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!
It's fairly common for people in Australia to send large amounts of money abroad, and the best way to do that will depend on your specific situation. Taking into consideration things like speed, tax regulations, fees and more is important when making your decision.
What are my options for sending a large sum of money overseas?
International money transfer specialists exist to make the process of sending money overseas faster and more straightforward. Transfer specialists often offer some of the most competitive exchange rates for your transfer, and many transfer specialists charge far lower fees than what you'll find at your bank.
Typically cheaper than bank transfers.
Diverse payment options, including payment by credit card, debit card, bank account and more.
Many transfer specialists offer step-by-step guidance for the entire process.
Can be sent entirely online.
Many options exist, so finding the best one may seem tricky.
Some money transfer specialists don't have transparent fees and exchange rates.
You have to trust a company with your money, so vetting them is important.
We vetted a handful of companies for you, so use our hand-picked list of specialists to save time and money.
Or if you'd rather compare money transfer specialists yourself, use our comparison table by entering the amount you want to send, selecting your destination and clicking Calculate.
Compare money transfer specialists
Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.
2. Cash-to-cash transfers
Being able to send money for cash pickup is a convenient way to complete your international money transfer, particularly if you or your recipient is under or unbanked. Companies that offer cash-to-cash transfers include Ria Money Transfer, MoneyGram, Western Union and more.
Recipient doesn't need a bank account.
Sender doesn't need a bank account.
Cash transfers often transfer faster than bank-to-bank transfers.
Most cash-to-cash specialists have a maximum sending limit.
Large amounts of cash will have to be picked up by the recipient, which could be dangerous.
Higher fees are typically applied to cash-to-cash transfers, compared to using an international money specialist that transfers to a bank account.
Finding the right company to send your cash-to-cash transfer is important, so compare your options to figure out which company sends to your preferred destination and offers the lowest fees and strongest exchange rates.
3. Bank-to-bank transfers
Most banks are able to initiate an overseas transfer, but they tend to be the most expensive option. For small transfers, the familiarity and ease of using your local bank can be worth the fees and unfavorable exchange rate, but for large transfers, you'll see a noticeable cut taken from your transfer.
You already trust your bank with your money.
You can typically initiate the transfer online, in-person or by phone.
You don't have to trust any companies with your money.
More expensive than other options.
Typically far slower than other options.
Have to pay with funds that are already in your bank account.
Double-check how much your bank charges for sending an international money transfer before sending money to avoid any surprises. International money transfer limits may be set in place by your bank, so you'll need to ask your bank ahead of time if you plan on making a large transfer international transfer over $10,000.
4. International bank draft
An international bank draft is issued by a bank on behalf of the payer and allows another bank, typically in another country, to draw funds directly from the issuing bank. International bank drafts can be drawn in a foreign currency, removing the need to speculate on future exchange rates, as funds are immediately converted when the international bank draft is created.
Accepted in many parts of the world.
Relatively cost effective when compared to wire transfers between international banks.
Can only be cashed at a bank by the person listed on the international bank draft.
Slow, as they have to be physically mailed or hand delivered between countries.
Difficult and time consuming to replace if lost or stolen.
If you hold cryptocurrency, you can send it to a wallet anywhere in the world. Many cryptocurrency exchanges will also let you trade cryptocurrency for fiat currency, such as euros, US dollars and AUD. That means that it's possible to exchange Australian dollars for a cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, and then trade your cryptocurrency for a different fiat currency, like euros. But that doesn't mean it's a simple process.
You can send money directly to your recipient's cryptocurrency wallet address, removing the need for companies as intermediaries.
Your transaction can't be canceled.
Requires a lot of technical know-how to avoid errors.
Prices can be volatile, so although you may save money by avoiding fees, you could lose it if the price of the cryptocurrency you're using as an intermediary drops.
Depending on the route you use, there may be many fees to pay.
Cryptocurrency for international money transfers: How it works
Transfer funds to an online cryptocurrency exchange.
Use your local currency to buy cryptocurrency, which goes into a digital wallet.
