Compare reputable transfer services to secure low fees and competitive exchange rates that are almost guaranteed to beat the bank.
Whether conducting business internationally or posting some pocket change to your loved ones across the ocean, international money transfer services are defining themselves as the way of the future. And for good reason! In addition to offering bank-beating fees and exchange rates, dedicated money transfer services are also secure, convenient and user-friendly, making them attractive to even the most battle-hardened consumer.
What’s the big deal?
Interested in learning more? Feel free to use our handy-dandy table to compare some of the front runners in the money transfer business to find the best deal. When you decide on a company, simply click [Go to Site] to register and start transferring money today.
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How can I send money overseas?
The rest of this post is divided up into sections so you can hop to the section that you’re most interested in learning more about. Just click on a link below for more information.
Online money transfer companies rely on the wonders of the world wide web to send funds overseas, so it helps to be computer literate if you want to use this transfer option. More specifically, you’ll likely need to know how to set up an account and scan documents in for identity verification purposes. As far as online money transfer companies go, there are a number to choose from, including TorFx, TransferWise, XE Money Transfer, Travelex and RationalFX, among many others. These companies offer bank-beating exchange rates and fees, with Canadians typically saving a significant amount on every transaction.
Case study: TorFX
Say, for example, you want to transfer money overseas using TorFX. TorFX charges zero fees on all transfers (with a minimum transfer of around $170) and a smaller margin on exchange rates compared to the average bank rate of 4%. Banks, on the other hand, typically charge between $25 and $50 per transaction, in addition to the markup on exchange rates. If you’re looking for big savings, online transfer companies like TorFX are a safe bet.
Certain money transfer services offer immediate cash delivery for your transfer, which can be a real lifesaver in case of an emergency. These companies typically operate out of a storefront or third-party retail location and allow your recipient to collect funds on location in your destination country. While cash transfers are usually the fastest option, they can also be more expensive, so it pays to do your homework.
Case study: Money Gram and Western Union
Western Union and MoneyGram are two of the top players when it comes to international money transfers, collectively reaching over 200 countries in the world with more than 900,000 agent locations. It can cost anywhere in the range of $10 to $70+ dollars in fees to facilitate a cash pickup with either company, depending on the destination country and amount being sent.
If you’re keen to send money with your bank, this is still a viable option, albeit somewhat more expensive than sending money with an online transfer service. Also known as an international money transfer, a telegraphic transfer (TT), a wire transfer or a SWIFT transfer, sending money with your bank is a secure and convenient way to send money, particularly if you’re not well-versed in online banking.
Case study: Royal Bank of Canada
The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) transfers money to almost every country in the world in addition to dealing in hundreds of different currencies. The only catch is you will need to pay around $13.50 fee for every transfer, regardless of the amount sent, in addition to being charged a hefty margin on exchange rates. While you may not need to pay to receive funds into your RBC account, your recipient can incur fees on their end, so it’s a good idea to check with your bank regarding potential hidden charges. Many other prominent banks in Canada offer similar deals, including BMO,TD, Scotiabank and CIBC.
For those who are really old school, an international money order could be the way to go. Just head down to your bank or local post office to order this certified, cashable document guaranteed by your institution. Once you post the money order to your recipient, they simply cash it at their local bank and deposit the money into their own account. While this transfer method is secure, it’s important to note that sending anything through the mail is a time-intensive process, which could cost you more money in the long run.
Case study: Toronto Canada Trust (TD)
TD bank will issue an international draft/money order for around $7.50, which is on-par with other banks in Canada. One of the benefits of a money order is that you’ll know the exchange rate immediately at the time the draft is purchased, although the bank’s exchange rates will likely be less competitive than those of a money transfer service. While you can technically send a personal cheque internationally, it is not advised as there will likely be a $20 administration fee to your TD account and significant delays in processing.
While the service you choose really depends on your timeline and comfort with online transactions, we’ve compiled a couple of quick tips to help you save a bit of pocket change next time you send money overseas.
- Take advantage of offers such as “first transfer free”. With plenty of competition in the market, money transfer companies go to great lengths to gain your trust and your business, so don’t hesitate to take them up on their offer! For example, WorldRemit offers zero fees on your first transfer.
- Lock in a forward exchange contract. If you have your heart set on a specific exchange rate, but don’t want to submit your transfer quite yet, you can book a forward exchange contract, which will guarantee you get that same rate at a later date. Most of the time, you’ll be asked to secure the transaction with a deposit, which will be held as collateral until you finalize the transaction.
- Pin down a limit order. It can pay off to sit tight and set an order to initiate the transfer only when a specific currency exchange rate shows itself on the market. Limit orders should be used when you’re not happy with the current exchange rates, and have a bit of time to wait out fluctuating prices.
- Shop around to find a service that suits your needs. The transfer method that works best for you will depend on your unique set of needs. If you have a wad of cash to transfer ($10,000+), it can really pay to use a transfer company. For smaller amounts ($200 or less) it may make more sense to use a bank transfer or a similar service, like Paypal.
The best advice we can give to you is do your homework – compare your options (which you can do using our handy transfer table at the top of this page) and find the service that best suits your needs and your pocketbook.
How do I avoid the common traps and pitfalls of sending money overseas?
Once you’ve devoted yourself to the idea of transferring money overseas, it’s important to know how to find the best deal. The best way to avoid paying too much is to keep an eye out for hidden fees, wide margins on exchange rates and unspecified delivery times.
- Hidden fees. Make sure that the transfer service you select is upfront and transparent about the fees they charge, and be sure to ask customer service about additional fees that may be charged by your bank.
- Wide margin on exchange rates. Take a look at the markup on exchange rates beyond the mid-market rate (which is the rate you’ll find on Google). The margin of difference on exchange rates will vary by transfer company and can have a huge impact on your bottom line.
- Unspecified delivery times. Double check expected delivery times with the transfer company you settle on to make sure they have a clear timeline for when your money will arrive in the destination country. Selecting a company that prioritizes getting your money to where it needs to be on schedule can be a lifesaver when it comes down to crunch time.