Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn how we make money.

Cheap ways to send money overseas

Save when you send money internationally with a secure online transfer.

Updated

Western Union and MoneyGram are known for their ability to send cash across the world in minutes, but you can save on fees and get a better exchange rate with an online transfer company — though you may have to wait a day for your funds to arrive.

TransferWise International Money Transfer Offer (Sponsored)

Send money internationally with TransferWise

When you need to send money, benefit from competitive mid-market exchange rates and straightforward fees with TransferWise.

  • Fair service fees and mid-market rates — a major market differentiator.
  • Next-day delivery to your loved ones and businesses.
  • Trusted the world over, with five-star ratings on Trustpilot.

    Compare your options for sending money internationally

    Use our interactive table to compare transfer fees, exchange rates, sending limits and more for sending funds overseas with our money transfer partners.

    Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
    USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 0.909 EUR 4,547 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 0.909 EUR 4,547 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 1 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 0.914 EUR 4,572 Offering no maximum and no minimum limit transfers with $0 fees. Go to site Show details
    USD 2,000 1 day USD 0.00 0.909 EUR 4,547 $0 transfer fees with rates at never more than a 2% markup. Go to site Show details
    USD 0 1 - 2 days USD 1.99 0.9 EUR 4,499 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
    USD 1 1 - 2 days USD 40.00 0.919 EUR
    4,556
    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 0.915 EUR 4,570 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.

    What are all the ways that I can send money overseas?

    Sending money overseas can be done in a variety of ways. In general, your options include:

    • Bank transfers. Many major US banks can safely wire your funds to countries around the world. Banks rely on existing links between banks and banking systems worldwide. Be aware that banks offer weaker exchange rates, have higher fees and fewer options to send and receive cash when compared to a money transfer service.
    • Digital money transfer services. These specialists offer more affordable transfers than banks do, allowing you to quickly and easily manage your transactions from home. With competitive exchange rates and lower fees, you can send funds from your bank account. Many also allow you to pay with a credit or debit card.
    • Providers with cash pickup. Trusted providers like Western Union, WorldRemit and MoneyGram offer the key advantage of giving your recipient fast access to the cash you send — sometimes within minutes. You can often pay online or at one of the thousands of agent locations worldwide. However, services typically cost more than an online transfer specialist.
    • PayPal transfers. PayPal offers transfers to more than 100 countries and supports multiple currencies. Its exchange rates are often better than those you’ll get from a bank, but not quite as strong as rates offered by money transfer companies. PayPal calculates its transfer fee as a percentage of the amount you’re sending — meaning it’s often better for sending smaller amounts of money.
    • Checks and money orders. Although not a quick option, you could send an international check overseas, obtained from your bank or the US Postal Service. It costs a little more — you’ll have to purchase the check, and your recipient may be charged a fee by their own bank when cashed.

    How do I send an overseas transfer with an online specialist?

    Although the process differs by company, to send money overseas you’ll generally:

    1. Register for an account. Registration is almost always free. You’ll provide your full name, contact info and date of birth. Some providers also require proof of ID.
    2. Provide your recipient’s details. Specify who’s receiving the funds by providing their name and contact information. If you’re sending money for bank deposit, you’ll include the bank name, SWIFT code and your recipient’s account number.
    3. Indicate the details of your transaction. Enter how much money you’re sending and in which currency it will be received.
    4. Review the details of your transaction. For most providers, you’ll see a summary of your transfer showing the amount you’re sending, the exchange rate, any fee you’ll pay and the total your beneficiary will receive.
    5. Pay for your transfer. Payment methods vary by company but could include credit or debit card, bank account, cash or mobile wallet.
    6. Track your transaction. You should receive confirmation that includes a tracking number to monitor the progress of your transfer online or through an agent location.

    You may also receive an email or text when your beneficiary has received your funds and the transaction is completed.

    How can I save money when making a money transfer?

    Fees vary widely depending on the provider you’re transferring with. Overall, providers make money on your transfer in two ways: by marking up the exchange rate and by charging you a transfer fee.

    • Compare exchange rates. Use your currency’s mid-market rate as a baseline to compare against the rates you’re offered. Focus on providers that offers the closest rates.
    • Send more money per transfer. Many providers discount transfer fees or waive them altogether when you send larger amounts.
    • Look for hidden fees. Avoid surprises by reading the fine print for fees that could apply to your transfer, including charges your recipient will need to pay.
    • Sniff out special offers. Keep an eye on promotions that offer, for example, no fees on your first transfer. While ideal for limited transfer needs, you could also end up with a new preferred service.
    • Shop around. The best way to save is by comparing rates, fees and transfer speeds of each provider, closely looking at their benefits and drawbacks.

    Best ways to send money domestically

    The importance of a competitive exchange rate

    Banks and other services are likely to add a little to the exchange rate, “padding the rate” to increase their profits. While a few cents may not sound like a lot on its own, when you multiply it by the $2,000 you plan on sending overseas, it can add up to a big difference in the amount ultimately received.

    Specialized money transfer services typically offer rates that are closer to the mid-market rate.

    Crunching the numbers: Sending $2,000 to Mexico

    Let’s say you need to send $2,000 to family in Mexico. Here’s what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of March 18, 2020.

