8 Ways to Send Cheap International Money Transfers in 2023

cheap international money transfers

People around the world transfer incredible amounts of money every year. They have also used traditional methods such as bank drafts, money orders, and checks for many years. However, this is changing in today’s technology-driven world.

There are now many faster electronic methods that you can use to transfer money between accounts, states, and countries.

Fintech companies have continuously developed platforms and services that make sending money from one individual to another cheaper and much faster.

Here are some of the cheapest ways of sending and receiving money internationally. Of course, most of them will also work outside of the United States. 

1. Wise 

wise
  • Free online account
  • International bank details
  • Send money to more than 70 countries, always with a low and transparent fee
  • Direct Debits in the UK, Europe, and the US
  • Spend in local currency with your card
  • Receive your salary, pension, and more
  • Pay at the real exchange rate
  • Pay online securely with instant notifications
  • Use your card in more than 200 countries and withdraw money from 2.3 million ATMs

Wise is still the cheapest and fastest way to send money transfers abroad. While they don’t do free transfers, they have a very transparent fee structure that allows you to see how much money the recipient is getting and how much the transfer will cost. 

Unlike banks, Wise doesn’t charge an exorbitant exchange rate markup.

Their rates are competitive and much cheaper than banks and other money transfer services. Wise supports 52 currencies and lets you send money to 70 countries.

There are many ways to fund transfers, including:

  • Debit card
  • Credit card
  • Wire transfer
  • ACH
  • SWIFT
  • Google Pay, or Apple Pay

On top of this, there are also location-specific methods in some regions. The transfer limits mostly differ depending on the country and the currency being used.

With over 15 million personal and business users worldwide, the company is popular mainly because it delivers cash with speed for a low cost. 

If you fund a transfer via debit or credit card, the transaction is processed immediately, and funds get dispatched on the same day, while bank-to-bank transfers can take 2 to 5 business days.

I recommend Wise for people who are sending up to $10,000. For transfers larger than that, see the next company on my list. 

2. OFX 

  • Make transfers to over 170 countries
  • No maximum
  • Minimum of $1,000
  • 50+ currencies available
  • 24/7 real-person support
  • Listed on the Australian Stock Exchange
  • Fix FX rates for up to 12 months
  • Send and accept multi-currency payments

OFX is a money transfer service is a licensed and regulated provider with offices around the world that lets you send money to more than 170 countries in 50+ currencies via its website and mobile app. 

While OFX doesn’t accept transfers lower than $1,000, it also doesn’t have a maximum amount.

OFX has an advantage over other providers when it comes to large transfers because the fees become better as the transfer amount increases. They also don’t charge transfer fees and offer better rates than their competitors. 

Plus, your money is safe with OFX, as more than 50 regulators monitor the service worldwide. 

The company has physical offices in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Therefore, if you need assistance in these regions, you are more likely to get it faster.

Although they have cheap bank-to-bank transfers, their transfer speed is slower than other alternatives. Therefore, this is a good platform if your recipient is not too concerned about speed and can wait for the cash for a few days.

OFX makes registering for its service pretty simple. Once you verify your identification, you can lock in your transfer and select the currency you are using. You can use the app or website to confirm and monitor your transactions.

They are not the cheapest option if you need to send small transfers; hence, you should only choose this alternative when you have a larger transfer.

However, they do have different transfer types that can help you save money:

  • Spot transfer (send money at today’s fx rate)
  • Limit order (target a rate)
  • Forward contract (fix a future date)

Forward Contracts can help protect you against a future price change because you’re locking in a rate for an agreed amount between two days to 12 months. 

RELATED: OFX Vs. Wise (What Is Better For Your Transfers)

3. CurrencyFair

currencyfair transfers
  • Low-cost transfers
  • Set your own rate
  • Live conversion rate
  • Multi-currency account
  • Business accounts

CurrencyFair is another great option for sending cheap international transfers. This transfer service keeps the fees low with its peer-to-peer (P2P) platform, giving you control over the exchange rate.

CurrencyFair accepts registrations from 62 countries and allows you to send funds to over 150 countries. This service has the edge over many other services because it offers two ways of sending money:

  • YP2P transfers to process transactions directly, and swap money with others 
  • Bank transfers

P2P transfers have a lower exchange rate, which is, of course, good for you as the transfer will be very affordable. The P2P rates are very competitive, especially for smaller transfers.

Though it has a more extensive base for recipient countries, it supports 38 currencies when sending and receiving money. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support some location-specific funding and transfer methods.

On the other hand, CurrencyFair has an excellent app that lets you send money on the go. 

The CurrencyFair transfer speed is 2-5 business days for bank transfers, while debit card transactions are processed immediately and transfers are completed in 1-2 days.

4. WorldRemit

worldremit transfers
  • Send 90 currencies to 150 countries
  • WorldRemit Wallet
  • Fast transfers
  • Great fees
  • Cash pickup
  • A good few ways to send and receive money

WorldRemit supports more than 90 countries, offers versatile payment options, and is a great all-rounder for affordable money transfers. 

WorldRemit is a good choice for most international money transfers. You can choose from more than a hundred countries and several dozen currencies. Their service is easy to use, and you can set up an account very quickly.

The company supports secure bank transfers, cash pick-ups, mobile wallet transfers, and airtime top-ups.

Although it might not be the most cost-effective, depending on where you’re sending money, it does offer a transparent exchange rate, so you know just how much you’re paying. 

