Get the best international exchange rate today | Finder

How to get the best exchange rate when sending money overseas

You can often get a better exchange rate with a specialist money transfer service compared to the banks.

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The value you receive from an international money transfer mostly relies on the exchange rates and fees. If you use specialist international money transfer services, you're likely already getting the best possible exchange rate. However, if you're still using your bank, then you may not be getting the best value.

Looking for the best exchange rate?

There are other factors to consider when sending an international money transfer in addition to the exchange rate, including the transfer fees, the payment method, the speed of delivery and the level of customer service. What’s best for you might not be best for someone else.

Send money overseas with TorFX

TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
Send money overseas in 30+ currencies with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.

  • No transfer fees
  • Price match guarantee
  • Dedicated account manager assigned to you
  • Forex tools available
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Compare money transfer services to find a better rate

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 0 1 - 2 days AUD 0.00 0.768 USD
7,681
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.
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AUD 250 1 - 2 days AUD 0.00 0.77 USD
7,702
$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
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AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.771 USD
7,712
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.
Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.77 USD
7,703
Send guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.
Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.77 USD
7,704
Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
WorldFirst sends 60+ currencies at competitive rates. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
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AUD 1 1 day AUD 52.00 0.77 USD
7,657
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.
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AUD 10 Within an hour AUD 2.99 0.765 USD
7,648
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.
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AUD 1 Same day AUD 0.00 0.77 USD
7,697
XE has fast transfers with no fees and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
AUD 200 1 - 2 days AUD 50.00 0.773 USD
7,688
Exclusive: Use code FINDER10 to receive US$10 off your first transaction.
InstaReM offers simple transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers. Zero-margin rates on some currencies.
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AUD 5 1 - 2 days EUR 3.00 0.766 USD
7,656
Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 3.99 0.764 USD
7,640
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.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 1 - 2 days AUD 45.00 0.774 USD
7,701
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

How do I get the best exchange rate?

Here are some tips to ensure you get the best deal on fees and exchange rates when transferring money:

  • Find out what current rates are. You should have a reliable baseline to compare the rates offered by money transfer companies and banks. Two well-known currency conversion resources include XE and Google. These are free tools you can use to see live conversion rates, and both feature currency conversion calculators.
  • Compare by asking for a quote. Getting the best exchange rate can be difficult because money transfer services can charge high fees but offer competitive rates. This means sometimes it’s a good idea to ask for a quote, and then compare this to quotes from other providers.
  • Ensure you’re comparing the most accurate rate. Until you register with a money transfer service, you’re more than likely seeing their indicative exchange rates, and not the most accurate rates available. If you choose not to compare quotes, compare the exchange rate you’ll actually receive. This will usually require you to register with a service or make a call.
  • Utilise forward contracts. A forward contract allows you to lock in an exchange rate for a transfer that will take place in the future. In most cases, you can lock in a rate for up to 12 months in advance, saving you from receiving a poor rate when you make a money transfer in the future. Not all transfer companies will allow you to use a forward contract, so ensure you consider this when comparing. The transfer service may only offer forward contracts on larger transfer amounts.
  • Consider a market order. A market order, also known as a limit order, allows you to choose a favourable rate, and then instructs your money transfer company to buy or sell your chosen currencies only once that rate is available. Like a forward contract, some money transfer companies will only offer these for larger transfer amounts.
  • Consider a multi-currency bank account. If you regularly deal in currencies, whether this is due to an international business or for personal reasons, a multi-currency bank account can be a good idea. Also known as a foreign currency account, they allow you to hold different currencies and convert them into Australian dollars when you want. This means you can avoid short-term rate fluctuations from harming your balance.
  • Carry out one large transfer rather than several smaller transfers. If you’re looking to send a large amount of money, try to send it all at once rather than in smaller batches. Many transfer companies can offer better rates and lower fees for large transfers.
Promoted
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.

Getting the best rate when travelling overseas

If you’re travelling to a country and looking for tips on receiving the best exchange rate, here are some things to consider:

  • Avoid busy areas and airports. Unless you’re organising a currency pickup, like you can with companies such as Travelex, these areas can provide poor exchange rates. Other businesses can give competitive rates, such as Flight Centre kiosks.
  • Exchange in the country you’re travelling to. While you may want to exchange a small amount before you leave your home country to ensure you have money to get you from the airport to your hotel, save the majority of your currency exchange until you get into the country if you can. Avoid the airport and tourist destinations when looking for a currency exchange provider once you touch down .
  • Consider an international debit, credit or travel card. Some of these cards are offered by major banks and offer 24/7 support as well as exchange rates offered by Visa and Mastercard, which can be competitive. Read more about these options below.
  • Avoid exchanging at a restaurant or hotel. These locations can offer convenient, on-the-fly currency conversion but might not offer the most competitive rate.
  • Avoid purchasing in your own currency. Some retailers will offer you the option to pay in your home currency and will then convert the funds themselves. This can be tricky if you don’t have a currency calculator on hand, meaning you might lose out on the exchange.

