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How to send money abroad for free

Sending money abroad for free can feel like a bit of a minefield, but it doesn’t have to be. In this guide we will reveal our best tips for saving money when sending funds to another country.

Updated: 27/09/2022
Read time: 4 minutes
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What is a free money transfer? 

There are a lot of external factors that dictate whether a money transfer will be “free,” and one of these factors is the destination. Domestic transfers, for example, are typically free regardless of the financial provider because the money is simply being sent between two accounts in the same country, without the added expense of currency conversion or foreign bank fees. 

International transfers, on the other hand, often incur numerous charges, especially when the transaction is carried out by a bank. 

International transfers may include charges for the following: 

  • Currency conversion: banks and other service providers may apply a profit margin to the true market value when exchanging funds from one currency to another
  • Transfer fees: many providers charge a fee for their transfer services, with additional costs for faster delivery, processing credit card payments etc. 
  • Handling fees: Intermediary or receiving banks often charge fees for their involvement in the transfer process
  • Corporate services: business clients may require further assistance in the form of forward contracts or bulk payments; these tend to come at an additional cost

Ways to send money abroad for free

Banks do not typically arrange international transfers free of charge; instead, applying varied fee structures to international payments that require forex services. In comparison, specialist remittance companies tend to offer several ways to send money abroad for free; these include: 

  • “First transfer free” introductory offers
  • Referral codes from known trusted contacts
  • Fee-free service for large transfers over a certain threshold

Understanding what “free” means 

Although a company may advertise as a low-cost option, some “fee-free” services still come with a price, often in the form of hidden exchange rate markups. It is essential to know the true mid-market rate for your currency pairing before setting up a payment with a third-party provider. This enables you to get the best value for your money without being charged hidden fees. 

There may also be a lack of transparency, depending on the provider, which may result in you being stung by unexpected charges after the fact. In order to avoid this, we recommend using providers that offer total transparency throughout the transfer process, presenting the overall cost without failing to mention specific details. 

Send money abroad for free with these providers

The following money transfer companies rank top of the list of most reliable services offering to send money abroad for free. 

TorFXrThis excellent money transfer provider caters to both personal and corporate clients, and is well-equipped to handle large transactions. It is a free service that does not charge any fixed fees or hidden fees, irrespective of the amount being transferred. Overseas payment services are available 24/7 thanks to the company’s round-the-clock customer support.

TorFX money transfers

KeyCurrency This UK-based money transfer operator offers a personalized, fee-free service to customers from around the world; although it is not yet available to customers in the US. Key Currency foreign exchange experts monitor specific exchange rates on behalf of clients, as part of the company’s bespoke services. These agents inform customers when a favourable market move has occurred to help them secure the best possible exchange rate.

Sending money abroad from Canada for free

Most Canadian banks now offer free Interac e-transfers, which is great news if you wish to send money domestically. However, sending money abroad can be a completely different kettle of fish and users are unlikely to find any companies offering free international money transfers. There are still ways that Canadians can save money on their remittance and one of the most useful tips is to look for brands that offer free wire transfers, like Fidelity and Schwab, or to use a third party service such as online money transfer app which benefits from low overheads and lower transaction fees.  

Summary

Finding a provider that offers free money transfers is an appealing prospect for customers looking to avoid international bank charges when sending money abroad. However, before you lock in an overseas remittance of any kind, we encourage our readers to consider all their options and follow the advice presented in this guide. There are plenty of cheap money transfer options out there, depending on your highest priorities, and our comparison tool can help you make a well-informed choice.

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April Summers

April is a trained journalist and the Content Editor for MoneyTransfers.com. She has 10 years experience writing about a diverse range of subjects, from financial services to arts and entertainment. When she’s not writing about global remittances she can be found daydreaming about her next holiday abroad.

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