Send Money To The USA

Compare money transfers offers to the USA here with Savvy to help find the cheapest deal.

Last updated on August 2nd, 2022 at 05:32 pm by Cate Cook

Compare money transfer options to the USA with Savvy

The United States and Australia have always had a very close relationship, so it’s no surprise to learn that millions of dollars are transferred between the two countries by their residents each year.  If you’re looking for the cheapest way to transfer money to the USA, you can compare your options right here with Savvy. Consider different rates and fees from a range of trusted international money transfer companies.  Start comparing with Savvy today to get the wheels in motion on your transfer.

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 information about sending money to the USA

What are my options for sending money to the USA?

International trade between Australia and the USA is worth billions of dollars a year, so it’s no wonder there are so many different ways available you can send money to the USA.  Some of the options you have available include:

  • use an international money transfer company: this will be the cheapest and most efficient way to transfer money to the United States.  You’ll enjoy a highly competitive exchange rate, low fees and a fast money transfer to your destination in the States, which can be completed as soon as a matter of seconds after you send it (and usually within two days otherwise).  Savvy has partnered with a range of international money transfer companies to bring you a variety of trusted options to choose from to arrange your transfer quickly and easily, so you can compare your options right here and get your funds on the way before you know it.
  • use your bank to complete a transfer: you could choose a bank transfer via direct debit from your transaction or savings account, but you may have to wait three to five business days for your funds to arrive and pay fees of up to $30 or more to make the transfer. As such, they’re rarely the best option available to you.
  • complete an instant cash transfer: if you need to get money to the USA urgently, a cash transfer can get it there almost instantly.  You’ll have to pay extra to use a service like Western Union to make a cash transfer, but it can be collected in person almost immediately from a transfer service office in the US, of which there are thousands all over the country.  However, be aware that you won’t get the most advantageous exchange rate if you use a cash transfer option, and the fees charged can make this an expensive way of sending money to the United States.  It likely won’t be the best way of sending money overseas if your transfer isn’t urgent and can wait even a few hours.
  • set up an international transfer account: some services, such as Wise, let you set up an international account on your phone where you can store more than 50 currencies. You can use this account to send money to another account overseas instantly or to transfer funds to your recipient’s bank account. You’ll get a highly competitive exchange rate and be charged low fees. This option is also effective if you want to take advantage of a high rate, convert your funds into USD and store them until you need them.
  • send a pre-paid phone recharge or top-up: this is another option if your recipient doesn’t have a bank account, as you can send a phone recharge amount directly to a mobile phone through a phone service provider. However, you’ll pay higher fees and the exchange rate you’ll get won’t be comparable to a money transfer company. In addition, the funds are added to your recipient’s pre-paid phone SIM card rather than being available in cash.
  • send a cheque or international money order in the post: sending a cheque or international money order in the post is slow and inefficient. Your recipient could end up waiting a long time (more than three weeks) for their money to arrive and there’s always the danger of the cheque getting lost in the post and not arriving at all. In contrast, you’ll often be able to track the (faster) progress of your transfer with a specialist provider through a mobile app or online platform. An international money transfer company is the most reliable way to transfer money overseas.

How much will it cost me to send money to the USA?

There are two charges which can be levied when sending money overseas: a markup put on the exchange rate you’re given, and a transfer fee. Some transfer providers don’t charge a fee at all but add a slightly higher margin to the exchange rate.  Others charge a flat fee ranging up to $15, or charge a percentage based on the transfer amount, but may not mark up the rate at all.

Exchange rate markups

All international transfers are based on the cost of swapping one currency for another (in this case AUD to USD).  Markups (also known as margins) are added to the exchange rate you’re offered as a way for the transfer provider to make money on the transfer.

The rate banks use to exchange one currency for another is known as the ‘mid-market’ rate, which is the best exchange rate possible at any point in time.  It’s the exact mid-point between the buy price and the sell price for the currency on the international money market.

The way that margins or markups work is illustrated by this table.  It shows how different exchange rates and fee structures affect your transfer outcome.  All examples are based on a $100 transfer to the United States when the mid-market rate for the day is AUD $1 = USD $0.70.