    Digital money transfer serviceCash transferBank transfer
    Fee$20$3.99$25 + additional correspondent bank fees
    Exchange rate1 USD = 23.889 MXN1 USD = 23.788 MXN1 USD = 21.982 MXN
    Transfer speed1-2 dayWithin an hour2-5 days
    Amount receivedMXN 47,299MXN 47,482MXN 43,414
    Verdict
    • Better than a bank transfer
    • Fastest and cheapest
    • Slowest and most expensive

    Skipping the bank will get more than 4,000 pesos to your recipient, as the bank’s exchange rate is far weaker than other options.

    How to get the best exchange rate

    How transfer fees affect your total cost

    Transfer fees can range from a few dollars to up to $80 or more, with some providers taking even more as a percentage on your total amount.

    Depending on the provider, your transaction fee could be:

    • A flat fee on the transfer, no matter the amount you’re sending.
    • A tiered-fee structure — for instance, $5 for transactions under $500 or $10 for transactions under $1,000.
    • A fee calculated as a percentage of the total transfer amount.
    • $0 if you meet a fee-free threshold — $5,000 or more with some providers.

    Be wary of other fees that could apply. For example, a provider could charge your recipient a fee to cash a bank check or pick up cash in person.

    Tools to save on an international transfer

    There’s a lot riding on a competitive exchange rate and low fee. But depending on how much you’re sending, how soon your recipient needs it and rates at the time of transfer, you could save even more with the following tools.

    • Forward contracts. With this tool, you lock in a favorable exchange rate for a future transfer, avoiding unpredictable movements in the rate.
    • Limit orders. A limit order allows you to request a transfer that’s executed only when a specific rate is reached, at which point your provider locks it in.
    • Regular transfers. You may be able to shave a few pennies off an exchange rate or pay lower transfer fees by setting up a plan to automate more regular payments overseas.
    • Same-currency transfers. It can sometimes be cheaper to transfer US dollars to your recipient, allowing them to transfer these dollars into their own currency when received. Your recipient may be able to pay lower fees overall this way.

    Frequently asked questions

    Read more on this topic

    • Remittance statistics We've unpacked the most recently available data from the World Bank to get an idea of how much money is being sent around the globe.
    • Best ways to send money online Navigate the world of sending money domestically and internationally with our hand-picked list of popular services.
    • XE vs. OFX money transfers Check out this side-by-side comparison of XE and OFX to find out which provider offers the best value on international money transfers.
    • Alternatives to InstaReM Find the best alternative websites to InstaReM for online money transfers.
    • XE vs. Western Union We compare XE's and Western Union’s fees, exchange rates and transfer speeds side by side.
    • Remitly vs. PayPal Compare a well-known payments giant to the newer Remitly and see which one can give you a better deal.
    • Remitly vs. TransferWise Remitly and TransferWise’s fees, exchange rates and speeds compared side by side.
    • How to send money to Guinea Compare the services that send money to Guinea. Find out how to get the best value for your money, how long it takes and what to look out for.
    • Best places to exchange currency in Sydney Your guide to currency exchange services in Sydney, including where to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees.
    • Best places to exchange currency in Winnipeg Looking for the best deal on Canadian dollars in Winnipeg? Compare popular services and access handy tips to get the most out of your next transfer.

    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 finder.com 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.

    8 Responses

    1. Default Gravatar
      ShaynaSeptember 5, 2019

      Do you do door cash delivery?

      • Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JhezSeptember 6, 2019Staff

        Hi Shayna,

        Thank you for your comment.

        If you’re referring to money transfer provider that delivers your money right to your recipient’s doorstep, yes, there are money transfer services that offer this. I’d refer you to our page that will give you more details about door to door cash delivery.

        Please note that only some money transfer specialists offer this option and there are only a few countries where the service is available.

        Regards,
        Jhezelyn

    2. Default Gravatar
      GioJuly 29, 2019

      I would like to know why you didn’t put Payoneer?
      I am an freelancer overseas worker and I get payed in different foreigner currencies. What is the best way for me to transfer to my local bank in Italy in Euro currency? Thanks

      • Default Gravatar
        nikkiangcoJuly 29, 2019

        Hi Gio,

        Thanks for your question.

        While we are a comparison website, we may not have all the available money transfer services available globally. Nonetheless, I can send this to our publishers and check if we can add this to one of our pages.

        The find the best way to transfer funds to Italy, here is the page that shows options.

        Als note that international transfer fees vary by transfer provider, your transfer method, where you’re sending your money, how much you’re sending and how you’re paying for it. You can refer to this page as it provides tips on finding the best exchange rate.

        Hope this helps!

        Best,
        Nikki

    3. Default Gravatar
      jasonOctober 4, 2018

      Is currencytransfer ltd a safe company to exchange with?

      • Default Gravatar
        nikkiangcoOctober 5, 2018

        Hi Jason,

        Thanks for reaching out!

        All providers listed on our page is proven safe and reliable. If you wish to find more information on Currency Transfer, you may visit their website or read reviews and forums available on the web.

        Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.

        Cheers,
        Nikki

    4. Default Gravatar
      ShanleySeptember 13, 2018

      Hi, I would like to transfer my money overseas from US to Indonesia, I have $ account in Indonesia. How much is transfer fee? Thank you

      • Default Gravatar
        BellaSeptember 13, 2018

        Hi Shanley,

        Thanks for your inquiry.

        The money transfer fee would be different depending on the amount sent, the transfer and payment method and with the money exchange service provider.

        I hope this information helped.

        Kind regards,
        Bella

    Go to site