FIND THE BEST WAY TO SEND MONEY OVERSEAS

Compare international money transfer exchange rates and fees

How does it work?

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Enter your amount Banks and money transfer services offer different rates and fees depending on how much you transfer

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Compare your options Your comparison is ranked from cheapest to most expensive

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Learn more To learn more about how it works, go to their website

2019 International Money Transfer Comparison and Reviews

Like any worldly Australian, you want to transfer money overseas without spending all your hard-earned cash on fees. Well, we’ve got some good news... and some bad news. First, the bad news.

The Australian government says that we’re one of the most expensive countries in the world to send money overseas from. It costs around 13 percent more than sending from the UK and 40 percent more than from the US.

Now the good news. That doesn’t mean you have to set your money on fire. Just a couple of minutes of extra work could save you plenty. Want even better news? We make it really easy.

The Best International Money Transfer Services

We know what you need — to find out the best international money transfer service. Don't worry, we’ve shared them below, together with a quick overview of each, including their advantages and disadvantages. We've also reviewed over 30 banks and money transfer companies to find the best way to transfer money overseas from Australia:

Best overall online international money transfer provider

TransferWise are great if you want a fast, hassle-free, low cost way to send money overseas.

They are ideal for expats, sending money back home or receiving money from overseas. They offer a quick, easy to use online service and mobile app, ideal for sorting out your international money transfer right now.

TransferWise offers you the best foreign currency rates — identical to the market rate (also know as the interbank rate) that you see on Google or XE. They then charge a small, percentage-based currency exchange service fee.

  • It’s very fast and easy to create an account.
  • You can create and send a money transfer in fewer than five minutes.
  • They offer the best exchange rates available.
  • Their service charge is low, fees and pricing are transparent and easy to understand.
  • You can pay via bank transfer, credit or debit card.
  • They’re loved by customers, scoring nine out of ten on Trustpilot.
  • There’s no minimum transfer size or hidden fees
  • Can't pay for your transfer via cash or cheque.
  • There’s limited customer support, you can’t call them so need to interact via email or through their website.
  • If you’re transferring more than around $40,000, their service charge can make them less competitive than other providers.
  • They don’t support all global currencies.

Best fee free transfer

XE Money Transfer don’t charge a fee for sending money, instead they make a profit by offering you a slightly worse exchange rate than the base rate.

The overall XE business has been around since 1993, so they know a thing or two about sending money overseas! XE provide a wealth of trusted information on exchange rates, including currency price history, news and more.

In addition to providing currency exchange information to financial institutions, they also have their own foreign exchange service, but how does it stack up.

  • XE are a worldwide, trusted authority for currency exchange.
  • They don’t charge any fees for sending money overseas.
  • There’s no minimum transfer amount.
  • It’s easy to get in touch with and use their customer service.
  • They’re loved by customers, scoring 9.2 out of ten on Trustpilot.
  • Their website is quick and easy to use.
  • You can’t pay for your transfer using cash or a cheque.
  • There’s limited customer support over the weekend.
  • They don’t support all global currencies.

Best money transfer exchange rates

As we’ve explained above, TransferWise gives you the most competitive exchange rates of all, because the rates they offer are identical to the base exchange rate. In other words, you won’t find a better exchange rate anywhere, which is awesome.

Instead of offering you a worse exchange rate, TransferWise simply charge a small, percentage-based service fee. Even with this fee though, they’re consistently better priced than pretty much any other international money transfer provider.

  • It’s very fast and easy to create an account.
  • You can create and send a money transfer in fewer than five minutes.
  • They offer the best exchange rates available.
  • Their service charge is low, fees and pricing are transparent and easy to understand.
  • You can pay via bank transfer, credit or debit card.
  • They’re loved by customers, scoring nine out of ten on Trustpilot.
  • There’s no minimum transfer size.
  • Can't pay for your transfer via cash or cheque.
  • There’s limited customer support, you can’t call them so need to interact via email or through their website.
  • If you’re transferring more than around $40,000, their service charge can make them less competitive than other providers.
  • They don’t support all global currencies.

