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How To Send Money Internationally (Use These 5 Services)

Jan 16, 2024
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Common places to make international wire transfers include banks, credit unions, and even online payment systems like PayPal. However, these methods are almost always the most costly.

In this guide, we cover how to send money internationally, factors you need to consider, and the overall 5 best online money transfer services of the year. Before you make your choice, run a search on our real-time comparison engine to find the cheapest and fastest way to send your money today.

Compare live rates of the best international money transfer services:

Key Facts About International Money Transfers

Cheapest Overall
Sending a bank transfer?

Try Wise

Sending to a mobile wallet?
Sending in Latin America?

7 Things You Need to Consider Before Sending Money Internationally

If you have a bank account with a traditional high-street bank, your bank will wire your money through the SWIFT network, which is made up of hundreds of banks around the world. In addition to your own bank, this network of middlemen will pass fixed fees of $20 up to even $100 USD on to you. Coupled with the weak exchange rate they give you, wire transfers by bank via SWIFT is one of the worst ways to send money internationally.

Instead, we highly recommend you use an online international money transfer service. As specialists, they offer much lower prices and faster transfer times. When you browse for a company to use, consider these seven big factors:

  1. Exchange Rate Margins: The mid-market rate refers to the 'real' exchange rate without any markup. Most providers add a markup to this rate, pocketing the difference as profit.
  2. Commission Fees: These are charges you may incur when sending money internationally and can come as a fixed amount or a percentage of the transfer. 'Commission-free' services usually make a profit through hidden exchange rate margins.
  3. Sending Limits: Both banks and money transfer companies may restrict the amount you can send per single transfer, depending on their policies.
  4. Speed: Traditional banks often take 5-7 working days for international transfers via SWIFT, whereas online companies can complete the transfer instantly (sometimes with an extra fee) or cheaply within 3 working days.
  5. Pay-In Methods: Ways you can fund your transfer include by bank transfer, debit card, credit card, cash, or mobile wallet. The availability of these methods varies by provider.
  6. Pay-Out Methods: The way the recipient can receive the funds may be by bank transfer, card, cash pick-up or delivery, or mobile wallet. Like pay-in methods, these can vary among providers.
  7. Countries: Companies usually specialize in particular country corridors. As a result, rates can fluctuate depending on both the country of origin and destination. To find the best prices in real time, it's best to search on comparison engines like Monito.

What Are the Best Ways to Send Money Internationally in 2024?

While your bank or PayPal may seem like the most convenient options, they are both among the most expensive and slowest ways to send money abroad. Instead, run a search on Monito to compare rates and fees from hundreds of money transfer providers to find the best deal for your needs.

By using a transfer service listed on Monito, our readers pay only 0.59% in fees and exchange rates on average, saving over $75 million to date. This is a huge difference compared to the 4.6%+ charged by banks or traditional cash transfer services.

Path #1: Make an International Bank Wire Transfer Online

To make an international wire transfer online through your bank, log into your online banking and locate the wire transfer section on the website.

  1. Provide recipient details, including their bank's name and address, the recipient's information, and necessary transaction codes;
  2. Enter the transfer amount and currency type, confirming any applicable processing fees;
  3. Ensure your transfer amount is within the set online limit, which may require contacting the bank for adjustments;
  4. Be aware of potential fees from intermediary banks;
  5. Pay the international transfer fee, typically ranging from $40-$50, or up to $80 in some cases. The receiving bank may also charge $10-$20 (€9-€18);
  6. Finally, find out the estimated arrival time for the transfer, typically 1-3 business days, and monitor the transaction through your bank's web portal.

Path #2: Make an International Bank Wire Transfer in Person

For an in-person international wire transfer at your bank branch:

  1. Bring essential banking info, including your name, your bank account details, recipient's bank name and address, payee's details (name, address, and account type), recipient's account number or IBAN, and recipient's BIC or SWIFT ID;
  2. Confirm the transfer amount and currency with the recipient, especially if they have a multi-currency account;
  3. Pay the international transfer fee, typically ranging from $40-$50, or up to $80 in some cases. The receiving bank may also charge $10-$20 (€9-€18);
  4. Once paid, the clerk will provide information on the expected transfer duration.

