Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.

International money transfers

Find the best exchange rates and lowest fees when you send money overseas from Canada.

Send money internationally with XE

XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.

  • Send money overseas in just one day
  • More than 40 different currencies available
  • Low transfer fees
  • Keep track of your transaction 24/7 online
Promoted

Compare money transfer services

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
CAD 1 Same day CAD 0.00 0.793 USD
3,967
XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
CAD 10 Within an hour CAD 1.99 0.789 USD
3,942
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.
Go to site Show details
CAD 0 Within an hour CAD 3.99 0.794 USD
3,968
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Go to site Show details
CAD 1 1 - 2 days CAD 45.00 0.797 USD
3,951
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.
Padlock icon
We only list licensed services that are overseen by a government regulator.
Finder logo
Every service we compare has been assessed and reviewed by our editorial team.

What is an international money transfer?

An international money transfer is what happens when you send money to someone overseas. You provide funds and your recipient’s details to a bank or an independent transfer provider, which then exchanges the money into your desired currency and sends it to your recipient. You can send money over the phone, in person, through a mobile app or online.

You also have options when it comes to paying, depending on what the service you choose offers:
  • Cash
  • Credit or debit card
  • Bank transfer
And you have options for how your recipient receives the transfer:
  • Bank account
  • Mobile wallet
  • Cash pick-up
  • Door delivery

Learn more about money transfers for:

How to transfer money internationally

There are two main ways to send money out of Canada: a specialist money transfer service or your bank. Both banks and transfer services offer online transfers, with some offering in-branch transfers or the ability to send money over your phone via an app or calling an agent.

We’ll go through the steps each method takes if you were sending online.

Through a money transfer specialist

The following steps give a good example of a typical transfer using a money transfer company.

  1. Register online with the transfer service of your choice.
  2. Input transaction details, including the amount you want to transfer.
  3. Get approved by the transfer company. You may need to scan or email a copy of your ID for the first transaction.
  4. Transfer funds through your bank using the account details from your transfer company.
  5. Get your money. Your transfer service will deposit your funds in your destination account.
  • For you if
    You want a more competitive exchange rate and lower fees than a bank transfer.
  • Not for you if
    You want the familiarity and convenience of a known bank and don’t have time to be verified.

Through your bank

If you choose to use a bank to carry out your transfer, the process is a little different.

  1. Navigate to the international money transfers section of your account.
  2. You’ll usually need to know the address of the receiving bank, the account details of the receiving account, the account name and often the receiving bank’s SWIFT code (an international bank identification system).
  3. It’s a good idea to check with your bank about exchange rates.
  4. You can use this method to send an international money order online to your home bank account or to a third party.
  • For you if
    You want the convenience of sending money directly from your existing bank account immediately.
  • Not for you if
    You want fewer fees and a better exchange rate.

Tips for saving on your international transfer

While there’s no best way to transfer funds overseas, there are a few things you can do to make it cheaper.

  • Know your transfer currency’s mid-market rate. This rate is the midpoint between worldwide supply and demand for that currency – and the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves. Use it as a baseline to compare against the rates you’re being offered. The company that’s closest is offering you the best rate.
  • Send more money per transfer. Many services discount the fees or waive them altogether when you send larger amounts.
  • Use forward contracts and limit orders if sending money regularly. A forward contract allows you to lock in a favourable exchange rate for future transfers. This means you’ll avoid unpredictable movements in exchange rates. A limit order allows you to wait until a favourable exchange rate is found, and then lock it in for your transfer.

What should you watch out for?

Keep an eye out for the following when you send money overseas:

  • Hidden fees. No transfer is truly free. If a service is advertising “fee-free transfers”, there’s probably a larger margin added to the exchange rate. Compare the rate you get quoted against the mid-market rate (which you can find on Google) to see if you’re getting a good deal.
  • Fake rates. If you see a great exchange rate advertised on a provider’s website, make sure the rate you see is the rate you will actually receive. Some companies advertise the mid-market exchange rate, which is the rate at which banks purchase foreign exchange, rather than the rate they actually offer their customers.
  • Failing to do your research. If you want to save some money, compare several transfer providers before choosing one to sell your transaction. Shop around for a company that offers reliable and affordable transfers, instead of just diving in head-first.
  • Scams. Scams cost Canadians $98 million in 2019. With this number increasing each year, it’s important to keep an eye out for the most common scams. In general, it’s best to only send money to someone you know personally.
  • Taxes and regulation. Each country regulates money transfers differently. Make sure you’ve read up on if your recipient needs to pay taxes on the money they’re being sent. In Australia, for example, money transfers over $10,000 get automatically reported to Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). But other countries, like India or the US, have stricter regulations.

Other frequently asked questions

Sending to a specific country? Learn more

Read more on this topic

Ask an Expert

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Go to site