Our pick: OFX International Money Transfers
OFX offers flexible transfer options, 24/7 customer support and no maximum limit. Send a minimum of $1,000 per year.
- $0 transfer fees. Send fee-free transfers to over 195 countries worldwide.
- Transfers in 55 currencies. OFX supports major, minor and exotic currencies.
- Flexible options. Choose from forward contracts to scheduled transfers for convenience and flexibility.
Compare international money transfers to Ireland
How do international money transfers work?
An international money transfer allows you to send money to a recipient overseas. Generally, a transfer involves you providing funds to a bank or an independent transfer provider, which then sends the money to your recipient in another country — in this case, Ireland. This can be done 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 or mobile wallet, or made available as cash for them to pick up at a location in their country.
Banks versus money transfer companies
While banks can handle international transfers to destinations all around the world, they usually charge a hefty fee for doing so.
However, if you use a specialist money transfer company to send your money overseas, you can usually find a better deal. These companies focus on moving money internationally and provide superior exchange rates and lower fees compared to major banks. The exact cost and transfer methods available differ between providers, so you should compare a few different providers before placing a transfer request.
Case Study: Walt Sends Money to Ireland
Walt has spent three months travelling around the U.S. while his girlfriend stays home in Ireland. When Walt’s girlfriend needs some financial assistance to help her cover the rent, Walt agrees to send her $1,000. He compares two money transfer companies in an effort to find the cheapest way to send his funds overseas.
|Money transfer company 1||Money transfer company 2|
|Exchange rate||$1 USD = $0.87 EUR||$1 USD = $O.89 EUR|
|Transfer method||Cash pickup||Bank account deposit|
|Processing time||10 minutes||3 business days|
|Amount received (in EUR)||870 EUR||890 EUR|
As you can see, not only can Walt save more than $50 in fees if he uses the second transfer company, but he can also ensure that his girlfriend receives an extra 20 euros.
How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Ireland
- Exchange rates. What exchange rates does the company offer and how do they compare with its competitors?
- Fees. How much will you have to pay each time you send a global transfer?
- Transfer methods. Can you place a transfer over the phone, online, by visiting a branch and/or via a mobile app?
- Transfer options. Can you lock in an ideal exchange rate now and transfer the money later, known as a forward contract? Does the institution offer limit orders, which allows you to take advantage of changing market conditions by executing the money transfer when a certain exchange rate is met? Can you schedule recurring payments??
- Turnaround time. How long will it take for the funds you send to reach your beneficiary’s pocket or bank account?
- Minimum amount. Is there a minimum transfer limit and is it low enough to suit your transfer requirements?
- Pickup methods. Can cash be picked up from an agent location or will it simply be transferred to your recipient’s bank account?
- Customer service. Are phone, email and online support offered? During what hours?
Foreign exchange rates explained
The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it will yield more money when exchanging it in a country with a weak currency. The euro’s exchange rate is flexible, which means it can change from moment to moment. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
Options for sending money to Ireland from America
- Bank transfers. Transfers between banks are secure but can be costly.
- Online money transfer providers. These companies, like OFX, offer secure and affordable transfers.
- Money transfer companies with cash pickup options. MoneyGram, Western Union and Ria all offer this option.
- PayPal. PayPal can send international money transfers around the globe.
- Checks. International checks can be obtained from your bank.
Steps to send money to Ireland
- 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 information and contact details.
- Select the amount of your transfer and complete your transaction.
- Preserve your receipt or other proof of transaction in order to monitor the progress of your transfer.
Same-day cash transfers to Ireland
If you need to get money to Ireland as quickly as possible, be aware that the fastest transfer method will usually cost you more. With this in mind, make sure you’re fully aware of the total cost of your transaction before you commit to it.
Tips for picking up cash in Ireland
Ireland is a safe travel destination for American tourists, but you should still take care whenever you pick up cash from a transfer agent. This means staying aware of your personal safety at all times and taking a few steps 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.