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How To Transfer Money Overseas Cheaply and Fast

Looking for the best solution of transferring Money overseas while you’re traveling or doing business?

It might be a tough job for any individual to find the “best” one.

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place.

In fact, I’ve used several different international money transfer services in the past because I live and work overseas as a foreigner.

Here are 3 most important factors when it comes to a money transfer provider:

  • Speed
  • Exchange Rate (check rate on XE, Google, Yahoo)
  • Transfer Fee

To save you the hassle of what to look out for, we have rounded up the top 9 best money transfer providers available on the market.

Let’s jump into:

9 Best International Money Transfer Providers

The following international money transfer providers are among the safest in the world. They have earned their spot on the 9 best list due to their reputation and customer service, and are on par with the security of the world’s biggest banks.

Name Speed Transfer Fee Exchange Rate
HiFX 1-3 days free high
CurrenciesDirect 1-2 days free high
RationalFX 1-2 days free high
TransferWise 1-4 days low high
currencyfair 2-5 days medium medium
Ria 1-4 days medium medium
Western Union 1-5 days high low
MoneyGram 1-3 days high low
Payoneer 1-4 days medium low

#1 HiFX


HiFX, along with Ria and XE, is part of the company Euronet Worldwide. In 2016 alone, HiFX transacted over £9 billion on behalf of over 100,000 clients in 117 countries. They opened their virtual doors in 1998 and are truly an international organization, providing many advantages to their customers. Not only does HiFX charge zero fees for their services, but they also offer great exchange rates and online payment tracking. As a sender, there is the option to pay by debit card, credit card or bank deposit. Verified by Trustpilot, money can be transferred 24 hours a day, seven days a week to an international bank account at your convenience.

  • The money will arrive in the nominated bank account between 1 to 3 business days.
  • No transfer fees are charged.
  • Customers benefit from competitive exchange rates.
  • There is a £50 minimum transaction amount, and a maximum limit of £300,000 sent via bank transfer.

#2 CurrenciesDirect


Currencies Direct has been in operation since 1996 and is rated level 1 for safety by Dun & Bradstreet. They have 21 offices scattered across London, China, India, South Africa, USA, Portugal, Spain and France. When making a transfer through Currencies Direct, you can expect the funds to be received within a period of between 24 to 48 hours. They offer competitive exchange rates, usually 4% better than traditional banks, and no hidden fees or commissions. Currencies Direct operates on a strict ‘no transfer fees’ policy and is authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority. 100% of Currencies Direct’s transactions are handled free of charge.

  • Transfers can take between 1 to 2 days.
  • There is no transfer fee.
  • They offer extremely bank-beating exchange rates.
  • There is a £100 minimum but no maximum transfer requirement.

#3 RationalFX

rationafx money trasnfer

RationalFX is helpful for same day payments in any currency to anywhere in the world. They guarantee the best possible exchange rate and don’t charge transaction fees or commission fees on their exchange rates. They allow Individual and Corporate clients to lock in their rates in advance, as well as hedging strategies, making your money stretch even further. Based in London, England, and with offices in Europe, RationalFX has been operating in the money market since 2005, now having transacted over 10 Billion USD. Most international money transfers will take between one to two days although you will be notified as soon as the money has been sent to the recipient’s bank account.

  • Transfers can take between 1 to 2 days.
  • There is no transfer fee.
  • They have competitive exchange rates to rival the big banks.
  • There is no minimum or maximum transfer requirement.

#4 TransferWise


TransferWise claims to be up to eight times cheaper than a traditional bank. They have no sneaky hidden exchange rate charges and charge a minimal upfront fee to carry out the transaction. All senders are verified before the bank to bank transactions are made. As they operate solely online, they cannot support cash or cheque payments or in-person pickups. TransferWise recommends using a debit card over a credit card as the transfer fee tends to be lower: from 0 to 2.5%. If you transfer using a credit or bank card, transfers are instantaneous. Bank transfers take longer to process, up to a maximum of four days.

  • The transfer time varies between 15 minutes for debit/credit card transactions and up to 4 days for bank transfers.
  • Transfer costs depend on whether it is a debit/credit card or bank transaction. Debit card fees range from 0 to 2.5%.
  • They offer competitive exchange rates.
  • Customers can send up to $49,999 per day, up to a maximum of $199,999 per year.