Sell your cryptocurrency for a foreign currency.
Withdraw your funds from the exchange platform.
You'll likely encounter percentage-based fees at each step, making cryptocurrency an expensive way to send money.
Which option is best?
The best option depends on your specific circumstances. But overall, using a money transfer specialist may end up being your least expensive option. To get a baseline of what your transfer could cost, compare a few different money transfer specialists. Using your bank is convenient, but you'll almost always save money by exploring other options that have lower fees and offer stronger exchange rates.
Frequently asked questions
Can I send cash internationally?
Technically yes, but you shouldn't. Sending cash in the mail is extremely unsafe and risky, as there is absolutely no guarantee that it will reach your recipient. Also, sending large amounts of cash through the mail could get you in trouble with the ATO if it isn't properly declared to customs.
Is there a limit to how much money I can send overseas?
No, as long as you file the appropriate tax forms there's no limit to how much you can send. If you're sending $1 million or more overseas, check that your transfer provider can securely handle transfers of that size before getting started.
Can I bring large sums of cash to another country?
Yes, if you want to skip the transfer specialists you can bring cash to another country. You'll need to check that country's laws for any limits on how much cash you can bring into the country, and you'll likely need to declare it at customs. Be aware that neglecting to declare large sums of cash at customs can result in legal trouble, and both you and your recipient will likely need to file taxes declaring the transfer of cash funds.
Zak Killermann is a staff writer at Finder specialising in money transfers. He has ghostwritten hundreds of FinTech articles over the years and found his love for publication at St. Cloud State University. Zak has been travelling internationally for nearly half his life and — after getting burned once by an over-the-counter money exchange — vowed to never settle for anything short of the mid-market rate.
Nexo is a cryptocurrency lending and borrowing platform that offers high interest rates on cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and fiat. We review the features available and look at how safe your funds would be on the platform.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
Important information about this website
finder.com.au is one of Australia's leading comparison websites. We compare from a wide set of banks, insurers and product issuers. We value our editorial independence and follow editorial guidelines.
finder.com.au has access to track details from the product issuers listed on our sites. Although we provide information on the products offered by a wide range of issuers, we don't cover every available product or service.
Please note that the information published on our site should not be construed as personal advice and does not consider your personal needs and circumstances. While our site will provide you with factual information and general advice to help you make better decisions, it isn't a substitute for professional advice. You should consider whether the products or services featured on our site are appropriate for your needs. If you're unsure about anything, seek professional advice before you apply for any product or commit to any plan.
Products marked as 'Promoted' or 'Advertisement' are prominently displayed either as a result of a commercial advertising arrangement or to highlight a particular product, provider or feature. Finder may receive remuneration from the Provider if you click on the related link, purchase or enquire about the product. Finder's decision to show a 'promoted' product is neither a recommendation that the product is appropriate for you nor an indication that the product is the best in its category. We encourage you to use the tools and information we provide to compare your options.
Where our site links to particular products or displays 'Go to site' buttons, we may receive a commission, referral fee or payment when you click on those buttons or apply for a product. You can learn more about how we make money here.
When products are grouped in a table or list, the order in which they are initially sorted may be influenced by a range of factors including price, fees and discounts; commercial partnerships; product features; and brand popularity. We provide tools so you can sort and filter these lists to highlight features that matter to you.
We try to take an open and transparent approach and provide a broad-based comparison service. However, you should be aware that while we are an independently owned service, our comparison service does not include all providers or all products available in the market.
Some product issuers may provide products or offer services through multiple brands, associated companies or different labelling arrangements. This can make it difficult for consumers to compare alternatives or identify the companies behind the products. However, we aim to provide information to enable consumers to understand these issues.
Providing or obtaining an estimated insurance quote through us does not guarantee you can get the insurance. Acceptance by insurance companies is based on things like occupation, health and lifestyle. By providing you with the ability to apply for a credit card or loan, we are not guaranteeing that your application will be approved. Your application for credit products is subject to the Provider's terms and conditions as well as their application and lending criteria.