Send money overseas

Send or receive an international money transfer — cheap, quick, convenient and safe

Sending money abroad is much cheaper today thanks to strong competition among independent transfer providers and banks. There are more options than ever to send funds to friends, family or businesses overseas, and not just the time-tested providers like Western Union or your bank. Newer companies such as World First, OFX (formerly USForex), TransferWise and WorldRemit are undercutting the competition to earn your business — and get you a good deal. With these services comes the ability for quick cash pickups, often on the same day.

|

Compare international money transfer services

Rates last updated January 19th, 2017

Enter your details to speak to a foreign exchange expert

By submitting this form, you agree to finder.com privacy policy
Ofx Logo

Save money on your personal or business international money transfer today. Fill in the form and you’ll be contacted by a foreign exchange expert to have an obligation-free discussion about your options.

With over 17 years of foreign exchange expertise and over $100 billion transferred, OFX can help with all your currency exchange needs, including:

  • Buying property abroad
  • Emigrating
  • Regular overseas payments
  • Risk management
  • Forecasting

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received
Payoneer International Money Transfers
Send Mass Payments To Your ... Send Mass Payments To Your Payees Worldwide
USD 20
OnlinePhone
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
WorldRemit International Money Transfers
An online money transfer service ... An online money transfer service with cash pickup, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
USD 1 Within an hour
OnlineCash Transfer
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
World First Foreign Exchange
Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee ... Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
Transfer money into a range of currencies online and over the phone.
USD 500 2 days
OnlinePhone
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
Transferwise International Money Transfers
Make online transfers in a ... Make online transfers in a range of currencies and enjoy high maximum transfer amounts.
USD 1 1 day
Online
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
HiFX International Money Transfers
Transfer money between 20 currencies ... Transfer money between 20 currencies and enjoy scheduled regular transfers. No fee for transfers over US $5,000.
USD 100 2 days
OnlinePhoneAgent
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
Currencies Direct International Money Transfers
$0 online transfer fee that ... $0 online transfer fee that you can access 24/7.
USD 100 2 days
OnlinePhone
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
OFX International Money Transfers
Exclusive offer: Special exchange rates ... Exclusive offer: Special exchange rates and $0 transfer fee
OFX is currently offering finder.com exclusive exchange rates and $0 transfer fee on all transfers.
USD 150 1 day
OnlinePhoneAgentInternational Money Order...
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
TorFX International Money Transfers
TorFX guarantee to beat any ... TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction. Conditions apply
USD 150 1 day
OnlinePhoneAgent
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More

Need help? Walk through a money transfer with the help of a money transfer expert

Enter your details to speak to a foreign exchange expert

By submitting this form, you agree to finder.com privacy policy
Ofx Logo

Save money on your personal or business international money transfer today. Fill in the form and you’ll be contacted by a foreign exchange expert to have an obligation-free discussion about your options.

With over 17 years of foreign exchange expertise and over $100 billion transferred, OFX can help with all your currency exchange needs, including:

  • Buying property abroad
  • Emigrating
  • Regular overseas payments
  • Risk management
  • Forecasting

What is an international money transfer?

An international money transfer, also known as an international remittance, is an electronic transfer of your money to family, friends or companies overseas. Generally, it involves you sending cash or money from your bank account to an intermediary transfer service or bank, which then exchanges and sends the money to your recipient in another country.

With an international money transfer, you initiate a transaction that deducts the amount of your transfer from your bank account. That amount is sent to an intermediary bank or transfer service, which exchanges your money into the currency of the country you’re sending it to. That bank or service then sends the exchanged amount to the bank account of your recipient or a location where they’ll be picking up your cash.

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 or a percentage of your transaction.
Keep an eye out for special deals on fees.
For example, OFX (formerly USForex) charges a flat fee of $5 on transfers up to $5,000 and no fee on transfers over that amount. Because OFX is a trusted partner of finder.com, you can avoid the fee entirely.

 Exchange Rate

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 the exchange rate up — and pocket the difference. Using a provider with flat or $0 fees, plus a competitive exchange rate, could save you hundreds on your transaction.


|

Alex sends money to Mexico

Manjumping

Alex wants to help his family in Mexico 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 USD = 19.61 MXN1 USD = 19.95 MXN
Transfer fee$35$15
Processing time2 business daysIn minutes
Amount received in MXN19,610 MXN19,950 MXN

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 $1,035 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 $20 in fees and his family can pick up the cash — and an additional 340 MXN — 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.

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.

Can I send money overseas instantly?

Most online money transfer services allow you to send and receive almost instantly. It’s transferring the money from the service into your bank account that might take a few days. Bank-to-bank transfers also take a few days to clear.

If you need to send a same-day or emergency transfer, most of the services allowing you to send and receive cash will allow your recipient to pick up their funds quickly, often within an hour.
How to safely make an emergency money transfer to a friend or family member.
Larger payment networks allow for nearly instant transfers with cash pickup:

  • Want to save both money and a bit of time? Compare services to get the cheapest rates.

