⚡️⚡️⚡️
With energy prices rising, switch to a cheaper plan
💡
Compare Prices Now
⚡️⚡️⚡️

How to get the best exchange rate on international money transfers

Learn some tips and tricks which will help you get the most for your Australian dollars.

Promoted

Send Payments

Send Payments logo
  • Fee-free transfers
  • 30+ currencies
  • Easy to use
Go to site

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!

The best exchange rates will help you get more foreign currency for your dollars. Understanding how to exchange money can make all the difference when it comes to trying to save money. We compared dozens of ways to exchange money and found that the best methods typically avoid banks and in-person exchange kiosks.

How to find the best exchange rates

When transferring funds internationally or exchanging currency for a trip overseas, you will want to get the most bang for your buck. So here's our top tips on how to get the best exchange rates possible:

Do

  • Use non-bank exchange services: Providers like OFX, WorldRemit, Wise and similar online money transfer services offer competitive exchange rates and low margins. If you are sending money overseas, these companies typically charge lower fees than traditional banks.
  • Convert cash when rates are favourable: If you know you need to make an international transfer or you will be traveling overseas, then try to exchange your cash when rates are favourable to you. Carry out your conversion at an exchange provider that charges low fees and has a competitive rate, and you'll benefit by saving money.

Don't

  • Exchange money at airports or train stations: Although such booths may be convenient, they never offer the best exchange rates. You will find they take advantage of people's need to exchange their money and charge highly for the convenience.
  • Use a credit or debit card abroad: Unless you know for sure, your card will most likely charge fees for use abroad and offer poor exchange rates.

How to get the best exchange rate on international money transfers

If you plan to use an international money transfer service, then it's best to shop around and compare your options. The more time you can leave yourself before needing to send the transfer the better. Here are a few things to think about when comparing money transfer exchange rates:

  • Know the mid-market rate for your currency. Money transfer providers skew exchange rates in their favour. Therefore it is best to use the mid-market rate as a baseline and see who is offering the best currency exchange rates.
  • Compare providers. Use our table to compare providers. It is also worth getting quotes from a few providers and seeing which offers the better deal.
  • Skip the bank. The bank is not your friend in this situation, as they almost never offer the best exchange rates.
  • Use transfer tools to save money. Consider using recurring payments, forward contracts and limit orders to get a stronger exchange rate.
  • Use a multicurrency bank account. If you plan to send regular transactions using commonly traded currencies, then a multicurrency bank account often offers strong exchange rates and low fees.
  • Send larger amounts. You will find that many money transfer providers offer stronger exchange rates for larger transfers.

How best to monitor exchange rates?

One of the ways to save yourself money when making an international money transfer is to carry out your conversion when the exchange rate is most favourable. If you know in advance you will be sending money abroad or travelling overseas, then you can monitor currency trends ahead of time. Take a look at our live currency converter to see what exchange rate you would get for converting your cash today.

Market demand dictates how much one currency is worth compared to another - this is known as the mid-market rate. It is also the rate that banks use to trade money with one another.

When you convert money through a money transfer service, you will typically find that the provider adds a margin on top of the exchange rate to make money. So it is worth keeping this in mind when you are monitoring exchange rates.
Select the currency pair to fit your needs

1
0

Compare exchange rates of money transfer services

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 23
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.
HSBC International Money Transfers
24 hours
From $8

View details
Get real time exchange rates when markets are open with flat $8 fee for online international transfers.
Western Union
Within minutes
From $0

View details
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
OFX
24 hours
From $15

View details
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
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%

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.
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

View details
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
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
All new customers who send more than AUD$10000 in June and July are eligible to receive a $300 Woolworths gift card. Conditions apply.
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.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Where to exchange currency before your trip

If you know in advance that you will be travelling abroad, then there are several options for how to get the best exchange rates for your AUD:

  • Check your local bank. If you bank with one of the larger bank chains in the Australia, they will almost certainly be able to sell you a wide range of foreign currency. Just beware of poor exchange rates. Even smaller banks can often order money from larger branches.
  • Use a currency ordering service. Services like Travelex allow you to order more than 50 currencies and have them delivered straight to your door. However, keep in mind you won't get the mid-market rate.
  • Use an international transfer service, but have it delivered to your destination. Find a provider that can deliver your transfer for cash pickup at an agent location and have it waiting for you when you arrive at your destination.

