Sending money from Australia to Belgium can be very costly. High fees and bad exchange rates makes it expensive. Here are 7 cheaper options to consider:

1. Fee Free Bank Transfers

Transferring money online

Some Australian and international companies will allow you to send money from Australia to Belgium with $0 transfer fee. They don’t charge a fee regardless of how much you are sending. Keep in mind that they all have minimum transfer amounts so if you are sending a small amount of money, these companies may not be able to help you.

Some fee free alternatives include TorFX World First and XE

When and why it’s cheaper:

If you are sending more than $500, but less than $10,000 then these companies make a lot of sense. They don’t charge a fee and their exchange rates are usually better than the banks.

See: VIDEO: How to Transfer Money to an Overseas Bank Account Without High Fees

2. Transfers at the Best Exchange Rate

Peer to peer transfer

Transferwise is one company that offers you the ‘real’ exchange rate that you see on or google. Keep in mind that they do charge a percentage based fee which can add up if you are transferring more than $40,000

When and why it’s cheaper:

Getting the best possible exchange rate makes it much cheaper to send money overseas, particularly for less common currencies or for amounts under $40,000

See: Transferwise Review

3. Paypal

Transferring money online

Yes – Paypal. When you use Paypal to send money overseas, the currency conversion rates aren’t great, but the fees are almost non-existent. It’s also super quick when the person you are paying already has a Paypal account.

When and why it’s cheaper:

If you are paying someone under $1000, like an overseas freelancer, Paypal is cheaper than using a bank. This is because they don’t charge a bank transfer fee, which can range between $18 and $32.

See: Converting and Sending Currency via PayPal – How does it compare?

4. Niche Money Transfer Companies

World Remit

Unless you are sending money to a popular country like China, the US or UK, it can be really costly. This is because the exchange rate charged is considerably worse. Luckily there are companies that specialise in foreign currency transfers to smaller countries.

Some alternatives include WorldRemit, Orbit Remit and Instarem

When and why it’s cheaper:

These companies are much cheaper than a bank and can be better than ‘fee free’ companies, particularly on smaller remittances. They also tend to be faster than larger companies or banks, because they have strong local banking relationships.

5. Blockchain Technology

Transferring money online

The next generation of international payment apps are blockchain based. Blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin. The technology removes the need to go through a channel of banks to send money from one place to another.

They have similar aspects to using Bitcoin, including the benefit of super fast payments and very low transaction fees. The main difference will be the complexity. You won’t need to set up a digital wallet and the person you are paying also won’t need a digital wallet to get the money.

When and why it’s cheaper:

Blockchain technology will allow international money transfers to go through in seconds and at a fraction of the cost than bank transfers. Unfortunately, the technology is still relatively young and needs greater acceptance from both the banking fraternity and regulators. You won’t have to wait too long, though. Watch out for these exciting new solutions in late 2017 and 2018.

6. Online Bank Transfers and Avoid the Branch

Online Bank Transfers

If you are going to use a bank, it is much cheaper to transfer money online compared to the branch. Recently CBA reduced their online fee to $6 down from $22 for smaller transfers under $1000. NAB also dropped it’s fee for online transfers from $22 to $10.

When and why it’s cheaper:

Every major Australian bank has a cheaper fee to transfer money overseas online compared to going into a branch.

7. Bitcoin

Transferring money with bitcoin

You can use Bitcoin to send money overseas, but be aware that it can be quite complicated, particularly if you are not familiar with using a digital currency. You’ll have to set up a wallet with a Bitcoin company, like Coinjar, then fund your online wallet with Australian dollars, convert it to Bitcoin and send it to the person you are paying overseas. They also need to have a Bitcoin wallet and will then convert it to their local currency.

When and why it’s cheaper:

Bitcoin transaction costs are much lower, because you don’t have to go through any banks to send the funds. The exchange rates are better than a bank, but you add some exchange rate risk, because you are converting currency twice (to Bitcoin, then to the local currency) instead of once.



How to Find the Cheapest Way to Transfer Money Overseas

Compare The Total Cost

The total cost of the transfer comes down to 2 things:

Money transfer fees

1. Transfer Fees

Every Australian bank and money transfer company will charge you a different fee to send money overseas. Usually it’s between $10 and $32.

Exchange rate margin fees

2. Exchange Rate Margin

There is no “standard” exchange rate. Each bank will offer you a different exchange rate based on the currency you want to send overseas and the amount you need to send.

Money Transfer Comparison Tool


Related Video: 4 Tips for Making an International Money Transfer


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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.