Send Money Overseas

Send money overseas with the top exchange rate and lowest fees.

Last updated on August 11th, 2022 at 05:06 pm by Cate Cook

Lock in the highest exchange rate and send money overseas today

Are you looking to send money overseas? Compare your options side-by-side right here with Savvy to help you find the best way to do so with an international money transfer. Lock in the service provider offering the lowest fees and highest exchange rate available and start the money transfer process with us today.

site-logos Xe
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $0 1-3 days From $0 100
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Xe is a 2021 Canstar Award Winner and offers the best exchange rates, low to no fees so customers save the most money

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site-logos OFX
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $250 1-3 days $0 50+
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OFX offers speed, security and simplicity with no hidden fees, total transparency and real people support 24/7

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site-logos Wise Money Transfer
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $0 1-3 days From 0.41% 53
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Send money cheaper and easier with Wise with no hidden fees.

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site-logos TorFX
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $200 0-2 days $0 35
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Excellent exchange rates with no transfer fees. Trusted by over 55,000 customers. Awarded Canstar’s 5 star rating 2018-2021.

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site-logos SingX
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $0 0-2 days From $0 30
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SingX offers live exchange rates with no mark ups and only charge a nominal fee shown to you upfront

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site-logos Remitly
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $0 0-2 days From $0 21
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Remitly offers fast, safe and secure money transfers with excellent rates to over 100 countries

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More about sending money overseas

What are my options for sending money overseas?

The options you have to send money overseas are:

  • use an international money transfer (IMT) service (which can be done online or in person)
  • arrange a transfer through your existing bank
  • arrange a transfer through your local post office
  • use a cheque (if you have a cheque-book) or buy an international money order and send it overseas through the post
  • use services like ApplePay, PayPal or a phone top-up if you want to transfer a small amount overseas

If you’re after the cheapest exchange rates, the lowest fees and great customer service by specialists who know all about international money transfers, you’re better off looking to specialist international money transfer service providers for sending your funds internationally. Conventional banks do offer an international money transfer service for sending money overseas, but they tend to charge high fees to do so. In addition, the exchange rate you’ll receive could disappoint.

How do I send money overseas with an international money transfer provider?

The process of sending money overseas through an international money transfer provider is as follows:

Set up your account with your chosen provider:

To send an international money transfer, you’ll first have to set up an account with your provider. This is a very simple process which only takes a few minutes and is similar to opening a new bank account. While the exact process varies between different companies, they’re largely very similar and consist of the following steps:

  • supply your name and email address
  • set up a secure username and password or arrange access to your account via biometric data (if you’re using a smartphone or tablet which uses facial recognition or fingerprint authentication)
  • you may be asked to provide information to prove your identity. How much ID you’ll be asked to provide will depend on where the international money transfer provider is based in the world. Those providers based in Australia will require you to provide 100 points of ID, so have your passport and driver’s licence handy
  • supply details of the bank account you’d like the transfer money taken out of. You can sometimes supply debit card or credit card details, although your card supplier may charge you an additional fee, so this could prove to be an expensive option.

Provide details of who you want to pay

Once you’ve set up your account, you can send money overseas any time you want, day or night.  For each transfer, you’ll just have to provide details of who you want to send the money to, give details of their bank account, and then choose the amount you wish to send overseas.

Receive your quote

When scheduling a transfer, you’ll be given a quote on the exchange rate available and details of any fees charged. If you’re comfortable with the details provided, authorise the transfer and it’ll be sent on its way.

Receive confirmation and a receipt

Many international money transfer providers have tools on their apps that allow you to track your transfer, so you can see exactly when your money arrives overseas. Make sure you keep these details as they may come in handy if there are any queries about your transfer from your recipient.

Sending an international money transfer through your post office

Alternatively, you can complete your transfer at a post office. Australia Post has teamed up with Western Union to facilitate cash transfers overseas. If you visit a post office anywhere in Australia, you can send money to over 200 countries worldwide.

The cost of these cash transfers will depend on:

  • the amount you wish to send
  • the country you wish to send it to
  • the speed with which you want it to arrive
  • how you intend to pay for the transfer

You can pay for the transfer via EFTPOS, by using your credit card or by providing cash. Using your credit card will be the most expensive of these alternatives. Naturally, it’ll also depend on the time difference between Australia and the destination country as to whether an instant cash transfer is possible.

How much money can I send overseas with an international money transfer?

All international money transfer providers have different maximum and minimum transfer limits. For example, many providers have a $1 minimum transfer. However, other providers will implement higher minimum transfer limits, which can reach up to $250.

Similarly, maximum limits also vary. For example, you may find that some providers cap their maximum transfers at $50,000, while others can set this as high as $500,000.