    Where to exchange currency outside of Australia?

    When traveling internationally you'll typically get the best exchange rates at banks, ATMs and post offices. If you have a bank card that doesn't charge international ATM fees, this will most likely be the strongest and most convenient option.

    It may be possible to exchange money at your hotel, but double-check the rate against the mid-market rate to see how strong it is. You may also find that some local shops and restaurants offer to accept payment in your native currency.

    Here's our dos and don'ts when it comes to exchanging currency outside of Australia:

    Do exchange money at:

    • ATMs
    • Post offices
    • Banks
    • Your hotel

    Do not exchange money at:

    • Tourist destinations
    • Street-side exchange bureaus
    • Airports, train stations, bus stations and the like

    Frequently asked questions

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.

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.

15 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    peteOctober 24, 2017

    I need to transfer $20000 US from Australia to an elderly man in the USA but am not sure how to do this safely. I want assurance he will get the money but I need assurance I get what I pay for.
    Any suggestions ?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezOctober 24, 2017Staff

      Hi Pete,

      Thank you for your comment.

      There are different ways you can go about transferring money to the US. You may do online banking, wire transfer, or money transfer services. Meanwhile, you may compare a fast and secure way of sending money to the US. Bank transfers are safe and reliable, though they are by no means the most cost-effective or fastest option. Inter-bank money transfers and transferring money from one bank or one financial institution to the other within the same country is mostly free of cost. However, sending money from one country to another includes different types of fees (some hidden), so be sure to factor this into your decision-making process.

      Hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  2. Default Gravatar
    JonathanJuly 22, 2017

    Hi Jeff,

    Thank you for writing to us. :)

    You are on the right page. Please enter the AUD transfer amount and choose the desired currencies on our comparison table then click “Calculate”. It will prompt you the list of transfer services available and their updated rates.

    Alternatively, you can also fill out the Enquiry form located a bit below for a FX expert to check on your options.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers,
    Jonathan

  3. Default Gravatar
    SteveMay 29, 2017

    My existing FX account now does not handle small amounts for my family in the U.K., EG UKP100.00 transfers. They are happy to continue to handle my company transfers to China. Are you able to recommend a service for both of these accounts?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezMay 31, 2017Staff

      Hi Steve.

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      You may consider a multi-currency bank account if you regularly deal with currencies due an international business or personal reasons. This is also known as the foreign currency account wherein they would allow you to hold different currencies and convert them when you want to so you can avoid short-term rate fluctuations from harming your balance.

      Please refer to the table above to compare international money transfer companies.

      Hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  4. Default Gravatar
    PokiMarch 27, 2017

    what is one advantage of floating exchange rate?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeMarch 28, 2017Staff

      Hi Poki,

      Thanks for your question.

      Flexible exchange rates are said to be ‘floating’ and can fluctuate regularly due to many factors. To learn more about these factors, please check our foreign exchange rates guide.

      A floating exchange rate offers several advantages. One of which is the flexibility and automatic adjustment of the rate in case of disequilibrium (deficit or surplus) as an effect of import and export transactions. The exchange rate is also stable and predictable, which is a good thing especially for exporting firms.

      I hope this answers your question.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  5. Default Gravatar
    JanisJune 26, 2016

    i want to know please what is best – AUD to USD or British pounds?
    I intend to set up a multi-currency account and would also like details.
    Thank you.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyJune 28, 2016Staff

      Hi Janis,

      Thanks for your question.

      Please note that exchange rates are different for every provider.

      If you intend to apply for a multi-currency account, you will need to check what the exchange rates are from that specific financial institution.

      You can get an indicative idea of what exchange rates the providers are offering by opening that link.

      Regards,
      Shirley

Go to site