Money transfer organisations can save you a ton of cash when transferring money abroad.
This is important if you want to avoid the “stagflation” Brits and other countries, like the U.S. are experiencing. Or if you simply want the best rate.
Yes, using your bank is an option, if you’re okay with filling out lots of paperwork and physically visiting your nearest bank branch (or queueing up in your post office), with high fees and poor rates.
The top money transfer companies have worked hard to streamline this all, finding ideal rates. Which all happens securely online in just minutes—in this guide, we cover the best international money transfer firms to choose from.
Table of Contents:
- Our Top Pick of Best Global Money Transfer Firms
- 1. 🌐 XE review
- 2. 🌐 Wise review
- 3. 🌐 Currencies Direct review
- 4. 🌐 OFX Review
- 5. 🌐 Xoom review
- 6 Things to Seek in an Ideal Global Money Transfer Company
- Getting the Best Rate When Sending Money Online Abroad and Between Banks…
- Choosing a Money Transfer Company vs. Using a Traditional Bank
- Final Thoughts for Freelancers
Our Top Pick of Best Global Money Transfer Firms 🌎
Chances are you’ll need to tweak your transfer settings, in order to get the ideal rate. For example, there may be some special way of sending or receiving that gives you an advantage. In my personal experience, there are several fantastic international money transfer companies. And Wise ranks among one of the highest. But your situation may differ, so experiment a little.
1. XE Money Transfer Review – World-Class Global Money Transfer Firm
This is a top-rated money transfer company with strong ratings on TrustPilot, as well as an internationally recognized player in global money transfers. XE provides numerous great offerings that are hard to find elsewhere in one portal.
A great money transfer firm to use for same-day transfers for the majority of the 170 countries they provide to , and they also let you transfer one currency into another available currency.
They frequently provide some of the optimal exchange rates on the market, and one of the most loved things about them by consumers? There’s no cost or extra fees to send your cash!
This online money transfer company lets you send and receive money from the comfort of your own home and phone, and each user is given a private account on the website, so that you can check on your balances whenever, wherever you are.
XE has over 285 million visitors checking out its site annually and more than 65 million app downloads since its launch. They partner with more than 200 leading worldwide brands, including Apple, Amazon, Google, Walmart, and others, for instance in 2015, more than $74 billion dollars was exchanged across its service.
XE is licensed by the UK’s FCA and has security guardrails installed by Norton Security. Users can create free accounts for personal or business use.
2. Wise – Transparent & Powerful Global Money Transfer Company
Wise launched over a decade ago, giving its users global money transfers powers in a simpler, efficient, cheaper manner. They’re a bit of a disruptor firm, focused on keeping costs low so that it eventually becomes free to make a Wise transfer across the border.
Today, Wise boasts more than 12 million customers, and exchanges roughly 8 billion dollars monthly for more than 80 countries. It is a strong tool for the digital banking age where your biggest guardrail against volatile economies globally is to keep financially diversified into the most dependable assets.
I often point out that 150,000 user reviews say the company is on average ‘Excellent.’
Wise does the bog-standard thing needed to be a top-tier international money transfer firm, by making their transfers easier, faster and cheaper for transferring money abroad. But they also allow you to hold money in lots of different currencies. For this ability to work, Wise created its very own payments system that minimised external parties so that they could streamline costs that you typically see when sending global payments.
Wise’s mission as a top-tier international money transfer firm is to let users get better fees compared to post offices or banks. They keep lowering costs and their pricing structure is way transparent. There’s no use of subterfuge or masking costs - you know what you’ll need to pay. Which is essential to be one of the best international money transfer firms. You’re able to handle multi-currency both as an individual and business customer. You’re also guaranteed to get the optimal real-time exchange rate and Wise lets you hold more than 50 currencies in their app.
How You Save With Wise
Wise is the globally recognised leading international money transfer firm that focuses on cheap, transparent fees. But how much will you actually save and what features do you get by choosing Wise rather than a traditional bank?
Traditional banks can sometimes give you cheap international payments, but this is rare. And what you actually save will depend on the specific service, with more complications for currencies involved and less speed or control.
To see this at a glance, let’s view the following table which covers a few different transfer fees compared to traditional banks, so that you can get an idea of why Wise is a top-tier international money transfer firm:
The premium savings are astonishing compared to traditional banks. You’ll get this kind of advantage by going with the best international money transfer firm, many of which are online banks that don’t have to deal with the bureaucratic rigmarole.
Overall, users can expect the ability to transfer money to over 80 countries globally. With the ability to pay via the Wise app, and to instantly pay the target bank account. Indeed - unlike a bunch of different banks - your receiver doesn’t need to have a Wise account to get your money.
Wise transfers are light-speed, too. As well as being much much cheaper, they’re also usually quicker than normal banks. Which means 40% of Wise's global transfers are instant (sent within 20 seconds), whereas 80% are sent in 24 hours. Wise lets you hold 54 different currencies and send from the US or Britain and many other locations. With constant updates to offerings...
3. Currencies Direct Review – Top Global Money Transfer Firm for Exchange Rates
Currencies Direct is a leading international money transfer firm offering immensely high ratings on TrustPilot.
