Approximately 20,000 British expats travel across the Atlantic to the USA yearly, making it one of the most popular countries to move to.

However, sending money to the USA from the UK can be more complicated,

With transfer fees, exchange rates and processing speeds varying dramatically between providers, deciding which service is right for you can be confusing.

In this article, I will explain your options so you can decide the best way to send money to the USA.

Send Money to the USA

Best Way to Send Money to the USA from the UK

For most people, I think the best way to send money to the USA from the UK is through reliable and trusted money transfer services like Currencies Direct, TorFX, or OFX. 

These online transfer providers offer competitive exchange rates and low fees, making sending money to the USA secure and cost-effective. 

However, whilst money transfer services are faster than other methods, some providers impose transfer limits, which may make it unsuitable for sending large amounts of money to the USA.

Another popular option is bank transfers through banks like NatWest and RBS, as they offer a familiar, secure and reliable service. 

However, while bank transfers offer convenience, they’re often slower, have higher transfer fees, and have a less favourable exchange rate, making them less cost-effective than online money transfer services.

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

CompanyTransfer Fee (£100)Exchange Rate (£100)Transfer Fee (£2,000)Exchange Rate (£2,000)Learn More
TorFX£01.2625£01.2625Visit TorFX
OFX£01.2582£01.2584Visit OFX
Currencies Direct£01.2570£01.2571Visit Currencies Direct
Wise£1.121.26315£9.021.26315Visit Wise
XE£1.991.25800£01.25790Visit XE
Remitly£1.991.2519 (card)1.2570 (bank transfer)£1.991.2557 (card)1.2601 (bank transfer)Visit Remitly
Atlantic£31.263400£31.263400Visit Atlantic

TorFX is the cheapest way to send money to the USA.

Offering a competitive rate of 1.2625, TorFX doesn’t charge transfer fees.

At first glance, this looks highly cost-effective. However, you should be aware of hidden fees such as the exchange rate markup.

Exchange rate markup is the difference between the rate at which your provider can convert currency and the rate they offer. 

The closer your exchange rate is to the interbank rate, the lower the markup is, and the cheaper it is to send money to the USA.

At the time of writing, the interbank rate for converting GBP to USD is 1.2628.

Depending on the amount you wish to transfer to the USA, paying a transfer fee may be more cost-effective to access a more favourable exchange rate.

For example, whilst Atlantic charges a flat £3 transfer fee, it also offers the highest exchange rate, which is actually above the interbank rate at the time of writing. You could receive more dollars using a provider without transfer fees depending on how much you wish to transfer.

Other factors that can influence the cost of your transfer to the USA include how you pay for your transfer.
Remitly offers a more favourable exchange rate for transfers paid by bank transfer than those paid by credit or debit card, enabling you to get more US dollars for your money.

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

CompanyTransfer SpeedLearn More
RemitlyFew minutes (card) or within 2 hours (bank transfer)Visit Remitly
Currencies DirectSame business day if payment received by 5 pmVisit Currencies Direct
TorFXSame business day to 2 business daysVisit TorFX
Atlantic1 – 3 business daysVisit Atlantic
OFX1 – 4 business daysVisit OFX
Wise1 – 4 business daysVisit Wise
XE1 to 4 business daysVisit XE

Remitly is the fastest way to send money to the USA, with transfers usually received within 2 hours, depending on the payment method. 

However, most providers have a similar, if not identical, transfer speed, usually ranging between 1 and 4 business days. 

Some services also offer faster delivery for an additional fee. For example, Atlantic’s express service costs 0.1% of the amount transferred, which is ideal if the recipient needs to receive the funds quickly. 

It’s worth noting that the transfer process can only begin when your chosen provider has received payment. While card payments can be received in a few minutes, bank transfers and direct debits could take up to 3 business days, delaying your transfer to the USA.

Can I Send Money to the USA Online?

Yes, sending money to the USA online is convenient and straightforward.

