How to send money overseas from Australia

Discover the most affordable way to send money overseas from Australia.

Promoted

TorFX

TorFX logo
  • No transfer fees
  • Price match guarantee
  • Dedicated account manager assigned to you
  • Forex tools available
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!

Your bank might be the natural place you turn to when sending a wire transfer overseas but that doesn't mean it's the best option. Money transfer services specialise in one thing: sending money around the world and compared to Australian banks, these providers tend to have lower fees, stronger exchange rates and more options to send and receive cash.

Best ways to transfer money internationally

Here’s a rundown of your options for sending money overseas from Australia:

Online money transfer services

These specialists typically offer cheaper international transfers than banks, allowing you to quickly and easily manage your transactions from home. With competitive exchange rates and lower fees, you can send funds from your bank account. Many also allow you to pay with a credit or debit card.

Bank transfers

Many major Australian banks can safely transfer your funds to countries around the world. Banks rely on existing links between banks and banking systems worldwide and it'll often be called a telegraphic transfer. However, two downsides are the high fees and the weaker exchange rates you'll often receive in comparison to other transfer options.

Cash pickup

Cash pickup services can be a convenient and fast way to get your money around the world. And a particularly useful option if your recipient doesn’t have a bank account. Western Union and MoneyGram offer cash pickups - sometimes within minutes. Once processed, your recipient generally has instant access to the funds at a specific location.

International money order

You can get an international money order, similar to a cheque, issued by your bank or select Australia Post Offices and mailed to your recipient. There’s usually a charge for the printed money order and you’ll have to pay the amount you wish to send upfront. While your money orders can be issued and sent straight away, they may take some time to reach your recipient. Your recipient may be charged a fee by their own bank when it comes to cashing in the money order you sent.

PayPal

It is not just for online purchases, PayPal offers transfers to more than 200 countries and supports multiple currencies. This is useful if you and your recipient both have PayPal accounts. Its exchange rates are often better than those you'll get from a bank but not quite as strong as rates from money transfer services. PayPal calculates its transfer fee as a percentage of the amount you're sending - meaning it's often better for sending smaller amounts of money.

Bitcoin

Though complex, it’s possible to use Bitcoin to send money overseas. You and your recipient both require Bitcoin wallets. You can load your wallet with AUD that is then converted to Bitcoin and transferred to your recipient overseas via a decentralised network. Your recipient then receives your Bitcoin in their wallet and can convert and withdraw it in their chosen currency. However, the value of Bitcoin can be volatile, and there may be additional risks associated with using it for money transfers.

Compare money transfer services to help you send money overseas

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.
1 - 20 of 22
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
TorFX
24 hours
$0
TorFX sends money overseas in 40+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Send Payments
24 hours
$0
$100 cashback voucher for new registered users trading over 25k AUD within 30 days of registering in March. T&Cs apply.
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 50+ currencies.
Revolut
Within minutes
$0
Sign up and get $15 top-up after completing your first transaction
Send money without fees in 25+ fiat currencies Monday to Friday.
Western Union
Within minutes
From $0
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
Rocket Remit
Within minutes
From $0 to $5
Send money instantly to friends and family in over 45 countries using just your mobile number.
Instarem
Within minutes
From 0%
Use code FINDER20X2 to get $20 off your first two transfers.
Minimum transfer of $250 and max transfer of $500,000
TorFX
24 hours
$0
TorFX sends money overseas in 40+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Wise (TransferWise)
Within minutes
From 0.41%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
See terms and conditions for more information.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
SingX
Within minutes
From 0.5%
Pay no fees on your first two transfers, up to $3,000.
SingX offers the real exchange rate every time you make a transfer and can help you send money across the world.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 50+ currencies.
CurrencyFair
Within minutes
€3
New customers get unlimited fee-free transfers for their first 3 months. T&Cs apply.
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
WorldRemit
Within minutes
From $0.99
Use promo code 3FREE and pay no fees on your first 3 transfers. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Send Payments
24 hours
$0
Send guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
SingX For Large Transfers
Within minutes
From 0.5%
Pay no fees on your first two transfers, up to $3,000.
SingX offers the real exchange rate every time you make a transfer and can help you send money across the world.
Qantas Business Money
Within minutes
$0
Earn up to 100,000 bonus Qantas Points on your first conversions by 31 July. That's on top of 1 Qantas Point per every AUD$10 equivalent you transfer into foreign currencies. T&Cs apply.
Set up accounts in 11 different currencies and get rewarded for global business payments by earning Qantas Points.
WorldFirst Business Transfers
24 hours
From $0
Open bank accounts in Australia, the UK, US, Canada, Japan and Europe. Send and receive funds with zero fees for large sums, including same-currency supplier payments.
TorFX Business Transfers
24 hours
$0
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Send business
24 hours
$0
$100 cashback voucher for new registered users trading over 25k AUD within 30 days of registering in March. T&Cs apply.
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
loading

Cheapest ways to send money overseas

Ultimately, you want your recipient to receive the most out of your funds. But there are a number of factors that can affect how cost-effective the transfer is such as your recipient not having a bank account, seeking the best exchange rate or you wishing to send a large amount of money.

We’ve highlighted four of the cheapest ways to send money overseas when looking at:

XE for small transfers

If you wish to send a small amount to your recipient of money overseas, for example, under $2,000, some money transfer services specialise in small international remittances. XE doesn’t charge transfer fees but instead, adds a margin to the exchange rate so check your happy with the amount your recipient will receive. XE’s online currency calculator won’t show you how much your transfer will cost as it only shows the mid-market rate. Once you create an account, you can see the exchange rate you’ll get.

