Money Transfer Finder

Compare to get the best rates and fees when you send money abroad.

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Fact checked
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There are more foreign exchange services than ever before and they can help you send money overseas in minutes. Whether you need to send money back home or pay an employee based in another country, specialist international money transfer companies can often give you a better deal than your bank.

Send money internationally with XE

XE specializes in a wide range of foreign currency solutions and offers an affordable option when you need to send money overseas.

  • Send money to 170+ countries
  • Competitive exchange rates that are often better than banks
  • Transfer up to $500,000 online
  • See exchange rates in real-time
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Compare money transfer services

Name Product Minimum Transfer Transfer Time Transfer Fee
Azimo - Germany
GBP 10
Instant
Varies
TransferWise - Germany
USD$1
1-2 days
Varies
Remitly - Germany
EUR 0
1-5 days
EUR 1.49
Skrill - Germany
Skrill - Germany
EUR 50
1 day
None
XE Money Transfers - Germany
EUR€0
Same day
USD$0
WorldRemit - Germany
USD$1
2 working days
USD$3.99
CurrencyFair - Germany
EUR€8 or equivalent
1-2 days
0.1% to 0.6% of the amount exchanged plus a EUR€3 (or currency equivalent) transfer fee.
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Compare up to 4 providers

What is an international money transfer?

An international money transfer allows you to send money to a recipient in the same country or internationally. You provide funds and your recipient’s details to a bank or an independent transfer provider, which exchanges the money into your desired currency and then sends the money to your recipient in another country.

Depending on the provider, a transfer can be done in person, over the phone, through a mobile app or online. Again, depending on the provider, you can use cash, a credit or debit card, or transfer funds from your bank account. Then, the funds will either be deposited into your recipient’s bank account or mobile wallet, or made available as cash for them to pick up at a location in their country. Delivery of the funds varies from provider to provider.

How do money transfers work?

The following steps give a good example of a typical transfer using a money transfer company.

  1. Register online with the transfer service of your choice.
  2. Input transaction details, including the amount you want to transfer.
  3. Get approved by the transfer company. You may need to scan or email a copy of your ID for the first transaction.
  4. Transfer funds through your bank using the account details from your transfer company.
  5. Get your money. Your transfer service will deposit your funds in your destination account.

If you choose to use a bank to carry out your transfer, the process is a little different.

  1. You will need to be able to send money online with your current bank.
  2. You’ll usually need to know the address of the receiving bank, the account details of the receiving account, the account name and often the receiving bank’s SWIFT code (an international bank identification system).
  3. It’s a good idea to check with your bank about exchange rates.
  4. You can use this method to send an international money order online to your home bank account or to a third party.

How much will a money transfer cost?

There are two ways that a provider makes money on your transfer. The obvious one is the transaction fee. But the sneakier one is what your bank or transfer service marks up on the exchange rate.

Fees

Most providers either charge a set fee per transaction or they charge a percentage of your total transfer amount. To save on fees, keep an eye out for special deals.

Some providers offer first transfer free deals for new customers and promo codes so you can get discounts on your second and third transfers. But even with these fees, you’ll find that using a company that specialises in international money transfers is far cheaper than bank-to-bank telegraphic transfers.

Keep in mind that a lower fee doesn’t necessarily translate to the biggest savings. A lower fee might be accompanied by a poor exchange rate, negating any savings from the low fee.

Exchange Rate

The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another currency. Most countries’ exchange rates are flexible, which means it can change from moment to moment. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.

Most transfer services will advertise the real exchange rate, or “mid-market rate” — the mid-point between the buy and sell prices of two currencies on the global market. But when it comes time to make your transfer, you’ll notice you almost never get this rate. The provider will mark up the exchange rate — and pocket the difference.

Using a provider that offers the most competitive exchange rate could save you hundreds on your transaction.

Tips for saving on your international transfer

There’s no one best way to transfer funds overseas. It depends on how much you’re sending, how soon you need it to be made available and the exchange rates at the time. Below are a few tips you can use when sending money overseas.

  • Know your transfer currency’s mid-market rate. This rate is the midpoint between worldwide supply and demand for that currency — and the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves. Use it as a baseline to compare against the rates you’re being offered. The company that’s closest is offering you the best rate.
  • Send more money per transfer. Many services discount the fees or waive them altogether when you send larger transfers.
  • Use forward contracts and limit orders if sending money regularly. A forward contract allows you to lock in a favourable exchange rate for future transfers. This means you avoid unpredictable movements in exchange rates. A limit order allows you to wait until a favourable exchange rate is found, and then lock it in for your transfer.
  • Send same-currency transfers. It can sometimes be cheaper to transfer euros or US dollars to your recipient, allowing them to transfer the euros or dollars into their own currency when received. Depending on the situation, your recipient could pay lower fees overall.

Alex sends money to Kenya

Alex wants to help his family in Kenya with bills and critical home improvements. He initially planned to transfer 1,000 through his local bank, but he’s decided to compare his bank to an independent service to see what his best option is.
Bank transferMoney transfer service
Exchange rate1 = 111.44 KES1 = 113.30 KES
Transfer fee4015
Processing time2 business daysWithin minutes
Amount received in KES111,440 KES113,300 KES

Visiting his local bank, Alex learns that he’ll need to transfer money from his account to another bank account, which will take a few days. His bank offers a weaker exchange rate and a stiffer transaction fee than a money transfer service does. Overall, he’ll be out 1,040 for the transfer.

