Barclays Foreign Currency Account: overview of fees, features and an alternative

Paola Faben Oliveira

If you do business overseas or if you are considering opening up your company to markets outside the UK, you can benefit from Barclays Foreign Currency Account.

Barclays bank is one of the unique British banks, which is headquartered in London, England, offering different services for both citizens and non-residents of the UK. Their services are also divided into four core businesses - personal banking, wealth management, investment management, and business banking.

In this article will be focusing on opening a Barclays business foreign currency account, covering all the essentials such as fees, available currencies and an alternative that can be cheaper and more convenient for international companies: Wise Business multi-currency account.


📝 Table of contents

Why do you need a Foreign Currency Account?

Opening a foreign currency account helps you optimise international transactions with your client both within and outside the UK. A foreign currency account does not just help you avoid potential rate loss due to FX fluctuations, but also allows you to send, receive and hold money in several currencies. You can also easily bill your clients in their local currency which saves them time and money, which encourages them to patronise your products and services more.

Read more: Barclays USD Account: cost, features and alternative

How to open foreign currency account with Barclays?

Opening a Barclays multi currency account can be done in the branch or simply over the phone, however, it’s required to have a business bank account before you can open a foreign currency account with Barclays.

If you are already a Barclays Business customer, you can reach out to them by phone in order to open your Foreign Currency Account:

  • If you have up to £1m turnover call the number: 0345 605 23451
  • If you have between £1m and £5m turnover call the number: 0333 202 74552
  • If you have more than £5m turnover call 0800 027 12212
  • And if you are an agricultural client call 0333 202 74522

If you are not a Barclays' customer you can call 0800 515 462.

Barclays multi currency account has the following currencies available:¹

  • Australian Dollar (AUD)
  • Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  • Chinese Yuan (CNY)
  • Czech Koruna (CZK)
  • Danish Krone (DKK)
  • Euro (EUR)
  • Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
  • Japanese Yen (JPY)
  • New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
  • Norwegian Krone (NOK)
  • Polish Zloty (PLN)
  • Singapore Dollar (SGD)
  • South African Rand (ZAR)
  • Swedish Krona (SEK)
  • Swiss Franc (CHF)
  • UAE Dirham (AED)
  • United States Dollar (USD)

Barclays foreign currency account fees²

International payment made through branch£ 25
International payment made online£ 15
Cancelling international payment£ 20
SEPA transfer made through branch£ 0.65
SEPA transfer made online£ 0.35
Cancelling a SEPA transfer£ 20
International drafts£ 25
Receiving SEPA transfer or international payments (non-euro) below £100Free
Receiving international payment greater than £ 100£ 6
Use debit card abroad2.75% for non-sterling transactions

Barclays foreign currency exchange rates

Barclays doesn't present their exchange rate transparently upfront. They inform you that they will apply a mark-up to the mid-market exchange rate - the real one that you can find on Google - but they won't tell you how much this mark-up is unless you call or ask their customer service in a branch.³

This can be a bad experience for your business when doing international payments, since you don't have visibility of total costs and the transaction can get more expensive than you expected. Wise Business multi-currency account solve all of this.

With Wise Business you can send, receive and manage your money internationally, without crazy fees or even-crazier exchange rates – Wise always use the real mid-market exchange rate to convert you money.


With Wise Business you can easily pay suppliers
and workers all over the world while getting paid from customers quickly and easily, accepting payments in 9 major currencies.

For even more convenience, you can also link your Wise Business account with your favourite accounting tools, such as Xero or Quickbooks
. This makes keeping track of your company’s finances a breeze.

💡Learn more about Wise Business

How to Transfer Money from Barclays Foreign Currency Account?

It is possible to send any currency across the globe with online banking. Moreover, with the Barclays app and banking method, euros and US dollars can be sent from one country to another. Interestingly, online transfer is fee-free, while transactions via physical banks attract nothing less than £25.²

How to Send Money to Europe?

Barclays foreign currency account offers two payment methods when sending money to Europe, and these options include international payments and SEPA payments.³

You can send money via your online banking app to different countries within the EEA. You can also check the A to Z country list on the Barclays site for more information. Whenever you send money to a European country at a Barclays branch, a fee of £25 is charged.

Transfers and payments

You can transfer money from your foreign currency account just by yourself or simply by getting in touch with Barclays bank customer care account, by calling them. Suppose you want to transfer money from your currency account to another company’s account. In that case, you should visit any of the Barclays local branches, and the certificate of interest, financial history reports, and statement frequency will be provided to you.

You can also close your foreign currency account the same way you would close your Barclays Business Account simply contacting Barclays Bank.

Alternative to Barclays Foreign Currency Account

If you look for transparency and fair charges when paying or getting paid internationally Wise Business account is the perfect alternative to Barclays Foreign Currency Account.

You can open a Wise Business account quickly and easily online, and it gives you a powerful platform for sending, receiving and managing your business finances in over 40 currencies.


You can easily pay suppliers and workers all over the world, for low fees and the mid-market exchange rate. And best of all, you can get paid for your products or services quickly and easily, accepting payments in 9 major currencies.

Need a solution for expenses? You can get Wise Business expense cards for each team member who needs one. It works in 174 countries, and charges no foreign currency transaction fees. There’s even 0.5% cashback on spending.

You can also link your Wise Business account with your favourite accounting tools, such as Xero or Quickbooks. This makes keeping track of your company’s finances a breeze.

💰 Start saving today with Wise Business

Sources used in this article:

  1. Barclays Foreign Currency Account | Available currencies

  2. Barclays Business | International Tariff

  3. International payments | Barclays

Sources last checked 26/06/2023

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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