Top 7 Compared
with 3 Tips to Choose a Service (that is right for you!)
There are about 30 or 40 reasonably large money transfer companies to choose from but only a handful that come highly recommended.
Best of the Best
Check out our Do Not Miss Notes (below).
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
|Money Transfer Company||Minimum Amount||Best For *||Offices/ Online||TrustPilot Rating||Cost Factor see notes below +||Our Rating ++||Bottom Line|
|Bank||None||Keeping your money, not moving it. 🙂||In your country only.||5.3||0.7||3.7|
|CurrencyFair||8 Euros||Residents Worldwide (Not USA) / Smaller Amounts||Online Focus||9.4||0.8||7.5||Lowest Costs, P2P Service. Currencyfair - Full Review|
|TransferWise||None||Residents Worldwide/ Smaller Amounts||Online Focus||9.2||1||9.2||Awesome Transparency, Low Costs and No Fuss Service Online. Transferwise - Full Review|
|WorldRemit||None||Residents Worldwide/ Smaller Amounts||UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand||9.2||0.9||8.3||Sending Money to Family & Friends Anywhere|
WorldRemit - Full Review
|OFX||$250/£100||Residents Worldwide/ Larger Amounts||Australia, USA, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore.||8.8||1||8.8||Best Allrounder - Online or on Phone. Our number one pick for many years running OFX - Full Review|
|TorFX||$250/£100||Residents Worldwide (Not USA) / Larger Amounts||UK, Australia||9.4||0.8||8.5||Best for Service on TrustPilot - Phone Focus/ Relationships TorFX Full Review|
|WorldFirst||£1000 / $1000 / €1000 / AUD $2000||Residents Worldwide (Not USA) / Larger Amounts||UK, Australia||8.5||0.8||8.5||Best for Business and Individuals who need tailored services. World First - Full Review|
|XE||None||Residents Worldwide / Larger Amounts||Online Focus||9.3||0.9||8.4||Generally Excellent XE - Full Review|
- Do Not Miss Notes
- 3 Tips to Choose a Service (info below)
- Company Summaries (info below)
Check out this video for some important background:
As a start, it is important to know that not all services can be used for residents in every country.
That is not the most important bit!
Some services are designed for amounts (less than $7000 USD, £4000, $9500 AUD / CAD) while others are designed for larger amounts.
In general P2P companies (where you swap money with that of others overseas) tend to be most efficient (in other words, extremely cheap and fast) for smaller amounts.
Non-P2P companies on the other hand are designed for larger amounts and actually reduce % costs as the amounts increase.
While they all have different cost structures we drew a line in the sand to make it easy for you to decide.
Apart from costs, the services that are better for smaller amounts tend to be easier to sign up initially. However if you start transferring larger amounts (generally around $10,000) they start asking for more ID and can freeze your account if something does not check out.
The services that are better for larger amounts on the other hand tend to have slightly more requirements initially but that can make it easier later on.
That is not all.
As the amounts grow, specialist customer service people who deal with the hundreds of different banks in many different countries on a daily basis can be extremely helpful when it comes to limits, costs and even the methods you can use when works with banks.
Under the Bank Secrecy Act, institutions are required to report information about cash transactions over the value of $10,000. This sharing of information (also known as anti-money laundering laws) applies to the US and many other countries have a similar practice. What this means is that above these thresholds you may need to supply more information (if they do not already have it) like KYC information.
A typical customer may not be aware of hidden costs without a lot of research and hands on use.
Fortunately we have done that for you.
The reason we have focused just on costs is that all the services we have selected are leaders for their services and customer service and we believe this is reflected in the TrustPilot score.
In our PDF we discuss these in detail but in general here are our guidelines.
To calculate the cost factor we deduct 0.1 from 1 if they do not have one of the following.
- Rates and fees combined usually less than 2% (some are far less, but this is a minimum)
- Bank accounts world wide
- Guaranteed rates
1. Rates and Fees
Consistently low fees and exchange rates that contain a margin of 0.4% to 2% which is much lower than a bank can offer.
2. Bank Accounts World Wide
The sending and receiving banks at either end can also attract fees which the money transfer company can reduce through the use of local bank accounts.
The key is to choose a service that has costs which are much lower than banks. All the service shown in the table above are very competitive but not all guarantee the rates or have many local many accounts.
3. Guaranteed Rates
A great exchange rate is pretty much useless if the rules for locking in the exchange rate include that you need to have the money waiting in their bank account to transact. It can take 2 or even 3 days to get you money to them.
While not perfect, we think our rating provides a fairer comparison when it comes to many aspects of money transfer.
We do this by multiplying the TrustPilot Score X Cost Factor which is a simple way to adjust the TrustPilot score to take into account the 3 factors we discuss above.
We adjust the TrustPilot Score (which is user reviews) by the Cost Factor.