TorFX for large transfers

If you need to send a large amount of money to your recipient, for example, more than $10,000, TorFX allows you to do so with no added transfer fees. Instead, it adds a markup to the exchange rate. There’s no limit to how much you can transfer when TorFX handles your transfer over the phone. However, you will be limited to sending up to $50,000 when using its online services.

Wise for exchange rates

If you’re after the best exchange rate going, you can’t get any better than the mid-market rate. This is the “true” exchange rate between two currencies that the banks and other money transfer services use. Banks and other money transfer services will usually add a markup to this rate in order to make a profit, which can vary from 0.1% to 10%. However, there are select services that don't. Wise is renowned for passing on the mid-market rate to customers so you’ll always get the “true” exchange rate alongside transparent fees.

Remitly for cash pickups

If your recipient doesn’t have a bank account, one of your options is a money transfer with cash pickup. Remitly offers cash pickups delivered to specific locations and can send money to more than 100 countries. Your recipient will need to bring an ID that matches the name on the transfer but you can choose how to pay for it and how quickly you need the funds to reach your recipient.

How to minimise costs when making a money transfer

  • Shop around. The best way to save is by comparing rates, fees and transfer speeds of each provider, closely looking at their benefits and drawbacks. Use your currency's mid-market rate as a baseline to compare against the rates you're offered. You want a provider whose rate is closest to the mid-market rate with the lowest transfer fees.
  • Be aware of hidden fees. Avoid surprises by reading the fine print for fees that could apply to your transfer, including charges your recipient will need to pay.
  • Forex tools. Movements in an exchange rate can be unpredictable. However, with a forward contract, you can lock in a favourable exchange rate for a future transfer and avoid missing out. Similarly, with a limit order, a transfer will be executed only when your specific target rate is reached.
  • Sending larger transfers. Some providers discount transfer fees or waive them altogether when you send larger amounts. Find the providers that are better for larger transfers. Even the slightest change in the exchange rate can make all the difference to the amount your recipient receives.
  • Make regular transfers. You may be able to save some money on an exchange rate or pay lower transfer fees by setting up a plan to automate more regular payments overseas.

How do I send money with a money transfer specialist?

Although the process differs by company, to send money overseas you'll generally need to do the following:

How do I send money from my bank?

Please note that the process is different for every provider. The example below shows just one of the ways you can initiate a transfer.

How to get the best exchange rate

Frequently asked questions

Read more on this topic

International Money Transfer Offers

Important Information*

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

22 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    elhamDecember 20, 2018

    I have got a US dollar account that I want to send to my son in Egypt and he doesn’t have a bank account. is there a way to send Us dollars from Australia?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JohnDecember 20, 2018Staff

      Hi Elham,

      Thank you for leaving a question.

      Our guide for sending money to Egypt should guide you to the companies that can help you to send money to your son. You may also check with the provider if it is possible for your son to receive the amount in US dollars as well. Once you have chosen a particular provider, you may then click on the “Go to site” button to proceed with your transfer or get in touch with their representatives for further assistance. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

    Default Gravatar
    mattJuly 26, 2016

    hi which is the best, cheapest and safest exchange company to send approx $15k to spain, from my AUD bank account, to a bank account over there? Looking for best ex rate too obviously.
    thanks,
    matt

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayJuly 27, 2016Staff

      Hi Matt,

      Thank you for your question.

      Usually, transferring money from your bank account is an expensive way of sending money overseas. In the table above, you can compare different money transfer service providers. Using our comparison tool above, I’ve put your figures, and based on the results, the options that you may want to consider are:

      • Moneycorp and World First – both offer competitive rates too and without fees. World First takes 2 business days before the funds can be received while Moneycorp processes the transfer on the same day.

      You would know if the service providers are safe and legit if they are registered and with ABN.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

    Default Gravatar
    sharonJune 11, 2016

    Wanting to send money to friend in Lagos Nigeria

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeJune 16, 2016Staff

      Hi Sharon,

      Thanks for your comment.

      If you want to send money to Nigeria, you can compare money transfer companies that can help you with our guide about sending money to Nigeria.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

    Default Gravatar
    BWardMay 28, 2016

    What is the cheapest way to transfer money from my Australian bank account (Australian dollars) into my US bank account (US dollars, with Wells Fargo bank)?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyMay 30, 2016Staff

      Hi BWard Powers,

      Thanks for your question.

      This will depend on how much you intend to send, but our comparison tables show that World First, TorFX and OFX are worth looking at.

      Hope this helps.

    Default Gravatar
    AnnetteApril 7, 2016

    I need to send US$1,162 and later two instalments of US$581each, at different times. The recipient prefers not to use electronic transfer. How do I avoid high fees on sending these instalments and the hidden costs at the other end that will affect the transferred amount, and the recipient won’t receive the amount promised from me because of those hidden fees? Would you be able to help me please? Apparently my bank is not accepted in USA.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyApril 7, 2016Staff

      Hi Annette,

      Thanks for your question.

      Since your recipient prefers to use electronic transfer it narrows down your options a lot. You may want to compare international money transfer services that allow cash pick up.

      These services typically won’t charge you recipient fees and have relatively competitive exchange rates.

      Usually international bank-to-bank transfers charge heft fees and exchange rates.

Go to site