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 minimum of £23 and 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.
- For amounts under £5,000, the fee is £15.
- For amounts over £5,000, the fee is 0.3% with a maximum of £40.
Natwest may also charge you 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.
I should stress that these various fees are not the only cost of sending money abroad through Natwest.
In many ways, the fees are just a distraction. For most international money transfers, the bulk of the cost is from the exchange rate.
That key point is sadly missed by many customers.
I’m not surprised, though.
It’s not easy to decipher all the different jargon and fees for someone unfamiliar with international money transfers.
If you want to avoid paying all kinds of unexpected or unwanted fees for your international payment, you can use a money transfer specialist such as ourselves.
We don’t charge fees.
The full cost of our service is included within the exchange rate we quote, so you don’t need to worry about added fees.
Natwest exchange rates (the main cost)
Natwest seem to dedicate a lot of space on their website to the various fees they charge.
It’s no wonder a lot of people think the fees are the only charge!
In fact, exchange rates barely get a mention.
Yet the exchange rate is the most important part 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 on 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 that you also have to pay.
You might think a few per cent sounds like a tiny amount.
But when it comes to exchange rates, small differences matter.
As a quick example; say you were looking to buy a holiday home in France for £50,000.
If Natwest applied an exchange rate margin of 4% on the day of your transfer, that would equate to £2,000 in exchange rate costs alone.
You can now clearly see how the exchange rate costs can dwarf the fees.
My advice on Natwest’s exchange rates is to make a comparison.
That’s your right as a customer.
If you are planning to send money abroad with Natwest, I would always suggest getting a quote from an alternative provider.
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)
Here’s a quick walkthrough of your options:
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 might feel obliged to use Natwest because they have your money.
But banks no longer have a monopoly on foreign exchange.
Your main alternative is to use a money transfer specialist.
Money transfer specialists typically charge a lot less than the big banks – otherwise, they wouldn’t be in business.
The primary reason money transfer specialists can undercut the banks on fees and charges is because they have far lower overheads than a bank.
The annual costs of running a bank are in the billions – which is passed on to their customers in fees and charges.
As money transfer companies are focused only on international transfers, they can offer a more streamlined and efficient service.
But it’s not just about cost.
Let’s face it; banks can be difficult to deal with.
We all have our own ‘war stories’ of how our bank has driven us to despair.
And banks are not focused on international money transfers, which means they can and do get things wrong.
If you would like to use a money transfer specialist, you will need to register.
It can be done in minutes.
Most UK residents can be identified using basic details like name, address, date of birth.
Once you are set-up, you are no longer at the mercy of your bank.
It puts the power back in the hands of you – the customer.
Who are we?
Key Currency is one of the UK’s leading money transfer specialists.
We offer customers a professional, efficient and cost-effective service.
Importantly, we don’t make you download an ‘app’ or send your life savings over the internet.
All our customers are assigned a real person who will answer any questions you have, assist you throughout the entire process, and offer you guidance on exchange rates.
A lot of customers don’t know if it’s a good or bad time to exchange their money.
It’s a common problem.
Getting some guidance on exchange rates can help you avoid losing money through bad timing and adverse currency fluctuations.
Our foreign exchange specialists are watching the markets continuously throughout the day.
Once we understand the currency you need and the timeframe you have in mind, we can monitor the markets for you and let you know when the rate moves in your favour.
Banks are online-only platforms don’t offer this personalised service.
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).
We are more than happy to give you a no-obligation quote so you can compare the cost of your international transfer against Natwest.
Simply request a free quote below.