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Can I transfer money overseas with my credit or debit card?

Explore ways to make an international transfer with your card and learn what to watch out for.

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There are several ways you can transfer money overseas from your card, but you’ll need to keep an eye on the fees. It’s often not the cheapest method of sending money overseas – paying with a bank transfer attracts fewer fees. But if you have to, picking the right company to send money using your credit card can save you on excess fees.

Money transfer services that let you pay by credit/debit card

Our table lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Compare services on transfer speeds and fees, then click Go to site when you're ready to send.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
CAD 10 Within an hour CAD 1.99 0.775 USD
7,752
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
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CAD 1 1 - 2 days CAD 90.00 0.784 USD
7,770
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.
You’re often able to pay for a transfer money overseas with your credit or debit card. But compare costs among providers to make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck.

How do I send money internationally with my credit card?

You have several ways to use your credit card when paying for an international money transfer, including:

  • Your bank. Use your credit card to transfer money overseas from your bank account either online, over the phone or by visiting a branch. But with one caveat: Your credit card provider will likely consider your transfer a cash advance, resulting in both a higher rate of interest and a cash advance fee.
  • Money transfer specialist. Specialist transfer companies like Western Union, MoneyGram, WorldRemit, Ria Money Transfers and more allow you to send money with your credit card. All allow you to pay for online transfers using your credit card, and a few also allow for in-person transfers with your card.
  • PayPal. Link your credit card to your PayPal account to make an overseas transfer. Fees are 2.9% of your transaction amount and a small fixed fee usually worth around CAD $0.50 per transaction.

How do I send money internationally with my debit card?

Even if you don’t have a credit card, you may be in luck: many money transfer providers accept debit cards. If you decide to use a debit card, be sure to understand any processing fees you’ll pay.

Here are a few excellent options for international transfers using your debit card:

  • OFX. You can get $0 transfer fees on OFX. As a bonus, the platform offers excellent exchange rates.
  • Wise. Through Wise, you can pay no debit card fees for transfers to select countries. Watch out for percentage-based transfer fees, but rest easy knowing you’ll get the mid-market rate on all currency trades.

Want to make domestic money transfers with a debit card?

A debit card is a great option for domestic money transfers. If you pick the right transfer provider, a debit card will let you send money quickly and for free. Arguably the best way to send money domestically, Google Pay offers free transfers with a debit card. When your recipient receives the transfer, the money is automatically forwarded to the bank account linked to their debit card.

Fees to send money online with your credit card

You have many options when it comes to sending money with your credit card, as companies are often willing to accept payment by plastic if you’re willing to pay for the convenience. Here are the fees charged by popular options for sending CAD $800 to a bank account in Mexico with your credit card when we checked on April 26, 2021.

Sending CAD $800 to Mexico viaPercent feeFlat feeTotal credit card fees
WorldRemit0.00%$0.00$0.00
Xoom0.00%$17.49$17.49
MoneyGram0.00%$4.99$4.99
Ria0.00%$10.00$10.00
Western Union0.00%$0.00 (temporary promotional fee)$0.00
Remitly0.00%$3.99$3.99
PayPal2.90%CAD $4.99 + MXN $4.00 (about CAD $0.25)$28.44
Wise3.56%$1.15$28.86

Without a doubt, WorldRemit charges the lowest in credit card fees compared to the other popular sending options we checked, but these fees aren’t the whole story.

Should I ever transfer money internationally with my credit or debit card?

You could find yourself in a situation where sending a money transfer from your credit or debit card is a good idea. Here are just a few:

You want credit card rewards

If you have a rewards credit card, you may earn travel miles or cash back after you fund your transfer. However, this works best when you use a service like MoneyGram or Western Union — not your bank. Transferring through your bank could saddle you with higher interest rates and fees, erasing any rewards you might earn.

You need your card in a pinch

Credit and debit card transfers could be useful in an emergency. For example, you may need to send an urgent transfer to loved ones whose funds were stolen while travelling overseas. In this case, it may be most effective to send a card-based transfer via Western Union or MoneyGram.

The fees work in your favor

Before you initiate your transfer, check on fees for both credit and debit cards. If there’s any difference, you’re likely to find a lower fee for debit card transfers.

You don’t have a bank account

Using a bank account is the standard funding source for money transfers. However, you may not have your bank account details handy. In that case, it may be more convenient to use your credit or debit card.

If you don’t have a credit card, bank account or debit card, consider picking up a prepaid credit card. You can purchase one at a local store — such as a supermarket or a local Canada Post outlet — and use it to fund your transfer.

What’s the difference between a debit and credit card?

Why you should avoid sending money online with your credit card

Compared with using your bank account, it could be more convenient to transfer money with your credit or debit card. However, keep these potential pitfalls in mind.

Your credit card transaction could be treated as a cash advance

When you pay for a transfer with your credit card, the transaction is often treated as a cash advance by your card provider. This typically attracts a cash advance fee and higher rate of interest than an ordinary card payment. The interest may also apply from the day you make the transfer — without an interest grace period.

Look out for credit and debit card fees

Using your bank account is typically the cheapest option. When you use your credit or debit card, your provider is likely to charge you a higher transfer fee.

Bottom line

You can transfer money overseas with a credit or debit card, but it’s typically your more expensive option. It’s almost always cheaper to fund your transfer with your bank account. No matter how you’ll ultimately pay, compare multiple transfer providers before parting with any of your money.

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