Barclays Foreign Exchange: International Money Transfers & ATM Fees Explained
Co-Founder of Monito and money transfer expert, François has been helping Monito’s users navigate the jungle of money transfer fees, bad exchange rates and tricks for the last six years.
Links on this page may earn us an affiliate commission. This does not affect the opinions and recommendations of our editors.Read more
Looking to send money abroad or go jet-setting with your Barclays account? Discover Barclays's fees for international transfers, currency exchange, and for the use of your credit or debit card abroad (including ATM fees). In our comprehensive overview, you'll learn how to save money and how to make smarter decisions about currency exchange.
Monito's Independent Review of Barclays's International Transfers
Barclays is a large, multinational bank headquartered in London in the United Kingdom that has a long and distinguished record in the financial services sector.
Allowing you to send international money transfers to any one of more than 200 countries around the world in over than 50 foreign currencies, Barclays allows international money transfers using online banking services, through the mobile application, over the telephone or by visiting a Barclays branch.
What Are Barclays’s International Wire Fees and Exchange Rates?
When sending money abroad with Barclays, it's worth noting that your fees will vary depending on where you’re sending your money to.
Take a look at the major regions below to get a clear picture of just how much your transfer will cost you:
When Sending Money To a Euro Country
Barclays allows you to send money to Europe, both within and outside the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). You can send Euros through Barclays online banking, their mobile app, over the telephone, or from a branch, at low or no fees.
More specifically, there’re no fees when sending international payments through online banking or the mobile app if you have a personal or Premier account, but you’ll still need to pay the overseas delivery charge when using the app.
Business and Wealth Management accounts will be charged a fee of £5 for SEPA payments and £15 for making a payment through online banking. If you send money internationally at a branch or by telephone, the flat fee is £15 for SEPA and £25-£40 for other international payments, regardless of the type of account.
When sending money abroad with Barclays, bear in mind that the recipient will often need to pay a fee to receive money. For some currencies and countries, Barclays will allow the sender to choose to pay the fee instead.
When Sending Money To the United States
If you have a personal or Premier account with Barclays, the bank will allow you to send money to the U.S. without a fee, provided you’re using online banking or the Barclays mobile app.
Business and Wealth Management accounts will be charged a fee of £15 for making a payment through online banking. The recipient will often need to pay a fee to receive money. Barclays will allow the sender to choose to pay the fee instead.
Barclays charges a fee of between £25-£40 if you want to make a payment at a branch or over the telephone.
When Sending Money To Any Other Country
If your either a personal or a Premier account holder, you can send money to the rest of the world without a fee so long as you’re using online banking or the Barclays mobile app.
There are a small number of countries that you can only send money to by visiting a branch. These include Algeria, Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Falkland Islands, Georgia, Nepal and Uruguay.
Business and Wealth Management accounts will be charged a fee of £15 for making a payment through online banking. The recipient will often need to pay a fee to receive money. Barclays will sometimes allow the sender to choose to pay the fee instead. If you send money internationally at a branch or by telephone, the fee is £15 for SEPA and £25-£40 for other international payments, regardless of the type of account.
Barclays's Exchange Rates
Barclays does list some rates for currency conversion and sending money internationally on their website, although it’s not completely clear what exchange rate will be offered to you until the point at which you actually send the money.
Barclays will show you the rate prior to you paying for a transfer. Fortunately, TransferWise does list the rates that Barclays charges, allowing us to compare rates to the interbank base exchange rate.
As an example, let’s look at the exchange rates for sending £1,000 to Europe and converting to Euros.
- Using the base, interbank exchange rate, 1 GBP is worth 1.132 EUR, so 1,000 GBP is worth 1,132 EUR
- Barclays offers an exchange rate of 1 GBP to 1.102 EUR, so 1,000 GBP is worth 1,102 EUR
- This means you’ll pay around 26.50 GBP / 30 EUR more on top of the base exchange rate if you use Barclays to convert and send money
- Although this is better value than most other UK banks, you’ll still pay more than using a specialist provider
This is why it is generally not recommended to send money internationally with Barclays if you’re looking for the cheapest way to send money abroad, but to compare all providers with Monito and find cheaper alternatives.
Find out more with our complete guide on how banks and money transfer operators make money with hidden fees.
How Long Does Money Take To Arrive Overseas?
Payments from Barclays to some countries can arrive the same day if they’re sent before Barclays cutoff times. For other countries, international money transfers can take anything between one and five business days to arrive.
If you’re in a hurry, try finding the fastest way to send money abroad by comparing all international money transfer services with Monito.
How To Make a Barclays International Money Transfer
Barclays allows you to make international money transfers in several ways.
Sending Money via Barclays Online Banking
- Log in to Barclays online banking
- Once you’re logged in, click the ‘Move money’ tab
- Select ‘International payment’ from the menu
- Follow the on-screen instructions and choose the person or organisation you want to make payments to – you’ll need to use PINsentry to authorise the payment
Sending Money via the Barclays Mobile App
- Log in to the Barclays mobile app
- Tap ‘Pay & transfer’
- Tap ‘Pay a recent or new payee’
- Tap ‘Add new payee’
- Tap ‘Make an international payment’
- Select the account you’d like to make the payment from
- Enter the payment amount and the name of the person you’d like to pay
- Enter the country you’re sending the payment to
- Choose between ‘SWIFT TBC’ or ‘ABA Routing’
- Enter the details for the payment
- Confirm the payment
Note: Fewer currencies are available when you make use of the Barclays mobile app.
