Friday, 28 December 2012

Lister Family Christmas

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Exchange rate dilemnas.. and a giveaway!!

In ex-pat land, sending money home is a frequent topic of conversation. We obsess over fractional movements in the exchange rate and try to hit the 'send' button at exactly the right time to maximise our pound for dollar exchange rate. At one point, I was hovering over exchange rates daily trying to figure out whether to pull the trigger or hang on 'just one more day' for a better rate.

What I didn't properly accept, what that all of this effort was probably in vain, because whatever I saved in rates I probably lost in the fees I was paying to transfer the cash in the first place! So, this Christmas as we head back to the UK for our annual trip to (a) see family and friends, (b) remember what cold really feels like and (c) keep the UK retail sector alive, I'm trying a different tactic to transfer our spending money.

Western Union is offering $0 transfer fees to any UK bank account, and claims to have better rates than Westpac, ANZ, CBA and the NAB.

Now I know that ANZ charges me $24 every time I make a transfer, and my UK bank definitely charges me about £20 to receive. With Western Union both of those fees are scrapped, but surely they will compensate for this in the rate? Well, I checked on 19th November and the GBP:AUD rate was 0.6189 with ANZ but 0.6248 at Western Union.

That Macbook Pro purchase I'm considering in the UK this Christmas is all of a sudden looking a little bit more justifiable ;-) In fact, it's a no brainer. Isn't it? Tom? Yes? Surely?!!!

So I've decided to give Western Union a go. They are a long established money transfer service, so I'm comfortable with their credibility, but this 'bank deposit' service is new.

It was very quick to set up an account, and I had done this, plus made my money transfer in less than 10 minutes. I got an email when it and arrived, and sure enough, no receiver fee from my UK bank. I think this is perhaps my new way of operating! I will point out that you have to use an Australian credit card to make the transfer, and your credit card provider might treat the transaction as a cash advance - so pay your balance immediately to avoid any fees on that side!

If you want to give it a go, visit Western Union here.

To celebrate the launch of this service, Western Union is giving away a hamper of British sweets to one lucky reader of my blog! Yes, sweets - not lollies! Pear drops, rhubarb and custard, jelly tots, wine gums.. you name it, a hamper full of these British classics could be yours.

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on this post, telling us what your favourite sweet is! (Participants must live in Australia and the contest will close on 30th January 2013). Now, I'm off to write my UK shopping list....

 * this is a sponsored post