Compare FX rates & fees of 5 international money transfer services

Compare international money transfers

Get the best rates and fees when you send money abroad.

Find the best provider for your transfer

Answer three quick questions and we'll give you an instant recommendation for a money transfer service based on your needs.

Question 1 of 2

Based on your answers, check out:

Compare more money transfer services

Compare money transfer services

Use the currency transfer calculator below by entering the amount you want to send and choose the currency you are sending to.

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

I want to send

to

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 0 3 - 5 days USD 0.00 0.871 EUR 4,355 Transfer up to $500,000 with no minimums and no fees. Go to site Show details
USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 0.87 EUR 4,352 No maximum limit, no fees and competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. Go to site Show details
USD 1 1 - 2 days USD 7.00 0.871 EUR
4,351
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details
USD 1 Within an hour USD 3.99 0.87 EUR 4,345 Use promo code FINDER to send your first transfer with no fee.
Send to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up.
Go to site Show details
1 - 2 days USD 0.00 0.869 EUR 4,344 Get live quotes on exchange rates and take advantage of no transaction fees with no limits on transfers. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

What’s in this guide?

  • Why trust us? Our research team has spent thousands of hours meticulously researching every money transfer provider we compare (and many that we don’t). We even sent transfers with 13 providers to see if their services were as good as they claim. Our editorial guidelines underpin all of our guides, and you can be sure that the information we present is accurate, unbiased and thoroughly vetted.

Just some of the brands we compare

Currencies Direct Logo Moneygram Logo OFX Logo Pangea money transfers logo
Remit2India logo money transfer Ria Logo transferwise logo Travelex
XE Money Transfer Logo Western Union logo money transfers World First logo money transfer WorldRemit Logo

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 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.

For example, World First charges a flat fee of $10 on transfers up to $10,000 and no fee on transfers over that amount. But because World First is a trusted partner of finder.com, you can avoid the fee entirely.

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.

What’s the most important factor of a money transfer?

According to a recent survey we conducted that received 2028 responses, low fees was the most important factor for people when sending money. Here’s a breakdown of the data:

What’s most important when sending money? % of responses
Low fees 33.2% (673 responses)
Getting the best exchange rate 27.6% (559 responses)
Speed 20.4% (414 responses)
Picking up cash 18.8% (383 responses)

Infographic of money transfer fees bank vs. online vs cash transfer

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. World First, for example, waives fees for all transfers above $10,000. Sending less comes with a $10 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 lock 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.

How can I beat the banks and reduce what I pay in fees?

Alex sends money to Mexico

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 daysWithin 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. 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:

How to safely make an emergency money transfer to a friend or family member

What are the best international money transfer services?

finder Money Transfer Awards

We researched over 35 providers and sent money transfers to two countries to find out who offers the best products. Click to have a look at our in-depth research and testing to find out which providers won awards for Best User Experience, Most Convenient, Fastest Transfer, Most Trustworthy, Best Transfer Rates and Most Outstanding Product.

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 (such as $5 for transfers up to $5,000) or a percentage 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 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 you or a loved one are in an emergency and need funds quickly — and in cash. Thankfully there are global money transfer providers with tons of agent locations that allow your recipient to pick up the funds 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. Choose your country from the drop-down:

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 specialize in safely moving money internationally, saving you frustration when making or receiving regular payments.

Expat passport icon

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 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 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.

When a few cents totals thousands

How important is the exchange rate? Say you need to get 500,000 euros to a broker in Spain for a down payment on a pied-à-terre. The mid-market rate for dollars to euros is 1 USD = 0.95 EUR. You’re happy to find two online services that are pretty close to the mid-market rate — one is offering 0.93 for your dollar and the other 0.92. But to be sure which is the better deal, you crunch the numbers.
Service A Service B
Exchange rate 1 USD = 0.93 EUR 1 USD = 0.92 EUR
Inverse exchange rate 1 EUR = 1.075 USD 1 EUR = 1.087 USD
500,000 euros in dollars $537,500 $543,500

Finding the inverse rate, you learn that the exchange rates are a mere 1 cent difference (0.012 cents, to be exact). Yet, when applying these rates to 500,000 euros, you’d lose $6,000 to the first money transfer service on the exchange rate alone. That’s a lot of rioja you could be sipping in Madrid.

How do I find the inverse exchange rate?

The world of finance can feel hopelessly complicated. But it’s easy to find the inverse exchange rate for your currency. If you think of an exchange rate as A = B, you’d simply divide the number 1 by B: 1/B.

Take 1 USD = 0.93 EUR. To find how much 1 euro is worth in dollars using this same exchange rate, divide 1 by 0.93: 1/0.93 = 1.075. With this exchange rate, 1 euro is worth $1.075.

Compare minimum and maximum transfer limits

Minimum and maximum transfer limits can vary by provider, currencies and recipient country.

Provider Minimum transfer amount Maximum transfer amount
OFX $150 No limit
XE Money Transfer $0 No limit
World First $1,000 No limit
WorldRemit $1 $2,000
Travelex International Payments $500 No limit
TorFX $200 No limit
Currency Online $0 No limit
Western Union $1 $5000 per transaction
TransferWise $1 Private individual — $49,999 a day and $199,999 a year Business — $199,999 a day and $1 million a year
Xoom Varies by country $2,999 every 24 hours, up to $6,000 every 30 days and up to $9,999 every 180 days
MoneyGram $1 $2,999 a day and up to $2,999 every 30 days
RIA $1 $2,999 a day and up to $7,999 every 30 days

|

My rights when it comes to money transfers

Federal law requires most banks, credit unions and money transfer services to give you information both before and after any transfer of $15 or more. Before you agree to a transfer, you have the right to know:

  • 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.

You also have the right to cancel your transfer without penalty within 30 minutes of initiating it, unless it’s already been picked up or deposited. If there’s any error with your transfer, your bank or transfer service has 90 days to work through any problems to make it right.

How do I track it?

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 as well.
Learn how to track, cancel or get a refund

Should I be concerned about taxes?

There is so much attention on money leaving the country that whether you don’t report your taxes or don’t know you have to report them 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 fines 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 requirements when sending a large transfer?

Currency transfer news

Common questions about money transfers

Back to top

Related Posts

US International Money Transfers Offers

Important Information*
XE Money Transfer

Transfer up to $500,000 with no minimums and no fees.

WorldRemit International Money Transfers

Use promo code FINDER to send your first transfer with no fee.
Send to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up.

World First

No maximum limit, no fees and competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.

TransferWise

Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks.

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site