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Receiving money from overseas

The ins and outs of receiving money from an overseas sender.

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  • Receive money at the mid-market rate
  • Next-day delivery for most currencies
  • Easy-to-use app
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With the right tools at your disposal, you can find the best deal and have quick access to your funds when you receive a money transfer from abroad.

What is the best way to receive money from overseas?

The best way to receive money from overseas depends on your specific situation. For many people, receiving the money straight to their bank through an international wire transfer is the most convenient, even if it can be expensive. Typically it’s cheaper to use a money transfer company since these types of companies specialize in sending money overseas and offer lower fees and stronger exchange rates than banks.

From cheapest to most expensive, the best way to receive money from overseas is:

  1. International money transfer company. Find a company that fits your needs by comparing a variety of companies before you receive your transfer.
  2. Money order. Sometimes called a bank draft, an international money order is an inexpensive and slow way to receive money.
  3. Mobile wallet. Having money delivered to a mobile wallet isn’t a popular option in the US, but this option is convenient if it’s available.
  4. Cash delivery. Consider having your money sent to a local money transfer agent location so that you can pick it up in cash. Some services will even deliver it straight to your home.
  5. International wire transfer. International wires through the bank often get fees charged on both ends, both to send and to receive the transfer from abroad.

Compare international money transfer companies to receive money

Use our comparison table to see how much money you could receive through different money transfer companies. Enter the amount you’ll be receiving, the currency in which it will be sent, then select Calculate.

How to receive money using our comparison tool

  • View. Sort through different international money transfer providers and services by exchange rate, amount received, transfer speed and more.
  • Compare. Figure out your best option by comparing companies side-by-side.
  • Save. To read more about a product, click or tap on the company’s logo. To start an application or transfer, select Go to Site.
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

Bank information needed when receiving money from overseas

In order to receive money from overseas, you’ll need to provide specific details about your bank, including:

  • Bank account number
  • BIC/Swift Code — you can this from your bank
  • Bank State Branch (BSB)
  • Full name
  • Street address

If you decide to pick the transfer up as cash or have it delivered to a digital wallet, the information you’ll need to provide will vary.

How does receiving money from overseas work?

The process may differ depending on the service provider used to send the funds. With some money transfer services, you need to request the transaction reference number from the sender and present the number along with your identification documents. You may also be required to fill out a receive form to access your funds.

With online transfers, the funds are deposited into your account, after which you can withdraw them. You can also receive funds through a prepaid card or mobile wallet.

What type of money transfer should I use to receive money?

Money transfers come in many varieties, all of which can be used to receive money from overseas.

  • Online transfer. You can use online payment services to transfer and receive funds. The funds are converted into the recipient’s currency.
  • Money transfer. Money transfer companies that offer cash pickup are an easy way to receive money. But double-check that there’s an agent location near you before agreeing to receive a cash transfer.
  • Prepaid card. You can access your funds through an ATM when using a prepaid card to receive money.
  • Mobile wallet. Receive and send funds directly from your smartphone when using a mobile wallet.

How do I compare international money transfer services when receiving money?

  • Fees. This is one of the most essential considerations when comparing money transfer providers. Comparing fees allows you to find the most cost-effective option. But remember to find out about the fees that apply to both the sender and the recipient.
  • Accessibility. Make sure money transfer providers service your area. Find out if the funds are widely accessible in the areas and via the methods you need.
  • Exchange rates. As the funds are received in the recipient’s currency, you need to determine which of the providers you wish to use has the best rates. Exchange rates could work to greatly decrease the amount sent.
  • Reputation. You want a reputable company to handle your funds transfer. And there are many money transfer companies to be found online, so the only way you can ensure that your funds are safe is by going with a trusted provider. Look at each company’s history and customer reviews before making a decision.

Do I have to pay taxes when receiving money from overseas?

Yes, unless the money transfer falls into specific categories. In short, when receiving more than $10,000 from abroad, you must report it on your taxes. Read our guide on tax regulations for incoming transfers into the US to learn more.

What are the pros and cons of receiving money from an international money transfer service, rather than a bank?

Pros

  • Simplicity. Most money transfer systems offer simplicity when it comes to sending and receiving money. You can also receive funds immediately once they’re transferred.
  • Variety. There are various methods one can use to receive money, so you’re not forced to work with one service provider.
  • Security. If you use a trusted money transfer provider, your transaction is safe and secure.

Cons

  • Fees. Most money transfer providers have applicable fees that could make their services costly.

Bottom line

Receiving money from overseas doesn’t have to be expensive or stressful. By comparing your options, you’ll know you aren’t paying too much in fees or losing money to a poor exchange rate. Before making a final decision, learn more about how to save money when sending and receiving money from overseas.

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    julieSeptember 7, 2018

    my parents are selling their family home in portugal and are transferring the money to my sisters and I. the money will be wired to our US bank account..are there any tax implications. we are all US citizens living in the US.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaSeptember 10, 2018Staff

      Hi Julie,

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

      If you are receiving more than $10,000, you’ll need to abide by US laws. Aside from the bank reporting your money transfer transaction to the government, you would most likely need to fill out Form 3520. This form is not a tax return form, but more of being an “information return.” The reason behind is that foreign gifts generally are not subject to income tax. However, please be reminded that stiff penalties may apply for failing to submit Form 3520 when it is required.

      To learn more please read our guide entitled, “Laws and legal documents when transferring large sums of money into the US.” You may also choose to directly get in touch with the IRS or speak to a tax specialist.

      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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