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How to send money to the USA

Here's how to send a quick, affordable and secure money transfer to the United States from Australia.

Updated

Fact checked

While your local bank branch might be the most obvious option for sending money across borders, you can save on fees and take advantage of more competitive exchange rates with an online money transfer company.

Send money to the USA with TorFX

TorFX International Money Transfers

  • No extra fees
  • Fix your exchange rate for up to 2 years
  • Price-match guarantee
  • Personal account manager

Send money to the USA 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.

  • Minimum transfer amount: $2,000
  • Online transfer fee: $0
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Compare services

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.692 USD
6,921
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.
Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.692 USD
6,921
SendFX 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 250 1 - 2 days AUD 0.00 0.692 USD
6,921
$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. No transfer fee over AUD$10,000.
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AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.692 USD
6,921
Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
Send 60+ currencies at competitive rates and no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
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GBP 3,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.692 USD
6,921
Global Reach will match any competitor's exchange rates. Conditions apply.
Get no fees for both business and personal transfers when you send your money overseas with Global Reach.
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AUD 1 1 day AUD 52.00 0.695 USD
6,913
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 5 1 - 2 days EUR 3.00 0.688 USD
6,878
Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
Get bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
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AUD 1 Same day AUD 0.00 0.691 USD
6,914
Get fast transfers with no fees and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 3.99 0.687 USD
6,863
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
An online money transfer service with cash pick-up, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
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Compare up to 4 providers

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

How to send money to the USA online

Sign up and send money with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:

  1. Sign up for a free account. Pick a provider and sign up for a free online account using your contact information, proof of ID and your preferred payment method.
  2. Provide transfer details. Submit your recipient's contact information and pick a delivery method. If you're transferring to a bank, you'll need your recipient's US-based bank account details.
  3. Confirm transfer details. Double-check your payment method, expected fees and destination.
  4. Save your receipt. Record your receipt's confirmation number to track the progress of your transfer to the US. Some money transfer providers send a text or email when your transfer is complete.

What's the best way to send money to the United States?

Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees on money transfers to the US. Some offer transfers straight to US bank accounts, while others allow the money to be picked up in US dollars in person. Banks, PayPal and other options are available but come with high fees, weak rates and longer turnaround times.

Blue icon representing money transfers Image: Infogram

Digital money transfer services

Companies like OFX and TorFX specialise in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective transfers. Most offer transfers directly to your recipient's US-based bank account, often in as little as a day or two.

Picture not described: BlueCoinsCashIcon_Infogram_94x62.png Image: Infogram

Cash transfers

Services like MoneyGram allow you to transfer cash for pickup at a local branch in the US — often in 15 minutes. While it's a fast way to send money, you'll pay for the convenience in weak exchange rates and high fees. If a cash pickup is necessary, look to digital services like WorldRemit when possible.

Picture not described: BlueBankIcon_Infogram_62x56.png Image: Infogram

Banks

US dollars are almost certainly carried by your bank. Although your local bank can convert your currency into US dollars, beware of high fees and wide margins on the exchange rate compared to digital and other options.

Let's crunch the numbers: Sending $2,000 to the US

Let's say you need to send €2,000 from Australia to the US. Here's what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of April 1, 2020.

Digital money transfer serviceCash transferBank transfer
Fee$3.99$30$24 + additional correspondent bank fees
Exchange rate1 AUD = 0.60 USD1 AUD = 0.58 USD1 AUD = 0.57 USD
Transfer speed1-3 daysMinutes2-4 days
Amount receivedUS$1,200US$1,160US$1,140
Verdict
  • Best value
  • Fastest
  • Slowest and most expensive

The bank option ends up being both the slowest and gets the smallest amount of money to your recipient, while the digital money transfer service is the best value. If you go with the cash transfer service, your recipient ends up with US$20 more than the bank offers and it arrives within minutes.

How to get the most out of your money transfer to the USA

Weigh costs and fees against convenience, and learn how to compare money transfer providers that send to the US to meet your needs:

  • Exchange rates. The USD relationship with other currencies fluctuates daily, so using a service that allows you to lock-in exchange prices may help you save money down the line if exchange rates take a turn for the worse in the future.
  • Transfer fees. Transferring money overseas nearly always requires fees, but they might be hidden in the exchange rate. When sending large amounts, it may be cheaper to pay a flat fee to secure a stronger exchange rate.
  • Transfer limits. How much you can send varies by company, and different amounts can attract higher or lower fees. Shop around for the best deal on the number of US dollars you're sending.
  • Turnaround. Transferring money through a local bank can take a business week or longer. If you need the funds delivered quickly, seek out a digital specialist that offers instant transfers to the United States.
  • Maximum limits. When exchange rates are favorable, sending more money can save you money in the future. If you plan to send large amounts of money to the US, be sure to pick a provider that won't limit you.
  • Transfer methods. Whether you want money sent to a US-based bank account or picked up as cash at a local agent, narrow down a company that matches your preferred delivery method.

