St George Bank International Transfer: Fees and Transfer Time

Wondering how to make a St George Bank international transfer? This guide has you covered with everything you know about St George Bank transfer fees, delivery speed, and how to make a payment.

St George Bank has a long history – and has been part of Big 4 bank Westpac since 2008. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best choice for sending an international payment.

As part of this St George Bank international transfer review we’ll also take a look at the costs of popular money transfer specialists like Wise, OFX and Western Union to see if you can get a better deal with an alternative provider.

Compare money transfer providers

St George Bank international money transfer comparison

International money transfers will come with a cost – whichever provider you choose to use. In fact, if you’re sending money overseas with a traditional bank you might actually run into 3 key charges:

  • Transfer fee – usually easy to see, often a fixed cost regardless of the transfer value
  • Exchange rate markup – a percentage fee on the exchange rate used, can mount up quickly with high value payments
  • Third party charges – paid to intermediaries and your recipient’s own bank – you may not know in advance what these fees will be

We’ll go through these costs one by one in just a moment. For a bit of context let’s start with a look at the costs and transfer times available when you send 1,000 AUD to a friend in the UK with St George Bank compared to a couple of specialist services:

Provider Total fee Transfer time
St George Bank 10 AUD + exchange rate markup 1 – 3 days
Wise 5.14 AUD Estimated to arrive instantly
Western Union 0 transfer fee + exchange rate markup 0 – 1 banking day
OFX 15 AUD + exchange rate markup Most transfers are delivered within 24 hours
  • Data correct at time of research – 1 March 2022

When you send an international payment to an account held in a different currency with St George Bank you’ll pay a 10 AUD transfer fee. However, this is only one of the fees you’re likely to have to pay when you send your transfer with St George – and it may actually be the lowest of them all.

As well as the upfront transfer fee you’ll pay an extra charge in the form of an exchange rate markup. This might be about 3%, which doesn’t sound like much but which can actually mount up pretty quickly. A 3% margin represents an extra 150 AUD fee on a transfer worth 5,000 AUD.

Specialist providers can often offer lower overall fees, and a faster delivery time compared to banks. Because international money transfers are their core business, getting set up and using the platforms is usually straightforward, too.

St George Bank international transfer fees

Here’s what you need to know about the international transfer fee paid to St George Bank when you send or receive a payment in a foreign currency.

Service type St George Bank fee
Incoming international payment 12 AUD
Send international payment online
  • Sent in foreign currency from AUD account – 10 AUD transfer fee
  • Sent in AUD – 20 AUD transfer fee
Cancel or trace international payment 25 AUD

St George Bank exchange rate

The St George Bank exchange rate is available online. You’ll also be able to get an estimate of the costs of sending your international payment using the St George currency converter tool.

It’s important to know that St George Bank exchange rates are likely to include a markup on the mid-market exchange rate. That’s an extra fee but it can be tricky to spot it as it’s bundled up in the rate you’re offered for your payment.

Bank exchange rate margins can be about 3%. Because this charge is a percentage, the overall amount you pay will increase steeply for higher value payments:

  • Sending 1,000 AUD – the exchange rate markup adds 30 AUD to the total
  • Sending 5,000 AUD– the exchange rate markup adds 150 AUD to the total
  • Sending 50,000 AUD – the exchange rate markup adds 1,500 AUD to the total

Here’s a reminder of the total costs – including exchange rate markups – from the providers we looked at earlier. This is what you’ll pay with each when sending 1,000 AUD to a friend in the UK:

  • St George Bank: 10 AUD transfer fee + exchange rate margin
  • Wise: 5.14 AUD (no exchange rate margin applies)
  • Western Union: 0 transfer fee + exchange rate margin
  • OFX: 15 AUD transfer fee + exchange rate margin

St George Bank additional fees

Banks usually use the SWIFT network when sending international payments. With SWIFT, your money is passed through one or more correspondent banks until it reaches the right account. Each correspondent bank can deduct a fee for the service they provide as they process the payment. Finally, the recipient’s own bank might also deduct a fee before the money is deposited into the destination account.

St George Bank doesn’t pass on correspondent fees to customers when sending money in 12+ major currencies, although recipient bank fees may still apply. Currencies covered include:

  • USD
  • GBP
  • NZD
  • INR
  • EUR
  • CAD
  • CHF
  • DKK
  • HKD
  • NOK
  • SEK
  • SGD

St George Bank doesn’t cover the correspondent bank fees on some other currency routes though – in this case the money will be deducted as the payment is processed. That can mean your recipient gets less than you expect.  Correspondent fees vary for different currencies – but St George offers a few estimates to give an idea. These include:

  • Payments in Fijian dollars: 15 – 25 FJD
  • Payments in Japanese yen: 0.05% of the payment value
  • Payments in Philippine peso: 500 PHP
  • Payments in Thai baht: 500 THB

How long does a St George Bank international money transfer take?

