If you’re working abroad, the chances are you want to send money back home to your home bank account. But the problem is, in doing so, aren’t you going to lose some of those wages in the form of the exchange rate?
Well, yes, I’m afraid that’s true. No getting around that. Every foreign exchange company makes money the same way. You’ll be quoted an exchange rate at a small margin from the interbank rate – that’s the rate you’ll see in newspapers and on the internet; the rate at which banks buy and sell currency to each other, and that you won’t get unless you’re transacting millions of pounds. This margin is also known as the ‘spread’. The greater the ‘spread’ from the interbank rate, the more money the bank or currency company will make from your transfer, and the worse deal you’ll get.
Now, one way of reducing the amount of money you lose is by making sure you get the best exchange rate you can. Typically, the big banks take a greater spread, and therefore more of your wages. As such, it’s best to go with a specialist foreign exchange company, like World First, who will put more money back in your pocket.
Anything I should know?
Well, let’s start with the issue of commission. So many currency providers offer a “no commission” promise, but as we just discussed, they already take payment in the form of how far the spread is from the interbank rate. Any commission charge is just an additional charge, and one you should be wary of.
Similarly, some foreign exchange companies also charge transfer fees. These, too, are additional charges you needn’t pay.
Our top tips
1 – Don’t just ask your employer to arrange your money to be sent home
If may be easier to just let your employer get on with it, but you could be losing money. They’ll probably convert it at whatever exchange rate their bank gives them, which is likely to be uncompetitive. Or even worse, if they send your salary straight into your account in the wrong currency, it will then be automatically converted into the right currency at an even worse rate. Make your own arrangement, and you can make significant savings.
2 – Shop around
So who do you use? Well, go with someone with whom you’ll never have to pay needless commission or transfer fees. There are enough options out there to ensure you don’t. Also, choose a company that offers fast transfers and compare the rates different providers offer.
3 – Discuss your requirements
Choose a company who are prepared to take the time to talk through your requirements. If you’re the sort of person who likes to be able to get help easily at every step, go with a company who provides telephone support. If you’re happy to get on with it yourself, make sure they’ve got an easy-to-use online platform.
4 – Check out the options
Are you happy to transfer your salary at the best exchange rate every month (known as a spot contract)? Would you rather fix an exchange rate and know what you’re getting every month, also protecting you if the exchange rate goes against you (known as a forward contract)? Choose the plan that works for you.
5 – Where and when?
When you’ve chosen the company you want to use to transfer your money, tell them where you want your money sent and how often.
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.