International money transfer services | Finder

International money transfer services

Beat the banks, find the best exchange rates and avoid fees when you send money abroad from Australia.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

How we chose these platforms

The platforms shown above are promoted picks, which means they've been chosen from among the partners we work with and are based on factors that include special features or offers and the commission we receive. Keep in mind that our promoted picks may not always be the best fit for you – it's important to compare for yourself and find a platform that works for you.

PROMOTED FOR LARGE TRANSFERS

TorFX

Transfer speed

1 day

Min. transfer

$2,000

Currencies covered

30+

Transfer fee

$0

TorFX offers fee-free transfers and has a price-match guarantee on its exchange rate, making it very competitive. It's good for sending large amounts because there's no maximum limit. You'll also get access to plenty of forex tools.

PROMOTED FOR SMALL TRANSFERS

Wise

Transfer speed

1 day

Min. transfer

$1

Currencies covered

50+

Transfer fee

Varies

Wise is one of the only providers in our database to offer the mid-market exchange rate, which means you'll be hard-pressed to find a better rate. Compared to other services that offer the mid-market rate, it lets you pay in more ways and offers more currencies. The mid-market rate is the exchange rate you see on Google or Reuters. Most banks or money transfer companies add a margin onto this rate to cover their own fees – but not Wise.

PROMOTED FOR EXPERT ADVICE

WorldFirst

Transfer speed

1 day

Min. transfer

$2000

Currencies covered

60+

Transfer fee

No fee over $10,000

WorldFirst is ideal for transferring large amounts because there's no maximum limit. There are a few services that offer this, but WorldFirst's Price Promise puts it in first place here. If you get a better quote from another service, WorldFirst will beat it. You'll also have a personal account manager to help you find the best deal.

PROMOTED FOR BUSINESS TRANSFERS

Airwallex

Transfer speed

Same day

Min. transfer

$10

Currencies covered

20+

Transfer fee

$0

Airwallex can help you make business payments to 23+ currencies using competitive interbank rates and no fees for most transfers. There's also a multi-currency business account which lets you hold over 11 different currencies. Xero integration helps makes sure your books are always up to date.

PROMOTED FOR CASH TRANSFERS

Azimo

Transfer speed

1-2 days

Min. transfer

$0

Currencies covered

80+

Transfer fee

Varies

Azimo is known for fast transfers, competitive rates, low fees and a wide range of payment and delivery options. You can send to over 200,000 cash pickup locations around the world.
Blue icon of a padlock
We only list licensed services that are overseen by a government regulator.
Finder's logo
Every service we compare has been assessed and reviewed by our editorial team.

Learn more about sending money overseas

What is an international money transfer?

An international money transfer is what happens when you send money to someone overseas. You provide funds and your recipient's details to a bank or an independent transfer provider, which then exchanges the money into your desired currency and sends it to your recipient. You can send money over the phone, in person, through a mobile app or online.

You also have options when it comes to paying, depending on what the service you choose offers:
  • Cash
  • Credit or debit card
  • Bank transfer
And you have options for how your recipient receives the transfer:
  • Bank account
  • Mobile wallet
  • Cash pick-up
  • Door delivery

Learn more about money transfers for:

How to transfer money internationally

There are two main ways to send money out of Australia: a specialist money transfer service or your bank. Both banks and transfer services offer online transfers, with some offering in-branch transfers or the ability to send money over your phone via an app or calling an agent.

We'll go through the steps each method takes if you were sending online.

Through a money transfer specialist

The following steps give a good example of a typical transfer using a money transfer company.

  1. Register online with the transfer service of your choice.
  2. Input transaction details, including the amount you want to transfer.
  3. Get approved by the transfer company. You may need to scan or email a copy of your ID for the first transaction.
  4. Transfer funds through your bank using the account details from your transfer company.
  5. Get your money. Your transfer service will deposit your funds in your destination account.
  • For you if
    You want a more competitive exchange rate and lower fees than a bank transfer.
  • Not for you if
    You want the familiarity and convenience of a known bank and don't have time to be verified.

Through your bank

If you choose to use a bank to carry out your transfer, the process is a little different.

  1. Navigate to the international money transfers section of your account.
  2. You'll usually need to know the address of the receiving bank, the account details of the receiving account, the account name and often the receiving bank's SWIFT code (an international bank identification system).
  3. It's a good idea to check with your bank about exchange rates.
  4. You can use this method to send an international money order online to your home bank account or to a third party.
  • For you if
    You want the convenience of sending money directly from your existing bank account immediately.
  • Not for you if
    You want fewer fees and a better exchange rate.

How to save on your international transfer

While there's no best way to transfer funds overseas, there are a few things you can do to make it cheaper.

