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How to transfer money internationally from a bank account

Save on fees by discovering the best way to send money worldwide from your financial institution.

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With growing competition, the best ways to send money internationally from your bank account may no longer be through your bank. Other traditional options like sending cash, a check or even a money order are also outdated — and risky. Many money transfer services will offer a better rate than your bank, all from the convenience of your home. Discover how to transfer money internationally for less, sometimes in as little as a few minutes.

How can I transfer money internationally between banks?

There are three main ways to transfer money internationally between bank accounts, and some of them offer additional options like delivery for cash pickup:

  1. International money transfers online. An online international money transfer will be made through your bank to your recipient’s bank.
  2. Online money transfer services. Services dedicated to sending money domestically and internationally can often beat the rates and fees offered by your bank.
  3. In-person international money transfers. Physically going to the bank to send your money internationally may be the least convenient option, but it’s an option nonetheless.

Making an international money transfer online from your bank

  • Pro: Convenient transfers through a bank you already trust.
  • Con: You’ll often lose money on fees and poor exchange rates.
Depending on the bank you use, you may be able to avoid visiting a branch by sending your international money transfer online. If your bank offers online transfers, follow these steps to send your international bank transfer:
  1. Go to your bank’s money transfer section. This will usually be found by visiting your bank’s main website, logging in to your account and looking at the top of the page for Money transfers, Send money, Transfer money or similar.
  2. Verify your sending limits. Banks often place limits on outgoing money transfers, so confirm that your bank’s limit is high enough for your transfer. When you need to send more than the limit, consider using a money transfer service instead.
  3. Enter your recipient’s bank information. International bank transfers usually require:
    • Name and address of your recipient’s bank
    • Recipient’s name, address and account type
    • Recipient’s account number or international bank account number (IBAN)
    • Recipient’s SWIFT or BIC code, which can be found by asking the recipient’s bank
  4. Enter sending amount and desired currency. Your bank will likely charge a currency exchange fee on top of a sending fee.
  5. Pay for the transfer and the fees. Most banks charge an outgoing transfer fee, and your recipient’s bank will likely charge an incoming fee as well.
  6. Wait for your transfer to arrive. International money transfers can take anywhere from a few business days to over a week, depending on how many banks the money has to move through to get to its destination. Check with your bank to find out the status of your transfer.

Using an online money transfer service

  • Pro: Save money by using a specialist service with bank-beating rates and fees.
  • Con: Finding the best specialist for your situation can take some research.
There’s a lot of competition between online money transfer services — which should benefit you while looking for the best deal. The majority of providers will allow you to transfer money from one bank to another, as well as offering cash pickup or delivery straight to a mobile device.

Compare money transfer services to send money from your bank account

To quickly compare a variety of money transfer services that can help you make an international money transfer online, use our comparison table:

  1. Enter the amount you want to send.
  2. Select the country you want to send money to.
  3. Choose Calculate to see available money transfer services.
  4. Select Go to site on the service that best fits your needs.

More online money transfer services to help you send overseas from your bank account

Other notable mentions to help you move your money internationally include:

Compare your bank account money transfer options below

Our table lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Compare services on transfer speeds and fees, then click Go to site when you're ready to send.
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
OFX
24 hours
$0

View details
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
CurrencyTransfer
24 hours
$0
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally £5,000)

View details
Exclusive: Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally $5,000).
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
Dunbridge Financial
Dunbridge Financial
24 hours
$10

View details
Dunbridge Financial offers diverse transfer options to more than 120 countries.
XE
Within minutes
$3

View details
XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Wise (TransferWise)
Within an hour
From $2.26

View details
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers

View details
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
WorldRemit
Within an hour
From $1.99

View details
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Western Union
Within an hour
From $0

View details
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
MoneyGram
Within an hour
From $0

View details
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Sending an international money transfer in person at your bank

  • Pro: In-person assistance to complete your transfer at your bank.
  • Con: Restricted to sending during banking hours while often paying higher in-person fees.
If you like to keep your business in-person, you can head to your bank to send an international money transfer through a teller.

Be sure to bring:

  • Name and address of your recipient’s bank
  • Recipient’s name, address and account type
  • Recipient’s account number or international bank account number (IBAN)
  • Recipient’s SWIFT or BIC code, which can be found by asking the recipient’s bank
  • Proof of ID

The steps for sending an international money transfer in person from your bank are similar to those for sending online:

  1. Start your transaction: Ask the teller to start an international money transfer.
  2. Prove your identity: Provide documents and identification.
  3. Double-check details: Confirm details with the teller, double-check everything before sending.
  4. Pay: Pay for your transfer using cash or your bank account balance.
  5. Get proof: Get a receipt and keep it somewhere safe.

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.

How do I compare international money transfer providers to my bank?

There are several factors to consider when choosing a company to handle your next international money transfer.

  • Compare exchange rates. The better the exchange rate, the better value for money you can get on a transfer. Search for the company that offers consistently competitive exchange rates, but remember there may also be higher transfer fees attached.
  • Check transaction fees. Fees can range from $0 up to $60, so it pays to compare fees across providers. Some online transfer companies also waive their fees when you send large amounts, sometimes as high as $10,000.
  • A range of transfer destinations. Check to see whether the country you want to transfer your money to is supported by the transfer provider you select, as well as whether you can send money in the currency you want.
  • Processing times. Cash transfers are usually quicker than transferring with a bank account.
  • Transfer options. Some providers offer one-off transfers only, others allow you to place forward contracts and limit orders to lock in the exchange rate you want.
  • Reliable customer support. If you have a problem with a transfer or need help with your transfer, look for a service that offers customer support — either through its FAQs, phone, email or online chat.

Bottom line

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.

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6 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    AliJuly 16, 2019

    I’m moving out of the country and back to my home country (Taiwan to the USA). How can I best transfer my money back to my US bank account? Thanks!

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaJuly 16, 2019Staff

      Hi Ali,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you. 😃

      The best way to transfer your money to the US would depend on your needs, preference, and budget. For this reason, you would need to first assess your personal circumstances to determine which is best for you.

      Some of your options would include:

      – Bank to bank transfer
      – Independent money transfer service providers
      – Personally bring the money with you

      Generally speaking, bank to bank transfers are slower and costlier compared to using money transfer service providers.

      Our guide in sending money from the US to Taiwan can help compare your options. You can use the table on that page to see providers who can also help you transfer money from Taiwan to the US. Just specify the correct currencies.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

    Default Gravatar
    RanjanJanuary 17, 2019

    I want money from China (Macau) to India through direct bank account from Macau to India bank account. The best way please.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaJanuary 23, 2019Staff

      Hi Ranjan,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      You can send your money from one bank account to another bank account by simply directly in touch with your bank. From there, you should be able to obtain specific instructions on how you can make the transfer.

      However, please note that in most cases, bank transfer is more expensive compared to using an international money transfer service provider. If this interest you, you can use the table above to compare your options based on minimum transfer amount, transfer speed, and online fee to name a few. You can then click on the “Go to site” green button to check if that provider handles transfers from Macao to India.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

    Default Gravatar
    MonuNovember 14, 2018

    I want to send 2,500,000 to Austria. How to send and which process is easy and charge fewer fees?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaNovember 26, 2018Staff

      Hi Monu,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      We have a guide that you might want to read. It is about how to send money to Austria.

      On that page, you will see a table of service providers who can help you send the money. The table will also help you compare your options. Once you found the right one for you, click on the “Go to site” green button to learn more.

      Since you are also sending a lot of money, please read our guide, “How to safely transfer a large amount of money internationally.” Plus, be sure to read how taxes are charged on large money transfers.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

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