If you’re transferring money to foreign bank accounts it can pay to choose an alternative provider instead of relying on your regular bank. While traditional banks can be expensive and inefficient, with relatively high transfer fees and poor exchange rates, alternative providers or challenger banks, can often cut the costs of international bank transfers - and pass on the savings to their customers.
With Azimo you can send money direct to bank accounts in over 195 countries and more than 60 different currencies.¹
It’s worth doing a bit of research into the alternative providers available for your specific transfer to help you find the cheapest way to send money abroad. This guide will cover the costs and currency exchange rates used by Azimo, and also introduce an alternative as a comparison - TransferWise. With TransferWise you can make international money transfers all over the world, which use the mid-market exchange rate with no hidden fees. More on this, a little later.
When you’re doing your research to find the right international payment provider for your needs, it’s a good idea to check out a range of options including both traditional banks and modern alternatives.
Take a look at TransferWise for low cost payments using the mid-market exchange rate. You’ll be able to send money all over the world, in a wide range of currencies, for just a small transparent fee. There’s no markup on the exchange rate used so you’ll get the same rate you’ll find on Google or an online currency conversion tool. This can work out much cheaper than using a regular bank or alternative provider.
You may also benefit from a TransferWise borderless account. With this account you can hold over 40 currencies in the same place, and receive payments for free with your own local bank details for major global currencies. Switch between currencies using the mid market rate when you need to, and send money back to your UK account quickly and easily. More on that later.
Before you choose a provider for your international payment, you’ll want to check out the costs and charges you may need to pay. To get the exact details for your transfer you can visit the Azimo website and model the payment in full - to give you an idea of what to look out for, here’s a run down of the common fees:
|Fee type||Azimo cost|
|Currency conversion fee||Azimo may add a markup to the exchange rate used for currency conversion. You will be able to see this by comparing the rate you’re offered with the mid-market exchange rate. Azimo currency conversion fees range from 0.1% - 2.25% depending on the currency used.¹ Although it’s common for currency exchange services to add a markup to the exchange rate, not all providers do this. TransferWise make international payments using the mid market exchange rate with no markup - more on that later.|
|Transfer fee||When you model the payment you want to make you’ll see the Azimo transfer fee, although there may be special offers for new customers, which can reduce the price. As an example, at the time of research sending £1,000 to the Philippines will cost £2.49, and the same payment to a EUR account in France will be £0.99, but the fee is waived for the first 2 payments for new customers. Azimo state that their average fee is £1.99.²|
|Other costs to consider||When you make a direct bank payment to an international bank account, you may encounter additional fees linked to the SWIFT network. These charges are added by intermediary banks which process the payment, and they may mean your recipient gets less than you expect in the end. If you’re paying by card, it’s important to check if your card provider will add any charges, such as a cash advance fee or interest charge.|
You’ll be able to find the most up to date information and the exact details for your own transfer by visiting the Azimo website.
All fees and exchange rate information is correct at the time of research on 13/07/2019 at 16:27 BST.
Azimo have limits on the amount you can send via their service. The minimum amount for sending is 10 GBP, while the maximum amount you can send is: 3,000 GBP.³ However, some banks impose their own limits so you may need to ask your recipient to check their own bank’s policy, too.
When transferring money abroad, both the foreign currency exchange rate used and the fees applied matter. It’s worth comparing both the upfront fees and the rates, and also checking if there are other costs such as card fees to consider.
To help you find the cheapest international money transfer, let’s check out an example of an international payment - sending £1,000 to a friend in France. Here’s what you’ll pay with Azimo, and what the same transfer will cost with TransferWise:
|Pay-in fee||£3.95||£0.99 - you may benefit from new customer promotions which mean this fee is waived|
|Amount that will be converted||£996.05||£1,000 You’ll pay the fee on top of the transfer amount|
|Total amount recipient will receive||EUR1107.95||EUR1105.39|
All fees and exchange rate information is correct at the time of research: 15/07/2019 at 8.13 BST.
As this example shows, getting a good exchange rate can mean your recipient gets more in their account in the end, even if the fee you pay is a little higher. You may seem to paying less for a transfer with some providers, but it may still not be the most value for money as providers add a mark-up to the exchange rate they offer.
When choosing the right cross border payment provider for your transfer, it’s good to remember there’s no such thing as a free international payment. Even providers which claim zero fees or 0% commission are likely to add a charge in the exchange rate they offer, to cover their costs and make sure they make a profit.
To get the most up to date information it’s important to check out the live fees and charges for your international payment online. You can model your payment on the Azimo website, and also over on the TransferWise site as an alternative. TransferWise value transparency - so they created a comparison tool so you can use to compare them with other providers to make sure you are getting the best rate and deal for you.
TransferWise offer the real exchange rate and are proud to be upfront about their fees. International transfers are not free but why pay more than you should? See if you can save with TransferWise and the TransferWise borderless account today.
Sources checked on 17-July 2019.
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.