How Much It Really Costs to Transfer Money Overseas

Transferring money overseas is full of hidden costs. Exactly how much it costs to transfer money overseas differs between money transfer providers.

In this article, we review the fees and exchange rates of the most widely used banks and money transfer companies.

At the end of the day, the total cost comes down to two common fees:

  1. Exchange rates: there is no “standard” exchange rate. Each bank will offer you a different exchange rate based on the currency you want to send overseas and the amount you need to send.
  2. Transfer fee: Every Australian bank and money transfer company will charge you a different fee to send money overseas. Usually, it’s between $10 and $32.

The best and worst: quick comparisons of money transfer services

We compared a range of money transfer specialists and looked at their exchange rates, fees and services.

TransferWise

2. TransferWise is one of the only money transfer companies in the world that offers the wholesale or interbank exchange rate. The downside is that they charge a percentage based service fee. This means the larger your transfer, the bigger the fee. As a result they are an excellent, easy choice for smaller transfers under $10,000.

Best For:

  • Transparent exchange rates and fees.
  • Their Borderless Account.
  • You prefer to do everything online.

Not Great If:

  • You are transferring a significant amount of money.
  • You prefer to have local phone support.
  • You make business transfers.

Learn more about TransferWise

XE

XE was one of only companies we found that was as big as a bank with no fee. They also had a better exchange rate than any bank we compared and offered sharper rates for larger amounts.

Best For:

  • Transfers to the UK, New Zealand and Europe.
  • Larger amounts over $50,000.
  • If you prefer talking to someone over the phone.

Not Great If:

  • You are transferring less than $200.
  • You prefer to do everything online.
  • You make business transfers.

Learn more about XE Money Transfers

WorldRemit

Worldremit logoWorldRemit has grown into a global leader over the last few years. The website is incredibly easy to use, they
have no minimum transfer amount and a range of payment options including debit and credit cards.

Best For:

  • Transfers to the India, the Philippines, South America and Africa.
  • Transfers under $10,000.
  • Sending money to family using cash pick-up.

Not Great If:

  • You need to send more than $10,000.
  • You want to talk to someone locally.
  • You make business transfers.

Learn more about WorldFirst

OFX

OFX has a $10 fee for amounts under $10,000.

While their exchange rates may not be as competitive as TorFX or TransferWise, getting started was the easiest of all the companies we compared. It’s also the only Australian company besides the banks that we compared.

Best For:

  • Setting up an account. It’s quick, easy and can be done online.
  • Transfers over $10,000.
  • Local phone and email support.

Not Great If:

  • You want to know the exchange rate before you sign up.
  • You are transferring less than $10,000.
  • Transfers in CNY to China.

Learn more about OFX

PayPal

PayPal are also a good option when sending small amounts. This is because they charge fees as a percentage rather than a flat fee. You will pay a moderate fee (of 0.5% – 3.3%) if you’re transferring money between countries and you use money from your PayPal account or a direct debit from a bank account linked to your PayPal account.

Using internet banking may not be the cheapest way to transfer money, but it is one of the easiest and fastest.

Also, the good news is that in the last 12 months, ANZ, CBA and NAB have all reduced their fee to transfer money overseas online. The bad news is that their exchange rates are still much worse than the likes of OFX, TransferWise or TorFX. Heading to a branch is almost the same as using internet banking, just with a higher fee. Bank charges range between $30 and $32 dollars for the same service

So, what does it all mean?

The cost to transfer money overseas isn’t easy to calculate, but it can be easy to compare once you take into account both the exchange rate you are getting and include the fee that you are paying.

There is not one bank, company or payment method that is always going to be the cheapest.

Comparing your options based on your currency and amount is a good first step.

What you should know: This covers most common ways of sending money. it doesn’t cover every single method of payment. Some, but not all of the companies mentioned are affiliated with The Currency Shop. If you choose to use any of these companies, we may receive a referral fee. Exchange rates change constantly and so do the indicative quotes provided by currency exchange outlets. This information is not advice nor is it a recommendation in any way.

