Running a villa: money transfers

Beware: retail banks charge a fortune

So, the first dilemma is how to get money efficiently from the UK to the USA without paying large and unreasonable charges from my local Natwest bank.  This isn’t a big problem for a small amount, but for frequent and large amounts then it’s time to look elsewhere to keep your running costs low.

A renter, buyer, or general eBay purchaser should never use their bank for FX transfers – they are a bordering on a scam.


Small money transfers

After lots of searches and research I came up with a few solutions.  The first is TransferWise, which charges a low percentage and uses the interbank spot rate.  Up to £300 is only a £1 fee, and higher amounts rise to less than 0.5% fee.  Much better than a bank that charges a fee and also uses a spot rate thats up to 3% lower.

I’ve transferred using Transferwise around 20 times now, and it’s fast and secure every time.  Here’s my personal link so you can get a free transfer of up to £500: Transferwise.

Large money transfers

The second solution is to use somewhere like Frontierpay (The FX Firm), Moneycorp or UXForex.  These usually charge no fee for large amounts, and offer a fairly good spot rate, but not as good as TransferWise.

It turns out TransferWise want around £600 to move large amounts of money from the UK to the USA via FX transfers – because it’s a percentage fee and not capped.  Whilst they are good for values of up to £3000 it soon falls apart after that.

Hence my search for FX transfers continues, but not too far.  I found Frontierpay (formally The FX Firm) offer the best rates at the moment, but it’s close to UK Forex and Moneycorp.  Hopefully I can get a good rate for the transfer of GBP to USD – silly really because the sellers are UK based so the money is wiring around the world purely for USA tax purposes!