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Sending $1 million overseas

A competitive exchange rate can save you thousands.

While your local bank branch may be the most obvious way to send money overseas, a secure money transfer company will offer a much better exchange rate. But whichever you choose, you may need to file with the IRS to avoid hefty fines.

Send money internationally with XE

XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.

  • Send money to 130+ countries
  • Competitive exchange rates that are often better than banks'
  • Low transfer fees

Compare money transfer services now

Tips for large transfers

Before sending a large transfer overseas:

  • Check transfer limits. Some service providers will limit how much you can send daily or monthly, so choose a provider with a high limit or no limit when sending $1 million overseas.
  • Negotiate. Many of the rates quoted by providers may be affected by the amount you’re sending and could be negotiable, especially with larger sums.
  • Research tax laws. Each country has their own set of tax laws, and you or your recipient may need to file taxes.
  • Research sanctions. If you’re sending money to a country with US-imposed sanctions, contact a professional to help you navigate the rules.
  • Understand the risks. Digital money transfer specialists often send billions of dollars a year and are almost always regulated by federal agencies in a variety of countries.

Compare high limit transfer services

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
24 hours

View details
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Dunbridge Financial
Dunbridge Financial
24 hours

View details
Dunbridge Financial offers competitive exchange rates and zero fees on transfers to more than 120 countries.
24 hours
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally £5,000)

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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.
Within minutes

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.

Compare up to 4 providers

Using a money transfer service

Specialized money transfer companies are typically the cheapest and fastest option for secure overseas transfers. You can also track your money along each step of the transfer, with online and phone support available if you have any questions.

Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000,000 to Japan

Let’s say you need to send $1,000,000 USD to JPY to family in India. Here’s what you might face as far as fees as of April 24, 2020 with a mid-market rate of 1 USD = 107.45 JPY.

Digital money transfer serviceBank transfer
Fee$0$25 + additional correspondent bank fees
Exchange rate1 USD = 107.03 JPY1 USD = 102.06 JPY
Transfer speed1-2 day2-5 days
Amount receivedJPY¥107,030,160JPY¥102,057,449
  • Better value
  • Slower and more expensive

Using a money transfer service dedicated to large transfers will send almost 5 million more JPY to your recipient than the bank. When comparing the money transfer service to the best possible transfer, a mid-market rate exchange, the rates offered are within 0.5% of one another.

Should I use my local bank?

You can, but it might be pricey. On top of weaker exchange rates and higher fees, you’ll find it typically takes longer for your bank to transfer money internationally. This could be a problem if your money needs to get to its destination by a certain time. Also, your bank may not be able to transfer money to every country.

How important is the exchange rate?

Given the amount of money you’re looking to send, a solid exchange rate is critical. Even minor variances in exchange rates can save — or cost — you thousands of dollars.

For example, if Company A quotes you an exchange rate of 1 USD = 0.880 EUR and Company B quotes you a rate of 1 USD = 0.885 EUR, that half a cent difference adds up to $5,000 on a $1 million transfer.

If you have time on your side, you may want to use a limit order. A limit order allows you to set a target exchange rate with a service or broker, which monitors the rates 24/7 to make sure you don’t miss it. Once exchange rates meet your target, the service or broker will contact you to complete the transfer.

Money transfer fees

Money transfer providers charge fees to increase profits and make up for the time they spend filling out reports for international transfers, such as currency transaction and Know Your Customer reports.

Some fee-free transfer providers make up that money with less favorable exchange rates, which can cost you more when you’re sending a large transfer.

When choosing a transfer provider, factor in both the exchange rate and any fees to get the best deal.

Taxes on foreign accounts

In addition to filing traditional income tax statements, US citizens with bank accounts offshore must complete a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) by April 15 of each year that an overseas account held $10,000 or more at any point in time. The rules stipulate this requirement even if the account has a lower balance by the year’s end.

This means that if you transfer a large sum of money overseas — even if it’s invested shortly after — it needs to be reported to the IRS. Penalties for not complying, whether by accident or on purpose, are significant. Those who mistakenly fail to report can expect fines of up to 5% of the asset value involved. For those who wait until an investigation is launched, the penalty increases to up to 50%.