Best money transfer for awesome customer service

TorFX have the best customer service in the business, hands down. If you need someone to talk you through your currency exchange, they’re the perfect choice.

We know that sending money overseas can sometimes be daunting, and so does TorFX. That’s why they’ve invested in a superb customer service experience. You get a personalised account manager who talks you through every aspect of your transfer — the rates you’ll get, how to pay, how long until the recipient gets their money and more.

If you want helpful advice for your international money transfer, TorFX are hard to beat.

  • Dedicated account manager and customer service team.
  • Simple website, you can get a quote in a few moments.
  • Good exchange rates to the UK (GBP), New Zealand (NZD) , South Africa (ZAR) and Europe (EUR).
  • An excellent score from their customers of 9.2 out of ten on Trustpilot.
  • Best for overseas transfers of $2,000 or more.
  • No transfer fees.
  • They’re not as competitive if you’re sending less than $2,000.
  • You can only pay by bank transfer from an account in your name.
  • Although getting a quote is easy, the rest of their website can be awkward to use.
  • Minimum transfer amount of $200.
  • You can’t pay for your transfer using cash, credit card or a cheque.

Best bank for international transfers

CitiBank charge the lowest transaction fees and offer the best foreign exchange rates if you want to make a transfer through a bank.

We don’t typically recommend banks for international transfers as they always charge more than specialist providers. Despite this, we have to admit, making a transfer through a bank is convenient. If you’d like to exchange currency with a bank, then CitiBank is your best choice.

Although their fixed fee ($25) for a transfer is higher than many competitors, they offer much better exchange rates than other banks. This means that as long as you’re transferring a decent amount (more than around $1,000 AUD), your money will go further than with most other high street banks. We’d still suggest you look at other providers though, as you’ll save much more money.

  • It’s easy to send money internationally to another bank account or to Citibank accounts.
  • CitiBank offers competitive exchange rates, compared to other banks.
  • CitiBank charges a relatively high, fixed fee of $25 for most international money transfers.
  • Transfers can take up to five days for processing and receipt.

Best for businesses

OFX are an Australian based money transfer company. They are particularly good at reducing the cost of international payments for small to medium size businesses.

  • Integration with Xero
  • Lock in exchange rates using a forward exchange contract
  • Better exchange rates for larger amounts
  • OFX Global Currency Account for online sellers
  • They’re not as competitive if you’re sending less than $2,000.
  • Minimum transfer amount of $250.
  • You can’t pay for your transfer using cash, credit card or a cheque.
  • Foreign currency account limited to online sellers

International money transfer reviews

We’ve listed some of the very best money transfer providers above, and they’re some of your best options if you want to send money abroad. You’re not limited to those choices though — there are many financial service providers that will offer to send currency overseas, all with differing fees, exchange rates and services.

We’ve reviewed all of these providers — it’s a tough job but someone has to do it! You can find links to all of these reviews below. We’ve shared information on:

  • An overview of each provider, giving you some quick, useful insight.
  • The advantages and disadvantages of each provider and why you might choose to use them.
  • Fees, exchange rates and minimum transfer amounts.
  • What customers think of the provider, based on Trustpilot reviews, including good and bad points.
  • How to setup an account, create and pay for a currency transfer.
  • The currencies the provider can exchange between.
  • Safety and security at the provider.

Remember that to find the best deals for international money transfers, you should use our comparison table.

Transferring money internationally through your bank?

Banks are almost always more expensive than companies that specialise in overseas transfers. They charge high fixed fees and worse exchange rates than you can get from companies like TransferWise, XE Money Transfer, WorldRemit and similar businesses.

We think it’s vital for you to make a fair comparison though, so we’ve reviewed all of these banks and shared what’s good and bad about each one.

Your international money transfer questions, answered

This is the way you transfer money from your Australian bank account to an account held by someone you know in another country. International money transfers are popular for both large one-off payments and small frequent amounts.