Definition: Exchange Rate

An exchange rate is a way of showing the value of one currency compared to another.

Exchange rates are affected by the supply and demand of a currency, a country’s inflation, the trade between two countries and more, so rates can fluctuate throughout the course of a day. Indirectly, exchange rates dictate the costs of many day-to-day items you buy that are purchased from overseas or made using materials that come from foreign countries. Directly, you’ll come across exchange rates when travelling overseas, purchasing goods from overseas or sending funds overseas.

This guide will explain how to get the best exchange rate available when sending money overseas.

Where can I exchange money?

The answer to this question depends on the reason for your exchange. If you’re looking to convert money to send it overseas, some of these providers won’t be the best option for you.

  • Money transfer companies. These are specialist currency exchange and money transfer companies, and they offer competitive exchange rates and low fees. Many of them also offer a large range of services such as forward contracts and market orders.
  • Walk-in kiosks, banks and post offices. These are the best known currency exchange and money transfer destinations for many Australians. Some of them, such as Flight Centre, Western Union and MoneyGram, offer competitive deals for sending money overseas or converting money depending on the service.
  • Credit cards, debit cards and travel cards. Apart from travel money cards, these will exchange your funds from Australian dollars to the currency of your choice instantly using the applicable exchange rate. For some cards this will be the Visa or Mastercard rate, which by itself is competitive. However, if you have to pay a transaction fee or ATM withdrawal fee for the transaction, it may become expensive. Travel cards will allow you to transfer funds onto your card at the exchange rate set by the card provider. This allows you to avoid exchange rate fluctuations.

Comparing exchange rates

Below is a comparison of the advertised rates for three different money transfer companies. Whenever you carry out a comparison, be sure to get an accurate quote from the provider rather than using the advertised rates as the two may be different.

CommBankOFXMoneyGram
AUD/USD0.72810.770.72
AUD/EUR0.63440.670.64
Fee to senderAUD$22$0AUD$20

*The above rates and fees are correct on 3 June 2017. Always source a quote for accurate, current day rates.

As you can see, the highest rate in this comparison was offered by OFX, which also had no transfer fee. This comparison doesn’t take into account transfer speed, which may be an issue for you. It also doesn’t take into account transfer methods, for example sending money to be picked up in cash by your recipient.

Q&A: Finding the best rate

Promoted
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.

More guides on Finder

International Money Transfer Offers

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

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.

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.

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 Send International Money Transfers
Send International Money Transfers

Send guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.

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15 Responses

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Default Gravatar
    FionaMarch 19, 2016

    I have to buy something in USA which will cost $18000 US. What is the best way to arrange payment getting the best exchange rate and other costs. The payment will be made next week.
    I have the money in an ING account

    Default Gravatar
    KevinAugust 6, 2015

    I wish to transfer $10,000 AUD into a debit card that I can use whilst travelling overseas. Can I do this through Macquarie and Ox Forex? What is the process? I have a cash management account with Macquarie. How do I transfer AUD funds from that account into EUR and then into my Debit Card.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MarcAugust 7, 2015Staff

      Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for the question – you must be excited to be travelling!

      At the current time, Macquarie Bank does not offer a specific travel card option which allows you to load funds onto and spend overseas, and they also do not offer a specific debit card, although they do offer credit cards which could in theory be used overseas and then paid off.

      OFX on the other hand does offer a specific travel card, and the way this works is simple: You activate your account, and then pay your funds into it using BPAY. The funds will still be in AUD at this point. Once you see a favourable exchange rate, you can convert your funds into EUR, which helps you avoid any exchange rate fluctuations while you’re travelling.

      You can also compare other travel money options from other providers to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

      I hope this helps,
      Marc

    Default Gravatar
    LynJuly 27, 2015

    I have a Citibank plus account which has no foreign conversion fees or transaction fees. When I withdraw money from an ATM in Britain, are Citibank conversion rates applied or the bank owning the ATM’s rates. Is it better to convert Aussie dollars to British pounds here or wait till I arrive in Britain?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      SallyJuly 28, 2015Staff

      Hi Lyn,

      Thanks for your question.

      As finder.com.au is a financial comparison service, we can’t actually recommend any one product, service or strategy to our users, as the ‘best’ option will always depend on the user’s individual needs.

      However, we can compare that the exchange rates applied are determined by the Visa exchange rates at the time of purchase. Although there are no international ATM withdrawal fees charged by Citibank, please note that a local ATM fee may apply.

      I hope this has answered your question.

      Thanks,

      Sally

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