If you’re transferring money to Australia from the UK in large amounts from your house sale, you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your money. (The same applies no matter where you’re moving from but moving to Australia from the UK is my personal experience – you can find out more about my moving story here.)
If you’re looking for the best way to transfer money to Australia to start your new life, I hope this post helps you choose the best money transfer service for your needs.
If you’re relocating and looking for the best way to send money to Australia, there are a few things to consider before you make your currency transfer. The same considerations apply if you live in Australia and you’re planning on transferring money from Australia to the UK or anywhere else in the world. I’ve lived in Australia for almost seven years now and am amazed at how often I still need to move money backwards and forwards between countries (for gifts, to pay bills or to receive my business income).
This post contains affiliate links. The full disclaimer is available in the footer. This post does not offer financial advice. You are encouraged to shop around for the best deal when moving your money to Australia and do your own due diligence.
Advice given in this article is general in nature and is not intended to influence readers’ decisions about investing or financial products. You should always seek your own professional advice that takes into account your own personal circumstances before making any financial decisions.
I personally made mistakes when we were transferring money to Australia for our move. I didn’t fully research the company I used to send our money to Australia from our house sale, and I didn’t feel very supported through the experience. We hit a couple of problems and this caused delays in our money transfers.
I can’t highlight enough that although you want to find the cheapest way to transfer money internationally, the absolute cheapest isn’t always the best – customer service counts for a lot too and it is possible to find a service that is both cheap and reliable too! That right there is the sweet spot and once you find the best way to send money abroad, you can stick with it and continue to use that company well after your move so doing a bit of research now will pay off in the long term.
Want to get started right away and move your money with my website partner, OFX? Get great rates and pay zero OFX fees* Click here to get started.
*Min transfer $250, third party fees by apply.
Watch this interview I did with Ed Wiley from OFX about moving your money to Australia.
Table of Contents
Where to begin: Transferring money to Australia from UK
[Please note, as of May 2021 the regulations have changed on moving money into Australian bank accounts from abroad before you arrive due to requirements from the Australian Taxation Office. Banks are now required to collect tax residency information from customers and if a customer has not provided a valid self-certification that includes the required tax residency information, they will be unable to transfer money into their account until they have validated their account. This means most customers opening an account from overseas will need to arrive in the country before they’re able to move their money into their Australian bank account].
First of all, before you get started you’ll need an Australian bank account. When you’re transferring money to Australia it needs to have somewhere to go when it arrives! I partner with Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and I’m personally a customer of theirs too (you can find out about opening an Australian bank account with Commonwealth from overseas here) The other main banks in Australia are: Westpac, ANZ and NAB. As a guide, it’s a good idea to set up your bank account around two months before you make the move to Australia (Please note: Not all banks in Australia allow you to open accounts from overseas).
Even with the new regulation changes mentioned above, I still think it’s worth opening your Australian bank account from overseas before you move. I’ve written a post about why I think you should open your bank account from overseas here. When you’ve validated your bank account, you can then decide whether it’s worth moving your money to Australia in stages or if you’d rather get it in a single lump sum. The actual process of transferring money from the UK to your Australian bank account is usually really quick so the new rule shouldn’t hold you up for too long.
Read this post about six things to consider when choosing a bank in Australia.
For this post, we’ll assume you’ve got a bank account in Australia waiting for you (again, if you haven’t, you can check out Commonwealth Bank of Australia here) and that you’re ready to make the move to Australia. You’re ready to seriously think about transferring money abroad with a currency transfer from your home currency to arrive in AUD into your Australian bank account…
Things to consider when searching for the best way to send money to Australia
There are a lot of things to consider when you’re looking to send money to Australia. Of course, you want to find the cheapest way to transfer money abroad but you also want to find a safe, easy and reliable way to make a money transfer to Australia. You want to feel supported through the process with amazing customer service and for moving a large amount (like your initial moving and set up funds) you’re likely to want to have your hand held through the process.
Considerations for choosing a money transfer company:
When you’re looking for the best way to send money to Australia (or to transfer money from Australia to the UK or elsewhere overseas), here are some things to think about…
Operating hours: What are the hours of the support team? Does the office close at 5pm or do they offer 24/7 customer support?
Transfer speed: How quickly can transfers take place? When can you expect the money to arrive in your Australian bank account after you make the money transfer to Australia?
Exchange rates: Is the exchange rate significantly better than using your bank to move the money? Is the exchange rate set for a period of time once you get a quote?
Transfer fees: How much is the transfer fee and is this waived for moving a certain amount of money?
Forward contracts: Do you have an option of setting up a forward contract to lock in a particular rate for a period of time?
Alerts: Can you set up alerts to inform you when a certain rate has been reached?
Safety: How safe and reliable is the company? How long has the company been running? What safeguards are in place to protect you and your money?
User experience: How good is the customer service? How user-friendly is the website?
Transfer amount: Is there a minimum or maximum amount you can transfer?
Customer support: Will you have a named contact to offer you support and advice for your global money transfer? Will support be available online 24/7? Are there any additional layers of support available for you? Will you actually have somebody to speak to in real life on the phone?
