What is the mid-market rate?

Also known as the inter-bank rate.

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

The market rate is the rate financial institutions and foreign exchange brokers use to trade large transactions. It’s a midway point between foreign currency buy and sell rates. This rate is fluid and changes every couple of seconds as currencies are traded on the global foreign exchange market.

Why can’t I get the mid-market rate for my international money transfer?

It may not come as a surprise, but the foreign exchange rate you hear quoted on the evening news or the rate you see when you do a Google search isn’t the rate you’ll get when you send money overseas.

This is the mid-market rate, sometimes called the interbank rate. Banks and money transfer companies use this rate when they do business amongst themselves. Individuals usually get the market rate plus a margin. Even if the international money transfer company doesn’t charge a fee, there’s a profit built into the exchange rate.

What are P2P international money transfers?

P2P foreign exchange services cut out the middleman and connect people on different sides of the world looking to buy and sell different currencies. Some P2P services give you the mid-market rate plus a small commission, which often ends up being more competitive than international money transfer services on offer from banks and traditional companies such as Western Union or MoneyGram.

Although developments in technology helping to connect people all around the world mean you can access batter rates than ever before by using a peer-2-peer (P2P) international money transfer service, even these services need to make a dollar.

Back to top

TransferWise International Money Transfers

When you need to send money overseas, you can benefit from competitive exchange rates and low transfer fees when you send funds globally with TransferWise.

  • Next day delivery
  • 5 star rating on Trustpilot
  • Trusted all over the world
  • TransferWise only charges a fair service fee and uses the real mid-market rate for conversion

    Back to top

    What to look out for when comparing international money transfer companies

    Consider the following when you’re comparing international money transfer companies.

    • Fees. The commission: charged on a per-transfer basis. Disbursement fee: charged by the receiving bank (not all the time).
    • Indicative rates and currency conversion calculators. When you compare quotes using the online currency converter tool on different websites, more often than not, the mid-market rate is quoted. This is used for example purposes, and chances are this is not the rate you’ll get when you request and accept a quote from an international money transfer provider.
    • 0% commission. Some providers advertise that they don’t charge a transfer fee on your international money transfer. While you don’t pay an additional fee (a commission) for the transfer service, a margin is applied to the foreign exchange rate to compensate for this. Make sure you compare quotes from providers that do and don’t charge a transfer fee as well as P2P providers so you can find out whether it’s better to pay a fee in order to get a better foreign exchange rate.
    • Payment method. If you pay using your credit card or debit card instead of paying using a bank transfer, you may pay more for your transfer.

    Everyday consumers usually can’t access the mid-market rate; however, online transfer companies and international money transfer services can offer you a competitive deal.

    Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

    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 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.
    Go to site