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Send Money To Canada

Looking to find out how to send money to Canada? Whether you’re a Canadian citizen living abroad looking to send money back home to family, or you need to make an international payment for business or leisure to Canada, there are a number of options available to you. This guide provides an in-depth into the best, cheapest, fastest, and the best way to send money to Canada, plus everything else you could need to know about getting your money overseas securely.

Updated: 06/09/2022
Read time: 16 minutes
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About Canada

Canada is the second largest country in the world and boasts a diversified economy with a GDP upwards of $1.7 trillion (as of 2019). The majority of Canadian revenue is generated from oil, gas, energy and manufacturing, as well as a thriving tourism industry. In addition to this, the Canadian dollar (CAD) is one of the most popular currencies for foreign exchange trading, due to the long-standing strength of the currency and Canada’s political and economic stability. 

Here we will provide further insight into how to safely and securely move money to Canada, without jeopardising the hard-earned money of both sending and receiving parties. 

How To Send Money To Canada

Looking to find out best way to send money to Canada? The steps are simple and easy. Read below to get started.

Step 1: Compare providers to find the best service for you

The best way to send money to Canada can vary greatly depending on where the account you are sending from is held, the amount of money you are sending, whether cost or speed is a bigger priority, and a number of other factors.  Our comparison engine is designed to provide a transparent and in-depth look into the best money transfer operators for your specific transfer, so this should be your first port of call.

Step 2: Register with your chosen provider

Once you decided what service is best for you, you’ll need to sign up for a free account with your chosen money transfer operator. This should usually take a matter of minutes, although in some cases you’ll need to upload a photo ID such as a photo of your passport or driving license to verify your identity.

Step 3: Start your transfer

Once you’ve created your account, you can start your transfer. You’ll need to select how you’ll be paying for your transfer (the most common options are bank transfer or paying by debit or credit card), and enter the details for your recipient. If you are sending a transfer to their bank account, you’ll need their bank details, or if you are sending money via an alternative method such as to an eWallet, you may only need their phone number or email address. Your transfer provider should make this clear.

You’ll also need to make sure the money transfer operator has the correct currency conversion to Canadian dollars.

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Ways To Send And Receive Money In Canada

There are multiple ways to easily send and receive money in Canada but these will largely depend on the provider you decide to use. Below you will find everything you need to know about sending money to Canada and also receiving money. 

Sending Money To Canada
Receiving Money In Canada

Ways to Send Money to Canada

If you are a Canadian living abroad and looking for ways of sending money home, there are several options you could choose from:

Wire Transfer

Sending money to Canada via wire transfer takes anywhere from 3 to 5 days depending on the currency and the amount. Apart from the fees charged by the intermediaries, receiving banks also charge additional fees.

International wire transfers are therefore a more costly option to compared to others listed below and are often an unfavourable choice in exchange rate translations.

Money Transfer Services

Money Transfer Operators (MTOs) such as Instarem, WorldRemit, TransferWise, MoneyGram, Western Union, TransFast, and Xoom all promise a fast, efficient, and low-cost way of sending your money to Canada.

Transferring money using money transfer operators is very simple. You’ll be required to sign up for an account on the provider’s website or download an app and register an account. Then select the amount of money you want to send, how your loved one should receive it and how to pay for the transfer.

You can pay for your transfer using a debit or credit card, cash at the sending location, bank transfer or Interac, a Canadian interbank network. Once you’ve topped up your account, you can send through the provider’s website, mobile app or in-person at the store.

Money transfer service providers tend to have a much shorter transfer time than traditional bank and have the added advantage of different sending options. The two main ways you can send remittances to Canada with money transfer services are:

Transfer to Bank Account – Most MTOs take about two days to deliver your money, although some can process your transfer within the hour. The process is similar to that of bank-to-bank transfers but varies slightly in that you’ll be transferring from an MTO platform to a bank account.  Charges vary depending on the platform.

Transfer to Pick Up Location – Providers such as Xoom, a PayPal service, and Western Union allow you to send money to agent locations in Canada for your recipient to then pick up as cash. Depending on the proximity of the recipient to a Xoom agent and their preference to receive money this way, this can be a useful way of getting funds to someone quickly and without needing all their bank details first. Xoom has 761 locations in Canada while Western Union has 3,000 agent locations.

Money Transfer services are usually better than banks in terms of fees and speed and are increasingly popular choices for international transfers. If you would like to know more, we’ve created a simple guide to showcase the difference between money transfer providers and banks.

International Money Orders

Canada is one of the 30 countries that accept and cash international money orders. For you to send money from the United States to Canada using an international money order, you’ll need to visit any United States Postal Service(USPS) branch and purchase a money order. The cost per money order is $3.85 and the maximum value it can carry is $700 equivalent to CAD 999.99.

Money orders are safe and reliable. They are prepaid hence have a guarantee that they won’t bounce.

Other methods of sending money you could explore include bank drafts, personal cheques and PayPal. Be careful to look at the fees charged, the length of time the transfer takes and the security of your money.

What’s Needed to Send Money to Canada?

The way to send money to Canada is not a complicated process. However, you’ll be required to provide some information to facilitate the transfer. The information requested may vary from one provider to another and the method of sending the money. That said, here is a general list of what may be needed.

  • Your government-issued ID. Some providers insist that the document must have a recent photo.
  • Your debit card or credit card details if using this method to pay for your transfer
  • The amount of money to be sent
  • The recipient’s name as it appears on official documents
  • The recipient’s address and phone number
  • The bank account number, the bank and branch name, routing number and BIC code

The provider may require that you indicate the reason for the remittance. This measure helps to track money laundering and financing of illegal activities.

