Genome Blog / articles / 6 cheapest ways to send money abroad
Aug. 27, 2021
With the ever-increasing number of financial providers, the question “With whom should I bank?” remains unanswered. Indeed, it’s getting harder and harder to choose that one provider that would satisfy all your needs, has helpful and actually useful customer support, and wouldn’t cost a fortune per month.
In today’s blog post, we are talking about how to make the cheapest international money transfers – one of the most requested services. Even if you send funds abroad only once in half a year, you do not want to pay an additional $50-100 fee. That’s why Genome‘s team prepared a detailed guide on how to select the most beneficial provider and save your money when wiring funds overseas.
How to choose the best services for sending money abroad
Let’s go through the most common rules of thumb for fast and secure international transfers:
Fully licensed money transfer services
Use only reliable providers to avoid scams. Fully licensed providers have more security protocols that really work when it comes to wiring funds. The chances that they will verify both the sender’s and receiver’s information before instructing any transfer are much higher than with some unknown money transfer company. It is crucial for international transactions because wires overseas need to go through more additional checkups (if the sender’s and receiver’s accounts are not in the same banking network).
Check transfer types supported
Go for providers with whom you can send different transfers (SWIFT, SEPA for Europe, etc.) This way you can choose the best option for yourself, and the money will arrive promptly in the receiver’s account. Additionally, if a financial provider has a vast network of partners in different countries the transfer will go through without any delays.
Find out how you can contact the customer support department in no time. In case of any mistake from your side, delay, large fees, or even lack of information, you need to talk to the representatives of the money transfer company you’re using. You cannot wait for a reply via email for a few business days if there’s an issue with a transaction, especially if it’s a transfer abroad.
Things to consider to find a truly cheap way to send money abroad
In the previous part, we discussed what to pay attention to when looking for a trustworthy and efficient transfer service provider. Now, let’s have a look at how you can avoid any heavy charges when wiring money overseas:
No additional fees
Some services charge extra for making international transfers. If you don’t want to overpay, open accounts only with providers that do not require extra payments for sending funds abroad. If possible, look for free pricing plans, so that you are not charged monthly for using their services.
No credit or debit card used
Probably, you’ve already come across services where you can send money from one bank card to another. Undoubtedly, it’s a pretty convenient, but rarely the cheapest way to transfer money overseas.
Avoid using high-street banks
These tend to be pretty expensive for international transfers.
Go for a longer transfer speed
If you’re not in a rush, make transfers that will take more time to be delivered – it will reduce your fees.
Now you know how to choose an affordable and, at the same time, reliable transfer service for wiring funds overseas. We’ve also prepared a short guide on the available providers with affordable fees for the cheapest money transfers:
Former TransferWise works best for small and medium-sized bank transfers (up to US$10,000.00). This fintech has built a reputation due to affordable prices and high-speed transactions. Wise has simple but intuitive mobile and web applications. It offers cheap money transfers in around 60 currencies and is available in the US, EEA, UK, as well as in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and even Japan.
When it comes to fees, Wise is also one of the cheapest providers for international transfers. The price you need to pay for wiring money abroad usually ranges from 0.25% and 1.00% of the total transfer value. The minimum amount for sending funds is $1, and the maximum – $1 million, or equivalent in any other currency.
This service is particularly famous for international card payments. It supports not only transfers overseas but even cash pickups. On this money transfer platform, you can send funds both from credit and debit bank cards to almost 100 countries all over the world.
Card-to-card payments and cash pickups with Paysend only take a few seconds, while regular transfers to bank accounts arrive between 1 to 3 days. The fee for both card-to-Paysend-wallet and card-to-card transactions is fixed. However, Paysend has its exchange rate for cross-currency transactions. You can check their rate and the sum a receiver will get on the calculator on the official website or in a mobile application before making a transfer. The default minimum amount you can send is $10 and the maximum – $1 000. These can be raised to $10 000 after ID verification.
It’s a digital money transfer service based in the US. Cash services, bank transfers, card payments – are all available on their platform. Remitly operates in North America, Europe, Australia, and Singapore. The number of countries from which you can make payments is 17, but you can wire funds to more than 100 countries.
Remitly charges are included in their exchange rate and will vary depending on the sum, currency, and transfer speed accordingly. You can choose from around 50 currencies to make your payments. Remitly offers different pricing options: Economy transfers will take longer (a few business days) but with lower fees, and Express payments arrive within seconds but are more expensive. The maximum transfer amount is $20 000 or currency equivalent.
