Best Ways to Send Money Internationally: Cheapest Ways to Transfer Money

    by William Plotnick
Updated May 6, 2021

If you have any questions about international money transfers, then you’ve found the right guide. Our money transfer experts laid out the most important information, but we didn’t stop there. In this guide, you’ll find the information you need to make a knowledgeable money transfer. On top of that, our experts searched the market and found the top 5 international money transfer services. We’re going to direct you to the fastest cheapest ways to transfer money internationally. 

After numerous hours of research, we pulled together an all-around guide. Included are the things you need to know about sending money abroad as well as the best services in the industry to send money internationally.

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Whether you're actively looking for a way to transfer money or you just want the “know-how,” here you'll find everything you need to know. 

Quick Summary

  1. TransferWise
  2. OFX
  3. XE
  4. Xoom- PayPal Service
  5. WorldRemit

There are so many money transfer companies that can help you send money abroad. Our money transfer experts analyzed the money transfer industry and came down to these 5 money transfer specialists.

If you want a safe, affordable, and fast money transfer, any one of these services will get the job done right. 

Let’s dive in!

What is an International Money Transfer?

An international money transfer is simply sending money to a person or a business across a border. International money transfers can be processed by a bank or through money transfer specialists. 

For example, let’s say you wanted to send money to Australia and you lived in Argentia. Sending money from one country to the next is an international money transfer.

There are many ways to send money internationally. Before we review the best ways to send money across borders lets understand the fees involved and how much it costs.

How Much Does an International Money Transfer Cost?

There is no single answer. The cost of an international money transfer depends on a few of the following cases:

  • The money transfer specialist you choose
  • The country you send your money (& the currency you choose) 
  • How you pay for the transfer (credit card, cash, debit card, etc.)
  • Amount of transfer 
  • The exchange rate 
  • The transfer delivery time

As you can see, international money transfers depend on a handful of factors. 

Although countries like India and Bangladesh, for example, receive many money transfers, it’s very hard to pinpoint a general cost. This is because of the actors mentioned above.

Because the cost of a money transfer can sometimes be very high, we made sure to find the best international money transfer services in the industry. 

Most Important Factors in an International Money Transfer 

Although there are many factors involved in an international money transfer, if you keep your eyes on the following, you can save a lot of money.

Foreign Exchange Rate

Although the foreign exchange rate might sound scary, it really isn’t. I’m going to walk you through it. 

The foreign exchange rate is the parallel value between two different currencies. In other words, the exchange rate is the “amount” you can exchange one currency for the next.

The exchange rate is super important, especially when you need to send an international money transfer. The foreign exchange rate tells us how much foreign currency we can get with our currency (or vice-versa).

Why is this important?

Good question, I’m glad you asked.

Most money transfer specialists add a small margin on the foreign exchange rate.

Fees

When it comes down to sending money internationally, transfer fees can cost a lot.

Not all, but most money transfer services charge fees for their service. There are usually 2 types of fees that money transfer services choose from: 

    • Flat Fees– simple, a flat price for the money transfer.
    • Percentage Fee– this is a percentage of the total money transaction.

The Amount 

The amount you’d like to transfer can make a big or small impact on the cost of your transfer.

If you are transferring a small amount, there are countless money transfer companies that can help with that. 

On the other hand, if you are looking to send a large sum of money, look at money transfer companies that specialize in that. 

Banks vs. Money Transfer Specialists 

Most U.S banks can perform international money transfers, but that doesn’t mean that it’s cheap. For the most part, banks charge high fees and are overall more expensive than money transfer specialists.

You can usually pay much less sending an international money transfer by using money transfer specialists.

Banks offer a wide array of financial services whereas money transfer specialists specialize in money transfers. 

Money transfer specialists offer low fees, better exchange rates, and a quicker transfer compared to banks.

To sum up, money transfer specialists are usually cheaper and faster than banks.

Top 5 International Money Transfer Specialists 

#1 TransferWise

TransferWise is a British money transfer specialist. They offer cheap ways to send money from the U.S to over 70 countries. TransferWise is a great service to use when sending money internationally. 

How Much Does it Cost to Send an International Money Transfer?

Transfer Fee: TransferWise is a very transparent company. They charge a combination of a flat amount for the payment method and a percentage for the transfer fee. 

  • Payment Method- slightly over 1 USD
  • Transfer Fee- less than 1% of the transfer amount

Exchange Rate: TransferWise uses a live rate. This means that TransferWise takes no margin from the exchange rate.

Additional Fees: TransferWise charges additional fees depending one the payment method you choose. 

How Long Does The Money Transfer Take?

The amount of time for the delivery depends on the address of the international money transfer. 

