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How to send money to England - VISA not an option

We thoroughly enjoyed an afternoon in a great little pub in a very out-of-the-way place in the English countryside last summer. It was so darn enjoyable that we would like to send a portion of our economic stimulus check to the pub owner as I imagine his little pub will be badly hurt economically by the current shutdown caused by the COVID-19 virus. Does anyone have a suggestion for how to send a donation? I could send a check, but can someone in England cash a check from the US?

The reason we loved the pub, besides the very nice gregarious pub owner, was that when he learned we were Americans, he brought his mother in for a visit. His mother had tears in her eyes as she related to us her memories of Americans during the War. Apparently this out-of-the-way pub was quite near an American Air Force base and the airmen would come to the pub in the afternoon and drink beer. The airmen would hold her (she was a young child) on their laps and share their chocolate from home with her. She said the airmen would then go out into the back garden, hold hands and pray. They would return to their airfield and go out on missions at night. She said that she had to learn the lesson of loss early, as her new friends often didn't make it home from the missions. She thanked us repeatedly for being American and for America coming to England's rescue during the War. It was a very touching afternoon for us. The pub owner's family has owned the pub for over 250 years and I'd like to help keep it going.

We plan to use most of our stimulus check for the American charities in our community, but we would dearly love to send some funds to this particular pub. Thank you for your suggestions.

Posted by
5017 posts

Check out TransferWise. It's not expensive, convenient, easy. I've used it several times and would do so again anytime I need to "send" money to someone overseas.

Posted by
67 posts

I run an ebay store for a non-profit and most of our UK supporters use Paypal. The other way would be Western Union but for that you have to physically go to a location and pick it up.

Posted by
26 posts

I've never used PayPal. Do you have to have their bank account routing information? I wish I could just send a card with a check enclosed.

Posted by
4843 posts

Deb, call your bank and ask them for suggestions. Some banks (not all) offer international money orders, bank drafts, or called something else. I needed to do this a few years ago, also in pounds, using US Bank. Trouble was, the tellers didn't know what was talking about, so I needed to talk to a manager. I think there was a rather significant fee, however.

Posted by
6060 posts

A personal check will not work. Many (if not most) European countries don't use checks; plus, they'd need international routing and account info, not domestic like you see on US checks.

Transferwise and PayPal are your best options (easy and inexpensive - just give it a try). Bank wires, on the other hand, will be very expensive.

Posted by
67 posts

Deb - to use paypal you just need their email address. Once you send the money using their email - they will get a notice that its available. They then log into paypal and can setup to have the money deposited directly to their bank account. They don't see your bank info and you don't see theirs so its secure.

Posted by
3936 posts

Businesses are being bailed out by the U.K. government in the form of rates holidays and other assistance such as deferred tax and 80% of all staff wages are being picked up by the government. Many pubs have turned their hands to providing take away meals to keep them going.

Posted by
9382 posts

PayPal and Transferwise both easy and excellent. Very nice of you. We are going to donate our stimulus funds as well. So many in need!

Posted by
2500 posts

I’ve used TransferWise numerous times without a hitch. Transfers made quickly, low fees, great FX rates.

Posted by
3535 posts

Perhaps you could mention the pub name and village. Then when we all get to travel again we can perhaps stop by and be supportive as customers from America.
BTW I also experienced a kind Italian s5ore owner in Stresa, Italy. Who also upon discovering we were Americans thanked our country for the US troops that assisted their village during WWII.

Posted by
26 posts

The pub is The Bell Inn in Aldworth, which is quite near Heathrow. We stayed a few days in Goring-on-the-Thames prior to flying home from Heathrow. We hiked up to The Bell (an arduous uphill hike in the 100 degree heat last July--we had to be in England for a funeral, otherwise we NEVER travel to Europe in the summer). Aldworth is an tiny hamlet--basically just the pub and the church. Folks come from all around the area to the pub as it is justly popular. We had our best Pimms Cup there, too. We were worn out from the hike and heat and were not looking forward to the hike back down to Goring. The delightful young lady working behind the bar offered us a ride home if we would wait a few minutes until she was off work. Great food, great drinks and a great pub all around! The next morning, a taxi took us to Heathrow for 50 pounds, which we thought was a great deal, rather than spending the night in London in the heat or near the airport. I noticed just now that The Bell Inn has about 185 5 star reviews on TripAdvisor.

I like the idea of Paypal, but am unable to locate an email address the the owners. The pub doesn't have a website. I think from looking at the two other options mentioned that I would pay about $50 in costs to send money to the pub. I'll have to keep looking into this matter.

Thanks to everyone for their help.

Deb

Posted by
2898 posts

It’s a long story ,but do not send money to an email address through PayPal without first confirming that the PayPal account associated with that email address belongs to the person who can access it. It is a false assumption that a matching email necessarily means a matching account.

Posted by
26 posts

Thank you to all who responded. In looking at its Facebook page (as suggested by one responder) I learned that The Bell was named Pub of the Year for 2020--guess we were not the only ones impressed by this little pub. I've decided to track down an email for Hugh Macaulay (owner) via a B&B near by the pub and then use either PayPal (once I confirm Hugh's email address) or TransferWise. The Bell doesn't have a webpage and it doesn't provide internet service--one of its charms.

Deb

Posted by
3899 posts

Check if they do deliveries. If so I'd happily accept deliveries on your behalf, you pay, I'll drink, the pub stays afloat, we're all happy!

Posted by
9 posts

"The other way would be Western Union but for that you have to physically go to a location and pick it up."


You can send Western Union direct to an ATM card/Bank account as well as the pick up option, or you could send direct from your own bank account through the IBAN system - most UK bank accounts have an IBAN number. For both these you need to know the recipients bank details. But the best way would via Paypal using the family and friends option.

Posted by
570 posts

Deb, You mentioned that you wished you could send a card...why not do that right now? Reaching out to check on them, and sharing your fond memories of meeting their family ... I’m sure they would appreciate a note from you most of all.

Personal contact (albeit from a distance) is so important right now, give them your email, and ask for theirs. I’d probably wait to hear from them before sending money. (Considering what Jennifer and Caro said)

Posted by
26 posts

Thank you, Barbara. I like your idea of sending a note telling them how much my visit to their pub meant to me. If what Jennifer said is correct, then it sounds like the pub doesn't necessarily need the $400 I had planned to donate. I will send it to our local food bank instead. I appreciate all who took time to offer constructive and kind suggestions and comments. In the meantime, I am making face masks for our local hospital--it has asked for 10,000 handsewn masks by the end of the week. Stay safe everyone!