Why we like: World First
Pay $0 fees to transfer money in more than 140 currencies to more than 45 countries overseas.
Convenient money transfers with excellent customer service and no transfer fee every day:
- Enjoy competitive exchange rates.
- Lock in low rates with forward contracts and limit orders.
- Get weekly updates on the market.
Compare money transfer services
Our comparison calculator lets you compare current fees, exchange rates, transfer speeds and other details about sending your money to Canada. Enter the amount you’re transferring, and see how much will arrive at your destination.
How do international money transfers work?
An international money transfer allows you to send money to a recipient in another country by providing funds to a bank or an independent transfer provider. They will send the money to your recipient where they can pick it up in person, over the phone, through a mobile app or online. You can use cash, a credit or debit card or transfer funds from your bank account, which will then either be deposited into your recipient’s bank account, mobile wallet, or made available as cash for them to pick up at a physical location.
Laws and legal documents when transferring large sums of money into Canada
Banks versus money transfer services
While banks are capable of handling international wire transfers, they typically charge higher fees and offer unfavorable exchange rates compared to specialist money transfer providers.
Using the services of a international money transfer provider will generally mean that you’ll benefit from greater cost savings.
Case study: Robyn sends money to Canada
Robyn has scored her dream job in New York and left her family behind in Toronto, but that doesn’t mean she’s forgotten her roots. She wants to send $2,000 to her younger sister back in Canada as a birthday gift, but the thought of paying her bank’s $50 transfer fee seems expensive. Robyn decides to compare the services of two specialist money transfer companies to see if she can find a better deal.
|Money transfer company 1||Money transfer company 2|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 1.30 CAD||1 USD = 1.27 CAD|
|Transfer option||Bank account deposit||Cash pickup|
|Transfer time||1 business day||10 minutes|
|Total CAD received||2,600 CAD||2,540 CAD|
As you can see, while Robyn can send an extra 60 CAD and save more than $80 in fees by using the first company, the second company does allow her to send an urgent transfer if she needs to.
How to compare transfer companies when sending money to Canada
By comparing a few elements of your transfer, you can ensure that you get the cheapest deal for your needs.
- Exchange rates. Nearly all providers skew exchange rates for a profit. Compare the rate you’re offered to the mid-market rate — the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves — and look for the smallest margin between them.
- Transfer fees. Find out whether the provider charges a flat fee or a percentage of your transfer. If you’re sending a large amount, ask whether you qualify for a fee-free transfer.
- Payment and delivery options. Some transfer companies allow you to pay with a credit card online, by phone or through an app. Others offer agent locations for cash payments and pickups. Also ask how your recipient can receive your funds: bank account, cash pickup, mobile wallet and more.
- Transfer speeds. If it needs to be there fast, companies like Western Union and MoneyGram allow for quick cash pickups, often in minutes. If you have more time, you’ll get better rates and fees with an independent provider.
- Transfer limits. Your best option might depend on how much you want to send. For large transfers, weigh the best exchange rate —especially since providers encourage large transfers by offering low fees. For smaller amounts, consider the fees you’ll pay on top of the exchange rate.
- Flexible transfer options. Ask whether you can schedule payments ahead of time or protect your transfer against market fluctuations with a limit order or forward contract.
- Customer support. Most companies offer customer service by Internet chat, phone, in person or by email. Make sure help will be available if you need it.
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Foreign exchange rates explainedThe exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weak currency. As of January 2018, one US dollar was worth about 1.29 Canadian dollars. Canada has a flexible exchange rate, which means it can change from moment to moment. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
Currency exchange rate for Canada
Steps to send money to Canada
- Register for an account with a provider, supplying your name, address, contact details, proof of ID and information about your selected payment method.
- Provide your recipient’s contact information.
- Select the amount of your transfer and complete the transaction.
- Keep a record of any transaction reference number you receive so that you can review the progress of your transfer.
What are the ways to send money to Canada from the US
- Bank transfers. Many major US banks will allow you to send money to Canada.
- Money transfer providers. Providers like Ria and World First can help you quickly and easily transfer your money online.
- Providers with cash pickup. Western Union and MoneyGram allow you to send funds for cash pickup at agent locations.
- PayPal. Electronic payment giant PayPal allows you to send money from the US to Canada.
- Checks and money orders. Although not a quick option, you could send an international check overseas, obtained from your bank or US Postal Service.
Emergency cash transfers to Canada
If a friend traveling through the country loses their wallet, and you need to send money in an emergency, your fastest possible transfer will often be your most expensive option. Carefully review the exchange rate and transfer fee against your needs so that you understand exactly how much it will cost you.
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Tips for picking up cash in Canada
Whether picking up funds in Montreal or anywhere else around the world, take a few simple safety precautions to prevent yourself becoming a target for thieves.
- Call ahead. Learn the company’s business hours and choose a safe time to pick up your cash. Daylight hours are best.
- Bring a friend. Carrying money when alone can be dangerous. Ask a friend to come along.
- Deposit your money immediately. The likelihood of losing your money to theft or simple carelessness grows the longer you have it with you. Go straight to a bank and deposit your cash as soon as possible.
- Keep your cash hidden. Place your money in your purse or wallet before leaving the office. Carrying cash out in the open could make you a target.