How to get the best* exchange rate when sending money overseas

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

If you use specialist international money transfer services, there's a good chance that you're already getting the best* possible exchange range. However, if you're still using your bank, then you may be getting ripped off.

Compare international money transfer companies and products below. You can use the table headings to sort through features and fees so you can select the right product for you. If you want to find out more about a product, simple click the ‘More’ link, or if you want to open an account, click ‘Go to Site’.

Instantly compare Australia's best* exchange rates

Rates last updated September 24th, 2017
Name Product Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description
TorFX International Money Transfers
AUD 200
1 day
Online, Phone, Agent
TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction. Conditions apply.
Send money overseas in 45 currencies.
Exclusive: OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers
AUD 250
1 day
Online, Phone, Agent
Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for your first and ongoing transactions. $0 transfer fee.
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in 45 currencies.
Exclusive: World First International Money Transfers
AUD 2,000
1 day
Online, Phone
Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee and discounted exchange rates for your first trade only.
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in more than 130 currencies.
FC Exchange International Money Transfers
AUD 3,000
1 day
Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account
FC Exchange can save you money with its Best Exchange Rate Guarantee. Conditions apply.
No transfer fee when transferring more than £10,000 or equivalent. Send money in 43 currencies.
Compass Global Markets International Money Transfers
AUD 1,000
1 day
Online, Phone
Send money overseas in at least 140 currencies.
HiFX International Money Transfers
AUD 50
2 days
Online, Phone, Agent
Make your first transfer for free
Send money in more than 40 currencies.
Currency Solutions International Money Transfers
AUD 3,000
2 days
Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account
Send money in 39 currencies.
The ‘Rate’ and ‘Amount Received’ displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder” before you commit to a brand.

Compare up to 4 providers

*The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms "Best" and "Top" are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your personal financial circumstances when comparing products.

An FX expert can help you get the best* exchange rate

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Save money on your personal or business international money transfer today. Fill in the form and you’ll be contacted by a foreign exchange expert to have an obligation-free discussion about your options. Our foreign exchange experts offer a best rate guarantee, are ASIC authorised and never charge transfer fees.

They can help you with all your needs including:

  • Buying property abroad
  • Emigrating
  • Regular overseas payments
  • Risk management
  • Forecasting

Definition: Best* exchange rate

There is no single best exchange rate, and the best exchange rate for you may not be the best for someone else. This is because 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. One person may need to transfer money within 24 hours, while others may have no time frame, which may affect the exchange rate. Exchange rates are also affected by wider economic factors. Previous performance isn't an indication of future performance. You should consider a range of products when deciding which provider is most suited to your personal money transfer needs.

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 Oanda. 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. Ensure that if you choose not to compare quotes as the above point suggests, that you compare the exchange rate you’ll actually receive, which usually will require you to register with a service or make a call.
  • Utilise forward contracts. A forward contract basically allows you to lock in an exchange rate for a transfer which 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. Forward contracts can sometimes only be offered on larger transfer amounts, but this depends on the transfer service.
  • 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 that be 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 AUD 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 as one rather than in smaller batches. Many transfer companies can offer better rates, and lower fees for large transfers.'s best exchange rates

World First0.770.670.59
Currency Online0.7570.6770.594
Rational FX0.770.670.59
1st Contact0.7520.6590.578

*Rates recorded on 3 July 2017. Please source quotes for current rates.

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 such as Flight Centre kiosks can give competitive rates.
  • 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 when you get into the country if you can. Once you touch down, avoid the airport and tourist destinations when looking for a currency exchange provider.
  • 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 unfortunately 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 impacted on by the supply and demand of a currency, a country’s inflation, 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’ll buy which are purchased from overseas or made using materials which 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.

The latest in foreign exchange

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 therefore can 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, post offices. These are the most well-known currency exchange and money transfer destinations for many Australians. Some of them, such as Flight Centre, Western Union and MoneyGram can 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 AUD 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 isn’t uncompetitive, but if you’ll pay a transaction fee or ATM withdrawal fee for the transaction, 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. As mentioned above, 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.

CommBankOFXMoneyGramCurrency Online
Fee to senderAUD$22$0AUD$20AUD$12

*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

Where can I find up-to-date foreign exchange rates?

As mentioned above, you can check sites such as XE or Oanda to find out up-to-date exchange rates. Also remember that banks and money transfer companies will publish their own exchange rates.

Does my income need to be converted into Australian dollars for my tax return?

Yes, all foreign income needs to be translated into Australian dollars when filling out your tax return.

Why are bank exchange rates not as competitive as money transfer service companies?

This is because money transfer companies specialise in foreign currency transactions and deal in large amounts, giving them savings that they can in turn pass on to consumers.

How will a money transfer or currency exchange service make money from me?

These services will profit from your transaction in two ways. One is through adding a margin to your exchange rate, and the other is by charging you a transfer fee. Some services will do both.

This article discusses about how to get best exchange rates while sending money overseas. The use of the term “Best” does not refer to product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. Exchange rates mentioned in this article are validated at the time of publishing and may vary with time.

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.
Send money overseas in 45 currencies.

Exclusive: OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers

Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for your first and ongoing transactions. $0 transfer fee.
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in 45 currencies.

Exclusive: World First International Money Transfers

Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee and discounted exchange rates for your first trade only.
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in more than 130 currencies.

FC Exchange International Money Transfers

FC Exchange can save you money with its Best Exchange Rate Guarantee. Conditions apply.
No transfer fee when transferring more than £10,000 or equivalent. Send money in 43 currencies.

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14 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JeffJuly 18, 2017

    I want to get cash for my travel in GBP and Euro. I want to spend $2000 on each currency. Please give me the best rate on both and where I can get money in Perth WA

    • Staff
      JonathanJuly 22, 2017Staff

      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.


  2. 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 trasfers to China. Are you able to recommend a service for both of these accounts?

    • Staff
      JhezelynMay 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.


  3. Default Gravatar
    PokiMarch 27, 2017

    what is one advantage of floating exchange rate?

    • Staff
      AnndyMarch 28, 2017Staff

      Hi Poki,

      Thanks for your question.
      Flexible exchange rates are said to be ‘floating’ and can fluctuate regularly due to many factors as we have listed on this page.

      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.


  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

    • Staff
      MarcAugust 7, 2015Staff

      Hi Kevin,
      thanks for the question – you must be excited to be travelling!

      At the current time Macquarie Bank doesn’t offer a specific travel card option which allows you to load funds onto and spend overseas, and they also don’t 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 do 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.

      Read more about the OzForex Travel Card and visit OFX directly to find out more.

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

      I hope this helps,

  7. 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?

    • Staff
      SallyJuly 28, 2015Staff

      Hi Lyn,

      Thanks for your question.

      As 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.



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