A specialized money transfer company will offer more competitive exchange rates than a traditional bank, but which company is best for you depends on how much you’re sending and how quickly you need it to arrive.
Send money to Australia with OFX
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 45+ currencies.
Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for your first and ongoing transactions. $0 transfer fee.
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers.
Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees on money transfers to Australia. Some offer transfers straight to Australian bank accounts, while others allow the money to be picked up in Australian dollars in person. Banks, PayPal and other options are available but come with high fees, weak rates and longer turnaround times.
Digital money transfer services
Companies like XE and CurrencyTransfer specialize in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective transfers. Most offer transfers directly to your recipient’s Australian bank account, often in as little as a day or two.
Services like MoneyGram allow you to transfer cash for pickup at a local branch in Australia— often in 15 minutes. While it’s a fast way to send money, you’ll pay for the convenience in weak exchange rates and high fees. If a cash pickup is necessary, look to digital services like WorldRemit or Wise when possible.
Australian dollars may be carried by your bank, especially if you visit the main branches offering international service. Although your local bank can convert your Canadian dollars into Australian dollars, beware of high fees and wide margins on the exchange rate compared to digital and other options.
Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending $2,000 to Australia
Let’s say you need to send $2,000 to family in Australia. Here’s what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of October 1st, 2020.
Digital money transfer service
$50 + additional correspondent bank fees
1 CAD = 1.0260 AUD
1 CAD = 1.0063 AUD
1 CAD = 0.9886 AUD
Slowest and most expensive
The bank option ends up being both the slowest and gets the smallest amount of money to your recipient. If you go with the digital money transfer service, your recipient ends up with AUD$124 more than the bank offers. If speed is crucial, a cash transfer can typically have your transfer to Australia in as little as 15 minutes.
How to send money to Australia online
Sign up and send money with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:
Sign up for a free account. Pick a provider and sign up for a free online account using your contact information, proof of ID and your preferred payment method.
Provide transfer details. Submit your recipient’s contact information and pick a delivery method. If you’re transferring to a bank, you’ll need your recipient’s Australian bank account details.
Confirm transfer details. Double-check your payment method, expected fees and destination.
Save your receipt. Record your receipt’s confirmation number to track the progress of your transfer to Australia. Some money transfer providers send a text or email when your transfer is complete.
How to get the most out of your money transfer to Australia
Weigh costs and fees against convenience, and learn how to compare money transfer providers that send to Australia to meet your needs:
Exchange rates. The CAD-AUD remains relatively stable, with occasional shifts on a larger scale. Exchanging currency ahead of time, or locking in prices, can help you prepare for these shifts.
Transfer fees. Transferring money overseas nearly always requires fees, but they might be hidden in the exchange rate. When sending large amounts, it may be cheaper to pay a flat fee to secure a stronger exchange rate.
Transfer limits. How much you can send varies by company, and different amounts can attract higher or lower fees. Shop around for the best deal on the amount of Australian dollars you’re sending.
Turnaround. Transferring money through a local bank can take a business week or longer. If you need the funds delivered quickly, seek out a digital specialist that offers instant transfers to Australia.
Maximum limits. When exchange rates are favorable, sending more money can save you money in the future. If you plan to send large amounts of money to Australia, be sure to pick a provider that won’t limit you.
Transfer methods. Whether you want money sent to a Australian bank account or picked up as cash at a local agent, narrow down a company that matches your preferred delivery method.
Emergency cash transfer to Australia
When it’s more important to get your money to Australia quickly, look for money transfer companies that support cash pickup in minutes. You can pay with a credit or debit card for fast pickup, but fees are higher than other methods.
How to send money to Australia without a bank account
Cash transfer services can help when you need to transfer without a bank account. If you don’t have a bank account, look for a local company that supports storefronts for cash payments. These services include agent locations in other countries that allow your recipient to pick up cash without a bank account.
Australia’s exchange rates explained
The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another country’s currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weaker currency. Australia’s exchange rate fluctuates when compared to the Canadian dollar, so expect some change in exchange rates between these two currencies on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
Documents needed for sending to and receiving money in Australia
To send money to Australia from Canada, you’ll need government-issued ID and other documents, while documents needed to pick up money in Australia may be different by company.
Documents to send money from Canada
To send money from Canada to Australia, you’ll need documentation and details that include:
Identification. Most services require a driver’s license, passport or other government-issued ID. Some services allow you to send transfers without ID, but they may require your SIN.
Payment method. Your service may accept credit or debit cards, cash, bank accounts or personal cheques.
Recipient information. Submit your recipient’s name as it appears on their ID, along with their phone number, Australian bank account and routing number if sending to their bank.
Documents to receive money in Australia
To pick up money in person, documentation can include:
Transfer number. The person sending you money can forward the transfer’s confirmation details — called a PIN, a MTCN, a reference number or a tracking number, depending on the company.
Government-issued ID. An Australian passport, Australian driver’s license or similar form of government-issued ID will be accepted for identification for most money transfer cash pickups.
Amount sent. You may need to know how much was sent, usually within 10% of the total.
Sender’s information. Take along your sender’s full name, the sending country and their address, if known.
What to watch out for
Most money transfers between Canada and Australia shouldn’t have any specific tax obligations attached to them, so long as they are for personal use. Some circumstances may trigger a need for filing specific forms, so read up on our Australian remittance tax guidelines to learn more about when you may need to file with the IRS.
Sending your hard-earned money to Australia shouldn’t cost a fortune. Compare transfer companies that specialize in foreign for the strongest rates, lowest fees and flexible delivery. For transfers to other countries, rely on our country specific guides the next time you need to make a transfer.
Alison Banney is the banking and investments editor at Finder. She has written about finance for over six years, with her work featured on sites including Yahoo Finance, Money Magazine and Dynamic Business. She has previously worked at Westpac, and has written for several other major banks including BCU, Greater Bank and Gateway Credit Union. Alison has a Bachelor of Communications from Newcastle University, with a double major in Journalism and Public Relations. She has ASIC RG146 compliance certificates for Financial Advice, Securities and Managed Investments and Superannuation. Outside of Finder, you’ll likely find her somewhere near the ocean.
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