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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.
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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|
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
International exchange rates
Compare the exchange rate offered to see which provider offers the best deal for your international money transfer. The exchange rate you receive will determine how cheap your transfer will be, with even a tiny discrepancy in percentage points potentially making a big difference to the overall outcome.
The pros and cons of using an international money transfer service
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.
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.
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.