Learn more about how to make an international money transfer.

You’re probably not looking forward to a long, exhaustive explanation of currency exchange rates and fees, so we’ll keep this mercifully brief! When you send money abroad using your bank or a specialist international money transfer company, you could be charged fees in several ways:

1. They may offer a slightly worse exchange rate

The “best” exchange rate available is the “base” exchange rate.* Some currency providers make money by offering you a slightly worse rate, and take a profit on the difference — this is known as the “margin” or “spread.” For example, the base rate might get you $1,000 US dollars for $1,412 AUD, but a provider charges you $1,430 AUD. That $18 difference is their margin, where they make a profit.

*The standard exchange rate is also known as the standard, mid-market or interbank exchange rate.

2. They may charge a fixed fee

Some providers, especially banks, will charge you a fixed fee to send money. These fees can range from anywhere between $1 to $25 or more. High street banks are particularly bad at charing high, fixed fees — but don’t worry, we’ve got some good alternatives for you.

3. They may charge a commission or service charge

Some providers like TransferWise charge a fee based on the total amount you’re transferring as a commission or service charge. These will typically be shown seperate to the exchange rate, and as the amount you send increases, the service charge will also go up.

Comparing charges for international money transfers

Providers do vary in how they charge for international money transfer services, and they may apply a combination of different types of fees. When we compare providers, we show you the total amount you’ll pay, so you always get a fair, side-by-side comparison.

Something else to bear in mind — if you’re sending money to someone else’s bank account, their bank may charge processing fees. A money transfer company has no influence on these fees, and you should speak to the receiving bank to understand how much they might be.

Find out how much it really costs to send money internationally, and get the best rates by using our international money transfer comparison tool.

So, what do all these fees and charges mean for your bank balance? Here’s a quick comparison of how much it will cost you in Australian dollars for a recipient to get $1,000 USD in the US.

Type of Provider Provider Name Exchange
Rate
Fixed Fee Total AUD Fee as a %
Base exchange rate Best exchange rate 0.7082 $0 $1,412 0.0%
Specialist provider TransferWise 0.7085 $7 $1,419 0.5%
Specialist provider WorldRemit 0.7005 $4 $1,432 1.4%
Specialist provider XE Money Transfers 0.6978 $0 $1,433 1.5%
Bank Citibank 0.6996 $25 $1,454 2.9%
Specialist provider OFX 0.6945 $15 $1,455 3.0%
Bank ANZ Bank 0.6846 $12 $1,473 4.1%
Bank NAB 0.6779 $10 $1,485 4.9%
Bank Suncorp 0.6799 $20 $1,491 5.3%
Bank BankWest 0.6761 $15 $1,494 5.5%
Bank Westpac 0.6738 $10 $1,494 5.5%
Bank Commonwealth Bank 0.6717 $6 $1,495 5.6%
Bank Bendigo 0.6728 $30 $1,516 6.9%

This comparison was made at 2pm AEST, 4th March, 2019.

The actual length of time between you paying for a transfer and the recipient getting the money varies depending on a few different factors:

  • The international money transfer provider or bank that you’re using.
  • The country and currency you’re sending from.
  • The country and currency of the person receiving the transfer.
  • How you’re paying for the transfer (e.g. by a wire transfer, bank transfer, credit or debit card).
  • Whether your transfer needs an extra review or validation.

That may not be a good enough quick answer though. So, we’ve looked at all the different providers to come up with some average transfer times, in business days:

  • Bank to bank transfers: 2 to 5 business days.
  • International money transfers: 0 to 5 business days.
  • Wire transfers and telegraphic transfers: 1 to 5 business days.

And here are some average times for some of our most popular specialist providers:

TransferWise: 0 to 3 business days
XE Money Transfers: 0 to 3 business days
WorldFirst: 1 to 2 business days
Western Union: 0 to 3 business days
OFX: 0 to 3 business days

Learn more about how long your transfer could take.

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