#5 currencyfair


currencyfair uses a strict verification system before anyone can send money electronically. The transfer of funds can take between 2 to 5 days depending on the currency being sent. currencyfair is regulated by the Federal Bank of Ireland. They are headquartered in Dublin, with offices in the UK and Australia. They provide a no-fee transaction service when depositing into a currencyfair account although they do charge a small fee when it comes to transferring money out to a nominated bank account. Additional bank fees may apply. currencyfair aims to be completely transparent regarding their exchange rates. These can be determined in advance using their online calculator.

  • Transfers can take between 2 to 5 days.
  • On average you pay just 0.4% of the cash exchanged plus a €3 transfer fee.
  • Their exchange rates are based on a competitive market rate.
  • There is a minimum send amount of $8. There is no maximum limit on their transactions.

#6 Ria

Ria Money Transfer, part of the Euronet Worldwide network, is a favorable option when it comes to sending money overseas. Cash can be sent using a smartphone, tablet or laptop direct from your bank account, credit card or debit card. The method of payment will determine how long the transfer will take and how much it will cost. If sent using a credit or debit card, it can arrive at the specified location within minutes. It can be transferred directly to a bank account, picked up in cash at one of the international Ria offices or even delivered via a courier service to a specific address. Exchange rates can be checked online directly through their price calculator.

  • The transfer time varies from 15 minutes for debit/credit card transactions and up to 4 days for bank transfers.
  • Transfer costs also differ depending on whether it is a debit/credit card or bank transaction.
  • They have competitive exchange rates.
  • You can send a minimum of $1 up to a maximum of $2,999 per day or up to $7,999 per a 30 calendar day period.

#7 Western Union


Western Union is pretty much a household name in the global payment services industry. With over 500,000 agents and 100,000 ATMs and kiosks, you can almost guarantee you can access Western Union regardless of your destination. Sending money through Western Union can be done through their website, on their app, in person at one of their offices, or over the telephone. The receiver can then choose to collect the money in person, receive it directly into the bank, or even have it forwarded to a mobile wallet or a pre-paid Western Union card. Western Union charges for each transaction, up to 10% of the total amount of money transferred.

  • An international money transfer can take anywhere from just a few minutes to up to 5 days if being sent to a bank account.
  • The transfer fee cost is dependent on the transfer method used.
  • Exchange rates are slightly more expensive than market rate.
  • They have a minimum transfer amount of $1 and a maximum limit of $5,000.

#8 MoneyGram

money gram

MoneyGram operates in over 200 countries and has over 350,000 agent locations around the world. Money can be sent online via their website or app, or in-person from a booth or local agent. MoneyGram has been in operation since 1940 and offers convenient transfer options to suit everyone including inmate transfer services. Cash can be collected in person, online or sent direct to a bank. It can also be transferred to a mobile wallet. MoneyGram offers you the choice to pay from your bank account or direct from your debit or credit card. Identities will need to be verified at either end of the transaction.

  • Transactions can be received in as little as 10 minutes taking as long as 3 days.
  • There is a flat rate of $11.50 for amounts between $50 to $900 and a 2% fee for amounts over $900.
  • Competitive exchange rates are offered.
  • They have a minimum transfer amount of $100 with a maximum of $2,999 online or $9,999 via their global agent network.

#9 Payoneer


Payoneer offers a fast and flexible payment system to over 200 countries. If the sender and receiver both have a Payoneer account, then there is no charge to send money from one account to another. The transfer is instantaneous although bank transfers take up to four days to process. Payoneer uses a mid-market exchange rate and applies a currency conversion charge of 2%. Fees vary according to the type of withdrawal method used. Over and above international money transfers, Payoneer can also be used as a billing and payment service. Payoneer deals in limited currencies as follows: AUD, CAD, CNY, EUR, GBP, INR, JPY and USD.

  • International money transfers can take up to four days to process.
  • The transfer fee cost is dependent on the withdrawal method used.
  • They use a mid-market exchange rate and apply a 2% currency charge over and above their standard rate.
  • They have a minimum transfer amount of $20 with no maximum amount imposed.

Who Really Are The Best Money Transfer Providers?

Although I have to admit that offering the free transfer fee service doesn’t make a provider the best money transfer company, it will certainly benefit you. If you’re looking for the best money transfer providers, we highly recommend you to start with:


Currencies Direct


Most of the providers we used performed pretty well, but those are the ones we consistently recommend to our customers and friends looking for free, fast and better exchange rate money transfer services.