You can transfer money to the USA online by using:

  • Money Transfer Services: Companies like Currencies Direct, TorFX, and OFX specialise in international money transfers. It only took me a few minutes to set up an account on their websites, allowing me to transfer money from my bank account to US banks such as Chase and Bank of America.
  • Bank Transfers: UK banks like Halifax, RBS and NatWest offer online banking services that allow you to transfer money from your UK bank account to the USA. You can usually do this by logging into your online banking portal and initiating a transfer to the recipient’s US bank, such as SunTrust.
  • International Wire Transfers: Many UK banks offer international wire transfer services, allowing you to send money directly to the recipient’s US bank, like Citibank. You can initiate these transfers through your bank’s online banking platform or by visiting a branch.
  • Online Payment Platforms: Platforms like PayPal, Revolut, and Skrill enable you to send money to the USA online. You can link your UK bank account or debit/credit card to your account on these platforms and send money to the recipient’s email address or account details.
  • Cryptocurrency Transfers: Some people use platforms like Coinbase or Binance to buy cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum using their UK bank account or debit/credit card and send them to a recipient’s digital wallet in the USA.

Digital Wallets: Services like Google Pay or Apple Pay enable you to send money to individuals in the USA. You can link your UK bank account or debit/credit card to your digital wallet and use the recipient’s email address or phone number to send them money.

Best Way to Send Large Amounts of Money to the USA

CompanyTransfer LimitLearn More
Currencies DirectNo limitVisit Currencies Direct
OFXNo limitVisit OFX
TorFXNo limitVisit TorFX
Wise£5,000,000 per transferVisit Wise
Atlantic$1,000,000 (£792,531.20 at the time of writing)Visit Atlantic
XE£350,000 per transactionVisit XE
RemitlyTiered limits for specific periods that vary for each account. 24-hour limits: £5,000 to £25,000. 30-day limits: £15,000 to £25,000. 180-day limits: £50,000 to £150,000.Visit Remitly

Currencies Direct, OFX and TorFX are the best ways to send large amounts of money to the USA.

These specialised online money transfer services don’t limit the amount you can transfer, giving you greater flexibility to send large amounts of money from the UK to the United States.

When I signed up for an account, a dedicated account manager called me to help me navigate the transfer process, provide a personalised service and ensure I got the best exchange rates. 

As you can see from the table, transfer limits vary widely between providers, with some having per-transaction limits, whilst others, such as Remitly, have restrictions on the amount you can send within a specific period.

It’s essential to check the maximum amount you send to the USA to ensure your chosen provider meets your needs.

Safest Way to Send Money to the United States

The safest way to send money to the US from the UK is to use trusted and reputable money transfer services or banks with strong security measures. 

Look for providers that use encryption and other advanced security measures to protect your personal and financial information during the transfer process.

Ensure that the provider is licensed and regulated by relevant authorities in both the UK and the US. This helps ensure compliance with legal and regulatory standards, which adds an extra layer of security.

In the UK:

  • Financial Conduct Authority (FCA): The regulatory body for financial services firms and financial markets.
  • Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA): Responsible for the prudential regulation and supervision of banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers, and major investment firms in the UK.

In the USA:

  • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC): The independent bureau of the US Department of the Treasury regulates and supervises national banks and federal savings associations.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB): An independent agency of the US government responsible for consumer protection in the financial sector.

Can I Set Up Regular Payments to the USA?

Yes, you can set up regular payments to the USA from the UK. 

Many banks and money transfer companies such as OFX, TorFX and Wise offer services that allow you to schedule recurring payments at specified intervals, such as weekly, monthly, or quarterly.

To set up regular payments, you typically need to provide the recipient’s details, including their bank account information in the USA, the amount to be transferred, and the frequency of the payments. 

Once set up, the payments will be automatically processed according to your chosen schedule, making regular expenses like bills, mortgage payments, or sending money to family in the USA more convenient.

It’s vital to ensure that you have sufficient funds to cover the scheduled payments and review and update the payment details as needed to reflect any changes in the recipient’s information or payment amount.

Send Money to Businesses in the USA

Online money transfer services such as Currencies Direct and TorFX are usually the best way to send money to businesses in the USA. 

These providers offer specialised business services with competitive exchange rates and lower fees. 

Direct bank transfers are a common and secure way to send money to businesses in the USA. However, they’re also slower, have higher transfer fees, and have a less favourable exchange rate than online money transfer services. 

