When you’re wanting to send money to family or friends in Japan, it’s important to be on the lookout for cheap exchange rates, low fees and a simple transfer process. Compare a range of international money transfer providers here with Savvy to help you find the best exchange rates and lowest fees available. Consider a range of options with us before getting your international money transfer underway today.
Disclaimer: Savvy is not advising or recommending any particular product to you. We provide general information on products for the purposes of comparison, but your personal situation or goals are not considered here. Although we try to make our comparisons as thorough as possible, we do not have information on all products on the market on our site.
If you decide to initiate a money transfer with one of the providers listed above via our website, you will not be dealing with Savvy; any applications or enquiries will be conducted directly with the provider offering that product.
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.
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.
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:
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.
On top of exchange rates, some of the main areas to compare when looking at your money transfer options with Savvy are:
There are three ways that international money exchange companies can make their money:
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 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.
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.
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.
Look at the variables discussed above and compare your options to send money to Japan. Since comparing with Savvy is free, you can come back and compare companies any time you like. Once you decide which provider is the most suitable for you, you can click straight through to their site.