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  The best ways to send money abroad

When transferring money abroad, your choice must depend on where, in what way and how much money you want to send. To find the best operators, we compared rates, speed, and other important features of several major providers of this type of services.

The following prices are valid at the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021.

send money internationally
 Top 5 international money transfer operators  

Wise (Formerly TransferWise) international currency transfers

1. Wise (Formerly TransferWise): the best because of low markups and simplicity.

The service is available in more than 70 countries.

Wise (Formerly TransferWise) international money transfer costs. In terms of costs, Wise offers some of the lowest fees and very good exchange rates, so when sending money from your bank account, you're usually paying less than 1% of the transfer amount. However, when transferring a significant amount (meaning an equivalent of $10,000 or more), OFX can provide even more favorable conditions.

The speed of international money transfers with Wise. Transfers that use debit or credit cards tend to be really fast and can take only a couple of minutes, while transfers between bank accounts take on average 1-3 business days, depending on the destination, but there is also the direct debit option.

International money transfer limits and options. Wise limits differ from $2,000 for card transfers and up to $1 million (EUR1.2 million) for SWIFT/wire transfers. The transfer can be pied from a bank account, paid by bank debit (ACH), debit or credit card, Apple Pay. The recipient of the transfer must have a bank account / card.

Online platform and Wise customer support. The site has a very useful FAQs section, so you can quickly find a solution to your problem. You can get help by phone on business days only. Wise mobile application has high ratings.

On the Wise platform, you can open multi-currency account, which gives you the opportunity to receive payments from all over the world and to convert money at the average market foreign exchange rates.
 A detailed review of Wise (Formerly TransferWise) international money transfer services  

Wise (Formerly TransferWise) international currency transfers

2. Azimo: low cost of at least the first 2 international translations.

You cannot transfer money from the US., but you can get money in the US. either to your bank or cell phone account, or in cash at an agent's location.

Money can be transferred from most European countries, including Great Britain and Switzerland, plus from Australia (a total of 26 countries) to almost all countries in the world.

Fees charged for Azimo international transfers. Currently the first two (the first five in case of registering a business account) transfers of new customers are free of charge (afterwards the commission is 1.99 GBP for transfers from the UK, 2.99 EUR / CHF for Europe and 3.99 AUD for Australia), and the exchange rates are very favourable. But you can also consider receiving the transfer in the sender's currency.

The speed of Azimo international transfers. In most cases it takes from 1 to 3 banking days to transfer money.

Limits and options for Azimo international transfers. Transfers via credit card are limited to 12000 GBP or 13500 EUR, for direct transfers and Swift transfers there are no specified upper limits.
Payment can be made from a bank account, debit or credit card.
Money can be send to the bank or cell phone account, to mobile wallet or in some countries as cash to an agent location.

Azimo online platform and customer support. The website is fully translated into several European languages. Customer support is available in English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Russian and Italian weekdays from 9:00 to 17:00 Western European (UK) time.
 A detailed review of Azimo international money transfer services  

OFX international money transfers

3. OFX: the best due to low transfer fees.

Operates in more than 80 countries around the world.

The cost of OFX international money transfer services is one of the lowest, regardless of the transfer amount there is no transfer fee. The exchange rate surcharge is usually less than 1%, so it tends to be really cheap.

OFX international money transfer speed. Usually, payment will not arrive on the same day you've sent it. More often than not, OFX receives bank transfers within one to two business days and within another couple of days, depending on the destination, the money is delivered to the recipient.

Limits and options of international money transfers with OFX. The minimum amount you can send is $1,000; for the most popular world currencies, no maximum is set.

Transfers can only be made between bank accounts, OFX does not give an opportunity of sending or receiving cash.

