Author, Mike Smith
I’ll explain what Natwest charges for an international payment, how long it takes, the information you will need, and how you can make a Natwest international transfer.
Hopefully, it will save you time reading pages of bank jargon and complicated fee schedules.
Natwest international transfer fees
If you carry out a regular international payment with Natwest, the transfer fee is 0.3% of the amount sent, although there is a maximum of £40.
As a quick example; on a £10,000 international transfer, you would pay a £30 fee.
If you use the Natwest internet banking service (ibanking plus), the fees are slightly different.
- Under £5,000, there is a flat fee of £15.
- Over £5,000, the fee is 0.3% with a maximum of £40.
Other Natwest fees
Natwest also has various other fees.
I’ll talk you through each type below.
If you want to speed up the time taken for an international payment, Natwest charges an additional £15 priority payment fee.
You may also find that Natwest adds a £10 agents fee to the cost of your international payment.
An agents’ fee is essentially a fee paid to another bank who helps facilitate your international transfer. Natwest says it will be added “where applicable”. Not very enlightening, I’m afraid.
If you are planning to receive money from abroad, Natwest also charge a £7.50 recipient fee for payments over £100.
In many ways, the fees are just a distraction.
For most international money transfers, the bulk of the cost is from the exchange rate.
If you want to avoid paying bank fees for your international payment, you can use a money transfer specialist such as ourselves.
We don’t charge any fees.
Natwest exchange rates (the main cost)
Natwest seem to dedicate a lot of space on their website to the various fees they charge.
In fact, exchange rates barely get a mention.
But the exchange rate is usually the main cost of an international money transfer.
The exchange rates charged by Natwest have a profit margin added to them. In some cases, a rather larger margin.
There is not a standard exchange rate margin used by Natwest for all international payments.
It depends on the currency you need and the size of your money transfer.
As a ballpark, you can expect an exchange rate cost of between 3%-4%, unless you are looking to transfer a large amount (over £50,000).
That is in addition to the various fees mentioned above.
While 3%-4% doesn’t sound like much, when it comes to exchange rates, small differences matter.
As an example; say you are buying a holiday home in France for £50,000.
If Natwest charged you an exchange rate margin of 4%, that would equate to £2,000 in exchange rate costs alone!
You can see how the exchange rate costs can dwarf the fees.
Before using your bank, my advice is to always make a comparison first.
How long do Natwest international payments take?
For a standard transfer, NatWest says it will take 2-4 working days. An urgent transfer will take 1-2 working days, but there is a £15 fee.
Please note there is a daily cut-off time of 3 pm for most international transfers.
It means if your transfer occurs after that time; it will count as the next working day.
The information you will need
To make an international bank transfer with Natwest, you need the following information:
- Recipient name
- International Bank Account Number (IBAN)
- SWIFT / BIC
- Recipient bank name
- Recipient bank address
The recipient can be you or someone else.
An IBAN (international bank account number) is a long string of numbers and letters.
Within an IBAN is a country code, bank code, branch code and account number – that’s why it’s so long.
The easiest way to find the IBAN is to look at a bank statement or ask in a branch.
There are quite a few free online IBAN generators, so I’m not promoting any particular one.
If you’re worried about this part, you can always ask in a Natwest branch or get assistance from a money transfer specialist.
How to make a Natwest international payment
The first thing to do is choose the method of payment you are most comfortable with.
Natwest offers you the choice of:
- Fax or post
- Online banking (£10,000 daily limit)
- Mobile banking (you need to set up an international mandate first)
- Telephone banking (Premier Banking customers only)
Branch: remember to bring your debit card and ID such as a driving license or passport.
Fax or post: you basically have to print off a form, fill out the details, and send it back to Natwest. The payment needs to be above £10,000.
Once you have printed, completed, and signed the form, send the first page only to:
Payments Centre, NatWest, 7th Floor, Hardman Boulevard, Manchester M3 3AQ or Fax to 0345 300 3369 (overseas +44 161 755 7806).
Online Banking: you are restricted to a £10,000 daily limit, which is quite low compared to other banks.
For larger amounts, you need to go to a branch.
Log in and choose the Account you want to make the payment from.
Select ‘International payments’ and then follow the prompts on the screen.
A lot of the time is spent setting up the ‘payee’ as you will need the information we have listed above.
The rest of the steps are fairly logical.
You will need to have the money already sat in your account to proceed.
All charges are shown towards the end of the process, but before you confirm your payment.
Mobile Banking: those happy to do mobile banking are usually pretty tech-savvy.
I think the easiest way to understand this option is to watch a short instructional clip on Youtube.
Here’s a 2-minute video on how to make an international payment using the NatWest app.
A trusted and helpful alternative: Key Currency
You are not obliged to use Natwest just because they have your money.
These days you can just as easily use a money transfer company.
Key Currency is a leading money transfer specialist based in the UK.
Importantly, we don’t make you download an ‘app’ or send your life savings over the internet.
We offer you a person-to-person service – like the banks used to offer.
We will assist you throughout the entire process, and can even offer you guidance on exchange rates.
Getting some guidance on exchange rates can help you avoid losing money through bad timing and adverse currency fluctuations.
Our company has a 5-star “Excellent” customer rating on Trustpilot; the highest customer rating available for our industry.
You also have the peace of mind knowing that all money transfers are conducted through safeguarded client accounts, and Key Currency is an FCA regulated Authorised Payment Institution (No. 753989).
Why not get a no-obligation quote and see what you can save.