SHARE
COPY LINK
PRESENTED BY HARGREAVES LANSDOWN

Five traps to avoid when transferring money to and from the UK

Navigating international finances can be complicated, no matter how seasoned you are at transferring funds overseas. Knowing the common pitfalls of sending money abroad can save you a lot of trouble (and hopefully some money too).

Five traps to avoid when transferring money to and from the UK
Photo: tbtb/Depositphotos

The changeable market keeps most expats on their toes with exchange rates, fees and timings. Whether you’re sending money to friends or family in far-flung places or repatriating money back to the UK, you should know the most common mistakes people make when transferring money internationally.

That’s why we’ve collaborated with international payments specialist Hargreaves Lansdown to help you avoid falling into these traps.

Stop losing money on international transfer fees with Hargreaves Lansdown

1. Forgetting to check the exchange rates

Whether you’re a small business or an individual, chances are you’ve used your bank to make international currency exchanges and transfers. After all, this is the most obvious option. But it’s also often the most expensive option as you could be paying well above the odds.

Even the smallest change in the exchange rate offered by your provider could cost you hundreds of pounds (possibly thousands). So it’s important to shop around for the best rate.

Save as much money as possible by looking at currency specialists, such as Hargreaves Lansdown, as the exchange rates they offer are often better than the banks’. This is especially beneficial when transferring large amounts of currency for more expensive purchases such as property.

2. Paying transfer fees

Although still a common practice, it is unnecessary to fork out extra for high bank transfer fees. Incurring a flat fee can sting if you’re sending relatively small sums across country borders. Some currency specialists offer individuals or small businesses regular payment plans for recurring payments which help to keep costs down.

There are providers, like Hargreaves Lansdown’s currency service, that offer low or no transfer fees. This can save you up to £30 on each and every transaction, which really adds up if you are making multiple transfers or paying invoices. 

3. Making insecure payments

Not all currency specialists are created equal, some are more secure than others. Make sure you’re protected financially from the moment the money leaves your account to when it reaches its destination account.

The terminology can confuse the most clued-up of people but there is a huge difference between whether a firm is authorised or registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Hargreaves Lansdown’s Currency Service is an FCA-authorised service, which in practice means they are legally bound to keep your money transfers separate from their company funds and provide financial safeguards proving their stability.

Whilst registered firms may choose to safeguard your money, they aren’t required to do so. And they don’t have to provide the FCA with as much detail about their business, so the regulator can’t check on their financial health.

4. Leaving it until the last minute

Don’t leave yourself at the mercy of the exchange rate on the day you transfer. If time allows, savvy savers should plan their transfer as far ahead as possible. This gives you more flexibility as you’ll have the option to fix an exchange rate for the future, or target a specific rate. 

If you’re fixing an exchange rate you’ll have the peace of mind to know what a future purchase will cost you, regardless of whether rates move up or down. Targeting a specific rate will enable you to make the most of improvements to rates, but doesn’t offer protection if rates move against you. Both of these options are only available if you plan ahead.

Bypass bad exchange rates with Hargreaves Lansdown

5. Not keeping up to date on the latest news

You wouldn’t expect to be well-versed in current events without consuming the news. The same goes for your finances. Without monitoring the latest market developments it leaves you vulnerable to making the wrong decisions in the fast-moving world of finance.

Stay on top of trends and currency movements and how to best position yourself to take advantage of the highs and avoid the lows. Hargreaves Lansdown offers a free weekly report on their website and via email, making sure you get the most from your payments. Please note, their service does not provide personal advice, but can provide information for you to decide what’s right for you. If you’re unsure please seek advice.

Download your free guide to international currency transfers here.

This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and sponsored by Hargreaves Lansdown July 2018

The Hargreaves Lansdown Currency Service is a trading name of Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management Ltd. One College Square South, Anchor Road, Bristol. BS1 5HL, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as a Payment Institution under the Payment Services Regulations 2017, see www.fca.org.uk. FCA Register number 115248. Registered in England and Wales. Registration number: 1896481.

For members

MONEY

How to save money as a student in Denmark

Life on a student budget doesn't have to be tough in Denmark -- follow these tips to get the most out of the experience at a low price.

How to save money as a student in Denmark

Food

One of the biggest challenges as a student is working out how much money you need to dedicate to the food shop every month, and it can be easy to misjudge, run out of funds and end up living off Denmark’s popular money-saving dish — ketchup on pasta — for weeks.

Denmark has higher food prices than many other countries, which have only got more expensive in recent months, so finding the right balance can be a challenge, but there are a few tricks you can use to make it easier.

Once you have your student card, after you’ve enrolled at your university, you can use it at many restaurants and cafes to get discounts, (studierabat) including the big chains like Burger King and Bar’Sushi

 
It’s worth keeping in mind that you might be asked need to show an indskrivningsbekræftelse — confirmation of current enrolment — along with your student card. These can normally be downloaded digitally from your college or university’s self-service platform and saved onto your smart phone or printed.
If you want a unique dining experience in Copenhagen, it’s worth trying out Fællesspisning at Absalon, a former church turned community events venue in the Vesterbro district.
 
