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

Cheap ways to send money overseas

Discover the most affordable way to send money overseas from Australia.

Promoted

Western Union

Western Union logo
  • Send large amounts
  • Worldwide established network
  • Cash, credit, debit, transfers & more
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!

While banks do offer secure wire transfers around the world, they also tend to have weaker exchange rates, higher fees and fewer options to send and receive cash when compared to a money transfer service. Unlike banks, they specialise in one thing: sending money overseas.

Looking for a cheap way to send money overseas?

There are lots of factors to consider when sending an international money transfer. There are transfer fees, exchange rates, payment methods, speed of delivery and level of customer service. Keep in mind that we don't compare every product in the market, but we hope that our tools and top tips will help you to understand what you need to look at when comparing your options for your next money transfer.

Compare money transfer services to help you send money overseas

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

What is the least expensive way to transfer money internationally?

While your first thought when thinking about sending money overseas is to head to your bank, this is unlikely to be your cheapest option. You will come across high fees and poor exchange rates, making the overall cost of your transfer more expensive.

Here are some of the cheapest options for sending money overseas from Australia:

  1. Online money transfer services. These specialists offer more affordable transfers than banks do, allowing you to quickly and easily manage your transactions from home. With competitive exchange rates and lower fees, you can send funds from your bank account. Many also allow you to pay with a credit or debit card.
  2. PayPal transfers. Not just for online purchases, PayPal offers transfers to more than 100 countries and supports multiple currencies. Its exchange rates are often better than those you'll get from a bank but not quite as strong as rates from money transfer companies. PayPal calculates its transfer fee as a percentage of the amount you're sending - meaning it's often better for sending smaller amounts of money.
  3. Peer to Peer Transfer (P2P). This type of transfer can be quicker and sometimes cheaper as there are fewer banks involved. Wise and CurrencyFair offer P2P transfers, matching people buying currency in one country with people who are selling it in another.
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.

What are the other ways I can send money overseas?

How you transfer your money overseas and how it's received will ultimately affect what you pay in fees and how quickly your money is sent. While these may not be the cheapest options, they are alternative ways to send money overseas if you don't want to use a money transfer specialist.

  • Bank transfers. Many major Australia banks can safely transfer your funds to countries around the world. Banks rely on existing links between banks and banking systems worldwide and it'll often be called a telegraphic transfer. However, two downsides are the high fees and the weaker exchange rates you'll often receive in comparison to other options.
  • Services with cash pick-up. Services like Western Union and MoneyGram offer the key advantage of giving your recipient fast access to the cash you send – sometimes within minutes. You can pay online or at one of the thousands of agent locations worldwide. However, services typically cost more than an online transfer specialist and vary by where you're transferring your money and how you're paying for it.
  • Cheques and money orders. Although not a quick option, you could send an international cheque overseas, obtained from your bank. It costs a little more – you'll have to purchase the cheque and your recipient may be charged a fee by their own bank when cashed.

Let's crunch the numbers: Banks vs money transfer services

To put this into perspective, let's see what a $1,000 transfer to India looks like with a bank compared to a money transfer service.

Major Australian bankMoney transfer specialist
Transfer fee$24$3.99
Exchange rate1 AUD = 47.193 INR1 AUD = 48.661 INR
Transfer speed2-4 daysSame day
Receiving optionsBank accountBank account, mobile credit recharge
Total rupee receivedINR46,060.37INR48,466.84
Receiver getsINR2,407 lessINR2,407 more

The transfer through the bank ends up giving your receiver roughly $50 less than the money transfer service. Not only is the exchange rate worse, but the fees are a lot higher. It'll also take a few days longer, so it pays to see what your other options can be.

How can I minimise costs when making a money transfer?

While using a money transfer specialist is likely to be cheaper than heading to your local bank, there are still some things you can do to keep your costs as low as possible. Here are our top tips:

  • Compare exchange rates. Use your currency's mid-market rate as a baseline to compare against the rates you're offered. You want a provider whose rate is closest to the mid-market rate.
  • Send more money per transfer. Many providers discount transfer fees or waive them altogether when you send larger amounts.
  • Look for hidden fees. Avoid surprises by reading the fine print for fees that could apply to your transfer, including charges your recipient will need to pay.
  • Sniff out special offers. Keep an eye on promotions such as no fees on your first transfer or a special exchange rate as a new customer. While ideal for limited transfer needs, you could also end up with a new preferred service.
  • Shop around. The best way to save is by comparing rates, fees and transfer speeds of each provider, closely looking at their benefits and drawbacks.

