Ways to Send Money to Canada Better and Cheaper

banff-lake-morraine_36732_600x450A must read before you send money to Canada.

There are more than half a million Brits living in Canada, five times the number of Canadians living in the UK. Canada is the 3rd most popular destination for British expats according to 2013 research from the UN.If you need to send money to family, start a business or buy a home, we compare money transfer companies you can use to send money to Canada.

Tips for picking up cash in Canada

Canada has a reputation as a relatively safe country to visit; however, tourists can still be a target for petty crime. Gov.uk advises travellers take sensible preautions when visting Canada.

If you’re concerned about picking up cash, it’s always a good idea to travel in a group. Money belts are also a popular item for travellers looking to protect valuables such as cash and a passport.

Compare International Money Transfers

I want to send


Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Services Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 1,000 Same day GBP 0.00 1.708 Online, Phone CAD
Fast, fee-free transfers and great exchange rates. Book transfers over the phone through a dedicated dealing team or by using Virgin Money’s 24/7 online platform. Go to site Show details
GBP 50 2 days GBP 0.00 1.715 Online, Phone CAD
Register with HiFX today to enjoy zero fee transfers in 142 currencies and over 170 countries. Go to site Show details
GBP 2,500 2 days GBP 0.00 1.708 Online, Phone CAD
Get a great deal for your international money exchange with no commission, no hidden costs and a guaranteed exchange rate. Go to site Show details
GBP 1 1 day - - Online, Phone Looking to save on your next money transfer? Save big with Xendpay's unique pricing structure, where the fees are at your discretion. Go to site Show details

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Banks versus money transfer companies

International bank transfers to Canada are convenient, but they can be expensive and you may not get the best rate. In the following example we show how the main differences between services. The major points of difference are the price, the transfer time and the collection options.

BankInternational cash paymentsOnline money transfer company
Exchange rate1 GBP = 1.89440 CAD1 GBP = 1.9168188 CA1 GBP = 2.0177 CAD
Transfer fee£ 25.00£ 24.90 GBP£ 4.98 GBP
Amount received for £1,000 (in Canadian dollars)$ 1,894.40 CAD$ 1916,85 CAD$ 2,007.65 CAD
Transfer time3 – 6 business daysUnder 10 minutes2 – 3 business days
Transfer optionsBank account depositAgent pickupBank account deposit
Difference of+$ 90.8 CAD

Correct 29/01/16 3.20PM

How do I compare transfer companies?

Have a look at these money transfer features when you compare quotes.

  • Exchange rate. An online money transfer company is going to give you a better rate than the banks. Some companies even offer best rate guarantees.
  • Transfer fee. The cost to send money to Canada. Compare first transfer free and fee free transfer quotes to save money. Watch out for quotes that make up the transfer fee by adding a margin to the exchange rate.
  • Collection. Are you looking to send cash to Canada to pick up right away? Not all money transfer companies offer cash collection.
  • Transfer time. Bank account deposits are going to take a couple of days to clear. Cash can be sent to Canada almost instantly.
  • Payment. Most providers let you make a bank transfer to pay for a transfer. Credit card and debit card payments are also widely accepted. A bank transfer can add an extra 2 or 3 business days to the transfer time if speed is an issue.
  • Limits. Look for the maximum transfer limit if you’re sending more than £3,000 – £5,000. Not all providers allow transfers less than £100 either.
  • Options. Contract options such as forward contracts, stop loss and limit orders and recurring payments are offered by only some international money transfer companies.
  • Deals. Banks have free international transfer arrangements, you can get a first transfer free deal from online money transfer companies, look out for different money saving deals.
  • Customer service. Not all providers can offer a UK based customer service team.
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How do I send money to Canada from the UK?

There are roughly three different types of international money transfer company you can use to send money to Canada.

International cash payment services

As well as transfer money to a bank account, these companies have cash agents in Canada where money can be ready to collect in minutes.

  • Western Union. Western Union locations are everywhere in Canada. Send money to a bank account or send funds to collect as cash in minutes.
  • MoneyGram. MoneyGram have a large presence in Canada. Anyone picking up cash won’t have to look far to find a MoneyGram agent. MoneyGram and Western Union have similar features.
  • Ria Financial Services. Make a payment in person from a Ria agent. Online transfers are open to residents of the US only. Ria has 8 locations in London.

Online money transfer companies

These foreign exchange providers can give you a marketing leading rate at low or no cost. Pay for your transfer by making a bank deposit or by debit or credit card.

