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# A \$1,000 money transfer journey

## How much money will my recipient receive?

When you send an international money transfer, your loved one will never receive the full amount that you send – from fees to the exchange rate, your transfer will incur losses along the way (and your service provider will profit). Depending on the method you choose to transfer, the amount your recipient could receive can vary.

Basically – all transfer methods are not created equal. Let’s compare three options for sending money and see how each differs.

### Where will I lose money?

You’re at risk of losing money in two main steps:

1. The transaction fee to send your money.
2. The transfer service’s exchange rate.

These are the two areas where the vast majority of money transfer services will take money from you. You may encounter other fees, but they’re not universal.

### Calculations

#### Bank transfer

• An outgoing international wire transfer costs \$40.
• \$1,000 – \$50 = \$960
• There’s a 4% spread between the mid-market rate and the bank’s exchange rate, so we lose \$38.
• \$960 x 0.04 = \$38.40 (We’ll round to \$38.)
• \$960 – \$38 = \$922
• There’s a receiving fee of \$20 that your recipient’s bank will charge when they accept your money into their bank account.
• \$922 – \$20 = \$902
• Total loss = \$98

#### Foreign money transfer service

• The transfer fee is \$5.
• \$1,000 – \$5 = \$995
• There’s a 0.5% spread between the mid-market rate and the FMT service rate, so we lose \$5.
• \$995 * 0.005 = \$4.975 (We’ll round to \$5.)
• \$995 – \$5 = \$990
• Total loss = \$10

#### Cash transfer

• The fee for an in-person transfer is \$7.
• \$1,000 – \$7 = \$993
• There’s a 3% spread between the mid-market rate and the cash-transfer service exchange rate, so we lose \$30.
• \$993 x 0.03 = \$29.79 → Round to \$30
• \$993 – \$30 = \$963
• Total loss = \$37

### Bottom line

As you can see, Option 2, or independent money transfer service, takes a mere \$10 out of the transaction, compared to \$37 with a cash pickup service and a whopping \$98 from a bank-to-bank transfer.

### Compare your international money transfer options

Our table lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Compare services on transfer speeds and fees, then click Go to site when you're ready to send.
1 - 14 of 14
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
Within minutes
From 0.41%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Within minutes
From \$0
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Within minutes
From \$0
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
24 hours
From 0%
New Instarem customers will get a special FX rate and zero-fees on their first transfer. Plus, Get \$5 USD off your first \$200+ transfer with code INSTAREM5 by Jan 10, 2024.
Instarem offers offers rewards on every transaction.
Revolut
Within minutes
From \$0
Revolut offers international exchange rate for over 150+ currencies and transfers within 30 minutes.
24 hours
\$0
Business customers: Send safe, no-limit transfers with no fees and competitive exchange rates.
24 hours
\$0
Increase business efficiency with zero transaction fees and same-day transfers.
Revolut
Within minutes
From \$0
Revolut offers international exchange rate for over 150+ currencies and transfers within 30 minutes.
24 hours
\$0
24 hours
\$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
24 hours
\$0
Minimizes costs of international transactions and offers custom solutions for business clients. Currencies Direct may call you to confirm your transfer, so be prepared for a phone call shortly after initiating a transfer.
Within minutes
\$3
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Revolut
Within minutes
From \$0
Revolut offers international exchange rate for over 150+ currencies and transfers within 30 minutes.
24 hours
\$0
CurrenciesDirect makes transferring money abroad simple with bank-beating exchange rates. Currencies Direct may call you to confirm your transfer, so be prepared for a phone call shortly after initiating a transfer.

### Other fees

Will the receiving bank always assess a fee?

This depends on the bank you’re sending money to. US banks typically charge for receiving international transfers — often \$15 to \$30. In some countries, such as France, many multinational chains don’t charge receiving fees, while smaller banks may.

Will I have to pay any other fees?

Your bank may not have a direct relationship with the bank you’re transferring money to. In that case, you could pay intermediary fees when your money is sent through other banks. Contact your bank to find out if you’ll need to pay intermediary fees.

Are there account opening fees?

You won’t typically see account opening fees with a money transfer service, cash transfer services or bank. However, a bank may require a minimum deposit or charge a monthly fee if your account has less than a certain amount.

For example:

• Bank of America requires a \$300 minimum daily balance; otherwise, it charges a \$5 monthly fee.
• Chase requires a \$300 minimum daily balance; otherwise, it charges a \$5 monthly fee.
• Wells Fargo requires both a \$25 minimum opening deposit and a \$300 minimum daily balance; otherwise, it charges a \$5 monthly fee.

As with any service, take the time to compare all of your options before choosing one that is right for your needs.