Like most Australians, Jason had never sent money overseas so he was pretty nervous when he had to transfer over $100,000 to his brother in Singapore.

‘I've used my bank for 20 years so I just assumed it would be the best way to do it.' said Jason. ‘It wasn't until he asked me to check the exchange rate, that I realised I was getting ripped off.'

Unfortunately, he's not alone. Research from TransferWise showed more than two thirds of Australians use their bank and that we pay over 3.9 billion dollars in fees to transfer money overseas.

One of the biggest problems is trying to work out all the costs involved. While each bank or money transfer company are different, there are 4 things you should look at before making a decision.


Working out the real cost when transferring money overseas

Cost of sending money overseas

Particularly for larger amounts being transferred, it is worth highlighting that the most important cost to focus on is the exchange rate you receive. Any offered rate, no matter how minutely different it can be to others, can be the difference between a lot of money for transfers of $100,000 or more. Here are four of the main costs to consider:

  1. The baseline exchange rate
  2. The exchange rate margin
  3. A commission fee
  4. A flat fee


1. The baseline exchange rate

Otherwise known as the ‘mid-market’ or ‘interbank’ rate, the baseline exchange rate indicates how much money one currency is worth when you exchange it to another. These rates will fluctuate due to contributing factors such as the financial market, global events etc.

In September 2018, the AUD/USD exchange rate was 0.7209

At this exchange rate, $100,000 Australian dollars would get you $72,090 US Dollars


2. The exchange rate margin

Essentially, this is the difference between the baseline rate and the offered rate. This margin is important because it will determine how much money you get at the end of your transfer. Banks tend to apply a larger margin and make more profit from the margin, whereas other companies will take a smaller cut.

TIP: This margin is vital when transferring larger amounts of money, so be aware when you are transferring your $100,000. 


3. A commission fee

Some providers and banks will charge a commission fee on top of their other fees and exchange rates. This can vary between 1-5% so beware of this before transferring your money, and do research this before choosing your method of transfer.


4. A flat fee

Nearly all providers and banks will charge a flat rate fee for transferring your money overseas. However for amounts such as $100,000, this will usually be waived due to the amount of money. A flat rate fee of $40 is, in the grand scheme of things, not much compared to $100,000 so most banks and providers will take it off as an attractive incentive. However, it helps to know the flat rate fees as an estimate:


Case Study


Joseph is originally from California, USA but has been lecturing at The University of Melbourne for the past three years. As his research now brings him back to the US, Joseph has had to sell his apartment in Melbourne.

Luckily, he had an offer come in and accepted very shortly after putting it on the market, and the next stage he had to consider was transferring the funds back to his US bank account. As the amount was so large, he knew the exchange rate he got on the transfer would make all the difference in the conversion of AUD-USD.

With this in mind, he researched about and found that OFX seemed like his best bet. He was not only impressed at their easy and strong online presence, but the rates he received were great. He found that he saved over $3500AUD on his transfer in comparison to his bank. Joseph flew back to California happy with his choice, both in career and finance.


How to Find the Cheapest Way to Transfer $100,000 Overseas

Compare The Total Cost

The total cost of the transfer comes down to 2 things:

Money transfer fees

1. Transfer Fees

Every Australian bank and money transfer company will charge you a different fee to send money overseas. Usually it’s between $10 and $32.

Exchange rate margin fees

2. Exchange Rate Margin

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.

Provider Exchange
Total (AUD) Rates last updated October 20 2018
TransferwiseRead Review 0.7122 $64.68 1-2 Days $14,105.68Lowest Cost Option Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7122 will cost you $14,105.68 which includes a fee of $64.68

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


  • 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


  • 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

TorFXRead Review 0.7086 $0.00 2-3 Days $14,111.56$5.88 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7086 will cost you $14,111.56 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.


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


  • Limited exotic currencies available
  • Exchange rates on small transfers aren't great
  • Website experience could be better

XERead Review 0.7084 $0.00 2-3 Days $14,117.23$11.55 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7084 will cost you $14,117.23 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


  • 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.


  • 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 Review 0.7079 $0.00 2-3 Days $14,125.75$20.07 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7079 will cost you $14,125.75 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


  • Low fees and great exchange rates
  • Safe and secure transfers
  • Regulated by ASIC and registered with AFSL
  • Great for personal and business payments


  • Does not accept BPAY, credit card, cheque or cash
  • Limited currencies available

HIFXRead Review 0.7079 $0.00 2-3 Days $14,125.75$20.07 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7079 will cost you $14,125.75 with no fees.

