Compare money transfer services and save when sending money to the USA.
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Compare your options to transfer funds to the USA
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The value of many currencies is based off of the value of the USD and it is the most highly traded in the FX market. With the high number of imports and exports between the US and Australia there's always a high demand for services that will transfer money between the two nations.
Banks vs money transfer services
Michael works for a food manufacturing company based in the US but with factories in Australia. He has been asked to oversee operations in Australia for at least the next year but is hesitant about leaving his wife and son behind. They decide that it is in their son's best interests to remain in the US while his father is abroad.
This necessitates Michael finding a way to get money to his wife in order to maintain the house. He starts by checking the differences between using a bank and a money transfer service.
|Bank to bank money transfer||Money transfer service|
|Exchange rate||0.84 USD for every 1 AUD||0.87 USD for each 1 AUD.|
|Transfer fee||$22 AUD charged to the sender. With a bank transfer you will also need to find out if the US bank is going to charge for processing the transaction.||$5 USD is charged to the sender.|
|American dollar amount for every $1,000 Australian dollars||For $1,000 AUD transferred, the recipient will get $844 USD.||$871 is received by the beneficiary in the United States.|
|Transfer time||Two to four business days.||Two business days.|
|Transfer options||Funds are transferred from one bank account in Australia to another in the US.||In this instance you are only able to send the money for a cash pick up.|
What's the difference?
Not only will Michael’s wife receive an additional $27 USD with the bank, he will save $17 AUD in fees. Of course, they still need to consider any fees that will be charged by their US bank for receiving the money.
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring money to the US?
Michael’s case highlights the importance of looking at all of the features of a transfer company before making a final decision. When doing your own research, check the following with each company you're interested in:
- Competitive exchange rate. Small differences in the exchange rate can make a big difference when transferring large amounts of money. This is an area where you could potentially incur losses if you are not careful.
- Little to no fees. Fees can vary greatly depending on the institution and the currencies involved.
- A range of transfer methods. With both the bank and the transfer company, the transfer can be initiated online using a bank account or credit card. Some may insist that you visit an agent and start the transfer in person.
- Convenient pick up methods for your business. In this case you need to take the circumstance of your primary recipient into consideration. In the case study above, for Michael’s wife, who has a small child to look after, not having to make the trip to an agency may be more convenient.
- Reliable customer service. The accessibility of a customer service representative and their dispute handling is also something to consider in the event that something goes wrong.
Ways to send money to the US from Australia
As one of the world's most widely accepted currencies, you will find there is a large number of ways in which you can transfer your money from Australia to the US. Look into these companies to begin your search for the right one for you:
- Money transfer services. There are a large range of services available to send money to the USA, as this is a common destination and a widely traded currency. Because money transfer services conduct a large amount of international trades each day, they are able to secure better rates and lower fees then banks. They are also able to offer a large range of currencies than regular banks.
- Australian banks. The USD is one of the most popular currencies so most, if not all banks will provide this option. Banks also offer products targeted at those making international purchases and transfers, such as the Citibank Plus and the HSBC Multi-Currency Account.
Need an emergency cash transfers in the USA?
Australians also enjoy taking a holiday in the US. If you are travelling and lose your wallet or cash, you have a few ways in which to receive more to finish your vacation:
- Transfer service company. So long as you have your photo identification, a friend or relative in Australia can send you emergency money through a money transfer company.
- Bank transfers. Your Australian bank may be able to transfer you cash to another inside of the US. Check for the fees that will apply with this type of emergency service.
- Credit card. Credit card companies sometimes offer complimentary travel insurance as one of the features for their card. You can call your carrier and ask to use that insurance to replace your lost cash if your insurance policy has been activated.
- Travel Insurance. When flying halfway around the world to vacation or doing business in the US, it is highly recommended that you purchase a travel insurance policy. Depending on your extent of coverage, they may be able to replace your lost or stolen cash.
Cash pick up locations in the US
Listed here are just a handful of the money transfer agents you will find when visiting some of the top cities in the US. If you need to locate another closer to where you are staying, you can easily find that information online.
- Phnom Penh International Travel
109 Lafayette St.
New York, NY 10013Phone. 212 219-2299Open Monday through Friday 10 am to 7 pm Saturday 10 am to 3 pm Sunday 10 am to 5 pm
- Erxcity corp
185 Canal St.
2nd FloorNew York, NY 10013212 625-8339Open 7 days a week from 9 am to 7:30 pm
#3086701 W Cesar E Chavez Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012Phone. 800-925-6278Open This location is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Lian Shing Hong
750 N Hill St #R-S
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone. 213 680-2383Open 7 days a week from 9 am to 6 pm
- Duane Reade
#14102250 Broadway Frnt D
New York, NY 10007Phone. 212 571-4511Open 7 days a week from 8 am until 9 pm
- Downtown Pharmacy
165 William St.
New York, NY 10038
Phone. 212 233-0333Open Monday through Friday 8 am to 6 pm Saturday 10 am to 3 pm Sunday closed
- Federal Photo Studio
201 N Los Angeles St Ste 23
Los Angeles, CA 90012-9807Phone. 213 622-8745Open Monday through Thursday 7 am to 4 pm Friday 7 am to 3:30 pm Saturday and Sunday closed.
- The Redwood Shop
304 W 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90012-3501
Phone. 213 680-4053Open Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm Saturday and Sunday closed.
Tips for picking up cash in the US
When travelling to the US from Australia the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) advises that you maintain normal safety precautions. Even so, you should always be on alert when picking up funds at an agency and travel to the location with someone that you trust.
What documentation do I need?
If you are sending money to the US on a regular basis to cover bills and investments, a bank to bank transfer may be your better choice. However, if you anticipate needing to send money quickly you might want to consider a cash transfer agency. To send money using one of these companies you should make note of the following:
- The recipient's full name. The beneficiary of a cash transfer will need to show photo identification. You have to be sure that the name you put on the order is the same as what shows on the ID.
- Your full name. As an additional security measure the agent may ask for the name of the sender, be sure that the recipient knows your complete name.
- Your recipient's contact information and bank details. Have the address and phone number of the person receiving the person. They should also have this information for you.
- Remember to keep your tracking number. There will be a tracking number given when you initiate the transfer. Your recipient will need to give this to the agent before the cash is released.
The paperwork given to you should be saved just in case there is a problem with the transfer. This will serve as your proof that the money was sent and make it easier to recover the money.
Australia and the US may be on opposite sides of the globe, but they still maintain strong ties with their expat community and trade relations. When getting ready to make your move, do some research to make sure that you find a way to transfer your money conveniently and for a competitive price.