How to find the best exchange rates | finder.com

How to get the best exchange rate on international money transfers

Save on the exchange rate when you send funds overseas.

Last updated:

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.

Finding great exchange rates is essential so that more of your cash ends up in your recipient’s pocket, rather than in the hands of a money transfer provider.

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 exchange rates of money transfer services

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 0 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 0.904 EUR 4,519 Offering no maximum and no minimum limit transfers with $0 fees. Go to site Show details
USD 1 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 0.903 EUR
4,517
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 0.00 0.904 EUR 4,518 Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Send to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up. Go to site Show details
USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 0.902 EUR 4,512 No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. Go to site Show details
GBP 1,000 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 0.902 EUR 4,511 Exclusive: Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally $5,000).
For larger transfers, get no transaction fees and no maximum send limits.
Go to site Show details
USD 5,000 1 day USD 0.00 0.903 EUR 4,515 Venstar will support you through the entire process of your international transactions, from start to finish. Go to site Show details
USD 50 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 0.903 EUR 4,515 Simple, zero-margin exchange rates, plus earn loyalty points on sign up, referral and every transaction. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Back to top

How important is an exchange rate?

An exchange rate shows the value of one currency for the purpose of converting it into another. Exchange rates fluctuate due to a wide range of factors that include interest rates, consumer confidence, inflation and political stability. For instance, when interest rates in a particular country rise, investors are able to achieve better returns in that country, increasing the demand for that country’s currency. This increase in demand then drives the value of that currency upward.

Exchange rates affect our everyday lives in two ways. The first way is in the cost of everyday goods you buy. If these goods were purchased from an overseas retailer, or constructed using foreign materials, then the exchange rate for those goods or materials will obviously affect how much they cost you.

The second way is much more direct: when you travel out of the US, send money overseas or purchase goods directly from other countries, exchange rates affect how much your US dollars are worth.

How can I get the best exchange rate?

For international money transfers, finding a great exchange rate can mean a difference of hundreds of dollars depending on the amount you’re sending.

Here are a few tips:

Know the mid-market rate for your currency
Also called the interbank 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. They make money by skewing exchange rates to make a profit. Use the mid-market rate as a baseline to compare against the rates they’re offering to learn who’s offering the better deal.

Get quotes from a few services
Compare the quotes from a range of money transfer companies to see which offers a better deal. Many offer a quick and easy way to get a quote online, and it should include transfer fees to give you a better idea of how much your total transaction will cost.

Think twice about using your bank
Banks can offer secure and convenient international transfers, but they don’t offer value for your money. In fact, they offer some of the weakest exchange rates you’ll find when comparing money transfer providers.

Peer-to-peer vs. bank

Lauren needs to send $1,000 to her mother in the UK. To find the best deal, she compares the services offered by her bank with a peer-to-peer money transfer service like TransferWise.

US bankPeer-to-peer transfer service
Amount transferred$1,000$1,000
Exchange rate1 USD = 0.52 GBP1 USD = 0.55 GBP
Transfer fee
$25$2
Pounds received
507 GBP548.90 GBP

Considering the exchange rates and fees, Lauren’s mother would receive an extra £41.90 when transferred through a peer-to-peer service.

Consider your transfer options
If you’re sending recurring payments, look into setting up regular transfers to take advantage of fluctuating exchange rates and save more on fees over the long term. With a forward contract, you can lock in the current exchange rate for a transfer that will be placed days, weeks, or even months into the future. Another option is a limit order, which allows you to set up a transfer request that will only be executed when specified market conditions are met — such as the exchange rate reaching a certain level.

Think about a multi-currency bank account
If you need to send more regular transactions using commonly traded currencies, a multi-currency bank account could offer better exchange rates and lower fees. Also referred to as foreign currency accounts, these accounts allow you to hold funds in multiple currencies, meaning you can convert them into dollars at a time when the rate suits you.

Send a larger amount
Some providers encourage larger transfers by offering better exchange rates and lower — or even $0 — transfer fees. With a stronger exchange rate on $10,000, you could save a lot.

Back to top

Learn more

What are some companies that send international money transfers?

If you want the best exchange rates, you’ll typically get them from an online money transfer company. Providers like WorldRemit, Xoom, XE Money Transfer, and OFX offer higher exchange rates than you’ll find elsewhere. Some have other features to help you save money — for example, OFX charges $0 fees.

Western Union, MoneyGram and Ria all offer money transfers that your recipient can collect as cash at hundreds of thousands of agent locations worldwide.

If you’re sending money to one of the countries on its long list, PayPal might be an option. But with transfer fees calculated based on the amount you send, it’s better for small transfers only.

Compare the fees among six providers:

RiaMoneyGramTransferWiseWells FargoOFXXoom money transfer
Fees$0$4.99 from a bank account; $10 from a credit or debit cardflat fee + percentage of transfer$0 for transfers of $500 or more$0$0 for transfers of $1,000 or more
Back to top

Frequently asked questions

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

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.

2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JuneMay 9, 2017

    What was the rate of CAD TO EURO on the 5th of may 2017?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      HaroldJuly 3, 2017Staff

      Hi June,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      While we do not represent any company that we feature on our pages, we can offer you a general advice. You can check the current rates at the section “Compare exchange rates of money transfer services” for your review and comparison.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

Go to site