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How do we pick the top money transfer services?

Our methodology for choosing some of the best international money transfer services in each category.

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Fact checked

Our top picks are our selection of some of the best money transfer products and services, based on our extensive research and market experience. Our top picks are displayed at the top of some pages to help you make decisions faster, but they may not necessarily be the best picks for you.

Finder’s top picks highlight brands that our analysis shows are the best fit for specific categories. Be sure to consider your own personal objectives, needs and circumstances before making a decision using our top picks.

8

Top pick categories

14

Features taken into consideration

43

Companies compared

Companies compared include both those that have financial agreements with us and those that do not.

How do we decide the top pick for each category?

Our top picks are chosen by comparing 14 features. For each category, we make a selection based on our expert analysis of the “sending corridor” that we’re displaying that top pick in. Transfers between the US and Mexico is a sending corridor. Transfers between France and Australia is another, for example. We also take market data and the opinion of industry peers and customers who have used the service into consideration.

Small transfers

What’s in this category?
Transfers ranging from $1-$9,999. The small transfer size is chosen based on CRA tax regulations, popular send amounts, price breaks based on send amounts and more.

What’s the most important feature of this category?
Total transfer cost.

What other features do we prioritize?

  • Fees
  • Exchange rates
  • Others depending on the specific money transfer corridor

Large transfers

What’s in this category?
Transfers above $10,000. The large transfer size is chosen based on CRA regulations, popular send amounts, price breaks based on send amounts and more.

What’s the most important feature of this category?
Total transfer cost.

What other features do we prioritize?

  • Fees
  • Exchange rates
  • User experience
  • Customer service availability

Fast transfers

What’s in this category?
Transfers that can arrive instantly, within minutes or within an hour. Fast transfers are determined by speed and will vary depending on the sending destination, your payment method, public holidays, the receiving method, identification requirements and more.

What’s the most important feature of this category?
Delivery speed.

What other features do we prioritize?

  • Guarantees

Cash transfers

What’s in this category?
Transfers that can be picked up in cash, be delivered door-to-door in cash or instantly loaded onto a debit or similar spending card. Cash pick-up is often needed in emergencies, so we take this into consideration alongside the number of cash pick-up locations.

What’s the most important feature of this category?
Availability of having cash delivered to the recipient.

What other features do we prioritize?

  • Number of agent locations
  • Guarantees
  • Delivery speed
  • Receiving methods
  • Payment methods

Frequent transfers

What’s in this category?
Transfers that reward you for using the same company for all of your sending, whether that is every day, week, month or less. If you’re looking to pick one company and use it for all your transfers, this category may be for you.

What’s the most important feature of this category?
Rewarding customer loyalty.

What other features do we prioritize?

  • Quantities
  • Limits
  • Customer service
  • Guarantees
  • Rewards

Hedging options

What’s in this category?
Transfers that allow you to take advantage of market tools to lock in exchange rates. These tools are typically for advanced users and may include spot contracts, recurring transfers, forward contracts and similar tools.

What’s the most important feature of this category?
Availability of hedging options.

What other features do we prioritize?

  • Limits
  • Quantities
  • Customer service

No bank account

What’s in this category?
Transfers that don’t rely on traditional banking options to be sent or received. Because people who have only basic bank accounts or don’t have a bank account at all often lack the proper ID needed for money transfers, this category takes ID requirements into consideration when possible.

What’s the most important feature of this category?
Cash payment with little to no ID.

What other features do we prioritize?

  • Payment types
  • Payment methods
  • Receiving methods
  • Information required

Overall

What’s in this category?
For this category, we take into account all features, fees, exchange rates and more for the specific sending corridor in question. Although our “overall” pick may not indicate the best option for any specific use category, the performance of the company makes it a strong choice for all situations. We only display an “overall” pick when one company clearly stands out from the rest.

What’s the most important feature of this category?
Well-rounded capabilities.

What other features do we prioritize?

  • As many as are needed based on the specific sending corridor in question

What features do we compare?

