Most cost-effective way of transfering money from UK to US
October 22, 2009 12:30 PM Subscribe
Need to transfer modest amounts of money from UK to a US bank account every 2-3 months. What would be the most cost-effective way to do so?
posted by moiraine to work & money (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I am working in the UK. I need to pay off study loans in the US, with the first loan installment due in a couple of months. I intend/ need to transfer between anywhere between $500 to $2000 to my US bank account regularly, say every 2-3 months.
The most cost-effective way that I know of would be to take out the money in the UK, change at the Post Office (with 0% commission rates), and physically the money to the US, and place it in my bank account there. This, of course, assumes my plane ticket is paid for and I am not robbed (I have done this before, and I was fine, but I don't want to do a regular basis).
Wire transfer appears to be the second cheapest method, and I am happy to pay the wire transfer fees (~20 pounds, depending on the bank). However, I understand that the bank have non-competitive exchange rates, which are hidden costs of the transfer (~50 pounds will be 'lost' in the exchange).
I considered making regular transfers from my Paypal UK to my Paypal US account. This would be extremely convenient, but there are hefty commissions -- about 5%, and I think more is taken off from the receiving end (?)
Anyway, I was wondering whether people had any personal experience with wire transfer and non-competitive fees. Any additional ideas are also appreciated. Would appreciate if there were no comments like, "But if you just paid a little more, you could save yourself the hassle!" as I am willing go through a fair amount of hassle just to pay less fees.
I have family in the US who are probably willing to cash in a check for me every month, if this makes any difference.