About HiFX

HiFX are one of the biggest money transfer companies in the world. Their parent company Euronet is listed on the NASDAQ and recently acquired They are particularly useful for individuals doing regular transfers overseas. HiFX provide competitive exchange rates no matter how much is being transacted. Their $50 minimum transaction size and flat fee makes them a great option for any international payment. Locally, HiFX have Australian offices in Sydney, Melbourne and are expanding to the remaining capital cities. Click here to read the full review


  • Fantastic bank - beating exchange rates
  • Low fees for transactions less than $10, 000
  • No fees for transactions of $10, 000 or more
  • High security transfers regulated by ASIC and FMA
  • Fast and easy for personal or business accounts


  • Only electronic bank transfers accepted
  • Limited exotic currencies
WorldRemitRead Review 0.7042 $3.99 1-2 Days $14,205.11$99.43 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7042 will cost you $14,205.11 which includes a fee of $3.99

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


  • 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


  • Maximum transfer sizes for every transfer
  • No support for business customers
  • They are not licensed to provide financial advice.
OFXRead Review 0.6989 $0.00 1-3 Days $14,308.20$202.52 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.6989 will cost you $14,308.20 with no 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.


  • 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


  • Credit cards, cheques and cash are not accepted
  • Transfers to Thailand can take up to 4 days
  • Fees for transfers smaller transfers

ANZRead Review 0.6857 $0.00 1-2 Days $14,583.64$477.96 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.6857 will cost you $14,583.64 with no fees.
ANZ International Money Transfer is a secure and fast way to transfer money overseas.


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


  • $12 fee for transfers under $10 000 via Internet banking
  • Poor exchange rates
  • 24 hour hotline not available

Commonwealth BankRead Review 0.6735 $12.00 1-2 Days $14,859.81$754.13 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.6735 will cost you $14,859.81 which includes a fee of $12.00
Commonwealth Bank provides secure and easy transfers to over 200 countries and more than 30 currencies.


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


  • $6 fee for transfers under $1000 via Internet banking
  • $12 fee for transfers under $1000 via Internet banking
  • Poor exchange rates



We know that a lot of people will have questions regarding their transfer and the details that surround this. That’s why we have put together a list of frequently asked questions below that might help you in your enquiry. If not, please feel free to call one of our experts.


How do I know when my transfer has been completed?

When you set up an account with a money exchange provider, you will need to provide your personal details, including either your email address or phone number. This is for the exact reason of notifying you when your money has successfully transferred – with some companies/banks you can set up SMS alerts, or simply just receive an email.


Are there different types of transfers that I can do?

Yes there is. Providers offer various types of transfers to their customers. You will have the options of a standard single transfer, a forward exchange contract (where you can lock in an exchange rate on a payment you wish to make in the future), or a regular (recurring) payment. You will need to do your research on this beforehand.


Should I compare currency providers before transferring my money?

Yes. All banks and currency providers will offer competitive rates against one another. These rates will reflect the details of your transfer i.e. where to and how much you are transferring as well as what payment method you choose. It is important to research this before you transfer.


Do some currency providers offer fee-free transfers?

Yes. All providers will waive their flat rate fee for larger transfers such as $100,000.


How quickly will my money take to transfer?

Money will usually take between 2-4 working days depending on when you transfer during the day, and whether you choose to transfer through a provider or a bank.


What other charges should I look out for?

The bank you are transferring to abroad will usually take their own cut, so it is important to research how much this will be and be aware that it will be taken off the final amount you or your recipient will receive.


Are there minimum and maximum limits to transferring money overseas?

Yes. These limits will vary with each company or bank, for instance WorldFirst have a $250 minimum transfer, as does OFX. In comparison, HiFX has a $50 minimum amount and TorFX have no minimum transfer amount. Depending on how much you wish to transfer, it is worth researching.



All currency providers listed in this article hold Australian Financial Services Licenses and are members of the Australia Financial Ombudsman Service.


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We’ve also put together tons of helpful videosguides and reviews that will help you make the right decision. You can work out a cheaper way of converting currency while still keeping your money safe.