The average time that it takes for an international money transfer is between 1-4 Business days. 

Is TransferWire Safe?

Yes, TransferWise is an authorized Electronic Money Institution regulated by the FinCEN.     

How to Transfer Money With TransferWise?

  1. Create an account with their website.
  2. Click on the amount you want to transfer.
  3. Enter recipients’ information and send payment to TransferWise.

#2 OFX

OFX is an online money transfer provider. OFX has a great reputation for offering cheap money transfers internationally. They have quality customer service 24/7. 

How Much Does it Cost to Send an International Money Transfer With OFX?

Transfer Fee: OFX doesn’t charge transfer fees to customers in the U.S.

Exchange Rate: OFX adds a margin to the market rate when processing international money transfers.

Minimum Amount: 1,000 USD

How Long Does The Money Transfer Take?

The amount of time for the international money transfer to go through depends on the receiving country.

Transfers with OFX usually take 2-4 Business days. 

Can I Trust OFX?

Yes, OFX is an authorized Electronic Money Institution regulated by the FinCEN.     

How to Transfer Money With OFX?

  1. Create an account and input details.
  2. Enter the recipients’ information.
  3. Confirm the transfer amount and send money to OFX. 

#3 XE 

XE is a Canadian exchange company that allows you to send money transfers painlessly. They have over 25 years of successful company history in the industry. XE is a trusted and known international exchange company. 

How Much Does it Cost to Send an International Money Transfer?

Transfer Fee: They do not have transfer fees.

Exchange Rate: XE determines their exchange rate by the amount of money you decide to transfer. Like most money transfer specialists, they add a small margin to the mid-market rate. 

Minimum Amount: 1USD 

How Long Does The Money Transfer Take?

On average XE takes between 1-4 business days to complete a money transfer.

It is important to keep in mind that the amount of time a transfer takes directly relates to the country of the recipient. 

Is XE Safe?

Yes, XE is an authorized Electronic Money Institution regulated by the FinCEN and licensed as Money Transmitters by DFS.   

How to Transfer Money With XE?

  1. Create an online account or call over the phone.
  2. Choose the transfer amount and input recipient’s details.
  3. Pay XE and let them deal with the transfer.

To learn more, check out our full XE review!

#4 Xoom-PayPal Service

Xoom is a money transfer service owned by PayPal.They are known for their fast, easy and secure money transfers.

How Much Does it Cost to Send an International Money Transfer with Xoom? 

Transfer Fee: the transaction fees depend on the amount you wish to transfer, regardless of the payment method. 

Exchange Rate: Xoom adds a small markup to the mid-market exchange rate.

Additional Fees: there are occasional hidden fees. If you’re unsure get a quote with Xoom.

Minimum Amount: 10 USD

How Long Does The Money Transfer Take?

Transfers usually take between 1-4 Business days. As mentioned before, it really depends on the country in which you are sending the transfer. 

Is It Safe?

Yes, Xoom is a money transfer service powered by PayPal. PayPal is a recognized online payment platform with a great history. 

How to Transfer Money With Xoom?

  1. Create an account with Xoom (or PayPal).
  2. Input recipients’ personal details and pick transfer amount.
  3. Send Xoon the money and they will take care of the transfer!

#5 WorldRemit

WorldRemit is an outstanding international money transfer company. They offer low fees and competitive exchange rates. WorldRemit is a great option for affordable fast and safe international money transfers. 

How Much Does it Cost to Send an International Money Transfer

Transfer Fee: these fees depend on the amount of money that you send, where you send it, and how the recipient access the money. 

Exchange Rate: WorldRemit adds a small margin to the market rate. Click here for a quote. 

Additional Fees: there can be additional fees depending on the payment method you choose.

Minimum Amount: 1 USD

How Long Does The Money Transfer Take?

The amount of time varies depending on where you are sending your transfer.

For the most part, international transfers usually take 1-2 Business days. 

Is WorldRemit Safe?

Yes, WorldRemit is regulated but the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 

How to Transfer Money With WorldRemit?

  1. Make an account online or by phone.
  2. Input and confirm the transfer amount.
  3. Plugin recipients’ details and forward WorldRemit the money. 

Bottom Line 

International money transfers aren’t only available at banks. In fact, those days are long gone!

With so many options out there it may be overwhelming. Just take it one step at a time. 

Whether you need to send money to Israel, France, or Germany, this article is for you. We created this review so you can choose the best international money transfer service and save money along the way!

The services we mentioned above are inexpensive, safe and deliver transfers quickly. Any one of them will do a great job!

Whether you're actively looking for a way to transfer money or you just want the “know-how,” here you'll find everything you need to know. 

 

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