US residents are also required to report worldwide income, including from foreign accounts and investments. You may need to factor this in when thinking about offshore businesses or properties.

Laws and forms for transferring more than $10,000 overseas

Additional tax and legal considerations

Sending $1 million or more overseas may require additional planning in some situations. When dealing with complicated situations or countries with additional requirements, contact a lawyer or tax professional.

  • Property requirements
    Some countries will require you to own property in that country in order to open an offshore account or holding company. That can mean significant additional costs — not just for the purchase of a residence, but also for the legal or account registration fees that may be required for setting up the holding company.
  • Accidental tax evasion
    Offshore trusts, foundations or businesses can provide a way to restructure ownership of assets in the case of lawsuits or debt issues at home, making them an attractive option to protect individual assets from seizure. However, you can end up in serious legal trouble if you don’t file the proper tax forms.
  • Gift taxes
    If you send $15,000 or more as a gift to someone other than a spouse, you’ll need to file a gift tax return. Depending on which country your recipient is in, they may also be required to file or pay gift taxes.

Compare money transfer services now

Bottom line

If you’re sending $1 million or more overseas, even a small difference in the exchange rate can add up to thousands of dollars. Compare international money transfer providers to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

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10 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    WillisNovember 26, 2019

    I have a friend in africa , she got an inheritance , I am in usa . How do I get money to usa with no problems

      Default Gravatar
      nikkiangcoNovember 27, 2019

      Hi Willis,

      Thanks for getting in touch! I hope you are well.

      Generally, when receiving large amounts of money in the US from overseas, banks and money transfer companies have certain security compliance requirements and so the the recipient may have to provide additional information or documentation to prove his identity and where his money came from.

      You will need to report this amount to the IRS on your annual tax filing. Failure to comply will face penalties, whether by accident or on purpose.

      Hope this helps!


    Default Gravatar
    MJMay 9, 2019


    Is it possible to send 2 million dollars from the UK to the Philippines? Is it possibly done via courier? That the diplomat did not know the what is the inside of a package, possible the sender pay for clearance fee that people don’t know the inside the package.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniMay 9, 2019Staff

      Hi MJ,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      Sending a large sum of money from the UK to other countries like the Philippines cannot be done via courier as the UK government is strict when it comes to money laundering. Sending a large sum of money to the Philippines is basically done via online transfer or bank transfer.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!


    Default Gravatar
    KBSeptember 11, 2018

    I want to retire in Thailand and then transfer around 10 million Switzerland Franc to Thailand – is there any issues I should know about thanks

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaSeptember 12, 2018Staff

      Hi KB,

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

      Transferring a large amount of money overseas would mean that you need to comply with the local laws of both Switzerland and Thailand that are related to sending and receiving money. You might need to know what tax you need to pay or the documents needed to ensure that you legally transfer money. With money laundering in the rise, it is not difficult to see that world governments want to regulate the flow of money in their country.

      For this reason, please directly get in touch with the proper authority to ensure you have covered all legalities.

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

      Have a wonderful day!


    Default Gravatar
    GeorgeApril 10, 2018

    Do you know if Foreign Money Transfer Services are in African countries like Ghana and can the cash be withdrawn?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezApril 10, 2018Staff

      Hello George,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Yes, there are available money transfer services in Ghana and other African countries and yes, you’re able to pick it up in a form of cash. Companies like Western Union and MoneyGram offer several cash pickup centers in Ghana and other African countries. You may want to check the list of money transfer services to Ghana.


    Default Gravatar
    CharlesMay 4, 2017

    How long does it take for you to borrow from one million dollars to Europe? How many days ? Or how many weeks?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      HaroldJuly 6, 2017Staff

      Hi Charles,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      While we do not represent any company that we feature on our pages, we can offer you general advice. I highly advise that you explore your personal loan options, check their eligibility requirements, and features to ensure you’re choosing the right one for you.

      I hope this information has helped.


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