The Best Ways to Send a Large Amount of Money Overseas in 2023
When it comes to sending large amounts of money to friends, family or others abroad, you’ve got plenty of choices. When you’re looking for the best method for your international transfer, it’s also important to understand how much you might be charged. This guide covers all the information you need.
We’ll walk through transferring large sums of money internationally, including some detailed provider reviews looking at options like OFX and Wise, plus we’ll cover some important things to think about when you transfer large amounts of money, so you can make sure your payment is secure.
What is the best way to send large amounts of money internationally?
There’s no single best way to transfer a large sum of money internationally. However, you’ll often find you can get a lower overall fee and a better exchange rate by choosing a specialist money transfer service rather than using your normal bank. That’s because specialist services have often invested in new approaches to sending large sums of money overseas, which drive down the costs and mean they can pass this benefit on to their customers.
The best way to send a large amount of money abroad depends on several factors:
- The countries and currencies that you’re sending money between
- How you’re paying for the transfer, as some methods cost more
- The fees and exchange rates charged by the bank or provider you’re using
- How the beneficiary wants to get their money
Shopping around is essential. Some banks and money transfer services have extra fees you may not immediately spot – such as large markups added to the exchange rates used to convert your dollars into the currency you need. That can mean you’re paying more than you need to without even realizing it.
Here are some of the best providers out there when you need to transfer large sums of money overseas:
We’ll cover each more in detail next – but first let’s look at an overview of each provider, side by side, as a comparison.
|OFX||170+ countries, 50+ currencies||No transfer fee, exchange rates include a markup||1 – 2 days for most currencies||Usually unlimited|
|Wise||70+ countries, 50+ currencies||Low, variable fee + mid-market exchange rate||50% are instant, 90% arrive in 24 hours||Usually very high or unlimited|
|Revolut||100+ countries, 25+ currencies||0.3% transfer fee, exchange rate may include a fair usage fee based on account plan||From a few minutes to 5 business days||Usually unlimited|
|Xe||130+ countries||No transfer fee, exchange rates include a markup||1 – 4 business days||535,000 USD|
|Citibank||Broad selection of countries and currencies||25 USD – 35 USD + exchange rate markup where fees apply||1 – 4 business days||50,000 USD – unlimited, depending on account type|
What about using your bank to send large amounts overseas?
Sending money with your bank through an international wire or bank to bank transfer can attract high fees, typically around $40 per transfer. Additionally, the exchange rates you get will often be somewhat worse than you can find elsewhere. All in all, this can mean you pay more when using a bank, compared to using a specialist provider.
Looking for the Best Money Transfer Services for Larger Amounts?
Specialist currency exchange providers typically offer lower fees and better exchange rates than you’ll find elsewhere. We provide a super-helpful tool that compares all the best options for sending money overseas to help you pick the provider where your funds will go the furthest.
We think the best way to compare is to look at how much a specialist provider would charge you to send different amounts. Here are a few great providers to start your research – we’ll look at each in more detail, next.
OFX – Great for people who prefer to transfer by phone, with 24/7 broker support, covering 50+ currencies from the US
Wise – Smart option for transparent pricing, no exchange rate markup, and fast – or even instant – delivery times
Revolut – Low transfer fees, with some free currency conversion that uses the mid-market rate, and usually no upper limits to the amount you can send
Xe – Fantastic coverage, with different pay out options including cash collections in some regions
Citibank – Good if you have a Citi account that waives transfer fees, or if you’re sending to another Citi account
OFX offers high value money transfers for personal or business use. There’s no OFX transfer fee, so the only cost you have to think of is the fee rolled into OFX’s exchange rate. OFX states that they always try to beat bank rates, so even with this charge, you may find you’re getting a lower overall cost compared to your normal bank.
OFX offers transfers to over 170 countries in more than 50 currencies, online, in the OFX app, and by phone, with a 24/7 broker support if you need to talk through your payment options. You’ll need to send a minimum of 1,000 USD to use OFX, but there’s no upper limit on the amount you can transfer.
Transfer Fees: No OFX fee to pay
OFX Exchange Rates: A small markup is added to the rate used to convert your funds
Transfer Speed: Variable, but usually 1 – 2 days for common currencies
Transfer limits: 1,000 USD minimum payment, no maximum payment cap
Supported Countries: 50+ currencies, 170+ countries
Is OFX safe?: Yes. OFX is a licensed money transmitter, with a presence in many countries around the world
Wise (formerly TransferWise) uses transparent transfer fees and uses the base or market exchange rate that you’ll see on Google.
Wise supports personal and business payments to 70+ countries, usually with high or no maximum payment limits – and no minimum payment to worry about.
Wise fees are variable based on the currency you’re sending to, and the way you choose to pay. But the good news is that Wise offers an automatic discount if you transfer frequently or in high value.