Emergency cash transfer to the US

When it's more important to get your money to the US quickly, look for money transfer companies that support cash pickup in minutes. You can pay with a credit or debit card for fast pickup, but fees are higher than other methods.

How to send money to the USA without a bank account

Cash transfer services can help you if you're unbanked or marginally banked. If you don't have a bank account, look for a local company that supports storefronts for cash payments. These services include agent locations in other countries that allow your recipient to pick up cash without a bank account.

Documents needed for sending to and receiving money in the US

To send money to the US from abroad, you'll need government-issued ID and other documents, while documents needed to pick up money in the US may be different by company.

Documents to send money to the US

To send money from the abroad to the US, you'll need documentation and details that include:

  • Identification. Most services require a driver's license, passport or other government-issued ID. Some services allow you to send transfers without ID.
  • Payment method. Your service may accept credit or debit cards, cash, bank accounts or personal checks.
  • Recipient information. Submit your recipient's name as it appears on their ID, along with their phone number, US bank account and routing number if sending to their bank.

Documents to receive money in the US

To pick up money in person, documentation can include:

  • Transfer number. The person sending you money can forward the transfer's confirmation details — called a PIN, a MTCN, a reference number or a tracking number, depending on the company.
  • Government-issued ID. A US government-issued ID is almost always required to pick up cash, but you may be able to set a passphrase if your recipient doesn't have any valid ID.
  • Amount sent. You may need to know how much was sent, usually within 10% of the total.
  • Sender's information. Take along your sender's full name, the sending country and their address, if known.

What to watch out for

Most money transfers to the United States may be subject to taxes, depending on their amount and place of origin. Unfortunately there are a lot of variables in play, but typically it is always better to report large money transfers to the IRS on your tax forms.

There are a variety of reasons you may be sending money to the US, including repatriating funds you earned abroad. Being extra vigilant about the reasons you're sending money to the US can save you large fees and possible jail time in the future by paying the appropriate taxes now.

Bottom line

Sending your hard-earned money to the US shouldn't cost a fortune. Compare transfer companies that specialise in foreign for the strongest rates, lowest fees and flexible delivery.

International Money Transfer Offers

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

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.

Logo for SendFX International Money Transfers
SendFX International Money Transfers

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

Logo for OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers
OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers

$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. No transfer fee over AUD$10,000.

Logo for WorldFirst International Money Transfers
WorldFirst International Money Transfers

Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
Send 60+ currencies at competitive rates and no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.

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8 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MarieJuly 17, 2018

    What’s the cheapest and fastest way that my family can send money from Melbourne to California? Please give me the most trusted site.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezJuly 17, 2018Staff

      Hello Marie,

      Thank you for your comment.

      If you’re looking for a fast money transfer to the U.S.A, you may want to check this page with a guide about same-day money transfer. You can see two popular money transfer companies that will let you transfer money to the U.S. within the day. I hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  2. Default Gravatar
    DarrelNovember 28, 2017

    I have actual US dollars(hard currency) that I want to send to someone in the USA. Thus, I don’t need to change Australian dollars into US dollars. Does any company allow this, noting that they usually probably make their profit from the exchange rate.

    • Default Gravatar
      MariaNovember 29, 2017

      Hi Darrel,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      While there are services on this page that allow USD to USD transfers, they implement an exchange rate which you can compare or the amount received on the table.
      Another factor to consider is the transfer fee which can reduce the value of the amount transferred.

      You may opt to reach out to the services directly if you have any further concerns.

      I hope this helps.

      Best,
      Maria

  3. Default Gravatar
    NaomiJuly 11, 2017

    I compared options a few weeks ago and Sable came up as the best option.
    Now it is not coming up at all – why is this?

    • Default Gravatar
      DanielleJuly 12, 2017

      Hi Naomi,

      Thank you for contacting finder. We are a comparison website and general information service, we’re more than happy to offer general advice.

      If you wish to know more about Sable, you may refer to this page.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Danielle

  4. Default Gravatar
    WolfgangMay 18, 2015

    If I send money to China by using citibank plus account, how much total cost would expect?Citibank doesn’t charge but receiving bank or intermediary bank charge for the service. Say, Today I send money US$1000 to Bank of China. How much I have to send AU$ to receiver side to get US1000?

    • Default Gravatar
      JodieMay 28, 2015

      Hi Wolfgang,

      Thank you for reaching out.

      Please visit our send money to China page to find information regarding sending funds from AU to China including fees and exchange rates for multiple exchange services.

      Regards
      Jodie

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