Compare the cost to transfer money overseas

The best deal for you

TransferwiseRead ReviewTotal (USD)$7,128.98Exchange Rate0.7160Transfer Fees$43.32Transfer Time1-2 DaysLearn MoreTotal (USD)$7,128.98Rate Updated less than 1 min ago
So, sending 10,000 AUD to the United States comes to $7,128.98 including $43.32 in fees
GO TO SITE
So, sending 10,000 AUD to the United States comes to $7,128.98 including $43.32 in fees

About TransferWise

Transparency and an easy online experience are the 2 things that set TransferWise apart from the banks and other money transfer companies. If you prefer to bank online, you'll like TransferWise. Setting up an account and making a transfer is very easy. They are also very clear on the exchange rate and fees you'll pay before you make a transfer. Click here for the full review

Pros

  • Clear and transparent exchange rates fees
  • The online experience is first class
  • Like the banks, they are regulated by ASIC and registered with AFSL
  • Constantly bringing out new innovative products

Cons

  • There are currently a number of global currencies they do not currently support
  • Limited support based in Australia
  • Percentage based fee can add up on very large transfers

More trusted money transfer options

Provider Exchange Rate Transfer Fees Transfer TimeTotal (USD) Rate Updated less than 1 min ago
TorFXRead ReviewTotal (USD)$7,124.20$4.78 more expensive Exchange Rate0.7124 Transfer Fees$0.00 Transfer Time2-3 DaysGet discounted rate $7,124.20$4.78 more expensive GO TO SITE
So, sending 10,000 AUD to the United States comes to $7,124.20 with no fees.

About TorFX

TorFX are particularly good taking care of customers over the phone but using their website isn't the easiest to use. They don't charge a flat fee which is great but it's important to consider their exchange rates. While, they don't offer fantastic rates for small amounts under $2000 , TorFX offer exceptionally good exchange rates for larger transfers to the UK, New Zealand, South Africa and Europe.

Pros

  • No transfer fees
  • Highly competitive exchange rates
  • Secure transfers with authorised
  • Assigned account manager
  • 24 / 7 Assistance
  • Available range of transfer options

Cons

  • Limited exotic currencies available
  • Exchange rates on small transfers aren't great
  • Website experience could be better
XERead ReviewTotal (USD)$7,118.47$10.51 more expensive Exchange Rate0.7118 Transfer Fees$0.00 Transfer Time2-3 DaysGet discounted rate $7,118.47$10.51 more expensive GO TO SITE
So, sending 10,000 AUD to the United States comes to $7,118.47 with no fees.

About XE

XE is a well known and trusted name in the money transfer industry. With over twenty years experience, they now help 33,000 people and 2,000 businesses make transfers each year. Over 60 currencies can be transferred with XE and they pride themselves on the free tools and transparent rates they offer. Click here to read the full review

Pros

  • Well known and trusted brand.
  • Very informative website. Extensive information on currency and money transfers.
  • XE App is available on both iOS and Android. It allows you to see the interbank rate for over 100 currencies.
  • XE themselves charge no fees for international money transfers.
  • Offers support for both individuals and businesses when it comes to international money transfers.

Cons

  • Cannot pay via cash or cheque. Must pay via bank transfer, BPay is also accepted in Australia.
  • Maximum transfer amount is $500,000USD.
  • While XE compares more than 100 currencies, there are only 60 that are available for money transfers.
WorldFirstRead ReviewTotal (USD)$7,117.04$11.94 more expensive Exchange Rate0.7117 Transfer Fees$0.00 Transfer Time2-3 DaysGet discounted rate $7,117.04$11.94 more expensive GO TO SITE
So, sending 10,000 AUD to the United States comes to $7,117.04 with no fees.

