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send money to the USA

The cheapest way to send money to the USA

Compare online money transfers for the cheapest way to send money online from Australia to the US.

For a cost-effective way to send money to the United States, it’s best to keep an eye out for services offering the following:

  • Zero transfer fees. You can’t get lower than that.
  • The best rates. Investigate brands that guarantee to beat any competitor’s exchange rate.

We’ve assembled a list of these services so you can compare the cheapest method to send money from Australia to the USA.

International Money Transfer Offer

TorFX International Money Transfers

  • 0% commission and no fees
  • Segregated accounts
  • Fast, free money transfers
  • Free market updates

International Money Transfer Offer

TorFX guarantee to match any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction. Conditions apply.
Send money overseas in 45 currencies. Once registered, you'll be assigned an Account Manager who can provide support and guidance.

  • Minimum transfer amount: $200
  • Online transfer fee: $0
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Compare your options to transfer funds to the USA

*The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products finder.com.au has access to and are 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.

Watch our video to learn how money transfers work

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How to send money to the US from Australia

There are generally three different transfer methods:

  • Money transfer services. These offer some of the most cost-effective transfers as they only trade in foreign currencies.
  • Australian banks. The US dollar is one of the most popular currencies, so it’s safe to assume that any major bank will offer it. Certain products, such as the Citibank Plus Account and the HSBC Multi-Currency Account, have more competitive terms.
  • Cash transfers. Services such as Western Union allow you to send cash transfers for immediate pickup by the recipient. While it’s a fast way to send money, it generally won’t match the rates or fees of dedicated money transfer services.

How do I compare transfer companies when transferring money to the US?

Comparing transfer companies and banks could save you money, when you consider the following:

  • Competitive exchange rates. Small differences in the exchange rate can have a big impact when transferring large amounts of money.
  • Minimal fees. Fees may vary depending on the institution and the currency involved.
  • A range of transfer methods. Both banks and transfer companies offer online transfers using a bank account or credit card. However, some may advise you to visit an agent and start the transfer in person.
  • Convenient pickup methods. Whether it’s a personal or business transfer, it’s important to consider the circumstance of your primary recipient.
  • Reliable customer service. The accessibility of a customer service representative is also worth considering in the event that something goes wrong.

Banks vs money transfer services

Michael travels to Australia for work purposes while his family remains in the USA. He needs to send money to his wife but discovers bank transfer fees are high and the exchange rates aren’t competitive. The following table compares rates from one of Australia’s big banks with a real money transfer service as of June 2017.

Bank Money transfer service
Exchange rateUS$0.714 = AUD$1US$0.753 = AUD$1
Transfer feeAUD$22 to the sender. There is also AUD$11 charged to the receiverAUD$0
Transfer speed 2-4 business days2 business days
Transfer options Bank to bankBank to bank
US dollars received for AUD$5000US$3539US$3763
Difference in funds received+US$224

What's the difference?

By using a money transfer service, Michael has saved US$224. Note, this example is fictional.

Need an emergency cash transfer in the USA?

If you misplace your wallet or cash while travelling in the USA, there are several ways to receive more money and finish your vacation:

  • Transfer service company. A friend or relative in Australia can send you emergency money through a transfer company, but you must provide photo identification.
  • Bank transfers. Your Australian bank may be able to do an internal transfer to a US bank account, but fees will apply for this emergency service.
  • Credit card. Some credit card companies offer complimentary travel insurance as a card feature. Contact your provider if your insurance policy has been activated and use that insurance to replace your lost cash.
  • Travel Insurance. Depending on the extent of your coverage, the lost or stolen money could be replaced.

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. You should always be on alert when picking up funds at an agency and travel to the location with someone you trust.

What documentation do I need?

A bank-to-bank transfer is ideal if you’re regularly sending money to the US to cover bills and investments. However, if you need to send money quickly, it’s worth considering a cash transfer agency and making note of the following:

  • The recipient's full name. The beneficiary of a cash transfer will need to show photo identification, so make sure the name on the order is the same as the name on the ID.
  • Your full name. As an additional security measure, the agent may ask for the full name of the sender. Be sure that the recipient knows your complete name.
  • Your recipient's contact information and bank details. Both the sender and the recipient must have each other's address and contact details.
  • The tracking number. Keep the tracking number given to you upon sending the transfer as the recipient must provide this to the agent before the cash can be released.

Save all paperwork in case there’s a problem with the transfer. This serves as proof that the money was sent and will make it easier to recover. While Australia and the US are on opposite sides of the globe, they still maintain strong ties in their expat community and trade relations. When preparing your move, research the best ways to transfer money for both convenience and a competitive price.

International Money Transfer Offers

Important Information*
TorFX International Money Transfers

TorFX guarantee to match any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction. Conditions apply.
Send money overseas in 45 currencies. Once registered, you'll be assigned an Account Manager who can provide support and guidance.

OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers

Transfer any amount from $250 upwards. $0 transfer fee on transfers over AU$10,000, $15 flat fee applies otherwise. 24-hour customer service available with a local support team.

WorldFirst International Money Transfers

Access live rates, currency converter and market updates via the WorldFirst Money Transfer mobile app. No transfer fees for personal or business customers.

FC Exchange International Money Transfers

FC Exchange will match any competitor's exchange rates. Conditions apply.
No transfer fee when transferring more than £10,000 or equivalent. Send money in over 130 currencies. No maximum transfer amount.

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6 Responses

  1. 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.


  2. 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?

    • Staff
      DanielleJuly 12, 2017Staff

      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.


  3. Default Gravatar
    May 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?

    • Staff
      JodieMay 28, 2015Staff

      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.


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