Santander UK International Transfer: fees, rates and transfer times

Alex Beaney

If you bank with Santander UK1 and are looking to transfer or receive money internationally, you may be overwhelmed with information about how to safely and transparently move your funds.

In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you’ll need to know about Santander international transfer2, including what it costs, exchange rates, and transfer times.

As a bonus we’ll also introduce Wise for fast payments to 160+ countries, with the mid-market rate and low, transparent fees. If you love to travel, shop online with international retailers, or need to send and receive foreign currencies frequently you may also like to get a Wise account to hold, exchange, send, spend and receive foreign currencies conveniently and with no ongoing fees3.


Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

What are the fees for an international transfer with Santander?

If you have a Santander UK current or savings account and need to make a payment overseas, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with a few different possible fees. Exactly what you pay will come down to the destination country and currency, and how you choose to set up your payment. Let’s take a look.

Santander international transfer fees

Santander UK customers can send money overseas using a standard international payment, a SEPA payment or an international cheque. Standard international payments are processed through the SWIFT network and can be sent in more or less any global currency. SEPA payments are sent in euros, to countries in the EU and EEA, as well as the UK and a small number of other European countries.

Here’s a quick summary of the Santander UK international transfer fees you’ll want to know about:

Payment typeSantander UK fee
Standard international payment25 GBP
SEPA payment (non-urgent)No Santander fee
Currency draft (cheque)10 GBP

There’s no stated fee from Santander to receive an incoming international payment to your account.

Santander exchange rates

As well as the Santander international transfer fee, it’s good to know that there may also be a charge added by Santander to the exchange rate being used to convert your pounds to the currency needed for deposit. This fee is known as a markup - a percentage charge that’s added to the mid-market rate, and which can mount up pretty quickly if you’re sending a higher value payment.

To see if there’s a markup used by Santander, compare the rate you’re offered for your payment against the mid-market rate for your currency, which you can find on Google or with a currency converter tool. The mid-market rate is a good benchmark as it’s the rate used by banks and similar large organisations on wholesale markets. If there’s a difference between the rate you’re quoted by Santander and the live mid-market rate, that’s probably a markup. Compare a few different transfer options until you find the best available exchange rate for your payment.

Additional fees from Santander

Depending on where you’re sending money to, you might find that there are different options for who pays the fees.

If you’re sending a SEPA payment, the recipient’s bank can’t make any deduction as a receivers fee. However, for all other payments, intermediary banks involved in processing the payment - and the recipient’s own bank - may deduct costs as the payment is passed through the system. With Santander, the default option is that you and the recipient share the fees, meaning that you pay the Santander fees, and the recipient pays the receiving fees.

You can also choose to pay all the fees for some transfer types - when you choose this option it will be more likely that your recipient receives the full amount, although Santander does state that they can’t guarantee this. The 3rd option is to have the recipient pay all the fees, which will then be taken off the amount you send.

If you want to cut down on fees and costs, consider sending your next international payment with Wise. You’ll get a low transfer fee, no hidden costs, and the mid-market exchange rate, making it easy to see exactly what you’re paying for your international transfer.

Discover international transfers with Wise

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

How do you make an international bank transfer with Santander?

Santander UK maintains an online banking portal for all its customers. Note that if you are hoping to initiate an international bank transfer online with Santander, you’ll need a mobile device nearby, as you’ll be sent a One Time Passcode (OTP) to verify your identity.

Here’s how to make an international transfer with the Santander UK online banking feature:

  1. Gather the details needed to send money abroad
  2. Log into your Santander UK online banking account
  3. Navigate to the ‘Payments & Transfers’ page
  4. Choose ‘International payments’ from the dropdown menu
  5. Insert the payment details and follow the on-screen instructions
  6. Confirm the transfer

If you’d rather you can send your payment by calling into a local branch of Santander, where a member of staff will help you navigate the process.

What do you need to make an international money transfer with Santander?

In order to send money outside the UK from a Santander account, you’ll need the following information on hand:

  • Recipient’s full name and their account number or IBAN
  • Their BIC
  • Any specific routing information the recipient’s bank may require in order to accept funds from abroad

When you’re sending to Mexico, you’ll also need the recipient’s 18-digit CLABE account number.

When does the transfer arrive to the recipient’s account?

Santander international transfers can take 0 to 4 days to be deposited into the recipient’s account. The delivery time depends on where you’re sending money to, and whether or not you submit your payment instructions before the day’s cut off time. Some payments to major currencies like US dollars and euros may arrive on the same day they’re sent.

What’s the maximum transfer limit with Santander?

Need to send a high value payment with Santander? The most you can send online or with the Santander mobile banking service is 25,000 GBP in a single payment, to a total of 100,000 GBP in a single day3. If you need to send more than that you’ll need to talk to Santander staff directly to understand the options available to you.

How to contact Santander?

Santander has an extensive Help and Support section on their website, and can also be contacted through secure chat when you’re logged into online or mobile banking5.

Send money internationally with Wise

Next time you need to send money overseas, compare the costs of Wise against what you’ll pay for a Santander international transfer.

With Wise you can make transfers to 160+ countries, using just your phone or laptop. You’ll get the mid-market rate and low, transparent fees from 0.35%, and your money can be deposited quickly or even instantly6. You can also get a Wise account to hold and exchange 40+ currencies, spend in 150+ countries with a Wise debit card, and receive foreign currencies conveniently with local bank details.

Sending money overseas doesn’t have to be difficult. Compare Santander’s fees, convenience and speed with alternative providers - like Wise - to see which works best for your specific payment.

Join Wise today 🚀

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees. Eligibility is subject to verification of customers' identity.

Sources used:

  1. Santander UK- home page
  2. Santander UK- international payments
  3. Pricing/fees: Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information
  4. Santander - payments
  5. Santander - contact us
  6. Speed: Transaction speed claimed depends on funds availability, approval by Wise’s proprietary verification system and systems availability of our partners’ banking system, and may not be available for all transactions.

Sources last checked on date: 03-JUN-2024

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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