Sending Money Abroad with ICICI Bank Canada: Everything You Need to Know

Sep 29, 2020
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Thinking of using ICICI Bank to send money from Canada to India? While more affordable than many other banks, savvy users should be mindful of ICICI Bank Canada's hidden fees, and aware of the cheaper alternatives that exist.

One of the most recognized names in Indian banking, ICICI Bank is a multinational financial services corporation based in Mumbai, India, with operations spanning across 17 countries, including Canada.

ICICI Bank Canada, which is particularly popular among the Indian community living in the country, is headquartered in Toronto, with seven local branches located in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario.

When sending money abroad with ICICI Bank Canada, the main remittance destination is to India. While the bank does offer money transfers to Bangladesh, China, Ghana, Nepal, Philippines, and Vietnam, only Indian rupees are quoted, with transfers to other currencies being dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

While the bank offers attractive rates on transfers to India, for those looking for the cheapest remittance service, however, ICICI Bank Canada still leaves a lot to be desired.

What Will ICICI Bank Canada Charge You?

Sending money to India with ICICI Bank Canada comes at a small fixed cost per transfer. While sending money to India using a HiVALUE PLUS Chequing Account is free of any fees and commissions, all other transfer types have fixed fees associated with them. Take a look at the breakdown to find out how much you could expect to pay:

  • A $5 fee per transfer for funds sent to any bank in India using a HiVALUE Chequing Account;
  • A $5 fee per transfer for funds sent to any bank in India using a HiSAVE Savings Account or a Premium Savings Account;

Sending Money Abroad With ICICI Bank Canada: Beware the Hidden Fees

In addition to the fixed fees outlined above, you will also pay a hidden fee when sending money abroad with ICICI Bank Canada:

In essence, every time you convert your Canadian dollars into another currency, you're selling your cash to a bank which, in turn, agrees to transfer that same amount to your beneficiary using another currency. This is the point where banks slide in their hidden fee. Because their exchange rates are slightly different to the exchange rates that you might see on Google, for example, a small profit can be made on international transfers, known as an exchange rate margin.

ICICI Bank Canada's exchange rates are only quoted for currency exchanges between the Canadian dollar and the Indian rupee.

Take a look at the chart below to get a better picture of how ICICI Bank Canada's rates to India compare to those of other providers:

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The Costs Combined

When taking both the fixed fees and the variable exchange rate margins into account, sending money to India with ICICI Bank Canada can be a relatively expensive ordeal, especially at smaller amounts.

For example, if you were to send only $100 to a family member in India, you would pay around 7% of the entire transfer amount in fees (the $5 commission plus the exchange rate margin).

While fees as a percentage of your transfer would indeed decrease the larger the amount of money you send, the costs remain high nonetheless, especially when compared to cheaper alternatives that exist on the market.

The Costs Visualized

Amount Transferred (CAD)




Bank's Exchange Rate (29/09/2020)




Fees & Commissions (CAD)




Total Cost (CAD)




Total Cost (%)




Compare all your options and save upwards of 95% in fees on money transfers of $500 from Canada to India:

Sending Money Abroad With ICICI Bank Canada: Other Fees to Anticipate

Over and above the standard fees and exchange rate margins you can expect to pay when sending money abroad with ICICI Bank Canada, there may be other expenses still for getting your transfer done. Depending on your circumstances, these might include the following:

  • A $10 declined transaction fee from your beneficiary’s bank if the transfer bounces;
  • A $10 handling fee if you decide to instruct your money order in-person at your branch or over the phone.

In addition, if the bank to which you’re sending your money doesn't have an established relationship with ICICI Bank, you may be subject to what's called a foreign bank charge or agent charge. If this is the case for you, ICICI Bank Canada will use an intermediary bank to complete your transaction, and you'll be given the option either to pay the cost yourself or to pass the cost along to the recipient.

Is ICICI Bank India Right for You?

All things taken into account, ICICI Bank Canada is a well-established bank that can be trusted to make your transfer to India or to anywhere else. If you're already a customer of the bank and if you value its service and standing in the community, then paying a bit extra for transfers to India might make sense for you.

However, if you're somebody who's looking to get the best deal on every transfer abroad, then ICICI Bank Canada shouldn't be your first pick. Fortunately, in this case, you've got a wealth of low-cost money transfer services to choose from!

For example, if you were to use ICICI Bank Canada to send $2,500 to family living in India, they'd receive around ₹134,429 at the time of writing. On the other hand, if you were to use TransferWise for the same transfer, they'd receive a considerably higher ₹136,509!

See the graph below to get a better sense of how ICICI Bank Canada compares in this regard:



Recipient Receives (INR)

Payment Option

Cost Overview


≈ 2 days


Bank transfer

Upon paying

See more


≈ 2 days


Direct bank payment, bank transfer, credit/debit card

In advance



≈ 1 day


Credit/debit card

In advance



3-5 days


Bank transfer, credit/debit card

In advance



≈ 1 day


Direct bank payment, credit/debit card

In advance



3-5 days


Bank transfer

In advance


For these reasons, if you're somebody who's looking to save on every transfer you made, our recommendation would be that you use our comparison engine to discover the best rates on transfers to India in real-time.

You May Still Be Wondering...

Find Cheaper Ways To Send Money To India From Canada

Photo credit: Ian Muttoo on Flickr, distributed under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license

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