How do I compare international money transfer services?

exchange rates icon

Exchange rates

This is the rate at which your money will be converted to your target currency. Some transfer services 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 service will usually charge fees 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 (such as $5 for transfers up to $5,000) or a percentage fee of your transaction (such as 1% of your transfer amount).


Money transfer options icon

Transfer options

Independent transfer services like OFX and World First offer competitive exchange rates and 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 sending might depend on how much you want to send. If 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 you or a loved one is in an emergency and needs funds quickly — and in cash. Thankfully there are global money transfer providers with tons of agent locations that allow you to pay and pick up in cash, often within 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?

The United States does business with just about every country worldwide. When it comes to money transfers, you have options to convert your dollars into Mexican pesos, Kenyan shillings and many currencies in between. 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, including:

Don’t see your country listed?

Best exchange rates in popular currencies

|

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. But 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. OFX, for example, waives fees for all transfers above $5,000. Sending less comes with a flat $5 fee.
          • Use forward contracts and limit orders if sending money regularly. A forward contract allows you to lock in a favorable exchange rate for future transfers. This means you avoid unpredictable movements in exchange rates. A limit order allows you to wait until a favorable exchange rate is found and then locked it in for your transfer.
          • Send same-currency transfers. It can sometimes be cheaper to transfer US dollars to your recipient, allowing them to transfer the dollars into their own currency when received. Depending on the situation, your recipient could pay lower fees overall.

|

What are the best international money transfer services?

How do you need to send your money?

Click an icon to learn about providers that can help you send or receive a money transfer.

Clock-speed-icon

Fast

Security-icon

Secure

Cash-pickup-icon

Lowest minimum

large-stack-cash-icon

Large amounts

exchange-rate-icon

Best rate

coin-in-hand-icon

Lowest fees

Top 10 most popular money transfer companies

|

Your best exchange options await online

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

For expats

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

For owners of overseas properties

Buying, selling or investing in a property abroad? International money transfers can maximize the value of your dollars, whether closing on your dream home or scheduling recurring payments.

For larger international payments

Maybe you’re ready to move on that yacht you’ve been eyeing. It could be time to pay off your child’s education abroad or support their dream wedding in the Pyrenees. Perhaps you’re coming into an inheritance that needs to be transferred to your US 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 favor can save — or cost you — hundreds of dollars.

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 your what you’re looking for, you give the OK to complete the transfer. Services like OFX offer free limit orders for transfers of $35,000 and more.

Should I be concerned about taxes?

There is so much attention on money leaving the country that whether you fail to report, don’t know you have to report or don’t report your taxes as required by law — it will likely be discovered. If you’re found not in compliance, you’re on the hook for some stiff penalties that include multi-year penalties and even jail time.

To avoid a tax minefield, know the tax thresholds and how to report when you’ve met them.

What are the tax implications of sending a large transfer?

Compare minimum and maximum transfer limits

Minimum and maximum transfer limits often apply and vary among companies and currencies.

 ProviderType of transfer providerMinimum transfer amountMaximum transfer amount
OFXOnline transfer provider$150No limit
HiFXOnline transfer provider$50No limit
World FirstOnline transfer provider$250No limit
WorldRemitOnline transfer provider$0No limit
Travelex International PaymentsOnline transfer provider$500No limit
TorFXOnline transfer provider$200No limit
Currency OnlineOnline transfer provider$0No limit
Western UnionOnline transfer provider$1$50,000.00
TransferWiseOnline transfer provider$1$36,000.00
XoomCash transfer provider$1$2999.99
MoneyGramCash transfer provider$250$2999.99
RIAOnline transfer provider$1$2999.99

Understand transfer limits:

|

What are my rights when it comes to money transfers?

Since 2013 the Consumer Financial Protection Board has enforced rules to keep US citizens safer when transferring money internationally. Federal law now requires many banks, credit unions and money transfer services to disclose information both before and after a transfer. These rules apply to all international transfers of $15 or more.

Before an international transfer, you have the right to know:

  • The exact exchange rate you will pay.
  • Fees and taxes collected from you.
  • Fees charged by agents overseas and others involved in the process.
  • The amount your recipient is expected to receive (excluding foreign taxes and any pickup fees).

You should also be provided details on:

  • Your right to cancel the transfer. Unless the transfer has been picked up or deposited, you have 30 minutes (and sometimes more) to cancel at no charge.
  • The bank or company’s process to investigate and fix any errors. It generally has 90 days to resolve any problems.

Do I have to pay taxes on a large transfer?

|

How to avoid a money transfer scam

You’ve undoubtedly heard about somebody who’s fallen prey to a money transfer scam. Scammers are becoming more sophisticated, using increasingly elaborate plans in an effort to separate you from your money.

