COMPARE INTERNATIONAL MONEY TRANSFER EXCHANGE RATES AND FEES

Find the Best Way to Send Money to South Africa

Sending money to South Africa from the United States can be confusing and expensive, banks can charge over 5% per transfer. We want to help you to find cheaper and easier ways to transfer, thats why our team of experts test, review and rate each provider service to find the best (and safest) options out there. Here are 4 of our experts favourite services, don't forget to use the comparison to find the cheapest deals!

4 of the best companies to sending money from the US to South Africa

Best exchange rate

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Same exchange rate you see on Google with no margins added. Transfer Fees of 0.45% up to US$135,000 or 0.35% above, plus a flat fee of US$1.09. Licensed in each state and partnered with the Financial Institution Community Federal Savings Bank

  • Best rates up to $10,000
  • No hidden fees and charges
  • Super simple and fast to use
Fee free

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A good option for those who can wait 1-2 business days as they don't charge a fixed transfer fee. Rates are on average 0.5-2% more than the market exchange rate or that you see on Google. Licensed by the Department of Financial Services.

  • No fixed transfer fees
  • No minimum transfer limit
  • Better rates over $10,000
Best for over $10,000

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OFX have been around for over 20 years, they offer better rates the more you transfer and have excellent customer service. They offer no fixed fees above $10,000 and a  2%-4%  rate margin. Transferring large amounts will take around 2 business days. 

  • Best rates for large amount
  • Exceptional 24/7 service
  • Locked in exchange rates
Best for small amounts

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Best for sending smaller amounts to friend and family abroad because of their competitive rates, multiple options  for your recipient to receive the money and fast service. Although cash transfers are more expensive World Remit are one of the cheapest options for this.

  • Bank transfer, Cash, and Airtime top-up
  • Funds available in minutes
  • 24/7 customer support

How to transfer money to South Africa in 4 easy steps

  1. 1

    Register for an account with your chosen provider online or on their app in minutes and select the currenct amount you want to send.

  2. 2

    Add recipient information including their bank details; the name on the recipient’s bank account, the account number, the 8-12 Character SWIFT code and address in South Africa.

  3. 3

    Verify your ID. Sending from the US you’ll need a valid scanned government-issued photo ID.

  4. 4

    Pay for your transfer and you're done! Then you can track your transfer until it's received.

For more detail read our guide on how to send money abroad

What to know about sending money to South Africa

All of the providers on our site are financially regulated in the countries they operate and hold the necessary Financial Services Licences. They have the highest security measures in place for fraud prevention and identity protection. However, it's still better to be safe than sorry. Here are some additional ways you can transfer funds safely:

  • Double check privacy policies and the tracking process for your money transfer provider
  • Use a strong, long and unique password with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols when you set-up your account
  • Ensure your money transfer service provides two-factor authentication, including SMS or email-based security code

Different companies charge you different fees. When you send money abroad using your bank or international money transfer company, you could be charged fees in several ways:

  1. They may offer a slightly worse currency exchange rate, also known as the exchange rate markup or margin.
  2. They may charge a fixed fee.
  3. They may charge a commission or service charge, also known as a percentage-based fee.

Something else to bear in mind — if you’re sending money to someone else’s bank account, their bank may charge receiving or processing fees. A money transfer company has no influence on these fees, and you should speak to the receiving bank to understand how much they might charge. Find out how much it really costs to send money internationally.

Potentially. It really depends on which service provider you use. Some providers like XE or OFX give better exchange rates or remove their fixed transfer fees for larger transfers above $10,000. Others providers like TransferWise already offer the market exchange rate you see on Google for smaller transfers, which is the best rate you can get.  

Limits will vary depending on how much you wish to transfer, the countries you send money to, and what method of transfer you are using (be it a bank deposit, mobile payment, or cash pick-up).  Many providers have a minimum of $250 and a few providers have a maximum transaction amount up to $2 million.

  • For very small amounts our recommendation is Transferwise. They are available in most countries and have no minimum transfer amount and one of the most competitive services around. 
  • For larger amounts (over $20,000) we recommend OFX who specialise in this size of transaction and can offer great rates and service. 
  • You can transfer using your bank to another bank account - watch out this can be very expensive!
  • Pay with a bank transfer to an International money transfer provider service
  • Some money transfer services offer debit card transfers such as TransferWise, TorfX, Currencies Direct, WorldRemit, Remitley, Currency Fair, InstaReM and Xoom
  • A select few offer credit card payments (usually a more expensive option) such as Transferwise, WorldRemit, Remitly and Xoom.
  • You can send PayPal transfers but this is a costly option when sending anything more than very small amounts
  • You can pay in cash in store for Western Union, and MoneyGram 
  • Read our guides for more details about how to send funds

  • Into your bank account from an international money transfer provider transaction, this is the most cost effective way with the most provider options available.
  • Transfer money for a cash pick-up with worldRemit, Remitly, Xoom, MoneyGram and Western Union. Note that cash option may not be available in all countries.
  • Into a PayPal from another Paypal account, this is a costly option when sending anything more than very small amounts 
  • Other options include e-wallets and airtime topup with companies such as WorldRemit, Remitly and Xoom. Note that cash option may not be available in all countries.
Read our guides for more details about how to receive funds.
Yes there are fee-free options such as XE. However, you will pay an additional margin to the rate online, known as the mid market rate. Wether the company adds their costs into the exchange rate and has 'no fees' or whether the company gives you the mid market rate plus a separates 'transfer fee' one is not better than the other. This is just marketing and it makes it hard to see which option is more cost effective. Ultimately what is important is finding out, when calculating all these different rates and fees - which one gives you more currency for your {tocurrencylong}? That's why comparing is so important!
Yes. When you have an account with any of the online money transfer services highlighted above, you can make transfers through their website, or via their iOS Apple and Android apps.

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By Justin Rampono Updated October 13th, 2020