The best way to send money overseas will always depend on your individual circumstances. But, depending on the amount, some things remain constant… fees. In fact, fees may be more important than the currency conversion for lesser amounts.

So in the case of sending small amounts, avoid the fees! The currency conversion makes almost no tangible difference in the amount your recipient will receive. The fees will certainly make a big difference in the total cost to you as the sender.


A low fee is more important than getting a great exchange rate

Ultimately, this means finding the lowest cost provider of international money transfers. A great choice for this is Western Union, whether in-store through an Australia Post outlet or other trusted agent within the Western Union network, or online at Alternatively, you could consider another non-bank currency company. Just know that many non-bank international payment providers have a minimum transfer amount.


Comparing the best fee vs best exchange rate

couple looking to send less than $100 overseas

David and Sue both need to send less than $100 to relatives in New York.

David sends his money through Western Union. He has to pay a $10 fee and receives a rate of 0.7940. So his nephew receives US $79.40 and it’s cost David $10 to do it.

Sue uses her bank to pay through online banking. She pays $24 and receives a rate of 0.7851. Her nephew receives US $78.51 but it’s cost her $24 (or 24% of the transaction) in fees.

The exchange rate has made little difference to how much US dollars is sent overseas but the $14 difference in fees is much more important.


The cheapest way for small international money transfers

To send less than $100, the banks will cost you the most, while Western Union, Moneygram and Paypal may be your best options. They have low fixed fees and, since the conversion makes little difference on this amount, that cost is negligible.


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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.