Making your money go further

By David Kerns [email protected]

Head of Private Clients for Moneycorp, one of the UK’s leading foreign exchange and international money transfer providers.

When making international money transfers, it’s important that you get as many euros for your pounds as possible.

Transferring your currency overseas – whether you’re paying for a property deposit, making regular mortgage transfers or transferring any sum of money between your bank accounts – is often left to the last minute, which can cost you thousands of pounds due to currency fluctuations.

Timing your transaction is key

Never underestimate the value of a good exchange rate. Currency markets are constantly fluctuating and making your transaction at the right time can make a big difference to the amount of money you have to start your new life overseas.

For example, if you were buying a villa in Portugal worth €150,000, transferring your pounds on the dates specified below, the property would have cost you:

28 January 2010: £129,310

01 March 2010: £137,299

That’s a difference of £7,989 in just over one month!

Currency experts like Moneycorp can tailor their services to suit your needs to make sure you trade when exchange rates are in your favour.

Foreign exchange (FX) – The basics

There are various options open to you when using a currency specialist to transfer funds to and from Portugal. To help you get to grips with the tools and products that a currency specialist is likely to offer, see below for a brief outline.

Spot contracts

Buy or sell a currency for immediate delivery. Spot contracts are suitable if you want to receive your currency quickly and efficiently.

Forward contracts

Book to buy/sell your currency in the future, at a rate you fix today. Forward contracts can help protect against adverse currency movements and can be used to lock into favourable exchange rates.

Stop loss orders

Set a minimum level at which you will buy/sell your currency. Your order will be fulfilled automatically if this rate is reached in the markets. Effectively, this guarantees a minimum rate at which your currency will be exchanged.

Limit orders

Set a higher target exchange rate at which you will buy/sell your currency. Your order will be fulfilled automatically if this rate is reached in the markets. Effectively, this guarantees a maximum rate at which your currency will be exchanged. If you run a limit order in parallel with a stop loss order, the exchange rate at which you trade is guaranteed within a given range – which means you can plan ahead more effectively.

Regular payments

If you need to make regular international payments, you can arrange an automated ’regular payment plan’. This type of service takes the hassle out of regular overseas transfers, as the funds can be collected by Direct Debit and automatically sent abroad.

There are a range of different plans out there, allowing you to fix the sterling amount sent or the foreign currency amount received – or both. Plus, you can pick from a range of payment frequencies (ranging from weekly to annual).

Using an international money transfer specialist like Moneycorp to take care of all your payments to and from Portugal can help. Their experts make the process quick, easy and highly cost-effective. Contact Moneycorp in Portugal on 800 863 328 or in the UK on +44 (0)20 7589 3000 or visit their website

To find out how Moneycorp can help you save money on your exchange rate, please click on the Moneycorp button on the right hand side.