Larger businesses may benefit from using corporate banking services offered by major banks with a global presence, such as Starling, Revolut and Payoneer. These services provide tailored solutions for international payments, including multi-currency accounts and international wire transfers. 

However, the services often have higher fees and a minimum transaction limit, making them less flexible than specialist online money transfer services.

How to Send Money to the USA

There are several ways to fund your transfer from the UK to the USA.

  1. Bank Transfer: Mainly used for large transfers, bank transfers are usually slower than card payments but often have lower costs and a more favourable exchange rate. 
  2. Debit Card: Faster than a bank transfer, debit card transactions are a convenient and straightforward way to send money to the USA. However, your debit card provider may restrict the amount of money you can transfer in a single day, making it less suitable for large transfers.
  3. Credit Card: Transfers funded by credit cards may come with additional benefits such as enhanced consumer protection and cashback. However, using a credit card may incur additional fees and interest charges, making your transfer to the USA more expensive.
  4. Standing Orders: You can set up standing orders from your UK bank account to regularly transfer a fixed amount to the recipient’s US bank like Chase, Citibank or Bank of America. Whilst reliable, this method only suits recurring payments, and funds may take longer to receive than those paid by card.
  5. Prepaid Cards: You can load a card with funds online or through participating retailers and use them to make transfers to the USA. Prepaid cards aren’t directly linked to your bank account, reducing the risk of fraud, but some businesses may not accept them, limiting their use.
  6. Digital Wallets: Platforms such as Google Pay and Apple Pay are fast and convenient ways to send money to the USA. However, many impose transaction limits, which could be an issue for large transfers.

What Details Do I Need to Send Money to the USA?

To send money to the USA, you typically need the following details:

Your Details:

  • Your complete legal name, email address, phone number, and residential address are needed for identification and to meet regulatory requirements.
  • Payment information, including bank details or credit/debit card number.

Recipient’s Details:

  • The recipient’s full legal name and their residential or business address in the USA.
  • Information for the transfer destination, such as the recipient’s US bank account number, mobile number, or email address.
  • If sending to a US bank account, you’ll need:
    • The recipient’s 9-digit bank routing number, which identifies their bank or financial institution.
    • The SWIFT/BIC code, an 8 to 11 alphanumeric character code, if necessary, to identify the recipient’s bank.
    • The recipient’s Tax Identification Number (TIN) for tax purposes, if applicable.

Transfer Details:

  • The reason for the transfer, for example, personal remittance, business payment, or purchase of goods or services.
  • The amount in GBP you wish to send, which your provider will convert into US dollars.
  • A transaction reference for the recipient to identify the transaction easily.
  • Any specific instructions or details about the transfer, like how often you’ll send payments, any special handling needed, or instructions for the recipient.

Unlike most European countries, the USA doesn’t use IBANs (International Bank Account Numbers) for international transfers.

Instead, if you’re sending money to a US bank like Chase, Bank of America or Citibank, you’ll need a 9-digit bank routing number and the 8 to 11-character alphanumeric SWIFT/BIC code to identify the recipient’s bank. 

It’s essential to double-check the information before initiating the transfer to avoid any errors or delays in the transfer process.

How Much Does it Cost to Transfer Money to the USA?

When transferring money to the USA from the UK, here’s a breakdown of the costs you might encounter:

Transfer Fees

Most money transfer services and banks charge a fee for sending money internationally. 

These fees vary widely depending on the provider and the amount you’re sending. Some providers show it as a flat fee ranging from £3 to 5, a percentage between 0.5% and 3% or, in Wise’s case, a mixture of both.

Some providers offer discounted transfer fees (or none) for new customers or large transactions, while others increase their prices with larger amounts, incurring higher fees, so you may need to shop around to find the best deal.

Exchange Rate Markup

You’ll encounter an exchange rate when you convert your pounds into US dollars. 

This rate might differ from the “mid-market” rate on financial websites like Google Finance.

Money transfer services and banks often add a markup to the exchange rate, especially if they don’t charge transfer fees. This markup means you’ll get slightly fewer dollars for your pounds. 

This markup can vary between providers and significantly affect the amount of money your recipient receives.

