The Best Way to Transfer Money Overseas May Not Be What You Think

The majority of Australian's believe the best way to send money overseas is through their banks, despite massive fees. More than a million people also believe that bank international money transfers from Australia are for free.

 

According to the ACCC, "if you send AU$1000 overseas from Australia, on average you’ll pay AU$9 more than if you sent an equivalent amount from the United Kingdom, and AU$23 more than if you sent it from the United States."

 

So what is the best way to transfer money overseas from Australia?

Glad you asked. It really comes down to your situation. For some people, the "best way" means the cheapest option around. For others, it's the fastest.

Below, you’ll find simple guides on the cheapest, fastest and safest ways to send money abroad from Australia.

Cheapest Ways to Transfer Money Overseas

You don’t like paying money for nothing, and why should you have to? You’ve got several options to get some of the best money transfer rates out here. Keep your costs down by reading through our cheaper ways to transfer money abroad guide.

 

  • Bank transfers without the bank — sending money directly from your bank can be pricey. Specialist providers like OFX and TorFX can send money for less, directly to the recipient’s bank account.
  • Peer-to-peer transfers (P2P) — this novel way of sending money match people buying currency in one country with people who are selling it in another. TransferWise is a fast and cheap option.
  • Other popular options include money remitters like WorldRemit.

 

Instant Ways to Send Money Overseas Online

Sometimes, you just need it done, now! For those moments when you urgently need to send money overseas, we know the fastest ways to get funds to the right people. Here’s our guide to instant money transfers.

We trust two main companies for super-fast money transfers:

WorldRemit

WorldRemit offers a same day service to selected banks around the world. They have a large presence in Asian countries, so they’re a great choice if that’s where your recipient is. WorldRemit always displays the expected delivery time before you pay for the transfer, so you know exactly how long it will take.

TransferWise website screenshot.
TransferWise website screenshot.

Transferwise

The fastest-growing money transfer service, TransferWise is known for their low costs and speedy currency exchange. They’ll display the time to transfer and you can speed that up depending on how you pay

Best Ways to Transfer Cash Overseas

If you want to send cash directly to the recipient, rather than pay money into their bank account, you have three options — Western Union, MoneyGram or WorldRemit. Western Union has the largest network and is competitive for certain destination countries like India. WorldRemit is cheap and their online service is easy to use.

 

Let’s compare Western Union and WorldRemit. Here’s how much the recipient would get if you’re sending $500 to the Philippines.

 

Provider Fees Exchange rate Amount received
Western Union $5 - $7 50.25 PHP 25,124 PHP
WorldRemit $3.99 51.56 PHP 25,780 PHP

 

How to Transfer Money Overseas without Fees

You can keep fees to a minimum, but you’ll still end up paying for your transfer due to the exchange rate you get. Don’t worry, we’ve read the fine print. The companies we’ve shared below provide the safest and securest overseas money transfers that have no transfer fees and lower exchange rates than your bank. Find out more about how to transfer money overseas with no fees.

 

  • XE.com offers fee-free international transfers and is a trusted name in the world of currency exchange
  • TorFX provides excellent customer service and fee-free currency exchange
  • World First is one of the fastest and easiest ways to send money abroad without any upfront fees

Safest Ways to Transfer Money Overseas

If you want to keep your funds secure when you transfer large sums of money overseas, you have a few options. All the specialist providers we compare adhere to the strongest security standards and are fully regulated.

 

  • Bank transfer — you can send directly between your bank and a bank in another country, but you will pay high fees
  • Online money transfer services — specialist providers like TransferWise and World First are transparent, safe and fully regulated
  • Peer-to-peer transfer services — companies like TransferWise and PayPal match you with people buying or selling the currency you want to exchange with

Our most frequently asked questions

What are the best international money transfer apps to use?

Most providers have smartphone apps so you can access and make money transfers on the go. You can install these apps on Apple and Android devices, then use them to create, pay for and track your international money transfer.

Here are some of the best apps from our specialist providers.

  • TransferWise money transfer app
  • WorldRemit money transfer app
  • WorldFirst money transfer app
  • OFX money transfer app

Learn more about the best international money transfer apps.

Can I send money overseas instantly?

 

Yes, you can. A few of the specialist international money transfer providers do offer a close to instant service. What this means is that they can typically get money there the same day. Now, the speed of your transfer does depend on a few different areas, like where you’re sending from and to, and how you pay for the exchange.

We recommend the following providers for the fastest transfers.

  • WorldRemit
  • TransferWise
  • OFX

Learn more about same-day money transfer providers.

 

Can I get free international money transfers?

Kind of… There are several providers that don’t charge a fee for sending your money overseas. Instead, they make money by giving you a slightly worse exchange rate, known as a “spread” or “margin.” So while you won’t pay a fixed fee or commission, you’re still paying for the money transfer in one way or another. Sadly, nothing comes for free!

Learn more about fee free international money transfers.

 

Your currency knowledge centre

5 Cheaper Ways to Transfer Money Overseas

Using a bank is one of the easiest ways of transferring money overseas, but can also be the most costly. There are alternatives that can make the whole process cheaper.

International Money Transfer Comparison and Reviews

Find the best international money transfer exchange rates to send money overseas from Australia. Compare the rates and fees from leading banks and money transfer services.

How to Transfer Money Overseas from your Australian Bank Account

Transferring money overseas from your Australian bank account is simple once you know how to do it, but you might be short on time to figure it out.

Need a hand? Call to speak to a human 1800 004 930 or send us an email.