FNB international money transfers review

Discover FNB’s international transfer fees and exchange rates before sending your money overseas.

  • Good for worldwide payments and a variety of transfer options.
  • Not so great for low transfer fees.
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FNB, or First National bank, is one of the ‘big five’ banks in South Africa. It offers a wide range of services in South Africa, and across southern and central Africa – including international money transfers. FNB has the flexibility of sending funds directly to your recipient’s bank account, or using MoneyGram to send a cash pickup transfer. There is also the potential to recoup up to 50% of your transfer fees with its reward scheme, which you may need as its fees are comparatively expensive.

Why should I consider FNB?

  • Bank and cash transfers. FNB lets you send funds directly to your recipient’s bank account, or use MoneyGram to send a transfer for cash pickup.
  • Convenient transfer methods. You can send your transfer online, via the FNB app or by visiting a branch.
  • Rewards You can also recoup up to 50% of your transfer fees in the form of eBucks rewards.

What to be aware of

  • Fees. A minimum fee applies to all SWIFT transfers with FNB, so make sure you’re aware of the total cost of your transaction before sending any money overseas.

How much are FNB’s international transfer fees?

FNB can work out relatively expensive when it comes to making an international money transfer, as it carries a high commission fee.

On SWIFT transfers, you’ll pay FNB a commission calculated as a percentage of your transfer amount (minimum and maximum limits apply) plus a flat-rate SWIFT fee. However, if you submit your transaction online or via the FNB app, it’s possible to earn up to 50% of your fees back in the form of reward points (known as eBucks).

If you opt to send a MoneyGram transfer, the fee increases based on your send amount. As a result, the fees on large transfers can be quite expensive.

It’s important to compare what transfer fees money transfer providers have on offer before sending your money overseas.

How are FNB’s exchange rates?

International money transfer providers tend to apply a markup to their exchange rates, and FNB is no different. You can compare the rate you’re quoted with the current mid-market rate to determine the size of the margin FNB applies.

FNB’s margins are reasonable, but keep in mind that it charges lower exchange rates for GBP, USD and EUR compared to lesser-traded world currencies.

Available currencies

FNB supports international money transfers in a wide range of currencies, including:

  • AUD Australian dollar
  • CAD Canadian dollar
  • CHF Swiss franc
  • EUR Euro
  • GBP British pound
  • JPY Japanese yen
  • INR Indian rupee
  • USD US dollar

What are the ways I can send money abroad with FNB?

FNB offers flexibility when sending money overseas:

  • SWIFT transfers. You can send an international transfer via the SWIFT payment network directly to your recipient’s bank account. Transfers can be lodged online, through the FNB app or in a branch.
  • MoneyGram transfers. The other option is to send a cash pickup transfer via the MoneyGram network. You can send your transfer via an ATM, your nearest FNB branch or FNB Cellphone Banking, and your beneficiary can collect the cash from over 350,000 MoneyGram locations in 200 countries and territories worldwide.

What payment methods does FNB accept?

You can send SWIFT transfers using the funds in your FNB bank account.

If you’re sending funds with MoneyGram, you can pay using cash.

How long does an international transfer with FNB take?

Transfers typically take one day, but transfer times vary depending on the transfer method you choose and where you’re sending money.

SWIFT transfers are generally completed within 2-3 business days.

If you send funds via MoneyGram, the cash you send will often be available for your recipient to collect within minutes.

Transfers typically takeClock icon for transfer speed

1 day

How to make your first international transfer with FNB

If you want to send a SWIFT transfer with FNB, you’ll first need to open an account.

Registering an account

To register an account with FNB, complete the following steps:

Making an international money transfer with FNB

You can send money overseas with FNB by completing the following steps:

  1. Log in to your online banking account.
  2. Select the “Forex” tab and then “Global Payments”.
  3. Choose whether you want to make a one-off or repeat payment. If it’s a one-off, you’ll need to provide your beneficiary’s personal information and banking details.
  4. Select the reason for your payment.
  5. Review all transfer details and finalise your transaction.

Is FNB safe to use?

  • Security and regulation: Government regulated.
  • Established: 1838.
  • Ownership: FNB is a division of First Rand Limited.
  • Awards: Most Valuable Banking Brand in Africa – Brand Finance Banking 500 Report; Best Foreign Exchange Provider in South Africa – Global Finance World.
*According to FNB on 21 February 2020.

FNB, or First National Bank, is one of South Africa’s largest banks. With a history that dates back to 1838, it offers financial products and services to millions of South African customers. It also adheres to the Banking Council’s Code of Banking Practice, and requires customers to prove their identity and address as part of regulations under the Financial Intelligence Centre Act.

How does FNB compare to other money transfer services?

Find out how FNB’s exchange rates and fees stack up against the competition by entering the details of your transfer into the table below.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 60 1 day ZAR 0.00 0.057 USD
Skrill offers easy transfers to many popular destinations, but keep an eye out for added fees. Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 2 days ZAR 0.00 0.057 USD
CurrenciesDirect makes transferring money abroad simple with bank-beating exchange rates. Go to site Show details
USD 1 Within an hour ZAR 250.00 0.057 USD
Use promo code FREE to send your first transfer with no fee. T&Cs apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Go to site Show details
EUR 8 3 - 5 days EUR 3.00 0.057 USD
Special offer: New customers get unlimited fee-free transfers for their first 3 months. T&Cs apply.
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details
USD 2,000 1 day ZAR 0.00 0.057 USD
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

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