  • Know your transfer currency's mid-market rate. This rate is the midpoint between worldwide supply and demand for that currency – and the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves. Use it as a baseline to compare against the rates you're being offered. The company that's closest is offering you the best rate.
  • Send more money per transfer. Many services discount the fees or waive them altogether when you send larger amounts.
  • Use forward contracts and limit orders if sending money regularly. A forward contract allows you to lock in a favourable exchange rate for future transfers. This means you'll avoid unpredictable movements in exchange rates. A limit order allows you to wait until a favourable exchange rate is found, and then lock it in for your transfer.

What should you watch out for?

Keep an eye out for the following when you send money overseas:

  • Hidden fees. No transfer is truly free. If a service is advertising "fee-free transfers", there's probably a larger margin added to the exchange rate. Compare the rate you get quoted against the mid-market rate (which you can find on Google) to see if you're getting a good deal.
  • Fake rates. If you see a great exchange rate advertised on a provider's website, make sure the rate you see is the rate you will actually receive. Some companies advertise the mid-market exchange rate, which is the rate at which banks purchase foreign exchange, rather than the rate they actually offer their customers.
  • Failing to do your research. If you want to save some money, compare several transfer providers before choosing one to sell your transaction. Shop around for a company that offers reliable and affordable transfers, instead of just diving in head-first.
  • Scams. Scams cost Australians over $630 million in 2019. With this number increasing each year, it's important to keep an eye out for the most common scams. In general, it's best to only send money to someone you know personally.
  • Taxes and regulation. Each country regulates money transfers differently. Make sure you've read up on if your recipient needs to pay taxes on the money they're being sent. In Australia, for example, money transfers over $10,000 get automatically reported to our regulatory body AUSTRAC and you don't need to do much. But other countries, like India or the US, have stricter regulations.

Worried about sending money during coronavirus? Read our guide on what you need to know

Other frequently asked questions

How long does an international money transfer take?

The length of time it takes for your money to arrive depends on the transfer service you choose and how you pay. In general, if you pay with credit or debit card, your money will arrive fast – often within the day. Paying by bank transfer is a lot slower and will generally take two to five days to clear.

You can read more about what to expect and the different factors affecting transfer speed in our guide.

How much does a transfer cost?

Each service charges different amounts and this can vary between currencies as well. In general, there are two ways you're charged for money transfers. Let's break it down.

  1. Upfront fee. This is typically a flat fee or a percentage of your transfer.
  2. Exchange rate margin. This fee is a hidden mark-up on the mid-market rate, which is the rate you'll see on Google or the news. Nearly all services skew exchange rates for a profit and some more than others. Make sure to check the exchange rate you're being offered against the mid-market rate to see how much you're actually being charged.

Other fees will depend on how you're paying for your money transfer and how you'd like your recipient to pick it up. Credit or debit card transfers are often your most expensive option, though often the fastest, while cash pick-ups can also increase what you'll pay.

Are there limits to how much I can send?

You can send as much or as little as you want, but it all depends on the service you choose. Some are aimed at bigger transfers and will have minimums that can get as high as $5,000. You can also find several that specialise in smaller transfers and have minimums as low as $1.

There are no limits in Australia to how much you can send out of the country, but the service will need to do extra verification on you to comply with the law. This could mean presenting more proofs of identity or address, like utility bills, car registration or your passport.

Are there free international money transfers?

Some services offer "first transfer free" deals for new customers and promo codes so you can get discounts on your second and third transfers. There are also services that advertise "fee-free" transfers, but you'd still be paying a hidden fee on the exchange rate mark-up.

Check out some of the latest promo codes on offer below to see if you qualify for a free first transfer:

AzimoAzimo

Get $40 off when you transfer more than $250

Excludes SWIFT transfers, mobile top-up and transfers to INR.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

RemitlyRemitly

Better exchange rate on your first transfer

Available for transfers to the Philippines, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and more.

Last verified

SingXSingX

First two transfers free for new customers

Pay no fees on your first two transfers, up to $3,000.

Last verified

CurrencyFairCurrencyFair

10 free transfers for new customers

Sign up and receive your first ten transfers for free.

Last verified

WorldRemitWorldRemit

Zero fees on your first THREE money transfers

Send money with WorldRemit using the code '3FREE' and pay no fees on your first three money transfers

Last verified

CurrencyFairCurrencyFair

Get 5 FREE transfers when you sign up through Finder

Sign up today and pay zero fees on your first five transfers. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

WorldRemitWorldRemit

Zero Fees on Your 1st Money Transfer

You first transfer is free with WorldRemit when you use this coupon code. Send to 140+ countries.

Last verified

OFXOFX

Exclusive exchange rates for Finder readers + $0 fees

Visit the OFX site to see your savings. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Sending to a specific country? Learn more

More guides on Finder

International Money Transfer Offers

Important Information*
Logo for Azimo International Money Transfers
Azimo International Money Transfers

Special offer: $40 off when you transfer more than $250+ with code AUFIND40, conditions apply.
Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries.

Logo for OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers
OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers

$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.

Logo for TorFX International Money Transfers
TorFX International Money Transfers

TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.

Logo for Send International Money Transfers
Send International Money Transfers

Send guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Go to site