Compare rates: Have you explored a few different options so you’re sure you’ve found the cheapest way to transfer money internationally? Is the company open to price matching rates from other quotes you’ve received elsewhere?
I advise considering these issues carefully when you’re first deciding how to transfer money abroad to start your new life. Due diligence always pays off.
Want to move your money with my website partner, OFX? Get great rates and pay zero OFX fees* Click here to get started.
How to transfer money abroad
When you’re transferring money to a foreign bank account using a money transfer service, there are a few steps involved and I remember finding it overwhelming as I didn’t understand why I couldn’t just send money to Australia from my UK bank account right into my Australian bank account. When you use a money transfer service like OFX, Wise etc., your money goes via their account before arriving into your Australian bank.
This is roughly how the process of transferring money to Australia usually looks…
1) You register for an account with the money transfer service.
2) You’ll need to validate your identity to prevent fraud. This involves you uploading some identity documents.
3) You’ll be connected with an account manager (if it’s a service where they hold your hand and guide you through it, which I recommend when moving large amounts). If it’s an online-only service you’ll gain access to their service to get started.
4) You ensure your bank accounts are set up within your new money transfer service’s system (they’ll need to know the account you’re transferring money to Australia from and the details of your validated Australian bank account where you want to receive the money).
5) You agree the transfer amount and lock in the rate (you might be ready to move the money now, or you might lock in a rate now for a future transfer).
6) As per the agreement you’ve made with the money transfer company, you make the payment from your bank account to the account provided by the money transfer company using the reference number you’ve been given. If the payment is higher than your bank allows you to pay online, you may need to speak to them on the phone or go in in person with ID to make the transfer.
7) The money arrives with the money transfer company and then immediately transfer it on to your Australian bank account (assuming that is how you set up your transfer to take place – there is also an option to hold the money there but most likely you’ll want to see the money move on straight away to be received by your Aussie bank account).
8) You will be kept informed via email or text through the process (depending on the system you use and what alerts you have set up).
9) The funds will arrive in your Australian bank account.
The end! It doesn’t need to be difficult, and the money can be transferred to Australia very quickly.
Costs to consider when searching for the best way to send money to Australia:
There are a number of costs to consider when searching for the best way to send money to Australia. To make sure you really are choosing the cheapest way of transferring money to Australia, be sure to consider all of the costs that might be involved:
The costs to be aware of when you transfer money overseas are:
There is usually a fee to move your money abroad. Some services waive a transfer fee for amounts over a certain amount, or you might find special links online (such as my affiliate links with my migration industry partners) that give you access to special offers like free transfers. (OFX charge my readers zero fees on transfers over AUD$250 when using this link to open your account).
This is part of the process of getting a quote so you’ll clearly see what rate you’re being quoted to exchange your money into AUD.
Most of the time, fees are incurred at the point of sending but sometimes, as a receiver, you may incur a charge from your bank if you are receiving a foreign income deposit.
Ensure that you understand these fees so that you can fairly compare your money transfer options.
Want to find out about opening a Wise Multi Currency Bank Account to use during your relocation (and beyond)? Find out more here.
Why choose a money transfer service over a bank when transferring money to Australia?
Banks are generally more expensive. They aren’t usually as competitive as a specialist with their exchange rate. They also usually charge a higher fee for the transfer and they can incur a receiver fee. Banks can be slower too. When you’re moving your money to Australia, it’s a good idea to find a specialist company as moving your money to Australia is an important task.
Smart Steps to Australia money transfer partners:
When you’re transferring large amounts of money to Australia from the UK, you should definitely shop around for the best deal. I partner with OFX.
Here are some reasons why I chose OFX as one of my website partners:
- You get full support to move your money. There is a real person for you to speak to! Or you can also set it up online. It’s your choice giving you total flexibility.
- I have two named account managers I’m regularly in contact with so I have someone to turn to if I have any questions.
- They are well-known globally with offices in lots of different countries (the United States, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand…) which means your support is 24/7.
- You can lock in rates for the future before actually moving your money (which is great if you’re moving later in the year
- OFX support 55+ different currencies.
- OFX is rated 4.3 out of 5 on Trust Pilot (4332 reviews at the point of writing this post) with 79% of people saying the service was excellent.
- They notify you when the money has been received and sent on.
- Money can be transferred to Australia in 1 – 2 business days and you can keep an eye on things online or on their app.
- I enjoy partnering with them! I’ve been an affiliate for lots of different services across all different types of relocation and migration industries. This is the only company that made the effort to meet me in person to make sure we were a good fit for one another (in my opinion that counts for a lot!). They reply to emails. They answer my questions (even silly ones!). It’s not just my experience – I’ve heard amazing things from my readers who’ve used them too, like Ruth who sent me the testimonial above). I only partner with businesses that I trust as it’s important to me to know my readers are being well looked after.
It’s still important that you do your own due diligence and check out rates for yourself when deciding how to move your money to Australia. This post is not intended as financial advice.
Transfer your money to Australia now
- If you want to open an account with OFX and get bank-beating rates, and zero OFX fees* click here to get started!