Bendigo Bank International Money Transfers: Everything You Need To Know

Dec 15, 2020
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Sending money overseas with Bendigo Bank? While a safe and speedy option, Bendigo Bank is one of the most expensive international money transfer services in Australia and vastly outpaced by cheaper alternatives available on the market.

Part of the larger Bendigo and Adelaide Bank banking group, Bendigo Bank is an Australian retail bank offering day-to-day financial services from more than 900 locations across the nation. While much smaller than the so-called "big four banks" of Australia (NAB, CommBank, ANZ, and Westpac), Bendigo Bank is nevertheless a well-established player in Australian banking, with its service dating all the way back to 1858.

However, despite the reputation for quality service that the bank has earned in those years, Bendigo Bank today offers among the most expensive international money transfers we've seen from any service provider worldwide.

As a Bendigo customer sending money overseas, you'll be hit by a combination of very high fees and poor exchange rates, easily losing you more than 15% of the transfer value in fees when sending less than A$300 abroad.

What Will Bendigo Bank Charge You?

When making a wire transfer (which Bendigo Bank refers to as a "telegraphic transfer") to a foreign country in a currency other than Aussie dollars using your Bendigo e-banking account, you will be subject to a fixed fee of A$30 per transfer you send.

While this may sound like a rather small price to pay — especially if you're planning to send a large amount of money abroad — bear in mind that this fee sits quite a bit above the average for other Australian banks, which is around A$10 per transfer, and significantly above the average for specialist currency exchange services, which usually charge no fixed fee and make their money solely through exchange rate margins (see below).

Bendigo Overseas Transfers: Beware The Hidden Fees

Over and above the already-large fixed fee of A$30 that you'll pay each time you send abroad, you'll also very likely be set back to the equivalent of more than 5% of your entire transfer value in hidden exchange rate costs.

These costs, which are known as exchange rate margins, are charged when banks offer slightly poorer exchange rates than those at which they trade currency between each other (known as the mid-market rate). In this way, they're able to make a few cents in profit on each dollar that you send abroad.

What's more, banks are seldom very transparent about these hidden fees in the first place, leading many people to believe that they're sending money at the "real" exchange rate when they transfer overseas with their bank.

While Bendigo Bank's exchange rate margins are more in-line with the average for Australian banks than their fixed fees are, they can still constitute a hefty cost. Take a look at the graph below to see Bendigo Bank's hidden exchange rate fees for a number of foreign currencies:

The Costs Combined

Taken together, the fixed fee and exchange rate margin make Bendigo Bank a very expensive choice for sending money abroad.

Suppose, for example, you were to send A$300 to a friend living in Canada. After instructing your wire transfer on Bendigo e-banking, the transaction would cost a hefty A$45.27 (A$15.27 in exchange rate margin fees and A$30 in fixed fees). On the other end, your friend would then receive C$246 at the time of writing.

Compare this to making the same transfer with TransferWise, a London-based global money transfer service that was cheapest on our comparison engine at the time of writing. With TransferWise, not only would you pay no exchange rate margin fees, but your fixed fees when using a bank transfer would amount to only a total of A$2.18, getting your Canadian friend C$286. That's 40 Canadian dollars and 16% more than they'd have received with Bendigo Bank!

To get a fuller picture of how Bendigo Bank's total fees are broken down for major currencies, take a look at the table below (as of 14/12/2020 at 12:00 +01:00 GMT):

The Costs Visualised

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

Bendigo Bank International Money Transfers: Other Fees to Anticipate

In addition to the fees and exchange rates laid out above, there may be other costs yet when making an overseas transfer with Bendigo Bank. These fees, known as correspondent bank fees, typically range between A$10 and A$100 and are levied not by Bendigo itself, but rather by third-party banks that come into the picture if Bendigo Bank cannot transfer your funds directly to your beneficiary's bank.

Unlike many banks, Bendigo Bank is relatively transparent about the potential for this fee to apply, stating on its website that correspondent banks "may deduct fees from the payment," adding that "the recipient may receive less than the amount sent." Unfortunately, however, Bendigo doesn't indicate just how expensive these fees can, in fact, end up being.

Is Bendigo Bank Right For You?

Without a doubt, Bendigo Bank is an all-round top-notch choice as an everyday banking partner. However, when it comes to overseas money transfers, it can be a very expensive choice and unnecessarily difficult. Aside from the fees, which this article has focused on, there are other factors which come into play which can make overseas transfers an unnecessarily difficult process at Bendigo Bank. These include:

  • A limit of only 25 currencies to which you can send your money;
  • A requirement to call the bank to set up your foreign exchange account on Bendigo e-banking. (You can call 1300 236 344 to do this).

As such, if you're somebody who's interested in making big savings on every transfer abroad, or if you'd like to transfer to a currency that's not supported by Bendigo Bank, then we'd recommend that you check out one of the many global money transfer services that are available to Australians. (What's more, transferring with one of these services also completely alleviates the risk of incurring correspondent bank fees).

To find the best deal when sending abroad, then try running a search on our real-time comparison engine to discover the best third-party providers to suit your needs. You can also have a look at the table below to get an idea of how a few of these services compare to Bendigo Bank on an A$250 transfer to India (as of 14/12/2020 at 12:00 +01:00 GMT):

Provider

Time

Recipient Receives (in Indian rupees)

Payment Option

Cost Overview

Bendigo Bank

≈ 3 days

₹11,599

Wire transfer

In advance

See More

Remitly

In minutes

₹13,890

Bank transfer, credit/debit card

In advance

Transfer

TransferWise

≈ 1 day

₹13,887

Bank transfer, direct bank payment, credit/debit card

In advance

Transfer

CurrencyFair

≈ 2 days

₹13,807

Bank transfer

In advance

Transfer

OrbitRemit

≈ 2 days

₹13,771

Bank transfer

In advance

Transfer

MoneyGram

≈ 1 day

₹13,753

Debit/credit card

In advance

Transfer

Photo credit: J Bar on Wikimedia Commons, distributed under CC BY 3.0 and GNU FDL licenses, cropped from the original

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