Bankwest International Money Transfers: Everything You Need To Know

Dec 11, 2020
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Sending an overseas transfer with Bankwest? Although a world-class bank, Bankwest's exchange rates are very expensive for those who're looking to keep the costs down on international transfers.

An independent division of CommBank, Australia's largest bank, Bankwest is a prominent player in the Australian financial services sector, offering a range of business and personal services to thousands of clients across the country.

While many of its services are priced in line with those of other Australian banks, Bankwest's international money transfers are considerably more expensive, making the bank one of the priciest options Australians have for sending money out of the country.

What Will Bankwest Charge You?

To send an international money transfer abroad with Bankwest, you'll need to instruct a bank transfer to an overseas country. That transfer will then be subject to a single, fixed fee on each transfer you send abroad.

If you're sending from your Bankwest online banking profile, you'll pay a fee of A$15 per transfer, while if you went to the branch to do the same, you'd pay a A$35 fee per transfer.

Bankwest Overseas Transfers: Beware The Hidden Fees

While Bankwest's overseas transfer fee may seem quite manageable — especially if you're planning to send a large amount abroad — the story doesn't end there.

In addition to the fixed fee, you'll be charged an exchange rate margin, meaning that the exchange Bankwest charges you will be poorer than the real, mid-market exchange rate, with Bankwest pocketing the difference as profit.

This is where Bankwest makes its real money on overseas transfers. Exchange rate margins are usually above 5% of the entire amount compared to the mid-market rate at Bankwest, with only a small amount of variation from currency to currency.

To get a better sense of how these work, take a look at how Bankwest's exchange rate margins are applied to different world currencies:

The Costs Combined

With both the exchange rate margin and the A$15 taken together, Bankwest's international transfer fees can become very pricey for many people.

For example, if you were to send A$500 to a friend in the US, you'd pay A$38.04 in total fees (A$15 in fixed fees plus A$23.04 in exchange rate margin fees), which comes to 7.61% of your transfer amount. This would leave your friend with US$348.04 at the time of writing.

Contrast this to making the same transfer with CurrencyFair, a Dublin-based global money transfer service that was cheapest on our comparison engine at the time of writing. With CurrencyFair, you'd pay no fixed fees and A$2.33 in exchange rate margin fees, getting your friend US$374.95, or nearly 8% more than they'd have gotten with Bankwest.

Take a look at the full cost breakdown for Bankwest transfers to India, the US, Canada, the UK, and Thailand (11/12/2020 14:00 +01:00 GMT):

The Costs Visualised

Amount Transferred

Exchange Rate Margin Fee

Fees & Commissions

Total Cost

Total Cost (%)

Amount Received (INR)



















Compare money transfer providers and save up to 95% on your next transfer to currencies across the globe:

Bankwest International Transfers: Other Fees to Anticipate

In addition to the fees laid out above, you may be charged other fees when sending an overseas transfer with Bankwest. These may include:

  • An A$25.00 investigation fee if you'd like to trace the status of your transfer if it arrives late;
  • An A$15.00 service fee for each subsequent time you contact Bankwest about your transfer;
  • A correspondent bank fee (typically ranging between AU$10 and AU$100) if your bank transfer cannot be made directly to your beneficiary's bank.

Is Bankwest Right For You?

As a bank for your everyday financial needs, there's absolutely no doubt that Bankwest is a world-class institution that deserves your trust and business. However, when it comes to international money transfers in particular, Bankwest leaves a lot to be desired due to the hefty fees that it charged — even relative to other Australian banks.

As such, If you're already a Bankwest customer and you're not bothered by all the extra fees, then we'd recommend you stick to transferring money abroad with Bankwest. On the other hand, if you're somebody who likes to keep your costs down when sending abroad, then we'd highly recommend that you consider your options more closely:

If you'd like to find the best deal on overseas transfers, these usually come in the form of low-cost money transfer specialists, such as TransferWise and Skrill. These services, which offer high speeds and transparent pricing, are able to offer great exchange rates due to a savvy network of global bank accounts. To discover what these services can do for you, run a search on real-time comparison engine and find out which provider will be cheapest for your transfer from Australia.

To get a better picture of just how much you could be saving with these services compared to Bankwest, take a look at how a few of them compare on an A$250 transfer to India in the table below (as of 11/12/2020 at 14:00 +01:00 GMT):



Recipient Receives (in Indian rupees)

Payment Option

Cost Overview


≈ 3 days


Wire transfer

In advance

See More


In minutes


Bank transfer, credit/debit card

In advance



≈ 1 day


Bank transfer, direct bank payment, credit/debit card

In advance



≈ 2 days


Bank transfer

In advance



≈ 2 days


Bank transfer

In advance



≈ 1 day


Debit/credit card

In advance


Photo credit: Bahnfrend on Wikimedia Commons, distributed under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license, cropped from the original

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