1. How Safe Is It?

Transfer Money to an Overseas Bank AccountThe most important part of any payment overseas is the security of your funds. When it comes to international money transfer, Australia is one of the most highly regulated countries in the world. This doesn't mean there are no scams but it does give you the opportunity to do your homework on the company first.

It terms of size, some of the money transfer companies are pretty big. Western Union has a market capitialisation of 9.3 billion, while OFX which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, is worth more than 400 million

 

2. So, What Are Your Options?

Mother finding out how to Transfer Money to an Overseas Bank AccountThe strongest competitors to banks for highly regulated international money transfers are specialist companies like:

Each company will charge different fees and exchange rates depending on what currency you need and how much you are transferring.

It's important to compare the exchange rate and fees of each option to work out the total cost of your transfer.

 

3. Is Avoiding the Banks Worth It?

Absolutely.

Banks charge between $18 and $32 for an international money transfer. They also offer exchange rates, no where near the wholesale or ‘interbank' rates you see on google or xe.com. Most of your options outside of a bank will offer significantly better exchange rates and a flat fee of between $0 and $10.

If you are sending less than, $1000 to a bank account overseas, you might choose a bank because although it's not the cheapest option, but it is quick and easy.

For anything more than $1000, the extra effort of avoiding the banks is well worth it.

 

4. How Does It Work?

There 3 steps to transferring money overseas

  1. Set up your account – Thankfully, you only have to do this once. You'll have to register your details like name, address email and provide some identification.
  2. Make your transfer – You'll need to enter the bank account details of the person you are transferring the money to. This is also when you lock in the exchange rate
  3. Pay for your transfer – Before the money is transferred overseas, you'll need to pay for it. All companies offer their bank account details for a direct bank transfer. Most companies offer Bpay and some even allow you to pay using a debit or credit card.

 

Our Verdict:

There are plenty of safe alternatives to the banks that are much cheaper.

The fees are lower, but most importantly the exchange rates are significantly better.

Using a specialist like OFX or Transferwise does require some time and effort, particularly setting up an account but can really pay off for amounts over $1000

Make sure you compare each of your options, looking at their fees and exchange rates to work out your overall cost.

 


 

How to Find the Cheapest Way to Transfer Money 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
Rate
Transfer
Fee
Transfer
Time
Total (AUD) Rates last updated September 19 2018
TransferwiseRead Review 0.7256 $63.52 1-2 Days $13,845.22Lowest Cost Option Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7256 will cost you $13,845.22 which includes a fee of $63.52

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

TorFXRead Review 0.7220 $0.00 2-3 Days $13,850.95$5.73 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7220 will cost you $13,850.95 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 Review 0.7217 $0.00 2-3 Days $13,856.52$11.30 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7217 will cost you $13,856.52 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 Review 0.7212 $0.00 2-3 Days $13,864.89$19.67 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7212 will cost you $13,864.89 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

  • Low 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

HIFXRead Review 0.7212 $0.00 2-3 Days $13,864.89$19.67 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7212 will cost you $13,864.89 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 Xe.com. 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

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Only electronic bank transfers accepted
  • Limited exotic currencies
OFXRead Review 0.7158 $0.00 1-3 Days $13,970.38$125.16 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7158 will cost you $13,970.38 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.

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

WorldRemitRead Review 0.7150 $3.99 1-2 Days $13,990.59$145.37 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7150 will cost you $13,990.59 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

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.
ANZRead Review 0.6963 $0.00 1-2 Days $14,361.63$516.41 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.6963 will cost you $14,361.63 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 Review 0.6857 $12.00 1-2 Days $14,595.64$750.42 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 $14,595.64 which includes a fee of $12.00
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

WestpacRead Review 0.6736 $10.00 1-2 Days $14,855.61$1010.39 more expensive Go to site Read Review
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.6736 will cost you $14,855.61 which includes a fee of $10.00
Westpac is one of the big four banks in Australia offers speedy and secure transfers.

Pros:

  • Fast payment processing times
  • Secure transfers

Cons

  • Must be Westpac account holder
  • $20 fee for transfers via Internet or phone banking
  • $32 fee for transfers at an ANZ branch
  • Poor exchange rates

Helping You Save Money on Currency

Buying travel money or transferring money overseas can be expensive and confusing. So how do you make the best choice and get the most out of your money?

An easy way is to use a comparison table for either international money transfers or currency exchange. These tables list and compare the banks with other large foreign exchange companies.

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.