When sending money around the world, a wire transfer is one of the most popular ways to get your funds to your recipient quickly and efficiently. The best way to wire money internationally can vary depending on where you are based, where you are sending money to, the sum you are sending to, and whether speed or cost is your main priority.
These days, it isn’t just traditional banks that can initiate a wire transfer abroad. Money transfer providers are well equipped to move your funds online, often for lower fees and more competitive exchange rates.
If you don’t know what exchange rates are, we have a section within our different bank guides where we explain that clearly. As an example, you can check our Standard Chartered guide where you will find out more about Standard Chartered exchange rates.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of our top recommended transfer companies for wiring money internationally, plus the best way to wire money for specific circumstances.
Ultimately, the best way to wire money internationally is the way that, after all fees and charges have been applied, will leave your recipient with as much as your money as possible. Ideally, in as fast a time as possible, too.
Factors you’ll want to take into consideration include:
Our innovative comparison tool is designed to help you find the best way to wire money internationally for your specific transfer needs, based on all the factors listed above plus the overall security and reliability of providers that support the countries you are looking to send money between.
Supporting over 170 countries and over 65 currencies worldwide, XE Money Transfer has a large distribution network to support a vast range of international money transfers.
Key features when using XE Money Transfer include:
XE Money Transfer has a mobile app for 24/7 access to your accounts, and a total score of ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot. With over $115 billion processed by the XE group last year alone, it’s safe to say that the company is well equipped to securely handle your money transfer.
WorldRemit supports money transfers 70 currencies to over 130 countries around the globe and is well-known for being an extremely reliable transfer provider with a good range of payout options and competitive fees.
Key features include:
One of the biggest selling points of WorldRemit is its multiple payout options. You can select for your recipient to receive your payout by bank transfer, which is convenient but may take several working days. Additional payout options include cash pickups (instant transfer time), mobile airtime top-ups, and sending your funds to your recipient via a mobile eWallet.
Azimo supports international money transfers to over 200 countries around the globe, promising instant or one-hour transfers to over 80 of those locations. With an excellent website and app to initiate your transfer within minutes, Azimo is a popular company well-known for its competitive rates.
Key features include:
Setting up an account to initiate your transfer with Azimo is an easy process that you can complete within minutes. Simply download the app or visit the app, register your details, and set up your transfer. In some cases, you might need to verify your identity before your transfer can be sent.
Wise allows sending to over 59 countries and 53 currencies and stands out as a money transfer provider because of its commitment to always offer transfers at the mid-market rate with a transparent fee structure.
Key features when using TransferWise include:
The average transfer time with TransferWise is up to 5 working days. Some transfers will take minutes, but it really depends on how much you are sending and where you are sending to. With over 8 million users worldwide, TransferWise is a trusted transfer provider for sending money securely all over the world.
PaySend supports transfers to over 150 countries around the world and has a customer-based of over 2.5 million people relying on PaySend’s services to send their money abroad.
Key features include:
Transfers with PaySend will typically take around 3 business days, although this may be faster or slower depending on where you are sending to and how much you are sending. A strong selling point of PaySend is that it will display the rate, transfer fee, and receivable amount before you make your transfer, so you know exactly what you are paying and exactly how much your recipient will receive.
When wiring money internationally, there are a few things you’ll want to consider when finding the best method for you. These include:
All of these variables will affect the best way for you to send your money abroad, and for that reason we’d always recommend using our comparison tool to find the best service for your specific transfer needs.
Our tool compares providers not only based on where you are sending between and how much you are sending, but also takes factors such as fees, exchange rates, and transfer times into account.
Additionally, f you would like to make an international wire transfer but you are not sure about the fees and exchange rates, you can take a look at the following bank guides where you can find more information, depending on the bank you would like to use:
Punjab National Bank currency exchange rates
TD Bank exchange rates
Truist Bank foreign currency exchange rates and fees
TD Canada Trust foreign currency exchange rates
Chase Bank currency exchange rates and fees
You can either choose to wire money internationally using your bank, or using a money transfer provider as listed above. Banks are a convenient way to send money internationally, but do tend to have higher transfer fees than specialist providers.
Specialist providers have low fees and fast transfer times but will require you to create your own account before initiating your transfer. In some cases, you’ll also have to verify your identity before initiating your transfer, so you may want to set up your account ahead of time if making an urgent transfer is likely to be something that you will need in the future.
The steps for wiring money internationally generally include:
If you’re still unsure about international transfers, our comprehensive guide on how to wire money internationally will answer all your questions.
Wire transfers are a popular method of transferring money internationally because of the convenience and speed this type of transfer offers. However, this convenience does tend to mean a higher cost. If you’d like to know more about cheap money transfers, read our guide on making a cheap wire transfer.
It is unlikely that you will find a completely free wire transfer when sending money abroad- your best option is to find the most cost-effective transfer provider for your needs using our comparison form.
How long your transfer will take is certainly one of the factors that will affect the best way for you to wire your money abroad.
Electronic transfers from bank to bank tend to take a little longer than other types of transfers because of the additional checks carried out by both the sending and the receiving bank. On average, an international wire transfer will take between 3 – 5 working days. Some providers may be able to complete your transfer faster (instantly, in some cases), while others may take longer. You can read more about the pros and cons of the different wire transfer methods here.
Most reputable providers will provide you with an estimate of how long your transfer will take before you lock-in your transfer so you can make sure the money will get to your recipient when they need it.
If you’d like to know mow about the transfer times, check out our guide on how long do international bank transfers take.
There is no single best way to wire money internationally, because the best provider will differ depending on where you’re based, where you’re sending to, and a myriad of other factors that will come into play.
The best way to wire your money internationally is to do some planning beforehand and make sure you know what your options are. Start with our comparison engine to find the best providers for your transfer and go from there.
Elliott is a former investment banker with a 20 year career in the city of London.
During this time he held senior roles at ABN Amro, Societe Generale, Marex Financial and Natixis bank, specialising in commodity derivatives and options market-making.
During this time, Elliott’s client list included Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Schroders Asset Management, and the Pennsylvania State Public School Employees Retirement System, amongst others.
Yasmin Purnell is a Content Writer and Editor for MoneyTransfers.com. Having over 5 years’ experience writing across a range of industries including finance, insurance, and travel, Yasmin joined the team with a mission to make international money transfers and everything they encompass accessible to all.