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3 Great Ways to Save Money on International Money Transfers

Savvy Brits don't find the cheapest international money transfers by accident. They find them by design, as a result of earned foresight and strategy. This holds true no matter what market you're in, for even the smallest purchase. Smart buyers always locate great deals deliberately. If you want what they have -- a few thousand extra pounds each year – then follow the precedent they set. There are good and bad ways to perform any financial transaction. Keep this in mind whenever you send money overseas. Consider every international money transfer as an investment, even if they only involve a few hundred pounds. All it takes is diligence and bit of planning. Here a few rules to follow whenever you transfer money from the U.K. to foreign countries.

Plan Ahead

Financial wisdom always includes strategy and planning. This includes timing. Good timing can save you thousands on a foreign purchase, especially if it's a large or recurring payment. So get started early, weeks or even months before it's time to actually move the funds. Planning ahead gives you options that aren't available for last minute decisions. Careful planning also reduces the stress that can lead to pressured and costly decisions. Once you have the extra time, use it to your advantage. Do as much research as possible. Always take fluctuations of exchange rate into account. Even the most general knowledge can save you money. The pound had a terrible summer against the U.S. dollar and the Euro. Knowing this caused many wise Brits to delay or expedite a foreign purchase. A few minutes a day with the financial section will make a huge difference.

Comparison shop

Once you've taken the temperature of the exchange market, it's time to decide on which company to use. There are hundreds of online and in person options, so decide on a set of criteria in advance. That way, you can narrow your search to those firms with the best chance of satisfying your specific needs. Many people go directly to their bank when they need to transfer money overseas, often to their disadvantage. Banks are safe and reliable, but are not inclined to offer competitive fees or seek out the best exchange rates. Moreover, you can find the same security and protection at a specialized firm that you would at your bank. Banks are perhaps best used for small, one time transfers, when there simply isn't time to be more selective. The key to saving money is understanding what factors are important to your situation. Some companies offer low or zero fees, but make up for it with a terrible exchange rate. Others offer fixed exchange rates to attract frequent customers. The list goes on and on. The key is to shop around.

Consider Using a Specialist Broker

Specialist brokers are companies that specialize in international money transfers. They are experienced, reliable, and highly motivated to offer customers the lowest fees. Importantly, they employ currency exchange experts. By combining expertise with a network of global resources, specialist brokers can secure the best exchange rates possible, even under the erratic market conditions. Investors noted this again and again over the summer, as the pound continued to swoon relative to the Euro and the U.S. dollar. Many of these pleased investors benefited from their brokers' specialty services. Specialist brokers offer a variety of ways to protect customers from the whims of the exchange market. Some are designed to respond quickly to vacillations in the exchange rate. These allow customers to suspend or cancel transfers that are especially disadvantageous to them. Another useful specialty service is The Forward Exchange Contract or FEC. This is an agreement that locks in an attractive exchange rate for a stated period of time. The locked in rate is good for up to two years and protects investors from the constant flux of the exchange market. In addition to saving investors large sums of money, an FEC also allows them to earmark funds for other useful expenditures.

Conclusion

The work required to reduce the cost of sending money abroad is well worth the effort. It's not especially difficult either. It just takes some multi tasking. Saving money on an international money transfer is a balancing act. There are always trade offs involved, as in any financial transaction. With planning and effective use of available resources, anyone wishing to send money abroad from the U.K. can find reduced fees and good exchange rates. And no real financial expertise is required, only a bit of time and diligence.

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