July 25, 2024
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How Much Money Does an International Money Transfer cost?

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Sourced Photo

Image commercially licensed from: Unsplash


2022 has been a year that elevated living costs by a significant amount. The change has been noticeable, particularly for food and energy prices, with shortages heavily felt by people all around the world and many households afraid they won’t be able to pay their bills in due time. These crises have appeared as the result of several other unfavorable geopolitical and economic situations around the world, precipitated by the difficult financial situation that arose during the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine only served to deepen the crisis, and the Food and Agriculture Organization warned that food supplies would dwindle and prices would increase as a result. Commodity crops, like wheat, oil seeds and corn, were severely hit, and prices increased even further due to their role as staples.

Due to this dire situation, many individuals have looked for ways to improve their lives and create better living prospects for their families during the economic crisis.


In the context of increased uncertainty, relocating to a different country to achieve better prospects has become the preferred method for many families. However, there are challenges here as well, many of them of a monetary nature. Money transfers can eat away at a personal budget like nothing else. While in the case of domestic transfers, the prices are somewhat more accessible, the situation is entirely different when it comes to international transfers.

Each and every bank is different, but you can expect fees to be as high as 3 to 4% of the total transfer. While it doesn’t seem like a lot in theory, depending on the sum you’re transferring internationally, that can amount to hundreds if not thousands of dollars going to waste. When you’re moving to a different country, you want to keep your finances in order and avoid wasting anything. Housing prices have been steadily rising, meaning that renting or buying property is more complicated than before and could put additional strain on your monthly budget.

For example, the average property price in France is between $1,050 to $2,800 per square meter. Unsurprisingly, the most elevated values are in Paris, with the highest prices approaching €11,000 per square meter. At the other end of the spectrum, the lowest prices are recorded in Saint-Étienne and Mulhouse, with costs going as low as €900. In Spain, the average price of a home in 2023 is roughly 250,000 euros, with the price per square meter standing at nearly 2,000 euros as of December 2022.

In Australia, housing prices are high compared to income relative to other countries. Prices depend on location, with Sydney having the highest prices. The median property value in the city stands at roughly $900,000, with median rent exceeding $500. Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide are positing high up on the price scale as well, with median property value between $440,000 and $690,000. In the UK, the average house price is £277,000. However, this can vary quite significantly depending on location. Mortgage rates are also expected to increase in 2023, as The Bank of England’s base rate is expected to peak at 4.75% over the course of the current year.

The exchange rate markup, the percentage added by providers when you transfer money from the USA abroad, differs depending on the country. For transfers coming from the US and destined for the UK market, the markup is between 1.62 and 3.55%, with the average at 2%. This means that on an average transfer of 10,000, you’ll pay £215 or $259. For Australia, the average exchange rate is a little steeper, at 3.50%, so out of 10,000, 365 Australian dollars go directly to exchange fees when you transfer money from the USA to Australia. For transactions designated for Europe, the average cost is somewhere around 140 euros, while for Canada and New Zealand, it stands at 197 and 165 dollars, respectively.

Money transfer services 

According to the World Bank, US residents send nearly $75 billion annually through money transfers. However, the transfer costs are often steep enough that it takes an extra financial toll on the sender to have money transferred across borders. As a result, individuals have been looking for the most accessible solution. The best way to see which works best for you is to look at all the available options and carefully weigh all their pros and cons.

Some of the aspects you should have in mind when it comes to transfers include the following:

  • Fees: Naturally, the most crucial aspect is the extra money you must pay as part of your transaction.
  • Timing: The time it takes for the money to go from one country to another is significant. If the recipient requires the money immediately, you should be ready to pay an extra convenience fee.
  • Destination: Not all services work with all countries, and it’s essential to check beforehand.
  • Limits: Limits on amounts are an essential factor to consider. Depending on the company you select, there can be minimums and maximums that you’re allowed to send. They can apply to each transaction or be cumulative over a predetermined period.

Moneytransfercomparison.com’s top 5 foreign exchange companies set to transfer money internationally that are most advantageous to USA residents include:

  • Currencies Direct: With an approval rating of nearly 98% and over 7,500 client reviews, Currencies Direct is the favored option for many of those looking to send money overseas. The company is service-oriented, specializing in large transfers and offering competitive rates. With its headquarters in Orlando, Florida, the company is one of the best-rated globally and has a strong US presence, so American customers can feel reassured that their transfers are in capable hands.
  • OFX: Located in San Francisco, the OFX international money transfer enables transactions to Asia, Australia, Canada, the EU and the UK. The online platform is accessible, and the company offers reasonable rates even in the case of small transfers. It is also one of the most well-known names in business, meaning that you can be sure to have a positive experience choosing them.
  • Moneycorp: Perhaps the best option for sophisticated transfers and business-based transactions, Moneycorp enables you to transfer money from the USA internationally to the United Arab Emirates, the European Union and the United Kingdom. The services are top-notch, as the company prizes quality. Since it has been continuously operating since 1979, Moneycorp was awarded several industry and business awards.
  • Remitly: The main advantage of Remitly is that it has a very low transfer minimum of only $1. While in the case of the others, the lowest amount you can transfer is at least a few hundred dollars, Remitly allows you to be more flexible. It is also one of the best options if you’re looking to transfer to Mexico. Remittances-oriented, it also provides customers with an online platform that’s very easy to use.
  • WorldRemit: One of the best options for transfer to Africa and India, it also has a low threshold for the minimum transfer of $1. You can register from over 50 countries and send to 130, making for a significantly wide global footprint.

Xe, a Canada-based foreign exchange, is an important addition. In 2016, the company claimed to service nearly 300 million unique visitors each year. It offers several online tools, allowing users to check the live exchange rates of any currency in the world so they can get a better idea of the international money transfer cost they’ll incur as a result of the transaction.

How does transferring work? 

The first thing you need to do when you’re looking to transfer money to a bank account abroad is to choose a service that supports the transaction to the destination country. Your decision should be based on which one suits you best, factoring in the amount of time required for the money to arrive and the extra fees. The second step is to register with the service. This should only take a few hours, much faster than it is with banks.

Format the transfer details, and ensure the beneficiary details are filled in correctly to avoid delays. Input the amount of US dollars you want to convert. You must be sure to include the beneficiary bank BIC, the ABA number, and the beneficiary’s address. At this point, you have entered a legal obligation, and all that’s left to do is to settle your deal and wait for the transfer to be completed. This can take one to two business days, but depending on your timing, the receiving account can get the funds on the same day.

Why choose an exchange? 

One of the vital reasons why you should choose an international transfer over a bank is because the former can save you a significant amount of money. This is due to the fact that the exchange rates are better, and the fees are lower. You can save up to 4%, so choosing a money transfer company is clearly the more cost-effective choice.

Many options are available when you’re looking to send money internationally. However, you shouldn’t rush to choose one. Take your time to weigh the options carefully and work with the one that’s best for you.

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