This service is the oldest money transfer company globally. Western Union provides lots of pay-in and pay-out options and is available in most countries globally. The number of supported currencies is also huge – 150. Most transfers with Western Union will take from 1 to 3 business days. The service charges both fixed fees and exchange rate margins. Western Union might not be the cheapest way to transfer money internationally, but it has the largest choice of countries to send money to.
The main advantage of this service is that it supports approximately 150 currencies and is available in 56 countries (including the ones in the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa). WorldRemit charges vary between 1.00% and 2.50% of the transfer value. Depending on the region you’re wiring funds to and on the amount, transfers can take anything from between a few seconds and a few business days. For the US, the maximum you can send is $9 000, while for the UK it’s £50 000. The good thing is that these limits reset daily. So, already the next day you can transfer the same amount.
A foreign exchange broker, this service is great for large transfers. OFX is available not only in the US, UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand but also in Hong Kong and Singapore. It supports transfers to 190 countries in 50 different currencies. The timeframes for sending money with OFX are 1-2 business days, but they can be longer for less common currencies. The minimum amount to wire is $2 000 and the maximum – $2 billion.
Hidden costs to watch out for
Despite the fees for actually making a transfer, some services charge even more with the help of the so-called hidden costs. These charges are often not so evident when you start using a service. The final amount of how much you need to pay for wiring money internationally is usually much higher than what you expected it to be because of these hidden fees. Let’s have a look at what they can be:
Avoid using any money transfer companies or services where you need to pay monthly (unless you need such an account for your daily banking). There are many free-of-charge options to send transfers abroad and we discussed some of them just in the previous section of this article.
Fees built into the exchange rate
Use a few different services to compare the exchange rate and find the best one. Some transfer companies have quite inadequate exchange rates but no fees. In such a way, they are trying to trick potential clients into using their “cheap” service because they do not charge additionally, when, in fact, the fee is already built in the exchange rate.
Fees for currency exchange
It’s a wide-known fact that it’s best to avoid cross-currency transfers. To dodge additional charges, make a transaction in the currency the receiver is supposed to get. That’s why it’s recommended to convert the currency first and only then to send money. However, some providers can charge you for currency exchange (if it’s not covered by your pricing plan for example). Fortunately, you can always find financial providers with whom you can do this for free.
Higher fees for instant transfers
If you need to send money abroad urgently, you can pay extra for such a service. At the same time, you can avoid such charges if you choose a regular-speed transaction that will arrive within a few business days.
You can often see these on your bill after ordering an international transfer. However, it’s not clear why exactly this fee is in place. If you try to find out, you are likely to receive some vague explanation full of financial terms. Use only reliable international money transfer companies and double-check the fees beforehand not to find yourself in such tricky situations.
Which countries are the cheapest for international transfers
There are no cheap and expensive countries to send or receive international transfers. The costs of wiring money overseas depend on many factors, such as banking networks, types of transfers supported, and so on. Usually, most European countries, the UK, and the US should be relatively cheap to send funds to because of the developed network of financial services and their partners. The costs may get higher for the countries that use no-so-popular currencies (some Asian and African countries for instance).
How Genome can help
In Genome, we support both SWIFT and SEPA transfers for our business and personal users. But we also have a truly fascinating and affordable option for making international transfers that just works wonders. Make the most of our free and instant transfers between Genome users – send and receive money in different currencies no matter where you’re located.
How do I send money abroad from an EU country?
There are no difficulties with making international transfers from most EU countries. If you’re sending funds in euro, you can order SEPA transfers. If you need to instruct a transfer to a country not included in the SEPA list or in some other currency, you can go for any available money transfer company.
Is a cheap international money transfer safe?
They are generally safe if you’re sending money with fully licensed money transfer services.
How to send a cheap money transfer?
Compare the available services and choose the most affordable one. Don’t wire funds internationally with high-street banks and don’t use your bank cards. These two options tend to be the most expensive ones.
What is the cheapest way to send money abroad?
The answer to this question will vary depending on where both sender and receiver are located, what currency is used, and many other factors. We were talking about the most famous and efficient money transfer companies in today’s blog post just above. You can choose one of those money transfer companies or find some other one that will satisfy your needs.