How to get the best exchange rate on international money transfers

Learn some tips and tricks which will help you get the most for your Australian dollars.

Promoted

TorFX

TorFX logo
  • Low fees
  • Next-day delivery to most countries
  • 24/7 secure online transactions
Go to site

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

The best exchange rates help you get more foreign currency for your dollars. Understanding how to exchange money can make all the difference when it comes to trying to save money. We compared dozens of ways to exchange money and found that the best methods typically avoid banks and in-person exchange kiosks.

How to find the best exchange rates

When transferring funds internationally or exchanging currency for a trip overseas, you will want to get the most bang for your buck. So here's our top tips on how to get the best exchange rates possible:

Do

  • Use money transfer specialists: Providers like OFX, Wise and similar online money transfer services offer competitive exchange rates and lower margins. If you are sending money overseas, these companies typically charge lower fees than traditional banks.
  • Convert cash when rates are favourable: If you know you need to make an international transfer or you will be traveling overseas, then try to exchange your cash when rates are favourable to you. Carry out your conversion at an exchange provider that charges low fees and has a competitive rate, and you'll benefit by saving money.

Don't

  • Exchange money at airports or train stations: Although it's convenient, they never offer the best exchange rates. You will find they take advantage of people's need to exchange their money and charge highly for the convenience.
  • Use a credit or debit card abroad: Unless you know for sure, your card will most likely charge fees for use abroad and offer poor exchange rates.

How to get the best exchange rate on international money transfers

If you plan to use an international money transfer service, then it's best to shop around and compare your options. The more time you can leave yourself before needing to send the transfer the better. Here are a few things to think about when comparing money transfer exchange rates:

  • Know the mid-market rate for your currency. Money transfer providers skew exchange rates in their favour. Therefore it is best to use the mid-market rate as a baseline and see who is offering a fair exchange rate.
  • Compare providers. Use our table to compare online providers. It is also worth getting quotes from a few providers and seeing which offers the better deal.
  • Skip the bank. The bank is not your friend in this situation, as they almost always offer weaker exchange rates.
  • Use transfer tools to save money. Consider using recurring payments, forward contracts and limit orders to get a stronger exchange rate.
  • Send larger amounts. You will find that many money transfer providers offer stronger exchange rates for larger transfers. If you send more than $10,000 with OFX you will skip any transfer fees.

How to monitor exchange rates?

One of the ways to save yourself money is carrying out your conversion when the exchange rate is most favourable. If you know in advance you will be sending money abroad or travelling overseas, then you should monitor currency trends ahead of time. Take a look at our live currency converter to see what exchange rate you would get for converting your cash today.

Market demand dictates how much one currency is worth compared to another - this is known as the mid-market rate. It is also the rate that banks use to trade money with one another.

When you convert money through a money transfer service, you will typically find that the provider adds a margin on top of the exchange rate to make money. So it is worth keeping this in mind when you are monitoring exchange rates.
Select the currency pair to fit your needs

1
0

Compare exchange rates of money transfer services

Our table below lets you compare services you can use to send money abroad. Compare fees, exchange rates and discounts from different money transfer services, and when you have made your choice, click Go to site.