Making payments from 100,000 GBP (or the equivalent – about 125,000 USD) a month means you automatically get a lower fee, and you still qualify for the Wise exchange rate, which is the same as the rate you’ll find on Google, with no hidden costs or markup added.
Transfer Fees: Low, variable fee based on currency and payment method
Wise Exchange Rates: Mid-market rate, the one you’ll find on Google
Transfer Speed: 50% of payments are instant, 90% arrive in 24 hours
Transfer limits: No minimum, often no maximum limit – where maximum limits apply they’re usually in the region of 1 million GBP (around 1.25 million USD)
Supported Countries: 50+ currencies, 70+ countries
Is Wise safe?: Yes. Wise operates through its own state licenses in the US, or through a partnership with Community Federal Savings Bank – Wise is also regulated and overseen by a range of other global bodies
Revolut offers international transfers and account services for personal and business customers. You can choose a Standard account plan which has no monthly fee, or upgrade to a higher tier plan which has maintenance fees but which also comes with a higher level of fee free currency exchange. Which account type suits you will depend on how often you’ll transact.
Revolut personal customers can send payments which usually have no maximum cap, and which come with low transfer fees. The transfer fee is capped at 6 USD, and you’ll be able to convert your payment using the Google exchange rate if you have a higher tier Metal account plan. If you have a lower tier account you may need to pay fair usage fees on some of your currency conversion.
Transfer Fees: 0.3% for most payments, from 0.30 USD to 6 USD maximum
Revolut exchange rates: All Revolut personal accounts offer some fee free currency exchange which uses the Google exchange rate – after your plan amount is exceeded fair usage fees apply
Transfer Speed: From a few minutes to send to a card, to 5 business days if you’re sending to a bank account
Transfer limits: Usually unlimited
Supported Countries: 100+ countries, 25+ currencies
Is Revolut safe?: Yes. Revolut operates in a range of regions around the world, and is overseen by regulatory bodies to ensure customers are safe. In the US, services are offered in partnership with a selection of banking partners
4. Xe Money Transfer
Xe is a long established organization which provides a vast amount of foreign exchange data, as well as money transfers which cover more or less every country in the world. In the US you can use Xe to send money to 130+ countries in a selection of currencies.
Aside from being a safe and reputable company to use, XE Money Transfer doesn’t charge any flat fees for sending money from the US. Instead, they make a profit by offering you a slightly worse exchange rate than the live rates you can see from their currency converter tool. XE may also be able to offer better exchange rates for larger amounts, which could give them the edge over banks.
Transfer Fees: No Xe transfer fee
Xe Exchange Rates: exchange rates include a markup
Transfer Speed: Variable speeds, based on the country and currency involved, bank deposits can take several days
Transfer limits: Send up to 535,000 USD in most cases – minimum and maximum payments may vary based on the transfer type
Supported Countries: Send to 130+ countries from the US
Is XE Money transfer safe?: Yes. Xe is a large and trusted organization which holds various licenses covering all its services in the US
CitiBank international transfer is a good choice to exchange currency if you really have to make an international wire transfer through a bank.
Citibank does have a fixed fee for some accounts (US$25-30 depending on your account) – but some premium account tiers have this fee waived. Sending money overseas from one Citi account to another Citi account is also often free.
However, taking into consideration all of the other options we’ve given you, wiring large amounts of money through your bank probably isn’t the best or cheapest option around. All in all, while banks can be convenient, comparing your bank to a few alternative providers is a good way to make sure you’re getting the best available deal.
Transfer Fees: Variable based on account type – 25 USD – 35 USD for standard accounts
Exchange Rates: Rates will include a markup
Transfer Speed: SWIFT transfers usually take 3 – 5 working days to be deposited
Transfer limits: Variable based on account type – 50,000 USD per day upwards
Supported Countries: Citi has a more or less global range, aside from some countries where payments can’t be processed due to legal reasons
Is Citibank safe?: Yes. Citibank is a large, trusted and reputable banking brand which is safe to use
How to Transfer Large Amounts of Money Internationally
Sending a large payment overseas shouldn’t be a headache. If you’re sending money with your bank you might need to call into a branch to set up your payment. But if you choose an online or digital service you’ll be able to get everything moving using nothing more than your smartphone or laptop.