Exchange rate offered Fee charged for transfer in AUD Profit made by exchange markup Total profit for transfer Money arriving in USD
Provider #1
0.70
(0.45% fee) $1.35
$0
$1.35
$69.06
Provider #2
0.69
(Set fee) $10
$3
$13
$62.10
Provider #3
0.68
(Set fee) $12
$6
$18
$59.84
Provider #4
0.65
(1.5% fee) $4.50
$15
$19.50
$62.08

*Calculations made by subtracting fee from $100 transfer. Exchange rates aren’t necessarily reflective of current rates.

Transfer fees

Transfer companies either charge a set fee to transfer your money, or they charge a percentage of your transfer amount. Typically, if you’re charged a percentage fee, it’ll vary between 0.40% and 0.65% of your transfer amount.

Whether a set fee or percentage fee is the cheapest way to send your transfer will largely depend on the amount you’re intending to send.  Percentage fees tend to be cheaper for smaller transfers under $5,000, whereas set fees can prove to be the best option for larger transfers.

What’s the money transfer process when sending funds to the USA?

The process to open an international transfer account will vary according to which company you choose, but it’s a very simple one to follow. You’ll be required to provide a form of government-issued ID when first setting up your account, so have your passport or driver’s licence handy.

Once you’ve provided your name and email address, you’ll receive instructions on how to set up your account, either logging on through an online portal or downloading an app.  After you’ve set up your account, make sure you keep your login details, as you’ll need them in the future when you make a transfer.

Next, provide the details of who you wish to send funds to in the USA.  You’ll need to provide your recipient’s bank details, email address and phone number (in some cases).  From there, you can send off your transfer. You should receive a transfer confirmation once your transfer has been sent, or you may receive a receipt and a tracking number so you can see when your transfer arrives.

How should I compare international transfer services?

Frequently asked questions about international money transfers to the USA

Are there any limits on how much money I can send to the USA?

There aren’t any government restrictions or limits in place regarding how much money you can send to the USA.  However, on top of limits imposed by your transfer provider, your bank may also have limits as to the amount that can be transferred out of your transaction account in one day (for example, a maximum transfer limit of $1,000 to $5,000 per day from your transaction account).

Are international money transfers safe?

Yes – international transfer companies use the same digital encryption techniques as used by regular banks to safeguard your personal details.  They are a very safe and secure method to transfer money overseas, so you can trust Savvy’s partners to get your money overseas quickly and reliably.

Can I send money to someone in the USA who doesn’t have a bank account?

Yes – there are two main methods to use if your recipient doesn’t have a bank account. You can either send an instant cash transfer which can be collected in person or credit to their pre-paid phone SIM card.  However, with both of these methods, you’ll end up paying far more for your transfer than if you use an international money transfer service.

Can I use Apple Pay to send money to the USA?

Apple Pay isn’t a stand-alone payment system, so it’ll depend on which cards you have linked to your Apple Pay account.  Using a credit card to complete an international transfer can come with very high fees, which are often between 3% and 5% of the transfer amount.

However, some specialist transfer providers offer debit cards with their international accounts which can be linked and used to send money through your Apple Pay digital wallet.  This means you can transfer money into American dollars, store them in your international account and use your card through Apple Pay to make your transfer. This method will be far cheaper than using a credit card alone to make your international transfer.  The Apple Pay credit card, known as the Apple Card, is not available in Australia to send money to the USA, and not all transfer providers accept Apple Pay in Australia.

Will I have to report my transfer if I’m sending more than $10,000 to the USA?

All international transfers which leave Australia over $10,000 have to be reported to AUSTRAC, which is the government body charged with tracking international money trailsIf you wish to transfer more than $10,000 to the USA, your service provider will complete an AUSTRAC declaration on your behalf. However, you may be asked to provide further details to be included in the declaration, such as:

  • the reason for the transfer
  • the identity of the intended recipient
  • proof of the source of the funds being transferred

 

Smaller cash transfers under $10,000 aren’t subject to AUSTRAC regulation, so delays caused by the need for AUSTRAC compliance won’t be an issue if you’re only making a small transfer.