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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.



TorFX logo
  • No transfer fees
  • Price match guarantee
  • Dedicated account manager assigned to you
  • Forex tools available
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It's fairly common 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, fees and more.

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

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

1. International money transfer specialist

Money transfer specialists typically offer better exchange rates and charge lower fees than Australian banks. Providers such as TorFX and OFX specialise in helping users make large transfers overseas. Their mark-ups range from 0.5% to 3% on major currency pairs and will lower their markup or waive transfer fees above a certain amount. This discourages people from splitting up transactions.

These providers also have forex tools to help you lock-in the best exchange rates. For example, if you're transferring $100,000 to the US and the Australian dollar is weak, TorFX can set up a limit order and convert money once AUD to USD hits your target rate.


  • Account managers offer step-by-step guidance for the entire process.
  • Cheaper than bank transfers for large transactions
  • Diverse payment options, including payment by credit card, debit card, bank account and more.
  • Can be sent entirely online.


  • 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 favourite 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.
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
24 hours
TorFX sends money overseas in 40+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Xe Large Transfers
24 hours
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
24 hours
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 50+ currencies.
Send Payments
24 hours

Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.

2. 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 unfavourable 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 a certain amount.

  • Wire transfer. This is where you 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. For example, CBA charges a $6 transfer fee through their app and adds a 3-5% markup onto the exchange rate.


  • 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.


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

3. 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.


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


  • Most cash-to-cash specialists have a low 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.

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 Australia, except that they are created in a foreign currency.


  • 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.


  • 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.


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


  • 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 Australian dollars or euros). Which means it is possible to exchange Australian 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.


  • You can send money directly to your recipient's cryptocurrency wallet address, removing the need for companies as intermediaries.
  • Your transaction can't be cancelled.


  • 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.

Finder survey: Do Australians prefer banks or money transfer specialists to send money abroad?

I do not send money overseas46.92%36.18%
Money transfer specialist15.47%22.63%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1110 Australians, December 2023

Frequently asked questions

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Kevin Joey Chen was a credit cards, banking and investments writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, The Dallas Morning News, Lifehacker and He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order and expertly navigate the cutting-edge financial tools available -- including credit cards, apps and budgeting software. See full bio

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