Working with a money transfer service, Alex discovers it offers not only a stronger exchange rate but also a lower transaction fee. It charges a mere 4 for bank-to-bank transfers, but offers quicker cash pickups for only 11 more. By going with a transfer service, Alex saves 25 in fees and his family can pick up the cash — and an additional 1,860 KES — within minutes.

Business or personal?

Consider the purpose of your transfer. Are you sending money to friends and family overseas, or are you a business looking to pay for goods and services, potentially regularly?

For business owners, time is our greatest commodity. Without time to research our options, we often end up going with our bank. But a little planning can set you up for significant savings on your transfers. For example, if you send transfers of 1,000 every week, you could save 40 each time. That’s a savings of 2,000 a year simply by choosing a competitive independent service over your bank.

Instant cash transfers

Many online money transfer providers allow you to send and receive cash almost instantly. Transferring the money into a bank account might take a few days, and bank-to-bank transfers can also take a few days to clear. If you need to send a same-day or emergency transfer, there are providers that allow your recipient to pick up cash quickly, often within an hour.

These larger payment networks allow for nearly instant transfers with cash pickup:

  • WorldRemit
  • Ria
  • MoneyGram
  • Western Union

How do I compare international money transfer providers?

exchange rates icon

Exchange rates

This is the rate at which your money will be converted to your target currency. Some transfer providers offer lower fees but weaker exchange rates, while others charge no fees but profit from the margin between its rate and the mid-market rate. Compare the total cost of your transfer to make sure you’re getting the best deal.


Money transfer fees icon

Fees

Your bank or transfer provider will usually charge a fee for making a transfer. Fees can vary widely depending on who you’re transferring with.

Generally, fees come in the form of a flat fee or a percentage of your transaction (such as 1% of your transfer amount).


Money transfer options icon

Transfer options

Independent transfer services offer competitive exchange rates and no fees. If you want to send and receive cash right away, compare options like WorldRemit, Ria, MoneyGram and Western Union. Bank-to-bank transfers are safe and convenient but typically not your cheapest or fastest option.


Money transfer coin stack icon

Amounts

The best method for transferring money might depend on how much you want to send. If you’re making a transfer of five figures or more, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the best exchange rate — especially since providers encourage large transfers by offering low fees. If you’re sending a small amount to friends or family, it’s wise to also consider any fees you’ll pay on top of the exchange rate.


Money transfer frequency icon

Frequency & Purpose

Sending a one-time transfer differs from sending regular transfers, whether to pay for bills like an overseas mortgage payment or for goods and services. With a one-time transfer, you may put more weight on speed and flexibility in delivery, such as cash pickup. But if you’re sending recurring payments, you’ll want to set up regular transfers that can save you the most on rates and fees over the long term.


Money transfer speed icon

Speed

Sometimes there’s an emergency and a loved one needs funds quickly — and in cash. Thankfully there are global money transfer providers with tonnes of agent locations that allow your recipient to pick up the funds in cash, often within a matter of minutes. If you have a little more time, however, consider an independent transfer provider that can get you much lower fees and stronger exchange rates.


What currencies can I send overseas?

Germany does business with many other countries worldwide. When it comes to money transfers, you have options to convert your euros into US dollars, pounds and many other currencies. Larger networks like Western Union will have the largest number of possible currencies, whereas smaller banks and other services usually limit their supported currencies to the most popular ones.

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Your best exchange options are online

The rise of online money transfer services gives you more options — and stronger rates — than ever before. These services specialise in safely moving money internationally, saving you frustration when making or receiving regular payments.

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For expats

Whether you’re putting roots down in France, opening an office in Japan or spending while vacationing in Australia, compare to get the best exchange rates and lowest fees on sending money internationally.

Overseas property icon

For owners of overseas properties

Buying, selling or investing in a property abroad? Compare transfer services to make your purchase safely, whether closing on your dream home or scheduling recurring payments.

Stack of dollar bills icon

For larger international payments

Maybe you’re ready to buy that boat you’ve been eyeing. It could be time to pay off your child’s education abroad or support their destination wedding. Perhaps you’re coming into an inheritance that needs to be transferred to your German account. When transferring big money, it all comes down to the exchange rate.

How important is the exchange rate?

A solid exchange rate is crucial. When it comes to larger amounts, even two cents in your favour can save — or cost you — hundreds of euros. If you have the luxury of time, you may be able to take advantage of a limit order. A limit order allows you to set a target exchange rate with a service or broker, which monitors the markets 24/7 to ensure you don’t miss that target. Once rates meet what you’re looking for, you give the OK to complete the transfer.

My rights when it comes to money transfers

BaFin is Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority and supervises banks and financial service providers within the country. Check to see if the money transfer service you plan to use is regulated in the country it operates out of.

Before you agree to a transfer, you should also try to check the following:

  • The exact exchange rate you’ll receive.
  • Any fees and taxes collected from you in connection with the transfer.
  • Any fees charged by overseas agents or other entities involved in the process.
  • The total amount your recipient will receive.

Common questions about money transfers

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