The Best Ways of Transferring Money Back to Australia from Overseas

Transferring money to Australia can be full of hidden fees and costs. It can also be pretty confusing if you've never completed an international money transfer or you want to try a different option. In this guide, we make it easy and share with you:

 

 

Some of the best money transfer services to send money to Australia from overseas

Best Overall Online Service

TorFX

Popular with expats based in Australia, TorFX have a local office with excellent over the phone service and give better exchange rates for larger amounts.

In addition, they don't charge a flat transfer fee. TorFX was founded in 2004 and is a British company that has offices worldwide.

How much does it cost to transfer a large amount of money with TorFX?

Transfer Fee: Fee free transfers
Exchange Rate: TorFX offer competitive exchange rates when transferring large amounts overseas. To obtain a quote you need to sign up first.

How long does it take?

Your recipient will get the money in their local bank account within 2-5 business days.

Is TorFX safe?

Yes they are. Read our full review of TorFX.

Best features:

  • Very competitive rates, especially when you're transferring large sums of money
  • Assigned a dedicated account manager
  • Support for both individuals and businesses
  • Excellent customer support available via phone and email

How to transfer money with TorFX?

  • Register your details through the TorFX website. Choose the type of account you need, your details and the currencies you'll transfer.
  • Once you have a quote for your transfer, fill in the recipients details. If you're sending money overseas to your own international account, fill in your own details.
  • Pay TorFX via bank transfer.
  • Learn more about how to transfer money with TorFX in this step-by-step guide

Service details:

For Torfx help online.

Best Overall Online Service

Wise (formerly known as TransferWise)

It's incredibly easy to set up an account or make a transfer using their app. They also have the best exchange rates, because they offer the same market rate you see on XE or Google and don't add any hidden exchange rate mark ups.

One of the best products they offer is their Borderless account. It's particularly useful if you are living overseas and want to transfer money back to Australia.

How much does it cost?

Transfer Fee: It depends on where you are sending the money from but most times, they charge a small flat fee plus a percentage of the transfer amount.
Exchange Rate: Wise gives you the best possible rate (google rate). They do not use a margin.
Payment methods: Bank transfer, debit card and credit card.

How long does it take?

If you are transferring money between your own Wise accounts, it's instant. If you are sending it to a local Australian bank account it's usually done by the next business day.

Is Wise safe?

They are very safe. Click here to see our full review of Wise.

Best features:

  • Quick online set-up
  • Transparent fees and offer the best rates online
  • Very fast transfers to a bank account
  • Simple cell phone app

How to transfer money with Wise

Service details:

For Wise help online.

OFX

OFX (formerly Ozforex) was founded in Australia and has grown into a well-respected global company. With headquarters in Sydney, it has a good track record for security.

They are a good option for Australians who don't mind transacting online, but still want local customer support over the phone.

How much does it cost?

Transfer Fee: OFX usually charge a flat fee for smaller amounts, but if you click on the link below, your transfers will be fee free.
Exchange Rate: OFX add a margin to the exchange rate when you convert your Australian dollars.
Minimum Transfer Amount: AUD$250

How long does it take?

Your recipient will get the money in Australian Dollars (AUD) into their account in 1-2 business days.

Is OFX safe?

Yes they are. See our full review of OFX for more information.

Best features:

  • Good exchange rates and lock-in rate for larger amounts
  • Local phone support
  • Mobile phone app

How to transfer money with OFX

XE Money Transfers

As a trusted and seasoned name in foreign exchange, XE could be a good option for online users who aren't under time pressure. They don't charge fixed fees and don't have any minimum amounts so are good for any sized transaction.

How much does it cost?

Transfer Fee: Free, but there can be hidden charges at the local bank.
Exchange Rate: The exchange rate you receive, when you convert your Australian dollars, will depend on the amount of your transfer.

How long does it take?

Your recipient will get the money their account in 2-3 business days.

Is XE safe?

Yes they are. They are licensed as a Money Transmitter by the DFS in New York and registered with FINTRAC.

Best features:

  • No fees or minimum amounts for money transfers
  • Better exchange rates for larger amounts
  • Well known and trusted brand
  • Business and individual support, plus accessible customer service

How to transfer money with XE

Service details:

For help from XE click here or call  (02) 8270 4500 from within Australia

Citibank, HSBC and ANZ

CitiBank has the lowest transaction fees if you want to make a transfer through a bank. The Citibank Plus transaction account is an everyday bank account that doesn't charge for large international transactions. Citibank Global Transfers which are transfers between Citi accounts are not only fee free, but instant. Citi Global Currency account will let you hold 10 currencies and no fees to send money (however there can be receiving fees from different banks).

HSBC Premier customers can make instant transfers across your HSBC accounts with no transfer fees. You can send up to $200,000 per day. HSBC also has an Everyday Global account and Foreign Currency Flexi Saver where you can hold up to 10 currencies in the one account.

ANZ generally offers the most competitive exchange rates across the banks. Find out more about how to receive large sums of money from overseas to your ANZ account. The benefits of sending large sums of money through ANZ include:

  • Convenience - especially if you already have an ANZ bank account
  • It’s a relatively simple and straightforward process
  • You can make transfers online
  • You’re protected by the ANZ Fraud money back guarantee
  • You can get access to the ANZ Shield app
  • You're able to send money to over 90 countries around the world
  • Funds are sent through the worldwide bank network and are protected by a “two factor authentication” system

How to use a money transfer service instead of a bank

How to transfer money back to Australia

While each bank and money transfer service is different, you will always need to follow these steps to transfer your money safely and quickly:

  1. Set up an account usually takes 5-10 minutes and make sure you have I.D.
  2. Enter bank account details of the person or company you're sending the money to
  3. Pay for your transfer using a card or bank transfer

Now that you know how to transfer money to Australia you can compare your options. We understand this isn't easy. Every bank and money transfer company offer different exchange rates and transfer fees.