Path #3: Make an International Bank Wire Transfer By Phone

Similar to an in-person transaction, your bank's call center can often facilitate your international transfer:

  1. Prepare the required information before contacting the call center;
  2. The customer service agent will guide you through the international transfer process;
  3. The agent will provide information on when the funds should reach your recipient.

Path #4: How To Send Money Internationally With a Specialist

  • Step 01

    Search on Monito.com for the best deal

    Run a search on Monito's comparison engine to find the best money transfer service.

    Your search will show you exchange rates, commission fees, transfer methods, and speed.

  • Step 02

    Register or sign in to your account

    Register for a new account or sign into your existing account.

    First-time customers can sometimes get preferential rates too.

  • Step 03

    Set the amount you want to send

    Input how much you're looking to send abroad in your home currency.

    The transfer service will have a currency converter tool, so you can make sure you're sending the correct amount in your recipient's preferred currency.

  • Step 04

    Input your recipient's details

    Carefully enter and double-check your recipient's personal and account details. This must include:

    • Name;
    • address;
    • Bank account or mobile wallet information (depending on the receiving method).
  • Step 05

    Choose your payment method

    Choose your most convenient payment method:

    • Direct bank transfer;
    • Cash;
    • Mobile wallet;
    • Debit card;
    • Credit card.

    While credit card payments are usually fast, we discourage them because your credit card issuer will treat the transaction as a cash advance, and will apply a higher APR on you.

  • Final step

    Confirm and track your transfer

    Verify the information, then authorize your transfer. Your provider will send you a confirmation email with tracking details.

    Make sure to track the status of your transaction to ensure it's processed and reaches your recipient safely.

    Find the best deal ❯

1 — Remitly

Remitly was the overall best priced international money transfer service in the world, offering the cheapest rates on 24.9% of searches according to Monito's search engine data throughout the twelve months of 2023. It also offers express transfers, and a vast network of cash payout centers for sending some of the best-priced cash pickups in the world.

Remitly offers very competitive money transfers from the United States, Germany, Canada, France, Spain, and many more. It's especially beneficial for recipients in Turkey, the Philippines, India, Mexico, Colombia, Canada, and the United States.

Popular Country Corridors With Remitly

  • Germany to Turkey;
  • the United States to the Philippines;
  • Germany to India;
  • the United States to Mexico;
  • the United States to Turkey;
  • the United States to Colombia;
  • the United States to Canada.

Learn more: read our Remitly review.

2 — Wise

Wise takes the second spot as a leading international money transfer service. In Monito's search engine data throughout 2023, Wise was found to be the cheapest option 13.4% of the time. This platform excels particularly in bank transfers, and utilizes the real mid-market exchange rate, meaning no hidden markups are added.

Wise offers cost-effective money transfers from India to several countries like the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and the Philippines, among others. Notable origin countries also include Germany, Ukraine, and Turkey, the United States, and Canada.

Popular Country Corridors With Wise:

  • India to the United Kingdom;
  • India to the Philippines;
  • India to the United States;
  • India to Canada;
  • Turkey to Germany;
  • India to the United Arab Emirates;
  • India to Germany.

Learn more: read our Wise review.

3 — Skrill

Securing the third place in providing affordable international money transfers is Skrill, being the most cost-effective choice in 6.5% of searches, as per Monito's search engine data from the year 2023. They provide a robust network for cash pick-ups and also offer mobile wallet transfers, particularly for those who have the Skrill mobile wallet.

Skrill provides highly competitive money transfers from corridors such as Poland to Ukraine, Germany to Ukraine, and Morocco to France. Overall, it is a top choice to send money to Ukraine, to the Philippines, and from the United Arab Emirates.