The highest factor a company can have is 1 and the money transfer services we feature are all very much leaders in the world of money transfers.
3 Tips to Choose a Service
Focus on services based on amounts you plan to send. Basically P2P services like TransferWise and CurrencyFair tend to be cheaper for smaller amounts (less than $7000 USD, £4000, $9500 AUD / CAD) while Non-P2P companies like OFX, WorldFirst and TorFX become less expensive as the amounts increase.
In the table above we have included services that are best for smaller or larger amounts.
Choose a service based on your needs, rather than what we or anyone else says.
To help with this we have chosen a wide range of money transfer services for you to compare.
Start with the “Bottom Line” section included in the table above. This will help you to rule out or include services in your short list.
For those transferring amounts larger amounts see where the services have physical offices. It can be a big bonus if the service you like has offices physically in either the sending or receiving country.
When you have a short list check out the summaries below.
Well done. If you followed my first two tips you probably have a favourite or two.
These are specially selected great services we have listed so I feel very confident you will be happy with your choice. Check out the links to the full reviews and you will see how deeply we go to try and understand each service.
However, to get really get clear on who is right for you or simply to double check your decision have a look at out PDF about costs and how to avoid them.
No two services are the same and the PDF blows the lid on costs.
TransferWise offers a minimalistic, very inexpensive online service for the those with smaller amounts to send or receive.
They are extremely transparent, you can see exactly what you pay in fees with their widget.
Click the link above to see their calculator.
Although they say they are a Peer-2-Peer (P2P) company they base the rate they offer off the “mid-market” rate which essentially means they act more like a non-P2P company but apparently with the cost benefits that go with being a P2P company (for smaller amounts).
As if this wasn’t enough they also score the highest rating possible for the Cost Factor (1) which means they don’t just talk a good game they actively create a good game even when it is not something obvious.
CurrencyFair (especially when you get your first 10 transfers fee free) is also leader for different reasons.
Although they do require that your funds are with them before you transact to secure the exchange rate, often their overall costs are unbeatable and they offer a satisfying P2P experience.
As a Peer-2-Peer (P2P) company the rates available can be a little variable but they also offer lots of potentially powerful ways to transact. For example you can set choose the “Best rate available now” or you can “Choose you own rate”.
If you can live with sending your money to them before you lock in a rate CurrencyFair may well be the ultimate in “stick-it-to-the-banks” money transfer services for smaller amounts.
If you want to send smaller amounts to family and friends at reasonable cost to pretty much anywhere, WorldRemit is a very good choice.
Use the code ‘3FREE’ and pay no fees on your first three money transfers – offer available in US, UK, Australia, Belgium, Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, New Zealand, and Norway.
Where most of its competition focuses on bank to bank transfers WorldRemit tries focuses on user experience for sending money to family and friends including credit card/debit card payments and even cash pickup at the other end. For example, when you go to their service you start by selecting the country where you want to send the money and then they explain how it all works for that country!
They are also quite transparent about their fees and exchange rates are competitive.
The icing on the cake might be their app makes it convenient also for you to transfer (and receive) money on the go.
OFX is a leading money transfer company with offices globally including USA, Hong Kong, UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand.
OFX may charge a fee of $15, however if you click here you can avoid this fee all together. Once you have signed up, you can see exactly what you are going to get for an exchange rate.
It is mostly focused on customers transacting online and has a strong phone based support network globally which can be very helpful especially for larger amounts.
OFX is hard to beat because of its cost structure, mix of telephone and online services and their international reach and knowledgable customer support.
The highest ranking service on TrustPilot, TorFX are all about great customer service.
They differ to most in the registration process which is designed so you end up speaking to someone to help you through the process.
If you would rather build a relationship with someone who is actively interested in you transfer occurring smoothly TorFX may be the choice for you.
To get set-up, they have two options – a free quote or online (Aus)
and for the UK
WorldFirst (UK) and WorldFirst (Asia) a great choice for those looking to transfer larger amounts and appreciate the ability to speak to a customer service person at any stage. WorldFirst are designed to be a much cheaper alternative to banks and have a cost structure that improves (in percentage terms) as your transaction amount increases.
They also offer a “Price Promise” so that you get the best rates on your transfer and place your orders both online and over phone.
Apart from cost, WorldFirst offer a customizable service aimed at individuals and business including advanced tools like forward contracts.
For larger amounts, especially businesses who need solutions and just ensuring things run smoothly, they are a great choice.
XE money transfers are focused on the online experience and with the purchase of HiFX they have instantly become leaders in the money transfer world.
They have bank beating exchange rates, good customer support and a great online platform.
There is no transfer fee, however like their competitors they charge a margin on the exchange rate.
A standout for North American residents due to its support network based there.
You might also like TransferWise VS XE.