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Pay overseas bills with an international money transfer

Find an affordable and easy way to manage your overseas bill payments with international money transfers.

Keeping up with bills at home while living abroad? You need to pay your mortgage or rent wherever you happen to be, and utility bills and business expenses often can’t wait for you to return home. Or perhaps you simply want to help out loved ones overseas.

International money transfers aren’t complicated or expensive. And those better-known companies are no longer your only options. Newer digital providers are undercutting the competition on exchange rates, fees and speeds — as well as making it easier than ever to get your money where it needs to go around the world.

How can I pay overseas bills?

Just as online payments are phasing out the need to write checks to pay your bills, more affordable online options for sending money overseas are rendering older methods unnecessary.

While you can still send a secure international cheque overseas to pay bills or help family, you’d need to pay a fee and be willing to wait for the cheque to arrive. Similarly, sending an international wire transfer with your bank is no longer the most convenient or affordable option. With a bank wire transfer, you’ll typically pay fees of up to $50 or more and get exchange rates ranging from 2% to 5% or more above the mid-market rate.

Unlike Canadian banks, independent money transfer services specialize solely in money transfers, offering more transfer options and strong exchange rates than you’d likely get with a bank.

The best-known services include Western Union and MoneyGram, but competing service providers have sprung up over the past decade.

OFX, Wise and WorldRemit allow you to send bank account transfers overseas, but with much stronger exchange rates and lower fees than banks usually offer. These services are also fast and secure.

Why would I need to send money overseas?

With an expanding global economy, your needs for sending money overseas could include:

  • Rent. Whether you need to pay rent back home while you’re on vacation or maintain an overseas rental for a relative, you might need to send an overseas payment.
  • Mortgage. Your mortgage obligation doesn’t go on vacation when you do, so you may need to take care of a payment for your domestic or overseas home.
  • Utilities. Bills for gas, water and electricity keep coming, even when you are away.
  • Goods and services. If you’re purchasing items overseas, you’ll need an efficient way to get money to the seller. Sometimes, a credit card payment isn’t an option.
  • Paying staff or contractors. Whether you’re employing people overseas for your business or hiring workers to build you a house, you’ll need to ensure they’re paid promptly.
  • Family ties. Lots of us are helping out loved ones abroad or surprising them with celebratory funds.

Money transfers services to pay international invoices

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.
1 - 8 of 8
Name Product _compare_ 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.
WorldRemit
Within minutes
From $0
Use promo code 3FREE and pay no fees on your first 3 transfers. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
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.
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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What are my international money transfer options?

  • Bank wire transfers. Many major Canadian banks allow you to wire money to banks around the world. But, with higher fees and poor exchange rates, bank wire transfers aren’t a cost-effective way to pay overseas bills.
  • Online money transfer services. Online providers can offer more competitive exchange rates and lower fees. Some even offer fee-free transfers depending on how much you’re sending.
  • Providers with cash pickup. While many bills these days are paid electronically, sometimes you need to send cash. Western Union, MoneyGram and Ria offer fast, convenient transfers that your recipient can collect in cash from agents worldwide.
  • Cheques and money orders. Although not a quick option, you could get an international cheque or money order from your bank and mail it to your recipient.

How can I compare money transfer providers?

With so many companies competing for your business, choosing the right one can be difficult. Before handing over your cash, compare:

  • Exchange rates. Nearly all providers skew exchange rates for a profit. Compare the rate you’re offered to the mid-market rate (the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves). The smaller the difference, the cheaper your transfer.
  • Transfer fees. Find out whether the provider charges a flat fee or a percentage of your transfer. If you’re sending a large amount, ask whether you qualify for a fee-free transfer.
  • Transfer limits. Your best option might depend on how much you want to send. For large transfers, weigh the best exchange rate, especially since providers encourage large transfers by offering low fees. For smaller amounts, consider the fees you’ll pay on top of the exchange rate.
  • Payment and delivery methods. Some transfer companies allow you to pay with a credit card online, by phone or through an app. Others offer agent locations for cash payments and pickups. Also ask how your recipient can receive funds (bank account, cash pickup, mobile wallet etc.).
  • Hedging options. Ask whether you can schedule payments ahead of time or protect your transfer against market fluctuations with a limit order or forward contract.
  • Available currencies. Consider whether the currencies and countries will serve your international bill payment requirements in the future.
  • Transfer speed. If it needs to be there fast, some providers allow for quick cash pickups, often in minutes. If you’ve more time, you’ll get better rates and fees with an independent provider.
  • Customer service. Most companies offer customer service by Internet chat, phone, in person or by email. Make sure help will be available if you need it.

When comparing fees, remember that companies with more favorable exchange rates sometimes charge the highest fees.

What are the pros and cons of paying overseas bills with an international money transfer?

Pros

  • It’s easy. You can send money overseas with a few simple clicks and by providing basic personal information.
  • It’s convenient. Send transfers from the comfort of your home or from your smartphone anywhere.
  • Stay on top of your finances. Whether you’re on vacation or live on the other side of the world, international money transfers allow you to stay current with your bill payments.

Cons

  • Fees apply. As if bills aren’t annoying enough, tacking on a transfer fee can be frustrating.

Frequently asked questions

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2 Responses

    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?

      AvatarFinder
      MarcApril 17, 2015Finder

      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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