Your A-Z guide of fees when sending money overseas
This is your guide for all the fees you’ll pay when you send money overseas.
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!
International money transfers can be expensive if you don't know where to look. The two main charges you’re likely to encounter are the commission and a margin inbuilt in the exchange rate. Banks are renowned for taking a bigger cut than specialist foreign exchange companies. These fees and charges outlined below will vary depending on your choice of banking institution or company you use to send money overseas.
We’ve taken the fee schedule from the Commonwealth Bank, Australia’s largest bank, so you can have an indicative idea of the cost of each type of fee. Be sure to have a read of the product disclosure statement before you agree to a deal to send money overseas, this information is readily available on each international payment provider’s website.
|A||Amendment fee||$25||This is a fee for when you want to change the details of your international money transfer.|
|B||Branch sending fee||$30||For international payments initiated at a bank branch.|
|C||Cancellation fee||$25||If you want to cancel your international money transfer or request that you have your money returned to you. The receiving bank may also charge a fee when you request the transaction is cancelled or your money returned to you.|
|D||Disbursement fee||$30||The recipient may incur a fee from their bank for receiving an international money transfer. You can choose to pay this fee upfront. By doing so, you can guarantee that the party overseas will get the full amount sent.|
|I||Investigation fee||$25||When you want to find out why your payment hasn’t been received and get a refund if possible.|
|M||Margin||%||The margin applied to the exchange rate. This is a hidden cost. You can look into the margin by cross checking the interbank rate against exchange rates published on the international payment service provider’s website.|
|O||Online sending fee||$22||For international money transfers requested from an online banking platform.|
|P||Phone sending fee||$30||For international payments initiated over the phone.|
|R||Receiving money fee||Up to $11||You can be charged a fee for receiving a payment from an overseas beneficiary.|
The commission and the exchange rate margin are the two most common charges when sending money overseas. The good news is you can save on these fees.Back to top
Institutions which don’t charge a commission
There are a number of international payment companies which do not charge a commission. For example, TorFX make money by applying a margin to the exchange rate (but it still ends up being significantly cheaper than using your banking institution). Be sure to compare quotes from providers which do and don’t charge a commission. You may find that paying a higher commission leaves you better off at the end of the day.
Citibank are one banking institution bucking the trend by offering free international money transfers to countries within their global transfer network. There’s no commission charged, Citibank apply a competitive margin to the interbank rate. The only catch is the receiving party must also have a Citibank account. You can make free global transfers to the following countries.
Free Citibank Global Transfer countries
|Taiwan||Thailand||Vietnam||United Arab Emirates||United Kingdom||United States|
Institutions which charge a low margin on the exchange rate
If you want to get the best deal you can, it’s a good idea to compare non-bank international money transfer services. Peer-2-Peer (P2P) international money transfer companies such as Transferwise can give you an exchange rate which is just a touch above the market foreign exchange rate. While it’s difficult to get the market rate if you’re an everyday consumer, these P2P companies can give you access to some of the best foreign exchange rates around.
Pay attention to the fees when you send money overseas. Although some of them can’t be avoided, others can, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t shop around to find yourself the best deal when sending money overseas.
Still need help?
More guides on Finder
Kogan Money Black Card – Exclusive Offer
Pay 0% interest on balance transfers and get a $50 Kogan.com Credit with a new Kogan Money Black Card.
Citi Rewards Card – Bonus Points Offer
Enjoy an introductory 90,000 bonus Citi reward Points, a $100 Coles eGift card, plus a reduced first-year annual fee with this Citi Rewards Card offer.
MoneyMe Freestyle Virtual Mastercard
Get $250 credit back when you meet the eligibility requirements and 55 days interest-free on purchases.
Financial Fitness Challenge Week 4: Make your savings and investments work harder for you
This is the final week of our 4-week financial fitness challenge, where we help you understand your savings, super and investments.
Citi Rewards Card – Balance Transfer Offer
Take advantage of a 0% balance transfer offer for 30 months and a discounted annual fee for the first year with this Citi Rewards credit card offer.
Pepper Money No Fee Personal Loan Review
Find out more about Pepper Money's no fee personal loan and benefit from a competitive rate from 6.95% p.a., zero fees and loan terms of up to 7 years.
Superhero review: ASX share trading app
Trade ASX stocks and ETFs with a flat $5 brokerage fee and a low minimum investment of just $100.
No interest monthly fee credit cards
New no interest monthly fee credit cards, like the NAB StraightUp and CommBank Neo, offer no interest charges, limits up to $3,000 and only charge a monthly fee when you use it. Read more to find out more about how they work in our comprehensive guide.
Cryptocurrency security: End to end guide on keeping your crypto safe
SPONSORED: Your crypto is only worth something if you don’t lose it. Here’s how to keep it safe from start to finish.
Revolut launches in Australia: How does it compare to rival neobanks and fintechs?
As Revolut announces it's open for business in Australia, we look at how it compares to the likes of Up bank, TransferWise and 86 400.
International Money Transfer OffersImportant Information*
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.
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.
Send guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.
Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
WorldFirst sends 60+ currencies at competitive rates with no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
Ask an Expert