6 Best Ways to Send Money Internationally


If you’re looking for the best ways to send money internationally, you’re likely focused on cost, speed, and security. Our guide dives straight into a comparative analysis of leading services, helping you find a fit for your specific needs with minimal fuss. Compare the convenience of modern methods against traditional services and discover the right choice for your international transfers.

Key Takeaways

  • Wise, OFX, and Western Union are among the top services for international money transfers, each with unique features like low transfer fees, large transfer limits, and expansive country coverage.
  • Speed and cost-effectiveness are key when choosing an international money transfer service, taking into consideration factors such as fees, exchange rates, transfer speed, payment and delivery options, and customer support.
  • Alternative methods for sending money internationally include cryptocurrency transactions and digital payment platforms, which can offer advantages like faster transfer times, improved security, and the elimination of traditional banking intermediaries.

1. Wise (formerly TransferWise)

For those seeking to transfer money internationally, Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, offers an efficient and cost-effective solution. Here are some key features of Wise:

  • Low transfer fees
  • Competitive exchange rates
  • Seamless way of sending money across borders
  • Minimizes high international transfer fees by routing money using local bank systems

Wise provides a seamless and affordable option for international money transfers.

Moreover, Wise offers a unique feature – a borderless multi-currency account. This account allows users to store funds in multiple currencies and handle payments with local bank details in specific regions. It’s almost like having a local bank account in numerous countries, making it a convenient option for frequent travelers or those with international financial commitments.

2. OFX

Another robust platform for international money transfers is OFX. It stands out for providing a fee-free solution for individuals looking to perform larger money transfers internationally. With OFX, customers can create an account online or via the app, verify their identity, and start transferring money. It’s as simple as that.

OFX also has an extensive reach, supporting international money transfers to over 190 countries. This wide coverage caters to a wide range of users with versatile transfer needs. The platform sets a minimum transfer amount at $1,000 and does not define a maximum, making it a suitable option for both individuals and businesses requiring various transfer sizes.

3. Western Union

Western Union, one of the oldest and most recognized names in money transfers, is another reliable choice for international money transfers. The platform offers transfers to over 200 countries, meaning you can send money virtually anywhere in the world.

The speed of Western Union’s transfers can vary. Transfers to a local Western Union branch can be completed in just minutes, while international transfers to a bank account typically take 4 to 8 days. Furthermore, Western Union has an extensive network that allows for cash pickups in many of its serviced countries, providing added convenience for the recipients. However, it’s essential to note that the fees for sending money internationally with Western Union vary depending on the destination and delivery method.

4. Xoom

Xoom, a PayPal service, is another excellent option for international money transfers. One of Xoom’s standout features is the variety of funding options it offers. Users can fund their transfers using bank accounts, debit/credit cards, and PayPal accounts, providing flexibility in the way to send money.

Moreover, Xoom offers a high daily transfer limit, capped at $50,000. This makes it an ideal platform for users who need to make large transfers, whether for business transactions or substantial personal commitments.

5. MoneyGram

MoneyGram is a long-standing player in the realm of international money transfers. It allows users to send up to $10,000 in one transfer, making it a suitable option for larger transactions. What’s more, transferring money to a bank account internationally through MoneyGram typically incurs lower fees compared to other transaction types, which can result in significant cost savings.

In addition to its cost-effective transfers, MoneyGram offers the following features:

  • Same-day delivery for international money transfers
  • Fast transaction speeds
  • Ability to send money internationally and have it arrive within the same day

These features are a boon for users needing quick and efficient money transfers.

6. Bitcoin

In the digital age, cryptocurrency, specifically Bitcoin, has emerged as a novel way to send money internationally. Bitcoin transactions are fast, secure, and not bound by traditional banking limitations. To use Bitcoin for international money transfers, you would:

  1. Deposit your fiat currency (government-issued currency, like dollars, euros, and yen) onto a Bitcoin platform.
  2. Buy Bitcoin.
  3. Send the Bitcoin to your recipient.
  4. The recipient then sells the Bitcoin for fiat currency on a Bitcoin platform.
  5. The recipient withdraws the fiat currency to their bank account.

While Bitcoin transactions may seem complicated to those unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies, they offer several advantages. Bitcoin transactions can be completed quickly, often within minutes, offering a faster alternative to traditional international transfers that can take several days.

Moreover, Bitcoin transactions can be conducted from anywhere, as long as you have internet access and a crypto wallet. This can be particularly useful for individuals lacking access to traditional banking services.

woman on laptop

Factors to Consider When Choosing an International Money Transfer Service

When selecting a service provider for international money transfers, there are several factors that can significantly impact the efficiency, cost, and convenience of your transfers. These factors include:

  • The fees and exchange rates offered by the service
  • The speed of transfer
  • The available payment and delivery options
  • The quality of customer support

Continuously reviewing and comparing the costs, services, and features of different money transfer providers can ensure that users receive the most favorable deals over time. However, it’s also essential to consider the specific needs of the transfer location and required features, as these can vary depending on the countries involved and the recipient’s circumstances.

Fees and Charges

When sending money internationally, it’s essential to be aware of the various fees involved. International money transfers typically involve upfront fees, which can be a flat rate or vary by amount sent and destination, as well as receiving fees and currency exchange fees. Therefore, to avoid incurring extra fees, individuals should consider using methods like bundling money into larger transfers to reduce transaction fees and be aware of extra charges that can add to the cost.