St George Bank transfers typically take 1 – 3 business days to arrive with the recipient. When we ran our comparison sending payments from Australia to the UK, the specialist providers we looked at could get your money moving faster. However, the exact length of time it takes to send money overseas does vary depending on where you’re sending to, the currencies involved, and the recipient’s own bank processes.

Here’s a look at St George compared to average delivery times for the specialist providers we looked at earlier:

  • St George Bank: 1 – 3 business days
  • Wise: 80% of the payments arrive in 24 hours
  • Western Union: Up to 2 days
  • OFX: 1 – 2 business days

Pros and cons of transferring money abroad with St George Bank

Pros:

  • Familiar and safe
  • No St George Bank correspondent fees on 12 major currency routes
  • Send money conveniently online

Cons:

    • Exchange rate margins can push up the overall costs
    • Specialist services may get your money to its destination faster
    • Depending on where you’re sending money to you might be liable for correspondent and recipient bank fees

International payments aren’t necessarily core business for St George Bank. That means that transfers are still processed using the 50+ year old SWIFT network, which can push up the overall costs and mean it takes longer than necessary for your payment to arrive in the destination account. Choosing a specialist provider could mean you get a better exchange rate, more transparent fees, and a faster delivery.

How to make an international transfer with St George Bank

You can send a St George Bank international transfer online but you’ll have to complete an authorisation step first. This involves applying for access to the international payment service through your internet banking portal, or completing and mailing in a form. Once your application is approved – which may take up to 2 working days – you can use the international payment function through your online banking system.

Once you’re all set up, here’s what you need to do to make your transfer online with St George Bank:

  1. Log in to your St George Bank online banking account
  2. Navigate to Transfers, Payments & BPAY
  3. Select Overseas Transfers
  4. Follow the prompts to enter the recipient’s name, address and account number
  5. Add the recipient’s bank details including the bank name, address, branch and SWIFT code
  6. Confirm the payment amount and currency
  7. Check everything over and your money is on its way

What information do you need to make an international transfer with St George Bank?

Whenever you send an international transfer you’ll have to provide some details about the recipient to make sure the payment arrives safely. Typically, the information you need to provide includes:

  • Your recipient’s name and address
  • Your recipient’s bank account name
  • Your recipient’s bank account number or IBAN
  • Your recipient’s SWIFT/BIC code

Transfer limits and available countries

With St George Bank you’ll be able to send up to 50,000 AUD per day overseas.

You can send payments in 17 currencies with St George Bank. You can only send transfers worth more than the equivalent of 1,000 AUD to a handful of countries. At the time of writing this applies to payments being made to:

  • Cambodia
  • Ghana
  • Indonesia
  • Laos
  • Mexico
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

Receiving money from abroad with St George Bank

There’s a fee of 12 AUD when you receive a payment from abroad to your St George Bank account.

You’ll need to give the sender the following information to get your money[4]:

  • Your name as shown on your account
  • Your St George Bank account number
  • Your St George Bank branch address
  • The St George Bank SWIFT code

If you’re being sent a payment from the US your sender may also request a routing number. In this case you can give them the St George Bank routing number which is 021 000 021.

St George Bank SWIFT code

The St George Bank SWIFT code – also known as a SWIFT/BIC code – is used to make sure your payment arrives into your bank account safely and without delays. Each bank which uses the SWIFT network has a SWIFT code – you can think of it like a postal code for a street address.

St George Bank’s SWIFT code is SGBLAU2S.

Conclusion

Regular banks don’t tend to use the most up to date and efficient methods available for moving money across borders. That can mean it’s relatively slow and costly to send a payment with your normal bank.

Alternative specialist providers often use different payment processing methods which can mean lower overall fees and a faster delivery time than banks. That saves you money, and might also mean your recipient gets more in the end.

Compare money transfer providers
 

St George Bank international bank transfer FAQs

 

1. How much does a St George Bank international transfer cost?

Sending a St George Bank international transfer online costs 10 AUD, plus an exchange rate markup. Depending on the currency involved, third party fees may also apply.

2. How long does a St George Bank international money transfer take?

St George Bank international transfers arrive in 1 – 3 business days.

3. How to transfer money internationally with St George Bank?

The easiest way to send a St George Bank international money transfer is through the online banking system. You’ll need to apply in advance to activate this option within your online banking, which can take up to 2 days to be approved.

 

By Ileana Ionescu Updated March 14th, 2022