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With new players in the market, the best ways to make an international bank transfer may no longer be through your bank. Other traditional options like sending cash, a check or even a money order are both outdated and risky. Instead, many money transfer services will offer a better rate than your bank with the same level of security — all from the convenience of your home. Discover how to make an international bank transfer in as little as a few minutes.
An international bank transfer usually refers to a bank service that helps you send money from your bank account to a recipient’s account located in another part of the world. You can use this for personal purposes — like sending money to family — or business purposes — like paying your suppliers. While bank transfers were offered only by banks in the past, you can initiate bank transfers with digital banks, wallets and money transfer services today. This means that there are now more options than ever for you to consider when making quick and affordable international bank transfers.
There are three main ways you can make an international bank wire transfer:
Be sure to bring:
The steps for sending an international money transfer in person from your bank are similar to those for sending online:
Some banks charge more for in-person money transfers than they would for online money transfers, so make sure you ask the teller if you could save money by making the transfer online instead of in person.
Regardless of which method you choose to make an international money transfer, here’s what’s typically required of you when you transfer money internationally between banks:
Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Transactions, or SWIFT, is a type of international bank transfer. It gives each bank a unique identification tag to help you make your transfers quicker and safer. This 8 – 11 character code is known as the BIC, bank identifier code, or simply SWIFT ID. The benefit of SWIFT is that this secure international transfer method typically takes up to five business days. However, one downside to note is that it often comes at an additional fee.
There are several factors to consider when choosing which option to use for your next international money transfer.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
The short answer is alternative money transfer services, like online money transfer providers. Traditional banks, like Citibank, Bank of America and Chase charge administrative fees of up to $50. They also mark up exchange rates by 2 – 4%. To make matters worse, intermediary banks and your final recipient’s bank might also charge administrative fees of $10 to $20. These small costs could add up and eat into the amount you’re transferring. Online money transfer services, on the other hand, typically have much fewer processing fees and more competitive spreads.
However, it’s often more complicated than this. While online money transfer services usually offer more competitive fees, certain banks might offer discounts to premium members or newbies which could make their international transfer rates more competitive. How much you’re charged also depends on where you’re sending money to and how much. Consider these factors and compare providers across different transfer methods in order to find the cheapest international bank transfer for you.
There are many methods for transferring money overseas from your financial institution. Choosing the best option may depend on how much you’d like to send and which country you live in. To get the best deal, be aware of rates, fees and other hidden costs. Though it can be convenient to transfer money from a bank account, always compare your options to ensure you get the best value.
Sign up for an account and pay no fees to send quick and easy money transfers to multiple beneficiaries.
Sigue offers speedy money transfers to 50+ countries, but you have to set up a transfer to see the transaction fees.
Join Boss Revolution with an email address and phone number, and send money within minutes.
Usend combines money transfers, bill pay and mobile phone reloading.
Paysend offers transfers to more than 70 countries through its app and online service.
Using international money orders to send money overseas? Learn about better options.
Sending a payment to a company but confused about which address to use? Learn about remittance addresses with our guide.
We’ve unpacked the most recently available data from the World Bank to get an idea of how much money is being sent around the globe.
Learn about how TransferMate’s personal product works and what it can do for you.
Check out this side-by-side comparison of Xe and OFX to find out which provider offers the best value on international money transfers.
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