You should be aware that all international money transfers over $10,000 that leave Australia have to be reported to AUSTRAC (the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre), which is the government’s anti-money-laundering data intelligence agency. Banks and international money transfer providers carry out this reporting for every cash transaction over $10,000.

How much will it cost me to send money overseas?

International money transfer provider fees

The most common fee for specialist international money transfer providers comes in the form of a flat fee, which can range up to $15. For example, specialist provider OFX charges a standard fee of $15 for transfers under $10,000 and transfers over $10,000 are free.

Some providers don’t charge a flat fee, but rather charge a percentage of the transfer as a fee. For example, WISE charges 0.41% of the transfer amount, so transferring AUD $200 would cost $0.82.

Other international money transfer providers don’t charge any fees at all – they make their money through the margin they add to the exchange rate. International money transfer providers regularly quote far better currency exchange rates than banks do. For example, let’s say you wish to send $100 to the UK. The below table demonstrates the difference between a bank and a transfer with a specialist provider like WISE.

Provider Exchange Rate Fees Total Spent Total Received
Bank
GBP 0.543
$10
$110
GBP 54.30
WISE
GBP 0.566
$1.11
$100
GBP 56.03

Bank fees

Australian banks tend to charge a set fee for international transfers. These range from $6 up to $30 or more for this service. However, it’s worth looking at the exchange rate offered in conjunction with the fees charged when comparing banks and international money transfer providers. In most instances, IMT providers will prove to be cheaper overall than using your bank for a transfer.

How to compare international money transfer providers

The pros and cons of using an international money transfer service

PROS

Convenient mobile apps and online platforms

Many international money transfer companies have mobile apps and easy-to-use online platforms to make your international money transfer process a breeze. Many also offer conversation calculators and financial tools to show you exactly how much your transfer will cost.

Lower cost than banks

With the big banks charging anywhere up to $35 for each transfer, specialist international money transfer providers can offer the same service for much cheaper.

Fast service

Sending money overseas is quick and easy with international money transfer providers. If required, you can send money overseas and have it arrive just minutes after you’ve authorised the order.

CONS

May not be able to pay in cash

Some international money transfer providers don’t accept cash, so you’ll have to provide details of your bank account and pay for the international transfer electronically.  Paying by credit card can also incur additional costs from your card provider.

Receiver may be charged fees

How much the recipient will have to pay to receive their funds could be out of your hands, as fees may be charged by their receiving bank or financial institution which you have no control over.

Payment can’t be cancelled once sent

Once an international money transfer has been sent, it’s very difficult to cancel it, so make sure you check all details thoroughly before authorising the transfer.

Other frequently asked questions about international money transfers

Which countries can I send money to?

There are over 200 countries in the world you can send international money transfers to. The most popular destinations for international money transfers out of Australia are the UK, New Zealand, China, the USA and India. The only limitations on international transfers are political sanctions, which may prevent money from being sent to a particular country.

Do any providers offer free international money transfers?

Some international money transfer providers offer a special deal of free transfers to attract new customers. For example, they may advertise the first transfer as being free. With any such offers, just make sure the exchange rate you’re being offered on your ‘free’ transfer is competitive so you don’t end up gaining money on the swings but losing more on the roundabouts.

What is the ‘mid-market’ exchange rate used when sending money overseas?

This is the ‘true’ exchange rate between two currencies, which is mid-way between the buy and sell price on the international currency exchange market. The closer to the mid-market rate you’re offered, the better the exchange rate is. Some international money transfer providers offer transfers at the mid-market current rate, but charge a percentage of the exchange amount to carry out the transaction. Others offer less advantageous exchange rates but charge a low flat fee for the exchange.

Is there a tax to send money overseas?

In Australia, there’s no tax imposed on international transfers. However, all countries have their own taxation rules, so other countries do impose a tax on money being sent to them from overseas.

If I send money overseas on a public holiday, will it be delayed?

It may be – it’s best to send money overseas on regular working days rather than weekends if you wish to avoid any delays. Avoid public holidays if possible, too. While international money transfer providers allow you to use their apps 24/7, if there happens to be a holiday in the receiving country when your transfer arrives it could be delayed.

Is there a way for businesses to send money overseas regularly?

Yes – if your business regularly needs to pay for goods or services overseas, an account with a provider such as TorFX which specialises in foreign currency exchange could be your cheapest option to do business overseas. In addition, many international money transfer providers have specialist business divisions and regular repeat customers can be allocated a business account manager to assist with all foreign transaction issues.  

What is a forward contract when sending money overseas?

A forward contract is an agreement which allows you to lock in an exchange rate for future transfers. The length of the locked-in period will determine the exchange rate you’re offered. This can offer you protection in case the exchange rate changes between when you do a deal and when the money transfer takes place. Forward contracts are used extensively when doing business overseas and can be anywhere from a day or two up to a year or more for larger contracts.