Looking for the Cheapest Way to Send Money Overseas? 7 Options to Compare
Sending an international payment can be confusing. There are so many different ways you can go about getting your money to where it needs to be, all of which come with different fees, exchange rates and transfer processes. If you want to cut the cost of sending money abroad, you’re in the right place. This guide walks through some major international payment providers, looking at the services available, the exchange rates used, and the overall cost of sending your transfer. We’ll also show some example costs and rates where possible, so you can pick the best one for you.
Let’s dive right in.
Sending money with your bank through an international wire or bank to bank transfer can be costly. A bank transfer will attract high fees, typically around $40 per transfer. Additionally, the exchange rates you get can be worse than you can find elsewhere. Together, this can mean you pay around 5 to 7 percent more than using a specialist provider.
Wise offers international payments to 80 countries. All Wise payments are arranged online or in the Wise app, and sent directly to your recipient’s own bank account. You’ll get the real mid-market exchange rate every time, and can fund the transfer with an ACH or wire payment, credit or debit card. Different fees apply depending on where you’re sending money, how much you send, and how you want to pay for the transfer.
If you’d rather you can also open a Wise multi-currency account to hold 54 currencies, spend with a linked debit card, and receive fee free payments with local receiving accounts in a range of major currencies.
How much does it cost to send money with Wise?
To help understand the costs associated with sending money overseas, we’ve added a worked example where providers allow customers to instantly model a payment. All fees and exchange rates are correct at the time of research (23rd August 2021), and assume that the total amount you send - including any fee payable - is 1,000 USD.
Here’s what it costs to send money with Wise:
When you compare international payment providers it’s important to look at both the transfer fees and the exchange rates available for your payment. That’s because some providers add extra fees into the exchange rates used which can mean either you pay more - or your recipient gets less than you might expect in the end. To help illustrate the full picture, we’ve included the amount your recipient may expect to get where we can.
Remitly was set up to make it easier for people working abroad to send money to friends and family back home. You can choose a range of different services with Remitly, which vary according to where you’re sending money to. As well as having your payment sent to a recipient bank account you can also choose to have it collected as a cash payment from one of Remitly’s agents around the world.
How much does it cost to send money with Remitly?
You’ll be able to see the options, fees and rates for your destination country when you visit the Remitly website. You might find that there are also varied options based on how quickly your recipient needs the money. If you select an economy service you’ll pay less, but the payment may take a few days to arrive. If the payment is urgent, choose the express option for a faster delivery time. Depending on where you’re sending money to, sending for cash collection may be an even quicker option again.
Here’s the costs for sending a payment from the US to a euro bank account, with the express and economy options split out.
OFX payments can be made in 55 currencies, covering over 100 countries around the world. Your transfer will be deposited into the recipient’s account for convenience. You can send OFX international payments using a wire transfer or ACH. It’s not possible to arrange your payment using a card, check or cash.
Create an OFX account online for free to learn more about the destination countries, costs and options available to you.
How much does it cost to send money with OFX?
You can only see the costs of your payment with OFX when you create an account and ask for a quote. There are no upfront international payment fees with OFX, although third party fees could apply. These may be costs applied by your bank for making or receiving a wire payment, for example. You’ll also want to check the exchange rate that OFX offers for your transfer as this could include a fee in the form of a markup, too.
Customers with TorFX can send personal and business payments around the world, including one off transactions and scheduling regular transfers. TorFX offers online payment options, as well as a service by phone if you’d rather speak to a member of the team. The online service is available 24/7 for convenience.
As a currency specialist TorFX also offers some more advanced FX services like forward contracts and market orders. These transactions allow you to target certain exchange rates and only make your transfer when you hit the rate you require.
How much does it cost to send money with TorFX?
Open a TorFX account online to model payments, review the exchange rates on offer, and see which services are available to you.
Western Union is one of the biggest names in international payments, with a long history and a broad range of services. Depending on where you need to send money to, you may be able to have your recipient collect the payment in cash, have it delivered direct to their bank account, or to a mobile money account. Different options are available for different locations, and the fees and exchange rates on offer will vary depending on how you choose to send your payment, how you want it to be received and the total value of the transaction.
How much does it cost to send money with Western Union?
In most cases, sending money online direct to a recipient’s bank account will be the cheapest option with Western Union, especially if you can pay using a bank transfer. Here’s an example of the cost to send a model payment to euros.
XE is a specialist in currency services. You can learn about FX transactions and exchange rates on the XE website, and arrange your own international transfers there too. Payments can be made online and in the XE app, with over 130 destination countries available.
How much does it cost to send money with XE?
To get the full details of the costs of sending your XE payment you’ll need to create an account and request a quote. You’ll then be shown the exchange rate and any fees which apply. Fees can include:
- Send fees
- Third party bank fees
- Payment method fees
In general, you won’t be charged a send fee if your transfer is 500 USD or more. For smaller amounts, you’ll pay a fee of 3 USD. Third party fees are out of XE’s control and may be applied by your own bank. Then there’s a payment method fee which depends on how you fund the transfer. Usually sending money using a bank transfer doesn’t come with any XE fees - although you’ll have to check your own bank won’t charge you in this case. If you prefer to pay using a card, you’ll pay an extra charge - 2.99% for credit cards and 0.95% for debit cards.
It’s worth noting that XE explicitly states that transfers do not use the mid-market exchange rate. Check the rate you’re quoted to see the markup which has been added before you arrange your transfer.
You can open a free standard Revolut plan online, to get access to currency exchange in 28 currencies, a linked account card for withdrawals, and interest on your savings. can also choose to upgrade to a paid plan to access additional features and get higher limits on your fee free currency exchange.
Revolut plans are also available for businesses and freelancers, and there are specific accounts on offer for kids looking to learn about managing money.
How much does it cost to send money with Revolut?
If you have a Revolut standard plan you can exchange up to 1,000 USD worth of funds per month using the mid-market exchange rate. There may be a charge if you place an order out of hours or in an exotic currency - check the full details for the plan type you sign up for.
The cost of sending a payment to a EUR account from USD with Revolut is 4 USD, and there's no conversion fee applied for transfers up to 1,000 USD/month, if you sign up for a Standard account.
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