        • Azimo. Make a bank same day SWIFT payment and funds are available within 24 hours.
        • Currencyfair. Bank account deposits are the only way to pay. Funds can be available in 1 – 2 business days after Currencyfair gets you payment.
        • FC Exchange. A range of transfer options such as regular payments and forward contracts may appeal to currency traders. Lock in rates up to two years in advance of a trade.
        • Moneycorp. Moneycorp providers personal and business foreign currency exchange services including exchange rate targeting and one off and recurring payments.
        • TorFX. TorFX can offer a best rate guarantee on international money transfers to Canada.
        • Transferwise. A simple and tidy website make it easy to send money to Canada. Transferwise also have a mobile app you can use to make and track transfers.
        • Travelex. Travelex transfers redirect to the Western Union website. Travelex remain a company worth comparing for your foreign cash needs before you depart.
        • UK Forex. Make payments to Canada on the go using the mobile app. UK Forex can claim to offer a better rate than the banks.
        • Transferwise. Transferwise offers services for personal transfers as well as online currency trading. A UK customer service team is available to call Monday to Friday.


Banks can offer free international transfer deals to their customers.

        • HSBC. Make free international money transfers between HSBC accounts in the UK and Canada.
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How do I receive money from Canada in the UK?

Popular ways to receive cash include:

        • Bank account. To send money to your bank account, provide your bank’s SWIFT code, your account number, sort code, IBAN and BIC. This information is available on your financial institution’s website.
        • PayPal. Log in to your PayPal account to transfer a received payment to your bank account.
        • Cash collection. Provide identification and the reference number or unique password to a Western Union or MoneyGram agent to collect funds.

Emergency cash transfers in Canada

You have a few options if you’re in Canada and you need cash quickly.

        • International cash payment. Western Union and MoneyGram can send money to Canada in minutes. Fees can be high compared to other methods; however, both companies have agents everywhere in Canada and they provide a proven service.
        • Card emergency cash. Visa and MasterCard offer emergency cash if you lose your card. The funds in your account can be made available for you to collected from an agent. It can take up to a day for an emergency cash request to be processed.
        • Travel insurance. Some travel insurance policies include an emergency cash benefit for covered events.
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Cash pickup locations in Canada / Western Union / MoneyGram branches in Canada

Here are a few Western Union and MoneyGram cash collection agents in major Canadian cities. You may want to call ahead to see if the agent has enough cash on hand if you’re picking up a large order.

Western Union


  • Gateway Newstand
    250 University Avenue,
    Osgoode Subway Station Toronto,
    ON M5H 3E5
    Open Monday to Friday 9.00AM to 9.00PM
    Saturday & Sunday 10.00AM to 5.00PM
    (647) 352 0244
  • Sam’s Food Stores
    339 College Street,
    Toronto, ON M5T 1S2
    Open Monday to Sunday 24 hours.
    (416) 924 0606

Québec City

  • International Currency Exchange
    43 De Buade Street,
    Quebec, QC G1R 4A2
    Open Monday to Sunday 9.00AM to 5.00PM
    (418) 694 6906
  • Walmart #1201
    550 Boul Wilfrid-hamel,
    Quebec, QC G1M 2S6
    Open Monday to Friday 8.00AM to 9.00PM
    Saturday & Sunday 8.00AM to 5.00PM
    (418) 641 5945



  • Pharmaprix
    390 Rue Sainte Catherine O,
    Montreal, QC h3B 1A6
    Open Monday to Friday 8.00AM to 9.00PM
    Saturday 12.00PM to 5.00PM
    (514) 875-7070
  • Canada Post PO
    1323 Rue Saint-Jacques,
    QC H3C 4K2
    Open Monday to Friday 9.00AM to 5.00PM
    (514) 938-2800


  • Exchange Gift and Convenience Store
    250 – 300 5 Avenue SW Calgary,
    T2P 3C4
    Open Monday to Friday 9.00AM to 5.00PM
    (403) 269-3776
  • Shoppers Drug Mart 2326 – Canada Post
    115 – 1410 Street,
    SE Calgary,
    Alberta T2G 5T7
    Open Monday to Saturday 9.00AM to 9.00PM
    Sunday 10.00AM to 6.00PM
    (403) 294-1433

What are the steps to send money to Canada

Bank transfers

Log on to your online banking account to make an international payment from your transaction account. You’ll need the following details about the recipient to send money to a bank account in Canada.

            • Their name and address
            • The IBAN
            • The bank’s BIC / SWIFT code / clearing code

Funds can take 4 – 6 business days to clear in the recipient’s account.

Online money transfer companies

To send money to Canada using companies like UK Forex or Worldfirst, for example, you’ll need to create an account with the provider first. You’re asked to provide your:

                      • Personal information
                      • Residential details
                      • Contact details
                      • Identification. You may be asked to email a copy of your passport.

Once you’ve created an account, you can accept a quote and pay for the transfer by making a bank account deposit or card payment to the money transfer company. A tracking number is issued so you can monitor the status of your transfer. It can take a couple of business days before the funds are available in the recipient’s bank account.

International cash payment companies

Western Union and MoneyGram have agents all over the UK. You can send money to Canada by paying cash at any of these agents. You can also pay for a transfer using your credit or debit card on the payment provider’s website. Money is available to collect in minutes.

                            • You may be asked to create a password. Tell the password to the receiver so they can collect the money in Canada.
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