I am going to work abroad and be paid by a US organization. They are paying into my UK bank account which charges £6 for receiving a foreign payment. I have the option of being paid in USD or another currency. Their exchange rate should be fair as it's not a commercial company. Should I ask to be paid in GBP, or USD and risk whatever exchange rate my bank has at the time of being paid?

  • 1
    Get a better bank account? You ought to be able to beat the GBP 6 fee for receiving an incoming international wire transfer
    – Gagravarr
    Oct 15, 2016 at 10:46

2 Answers 2


There are probably no less than a dozen different banks that will allow you to open an account today and be happy that you are making regular deposits into that account, all without ever charging you a penny. If your bank is charging for that, they are either crazy, or ripping you off.

Now as to your question, I've found it to generally be cheaper to have transfers be in the currency of the bank receiving the money. So if your primary account is based in the UK, you're probably best off getting paid in GBP.

  • Isn't the singular "penny"?
    – phoog
    Oct 15, 2016 at 14:09
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    My experience with US banks in particular, however, is that their foreign exchange rates tend to be awful and it almost always works out better to transfer US dollars in and out of the US bank and do the exchange at the overseas bank. A US$-denominated account in the non-US bank to accept the transfer gives one some control over the currency conversion (my Canadian bank gives me a better rate if I accumulate US dollars and convert them in a bigger chunk).
    – Dennis
    Oct 15, 2016 at 20:53

If you are living in US and do not have any payments in UK I think is more reliable for you to get paid in US dollars in a US bank account.

If you see how sterling pound is going down, maybe you can make more cash in the future moving your savings to UK in a cheaper currency using low charges websites like Transferwise.

I did few times from £ to € and viceversa.

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