Currencies Direct has been around a long time, since 1996, so has built up a large base with lots of trust in this industry. Indeed, they’re the oldest on this guide so far. More than 250,000 customers use them.
Currencies Direct does not charge transfer fees, which is one reason people love this leading international money transfer firm. They also have very low exchange rates and keep competitive. Accounts are quick to create online, you can also do it all through a mobile, and making these accounts is free too.
This is a leading international money transfer firm for those looking for the best prices on transferring money globally, which is probably why you’re reading this post. But why haven’t we placed them in the first spot?
Well, they have limited currencies. So you’ll need to investigate this before choosing them. They let you transfer in a bit over 20 different currencies. So if you’re looking to hold cash or make transfers to some of the more minor or emerging markets, you may have problems.
But, as the massively popular reviews suggest, most users don’t have a problem with this. Customers seemingly love CurrenciesDirect’s superb, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week support, and the leading international money transfer firm is known for being very proactive.
The firm is also an award-winner, which includes the Money Transfer Provider of the Year award in 2018 as well as the Consumer Champion of the Year award in 2017.
4. OFX Review – Top Global Money Transfer Firm
OFX is about as old as Currencies Direct, and has taken this time to develop themselves into one of the most prodigious international money transfer firms on the planet.
They’ve handled more than £67 billion in transactions, with a powerful Trustpilot score. So there’s not much to complain about.
They boast a large number of offices, in London, Hong Kong, Toronto, San Francisco, Auckland, and Sydney. With ideal exchange rates and low fees. To get yourself set up with OFX, simply register online and verify your identity by giving the appropriate documentation like a driving license, passport, or utility bill showing proof of address and name. Once you’re verified, you can start sending and receiving. Do this through mobile or via their online platform.
You can deposit cash into your account via one of the accepted processes according to your country. Electronic bank transfer is available to residents of AU, US, UK and Canada. US and Canadian citizens can also do wire transfers. Debit card transfers are only available to the UK. Although, you'll need to send at least around £750.
OFX has no fixed rate transfer fee, and the amount of exchange rate markup added transfers will depend on how much is being transferred and what currencies are used. Which makes this a bit more unpredictable. If the amount is larger, you’ll get better rates, but generally speaking you’ll get an exchange rate of around 1.5% over the mid-market rate.
OFX transfers usually take 1-5 days to conclude, with US & EU payments often being the same day.
5. Xoom review – Recommended by Wise, Made by PayPal
Another prodigious international money transfer firm. Although Xoom is a newer addition. This PayPal company offers global payments which can be sent directly into a receiver’s bank account, for cash pickup or sent to the home in 70 countries globally.
This offers many unique payment options. Money is sent using Xoom’s website or the app which tracks your transactions too.
You might be curious if Xoom is the best international money transfer firm for your international payments. So let’s explain a bit about how Xoom works, what it costs, and how good rtes are compared to the best international money transfer firms covered so far. Without further ado, here’s a good overview of things to know about Xoom.
Xoom provides global transfers to more than 70 countries, either through direct bank deposits, as cash pickup or delivered to the home of your recipient. The payment structure isn’t very straightforward, so you’ll need to calculate different costs according to how you fund your payment, how it’s received, and where it’s heading. Before you choose to use Xoom it’s a good idea to check out these tables and use their exchange rate calculator.
But a few things to consider are as follows:
- Xoom allows you to deposit money into your recipient’s bank account, but you can also send it to their home, or make it available for collection through an agent.
- Xoom also has a strong worldwide reach, supplying more than 70 countries.
- Many payments get cleared instantly — especially payments funded by credit and debit cards, but these incur higher costs than transfers through electronic bank wire.
- Their fee structure is complicated, requiring consideration of variables.
- The exchange rate incurs fees — so make sure you know what they are.
- Payments through bank transfer can take a couple of business days to arrive to the recipient’s account.
What you pay will depend on where you’re sending and how you fund your transfer, and also how the money is received, so you can’t just hop onto this tool and send in a blaisie way.
To ensure you’re getting the optimal deal for your situation, take some time to play with the options so you can understand how fees combine. Also, remember that there can be extra fees — like cash advance fees — if you’re paying via a credit card. This will be according to your card issuer.
Best Global Money Transfer Companies – Buying Guide 📊
This section is great for people who are still learning how to take control of their money transfers. It should also help you to discern between the top global money transfer companies to use:
6 Things to Seek in an Ideal Global Money Transfer Company
Choosing your top global money transfer companies can be difficult because of how many services are now available. However, there are five useful aspects to consider when selecting an ideal money transfer company:
☑️ Trust: The international money transfer industry is incredibly tightly regulated by several governing bodies which includes the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) for the UK, ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) in AU, and FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) for the USA. These are just a couple of the regulatory bodies.