  • Payment types. Paying different ways may incur different fees, both from the provider and from your bank, credit card or debit card. These include:
    • Bank account
    • Credit card
    • Debit card
    • Cash
    • Other
  • Payment portals. Paying through different means sometimes incurs different fees, with in-person and over-the-phone payments usually costing more than online payments. The methods we compare are:
    • Online
    • By phone
    • In person at an agent location
  • Receiving methods. Receiving money transfers in different ways often incurs different fees, with home delivery and paper cheque usually being the most expensive, and bank account delivery usually being the cheapest. We look at:
    • Bank account
    • Cash
    • Mobile wallet
    • Physical, paper cheque
    • Bill pay
    • Debit card
    • Home delivery
    • Other
  • Delivery speeds. Fees often vary based on speed. It may be worth opting for a slower, cheaper transfer when possible. Delivery speeds include but aren’t limited to:
    • Instant
    • Within an hour
    • Within a day
    • Within multiple business days
  • Hedging options. Using forex tools can help you lock in an exchange rate which may save you money down the line. These could include:
    • Scheduled transfer
    • Recurring transfer
    • Spot contract
    • Forward contract
    • Limit order
  • Fees. Sometimes paying a small fee upfront to secure a stronger exchange rate will save you money. Beware of additional fees added on top of your transfer by your credit card or bank account. The types of fees we look at include:
    • Sending fee
    • Receiving fee
    • Account maintenance fee
    • Withdraw fee
    • Deposit fee
    • Currency conversion fee
  • Exchange rates.
    • Mid-market rate vs a margin added to the mid-market rate
    • Shifting margins based on the sending amount vs set margins no matter the size of the transfer
  • Quantities.
    • Number of agent locations
    • Number of currencies supported
    • Number of countries supported
  • Limits. Some companies impose limits on your account until you further verify your identity. The limits we compare are those for a fully verified account, and include:
    • Sending limits
      • Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly
    • Receiving limits
      • Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly
  • Guarantees. Price-match and exchange-rate guarantees often have a lot of complicated details, so read them in full before relying on them to save you money. The guarantees we look into include:
    • Exchange rate guarantee
    • Delivery guarantee
    • Price-matching guarantee
  • Information required.
    • Phone number
    • Social Insurance Number
    • Photo ID, e.g. passport or driver’s license
    • Bank account information
    • Email address
    • Physical address
  • Customer service.
    • Email
    • Live chat
    • Phone
    • In person
    • Social media
    • Other
  • Reputation.
    • Online reviews from other comparison services
    • Customer sentiment
    • Lawsuits
    • Complaints
    • Regulations
    • Licences
    • History
  • Rewards. Being rewarded for your loyalty to a specific company can help you save money down the line through exchange rate and fee discounts. Sometimes these rewards can help offset the cost of your transfers. Rewards include:
    • Point-earning programs
    • Referral programs
    • Email discounts for existing customers

Does Finder compare all money transfer providers in the market?

No, but we’re trying our best to make that happen. Because it takes a large amount of time and resources to properly analyze a money transfer provider, we aren’t yet able to cover 100% of the market. It’s extremely important to us that the information we provide you is as accurate as possible, and we’d rather focus on quality over quantity when it comes to reviewing providers.

The process of gathering data is quite time-consuming, as we not only check reviews, fees and exchange rates for every new provider we list, we also maintain updated data on existing providers on our site.

Other questions

How often are the rankings reviewed?

It varies depending on the market. Some corridors are reviewed weekly, while others may be reviewed once a quarter or once a year. We update markets based on developments in the money transfer industry and developments focused specifically on the market at hand.

Something doesn’t seem right: Who should I contact?

Click the dark blue chat bubble at the bottom right of your browser, or scroll to the bottom of the page and ask one of our experts using the available form. We sincerely appreciate feedback to make sure we provide the best information possible.

What other conditions are there?

Due to the complicated nature of money transfers, there are a few assumptions we may have to set on specific pages. Whenever fees or exchange rates are listed, we will include the date from which the data was sourced. Rates may have changed since then, so always double-check exchange rates and fees.

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