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Find the Cheapest Way To Send Money Internationally

Nov 2, 2021

It’s the sad reality that, when sending money abroad, you’re likely losing a lot to banks and other hungry corporations charging exorbitant and obscure fees. At Monito, we know this feeling all too well. That’s why we’ve spent years independently comparing and reviewing transfer services across the globe. Using our savvy real-time comparison engine, you can take back control and escape hidden fees by finding the cheapest way to transfer money internationally.

In this guide, we explore the six services that offer the cheapest way to send money internationally for different types of transfers according to millions of search results on Monito. Then, we go over some crucial tips to find the best way to transfer money internationally.

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Monito's Recommendation

The cheapest way to send money internationally varies from transfer to transfer. Fortunately, we’ve done all of the heavy lifting for you. Run a search on Monito's real-time comparison engine below to find the best way to transfer money internationally for your individual needs:

1 — Wise

London-based fintech Wise is a world-class option for sending money internationally and frequently ranks as the cheapest way to transfer money internationally on Monito. According to the Monito Score, Wise is also ranked as the best money transfer service of all, and its mobile app is ranked the best money transfer app.

Cost: Wise charges a mix of fixed fees and commissions for different corridors, which usually constitute between 0.25% and 1.00% of the total transfer value. Wise was the cheapest service on 21% of global comparisons on Monito between July 2020 and 2021.

Coverage: Available in the EEA, UK, US, Singapore, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, Wise supports transfers to around 57 foreign currencies across the globe.

Speed: In 2020, around 34% of Wise transfers arrived within 20 seconds, 53% within an hour, and 81% within a 24-hour period. Overall, Wise ranked as the fourth-fastest money transfer service on Monito's comparison engine between July 2020 and 2021.

Transfer limits: Precise limits vary depending on currency and country, but in general, the minimum transfer is US$1.00, and the maximum transfer is US$1 million, or currency equivalent.

Recommendation: We recommend Wise especially for small- to medium-sized bank transfers (up to US$10,000.00) destined for international bank accounts, as the platform is particularly well-priced for these transfers.

More info: See our full Wise review.

2 — Remitly

Remitly is a US-based digital remittance service that's frequently the fastest and cheapest way to send money internationally on Monito. The platform offers various pay-in and pay-out options (including card payments, bank transfers, and cash services) and supports money transfers to over 85 countries worldwide.

Cost: Remitly's fees are built into the exchange rate and typically range between 0.50% and 2.00% of the international money transfer value, depending on the currencies in question. Remitly was the cheapest service on 20% of global comparisons on Monito between July 2020 and 2021.

Coverage: Available in Europe, North America, Singapore, and Australia, Remitly supports transfers to around 47 currencies on every continent.

Speed: Remitly 'Economy' bank transfers take between three and five business days to arrive, while 'Express' card transfers arrive within minutes. Overall, Remitly ranked as the second-fastest money transfer service on Monito's comparison engine between July 2020 and 2021.

Transfer limits: Exact limits vary depending on currency and country, but in general, the minimum transfer is US$1.00, and the maximum transfer is US$20,000.00, or currency equivalent.

Recommendation: Because of its speed and pricing for cash-related transfers in particular, we recommend Remitly for sending money for cash pick-up and cash home delivery services.

More info: See our full Remitly review.

3 — Paysend

A true specialist in international card payments, Paysend is a flexible and fast-growing money transfer platform that supports credit and debit card payments to an impressive network of nearly 100 receiving countries through various pay-out options.

Cost: Paysend charges a fixed fee for most card-to-card and card-to-Paysend-wallet transfers and an exchange rate margin of between 0.50% and 2.00% of the international money transfer value. Paysend was the cheapest service on roughly 25% of global comparisons on Monito in May 2021.

Coverage: Paysend is available to residents of 49 countries and supports transfers to 90 countries across the globe.

Speed: For Paysend transfers to cards or for cash pickup, funds normally arrive within a matter of seconds or minutes. Transfers to bank accounts take longer, usually between one and three business days.

Transfer limits: Default transfer limits at Paysend are US$10.00 and US$1,000.00, which can be raised to US$10,000.00 after ID verification.

Recommendation: We recommend Paysend for international card payments to credit cards, debit cards, or bank accounts due to its excellent fees and exchange rates for these types of transfers.

More info: See our full Paysend review.

4 — WorldRemit

WorldRemit is a UK-based online remittance provider that offers best way to transfer money internationally to diverse regions globally, including Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America — often offering the cheapest way to send money internationally to these countries.

Cost: WorldRemit's fees vary significantly from transfer to transfer and generally constitute anywhere between 1.00% and 2.50% of the international money transfer value. WorldRemit was the cheapest service on 9% of global comparisons on Monito between July 2020 and 2021.

Coverage: Available in 56 countries around the globe, WorldRemit supports money transfers to as many as 150 foreign currencies.

Speed: Depending on the pay-in methods, pay-out methods, and countries involved, WorldRemit transfers take anywhere between a few seconds and a few working days to arrive. Overall, WorldRemit ranked as the fifth-fastest money transfer service on Monito's comparison engine between July 2020 and 2021.

