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Receiving a money transfer from overseas

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

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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 is 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 if it is available this option is convenient.
  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 charged fees 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 click 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 on the company’s logo. To start an application or transfer, click Go to Site.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 1,000 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 0.827 EUR 4,137 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
$1 Same day USD 0.00 0.832 EUR 4,160 XE offers fast transfers with no fees and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
$10 Within an hour USD 1.99 0.819 EUR 4,094 Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Quick, affordable transfers around the world with both express and economy options.
Go to site Show details
$1 1 - 2 days USD 40.00 0.836 EUR
4,146
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details
$1 Within an hour USD 3.99 0.832 EUR 4,158 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

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

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. Just 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 your funds transfer to be handled by a reputable company. However, 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 can make sure 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

  1. 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, “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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