The closer the exchange rate is to the interbank rate, the lower the markup is.

Additional Charges

Some providers may levy additional charges or hidden fees, such as processing fees or intermediary bank charges.

It’s essential to review the provider’s terms and conditions carefully to understand all potential charges associated with the transfer.

Speed of Transfer

Faster transfer options, such as same-day or next-day transfers, may incur higher fees than standard transfer options, which take a few business days to complete. 

Consider your urgency and willingness to pay extra for expedited transfer services.

Payment Method

The method you use to fund the transfer can also impact the overall cost. 

For example, using a credit card may incur more fees than funding a bank or debit card transfer.

How Long Does it Take to Send Money to the USA? 

Sending money to the USA from the UK usually takes a few business days. The exact time it takes can vary depending on factors like the transfer method you choose and the service provider you use.

If you send money through a bank transfer, it might take 3 to 5 business days for the funds to reach the recipient’s US bank account. Some banks offer faster transfer options for an additional fee, which can take 1 to 2 business days.

Using online money transfer services like Wise, XE, or PayPal can also speed up the process. With these services, the transfer can often be completed within 1 to 3 business days, sometimes even faster for certain options.

Other factors that can impact the speed of sending money to the USA include:

  • Recipient’s Bank: Some banks in the USA process incoming transfers more quickly than others.
  • Time of Day and Day of Week: Transfers initiated outside of regular banking hours or during weekends or holidays may experience delays as banks may not process transactions until the next business day.
  • Verification and Compliance Checks: Money transfer services and banks may conduct verification and compliance checks, especially for larger transfers or transactions involving new recipients. These checks can add additional processing time to the transfer.
  • Currency Conversion: If the transfer involves currency conversion, the speed may be affected by factors such as market volatility and the availability of liquidity in the foreign exchange market.

Transfer Amount: Larger transfers may require additional verification and compliance checks, leading to longer processing times than smaller transfers.


  1. Provider Selection
    1. The money transfer providers included in the article were selected based on their reputation, reliability, and popularity among users in the UK and USA. 
    2. The selected providers represent a diverse range of options, including traditional banks, online money transfer services, and digital payment platforms to reflect the diverse needs of users.
  2. Criteria for Consideration
    1. Exchange Rates: The competitiveness of each provider’s exchange rate.
    2. Transfer Fees: The transparency and affordability of transfer fees charged by each provider.
    3. Transfer Speed: The efficiency and speed of transfer processing times offered by each provider.
    4. Transfer Limits: The flexibility and maximum limits each provider imposes on the amount of money that can be transferred.
    5. Regulatory Compliance: The adherence of each provider to regulatory standards and licensing requirements in the UK and USA.
    6. User Experience: The ease of use and accessibility of each provider’s online platform or mobile app.
    7. Customer Service: The availability and quality of each provider’s customer support services.
    8. Security: Implementing advanced security measures and encryption protocols to protect users’ personal and financial information.
  3. Disclaimers
    1. Users should conduct their own research and consider their individual needs and preferences before selecting a money transfer provider.
    2. The article provides informational guidance and does not constitute financial advice. Users should consult financial professionals for personalised recommendations based on their circumstances.
    3. While efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information presented, changes in market conditions or provider policies may occur over time.
    4. Users are encouraged to verify the latest exchange rates, fees, and terms of service directly with the chosen money transfer provider before initiating any transactions.

FAQs on Money Transfers to USA

Are there any limits on how much money can be sent from the UK to the USA?

What are some tips for choosing the right money transfer service for sending money from the UK to the USA?

How do exchange rate fluctuations affect the amount received by the recipient in the USA?

What are the options for sending money from the UK to the USA if I don’t have a bank account?

What are the options for sending money from the UK to the USA in emergencies or urgent situations?

What are the options for sending money from the UK to the USA for educational or tuition purposes?

You can use international wire transfers through banks, online money transfer services like Wise or XE, or specialised educational payment platforms like Flywire. These services offer competitive exchange rates, transparent fees, and convenient transfer methods tailored to educational payments. Some institutions may offer discounted or specialised rates for academic transfers, so it’s worth exploring options to optimise cost-effectiveness and convenience.