When it comes to foreign currency transfers, most of us think it can be a tad complicated and we simply arrange a direct transfer online through our bank account for the convenience. However we looked into the process and found it’s worthwhile to spend just a little bit of time to set up an account and that it really is possible to save money by using a currency dealer.
Can I really save by using a currency dealer versus a bank?
Absolutely. You can definitely make savings by using a currency broker rather than a bank because the rates are usually in the client’s favour. Most brokers don’t charge a fee either so that’s an additional saving.
Do I have to transfer money to a currency company’s account before conversion is done?
Yes you do but its a simple process. If you want to carry out a transaction you need to first register with a broker. You’ll get a dedicated point of contact and you’ll be able to discuss rates and agree a rate that’s right for you with advice on just what is and isn’t realistic. Once agreed the rate is locked in and you have 5 working days to send your funds to the broker in order to complete the transaction. Once the funds have been received they will then be sent straight away to the account you specify.
I’m buying a house in France but don’t need to transfer the payment for 3 months, can I make savings by talking to a currency company now or should I wait until I need to transfer the money?
As the exchange rate market is constantly going up and down, when it comes to large sums of money, it’s definitely worth starting to monitor exchange rates in advance of the date that you need the transaction to be made. Once you’ve registered with a currency broker they can update you on market movements and monitor rates on your behalf. Brokers can offer the chance to agree a rate up to two years in advance of the required transaction date (unlike banks which can’t do this), so you may be able to lock in a rate that’s in your favour. It doesn’t cost anything to discuss this and there’s no obligation but for some this could lead to securing a favourable rate in advance.
I have to pay a mortgage and bills in France which means I have to transfer money each month – is this something I should consider doing through a currency dealer? Will it save me money or is the amount, for instance Euros 1000 too low?
For regular payments it is certainly worth speaking with a broker. Savings available on smaller regular transactions aren’t as big as you’ll make on a larger amount but if you take it over a year, then you’ll find its absolutely worthwhile. If you set up a ROPS (Regular Overseas Payments) plan with your currency broker it will also save you time, the payments will be made regularly so you don’t have to remember (or forget!).
The Good Life France uses OFX Global Money Transfers. Registration is easy, secure and is a one time set up. After that you just log on and manage your currency transfers when you want to but there’s always someone on the end of the line to talk to you when you need it.