International money transfer charges

Compare international money transfer charges

Information verified correct on December 7th, 2016

How much does it cost to send an international money transfer? Read on to find out.

Sending an international money transfer can be an expensive exercise. Thanks to hidden transaction charges and low exchange rates, even a small overseas transfer could leave a large hole in your bank balance.

That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re aware of all the fees and charges that apply to an international money transfer before parting with your funds. By comparing transfer providers and the services they offer, you can find an affordable and convenient way to transfer your money overseas.

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Rates last updated December 7th, 2016
Description Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received
TorFX International Money Transfers
TorFX International Money Transfers
TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction
Conditions apply
AUD 200 1 day Online, Phone, Agent Go to site More
Exclusive: World First Foreign Exchange
Exclusive: World First Foreign Exchange
Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
Transfer money into a range of currencies online and over the phone.
AUD 500 2 days Online, Phone Go to site More
Exclusive: CurrencyFair International Money Transfers
Exclusive: CurrencyFair International Money Transfers
Exclusive offer: 3 Free transfers (after your first transfer).
A peer-to-peer transfer service with a large range of currencies on offer.
EUR 8 2 days Online Go to site More
FC Exchange International Money Transfers
FC Exchange International Money Transfers
No transfer fee via online, branch or phone when transferring more than £10,000 or equivalent. GBP 10 1 day Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account Go to site More
Exclusive: OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers
Exclusive: OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers
Exclusive offer: Special exchange rates and $0 transfer fee
OFX is currently offering finder.com.au exclusive exchange rates and $0 transfer fee on all transfers.
AUD 250 1 day Online, Phone, Agent Go to site More
Currency Online International Money Transfers
Currency Online International Money Transfers
Enjoy regular scheduled transfers, one off transfers and a range of currencies. Also enjoy your first transfer for free. AUD 0 2 days Online, Phone Go to site More
Compass Global Markets International Money Transfers
Compass Global Markets International Money Transfers
Send money in as little as 24-48 hours to a range of countries with Compass Global Markets. AUD 1,000 2 days Online, Phone Go to site More
1st Contact International Money Transfer
1st Contact International Money Transfer
$0 online fee without any minimum limit on money transfers. AUD 0 2 days Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account Go to site More
Currency Solutions International Money Transfers
Currency Solutions International Money Transfers
Send money overseas for a range of reasons, including regular payments and buying overseas property. 97% Trustpilot score. AUD 3,000 2 days Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account Go to site More

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What are the costs associated with international money transfers?

There are two main expenses you need to worry about when sending an international money transfer:

The exchange rate

Banks and other money transfer providers make a profit on international transfers by charging a margin on top of the mid-market exchange rate. Exchange rates vary substantially between transfer providers and have a huge effect on the affordability of transfers, so it’s important to shop around for the best exchange rate.

The transaction fee

This is the fee your bank or money transfer company charges you for handling your international transaction. Fees charged range from zero up towards the $100 mark, depending on the provider you choose and the type of transfer. This is why comparing international money transfer fees is critical.

This article focuses on international money transfer transaction fees and how you can minimise them or avoid them altogether.

What factors affect international money transfer fees?

There are several factors that can have an effect on the fee that applies to your international money transfer. The first and most important factor is the transfer provider you choose. Each company has its own unique fee structure and you will need to consider this in conjunction with the exchange rates available to calculate how affordable that company’s transfer service is.

Other factors that influence the fee charged include:

The type of fee

While some companies charge a flat transaction fee, others charge a fee calculated as a percentage of your transfer amount. So, if the fee is 1% of the transfer amount, you’ll pay a lot more to send $5,000 overseas than you would to send $500.

The amount you send

The amount you send not only has an effect if the provider charges a percentage-based fee, but also if they offer a fee-free threshold. If you transfer more than a certain amount with a provider that offers this, you will not have to pay any transaction fees. For example, if you’re transferring more than AUD$10,000 with OFX, you will not have to pay a transfer fee.

The speed of the transfer

Some companies provide the option for you to send an urgent transfer, which can be particularly useful in emergency situations, but may result in an additional charge.

Where you are sending the money

Some providers will charge different fees based on where you are sending the money. Remember to consider this when estimating the cost of your transfer.

The type of transfer

Some companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram offer the convenience of international cash transfers, but you will usually need to pay more for this service than for online transfers.

How you submit the transfer

Another factor to consider is that some transfer providers charge different fees based on how you submit your transfer request: online, over the phone or in a branch. For example, sending an international money transfer via Commonwealth Bank costs $22 when submitted online via NetBank, or $30 when you lodge your transfer in a branch.

