to capture improving exchange rates or reduce the risk of fluctuating rates in the future, particularly if you’re looking to make a big conversion.

    For example, a forward contract allows you to fix an exchange rate for up to two years ahead. So no matter what happens with exchange rates, you’ll know exactly what a future conversion will cost you.

    If there’s a specific exchange rate that you’d like to achieve, you could also set up a rate alert or market order. With these services we’ll watch the markets on your behalf and help you secure a rate if it becomes available. Forward contracts offer shelter should rates move against you although it removes the potential to benefit from any favourable movements.

  2. Keep your payments secure

    While it’s clearly important to get the best rate possible, the security of your money is paramount. Especially when transferring lots of money abroad.

    It’s important to know how your chosen currency provider is regulated. Currency firms can either be authorised or registered. Authorised firms have to ring-fence your money, keeping it separate from company funds.

    You can check a list of authorised and registered firms on the Financial Conduct Authority’s website.

  3. Stay up to date

    One of the best ways to make your payment go as far as possible is to keep up to date with the currency markets.

    You can sign up to receive weekly email reports with our currency service. We’ll explain what’s happened to the pound and a variety of other currencies in plain English.

    You’ll also get a list of what to look out for in the coming week that could move exchange rates.

    Get currency reports direct to your inbox


    Special offer - claim your £25 John Lewis & Partners gift card

    If you open an account with our currency service in May and convert £5,000 or more within three months, you’ll get a £25 John Lewis & Partners gift card. Full terms are below.

    Find out more

    The marketing of the currency service is not regulated by the FCA. This article and our service should not be viewed as personal advice.

    The Hargreaves Lansdown Currency Service is a trading name of Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management Ltd, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hargreaves Lansdown Plc, One College Square South, Anchor Road, Bristol, BS1 5HL. Company Registered in England & Wales No. 1896481. Hargreaves Lansdown Currency Service is provided by Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management Ltd which is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as a Payment Institution under the Payment Services Regulations 2017. The Firm Reference number is 115248. You can look this up on the FCA register website.

    Terms of the offer

    How to qualify for a John Lewis & Partners Gift Card

    If you open a Currency Account (an Account) with us between 1 May 2019 and 31 May 2019 (inclusive) and trade £5,000 or more in the Account within the first three months of opening the Account, you will be eligible to receive a £25 John Lewis & Partners Gift Card (a Gift Card) from us.

    Where you qualify to receive a Gift Card, we will email you the Gift Card within four weeks of the end of the qualifying period. We will send the email to the email address that is linked to your account.

    Opening an Account does not mean that you will automatically be eligible for a Gift Card – you must also trade £5,000 or more within the first three months of opening the Account in order to qualify for a Gift Card.

    You do not need to place one trade which is worth £5,000 or more in order to qualify for a Gift Card – transactions may be cumulative. For example, if you place one trade worth £2,000 and another worth £3,000, both during the first three months of opening the Account, you will be eligible for a Gift Card.

    We reserve the right to substitute the John Lewis & Partners Gift Card with an alternative voucher of an equivalent value at our sole discretion. The Gift Card is non-exchangeable, non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.

    You are not eligible to receive a Gift Card if you currently have a Currency Account with us.

    You are not eligible to receive a Gift Card if you are a Hargreaves Lansdown employee or a connected party of a Hargreaves Lansdown employee.

    Each individual may only qualify for one Gift Card.

    Other terms

    These terms and conditions shall be governed by English law, and the parties submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.

    The Hargreaves Lansdown Currency Service is a trading name of Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management Limited. References in these terms and conditions to "us" or "we" are to Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management Limited (company number 01896481) whose registered office is at 1 College Square South, Anchor Road, Bristol, BS1 5HL.

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Investment notes
No news or research item is a personal recommendation to deal. All investments can fall as well as rise in value so you could get back less than you invest.
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