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How To Transfer Money from UK To USA

Written by, Marija Petkova

Updated July, 22, 2022

If you’re one of the many Britons that have property or relatives over the pond, then you’re probably on the lookout for the best way to transfer money from the UK to the USA.

Although some may opt for a good old-fashioned transfer via their high-street bank, most senders have found that the cheapest way to send money to the US is through a mood money transfer service.

To help you find the right one for you, we compiled a list of the best money transfer providers out there.

Let’s dive in.

  • Exchange rate: 1.1579
  • Payment methods: Bank transfer
  • Transfer fees:  £0
  • Transfer time: 1-2 days

  • Exchange rate: 1.1849
  • Payment methods: Bank transfer
  • Transfer fees: £0
  • Transfer time: 1-2 business days

  • Exchange rate: 1.19408
  • Payment methods: Bank transfer
  • Transfer fees: £0
  • Transfer time: 1-2 days

  • Exchange rate: 1.1994
  • Payment methods: bank transfer; card; and cash
  • Transfer fees: £0 on weekdays if it doesn’t exceed your foreign exchange allowance; 0.5% fee after that amount.
  • Transfer time:  Within 1 business day

  • Exchange rate: 1.227
  • Payment methods: Bank transfer
  • Transfer fees:: £0
  • Transfer time: 1-3 business days

  • Exchange rate: 1.1944
  • Payment methods: Bank transfer
  • Transfer fees: Around 0.45% of the transaction amount.
  • Transfer time: 1-2 banking days

  • Exchange rate: 1.01845 
  • Payment methods: Bank transfer; credit card
  • Transfer fees: £2 fee for transfers of under £250 
  • Transfer time: 1-4 banking days

  • Exchange rate: 1.19585
  • Payment methods: Bank transfer, credit/ debit card
  • Transfer fees: £0.35 + 0.41% of the amount that’s converted
  • Transfer time: Up to 2 days

  • Exchange rate: 1.1918
  • Payment methods: Bank transfer; debit card
  • Transfer fees: 0.25%- 1%
  • Transfer time: 1-2 business days

  • Exchange rate: 1.1758
  • Payment methods: Bank transfer; debit/credit card’ and cash
  • Transfer fees: From £0
  • Transfer time: 1-5 business days

Worth noting: Exchange rates change constantly. Most money transfer services base their exchange rates on the mid-market/interbank exchange rates.

Safest Way To Transfer Money From The UK to The USA: A Buyer’s Guide

Before you transfer money from the US to the UK and vice versa, it’s important to shop around to find the most cost-effective money transfer services

If you’re not sure what to look for, here’s how to find the best way to make a UK to US money transfer.

Are transfer money services safe?

An international wire transfer from the UK to the USA and any bank transfers within the UK are generally safe –however, you should avoid sending money to strangers.

To be on the safe side, you can check if your money transfer service provider is registered and authorised by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). 

Worth noting: Every currency exchange specialist on our list is authorised and/or regulated by the FCA, excluding Revolut, which is regulated by the Bank of Lithuania and the European Central Bank.

What details do you need to transfer money to the US?

To transfer money from the UK to the US, you’ll first need to create an account with the money transfer service of your choice. Creating an account usually requires submitting an ID and bank (credit/debit card) account details.

To complete the transfer, In most cases, you will be asked to enter:

  • The recipient’s first and last name.
  • Their full address and state.
  • Their bank name, bank routing number, and account number.

Still, the information you’ll need to send money overseas depends on the send method. For example, Western Union, which offers instant transfers via mobile wallet, will ask for the recipient’s phone number as well.

How can you transfer money to the US? 

There are a variety of ways you can send money to the USA from the UK. Transfer services like Currencyfair and OFX are among those that offer both single, one-off payment and recurring payment transfers. 

What is a good GBP to USD exchange rate?

Exchange rates are constantly moving and whether they’re considered good or poor depends on when you’re making a transfer. Most money transfer services follow the mid-market, which is much more cost-effective than what banks charge. 

If you happen to stumble upon a strong exchange rate, the best way to protect yourself from an unexpected hike is to lock the FX rate in and protect yourself from market fluctuations. Providers such as Instarem offer this type of service. However, how long the FX rate will stay fixed depends on the currency.

What’s more, many currency exchange specialists have people who monitor the exchange rates and can help customers get the best way to transfer money from the UK to the USA. For example, TorFX assigns an account manager to every customer.

Looking to transfer money to another country? See our top picks: 

How long does it take to transfer money to the US?

The time it may take for the money to arrive in an account in the US depends on the payment method and the recipient’s bank (some banks take longer to clear funds).

Bank transfers from the UK to the USA typically take around 1-3 business days. If you send money to a USA bank account via a credit or a debit card with Wise, the money can sometimes arrive on the same day.

Charges and fees

Although there are money transfer services that do not charge a transfer fee, when making a money transfer from the UK to the USA, you’ll always pay for the exchange rate. Those that don’t, make money off the margin.

If you’re looking for a cheap way to send money to the USA, you’ll need to find a service provider that matches your needs. For example, Revolut is a good choice for small transfers since it doesn’t charge any fees on weekdays as long as you don’t exceed the monthly limitations.

XE Money Transfer, on the other hand, is a better option for transferring large sums because it only charges a fee for transfers under £250.

There are also money transfer services that you can use to transfer money from the UK to the USA with no limit via services like Currencies Direct

Payment method

Many transfer providers offer a variety of payment methods to choose from when sending money from the UK to the US. How much you’ll pay in fees can also depend on the payment method you opt for. 

For example, bank transfers are the slowest but also the cheapest way to send money to the US. Credit and debit card payments are much faster, but they often incur additional fees. 

Some money transfer providers, like Western Union, also allow for PISP payments, and there are others like Wise, that offer SWIFT payments via their services.

Bottom Line

Picking the right money transfer service can help you cut down on costs when transferring money overseas. Not only do these currency exchange specialists have lower exchange rates and affordable fees compared to banks, but they also offer extra options, like setting up recurring payments and locking in the FX rate, which can save you money both short- and long-term.

Frequently Asked Questions And Their Answers

How do I send money from the UK to the USA?

The cheapest and most affordable way to send money from the UK to the USA is via a money transfer provider. They have affordable fees and lower exchange rates, compared to most banks.

Can I send money from the UK to the US via PayPal?

PayPal allows for transfers from the UK to the US, but it charges fees of up to £2.99 per transaction.

How much money can I transfer to the US tax free?

If you’re transferring money from the UK to the USA then the recipient will owe tax if the amount exceeds $10,000. Under US law, banks report all cash transactions over that amount, though money transfer businesses can sometimes have reporting thresholds as low as $1,000.

What bank details are needed to transfer money to the USA?

To transfer money from the UK to the USA, you’ll need to provide the recipient’s full first and last name, their address, their bank name, their account number, and their  ABA routing number.

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.