I have a friend who owe me ~600 GB pounds. I have asked him to pay me in USD.

What is the cheapest way to transfer the money from UK to Israel?

  1. I have checked PayPal - 3.5% commission for transferring to PayPal. Then 2% for exchanging to ILS. + commission for withdrawing and then another (external) commission to change back to USD.

  2. I have thought about sending cash in registered mail. But I'm afraid someone will scan it and steal it. Is it illegal anyhow to send money (even in small amounts, say 150 USD) in registered mail?

  3. We don't have any relative who travels between these two countries.

  4. Western Union - too expensive (5% for deposit)

  • Have you considered doing this through bitcoin? There is the volatility of bitcoin but the transaction fees are usually low. – RohitJ Jun 19 '14 at 15:21

He can send you a check. This will move the burden of GBP->USD conversion to him (unless the GBP amount is preset, then you'll be the one to pay for conversion either way). You can then deposit the USD check in any Israeli bank (they'll charge commission for the deposit and the USD->ILS conversion).

Another, and from my experience significantly cheaper, option would be to wire transfer directly to your account. If you have a USD account and he'll transfer USD out - it will be almost at no cost to you, if you don't have a USD account check with your bank how to open it, or pay for USD->ILS conversion.

  • how does online money transfer work? Where is it send to? I refer to such providers: fxcompared.com/Content/… – Elad Benda Jul 21 '13 at 7:05
  • 1
    Moneygram, Western Union, Travelex - these are all money transfer services that have offices in many countries. WU works with the Israeli Post, I know MoneyGram and Travelex have offices in Israel. Some may be co-operating with banks (I think MoneyGram does). HSBC is a bank, they have an office in Israel. Others are similar to PayPal, you'll need to figure out how to get the money out. – littleadv Jul 21 '13 at 17:56
  • My experience is that a check is substantially cheaper than a wire transfer. – DJClayworth Jul 22 '13 at 16:10
  • @DJClayworth your experience in Israel? – littleadv Jul 22 '13 at 16:35
  • @littleadv No. (plus some extra characters) – DJClayworth Jul 22 '13 at 18:11

Probably the easiest to do is to do an international transfer via online banking. You will need to give your IBAN and BIC/SWIFT code of your bank to your friend, he should then be able to transfer the money from his bank. At least, I think they use IBAN in Israel as well. The money will be converted to the currency of your account. There are some fees, but they are not too big I think, and depending on the choice of transfer they can be paid by sender, shared, or by receiver. Contact your bank for precise details.

Edit: if you really need to be paid in USD this may not be the best option though.


The supposed cheapest way to do this is via a website like:


They claim to have the best exchange rates compared to banks but I have never used them. If you do use them could you let us know in the comments as to how good they are?

  • I have used them CHF->EUR and GBP->EUR. It's been very easy, cheap, and quick. They will charge about £5 to send 600GBP to Israel as ILS. (They will only charge £3.19 to send as USD, but the OP will need a USD account in Israel, and even then I don't know if they can cope.) – Martin Bonner Apr 27 '18 at 9:52
  • The slow part has been getting the money out of my Swiss bank account, and getting the money into my German bank account (UK "Faster Payments" means that getting the money out of the UK a/c is effectively instant). Even so, two days from CH, one day from UK. I expect Israel to be a bit slower. – Martin Bonner Apr 27 '18 at 9:56

Simplest is probably international bank transfer. If you don't like those, I had a friend who would buy travelers cheques, endorse them and write in large "Only pay to the order of ****" then send them by mail. Very difficult for anyone other than the recipient to cash, very low fees, and there next day if you send it overnight mail.

protected by Community Aug 27 '14 at 2:00

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