How to Transfer Money Internationally

It’s 2020. Gone are the days of terrible bank rates for international money transfers!

Modern-day methods are far and wide - from Bitcoin to Transferwise or the comparatively old-school Paypal!.

Read on for your best international money transfer options.

XE.com

XE Money Transfer is one of the older, larger international forex businesses. They’re fast, reliable and secure.

Cost

Exchange rates are competitive with no fees.

Speed

Most transfers are completed in a day, but can take up to four.

Transfer limits

Customer experience

Secure online platform available all day, every day.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin was created with the goal of a global electronic cash system without the intervention of governments and central banks.

It doesn’t face the same centralized control as traditional money transfer systems - ideal for those who want control, as you don’t have to put your trust in a company. You can buy bitcoin on one exchange in one country, and sell it in another.

Cost

Note the same coin can be trading at different prices on different exchanges, meaning there are arbitrage opportunities that could work in your favor, but also against you.

Speed

Transfers are quicker on busier exchanges. It can take as little as minutes!

Transfer limits

There are no limits to how much Bitcoin you can transfer and you can send it anywhere in the world. You can make transfers that could be blocked by traditional systems - like to sanctioned countries.

Customer experience

*This is a great system for those familiar with trading Bitcoin. Its drawback is typing in a 34 character address each time you transfer. This can’t be reversed if you get it wrong - so it’s best to read up on how it all works before getting too far into it.

Make sure you hold your coins in a secure wallet too.

Transferwise

Transferwise is the low-fee peer-to-peer currency specialist.

Cost

Speed

Same day delivery is possible, but can be up to four.

Transfer limits

Customer experience

They have a great mobile app and easy-to-use FAQs on their website - although phone line support is only on weekdays.

Western Union

Western Union is a popular choice for sending money to family and friends but it can be more expensive for international money transfers.

Cost

Costs vary - they’re usually 1-6% depending on the destination and can be less than $5 for transfers up to $1,000.

Speed

Same-day delivery is possible. The cheapest transfers require bank accounts and can take over a week.

Transfer limits

Customer experience

Paypal

PayPal was one of the first to market for international money transfers. It’s on the expensive end of the scale though - which many users forgive because of its history and ease of use.

Cost

Speed

It can take up to five business days.

Transfer limits

*You can make payments in 200 countries and 25 currencies.

*Transfers of $60,000 in up to $10,000 installments can be made by bank account, cash pickup or delivery, mobile top-up, and bill payments.

Customer experience

The customer experience may be worth the price. All you need is the recipient’s email address and bank or card details.

Paypal has a new system called Xoom which can be used for some international money transfer services. It’s easy to set up with your PayPal credentials for sending money to non-PayPal recipients.