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Western Union and MoneyGram are known for their ability to send cash across the world in minutes, but you can save on fees and get a better exchange rate with an online transfer company — though you may have to wait a day for your funds to arrive.
Use our interactive table to compare transfer fees, exchange rates, sending limits and more for sending funds overseas with our money transfer partners.
Sending money overseas can be done in a variety of ways. In general, your options include:
Although the process differs by company, to send money overseas you’ll generally:
You may also receive an email or text when your beneficiary has received your funds and the transaction is completed.
Fees vary widely depending on the provider you’re transferring with. Overall, providers make money on your transfer in 2 ways: by marking up the exchange rate and by charging you a transfer fee.
Banks and other services are likely to add a little to the exchange rate, “padding the rate” to increase their profits. While a few cents may not sound like a lot on its own, when you multiply it by the $2,000 you plan on sending overseas, it can add up to a big difference in the amount ultimately received.
Specialized money transfer services typically offer rates that are closer to the mid-market rate.
Let’s say you need to send $2,000 to family in Mexico. Here’s what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of May 3, 2020.
|Digital money transfer service||Cash transfer||Bank transfer|
|Fee||$10||$5||$50 + additional correspondent bank fees|
|Exchange rate||1 CAD = 16.9556 MXN||1 CAD = 16.7433 MXN||1 CAD = 16.5017 MXN|
|Transfer speed||1-2 day||Within an hour||2-5 days|
|Amount received||MXN 33,741.64||MXN 33,402.88||MXN 32,178.32|
Skipping the bank will get more than 1,550 pesos to your recipient, as the bank’s exchange rate is far weaker than other options.
Transfer fees can range from a few dollars to up to $80 or more, with some providers taking even more as a percentage on your total amount.
Depending on the provider, your transaction fee could be:
Be wary of other fees that could apply. For example, a provider could charge your recipient a fee to cash a bank check or pick up cash in person.
There’s a lot riding on a competitive exchange rate and low fee. But depending on how much you’re sending, how soon your recipient needs it and rates at the time of transfer, you could save even more with the following tools.
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