Transfer limits: Transfer limits at WorldRemit vary from country to country and reset on a daily basis. They range between US$1.00 and US$9,000.00 in the US and £1.00 and £50,000.00 in the UK.

Recommendation: We recommend WorldRemit for mobile money transfers due to its industry-leading coverage among mobile wallets. These include Vodafone M-PESA, MTN Mobile Money, Airtel, Globe Cash, Tigo, and many others.

More info: See our full WorldRemit review.

5 — Western Union

The world's largest (and oldest) money transfer company, Western Union is a giant in the world of currency exchange, often offering the best way to transfer money internationally in terms of coverage and number of pay-in and pay-out options.

Cost: Western Union charges a mix of fixed fees and exchange rate margins on international money transfers, typically costing between 1.50% and 3.00% of the international money transfer value but sometimes going higher still. Western Union was the cheapest service on roughly 5% of global comparisons on Monito between July 2020 and 2021.

Coverage: Western Union is available to customers in most countries and supports transfers to 150 foreign currencies worldwide.

Speed: Transfer speeds at Western Union vary depending on many factors. In general, money takes one to three business days to arrive.

Transfer limits: Transfer limits vary depending on several regulatory factors. In general, the minimum transfer at Western Union is US$1.00 and the maximum is US$10,000.00, or currency equivalent.

Recommendation: While not always the cheapest way to send money internationally, Western Union is nonetheless a reasonably-priced option that sometimes offers the best way to transfer money internationally to far-flung countries. As a result, we recommend Western Union to users who're looking for a wide variety of pay-in and pay-out options and destination countries.

More info: See our full Western Union review.

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We used pricing data from the UK sending market to inform Western Union's recommendation. The service may not be as well priced for all sending markets. Recommendations may change as new data comes in.

6 — OFX

A specialist in large money transfers, OFX is a foreign exchange broker rather than a money transfer platform, meaning that its services are more personalized toward the needs of individual customers.

Cost: OFX charges a mix of transfer fees and exchange rate margins for sending money internationally which tend to fall between 0.40% to 1.00% of the international money transfer value. OFX was the cheapest service on 23% of global comparisons above US$50,000.00 on Monito between July 2020 and 2021.

Coverage: OFX is available in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK, US, EU, Singapore, and Hong Kong. It supports transfers to an impressive 190 countries in over 50 foreign currencies.

Speed: OFX transfers typically arrive within one to two working days, although transfer times can take as long as five working days for less commonly-traded foreign currencies.

Transfer limits: OFX has a broad limits ranging from a minimum transfer of US$2,000.00 to a maximum of US$2 billion.

Recommendation: We recommend OFX for transfers of above US$50,000.00, as the service quickly becomes the cheapest way to transfer money internationally at these amounts.

More info: See our full OFX review.

How To Find the Cheapest Way To Send Money Internationally

Overall, depending on individual needs and preferences, any one of the money transfer services we explored above will be the best way to send money internationally for most people.

However, there are other rules of thumb to keep in mind to ensure that you save every extra dollar when sending money internationally for everyday use. These include:

  • Open bank accounts that don’t charge additional fees for international money transfers. Take a look at our list of the best banks for international travel to find out more.
  • Avoid using a credit or debit card to fund your money transfer.
  • Make sure you choose a safe and fully licensed money transfer service. All services on Monito adhere to the highest security standards and are among the safest ways to send money internationally.
  • Avoid using high-street banks and PayPal, which are practically never the cheapest way to send (or receive) money internationally.
  • Where possible, send money to a bank account or a mobile wallet rather than to a cash pick-up location.
  • If you're looking for the cheapest way to exchange money with cash, avoid doing so at bureaux de change or airports.
  • Where possible, send one large transfer instead of multiple smaller ones. Larger transfers almost always incur lower percentage fees than smaller transfers. Learn more about making large international money transfers here, and about how much you can send internationally here.
  • Choose a longer transfer speed if it reduces your fees.

It's important to remember that it's impossible to send money internationally for free and that every currency exchange comes with a cost. However, not all money transfer services are created equal, and some fees are considerably lower than others. To simplify your research, Monito has reviewed and compared hundreds of money transfer services. You can compare them in real-time using our award-winning comparison engine below:

Find the Cheapest Way to Transfer Money Internationally

What if I'm looking for the cheapest way to get cash abroad?

Check-out our guide to find the cheapest way to get cash abroad while you travel. Here are Monito's top tips:

  1. Buying Foreign Banknotes in your home country, at the airport or at the destination is generally really expensive as you'll be charged exchange rate markup between 2.15% to a whopping 16.60%.
  2. Don't withdraw money abroad with your traditional bank card to avoid sneaky hidden exchange rate mark-ups
  3. Be aware of Dynamic Currency Conversion and always pay in the local currency
  4. Compare the best travel money cards to avoid high fees and travel with peace of mind

Frequently Asked Questions About the Cheapest Way To Send Money Internationally

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+ Millions 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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