Pay Overseas Bills with a Cheap International Money Transfer

The secret of paying overseas bills from anywhere – and in a way that won’t break the bank.

With the ongoing process of globalization, and the subsequent movement of people and goods across international borders, many people find themselves needing to cover expenses, like recurrent monthly bill payments, from across the globe. Individuals may need to send money to cover rent, utilities or even student loans, while businesses often need to set up more complex systems to pay staff and suppliers. When it comes to making overseas bill payments, Canadians and non-residents alike have a plethora of options to send money overseas. Check out our handy table below to make comparisons between some of the most prominent services being offered, and keep reading for helpful tips and tricks aimed to help you get the most out of every transaction.

Rates last updated July 17th, 2018
Name Product Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Description Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received
Exclusive: World First International Money Transfers
CAD 250
1 day
Online, Phone
Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee and discounted exchange rates for your first trade only.
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in more than 130 currencies.
TorFX International Money Transfers
USD 150
1 day
Online, Phone, Agent
TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction. Conditions apply.

Send money overseas in 45 currencies.
Exclusive: OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers
USD 150
1 day
Online, Phone, Agent
Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for your first and ongoing transactions. $0 transfer fee.
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in 45 currencies.
WorldRemit International Money Transfers
CAD 0.51
Within an hour
Online, Bank Account to Bank Account, Cash Transfer
An online money transfer service with cash pickup, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
TransferWise International Money Transfers
CAD 2.50
1 - 2 days
Online
Make online transfers with transparent exchange rates, low fees and low minimum amounts.
XE International Money Transfers
$0
1 day
Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account
Send money in more than 60 currencies. Fee-free international money transfers with a global brand.
The ‘Rate’ and ‘Amount Received’ displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder” before you commit to a brand.

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What are some of the overseas bills that I might need to pay?

  • Household bills. These are often small amounts that need to be paid monthly and can include student loans, mortgage payments, car payments, utility bills, phone bills and other types of payments.
  • Corporate bills. These are often large amounts to be paid monthly, and can include property taxes, equipment rentals, staff salaries and inventory/supplies.

What are some of the ways I can pay my international bills?

When it comes to international bill payments, you can choose to make fixed or flexible payments, depending on whether the amount being paid each month is a set or fluctuating amount.

  • Fixed regular payments. These payment models are suitable for amounts that don’t fluctuate each month (ie. mortgage or car payments) because you can lock in competitive exchange rates over time, which will protect you from fluctuations in the market.
  • Non-fixed payments. Certain payments will fluctuate (ie. utility or phone bills) based on consumption or other variables, which means you will be unable to benefit from fixed exchange rates, but can track exchange rates to send payments when rates are most competitive.

How to compare providers

Before you select a company to help you pay your bills from overseas, it’s advisable to look into the following features, to make sure that you select the best service to suit your particular circumstances.

  • Exchange rates. Even a marginal increase in the exchange rate can impact how much you have to pay out of pocket, particularly when it comes to hefty bill payments. Make sure that the service you choose offers exchange rates close to the mid-market rate (which you can find by conducting a simple Google search).
  • Fees. Transfer fees can be tricky business as they can add double-digit costs to your transaction. It’s best to look for a service that can arrange regular payments with low to no fees.
  • Speed of transfers. Some transfer companies can complete transfers in a matter of minutes while others can take 2–3 days. Make sure that your bill payments are set up with enough time to spare so that you know the transfer will complete on time.
  • Minimum amount. Certain providers will ask that you transfer a minimum amount (which can be as high as $1,000) in order to use their services. Make sure to read the fine print before you invest time into the registration and set-up process.
  • Customer service. Reputation means a great deal in the financial industry. Make sure that the service you choose offers top-tier customer service, with both telephone and live chat support options available.

International money transfer comparison for banks

The table outlined below compares exchange rates and transfer costs for Canada’s five largest banks: Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank), Bank of Montreal (BMO) and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).

BankTransfer Fee (CAD)Exchange Rate Markup
Toronto Dominion Bank (TD)$9 – $302.64%
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)Fee-free3.34%
Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)$9 plus 1% of principal2.88%
Bank of Montreal (BMO)$15+2.65%
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)$13.502.60%

Rates current as of 20 February 2018

International money transfer comparison for non-banks

The table below compares exchange rates and transfer costs for seven of the major international money transfer services in Canada

Money Transfer ServiceTransfer Fee (CAD)Exchange Rate Markup
TransferWise1% of principalLess than 1%
Canadian Forex$15Less than 2.5%
TorFXFee-freeLess than 2.5%
Currency SolutionsFee-freeLess than 1%
World First$10Less than 2.5%
XE Money TransferFee-freeLess than 1%
WorldFirst$10 (less than $10,000); fee-free (over $10,000)Less than 2.5%

Rates current as of 20 February 2018


Pros and cons

Pros

  • Pay bills from anywhere. If you set payments up in advance, you can travel with a clear conscience, knowing that your bills will be paid on schedule.
  • Say goodbye to late charges. When you set up regular, scheduled payments, you can rest easy knowing that your bill payments will clear before their due dates, meaning you won’t pay through the nose in late charges.
  • Avoid exchange rate fluctuations. While fixed payments can only be arranged for fixed amounts, they can lock in a favourable exchange rate over the long term to protect you from the volatile marketplace.

Cons

  • Fees apply. As if bills aren’t annoying enough, tacking on a transfer fee ends up costing you more than if you were to pay your bills in-country.

Frequently asked questions

You should be able to find a money transfer provider to send your funds almost anywhere. But certain countries may be excluded from transfer destinations, including North Korea and Iran.

Many online transfer companies allow you to schedule recurring transfers as far as one year in advance, which makes it easier to stay on top of your bill payments.

The exchange rate that you settle on will determine how much it will cost to make bill payments overseas. For example, if you’re looking to send $1,000 from Canada to France, and one transfer company offers an exchange rate of 1 CAD = EUR 0.59 , while the other offers 1 CAD = EUR 0.62, then you will save EUR 30 (almost $50) on every payment if you select the service with the more competitive rate.

This essentially depends on provider you choose to deal with, because certain providers have such limitations in place.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    KeithApril 16, 2015

    I want $1045 US dollars to be received in the USA and Im sending this from Australia. How do I enter the calculate question please?

    • finder Customer Care
      MarcApril 17, 2015Staff

      Hi Keith,
      thanks for the question.

      While our calculator doesn’t specifically allow you to work back from the amount you want to be received, you can try entering in different transfer amounts until you arrive at the $1045 amount. At the time of writing, it looks as though sending approximately $1,360 AUD would see you send amounts close to $1,045.

      I hope this helps,
      Marc.

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