Absalon offers a communal dining initiative, where everyone pays the same to eat the same vegetarian meal together. An evening meal costs 50 kroner from Sunday to Thursday. On Friday and Saturday you get two dishes for 100 kroner. Tickets are sold online and there are often events on after the meal, which starts at 6pm. Lunch and breakfast is also available at the location but not as communal dining. 
 
 
On a student budget you won’t be eating out every day of course, but there are ways to save money on groceries. Through the app Too Good To Go, you can buy unsold food from bakeries, cafes and restaurants at their closing times, which saves on food waste, as well as your money. All you have to do is download the app, look for surplus food in your local area, arrange a pick up time, pay through the app (as little as 24 kroner) and collect. 

Menucard offers discounts at cafes, bars, restaurants if you work for a company that is a member of the scheme.

The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) gives you a 35 percent discount on your first HelloFresh meal kit delivery and 10 percent on 25 orders after that.

Coffee

Late nights are a guarantee at university, and in that scenario, coffee can be a necessity. In Denmark it doesn’t always come cheap, where you can easily pay 35 kroner or more for a cappuccino or latte.

One of Denmark’s biggest bakery chains, Lagkagehuset, offers students a 30 percent discount on all warm drinks. If you enjoy bread and pastry, it’s also worth downloading their app where you can earn points every time you spend, to then use in the bakery.

For an even cheaper cup of takeaway coffee, try 7-Eleven where anyone with a student card gets 25 percent off any size of coffee. A student card will also get you a bottle of Coca-Cola, Pepsi or Faxe Kondi for 8 kroner. 

The coffee chain Espresso House has an app you can download to pay for your coffee, which means you get 10 percent off, as well as other extra discounts and every 10th coffee for free.

If you’ve got a favourite local coffee shop, it’s well worth checking if they have any offers for students as well. For example, the Blue Bike Cafe in Copenhagen, offers a 10 percent student discount on all food and drink and Lima Aarhus has a 15 percent student discount on the entire bill, as well as 25 percent student discount on coffee every Thursday.

Travel

Denmark has a travel youth card calledungdomskort, which allows people aged 16 to 19 or in SU-eligible higher education to travel for free on bus, metro or train to and from their place of study. You can get the ungdomskort as a card or an app.

READ ALSO: SU: Can foreigners receive Denmark’s state student grant?

Other student discounts are available through the scheme, such as 20 percent off when you travel by train between regions, or travelling at a child fare rate outside your own zone area on Zealand, Lolland, Falster and Møn. DSB also offers discount prices on its orange tickets to those under the age of 26 with an ungdomskort.

With some of Denmark’s coastlines being difficult to reach by public transport, you may want to rent a car.

Car rental company Hertz offers a 15-20 percent student discount on their smaller cars as long as you are at least 19 years old and have held a driving license for 1 year.

Going further afield? Interrail Global Pass allows you to travel in up to 33 European countries for a fixed, low price for up to three months and Hotels.com gives students a 10 percent discount.

SAS offer discounts on flights on their Youth tickets, if you’re under the age of 26.  The booking agent Kilroy also offers discounts to students with the International Student Identity Card (ISIC). A student card also gets you a 10-15 percent discount on Flixbus which is a money-saving way to travel across Denmark and Europe by bus.

Sport

Watching a Danish football match is surprisingly affordable.

If you’re studying in the country’s second-biggest city and university town Aarhus, students and young people under 18 can buy an AGF season ticket for just 49 kroner a month.

In Aalborg, a ticket to watch AaB costs just 80 kroner for students. These discounted tickets can only be bought at the ticket booths at Aalborg Portland Park, which opens 1-2 hours before the start of the match.

Students are able to watch one of Denmark’s best football teams, FC Midtjylland, as well as the handball team HC Midtjylland and ice hockey team Herning Blue Fox, for just 15 kroner a ticket, thanks to a collaboration with Education Herning.

If you’d rather get involved in actually playing a sport, many amateur clubs and teams, as well as gyms and classes, have reduced rates for students, making it an affordable activity to try. University sports societies offer a range of sports usually at cheaper prices than classes open to the general public.

Culture

Theatres, museums, cinemas, concert halls can all give discounts if you show your student card. 

At Aarhus Theatre, students and people under 25 can purchase tickets to any performance on the grand stage at just 85 kroner.

An annual pass to the National Gallery of Denmark costs 195 kroner for those under the age of 27 or 95 kroner for a single ticket.

Musikhuset Aarhus has a ‘Klub Hund’ for 18-28 year olds, where tickets priced at 100 kroner are available the day before certain performances and sent to your mobile phone.

Young opera at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen (Det Kongelige Teater) is an offer for everyone between 15 and 30 years old to see four selected performances at the opera for 155 kroner per ticket. There are alternative introductions and cheap food and drinks too.

You may also want to keep up with Danish news while you’re spending time in the country. The Local offers a 50 percent student discount on Membership, giving you unlimited access to all our content for just €24.99 a year, reduced from €49.99. Find out more here.

SHOW COMMENTS