Best Ways To Send Money To Canada

The best way to send money to Canada will vary depending on the individual circumstances of your transfer, so never assume that one single provider is always going to give you the best deal! Things that can affect your transfer include:

  • Your location
  • The amount you are sending
  • How you want to send money (e.g. wire transfer, money transfer operator, card payment vs bank transfer etc)
  • How you want your recipient to receive the money (e.g. bank transfer vs cash)
  • The currency pair you are converting between
  • Whether getting the lowest cost or the fastest transfer time is a higher priority for your transfer

Despite these variables, using a money transfer operator is almost always going to be the best way to send money internationally to Canada, with lower fees, fairer exchange rates, and faster transfer times than traditional banks or money orders. The only problem is choosing from the multitude of money transfer operators providing this service!

If you were sending from the US to Canada, there are a number of options for your transfer. At the time of writing, one of the best ways to send money to Canada would be using XE Money Transfer, who have an exchange rate of 1USD = 1.263CAD and no fees. If you were to send $500 USD to Canada, for example, your recipient would receive $631.88 CA with XE in just a couple of hours. In comparison, sending the same amount with HSBC would leave your recipient with $604.56 with a processing time of 3 – 5 days.

We always recommend comparing MTOs for every transfer you make to ensure you are getting the best deal every single time. Our transparent comparison engine provides a clear, real-time look into the costs, transfer times, payment methods, exchange rates, and more from the money transfer companies that support the best way to send money to Canada.

Cheapest Way To Send Money To Canada

Before deciding on the cheapest way to send money to Canada, there are two main costs you need to be aware of. These are the transfer fees and the exchange rate charged by whatever service you are using to send money.

Transfer fees can range from $0 and upwards, depending on the provider you use and the amount you are sending, so it’s well worth comparing your options. Generally speaking, a transfer using your bank will incur fees of around $30 – $50 (depending on your bank) whereas money transfer operators are known to offer more affordable transfer fees. Some, such as XE, even provide international transfers for no fee, but they do add a markup on the exchange rate.

The exchange rate is the charge that can make a real difference to how much your recipient receives on the other end of your transfer. As a rough example, banks can add anywhere between 3 – 5% onto the mid-market rate for an international transfer, whereas MTOs usually add between 0.10 – 3% on the mid-market rate. Of course, this can vary depending on the company you use to send money, so comparing real-time exchange rates is your best approach to find the cheapest way to send money to Canada.

It’s also worth considering the cheapest way to send Canada and pay for your transfer and for your recipient to receive the funds. For example, you may find that a bank transfer with an MTO has lower fees than if you were to pay by credit card, so this is worth weighing up. On the other end, how your recipient receives the funds could also affect the exchange rate and fees you are charged. A cash pickup, for example, may have a poorer exchange rate than a bank transfer.

Fastest Way To Send Money To Canada

The fastest way to send money to Canada can have transfer times ranging from minutes to several working days (TransferGo), although exactly how long your transfer takes will depend on where you are sending from.

In almost every case, you will find a faster service with a money transfer operator that supports transfers to Canada. On average, your transfer should be completed within a couple of hours when using an MTO – things that can affect this include:

  • If you are sending a large amount and need to provide additional documents to verify your identity
  • Where you are sending money from (not all MTOs support every currency pair when sending to Canada)
  • What payment method you select (i.e. bank transfer may be slower than a card payment)

If you were sending from the US to Canada, some of the fastest ways to send money to Canada are WorldRemit, XE Money Transfer, and CurrencyFair, all of whom are capable of processing transfers between these two countries within 1 – 2 hours. WorldRemit also has the additional bonus of offering instant cash pickups from agent locations across the country.

Things to Consider When Sending Money to Canada

The Canadian dollar is one of the top reserve currencies in the world joining the league of the United States dollar, euro, pound sterling, Japanese yen, and the Chinese renminbi. This fact shows the confidence other economies have in Canada.

Notwithstanding the impressive profile, there are some things you need to consider before deciding on how to send money to Canada.

  • The United States-Canada Relations vs Trade Policies – The US and Canada have a tight trading relationship. In 2018, the value of their imports and exports totalled billions of dollars. With the United States pursuing aggressive trade policies against China, Canada could suffer from the spillover effects. This tussle may have a longterm effect on the Canadian dollar.
  • The Volatility of the Global Commodity Market – Canada is a commodity-dependent (oil and energy products) economy. According to a report by Unctad, the commodity market has been a mixed bag of fortune. Rises and falls have become more frequent and unpredictable. Investment opportunities tied to this market in Canada may become unpredictable in returns as well, inheriting nuances from the global trend.
  • Booming Real Estate Trade – New real estate projects coming up in Toronto, Vancouver and other big cities have continued to uphold the real estate performance in the country. Investors including Canadians living abroad have an opportunity to invest in a low-risk and stable environment.

Other than the above must-watch trends, anyone sending money to Canada must also keep a close eye on the actions of the independent Bank of Canada. The bank is determined to maintain inflation levels at 2% to stabilise prices. Therefore, when sending money to Canada, check and compare across the providers for the best deals in speed, rates, and fees.

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Your Questions Answered

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Common Reasons for Sending to Canada
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Looking to Send Money Somewhere Else? 

Sending money anywhere else in the world is as easy as sending money to Canada. If you’re looking to send money to another country, here is the list of the most popular destinations.

Jonathan Merry

Jonathan is the founder and editor of MoneyTransfers.com. Jonathan is highly experienced in the currency transfer market, having previously worked in the FX trading industry, alongside being an avid traveller. Using his knowledge he identified a need for transparency and further education to help people save money on their money transfers, leading to the creation of MoneyTransfers.com