The cost of an international transfer is also influenced by several components of the exchange rate, including the rate given by the provider alongside the mid-market rate and exchange rate markups that providers add for profit. Comparing providers is essential to minimize costs. Companies that offer low or no upfront fees, like OFX, or with lower exchange rate markups, often result in more economical transfers.

Speed of Transfer

The speed of the transfer is a critical component, particularly for immediate necessities like healthcare expenses or tuition payments. International money transfers can take anywhere from minutes to three to five days, depending on the service provider. For example, OFX typically completes transactions in one to three business days, while Xoom offers transfers that can arrive within minutes.

Moreover, most international money transfer services allow users to track the status of their transaction via email notifications, SMS updates, or online or app tracking features. However, it’s important to note that the speed of funds transfer can be slowed down by the SWIFT network as funds may travel through multiple banks, with typical international wire transfer taking one to three days to complete.

On the other hand, cryptocurrency transactions can significantly expedite the international money transfer process, often completing within minutes.

Payment and Delivery Options

The choice of payment and delivery options can significantly impact the cost and convenience of international money transfers. Bank account transfers can be facilitated through traditional wire transfer methods or by using services like Wise, which connects to local bank systems to minimize international transfer fees and directly deposit the funds into the recipient’s bank account. Customers can also fund their international transfers using a credit or debit card, with debit cards often incurring lower fees.

Another aspect to consider is the delivery options. Wise, for instance, provides flexible routing options for different currencies, catering to a broader range of countries and enhancing delivery versatility. Therefore, when selecting a money transfer service, review the available payment and delivery options and choose the one that best fits your specific needs and circumstances.

Customer Support

The quality of customer support is an essential factor when choosing an international money transfer service. When dealing with international money transfers, various issues can arise during transactions, and having reliable customer support can make a significant difference in the user experience.

For instance, OFX offers a 24/7 support line and a helpful website FAQ for addressing customer issues at any time. On the other hand, Xoom provides customer service from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET is available in multiple languages and provides support through email. The online platform includes clear cost calculators and FAQs to assist users. In addition, its mobile apps have received high ratings from users.

Tips for Saving Money on International Transfers

When sending money abroad, everyone wants to maximize their money’s value and minimize costs. The World Bank states the average transaction cost for remittances is around 7%, with fees higher in some regions; comparing rates on different platforms and setting rate alerts can offer savings.

Moreover, direct deposits into the recipient’s bank account are usually the cheapest way to send money overseas, making them a cost-effective option to consider when looking to send money internationally.

Sending larger amounts in batches can also be more efficient, as it helps avoid fixed fees taking up a significant portion of the total amount transferred. Using specific mobile apps for international transfers, like the Wise mobile app, can offer cheaper fees, easy access to historical exchange rates, and the ability to repeat previous transfers, further saving costs and enhancing convenience.

Safety and Security Measures for International Money Transfers

In today’s interconnected world, ensuring safety and security in international money transfers is paramount. Using reputable providers like Wise offers a good starting point, as they:

  • Secure customer funds in established financial institutions
  • Maintain transparency in the handling of personal data
  • Employ security measures like two-factor authentication to enhance the safety of transfers

By choosing a provider like Wise, you can have peace of mind knowing that your money transfers are secure.

Moreover, dedicated anti-fraud teams, like the one at Wise, work continuously to protect user accounts and transactions from sophisticated fraud attempts. Encrypted communication is also critical in international money transfers to ensure the security of sensitive information like banking details.

Alternatives to Traditional International Money Transfers

In addition to traditional methods, there are several alternatives for international money transfers that offer unique benefits. Crypto remittance, for instance, eliminates the need for intermediaries like banks, often leading to faster and cheaper transfers. The process involves converting fiat currency into cryptocurrency for the transaction, and once received, the recipient converts it back into their local currency.

Digital payment providers offer another alternative, providing faster and more secure methods for international money transfers compared to traditional methods. Some benefits of using digital payment platforms for international money transfers include:

  • Faster transfer times
  • More secure transactions
  • Ability to track transactions in real-time
  • Convenient and efficient option

These features make digital payment platforms a popular choice for international money transfers.


In this ever-shrinking global village, the need for reliable, efficient, and cost-effective international money transfers is undeniable. Whether it’s Wise with its low fees and multi-currency account, OFX with its fee-free large transfers, or Bitcoin with its fast and secure transactions, there are several options available, each with its unique features and benefits.

Consider various factors when choosing a service, such as fees, transfer speed, payment and delivery options, and customer support, to find the best fit for your needs. By comparing different providers, considering alternative methods, and employing practical tips, you can ensure that your money transfers are as efficient, cost-effective, and secure as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some reliable international money transfer services?

You can consider using Wise (formerly TransferWise), OFX, Xoom, MoneyGram, Western Union, or Bitcoin for reliable international money transfers. These options offer secure and efficient services for transferring funds internationally.

What factors should I consider when choosing a money transfer service?

When choosing a money transfer service, consider factors such as fees, transfer speed, payment and delivery options, and customer support for a well-informed decision.

How can I save money on international transfers?

To save money on international transfers, compare rates, bundle transfers, use direct deposits, and opt for providers with low or no upfront fees. This can help you avoid unnecessary costs and get the best value for your money.

Are international money transfers secure?

Yes, international money transfers are secure when using reputable providers with safety measures like two-factor authentication and encrypted communication.

Are there alternatives to traditional money transfers?

Yes, alternatives to traditional money transfers include crypto remittance and digital payment providers.

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