How to Transfer Money Overseas With No Fees
One question we get asked a lot is “Can you transfer money overseas with no fees”? The answer is yes, with a catch.
When a company offers an international money transfer service that has “no fees”, it usually means the company doesn’t charge you an international money transfer fees (or commission).
Instead, they make money from you through costs that aren’t as obvious when you transfer money overseas - like when you convert your money to another currency. This is known as the exchange rate margin. While you might not be paying an upfront fee, these companies will still charge you higher exchange rates than the market interbank rate, which is how they make their margin (or profit).
With so many hidden fees a bank or money provider can charge, it is exceptionally important you read the fine print. Luckily, we’ve examined this for you and present a shortlist of 4 companies - XE, TorFX, WorldFirst and OFX.
1. XE Money Transfer
XE is a well known and trusted name in the money transfer industry. Now, with over twenty years experience, they help 33,000 people and 2,000 businesses make money transfers each year. In addition, over 60 currencies can be transferred with XE and they pride themselves on the free tools and transparent rates they offer.
Pros and cons of using XE Money Transfer
- XE charge no transfer fees for international money transfers
- Well known and trusted brand
- Very informative website. Extensive information on currency and money transfers. Detailed FAQ page
- XE app is available on both iOS and Android. It allows you to see the interbank rate for over 100 currencies
- Offers support for both individuals and businesses when it comes to international money transfers
- XE will take a margin for making the transfer for you
- Rates quoted on their exchange rate page is the interbank rate, not necessarily the rate you will receive
- Cannot pay via cash or cheque. Must pay via bank transfer, BPay is also accepted in Australia
- The maximum transfer amount is only US$500,000
- While XE compares more than 100 currencies, there are only 60 that are available for money transfers
If you are sending smaller amounts of money (under US$5,000) and you don’t want those extra transaction charges, XE is the company for you. XE is a trusted brand and reliable option. However, make sure you get a quote for the exchange rate you’ll be charged for your currency conversion, because the online rate on their exchange rate webpage is the interbank rate, not the rate you will receive. For more information, have a read of our article XE.com.
TorFX was established in 2004, provides foreign exchange and international payments to companies and individuals. Today, TorFX has more than 240 staff working across the globe, including Australia, South Africa, the UK, India, the US, Spain, Portugal and France.
Pros and cons of using TorFX
- They don’t charge any direct fees or commissions on international money transfers
- Over 30 currencies and quick same day transfer times
- TorFX operates local bank accounts in many currencies, which means deposits are usually free of charge when you use online banking
- Dedicated account managers and personalised service. Especially for transfers over US$25,000
- Easy to get an online quote with no obligation to proceed
- Maximum money transfer amount is AUD 25,000
- Cannot pay via cash or cheque
- Hard to find answers to basic questions via their website – no FAQ
- Delays of transfer due to technical or admin issues are rare, but can cause a hassle
- Exchanging currency comes with potential risks – including market fluctuations beyond your control
If you are regularly transferring money overseas, then TorFX is particularly useful. They also have a minimum transaction size of $200 and offer competitive exchange rates for larger amounts above $50,000. European expats and small businesses are often fans of TorFX because of their competitive exchange rates, service and extensive banking network - both in Australia and the UK.
If you want to see TorFX exchange rates and compare them to the Big 4 banks you can click here and use our exchange rate comparison engine.
WorldFirst, launched in 2004, promotes itself as one of the fastest and fairest ways for people to move money across borders – a more competitive alternative to traditional big banks. Originally set up in a basement flat in Stockwell, South London, today WorldFirst have 6 global offices, with two in the US, one in the UK, one in Australia, one in Hong Kong and one in Singapore. WorldFirst recently removed all of its transfer fees for overseas transactions, making the company even more competitive than ever before.
Pros and cons of using WorldFirst
- No fees for international transactions, but only if you are an existing client
- If you are in business, they have very competitive exchange rates
- Simple registration and set up process
- Easy online payment platform
- Handy online calculator on their website to display the current interbank exchange rates
- Minimum transfer amount of $2000 – higher than many other money transfer specialists
- The current interbank exchange rate will not necessarily be the rate you receive for your transfer. You need to request a quote first
- They only have an office in Sydney
WorldFirst delivers more competitive exchange rates and a superior online platform. Online businesses and individuals still using their banks will find it much easier to use their online platform to make transfers and they also have an app to make it even more convenient. However, WorldFirst's minimum transfer amount of $2,000 can be limiting for individuals. So, we suggest you use WorldFirst if you are a business or you are regularly sending or receiving much larger amounts of money.
OFX (formally known as Ozforex) is the largest Australian owned money transfer company. The company was born online and continues to develop easy, intuitive products. Everything from account set-up to sending money overseas is done online. While OFX customers do most of their transactions online, they are supported by exceptional customer service. This is one of the main reasons the business has grown so strongly on word-of-mouth referrals and positive reviews.
Pros and cons of using OFX
- They charge $15 for any transfer up to $10,000 (Australian dollars)
- Minimum transfer amounts of $250. Anything less is not allowed
- OFX don’t accept credit cards, cheques or cash
- No personal advice
- They also do not offer foreign currency accounts
OFX excels in 2 areas – online experience and customer service. Their $15 fee for amounts under $10,000 does make OFX a less attractive option for smaller payments. Fortunately, for larger payments, the transfers are fee-free. When you make larger payments they also improve the exchange rates they offer you, which makes OFX a very good alternative to using a bank.
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