Westpac International Transfers: Everything You Need To Know

Nov 27, 2020
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Transferring money to a foreign country with Westpac? While an all-round excellent bank, international money transfers remain very expensive, and savvy users should be mindful of both the bank's hidden fees, as well as the cheaper alternatives that exist in its stead.

Boasting more than 14 million customers, 40 thousand employees, and over AU$900 billion in total assets, Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac) is one of the largest and most distinguished financial services giants in Australia, having consistently offered a wide range of banking and investment services to its clients since its inception in 1817.

International money transfers are one among these services, and what they make up for in terms of ease, security, and convenience they lack in terms of price. By delving into the bank's fees and exchange rates for private customers, for example, we found that Westpac charges hidden fees of around 4 to 5% of the transfer amount in addition to the AU$10 fee that it already levies on all transfers into a foreign currency.

All-in-all, this leaves Westpac's fees on international money transfers easily as high as 7 or 8% of the total transfer amount, making them an expensive choice of money transfer provider.

What Will Westpac Charge You?

When sending money abroad with Westpac, the most likely scenario will be that you'd use an ordinary bank transfer with your Westpac Live Online Banking profile in order to debit funds from your bank account and send them across to another bank account in a foreign country.

In this case, you'll be charged one of the following two fixed fees on every transfer you send abroad:

  • An AU$10.00 fee for funds transferred from Australian dollars into a foreign currency;
  • An AU$20.00 fee for funds transferred into a foreign bank account in Australian dollars.

If you're simply planning to transfer money across into another currency — say the US dollar or the Indian rupee, for example — then the former fee will be the one that's relevant to you. However, if you'd like your beneficiary to receive Aussie dollars into their bank account, then it's the second fee that you should be concerned about.

International Money Transfers with Westpac: Beware the Hidden Fees

In addition to the fixed fee outlined above, your transfer abroad will be subject to another, less transparent fee. Known as an exchange rate margin, this fee kicks in every time you convert currencies with Westpac (or with any bank for that matter).

This hidden fee is levied when banks make a small profit on transfers abroad by offering their customers an ever-so-slightly poorer exchange rate than the one that banks themselves use to trade between one another (known as the mid-market exchange rate).

When it comes to sending money internationally with Westpac, these fees can range anywhere from around 3 to 6% of the entire transfer amount, depending on the currency you're converting your Australian dollars into.

The Costs Combined

When we take both the fixed fee and the exchange rate margin into consideration, it quickly becomes clear that Westpac is a rather pricey choice of money transfer provider, especially when it comes to smaller amounts.

For example, if you were to send AU$300 to a friend living in the United States, you would pay AU$10 (3.34% of your transfer amount) in fixed fees and a further AU$15.01 (5% of your transfer amount) in hidden exchange rate margin fees, at the time of writing. Once you've paid out this combined AU$25.01 (8.34% of your transfer amount) to Westpac, your friend would be left with US$202.51.

Contrast this to making the same transfer with CurrencyFair, a Dublin-based money transfer service that was the cheapest provider for this transfer on our comparison engine at the time of writing. With CurrencyFair, you'd pay no fixed fees and only AU$1.40 in exchange rate margin fees, all laid out clearly and transparently on their homepage before you even sign-up. When your transfer arrives in the US, your friend would receive US$220.20 — nearly 9% more than they would've received with Westpac!

Take a look at the table below to get a better picture of exactly how the costs of a Westpac international money transfer break down (as of 26/11/2020 at 13:00 +01:00 GMT):

The Costs Visualised

Amount Transferred




Exchange Rate Margin Fee




Fees & Commissions




Total Cost




Total Cost (%)




Amount Received (INR)




Compare all your options and save upwards of 95% in fees on money transfers from Australia to India, Nepal, the Philippines, or any other country across the globe:

Westpac International Transfers: Other Fees to Anticipate

After paying the inescapable fixed fee and exchange rate margin fee when sending abroad with Westpac, you may find yourself subject to further fees still. Depending on your individual circumstances, these additional fees might include:

  • An AU$32.00 service fee should you wish to transfer your money international in-person from a branch, rather than over the internet;
  • 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 for any number of reasons. In these cases, the funds go through correspondent and/or intermediary banks, which deduct an undisclosed portion of the funds before they arrive in your beneficiary's account.

To Westpac's credit, the bank gives its customers a detailed overview of the correspondent bank fees, as well as the amounts that are typically deducted in case this fee is charged. In our analyses, these fees tend not to be mentioned at all to customers, only alluded to in the terms and conditions to which the transfer is subject.

Is Westpac Right for Your International Transfer?

Without a doubt, Westpac is a distinguished bank that offers world-class service to its clients, and as a partner for your everyday banking needs; they will likely suit you just fine.

However, when it comes to international money transfer, in particular, Westpac remains on the pricey side. This might not be a problem if you're a loyal Westpac customer, for example, or if you’re somebody who doesn't mind paying a bit extra for the quality service the bank offers. If this sounds like you, then sticking with Westpac will be just fine.

On the other hand, if you're somebody who'd like to save money on every transfer you send abroad — as well as let your recipient receive more — then we'd recommend you explore your options among the many low-cost money specialist services available on the market. Monito's free comparison engine allows you to do just that, drawing on real-time data and the latest fees and exchange rates to help you discover the best providers to suit your needs.

To get a better picture of how Westpac's foreign exchange services weigh up against those of such providers mentioned above, see how the services compare on an AU$250 transfer to India in the table below (as of 26/11/2020 at 12:00 +01:00 GMT):



Recipient Receives (in Indian rupees)

Payment Option

Cost Overview


1-3 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


Find Cheaper Ways To Send Money From Australia

Photo credit: Mattinbgn on Wikimedia Commons, distributed under CC BY 3.0 and GFDL licenses, cropped from the original

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