That's why using our table compares the total cost of the transfer, based on the amount of your transfer.

What information do you need to transfer money to Australia?

What information will I need to transfer money back to Australia?
  • Your personal information: Your full name, address, date of birth and valid I.D.

For security reasons money transfer service's need your photo id scanned or photographed using your phone. It also needs to be high quality. Also note, you can't give your work/office address or PO box address.

  • Australian bank account details: The full name on the account, banks name and branch address. You will also need a 6-digit BSB number and a 5-9 digit bank account number.
    The BSB number (bank/state/branch code) is in this format: AAB-CCC
    The first 2 digits (AA) is the bank code, the third digit (B) is the state in Australia the branch is located and the final 3 digits (CCC) represents the address of the branch.

You can usually get these details by logging into your online banking, on the bank's website with a branch locator or checking the bank statement. If you're unsure, call the branch before your transfer to confirm details.

  • Alternatively, you might be asked for the banks Swift code or BIC code.
  • How you wish to pay: Your bank details, account numbers and address or debit/credit card details to pay for your transfer.

Your bank or money transfer company may request more information about your international money transfer to meet anti-laundering regulations or internal security policies.

Here is a summary of details required for Australia's 4 major banks:

Bank Name SWIFT / BIC Code Branch Address Locator
Commonwealth Bank of Australia CTBAAU2S CBA Branch
Westpac Bank WPACAU2S Westpac Branch
ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited ANZBNZ22 ANZ Branch
National Australia Bank NATAAU3303M NAB Branch

Find out the SWIFT or BIC code for your bank with a useful bank code finder.

How much money can I bring to Australia?

Surprisingly, you can bring an unlimited amount of money with you to Australia. However, you must declare your Australian dollars or foreign currency cash if you're carrying over A$10,000.

You won’t be charged any fees for carrying or declaring physical currency. The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) only collects the data to help prevent money laundering or terrorism. Here are some important details:

  • If you're receiving over AUD $10,000, it's mandatory for you to fill in a declaration form for AUSTRAC
  • If you're receiving money through a bank or money transfer company you don't have to declare it directly to AUSTRAC

Are there any limits for foreign currency transfers to Australia?

There is no limit on how much foreign currency you can transfer to Australia or receive in Australia if you live here. However, some online international money transfer services have minimum or maximum transfer limits.

For example, TransferWise has no minimum transfer limit and has maximum limits depending on where you're sending money from. Meanwhile, OFX and XE have no maximum transfer amounts.

FAQs about sending money to Australia

How do I pay for my money transfer to Australia?

Depending on your provider, there are several different ways to pay. Many providers accept:

  1. Direct bank transfer
  2. Debit card payment
  3. Credit card payment

Money transfer services may charge a small additional fee, depending on how you decide to pay (usually for debit or credit card payments).

This means that choosing the best way to send money to Australia will largely depend on your payment method.

Do I have to pay tax on my money transfer?

These four factors will help you decide whether you will need to pay tax or not:

  1. Source of your funds (inheritance, gift, proceeds from the sales of a home)
  2. Tax laws of the country you're sending money from and Australia to avoid double taxation
  3. Amount of money you transfer to Australia
  4. Your residency status

According to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) if you're moving to Australia for the first time, any savings you transfer will not be taxed. Once you're an Australian resident, money you transfer back to Australia can be taxed.

Learn more about taxes you may pay when receiving money in Australia

Can I send cash to Australia?

Yes. If you want to send cash directly to a person or account, rather than pay money into their bank account or mobile phone, you have two options — Western Union or MoneyGram. Both are expensive, but on the plus-side, usually the cash is available instantly.

You can arrange someone to physically collect cash in Australia at a store, agent or third-party outlet. The person in Australia will need a payment reference number and personal identification like your birth certificate, driver's licence or passport.

In Australia, Western Union has the largest network for receiving cash via Australia Post. However, it is also expensive. MoneyGram is our least favourite. MoneyGram charge a variable transfer fee so your fee changes every time you send cash and is only available in 7-eleven stores.

What is a SWIFT code?

A SWIFT code is a series of 8 or 11 characters that identifies banks worldwide. The code is made up of letters and numbers as follows: 4 digits bank code; 2 digits country code; 2 digits location code. It's also known as a Bank Identifier Code (BIC). Major banks overseas usually require a SWIFT code to send money to Australia.

Other terms used by banks overseas include:

  • IBAN (International Bank Account Number) - mainly European countries
  • CHIPS UID (Clearing House Inter-Bank Payment System Universal IDentifier) – US and Canada only
  • NCC (National Clearing Code)
  • BSC (Bank Sort Code)
  • IFSC (Indian Financial System Code)

Find out the code for your bank with a useful bank code finder.

How does The Currency Shop make money?

The Currency Shop does not charge you. Instead, we receive a referral fee from the banks and money transfer companies that we are partnered with. This does not affect the price you pay.

Is it safe to use The Currency Shop to compare?

Yes. The Currency Shop holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (ASIC) (462269) and is a member of the Financial Ombudsman Service. We closely vet our providers and only partner with the largest, safest and most trusted money transfer companies in the world. That just makes sense.

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By Justin Rampono Updated June 28th, 2021