The Republic of Ireland is the only country to share a land border with the UK. However, despite its proximity, sending money to Ireland by bank transfer can be slow and expensive. 

In this article, I will explain some of the alternatives to traditional bank transfers so you can decide the best way to send money to Ireland.

Best Way to Send Money to Ireland: My Verdict

For most people, best way to send money to Ireland is by using a specialist online money transfer service.

Providers like Currencies Direct, TorFX and OFX offer competitive exchange rates close to the mid-market rate, ensuring you get more value than traditional banks. 

They also have transparent and low fees, making them cost-effective for sending small and large amounts.

It only took me a few minutes to set up an account online. I was also quickly contacted by a dedicated account manager to guide me through the transfer process. 

Alternatively, you can send money to Ireland through traditional bank transfers with banks like Nationwide, RBS and NatWest.

Bank transfers are a secure and reliable method for transferring funds internationally, but they often come with less competitive exchange rates and higher fees than online money transfer services. They also take longer to process, making them less suitable for urgent or time-sensitive transactions.

What’s the Cheapest Way to Send Money to Ireland?

ProviderTransfer Fee for £100Exchange Rate for £100Transfer Fee for £2000Exchange Rate for £2000Learn More
TorFX£01.1648£01.1648Visit TorFX
OFX£01.1645£01.1646Visit OFX
Currencies Direct£01.1636£01.1635Visit Currencies Direct
Wise£1.061.1697£8.771.1696Visit Wise
XE£1.991.16410£01.16410Visit XE
Remitly£1.991.1492 (card)1.1593 (bank)£01.1492 (card)1.1593 (bank)Visit Remitly
Atlantic£31.169358£31.169358Visit Atlantic

TorFX is the cheapest way to send money to Ireland, offering an exchange rate of 1.1648 and zero transfer fees.

OFX and Currencies Direct also don’t charge transfer fees, but their exchange rates are slightly less favourable than TorFx’s.

However, when comparing different options, it’s essential to consider the total cost of sending money to Ireland, not just the transfer fees. Often, providers that don’t charge a transfer fee have a higher exchange rate makeup.

The exchange rate makeup is the difference between the rate at which your provider can convert your currency and the rate they offer. This hidden fee means you will get fewer Euros for your pounds.

At the time of writing, the interbank exchange rate is 1.1703, making Wise’s exchange rate the most favourable. 

How you pay for your transfer can also influence the cost of sending money to Ireland. 

For example, Remitly offers a better exchange rate if you pay by bank transfer instead of using a debit or credit card. 

What’s the Fastest Way to Send Money to Ireland?

CompanyTransfer SpeedLearn More
RemitlyWithin minutes if paid by card, within 2 hours if paid by bank transferVisit Remitly
AtlanticInstantly for a 0.1% fee or 2 business days as standard Visit Atlantic
WiseWithin 2 hoursVisit Wise
XEWithin 24 hoursVisit XE
Currencies DirectSame business day if payment received by 10 am; otherwise, 24 to 48 hoursVisit Currencies Direct
TorFXSame business day to 2 business daysVisit TorFX
OFX1 to 2 business daysVisit OFX

Remitly is the fastest way to send money to Ireland from the UK, which can transfer funds within minutes or a few hours.

Generally, transfers paid for using debit or credit cards are faster than those paid for by bank transfer as they require less processing. 

As you can see from the above table, most specialist online transfer services have a very similar transfer speed, with the money being received in Ireland typically within two business days. 

Some providers also offer instant or same-day transfers for an additional fee.

For example, Atlantic will send money to Ireland instantly for a small charge of 0.1% of the transfer amount, making it perfect for urgent or emergency transfers.

Can I Send Money to Ireland Online?

Yes, you can send money to Ireland online through several methods, including:

  1. Specialist Online Money Transfer Services: Providers like Currencies Direct, Wise, and Atlantic offer fast transfers with competitive exchange rates and transparent fees. Although convenient, exchange rates vary widely between providers, and some have limits on transfer amounts.
  2. Bank Transfers: Popular banks such as RBS, NatWest and Nationwide offer direct and secure transfers to an Irish bank account. However, bank transfers are usually slower and have higher fees than other methods.
  3. Digital Wallets: Services like PayPal and Skrill allow you to connect your UK bank account and card to a digital wallet and then transfer the funds to the recipient’s wallet. Although transfers are quick, fees tend to be higher than other methods. 
  4. Online Remittance Services: Companies like Western Union or MoneyGram offer multiple delivery options, giving you greater flexibility. However, fees are usually higher than other methods and exchange rates aren’t as favourable. 

Cryptocurrency Transfers: If both parties have cryptocurrency wallets, you can send money to Ireland using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum. Although transfers are fast and can be done 24/7, cryptocurrency values are highly volatile, affecting the amount the recipient receives.

Sending Large Amounts of Money to Ireland

The maximum amount of money you can send to Ireland varies widely between providers.

Some specialist online money transfer services like Currencies Direct, OFX, TorFX and Atlantic don’t have a limit, making them ideal for large transfers.

Other providers, such as Remitly, limit how much you can transfer within specific periods, such as 24 hours, 30 days and 180 days, making it less suitable if you frequently transfer large amounts of money.

Look for the best exchange rates to maximise the value of your money. Even small differences in rates can significantly impact the final amount received by the recipient in Ireland.

You should also consider the fees charged by different transfer services. 

Some providers like Remitly and XE offer lower fees or waive them for larger transactions. However, others like Wise scale their transfer fees, making them less cost-effective. 

