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Review: Calforex international money transfers

Send money overseas using Calforex's mobile app or visit an agent to exchange money or send a wire transfer.

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Quick verdict

Good for
  • Foreign exchange
  • Business transfers
  • Tuition payments
  • Buyback program
Not so great for
  • Competitive rates
  • Transparent fees
  • Personal transfers
  • Fast service

Calforex exchange rates and fees

Calforex offers three main services: foreign exchange, business transfers and wire transfers. They don’t post their exchange rates or fees online, so it’s difficult to say how competitive they are. Based on the rates and fees of similar companies, It’s likely that they’re on par with the banks and more expensive than specialist money transfer services.

If you’re sending a wire or business transfer overseas, Calforex likely adds a 2-5% margin onto the mid-market exchange rate (aka the rate that the banks trade at). This means your transaction could end up costing hundreds of dollars more than with a specialist money transfer company, depending on how much you send.

Available currencies

Calforex allows you to send money overseas via wire transfer, but you’ll need a business or student account to send online money transfers through their SHiFT platform. You can send most major currencies, including:

  • USD US dollar
  • GBP British pound
  • EUR Euro
  • AUD Australian dollar
  • NZD New Zealand dollar
  • SGD Singapore dollar
  • ZAR South African rand
  • INR Indian rupee
Calforex also carries over 100 foreign currencies on location for exchange purposes.

What types of transfers can you make with Calforex?

Currently, Calforex only offers business transfers, wire transfers and tuition payments, although they’re working on introducing personal transfers through SHiFT. They don’t appear to have Forex options like forward contracts or limit orders, which would allow you to lock in a favourable exchange rate for the future.

You can send money directly to your recipient’s bank account so long as you know their banking information, including bank name, account number and SWIFT or IBAN code. Alternatively, you can specify the university you want to pay from their drop-down list.

How long does a transfer with Calforex take?

Transfer times can vary based on what currency you’re sending. Typically, it takes around 1 – 3 business days for your transfer to arrive.

What payment methods does Calforex accept

You can pay for your money transfer with a direct deposit from your bank account, or by paying with PayPal or your debit or credit card.

Transfers typically takeClock icon for transfer speed

1-3 days

Is Calforex safe to use?

  • Security and regulation: Physical and electronic security measures in place.
  • Established: 1983

How does Calforex make money?

Calforex makes its money by charging a spread on the exchange rate. They don’t post their exchange rates or fees online, so it’s hard to say how competitive they are. Similar currency exchange services add a 2-5% margin onto the mid-market exchange rate (aka the rate that the banks trade at).

For example, if the mid-market rate to send CAD to USD is $0.751, the bank will offer you a rate of $0.735. This means that they get to keep $0.016 on every dollar you exchange. On a transfer of $10,000, this can rack up an extra cost of $160.

How to register an account

You can register for a business account online or by visiting one of Calforex’s kiosks. To register online, you’ll need to provide details like the type of business you own along with the business number. Once you’re all set up, you’ll be able to send transfers through their online platform.

If you’re looking to send a wire transfer, you’ll have to visit an agent to provide your personal details and payment information

What is Calforex?

Calforex is primarily a foreign currency exchange with limited money transfer options. It has locations in Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Victoria.

In a nutshell

Pros

  • Foreign exchange. They’re known to have competitive rates for exchanging currency.
  • Business transfers. You can use their online app to send business transfers at any time of day.
  • Tuition payments. You can send money directly to your university using a convenient drop-down list.
  • Buyback guarantee. They offer bonus cash when you make your first transfer or refer a friend.

Cons

  • No personal transfers. You can only send business transfers or pay tuition using their online platform.
  • Poor exchange rates. They add a larger margin to the exchange rate than specialist money transfer services.
  • Hidden rates and fees. It’s difficult to find any information on their rates and fees on the company website.
  • Takes longer. It can take up to 3 business days for your recipient to receive their funds.

How does Calforex compare to other providers?

Calforex is just one among many banks and specialist companies offering international money transfers.

Our table below lets you compare services you can use to send money abroad. Compare fees, exchange rates and discounts from different money transfer services, and when you have made your choice, click Go to site.
Name Product Offer Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
Wise (TransferWise)
24 hours
From 0.43%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Xe Money Transfers
Within minutes
$0
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Instarem
Within minutes
From $0
Use code HELLO to get $20 off on first two transfers on a min transfer of $250. Valid until November 30, 2023.
Instarem offers zero transfer fees on all transfers.
Africhange
Within minutes
From $0
Send money in CAD to Africa on this blockchain and P2P powered provider.
Remitly
Finder Award
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
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.
MoneyGram
Finder Award
MoneyGram
Within minutes
From $4.99
For a limited time, get $0 fees on your first money transfer from Canada. Conditions apply.
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
Xe Money Transfers
Within minutes
$0
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
OFX
Finder Award
OFX
24 hours
$0
Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for your first and ongoing transactions. $0 transfer fee.
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 50+ currencies.
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Written by

Claire Horwood

Claire Horwood was a writer at Finder, specializing in credit cards, loans and other financial products. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies from the University of Victoria, and an Associate’s Degree in Science from Camosun College. Much of Claire’s coursework has focused on writing and statistics, with a healthy dose of social and cultural analysis mixed in for good measure. In her spare time, Claire enjoys rock climbing, travelling and drinking inordinate amounts of coffee. See full profile

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