How you pay for the transfer

Some providers offer multiple ways for you to pay for your transfer, such as bank account, credit card or even cash. Different fees may apply to the different payment methods.

Any other options you select

Select online transfer companies also allow you to access flexible transfer options, such as scheduling recurring payments or placing a forward contract or limit order. Be aware that these options may also come with additional fees attached.

Finally, it’s also worth pointing out that some providers and banks will require that your beneficiary pay a charge in order to receive an international money transfer. Remember to consider this when weighing up your transfer options.

How much will I have to pay to send an international money transfer?

As you can see from the long list of factors above, the fees attached to your transfer could vary widely depending on your transaction. With this in mind, it’s important to compare a range of money transfer providers to see how much it will cost to send specific transfer amounts to specific destinations. This will give you a better idea of which company offers the best value for money.

However, based on the transfer fees charged by our panel of leading money transfer providers, the average fee for an online transfer is $6.66, but the fees vary substantially based on the provider and the type of transfer you send. For example, while companies like TorFX and OFX do not charge any fees for online transfers, you’ll need to pay $0 for transfer requests submitted over the phone

Money Transfer ServiceOnline Transfer Fee
Exclusive: CurrencyFair International Money Transfers$3
TorFX International Money Transfers$0
Exclusive: OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers$0
Exclusive: World First Foreign Exchange$0
HSBC Multi Currency Account$20
Citibank Plus Everyday Account$0
Travelex International Payments$15
HiFX International Money Transfers$15
TransferWise International Money Transfers$0.50
Currency Online International Money Transfers$12
WorldRemit international money transfersVaries according to transfer amount
ANZ International Money Transfer$18
AFEX international money transfers$0
Compass Global Markets International Money Transfers$10
Currency Solutions International Money Transfers - Discontinued - PE-30272$10
Western Union International Money Transfers$5
World First Foreign Exchange for Online Sellers$30
1st Contact International Money Transfer$0
CurrencyFair Business International Money Transfers$3
FC Exchange International Money Transfers
Moneycorp International Money Transfers$5

When you consider the fees a company charges as well as the exchange rates it offers, you’ll be able to determine how cost-effective it will be to transfer money with that particular provider.

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How to choose a money transfer provider

Make sure you take the following factors into account when selecting a money transfer provider:

Transfer fees

Look at each company’s fee structure and determine whether or not it will suit you. If the company charges a percentage-based fee, could it be an affordable option for a small transfer amount? If you’re transferring a large amount, will you exceed the company’s fee-free threshold and avoid all charges?

Exchange rates

Fees are just one half of calculating the total cost of an international money transfer; exchange rates represent the other half. Look for companies that offer the best balance of high exchange rates and low fees.

Minimum transfer amounts

Many providers will impose a minimum transfer limit on each transaction, which can be restricting in many circumstances if you only want to send a small amount. Maximum limits may also apply with some providers.

Supported currencies

Some providers only offer support for a limited range of currencies, so make sure the company you choose offers the currency you want to send before you sign up for an account.

Processing speeds

Is speed a priority for your international money transfer? If so, compare processing times to see how long your beneficiary will have to wait before receiving the money.

Transfer options

Do you want to lock in a better exchange rate with a forward contract or limit order? Do you want the convenience of being able to schedule recurring payments? Check to see which providers offer these services, and also look what options are available for submitting transfers: online, via a smartphone app, in branch and/or over the phone.

Payment options

Depending on your circumstances, you might also wish to compare the methods available for payment. Some companies allow you to pay by bank transfer only, while others will allow you to use a credit or debit card and even cash.

Customer assistance

Finally, remember to check how easily you will be able to access customer support if you ever have a question or complaint.

Tim Falk

A freelance writer with a passion for the written word, Tim loves helping Australians find the right home loans and savings accounts. When he's not chained to a computer, Tim can usually be found exploring the great outdoors.

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International Money Transfer Offers

Learn about our information service
TorFX International Money Transfers

TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction
Conditions apply

Exclusive: World First Foreign Exchange

Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
Transfer money into a range of currencies online and over the phone.

Exclusive: CurrencyFair International Money Transfers

Exclusive offer: 3 Free transfers (after your first transfer).
A peer-to-peer transfer service with a large range of currencies on offer.

FC Exchange International Money Transfers

No transfer fee via online, branch or phone when transferring more than £10,000 or equivalent.

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