Going travelling for a few months in the UK and need to send some money to a UK bank account to pay for the trip. Would you recommend going with one of the big four banks to transfer money from one country to another or would you recommend using Greater Union or other international transfer businesses like Transfer Wise? Looking at getting the best exchange rate on the day with the least amount of fees involved, so I get to keep as much of my well earned money as possible, so it can go further.
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Congratulations on your upcoming trip!
From an exchange rate perspective, you'll do pretty well with the conversion to pounds; naturally it will pay to shop around to get the best deal and the major banks are not automatically the default option.
The challenge is that foreign exchange markets (like most markets) are quite volatile at the moment. Sending the full money requirement for your trip to pounds therefore might expose you to the risk of an adverse currency movement. In your scenario, this would apply to all the funds you have set aside.
A less risky way to proceed in this volatile environment may be to use a Travel Card. These operate like a pre loaded Visa or Mastercard, where you load up funds and then spend them as you go. The key advantage is that you don't need to load your total funds at once; you can load further funds via internet banking while you are away. This way, you are only vulnerable to adverse change rate movements on the funds you have loaded.
These flexible cards are available at all the major (and many of the regional) banks, as well as the Travelex/ Western Union type companies. Best of luck, I hope you have a great time on your travels!
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