Popular Country Corridors With Skrill

  • Poland to Ukraine;
  • Germany to Ukraine;
  • Morocco to France;
  • Czech Republic to Ukraine;
  • Netherlands to Ukraine;
  • Canada to Ukraine.

Learn more: read our Skrill review.

4 — WorldRemit

WorldRemit is another leading global money transfer service, offering the best prices on around 6.4% of searches on Monito's search engine data for 2023. It's a great choice for its extensive cash payout network and for transfers directly to popular mobile wallets like GCash in the Philippines, M-PESA in Kenya, and many others.

WorldRemit provides competitive money transfers for recipients in Mexico, the Philippines, Nigeria, Pakistan, India, Kenya, and several others.

Popular Country Corridors With WorldRemit:

  • The United States to Mexico;
  • The United States to the Philippines;
  • The United States to Nigeria;
  • The United Kingdom to Pakistan;
  • The United Kingdom to India;
  • Japan to the Philippines;
  • The United States to Kenya.

Learn more: read our WorldRemit review.

5 — Global66

Emerging as the fifth top-rated international money transfer service, and best throughout Latin America, is Global66. The company offered the best rates on approximately 5.9% of searches, according to Monito's search engine data throughout 2023.

Global66 operates an excellent app that provides cheap money transfer services for senders from Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador, and recipients in the USA, Brazil, Spain, Chile, among others.

Popular Country Corridors With Global66

  • Mexico to the United States;
  • Argentina to Brazil;
  • Colombia to Spain;
  • Colombia to the United States;
  • Argentina to Spain;
  • Argentina to Chile.

Learn more: read our Global66 review.

Monito's Essential Tips For International Money Transfers

To find the best way to send your money internationally, you'll need to take into account a few factors such as your recipient's country, your transfer size, and the exchange rate applied by your provider:

1 — Compare Prices With Our Comparison Engine

Monito's comparison engine stands as the world's most extensive comparison resource for international money transfers. We provide detailed information for various sending methods, including bank transfers, physical cash pick-up, mobile wallet transfers, and foreign exchange brokers.

Our coverage, boasting 99 money transfer providers, surpasses any comparable platform. With Monito, you'll find to quickest, cheapest options for your transfer.

2 — Know How the Hidden Exchange Rate Margin Works

The prevailing mid-market exchange rate, also called the interbank rate, is the fair market value between any two currencies. However, banks, PayPal, and money transfer providers will often apply a weaker rate, causing you to receive less in exchange. The provider will keep the difference, or exchange rate margin, as profit for the service.

3 — Don’t Pay With a Credit Card

When you pay with a credit card, international money transfers are treated like cash advances. It's akin to withdrawing cash from an ATM using a credit card. The financial institutions handling these transactions typically apply relatively high APR (often 7 to 10 percentage points above standard rates) due to the increased risks associated with advancing cash.

We usually recommend bank transfers as a more cost-efficient alternative.

4 — Re-Compare Since Prices Change Often

The provider offering the most competitive rates today might not offer the same value tomorrow. Indeed, the rates and fees can vary greatly country by country. By using Monito to re-compare for each transaction, you can rest assured that you are securing the best deal for your transfer.

Compare live rates of the best international money transfer services:

Why You Can Trust Monito

Our recommendations are built on rock-solid experience.

  • We've reviewed 50+ money transfer providers
  • We've made 100+ test transfers
  • Our writers have been testing providers since 2013
Learn more about us

Why Trust Monito?

You’re probably all too familiar with the often outrageous cost of sending money abroad. After facing this frustration themselves back in 2013, co-founders François, Laurent, and Pascal launched a real-time comparison engine to compare the best money transfer services across the globe. Today, Monito’s award-winning comparisons, reviews, and guides are trusted by around 8 million people each year and our recommendations are backed by millions of pricing data points and dozens of expert tests — all allowing you to make the savviest decisions with confidence.

Learn More About Monito
  • Monito is trusted by 15+ million users across the globe.

  • Monito's experts spend hours researching and testing services so that you don't have to.

  • Our recommendations are always unbiased and independent.

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