Sending Money via Telephone Banking
- Regular telephone banking: Call 0345 734 5345. Outside the UK, dial +44 24 7684 2100.
- Premier telephone banking: Call 08009 24 7 365. Outside the UK, dial +44 161 869 8012.
- Business telephone banking: Call 0345 605 2345. Outside the UK, dial +44 2476 842 091.
- In all cases, you will need a passcode. Listen for the correct option and follow the instructions.
Sending Money via a Barclays Branch
- You will need proof of identity
- You will also need details of the recipient
- The branch staff will talk you through what you need to do
Details of the Beneficiary
However you’re sending money, you will need to provide details of the person receiving money. Typically, the details required are:
- The name on the account you’re sending the money to
- The recipient’s address
- The address of the bank you’re sending the money to
- The recipient’s IBAN or SWIFT code
- In some cases you may need to detail the reason for the international payment
- In some cases you can also send a message along with the payment
What Is the SWIFT Code for Barclays?
If someone needs to send you money from abroad, they’ll need a SWIFT Code. The SWIFT Code for Barclays is: BUKBGB22
What Details Should Someone Use When Sending Me Money From Abroad?
Here’s what you’ll need if someone wants to send money to your Barclays account from abroad.:
- Your International Bank Account Number (IBAN), you can find this on any bank statement
- Barclays SWIFTBIC (Bank Identifier Code): BUKBGB22
- Your sort code – unless you’ve provided your IBAN
- Account number – unless you’ve provided your IBAN
- Your full name
- Your address
- The amount and the currency you’d like to receive the payment in
Barclays charges £6 to receive a payment from overseas, apart from SEPA payments, which are free.
What Monito Likes About Barclays
- As a customer, you can send money very easily;
- Many options & services when sending money abroad;
- Among the lowest fees of any UK bank for sending money internationally;
- Secure transfer with a bank you already trust with your money.
What Monito Dislikes About Barclays
- Hidden fees in the currency exchange rate margin;
- Poor exchange rates compared to specialist money transfer providers;
- Limited visibility of the exchange rate applied to your transfer beforehand;
- You can only send money to a bank account;
- It can take up to five business days for money to arrive.
Alternatives to Barclays
Find the Cheapest Way To Send Money Abroad
Barclays Currency Exchange Service
If you’re travelling abroad and want to exchange [currency] to a foreign currency before your travel, you have several options:
You can choose from free home delivery in the UK or collect foreign currency from a Barclays branch.
- You can order up to £5,000 per person within a 90-day period. A maximum of £2,500 from that amount can be sent for home delivery to a single residential address
- The minimum order amount for collection and delivery is £50
- You’ll need a Barclays debit card or Barclaycard to place an order
- For security reasons, home delivery orders will be delivered to your Barclays debit card or Barclaycard billing address
There is no fee for ordering and receiving foreign currency, unless you fund this with a Barclaycard or other Barclays credit card, where you may be charged a cash fee, in addition to interest. Note that the exchange rates offered by Barclays on foreign currency exchange are not competitive, and you’ll pay a hidden fee due to this exchange rate.
Here’s an example when exchanging 1,000 GBP into USD:
- Using the base, interbank exchange rate, 1 GBP is worth 1.268 USD, so 1,000 GBP is worth 1,268 USD
- Barclays offers an exchange rate of 1 GBP to 1.207 USD, so 1,000 GBP is worth 1,207 USD
- This means you’ll pay around 48 GBP / 61 USD more on top of the base exchange rate if you use Barclays to convert and send money, almost five percent more
You can find much better deals, and pay much less, by comparing international money transfer providers.
Compare Travel Money Services for Any Major Currency
Using Your Barclays Credit Card Abroad
In general, the foreign fees applied for using your Barclays credit card abroad will depend on your credit card. You can compare the options on the Barclays website or learn about innovative multi-currency cards here.
Typically, Barclays charges a foreign transaction fee of 2.99 percent of the total transaction amount when making a purchase abroad.
What Are the Fees for Using Barclays Credit or Debit Cards at an ATM Abroad?
Barclays charges to use ATMs abroad as follows:
- Withdrawing cash using a Barclays debit card: 2.75 percent of the total amount withdrawn, plus a £1.50 non-sterling transaction fee. Note that the ATM operator may also charge additional fees.
- Withdrawing cash using a Barclays credit card: 2.99 percent of the total amount withdrawn, and you will likely be charged interest straightaway and may have an additional cash handling fee. Note that the ATM operator may also charge additional fees.
💡 INSIDER'S TIP
Where possible, pay using the local currency. If you pay in your home currency, you’d more than likely be charged a dynamic currency conversion (DCC), which is often a very bad rate (we've see as high as 5-18%!).
What You Need To Know When Spending Abroad
When spending money abroad, be mindful of the fact that local ATMs or point of sales will often ask you whether you'd like to use your card’s currency (GBP in the case of Barclays) or the local currency (EUR if you were in Paris, for example).
In these circumstance, we'd strongly advise that you make a point of choosing to pay in your local currency to avoid paying a hidden exchange rate margin fee.
What Are the Fees for Paying in Foreign Currencies Online or at a Shop With Barclays Credit or Debit Cards?
Paying with a Barclays debit card abroad will incur a 2.75 percent foreign transaction fee. The VISA or MasterCard exchange rate will apply to your transaction.