CompanyMaximum TransferLearn More
Currencies DirectNo limitVisit Currencies Direct
OFXNo limitVisit OFX
TorFXNo limitVisit TorFX
AtlanticNo limitVisit Atlantic
WiseUp to £5,000,000 per transfer, depending on the payment methodVisit Wise
XE£350,000 per transactionVisit XE
RemitlyTiered limits for specific periods that vary between accounts. 24-hour limit ranges between £5,000 and £25,000. 30 Day limit ranges between £15,000 and £25,000. 180-day limit ranges between £50,000 and £150,000.Visit Remitly

How to Send Money to Ireland

Depending on your service provider and chosen method, you may be able to fund your transfer to Ireland in several ways.

  1. Bank Transfer: Secure and direct transfers from your UK bank account. Fees are usually higher than other methods, and transfers are slower.
  2. Debit Card: Convenient, widely accepted and fast transfers. Fees are cheaper than using a credit card, but transfers may be subject to a limit.  
  3. Credit Card: Similar to funding transfers by debit card, it has extra protection against fraud and disputes. Typically, it has higher fees and is not accepted by all providers.
  4. Digital Wallets: Platforms like PayPal and Skrill are ideal for online transactions. Although transfers are fast, digital wallets have limited acceptance and higher fees than other payment methods. 
  5. Mobile Wallets: Services like Apple Pay and Google Pay are quick and convenient for smartphone users but usually have a much lower transaction limit than card payments or bank transfers. 
  6. Cheque: Traditional method accepted by most banks and some specialist money transfer services. It’s suitable for sending large amounts of money but has much slower processing times and a higher risk of loss or theft.

Cryptocurrency: Fast and secure transfers that can handle large amounts of money. Although fees are lower than traditional methods, they have limited acceptance, and the exchange rate can be highly volatile.

What Details Do I Need to Send Money to Ireland?

You’ll need to provide basic contact information about you and the recipient and details of where you want the money sent. You may also need:

  • If transferring money to an Irish bank:
    • The address of the recipient’s bank.
    • SWIFT/BIC code (8-11 alphanumeric characters) to identify the Ireland bank.
    • IBAN (22 alphanumeric characters) to identify the specific bank account in Ireland.
  • Depending on the amount and nature of the transfer:
    • Recipient’s 7-digit Personal Public Service (PPS) number.
    • Copies of government-issued ID like a driver’s licence or passport.
    • Documents for AML/KYC compliance, such as proof of address.

For transfers made using digital wallets, you may only need the phone number or email address associated with the recipient’s account on the same platform.

Depending on the amount you are sending to Ireland and the purpose, you may need to provide extra documentation to comply with anti-money laundering and Know Your Customer checks. 

Ensure you have accurate and up-to-date information to avoid delays or errors in the transfer process.

How Much Does it Cost to Send Money to Ireland?

Transfer fees for specialist online money transfer services like Remitly and XE are typically between 0.5% and 3% of the transfer amount. Some providers like Wise may also charge an additional fixed fee of 50p to £3 per transfer.

Online remittance services like Western Union and MoneyGram charge around £3 to £10+ per transfer, depending on the amount sent. 

Transfers to popular Irish banks like Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank and TSB usually cost between £10 and £30 per transfer, depending on the type of transfer requested. 

Exchange Rate Markup

The exchange rate markup is the difference between the exchange rate offered to customers and the real mid-market rate at which your provider can convert your currency. 

The higher the markup, the fewer Euros you will get for your pounds.

Generally, providers who don’t charge transfer fees have a larger exchange rate markup to cover their costs and make a profit.

Specialist online money transfer services like Currencies Direct and TorFX usually add a markup of 0.5% and 2% above the mid-market rate. 

Online remittance services have a similar exchange rate markup.

However, the exchange rate markup banks charge to send money to Ireland tends to be significantly higher, ranging from 2% to 5% above the mid-market range. 

Additional Charges

Some providers may have extra fees for specific services or features, such as expedited transfers, currency conversion, or using credit cards for payment.

Specialist online transfer services and online remittance services usually have lower fees for additional services, ranging from £0 to £10+ per transaction.

In contrast, urgent or same-day transfers for bank transfers typically cost between £10 and £50.

How Long Does it Take to Send Money to Ireland?

Depending on your chosen method, sending money to Ireland can take different amounts of time. 

With online money transfer services like Currencies Direct or Remitly, the transfer can be completed within a few minutes to 2 business days.

Online remittance services like Western Union or MoneyGram typically offer same-day or next-day delivery options.

Traditional bank transfers usually take longer, taking 1 to 3 business days to reach the recipient’s account in Ireland. 

Several factors can influence the speed of a transfer when sending money to Ireland from the UK:

  1. Payment Method: Transfers paid for by card are usually faster than those paid by bank transfer. 
  2. Service Provider: Some online money transfer services and remittance companies may prioritise faster transfers for an additional fee.
  3. Bank Processing Times: Some banks may have faster processing systems, leading to quicker transfers.
  4. Currency Conversion: This process can vary depending on the service provider and the currencies involved.
  5. Time of Initiation: Transfers initiated outside of regular banking hours or on weekends and public holidays may experience delays since banks typically process transactions during business hours.
  6. Security Checks: Some transfers may be subject to additional verification and security checks, which can prolong the processing time, especially for large or unusual transactions.

Network Congestion: In the case of cryptocurrency transfers or online transactions, network congestion or high transaction volumes can lead to delays in processing and confirmation times.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I transfer money from a UK bank to an Irish bank account?

Can I use PayPal to send money to Ireland?

Can you send cash in the post to Ireland?

Is it safe to send money to Ireland using online transfer services?

What are the options for sending money to Ireland in emergencies or urgent situations?