But if you’re more worried about getting it done quickly and easily from your smartphone, WorldRemit is a safe and reliable choice.

The service is also one of the best in terms of speed. Most money transfers are instant, and the swiftness will change depending on the means of transfer.

For countries with a mobile money service, this option is perfect. It works on smartphones but also on basic phones.

5. Xoom

xoom transfers
  • Owned by PayPal
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Clear, upfront pricing
  • 130+ countries
  • Send cash for pick up or home delivery
  • Pay international bills
  • Reload a prepaid mobile phone

Xoom was acquired by PayPal in 2015. It’s also a good alternative to PayPal as it has more payment options. Namely, Xoom supports mobile top-ups, cash payouts, and home delivery in some locations.

The company lets you send money in the following ways:

  • Bank transfer 
  • Send to debit cards 
  • Have cash delivered 
  • Send cash for a pickup

As you can see, the recipient doesn’t need to have a bank account because of the alternative payout methods.

With Xoom, you can remit money at up to three different levels. Each level has a maximum amount of money you can send within a specific time. Limits depend on where you live, how the money is received, and the different partner limits for almost every country.

LEVEL24-hour limit30-day limit180-day limit
12,999 USD6,000 USD9,999 USD
210,000 USD20,000 USD30,000 USD
350,000 USD60,000 USD100,000 USD

Bank deposit maximums when sending from the US

Xoom offers cheaper money transfers than international bank wire transfers as its exchange rate markups are lower and make it easier to transfer money to any of the 130 countries where the service is available.

If you prefer, you can use Xoom desktop to make transfers or use the app on the go.

6. Remitly

  • First-time transfer promotions
  • Easy to understand and send money
  • Delivery promise
  • Delivered by a specified time or the fees are refunded
  • Many delivery options
  • Track your transfer by email and text

Remitly offers a good range of countries and currencies to choose from. Because of that, there’s a good chance your country is supported.

With the Remitly money transfer app, you will find four ways of sending money to your family:

  • Bank deposit
  • Cash pickup
  • Mobile money
  • Home delivery

In fact, Remitly supports 100+ receiving countries and 28 sending countries. You’ll find thousands of locations for sending money home in countries like the Philippines, Mexico, and India. 

Remitly’s fees are similar to those of its competitors. There’s usually a $4 fixed fee, depending on the country you’re sending money from and to and the payment option. However, money transfers made with a credit card will always have a 3% fee.

The firm also offers a bank account and Visa card called Passbook that’s created specifically for immigrants living and working in the United States. 

It comes with no fees maintenance fees, no minimum balance, no overdraft fees, fee-free ATM withdrawals, free transfers, and more. 

The best thing about it is that you can use your passport, US Visa, or Matricula Consular to open the account, meaning that you don’t have to have a Social Security Number to join.

7. TorFX

torfx transfers
  • Available in 110+ countries
  • Supports 60 currencies
  • Exceptional ratings from clients
  • No hidden fees
  • Personal and business accounts
  • Highest credit rating

TorFX is great for personal and business transfers. It offers flexible options which come with personalized services. It also has a good platform for setting up repetitive payments every month.

This money transfer service is also ranked very highly for customer support. Since it’s very telephone-oriented, you’ll be assigned a particular account manager to guide you on your transactions on the platform.

TorFX is affordable because they don’t charge any fixed fees, but they will add a markup on the exchange rate. 

You can also secure a reasonable transfer rate for your personal or business account by talking to your account manager. Their role is to help you initiate transfers, especially larger business transactions.

TorFX is indeed best suited for larger money transfers as exchange rates become unfavorable if you transfer amounts below $2,000.

8. Paysend

  • Transfer money to over 170 countries
  • Fixed fee
  • Paysend link
  • Instant processing
  • Paysend Global account
  • Paysend Smartcard
  • Business accounts

Paysend is a relatively new fintech company from London, England, that offers global money transfers for personal and business purposes.

Business accounts aren’t available in the US as of yet, nor is their multi-currency account. 

Paysend, on the other side, offers cheap transfers to 120 countries for as little as $2. While it does have limited bank account transfers in specific EU countries and some in Asia, its card transfers are much wider-reaching and accessible.

Card transfer fees typically look like this:

  • 2.00 USD from the US
  • 3.00 CAD from Canada
  • 1.50 EUR from Eurozone
  • 1.00 GBP from the UK
  • 3.00 AUD from Australia
  • 2.00 CHF from Switzerland

Is PayPal a Good Way of Sending Money Abroad?

PayPal offers convenient, relatively cheap, and instant money transfers, domestically or internationally, making it a good choice for sending money. You can use this alternative if both you and the recipient have a PayPal account.

This service supports 25 different currencies across the world. And although they charge a high conversion fee on the exchange rate, including fixed fees, the fixed costs are not that high. 

When using this platform, keep in mind that it becomes more expensive as the amounts increase.

PayPal is convenient for both individuals and businesses. While it has more than 429 million active individual accounts worldwide, its biggest limitation is that transactions are limited to PayPal-to-PayPal money transfers.

Having said that, PayPal is often the default way of paying and getting paid because it’s so widespread. 

Once you sign up, you can use the app or website to make your international transfers.

READ NEXT: Wise Vs. PayPal (Low Fees Vs. More Features)

Conclusion

Each provider has different options and rates depending on the amount sent and the country of destination. 

To determine the cheapest way to send cash internationally, it’s essential to calculate the transfer fees, transaction charges, and exchange rates directly on their website.

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