The OFX online platform and customer support. OFX provides 24/7 phone support service, its site has pretty useful FAQs section. But: sending money can be difficult if the user is not familiar with the terminology of the foreign currency exchange market.
 A detailed review of OFX international money transfer services  

international money transfers Xoom / PayPal

4. Xoom: the best because of the superb transfer speed and ease of use.

The costs of Xoom international money transfers: too expensive for an online provider. If the transfer is made not from a debit or credit card, but from a bank account, Xoom usually declares very low upfront fees, about, $5 or less, but the markup on the exchange rate can be more than 3%, while this of the abovementioned providers does not exceed 1%. However, Xoom services are still cheaper than international wire transfers between bank accounts.

The speed of Xoom international money transfers. Often, sent money reach the recipient within minutes regardless of the used payment option. But a transaction can also take several days, depending on such factors as bank working hours or time zones.

Limits and options of Xoom international money transfers: The minimum amount you can send varies from country to country, but the ceiling of a personal transfer is $50,000.

Money can be send from a bank account, debit or credit card, or PayPal (Xoom is owned by PayPal); in some countries it is possible to get cash at supermarkets and other agent locations.

Xoom's web platform and customer support: phone support is available 24/7 in English, Spanish and Filipino, and at certain hours in French, Italian, German and Arabic. The online platform has an accurate cost calculator and FAQs, and the Xoom mobile app has high ratings.
 A detailed review of Xoom international money transfer service  

international money transfers with MoneyGram

5. MoneyGram: the best due to the fast transfer speed and individual approach.

The service is available at more than 350,000 locations of 200 countries.

The costs of international transfer services of MoneyGram are significantly higher than those of all already mentioned providers. Transaction fees for transferring funds from a bank account are usually quite low, but increase when using other payment channels, add to them MoneyGram markups on currency conversion, which can be more than 3% and one can get final costs of up to 10% of the transfer amount.

Speed of MoneyGram international money transfers: regardless of the chosen options, transfers are usually delivered on the same day as they were sent, but because of bank hours and other factors the process may take longer.

Limits and options of money transfers abroad: the maximum transfer amount of MoneyGram is $10,000 per transfer or per month.

The advantage of MoneyGram is its physical presence in many countries of the world: you can send and receive transfers in cash, which is certainly advantageous for people with no bank account or debit / credit card. Cashless payments can be made through the MoneyGram web platform, you can receive money to your bank account or card, mobile wallet, or as cash at the nearest MoneyGram location.

Online platform and user support of MoneyGram. Support is available via email or live chat, fraud can be reported by phone. All rates, fees and other information can be easily found on the MoneyGram website, the mobile application has solid ratings.
 A detailed review of MoneyGram international money transfer service  

international money transfer services of WesternUnion

6. Western Union: the best due to individual approach and wide coverage:

Transfers are available at over 550,000 locations in 200 countries.

The costs of international money transfers with WesternUnion: vary widely. The flat fees for a $1,000 transfer may be less than $5, but Western Union's exchange rate surcharge varies from less than 3 to 10%, depending on the destination.

 Speed of international money Transfers of WesternUnion. Same-day delivery is possible for cash transfers from a Western Union location or from a debit/credit card to another Western Union location, but, for urgency, you will have to pay extra. Transfers from one bank account to another are the cheapest, but the delivery of funds may take more than a week.

WesternUnion money transfer limits and channels: The WesternUnion website shows different transfer limits for different countries, but mostly the maximum will be about $50,000, while the minimum — $1.
Western Union is the largest money transfer operator in the world and its main advantage is its wide network of offices and agent locations, which allows to send or receive cash.

WesternUnion's online platform and user support: 24/7 by phone + live chat; but on its website, it's hard to find the information you're interested in.
 A detailed review of WesternUnion international money transfer service  

international currencies transfers
Evaluation of international currency transfer operators

How we analyzed international money transfer providers:

Focusing on the major players of the industry, we considered seven providers on the basis of market research, expert opinion, Internet traffic and costs analysis. We examined the following providers: Azimo, OFX, MoneyGram, Wise (Formerly TransferWise), Remitly, Ria, WesternUnion and Xoom (a subsidiary of PayPal). Percentage markups on exchange rates are given in comparison with median market currency exchange rates.

 Low-cost money transfers abroad with Wise (Formerly TransferWise)  
send money internationally
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