About World First

World First was founded in 2004 in the UK and has grown rapidly with offices now in the U.S., Canada and throughout Asia. They consistently receive strong customer reviews and in a recent study, 98% of their clients said they would use them again.World First have a strong online offering, particular for businesses selling online. They do provide local support as well with offices in Sydney. Click here to read the full review

Pros

  • No fees and great exchange rates
  • Safe and secure transfers
  • Regulated by ASIC and registered with AFSL
  • Great for personal and business payments

Cons

  • Does not accept BPAY, credit card, cheque or cash
  • Limited currencies available
WorldRemitRead ReviewTotal (USD)$7,090.67$38.31 more expensive Exchange Rate0.7094 Transfer Fees$3.99 Transfer Time1-2 DaysGet discounted rate $7,090.67$38.31 more expensive GO TO SITE
So, sending 10,000 AUD to the United States comes to $7,090.67 including $3.99 in fees

About WorldRemit

WorldRemit are particularly good for transfers under $10,000 to destinations across Asia, Africa and South America. Sending money online is significantly easier than using companies like Western Union or Moneygram and their exchange rates and fees are clear and transparent. With 2 million users, WorldRemit has a focus on improving access to remittances for the billions people worldwide who don’t have access to banking. Because of this, WorldRemit has a number of ways to both make and receive transfers. They concentrate on servicing individual needs as opposed to businesses. Click here for the full review

Pros

  • They have a great network in Asia and Africa and number of receiving options like cash-pick up or bank transfer.
  • They are clear about their exchange rates and fees
  • No minimum amount

Cons

  • Maximum transfer sizes for every transfer
  • No support for business customers
  • They are not licensed to provide financial advice.
OFXRead ReviewTotal (USD)$7,054.40$74.58 more expensive Exchange Rate0.7065 Transfer Fees$15.00 Transfer Time1-3 DaysGet discounted rate $7,054.40$74.58 more expensive GO TO SITE
So, sending 10,000 AUD to the United States comes to $7,054.40 including $15.00 in fees

About OFX

OFX (formally known as Ozforex) is the largest Australian owned money transfer company. It launched in 1998 and grew rapidly until finally listing on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2013. OFX excels in 2 areas – Online experience and customer service. The company was born online and continues to develop easy, intuitive products. While OFX customers do most of their transactions online, they are backed up with exceptional customer service.

Pros

  • Better exchange rates compared to banks
  • Highly safe and secure transfers
  • 1 - 2 days delivery times for most countries
  • Quick response time
  • Fantastic customer service

Cons

  • Credit cards, cheques and cash are not accepted
  • Transfers to Thailand can take up to 4 days
  • Fees for transfers smaller transfers
ANZRead ReviewTotal (USD)$6,920.00$208.98 more expensive Exchange Rate0.6920 Transfer Fees$0.00 Transfer Time1-2 DaysGet discounted rate $6,920.00$208.98 more expensive GO TO SITE
So, sending 10,000 AUD to the United States comes to $6,920.00 with no fees.
ANZ International Money Transfer is a secure and fast way to transfer money overseas.

Pros:

  • Fast transfers
  • Safe and secure
  • No fee for transfers under $10 000 via Internet banking

Cons

  • $12 fee for transfers under $10 000 via Internet banking
  • Poor exchange rates
  • 24 hour hotline not available
Commonwealth BankRead ReviewTotal (USD)$6,771.86$357.12 more expensive Exchange Rate0.6780 Transfer Fees$12.00 Transfer Time1-2 DaysGet discounted rate $6,771.86$357.12 more expensive GO TO SITE
So, sending 10,000 AUD to the United States comes to $6,771.86 including $12.00 in fees
Commonwealth Bank provides secure and easy transfers to over 200 countries and more than 30 currencies.

Pros:

  • Fast transfers+ Easy transfers
  • Security guarantee covers any losses from unauthorised transactions

Cons

  • $6 fee for transfers under $1000 via Internet banking
  • $12 fee for transfers under $1000 via Internet banking
  • Poor exchange rates
Take into account that we have not compared absolutely every bank and company in Australia. We compare the large, safe and reputable banks and foreign exchange companies that we have already researched, tested and approved. We also may receive a referral fee if you choose one of these banks or companies, but that wont affect the exchange rates or fees you get.