Best way to transfer large amounts of money internationally

Your bank may be more convenient to transfer large amounts of money, but a money transfer specialist will probably offer a better deal.

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It's fairly common in the US for people to send large amounts of money abroad. The best way to do that will depend on your specific situation. When making your decision, it is important to take into consideration things like speed, IRS tax regulations, fees and more.

What are the best ways to transfer large amounts of money overseas?

  1. International money transfer specialist
  2. Cash-to-cash transfers
  3. Bank-to-bank transfers
  4. International bank draft
  5. Prepaid debit card
  6. Cryptocurrency

1. International money transfer specialist

You will find that money transfer specialists often offer the most competitive exchange rates for your transfer and charge lower fees than what you'll find at your bank. These types of companies exist to make the process of sending money overseas faster and more straightforward.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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've vetted our favorite money transfer specialists for you to save time and money. However, if you would rather compare providers yourself, you can use our comparison table to look at transfer speeds, fees and exchange rates. When you have made your choice, simply click Go to site.

Compare money transfer specialists

Our table below lets you compare services you can use to send money abroad. Compare fees, exchange rates and discounts from different money transfer services, and when you have made your choice, click Go to site.
1 - 20 of 22
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
TorFX
24 hours
$0

View details
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 Payments
24 hours
$0

View details
Send guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
OFX
24 hours
From $15

View details
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Ria Money Transfers
Within minutes
$0 for new customers or $2.89 fee per transaction (online only)

View details
$0 fee for new customers with code ‘HelloRia’
Ria lets you send money to 165+ countries with cash pick-up at 507,000 locations.
Western Union
Within minutes
From $0

View details
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
XE Money Transfers
Within minutes
$0

View details
XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
TorFX
24 hours
$0

View details
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 Payments
24 hours
$0

View details
Send guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
SingX
Within minutes
0.45%

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Pay no fees on your first two transfers, up to $3,000.
SingX offers the real exchange rate every time you make a transfer and can help you send money across the world.
Wise (TransferWise)
24 hours
From 0.35%

View details
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies.
Instarem
Within minutes
From 0%

View details
Instarem offers simple transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers.
Remitly
Within an hour
From $2.99

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Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
CurrencyFair
Within minutes
From $0

View details
Special offer: New customers get unlimited fee-free transfers for their first 3 months. T&Cs apply.
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
WorldRemit
Within minutes
$1.99
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Use the code ‘4FREEFINDER’ to get 4 free transfers if you are a first time user. Eligible countries only.

View details
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
MasterRemit
Within minutes
From $1

View details
New customers get their first transaction for free with code FIRSTFREE. T&Cs apply.
Send money in minutes at competitive exchange rates with this Australian money transfer service.
SingX For Large Transfers
Within minutes
0.45%

View details
Pay no fees on your first two transfers, up to $3,000.
SingX offers the real exchange rate every time you make a transfer and can help you send money across the world.
WorldFirst Business Transfers
WorldFirst Business Transfers
24 hours
From $0

View details
Open bank accounts in Australia, the UK, US, Canada, Japan and Europe. Send and receive funds with zero fees for large sums, including same-currency supplier payments.
Airwallex
Within minutes
$0

View details
Airwallex can help you make business payments to 23+ currencies using competitive interbank rates and no fees for most transfers.
TorFX Business Transfers
24 hours
$0

View details
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 business
Within minutes
$0

View details
Send guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
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Compare up to 4 providers

2. Cash-to-cash transfers

Sending money for cash pickup is a convenient way to complete your international money transfer, particularly if you or your recipient is under or unbanked. There are several companies that offer cash-to-cash transfers including Ria Money Transfer, MoneyGram and Western Union. Finding the right company for your cash-to-cash transfer is important, so make sure to compare your options.

Pros

  • Recipient doesn't need a bank account.
  • Sender doesn't need a bank account.
  • Cash transfers often transfer faster than bank-to-bank transfers.

Cons

  • 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

While most banks are able to initiate an overseas transfer, they tend to be the most expensive option. When dealing with smaller transfers, the ease of using your local bank can be worth the fees and unfavorable exchange rate. But for larger transfers, you'll see a noticeable cut taken. It is also worth keeping in mind that your bank may have wire transfer limits in place, so you'll need to ask ahead of time if you plan on making a large international wire transfer over $10,000.

You have two choices when sending a bank-to-bank transfer:

  • Wire transfer. This is where you can send money directly from your bank account to another bank account, usually by filling out a form with the contact and account details of the recipient. This tends to be the more expensive option, and you should double-check how much your bank charges for outgoing international transfers before sending money.
  • ACH (automated clearing house) transfers. This transfer is made via the ACH network. It tends to be cheaper per transaction than a wire transfer.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • More expensive than other options.
  • Typically far slower than other options.
  • Have to pay with funds that are already in your bank account.

4. International bank draft

An international bank draft is issued by a bank on behalf of the payer. It 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.

Overall, international bank drafts operate similarly to domestic orders sent within the US, except that they are created in a foreign currency.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • Slow, as they have to be physically mailed or hand delivered between countries.
  • Difficult and time consuming to replace if lost or stolen.

5. Prepaid debit cards

With some services, you can send funds via a prepaid debit card. The sender loads a prepaid debit card with cash funds. The recipient can then withdraw them using the prepaid debit card. Alternatively, you can transfer money from the prepaid card to a bank or card account.

Prepaid debit cards tend not to charge transfer fees. However, you will most likely have to pay an activation fee or monthly fee.

Pros

  • Relatively cost effective when compared to bank transfers
  • Recipient doesn't need a bank account
  • You can lock in a set exchange rate

Cons

  • Most prepaid debit cards carry an activation fee or a monthly fee
  • There may be a limit on how much you can load onto the card

6. Cryptocurrency

If you hold cryptocurrency, you can send it to a wallet anywhere in the world. Many cryptocurrencies will also let you trade cryptocurrency for fiat currency (a government-issued currency like US dollars or euros). Which means it is possible to exchange US dollars for a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, then trade your cryptocurrency for euros.

However it's not a simple process, and you'll likely encounter percentage-based fees at each step, which makes it an expensive option. Here are the key steps to take when transferring money overseas using cryptocurrency:

  1. Transfer funds to an online cryptocurrency exchange.
  2. Use your local currency to buy cryptocurrency, which goes into a digital wallet.
  3. Sell your cryptocurrency for a foreign currency.
  4. Withdraw your funds from the exchange platform.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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.

Frequently asked questions

More guides on Finder

International Money Transfer Offers

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

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 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 MasterRemit International Money Transfers
MasterRemit International Money Transfers

New customers get their first transaction for free with code FIRSTFREE. T&Cs apply.
Send money in minutes at competitive exchange rates with this Australian money transfer service.

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.

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