Transferring money to the UK

You don’t need to carry lots of cash as a Sussex student. Check the best way to transfer money into a British bank account.

Ways to transfer funds

There are many ways you can transfer money to the UK.

If you have a UK bank account, you can:

  • electronically transfer money to your UK bank account from your home account

  • buy an international money order or bank draft before leaving your home country and pay it into your UK bank account when you get here – choose British pounds as the currency to avoid paying commission.

Find out how to open a UK bank account.

If you don’t have a UK bank account, you have two options:

  • money transfer services, such as Western Union, Moneygram, TransferWise, and CurrencyFair

  • international money order – you buy these before leaving your home country and on arrival in the UK you exchange them for cash at a Post Office. The money order must be in GBP (£) and you need to show your passport as identification.

Exporting currency

Make sure you’re allowed to transfer funds before you come to Britain.

In some countries transferring funds to another country is illegal without government permission. In these cases, banks in the UK will not accept the funds and the cheques would be returned unpaid. This could cost you money.

Carrying cash with you

It’s OK to have the cash you need for shopping or a day out.

If you open a UK bank account, however, you probably won’t need notes and coins. Most shops, cafes and bars accept contactless card payments and you can usually pay with a card for buses, trains and taxis.

Important: Avoid carrying large amounts of cash when you go out. It can be lost, misplaced or potentially stolen.

Frauds and scams

See our advice on frauds and scams if you’re worried about money transfers.

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