Send Money To Japan

Find the cheapest way to send money to Japan here with Savvy.

Last updated on August 3rd, 2022 at 05:41 pm by Cate Cook

Compare transfer providers for sending money to Japan

Japan’s relationship with Australia grows stronger each year, so it’s no surprise that millions of dollars are sent there from our shores annually.  When you’re looking at how to send money to Japan, you can find the cheapest and best ways to do so right here with Savvy.  Compare transfer providers with us, find the one with the lowest fees and highest exchange rate and get your money transfer underway 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 325,000 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 information on sending money to Japan

What options are there for sending money to Japan?

There are many ways to send money to Japan. Your main options include:

International money transfer services

These are international money transfer providers who specialise in foreign currency exchange.  They send money across international borders without using the SWIFT international banking system, so they’re faster than traditional banks. Additionally, their fees and markups are smaller than other methods you could use, such as banks, PayPal or credit card companies, making them one of the best ways to send money overseas. Savvy has a panel of specialist transfer providers that offer a range of options to help you to send your money overseas.

Traditional banks

Banks commonly charge up to $30 to make a transfer to another bank account overseas, while it can take three to five business days for a bank transfer to arrive at its destination.  If you’re looking for the cheapest and fastest way to send money to Japan, you’ll be better off with a specialist transfer service than a bank almost every time.

Instant cash transfers

This is a fast way to get money to Japan, although it may not necessarily be the cheapest option, as you’ll pay a premium in fees for an instant cash transfer.  You can book your transfer either online or in person at a post office, and pay for it either using cash, a debit card and PayWave, EFTPOS, or through BPAY from your bank account.  Your recipient can collect their cash transfer in person at a nominated office in Japan almost instantly, depending on the time difference and business hours. This may not be the best way to send money overseas to Japan if speed isn’t a factor for you.

How do I find the cheapest money transfer to Japan?

There are several things you can do to make sure you get the highest exchange rate and lowest fees for your international money transfer to Japan.  These include:

Compare transfer services and exchange rates with Savvy

It pays to compare a range of providers with Savvy to work out which one will offer the highest exchange rate and lowest fees, and so will be the best company overall to choose for your transfer.  Comparing providers is free, so check back in with Savvy regularly before making your decisions about which is the best money transfer provider for you. In terms of the exchange rates to look for, transfers which come with close to the mid-market rate, or the mid-market rate itself, will enable you to buy the most yen with your Australian dollars.

Keep an eye out for special offers

Since competition is so fierce amongst international transfer providers, there are often special offers available which can give you a way to get your transfer completed very cheaply.  Special offers can include:

  • Free transfers – get your first one or two transfers free with promotions aimed at attracting new customers. For example, specialist provider SingX offers the first two transfers under $3,000 free of charge.
  • Promotional exchange rates for your first transfer. Companies such as Remitly can offer a high promotional exchange rate and no fees for your first transfer under certain conditions.
  • Fee waivers – other companies offer free transfers over a set amount, such as $10,000, as a way to attract larger business clients. It’s important to look at the exchange rates on these transfers to make sure they’re as close to the mid-market rate as possible, which represents the best exchange rate possible.

Use currency tools

Some transfer providers offer currency exchange tools on their mobile apps or online websites. One such tool, a rate alert, enables you to set an alert when the AUD to JPY exchange rate hits a certain level. Exchange rates change so often that an alert can tell you when the rate is at its most profitable for your transfer.

Other tools you can use to help you get the cheapest money transfer to Japan are limit orders and forward contracts.  Such tools are mainly reserved for business users but can be useful if you intend to make regular transfers to Japan.  A limit order means that your transfer will only go through at a certain set exchange rate.  A forward contract enables you to lock in your exchange rate for transfers into the future, possibly up to a year in advance.

Use an international transfer account

Some transfer providers offer an international account where you can store money in different currencies and transfer it overseas at your convenience. The exchange rate between the dollar and the yen is highly volatile; as an example, it varied from around ¥78 at the end of 2021 to a high of over ¥95 in June 2022. If you timed your transfer to convert dollars to yen at its peak, you could then have stored them and used them when the rate fell again later in the year. This is a way to get the top exchange rate if you’re thinking of making regular or business transfers.

What else should I compare when sending money to Japan?

On top of exchange rates, some of the main areas to compare when looking at your money transfer options with Savvy are:

Fees

There are three ways that international money exchange companies can make their money:

  • They can charge a set fee for the transfer (up to $15), but offer the mid-market exchange rate
  • They can charge a fee which is a percentage of the transfer amount (typically from 0.4% to 0.65%) plus a small margin on the exchange rate
  • They may not charge a fee at all but add a higher margin onto the exchange rate

Any of these options will probably prove to be cheaper than using your regular bank, as banks routinely charge higher fees plus a greater markup on the exchange rate.  When comparing transfer providers, look for one that has the lowest fees for the sum you wish to transfer and which offers an exchange rate as close to the mid-market rate as possible. Most often, set fees are the most economical option for larger transfers of $5,000 or more, while percentage charges are the cheapest for smaller transfers.

Transfer limits

Transfer companies often have minimum and maximum transfer limits.  Minimums range from $1 up to $250, while maximum limits range anywhere from a daily limit of $5,000 up to maximums of $500,000 or more.

Payment methods

Decide how you wish to pay for your transfer from Australia to Japan. You can choose between paying by direct debit from your bank account or using a credit card. However, the latter could be a very expensive option, as credit card providers can charge transfer fees as high as 3% to 5% of your transfer amount.

Alternatively, you could use your debit card with EFTPOS, BPAY or PayWave.  You could also choose to send your money using a digital wallet such as Apple Pay or even hand over cash if you’re arranging an instant cash transfer in person.  Which payment method you choose will determine which transfer company is best for you, as not all companies will accept all payment options.

Receival methods

Think about how you want your transfer to be received in Japan. Do you want it transferred to a bank account, collected in cash, or paid into a mobile app or digital wallet?  If your recipient doesn’t have a bank account, you could even send a mobile phone recharge directly to their phone, although this would mean they couldn’t use the transfer in cash. When comparing transfer services, check that they offer the method you’re after.

How to send money to Japan from Australia

More of your frequently asked questions about sending money to Japan

What factors will affect the speed of my transfer to Japan?

The time of day and day of the week that you send your transfer to Japan can influence how fast it takes to arrive.  Transfers can be delayed by weekends and public holidays, so for the best chance of your transfer arriving quickly, send your money early in the day and as early in the week as possible. If you’re sending more than $10,000, your transfer may be delayed as part of AUSTRAC’s compliance measures, as you may be required to submit further documentation and information through this process.

Are international money transfer services reliable?

Yes – Savvy’s money transfer service providers offer a safe, reliable way to send money to Japan.  They’re all fully licenced and use the very latest digital encryption technology available to ensure your personal and financial information is kept safe.

How can I track my transfer to Japan?

Some international transfer companies offer tracking tools as part of their online or mobile apps.  These tracking tools allow you to enter your tracking number and see exactly where your transfer is in the pipeline. You should also receive a delivery confirmation from your transfer provider.

What is an exchange rate guarantee?

An exchange rate guarantee is given when a quote is issued for the exchange rate of an international transfer.  The guarantee means that a particular exchange rate is ‘locked in’ for a set number of hours, often up to 36, so you’ll still get that exact exchange rate even if the rate has changed since you were given the quote.