Currency Exchange

Fluctuating currency markets, along with poor exchange rates and unnecessary fees from your bank, mean that you could lose thousands of pounds when transferring money to Spain to pay for a property.

Using a foreign exchange specialist (sometimes referred to as an ‘FX provider’) means getting a better exchange rate, and usually paying a lot less in fees and hidden charges. In fact, you could save up to 5% by choosing one instead of a high street bank.

For example, if you´re thinking on buying a property in Spain for €250,000 and transfer the funds with your bank, it would cost you £204,943 (that’s at the average bank’s exchange rate of €1.22=£1, plus a £25 transfer fee).

However, the same transaction with GCEN (our recommended currency partner) would have cost you £200,000 (by eliminating transfer fees from the picture and using a better exchange rate of €1.25=£1).

Top tips

A foreign exchange specialist will offer a better exchange rate than a high-street bank, won’t charge transfers fees and can offer a wider choice of services that match your specific requirements.

Be aware that the expenses don’t stop once you have completed your move. Many people will still have to transfer money between the UK and Spain even after they have moved. A currency provider can set up a Direct Debit for you and save you money over the years.

Work out when the market’s in your favour; sign up to market newsletters, rate alerts email notifications, and so forth.

Currency exchange when selling a property

When selling a property in Spain, you are likely to want to transfer a large sum of money back to the UK. When transferring a large sum, the exchange rate again becomes all-important.

A ‘forward contract’ can be ideal in this situation. If today’s rates look good, but you don’t need to transfer your money until a later date – for example, three months – a forward contract could help. It is the currency world’s version of ‘buy now, pay later’. A small deposit will fix today’s exchange rate and it’s yours for up to a year.

Currency markets are constantly fluctuating, so when moving a large sum of money, taking advantage of exchange rates when they are in your favour could literally save you thousands.

Paying your mortgage or sending living funds

Whether you’re thinking of living in Spain permanently or regularly using a holiday home, you may find yourself making regular transfers from the UK – perhaps paying a mortgage, transferring your pension or paying yourself living costs. In this case, look for a regular transfer service – which is ideal for these types of weekly, monthly or quarterly payments. It’s usually Direct Debit driven, and the savings on transfer fees is considerable when compared to the usual transfer fees of typically £20 to £40 that banks impose.

Learn about your options

Every type of overseas money transfer has a service tailored to help you. Learn to discern which products will work best for you and make your life easier – as well as making your money go further.

Spot Contracts

Buy currency now, for immediate requirements. Use for:

Paying invoices in another country

Moving money quickly across your accounts

Sending money to a friend or family member

Forward Contracts

Fix a rate for up to a year, by paying a small deposit today. Use for:

Buying or selling property abroad

Big international purchases

Transferring your life savings

Regular Transfers

Set up a Direct Debit and even fix the exchange rate for up to one year. Use for:

Paying your mortgage

Pension transfers overseas

Transferring regular living funds

Limit Orders

Set an automated currency purchase when your target exchange rate is reached. Use for:

Maximum benefit when exchange rates move in your favour

Transfers that are not time sensitive

Six top reasons for using a foreign exchange specialist

With foreign exchange markets in a period of fluctuations, people need to develop a clear strategy on how to manage their own currencies. To help minimise the risk of currency fluctuations and to ensure that you secure the most favourable rate, it is wise to turn to a currency specialist to help ensure that you get the best possible deal.

Better exchange rates. Exchange rates can vary widely, with some of the best deals available through specialist foreign exchange providers, as opposed to banks, which generally offer a much lower rate in comparison.

No hidden fees or charges. FX providers generally do not charge transfer fees every time you transfer money abroad, as opposed to banks which typically charge an average fee of £25 per transaction. Some also charge a receiving fee.

Personal service. A currency expert will always be on hand to help you. Whether it’s a one-off payment or regular transfers, they will guide you every step of the way.

Trade when it suits you. Most foreign exchange specialists offer you a 24/7 online money transfer service that enables you trade anywhere and at any time.

Fast transfers. While it can often take a bank a whole working week to transfer money overseas, a transaction can often be completed within a day or two with most FX providers.

Protection and security. Whichever foreign exchange provider you use; it is crucial that they are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

How to monitor the Markets

Foreign exchange providers are dedicated to staying on top of the currency markets, but not everyone else has the time. If you’re in that camp, then there are a few tools that you might find useful.

Rate Watch

Setting up a rate watch is basically a way to tell your foreign exchange specialist what exchange rate you’re interested in, and what you think is an acceptable deal. They then assign a member of their expert team to monitor the markets for you, who will notify you when the rate becomes available.

Banks simply don’t have the time to offer this service. Most importantly, when your desired rate arrives, you’re under no obligation to actually trade. It’s just a great way to keep abreast of what’s happening in the currency market so you know when the best time is to start trading if you need to.

Email Notifications

Stay up to date with rate exchanges and market updates. Most currency providers frequently offer their customers a variety of newsletter options to sign up to, which include daily market analysis, weekly market analysis, rate alerts, plus more.

Social Media

YouTube daily market analysis podcasts, Facebook posts, tweets or even infographics in Pinterest – foreign exchange companies are embracing all social media platforms to bring to their customers all the latest news of the currency market. Join their social networks, follow them, favourite their posts and even have live conversations on Twitter!

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