Different services have their own processes for transferring money overseas. However, the basic steps are usually the same. First you’ll need to gather some information about the person or business you’re sending money to. Usually you’ll need:
- Recipient’s name
- Recipient’s address
- Recipient’s IBAN or account number
- Recipient’s bank name and address
- Recipient’s bank SWIFT/BIC code
To transfer money internationally you’ll need to:
- Register with your preferred provider, or log into your account
- Type in how much you want to transfer, or how much you need the recipient to get
- Enter the recipient’s details – name and bank account information
- Check over the details
- Fund your payment using your preferred payment method – a card or bank transfer for example
- Confirm and your money will be on the move
It’s good to know that you may need to provide some extra information when sending a large amount of money overseas. This is so the bank or money transfer service can comply with local and global financial regulations. The provider will advise you on what’s needed based on your payment details – you might be asked to prove the source of the funds for example.
What is the safest way to send a large amount of money?
Safety is important when sending international payments. Reputable money transfer services are regulated and licensed both in the US and internationally, which ensures they follow all industry best practices and legal requirements to keep customers and their money safe.
All the providers we have profiled above are properly licensed and regulated to offer the services that they sell. Here’s a reminder:
OFX: OFX is a licensed money transmitter, with a presence in many countries around the world
Wise: Wise operates through its own state licenses in the US, or through a partnership with Community Federal Savings Bank – Wise is also regulated and overseen by a range of other global bodies
Revolut: Revolut operates in a range of regions around the world, and is overseen by regulatory bodies to ensure customers are safe. In the US, services are offered in partnership with a selection of banking partners
XE Money transfer: Xe is a large and trusted organization which holds various licenses covering all its services in the US
Citibank: Citibank is a large, trusted and reputable banking brand which is safe to use
Ultimately, before you confirm your payment you’ll need to do some research of your own to ensure that the provider that you choose is safe, licensed and regulated by financial institutions.
Best Way to Exchange Large Amounts of Currency
There’s no one best way to convert large sums of currency. In fact, the best option available could differ according to the currency you need.
When you’re comparing currency conversion options, it’s useful to look for a service which uses the mid-market exchange rate to convert your dollars. The mid-market rate is the one you’ll find on Google and the one banks and money transfer services get when they buy and sell currency on global markets. However, it’s not always the rate that’s passed on to customers. Instead, many providers add a markup – an extra fee. Depending on how big the markup is, this can mean you pay a lot more overall.
Providers like Wise and Revolut use the Google exchange rate for currency conversion, which can be more transparent than using a provider with a marked up exchange rate. They both also offer multi-currency accounts you can use to hold a selection of currencies, which can be handy if you’re receiving, sending or converting currencies often.
Wise account: Hold and exchange 50+ currencies, send payments to 70+ countries, and get a linked debit card to spend and withdraw in 170+ countries. There’s no monthly account fee, and all currency conversion uses the Google rate.
Revolut account: Choose a free standard account or upgrade to an account with a monthly fee. Accounts have some fee free currency conversion, depending on the plan you select, and also come with great perks like linked payment cards and interest earning opportunities.
Transferring Large Sums of Money To the US
If you’re sending a large payment from overseas to the US, you’ll want to shop around to ensure you get as much in the end as possible. Many of the providers we’ve profiled in this guide also offer payment services from overseas into the US, and can also have good exchange rates and low overall fees.
Get our cheapest ways to send money to the US here, to kickstart your research and find the perfect provider for your needs.
Conclusion: Best Way to Transfer Large Amounts of Money Overseas
The best provider for your payment will depend on a lot of factors including the currency you’re sending to, the value of the transfer and how you want it to be received. Usually using a specialist provider can mean you get a fast and easy service with transparent fees. You may also find you can save money compared to using your bank.
Shopping around and comparing a few different services for your specific transfer is the best way to get a good deal. Services like Wise use the mid-market exchange rate which keeps costs low and makes it easy to see exactly what you’re paying.
OFX is a good bet if you prefer to transact by phone as they have brokers on hand 24/7 to answer questions. And finally, Xe money transfer can be a good choice if you’re sending to an unusual currency, or if you want your transfer to be collected in cash. Compare these providers and more to get the best fit for your needs.
Large International Money Transfers FAQs
How to transfer large sums of money from one country to another?
You can send large value payments overseas with your bank or with a specialist money transfer service. Money transfer services like Wise, OFX and Xe Money Transfer often have no upper limit on the amount you can send, with an easy online or in-app payment process, and low overall costs.
What is the cheapest way to transfer large sums of money internationally?
There’s no single cheapest service for sending money overseas – it all depends on the details of your payment. Use our comparison tool to see which transfer service might suit your needs – comparing a few different options can mean you save on fees overall.
What is the maximum amount of money you can send internationally?
Providers set their own limits to the payments you can send – although many specialist services will allow you to send an unlimited amount in some major currencies.
How to transfer 1 million dollars internationally?
Sending a large payment internationally means comparing a few services to find one which has a safe and secure transfer process, low fees, and a good exchange rate. Looking for services which use the mid-market exchange rate – or as near as possible to it – can help you save on fees overall.