International Money Transfer Time

Find out the time it will take for your international money transfer to arrive overseas with Savvy today.

Last updated on August 11th, 2022 at 02:51 pm by Cate Cook

Find out how much time international money transfers take

Are you wondering how long it’ll take for your money to arrive through an international money transfer?  There are many factors which can influence the speed with which your money arrives at its destination, which you can learn all about right here with Savvy.  Find out more about the speed of international transfers and compare your options 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 the time international money transfers take

How much time will my international money transfer take to arrive?

Naturally, the speed at which your international money transfer will arrive will depend almost entirely on who you use to send your money overseas. International money transfer providers are experts at getting money overseas fast, so they’ll generally get your funds to their destination within two days. Some can have your transfer completed as soon as the same day, while others offer instant transfers and can have them available in a matter of seconds in certain situations. It’s important to compare different transfer speeds among lenders when you consider your options, which you can do right here with Savvy.  

On the other hand, international bank transfer times are often much slower. Banks take three to five business days on average to get your money to its destination overseas. This is because the SWIFT international banking transfer system is slower and your money may have to go through several banks (at the source, in transit and at the destination) in order to be delivered. You also may be able to make an instant cash transfer, but this is only offered by a limited number of providers and is often much more expensive to complete.  

What can influence the time my transfer takes to complete?

Think of the international money circulation system like a giant road network that spans the globe.  It stands to reason the most popular destinations have the newest and widest roads leading to them.  This means travel times to the most-visited destinations will usually be far quicker than those to less frequently-visited destinations.

Australians send the most money to New Zealand, the UK, the USA, India and China.  Therefore, delivery times to these destinations are often faster than if you wanted to send money to Nepal, for example.  The time it takes for money to arrive in New Zealand can typically be counted in seconds rather than hours, particularly because New Zealand shares much of the same banking infrastructure as Australia. 

As well as the destination, the time it takes for an international money transfer to arrive can also be influenced by the time of day, the day of the week you send the transfer and whether you beat banking transfer cut-off times. The earlier in the day and the week you send your transfer, the more chance it has of arriving quickly.  This can be explained by international time differences and business hours. For example, if you send money overseas late on a Friday afternoon from Australia, it may miss the cut-off time for Australian banking hours and hit weekend closing times overseas.   

Other factors influencing the time it takes to send money overseas include: 

  • the size of your transfer – larger transfers over $10,000 sent from Australia can be delayed by the necessity to comply with anti-money laundering legislation.  
  • the type of transfer method you use – whether you use a bank, a credit card or an international money transfer service  
  • whether your transfer company specialises in the continent and country you wish to send money to – for example, many people use SingX for transfers to Asia, as it was founded in Singapore and operates extensively in the region 

How else do I compare international money transfer companies?

Other factors you should compare between transfer companies include: 

1. the exchange rate offered – this will have the largest effect on how much money you send overseas and the exact amount which arrives at your destination, with even small differences in rate substantially impacting the amount which is received (particularly for larger transfers)  

2. the fees charged for transferring your money – either a flat fee (from $6 to $15) or a fee based on a percentage of your transfer (typically from 0.4% to $0.5%) 

3. minimum and maximum transfer limits – some IMTs have a minimum limit (for example, $200) while others have a maximum daily (such as $5,000 a day) and overall limits (from $50,000 to $500,000 or more) 

4. customer service offered – some companies offer 24/7 support in multiple languages, while others provide a chatbot on their mobile app to help with customer enquiries 

5. currency services and tools – some transfer providers offer handy currency and exchange tools on their websites or mobile apps. For instance, 

  • tracking capabilities, so you can see where your transfer is 
  • exchange rate alerts, to let you know when the exchange rate has moved in your favour 
  • exchange rate guarantees, so you can lock in the exchange rate you’ve been quoted 
  • limit orders, so your transfer happens at an exact rate you’ve set in advance 
  • forward contracts, so you can lock in your exchange rate well into the future 

More questions about international transfers and the time they take

Can I send money overseas quicker with Apple Pay?

Not necessarily – this will still depend largely on which provider you wish to send money through and which credit or debit cards you have linked to your Apple Pay account. However, not all specialist providers offer this service when making payments and you’ll often be required to pay fees charged by your card provider, which can reach up to 3% to 5% of your transfer amount.

Do transfer companies guarantee their exchange rate for a period of time?

Yes – when you get a quote for sending money overseas, it’ll usually state how long that particular exchange rate is valid, which can range from 12 to 36 hours.  It’s also possible to get a forward contract to lock in your exchange rate well into the future, possibly even up to 12 months or more.  

What should I do if my transfer doesn’t arrive in time?

If you’re using an international money transfer provider, the first thing to do is to check the confirmation email or notification you received when your transfer was booked and check for any errors. Your notification should include customer service numbers to call in case an issue arises.  Most transfer companies have a tracking tool you can use either on their website or mobile app so you can monitor the progress of your transfer. 

Will my recipient have to pay a fee to receive my money transfer?

This will depend on your destination and how you send your money. If you send your transfer using a bank to a country which charges receiving fees, your recipient may have to pay to receive your money, which can be as high as $30. However, it’s important to note that none of the trusted transfer companies Savvy is partnered with will charge a receiving fee, as these are most commonly levied by banks.