Common scams to look out for include:

  • Advance fee scams. Maybe you’re notified you’ve won a prize or the lottery, but you need to first pay a fee to receive it. Perhaps you’re “approved” for a loan but must wire a down payment. In both cases, you’re probably dealing with a scammer.
  • Bogus check scams. You may have gotten a reply to your online auction with a check that’s for more than your item — all you need to do is wire back the difference. The check is likely fake, leaving you on the hook for both the money you wire and a bounced check fee from your bank.
  • Wire payments only scams. If anybody online says you can pay only with a wire transfer, find another retailer to do your business with.
  • Phishing scams. Be wary of unsolicited emails or calls asking you to resend or confirm personal information or passwords. Instead, take down the name of the company and contact them directly with questions.

If you suspect you might be the victim of a scam, contact the FTC toll-free at 877-382-4357 or file a complaint at ftc.gov/complaint.
How to keep your wallet safe from common money transfer scams.

Back to top

Learn more

Common questions about money transfers

How can I track the progress of my money transfer?

Most services will give you a tracking number or ID that you can use to check the status of your transfer. In many cases, your recipient will also receive one so they can check.

What’s the maximum amount I can send overseas?

The maximum you can send depends on both the transfer service you use and the type of transfer you’re making. Money orders through USPS are capped at $700, although you can send multiple orders. MoneyGram and Ria both have a per-transfer limit of $2999.99. These providers also have 30-day transfer limits of $3,000 to $7,999. Services like Xoom allow you to transfer up to $2,999 per transaction with a 30-day limit of $6,000, but can increase this limit if more information is provided.

What’s the minimum amount I can send overseas?

The minimum you can send depends on the service you use. OFX has a slightly higher minimum of $1,000, while others let you send as little as $1.

PayPal’s services are designed for transactions under $200. Some forex providers also waive transfer fees when you send more than $5,000 per transaction.

          • WorldRemit: $0 minimum
          • World First: $250 minimum
          • Travelex: $500 minimum
          • TransferWise: $1 minimum
          • OFX: $150 minimum
          • TorFX: $200 minimum
          • MoneyGram: $250 minimum
          • HSBC Multi Currency Account: $0 minimum
          • HiFX: $50 minimum
          • Currency Online: $0 minimum
          • CurrencyFair: 8.00 EUR minimum
          • Citibank Plus Transaction Account: $0 minimum

Why can’t I sent money to a particular country with my selected transfer service?

This could be for a few reasons — including whether the country is currently under economic sanctions (such as Iran) or your transfer service hasn’t yet built the facilities and networks needed to send money to a particular country. See the countries you can send money to on our individual review pages.

How long does money take to arrive?

The quickest money transfers will arrive instantly depending on the specific service you use and where you’re sending the money to. Western Union can have funds to your recipient almost instantly. MoneyGram, on the other hand, can send funds to China that are available in as little as an hour, but funds are available the next business day when sent to France.

Other services like OFX can take longer than quicker cash services like MoneyGram and Western Union. Sending money to Australia using OFX takes at least a day, whereas countries like Canada can take one to three days.

Is there such a thing as a free international money transfer?

Yes, there are a number of providers that don’t charge fees for international money transfers. These include Citibank (Citibank Global Transfers) and TorFX. Keep in mind that even if a service is free, you’ll likely pay through a margin applied to the exchange rate.

Other services might offer free transfers for transactions over a certain size. For example, OFX offer free transfers for transactions over $10,000. Find fee-free thresholds on your international money transfer provider review pages.

Can I send money to someone using PayPal?

Yes, PayPal is a popular way to make international payments. Both the sender and the receiver needs an active PayPal account. Once the funds are received, the money then needs to be transferred to a bank account to be withdrawn. PayPal international transfer fees vary according to the method of payment. Using a credit card to credit a PayPal account with money is more expensive than transferring the money from a bank account. The fee is a percentage of the total transfer amount.

Are international money transfers safe?

Yes. It’s industry standard for international money services to use 128-bit SSL encryption systems at a minimum. Many also are licensed with US financial regulators.

When processed through a reputable bank or company, your funds are safely tracked until in the hands of your recipient. And if you’re sending money internationally, federal protections are in place that require banks, credit unions and money transfer companies to, for example, disclose all fees up front and give you 30 minutes to cancel a transfer, assuming it hasn’t yet been picked up or deposited.

Can I send the same currency overseas?

Yes, it’s possible to send the same currency overseas. One option is to buy funds in a foreign currency when you start the transfer. In this case, you’ll be charged a currency conversion fee. Another option is to deposit funds into a multicurrency account. Exchange rates may be as competitive using this method, and you may pay fees when making a deposit. The fees and charges could outweigh the cost of converting the money and sending it in your local currency.

Back to top

Related Posts

feedback