Tools to help you save more on international transfers

There's a lot riding on a competitive exchange rate and low fee. But depending on how much you're sending, how soon your recipient needs it and rates at the time of transfer, you could save even more with the following tools.

  • Forward contracts. With this tool, you lock in a favourable exchange rate for a future transfer, avoiding unpredictable movements in the rate.
  • Limit orders. A limit order allows you to request a transfer that's executed only when a specific rate is reached, at which point your provider locks it in.
  • Regular, automated transfers. You may be able to shave a few pennies off an exchange rate or pay lower transfer fees by setting up a plan to automate more regular payments overseas.

What to be aware of

Exchange rates

You've probably noticed that the exchange rate you see online or reported in the media (known as the wholesale or mid-market rate) isn't the same rate you get when you make a transaction. Banks and most money transfer services make their profit on the margin added to this wholesale exchange rate, but it can vary from 0.1% to 10%.

With this in mind, it pays to compare the products available to make sure you find the best overseas money transfer solution for you.

Fee-free transfers

Unfortunately, fee-free transfers are never really free. Even though international money transfer companies are cheaper than banks, they still have margins and fees. While there might not be a fee included, the company is still making money by adding a margin to the mid-market rate.

How to get the best exchange rate

How do I send money with a money transfer specialist?

Although the process differs by company, to send money overseas you'll generally need to do the following:

How do I send money from my bank?

Please note that the process is different for every provider. The example below shows just one of the ways you can initiate a transfer.

Frequently asked questions

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

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.

22 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    elhamDecember 20, 2018

    I have got a US dollar account that I want to send to my son in Egypt and he doesn’t have a bank account. is there a way to send Us dollars from Australia?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JohnDecember 20, 2018Staff

      Hi Elham,

      Thank you for leaving a question.

      Our guide for sending money to Egypt should guide you to the companies that can help you to send money to your son. You may also check with the provider if it is possible for your son to receive the amount in US dollars as well. Once you have chosen a particular provider, you may then click on the “Go to site” button to proceed with your transfer or get in touch with their representatives for further assistance. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  2. Default Gravatar
    mattJuly 26, 2016

    hi which is the best, cheapest and safest exchange company to send approx $15k to spain, from my AUD bank account, to a bank account over there? Looking for best ex rate too obviously.
    thanks,
    matt

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayJuly 27, 2016Staff

      Hi Matt,

      Thank you for your question.

      Usually, transferring money from your bank account is an expensive way of sending money overseas. In the table above, you can compare different money transfer service providers. Using our comparison tool above, I’ve put your figures, and based on the results, the options that you may want to consider are:

      • FC Exchange International Money Transfers – offer the best* exchange rate of your money which can be received in one business day with no fees on a particular transfer
      • Moneycorp and World First – both offer competitive rates too and without fees. World First takes 2 business days before the funds can be received while Moneycorp processes the transfer on the same day.

      You would know if the service providers are safe and legit if they are registered and with ABN.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

  3. Default Gravatar
    sharonJune 11, 2016

    Wanting to send money to friend in Lagos Nigeria

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeJune 16, 2016Staff

      Hi Sharon,

      Thanks for your comment.

      If you want to send money to Nigeria, you can compare money transfer companies that can help you with our guide about sending money to Nigeria.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  4. Default Gravatar
    BWardMay 28, 2016

    What is the cheapest way to transfer money from my Australian bank account (Australian dollars) into my US bank account (US dollars, with Wells Fargo bank)?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyMay 30, 2016Staff

      Hi BWard Powers,

      Thanks for your question.

      This will depend on how much you intend to send, but our comparison tables show that World First, TorFX and OFX are worth looking at.

      Hope this helps.

  5. Default Gravatar
    AnnetteApril 7, 2016

    I need to send US$1,162 and later two instalments of US$581each, at different times. The recipient prefers not to use electronic transfer. How do I avoid high fees on sending these instalments and the hidden costs at the other end that will affect the transferred amount, and the recipient won’t receive the amount promised from me because of those hidden fees? Would you be able to help me please? Apparently my bank is not accepted in USA.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyApril 7, 2016Staff

      Hi Annette,

      Thanks for your question.

      Since your recipient prefers to use electronic transfer it narrows down your options a lot. You may want to compare international money transfer services that allow cash pick up.

      These services typically won’t charge you recipient fees and have relatively competitive exchange rates.

      Usually international bank-to-bank transfers charge heft fees and exchange rates.

Go to site