Whenever it comes to sending money, you want to make sure you are doing it in a way that is most convenient for you. There are many factors that play into sending bank wire transfers internationally, such as fees, conversion fees, and even how long the transfer itself takes.
Therefore, you want to make sure that you are finding the best international money transfer system possible.
This will not only keep you happy but will also keep the person you are sending to happy as well. No one likes losing money to fees, and your recipient won’t be the happiest if they learn a chunk of their money was taken by the company facilitating the transfer.
If the person you are sending money to lives internationally, it adds another issue with wire transfers. For the most part, wire transfers are done using one currency.
This does not mean that if you want to convert you can’t, but it does mean you are going to be hit with a conversion fee, which can sometimes be exorbitant.
Before we talk about some of the best international money transfer methods, we first want to discuss why you might want to consider bank wire transfers over other types of payments internationally.
From there, we will discuss in our opinion what we think are the best international money transfer companies.
The Benefits of Wire Transfers
The main reason why people look to use wire transfers is simply because of the speed that they offer.
Initiating a worldwide wire transfer only takes a minute or so and if you are sending internationally it will take about a day or two to process.
In some cases when sending money, the payment has to be cleared before the recipient can receive it.
In wire transfers, this is not the case as they will have instant access to the money.
It might take a little bit of administrative work on the bank’s end to get the funds into your account, but there will not be any type of hold on it like you see with other transfers.
When it comes to safety, wire transfers are fairly safe and are one of the best methods used for sending money internationally. No form of sending money can ever be 100%, however, bank transfers pose a fairly safe solution.
Because you need to have a verified identity, it will be much harder for people to pull off fraud when using wire transfers. You still have to be careful with who you do business with, however, as scammers are always looking for ways to beat the system.
Now that we’ve talked about the benefits of using wire transfers, let’s talk about some of the best international money transfer companies out there that can make transferring money in any currency that much easier for both you and your recipient.
Wise (formerly Transferwise) - Best Overall For International Transfers
If you are someone who moves money between different currencies often or has to pay out employees in a different country, you are going to want to find the best international money transfer system for you.
Wise has been one of the best for years for many reasons.
The first is that they are one of the cheapest out there.
With websites like PayPal taking a chunk off of business payments, Wise counters that by barely touching your money.
You will have a small bit taken away during your transfers, but the conversion fees along with the fees for using the website itself are going to be slim to none.
In terms of speed, the bank transfers will typically take between one to three days, but you can get same-day transfers if you pay extra. Compared to other international money transfer websites, this transfer time is rather fast.
The other reason why we list this as the best international money transfer website is because of the number of currencies that they support. Supporting over 40 different currencies, there is a good chance you’ll easily be able to deposit money and convert it into your desired form. The low fees are just the icing on the cake when it comes to Wise.
PayPal is one of the fastest websites out there for transferring money, but that does not mean it is the best international money transfer website.
What we loved about PayPal was how fast everything worked. When we were sending money, people received it almost instantly and they could quickly move it to their bank account.
For sending money domestically or sending it to friends, PayPal is unrivaled as it does not take off any money in these situations. Where PayPal starts to falter however is when it handles international currencies and business payments.
The fees on PayPal are rather high and the conversion rates that you get are not going to the best.
When compared to Wise, we have to say that Wise is better. The higher fees that PayPal offers can be a turn-off for many business owners.
That being said, if you need to get money quickly and don’t want to pay for same-day transfers, you can count on PayPal to get your money where it needs to be quick.
OFX has been around now for almost 20 years and is one of the longest-standing money transfer companies out there.
They also are one of the best international money transfer websites.
They support over 55 currencies and are available in over 190 countries, meaning you are going to get the support that you need.
The other thing that we have to add with OFX is that they have completely eliminated transfer fees if you are a US customer. The only thing that you will have to pay is the fee that they charge for conversions.
The exchange rates and fees are rather low as well, making them a great cheap alternative.
The one downside with OFX is that they have a minimum transfer amount of $1000. This means if you are looking for a website for small money transfers, you are going to have to look elsewhere. Overall, OFX is one of the best international money transfer websites out there for its low fees.
Remitly has always been one of the best international money transfer websites if you are looking to send money to developing countries in their currency.
With 24/7 support available, you are going to be getting the help that you need to ensure that everything goes smoothly as well.
What we liked about Remitly was how easy it was to create an account and get going.
Within a few minutes of using the website, we were able to have an account up and running.
As for the rates, Remitly is competitive with many other international websites for converting currency. The rates are going to be much better than what you would find at a bank, making it ideal for working with other currencies.
The one thing we did not like about Remitly was that they did not have a fixed transfer rate. The rate is subject to change depending on the currency that you are using so be mindful of that.
Other than that, Remitly is a great website and is one of the best international money transfer companies out there for sending money quickly and reliably.
If you are looking for safety when you are sending money, XE is the best international money transfer website out there. Rated 5 out of 5 on TrustPilot, you know that you are going to be working with a reputable website.
XE isn’t just known for its great security either. They offer incredibly competitive transfer rates when it comes to converting currency from one to another.
There are also no additional fees when you are going to be sending your money.
XE works with many different companies around the world and helps out greatly when they need to send money internationally and in other currencies. If that hasn’t sold you on the reliability of XE, we don’t know what will.
It has continually been known as one of the best international money transfer websites out there and we would agree with that statement.
Xoom is incredibly fast and easy to use, but we have to say the exchange rates when converting currencies are not the best.
If you are looking for a fast way to transfer some money and you don’t care about the fees, Xoom is great for you.
While they still will be cheaper than most banks, in comparison to other websites on this list, you are going to be paying more with Xoom.
We found that with Xoom, transfers arrived within minutes most of the time, but on some occasions depending on the time of day, it took a few hours or a few days for things to be received.
All of this makes sense because Xoom is owned by PayPal, therefore you are going to be getting a similar service with this website. Just like with PayPal, you can expect higher fees, but fast transfers.
The last website that we are going to be talking about for bank wire transfers is MoneyGram.
As we were working with bank wire transfers, we were subject to the lower fees on MoneyGram, however, you should be careful if you plan on sending money through different means. MoneyGram has rate markups that can surpass 3% which in our option is quite high.
When it came to working with other currencies, we found MoneyGram performed like most of the websites on this list.
They didn’t blow us away with new innovative features or extremely low fees, but there was nothing that worried us too much either.
We do want to say that MoneyGram does have physical locations so if you want to go in person to make a transfer, you can do so with MoneyGram. As we do our work online, this wasn’t an important feature for us, but to some of you reading this, you might prefer to do it that way.
After reviewing all of these websites, we have to say the best international money transfer is Wise. It was incredibly easy to work with and the ability to move money across multiple currencies was fantastic as well. The low fees and fast transfer rates just made things that much better for us.
To close everything up, there is nothing inherently wrong with any of these websites, it's just that we prefer Wise. Find out what works for you and your sending needs so you can get the most of your money.