Whether you’re planning on sending money to relatives in India or are looking to move funds for a lavish Indian wedding, many money transfer services offer great exchange rates and zero-fee transfers.
So, what is the best way to make a money transfer to India from the UK, and which money transfer provider is the right one for you?
Let’s dive in.
Worth noting: Exchange rates are constantly changing. The majority of money transfer services provide near mid-market exchange rates.
If you’re unsure what to look for in a money transfer service for an online money transfer to India, here are some things to keep in mind.
To transfer money to India from UK, you’ll need to provide the following information about the recipient:
The recipient can be your account or someone else’s. Note that some money transfer services, like Western Union, might ask for the purpose of the transfer. With other currency exchange specialists, such as Paysend, you may need the recipient’s phone number, depending on the method you’re using to send the money (usually for instant transfers).
Most money transfer services offer several payment methods including
The cheapest way to send money overseas is through a bank transfer.
Bank transfers are the slowest (can take up to 5 days) but remain the go-to choice for most people that send money to India from the UK (or anywhere else outside the UK) because most money transfer services, including OFX and MoneyGram, charge very little or no fees to move the funds from one place to another.
Debit and credit card payments and the second most popular option to send money from the UK to India.
When paying with a card, it usually takes several hours for the funds to arrive in the recipient’s account, but the maximum amount that you may send might be different and you might incur some additional fees.
Many services, like Paysend, allow customers to send funds between their accounts. These transfers usually take seconds and don’t incur any additional fees.
This means that if your family or friends in India have an account with the same money transfer provider, you can transfer money from the UK to India fee-free.
SWIFT payments, also known as international wires, are payments made through the SWIFT international payment network. It’s not a free money transfer to India but it’s secure (more on how safe money transfers are here)
If you prefer making payments via SWIFT, you should opt for Wise– the company both sends and receives payments through this network.
There are two main ways to transfer money overseas: via your bank or a money transfer service.
The main difference between the two is that most banks have high transfer fees compared to currency exchange specialists. If you want to transfer money to India at the best rates available, then your best bet is a money transfer service.
Most money transfer services like Instarem also have calculators on their websites to help you figure out what is the best rate to transfer money to India for you.
The cost to send money to India can vary depending on the transfer method. Regardless of what method you opt for and the money service, you can’t send money to India for free– you’ll always pay the exchange rate, at the very least.
Some money transfer services don’t charge any transaction fees but make money through margins on exchange rates (like Skrill), while others may charge a percentage of the total amount being sent.
Money transfer services don’t limit transfers. You can make a money transfer to India of any amount, but you might need to contact the service by phone if they have a cap on the amount customers can move through the app. For example, with Western Union, you can’t send more than £50,000.
Any amount of money sent as a gift to any eligible relatives (as stated in the FEMA regulations) is tax-free.
However, if the money is transferred to someone who isn’t on the list and the amount exceeds Rs 50.000 in a year, the funds will be taxed as income.
It can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days for the UK to India money transfer to complete, depending on the method you choose.
Online transfers tend to be faster than transfers done over the phone or in person. For example, Wise is a great pick for making the UK to India money transfer via an app.
The best way to move money to India from the UK is via a money transfer service.
Making a money transfer from the UK to India via these currency exchange specialists can be fast, simple, and much cheaper than sending it via your bank – they offer competitive exchange rates, very low to no fees, and have certain tools that can make budgeting easier for you when making a money transfer to India from the UK.
Looking for a bank with great budgeting tools? Here are the top 5 app-only banks in the UK.
The best way to send money to India from the UK will vary depending on whether security, speed, or cost are most important to you – or if it’s a combination of all three.
The first step in transferring money to India is to create an online account with a travel money firm. To complete this, you’ll need to show an ID. Once your account is created, you can transfer money online, over the phone, or at a branch via an agent.
Sending money to India can take from a few minutes to a couple of days.
There is no limit to how much money you can send in one year, but you may pay higher taxes and fees.
Yes, depending on the circumstances, the amount of money you send may be taxed.
You may send up to £3,000 in gifts each year under the annual exemption if you are into money transfer to India from the UK.
My name is Marija, and I'm a financial writer at DontDisappointMe. Although finance might not be everyone's cup of tea, my 10+ years of working in one of the biggest banks in my country, and my interest in extensive research on everything finance/investment-related, have made me somewhat of an expert in the field (if I do say so myself). No longer having the passion to work in a corporate setting, I decided that I couldn't let all of this knowledge go to waste so I started writing. And, here I am! Today I try to share my knowledge with my audience in the hopes of making this topic as simple and interesting as possible. In my leisure time, I like spending time with my family and travelling to new locations.