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Use our currency quote request tool to compare quotes from multiple currency brokers and get the best possible exchange rate for your currency transfers. Please note: this form is only suitable if you are converting over £10,000. For amounts less than £10,000 please see our Money Transfer App Comparison.




Privacy Note: By requesting a quote Good Money Guide will not add you to any marketing lists.

How to use our currency quote tool to get the best exchange rate:

When you request currency quotes through Good Money Guide we show you five critical pieces of information to help you decide which is the best currency broker to send a large amount of money abroad.

  1. Conversion amount – this is the amount that will ultimately receive
  2. Exchange rates – this is the current mid-market exchange rate and the rate you receive (the difference is the currency brokers mark-up)
  3. Amount – this is the amount you want to convert from the currency you have
  4. Mark up % – this is the percentage difference between the mid-market rate and the rate the brokers has give you
  5. Mark up fee – this is the real cost of the conversion, which has been built into the exchange rate.

How to compare currency quotes and avoid getting overcharged by a currency broker

To compare exchange rates, you need to understand how they are calculated. That is because currency exchange rate quotes are indicative as the underlying exchange rate moves all the time. If a currency broker sends you a quote, it will be indicative and will have changed completely by the time your account is open.

Once you have requested quotes and chosen a currency broker, you need to ask them this very simple question:

“How far from the mid-market are your exchange rates?”

Anything more than 0.5% from the mid-market for a conversion between £50,000 and £250,000 is too expensive. Aim for under 0.3% for between £250,000 and £500,000 and 0.2% for over £500,000.

To clarify, the “mid-market” is the live currency rate between which the banks buy and sell.

You may have noticed that currency brokers do not publish this. That is because most currency brokers’ standard rates are can be higher than what is quoted in our comparison tables as we have worked our exclusive deals with some providers. Whilst standard exchange rates are still a significant discount from the banks who have historically charged around 3-5% for currency conversions who then add fees for international transfers, it is possible to get a much better rate.

So when you compare money transfer services, always go with a broker prepared to offer fixed and transparent exchange rates.

Understand the mark-up

Another way to have a better understanding when comparing currency broker exchange rates, is to know what a broker’s markup is.

You can find this out by asking these two simple questions:

  1. How far is my price from the mid-market?
  2. Is that rate fixed?

You will get an answer as a percentage, i.e. “Our rates are 0.5% from the mid-market.” What this means is that the broker’s fees are 0.5% of the transaction value. So if you are converting £100,000, it will cost you £500 in fees. You won’t see this on a statement because it will be built into the exchange rate, which the broker widens from the mid-market.

For example:

  • If the broker’s percentage from the mid-market was 0.5%, your price would be a little better.
  • You would be selling 100,000.00 Pound Sterling (GBP)
  • You would be buying 125,690 Euros (EUR)
  • Your exchange rate 1.2569
  • Mid-market exchange rate 1.2632
  • The broker has charged you EUR 630 (£500)

There is a difference between the mark-up being fixed and the exchange rate being fixed.

Exchange rates can move around 1% in a day, so the exchange rate you are given is indicative. By the time you get round to opening an account and arranging the transfer, the price will have moved. But if the mark-up is fixed, you know that your exchange rate will always be a set percentage away from the mid-market price.

The importance of timing a large currency transfer

You should also consider the right time to do the actual transaction. Currency prices can move over 5% in a month, so if you are spending too much time on negotiating rates, the actual price may move against you, negating any saving you would have made by using a cheaper provider.

You can use a currency forward to entry stop loss to mitigate this. A currency forward will allow you to lock in an exchange rate for payment later. The benefit of this is that buying currency now won’t cost you any more in the future. The downside is that if the price moves in your favour, you will not benefit from the price reduction.

Using a stop-loss entry order gives you some opportunity to let the rate move in your favour, by allowing it to move against you a bit before doing the deal. However, it stops the price moving a lot against you, protecting most of your downside.

Why use the Good Money Guide?

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“We have two decades experience in the investment industry and through our network of experts, analysts, comparison tools, guides, news, reviews and interviews are able to connect investors to the most appropriate brokers and financial service providers. Find out more about us… Richard Berry, Founder – Good Money Guide
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