Here’s What You Should Consider When Transferring Money Overseas

You wouldn’t just hand your money over to any bank for safekeeping, and the same applies to the providers you entrust to do the transferring of money overseas. Research and comparisons are important for any cash transaction. Before you do any kind of international bank transfer, you must take a few things into consideration.


Not all money transfer companies are created equal, and some are evidently faster than others. You need to take the issue of speed into account, particularly if you are on the other end of the transfer waiting to receive the cash in a hurry. Time may be of the essence, especially if you are unable to access your primary cash supply and are reliant on the transfer of money to book a hotel, purchase your next meal or fly to your next destination. It pays to shop around, so you know exactly how long the cash will take to arrive.

Transfer Fee

Transfer fees vary from company to company, and the sender will generally have to pay over and above the amount they are going to send to the recipient. If you are going to send $200 by international transfer, and the fee to make such a transaction is $20 for instance, then the total of $220 must be paid up front. While in the scheme of things it may sound like a relatively small amount, it is still worth knowing what you are going to pay beforehand to avoid any nasty surprises. You don’t want to be caught off guard and leave the recipient short of money.

Exchange Rate

Having some knowledge of the current exchange rate can work to your advantage as this area can highlight some hidden expenses you may not be aware of. Some providers charge their customers higher exchange rates to increase their profit on money being sent internationally. If you are not aware of the exchange rate on the day of the transaction, then you may in all likelihood, be charged over and above the standard rate. A quick search online should be able to bring up the latest rates to use as your base guide to ensure you are getting a fair deal.


If the company you use to send the money is reputable, then safety will not be a concern. Due to strict rules and regulations and a requirement to show photo ID or other documentation on the receiving end, the money will arrive as anticipated. An international money transfer is a popular way to send money because the money cannot be rerouted or picked up by a third party. A money transfer offers more security than a cheque and can only be cancelled under the strictest of circumstances. It is no wonder that more and more people are opting to use the safety and security of money via this method.

So Who Might Benefit From Transferring Money Abroad?

Transferring cash overseas can benefit many individuals. While problems such as being stuck in a foreign country without being able to access your main supply of funds or the inability to open a bank account upon arrival to a new country still occur, they are made easier thanks to significant technological banking achievements.

International Students

For students living and studying abroad, international money transfers enable parents to send money to their children quickly and easily. Transferring money overseas through non-traditional banking methods can often save a great deal on international bank fees. It also has the added benefit of helping those who are trying to live comfortably on a student-sized budget. Money transfers take the fear out of sending students abroad, as both students and parents can rest safely in the knowledge that they can access money without unnecessary hassle or time-consuming hoops to jump through. Payments can be sent using the original currency and be received in the destination currency without undue stress.


Moving to a new country indefinitely is no easy task. In fact, it can be a bureaucratic nightmare. Until you have all the paperwork complete, and dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s, it can be difficult even to contemplate opening a bank account or accessing your funds. That is where international money transfers come in handy. Just by having a trustworthy person on standby during the interim period between moving and settling can save a lot of the concern that comes with a permanent move. It also aids in the ability to send money back home to cover a mortgage or to send payments to those who have not yet immigrated or are not intending to travel abroad.


Being able to access your funds wherever you travel is essential, and it is necessary that you have more than one bank card to access your bank account. Long-term and seasoned travelers understand more than anyone that sometimes bank cards will not work or even worse, banks put a hold on your card until you return to your home country to sort it out. Being able to receive money transfers while you are on the road, or until you find a working ATM, is all part and parcel of traveling. Ensuring you have cash options is what modern travel is all about.

Traders For Business

Because of the internet, the world has become a lot smaller. SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and international business traders are now doing business in all corners of the globe. The ability to send international money transfers to China or Thailand to cover the cost of products and services has opened up global trade. You can now browse the internet for a particular product and pay via international money transfer in less than the time it used to take to fly to a far-flung destination. Small businesses all over the world are thriving because of the ease of international trade.


Assess your personal situation carefully and choose which method will work best for your circumstances.

Some global money providers offer instant payments, while others may take up to five days to transfer the money internationally.

Whichever company you decide to use, the convenience of the service is undoubtedly worth any transfer fees you may need to pay.

In our review, we came to a conclusion that you can’t go wrong with:

  • HiFX
  • Currencies Direct
  • RationalFX

The post How To Transfer Money Overseas Cheaply and Fast appeared first on Moving2NZ | Study, work and live guides for anyone moving to New Zealand.

This post first appeared on Moving To New Zealand, please read the originial post: here

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