☑️ Exchange Rates: Your exchange rate is one of the most important factors when choosing a service. When it involves a bigger global money transfer company, who you’re using to transfer bigger amounts, the exchange rate will be more crucial. Even a slightly lesser rate can lead to thousands of dollars in losses or savings for you. For instance, if you’re sending US$20,000 (USD) to the UK (GBP) and the exchange rate is 0.79, you will receive £15,800. If the exchange rate is 0.81, you will receive £16,200. From this, it’s obvious how much a slight difference can make you’re transferring bigger amounts.
☑️ Transfer costs (sender fee): The sending fee describes how much it costs to send money using a particular pathway. Depending on the service you’re using, this could be a fixed fee, a percentage based on how much you transfer, or a cost that varies according to the method of transfer you’re using. The fee will generally be larger if you’re using a credit card to transfer. The ideal option is to use your bank account to wire the money to the money transfer provider. Some services allow transfers without fees!
☑️ Transfer speeds: Which is obviously how fast money arrives to the target account. This should range from being instant up to five working days. Depending on your specific requirements, you should probably opt for a service with a speedy transfer ability.
☑️ End percentage received: Once you’ve deducted the actual exchange rate, how much hard cash is actually in your destination bank account? This is the ultimate test of the extra fees that have been applied. And it should be a key deciding factor for choosing a best global money transfer company.
☑️ UX: Short for user experience, this is the comfort and utility of the services in making things quick and simple – the more efficient platforms are ideal for those who make regular transfers, seeing as time is money and vice versa. You also want great support so that you can deal with issues well.
Getting the Best Rate When Sending Money Online Abroad and Between Banks…
Let’s investigate the time taken for sending money transfers between banks and other situations. The general time frame should be between 0 to 5+ days according to the kind of service you have used. International money transfers (IMT) typically fall into this time frame, with bank-to-bank transfers averaging at roughly 2-5 business days, and wire transfers 1-5 business days.
The majority of folk will not use a bank if their experience is that transferring money through them is terrible, due to a slow processing time and/or experiencing costly fees and non-transparent costs. Xoom is the worst on our list.
We’ve said this quite a few times already: but make sure that you take time to research and shop around, if you want the best exchange rate! If you know you will send lots of money on a regular basis to a particular country then it literally pays to do this due diligence. Also look whether there are specific points in the month or times in the year when the rate is better. The internet can be surprisingly useful for finding special routes where very low fees end up applied.
Search for companies that give you special deals like fixed or “locked-in” fees. Some firms give you the optimal guarantee to keep you trusting you’ll get the best exchange rate, which we call “transparent companies.” This is the case even if they need to match the rate of their competitor. Also, keep away from global money transfer companies with high premium rates. You may also find you can send in the same currency, which can save you money.
Choosing a Money Transfer Company vs. Using a Traditional Bank
Now that you’ve got this far in the review, maybe you’re convinced that it’s a great idea to use a top global money transfer company. You’re convinced you need to get the best exchange rate and know you need to avoid premium fees when transferring money internationally. In order to make the optimal choice, you should consider the following which ranges from stability to trust, fees, reliability, security, and services. Let’s review these before we close the article:
- ☑️ Traditional banks generally cost much more: the exchange rate offered by traditional bank are usually not at all competitive as these under-cutting, hard working top global money transfer companies listed in the guide. These smaller names have to prove their worth. Banks will also charge a wire transfer fee which usually means big bucks added to the transfer cost per transaction. Although some banks offer special overseas wire transfers without additional costs, these usually include hidden fees which they simply don’t tell you about.
- ☑️ Banks need more of your personal data: you can’t just register and get going. Indeed, many banks don’t even don’t even offer wire transfers. These banks frequently require you to visit their branch physically before being allowed to transfer. The whole process is lengthy and tedious with paperwork you need to fill out for every transfer. You could also be asked to do more confirmations of your identity with a photo ID.
- ☑️ Banks often ask that you first have a pre-existing account: this is also true for some of the top global money transfer companies. You should already be doing banking with them. If not, then you will need to set up an account first and be on their database.
- ☑️ Bank transfers usually take longer: bank wire transfers are one of the slowest ways to do international money transfers, although certainly not the slowest.
- ☑️ Banks often only do bank-to-bank transfers: they’re having to catch up to the pace of the current era, where other top global money transfer companies let you transfer without needing account details or even a phone number -- just through Bluetooth. So not using a traditional bank can give you a serious advantage in versatility..
- ☑️ Online money transfer firms often offer more options for smaller transfers: a couple of banks know how to smaller transfers without crushing you with fees but you typically find that the exchange rate is not great.
- ☑️ Specialist money transfer providers also give you the best large money transfers: this is frequently the case at least, because these services are designed for global transfers, rather than it being an additional offering. Many traditional banks simply can’t keep up with the highly competitive exchange rates and lower (sometimes zero) fees that specialist services can provide.
Final Thoughts for Freelancers
Are you a freelancer? I thought I would end this article with a piece of wisdom that comes from the book ‘Principles,’ by Ray Dalio.
It can be tricky to figure out the best bank for transfers, but always remember that money is only one marker of a much more balanced life. In Ray’s view, a successful life is one that balances Meaningful Work with Meaningful Relationships. And if you get this right, the other stuff will naturally line up without you trying. It will be an incidental side-effect. So go do something meaningful!