– Cheap transfers
– Upfront pricing
– Super easy-to-use and user-friendly online and mobile platform
Last updated on November 2nd, 2021
International money transfer is easy and commonplace in the digital age. However, the cost of transfer remains rather high. The average cost of sending money internationally nowadays is about a 7% commission of the transfer amount, according to the World Bank.
If you transfer money through a high street bank in the US, a regular international money transfer could cost you up to $30 to send $500. Banks are usually a rip-off when you need money, transfer funds, or send money overseas.
As a digital nomad, I’ve used many different ways to work with money internationally and I have good news for you: It’s getting better. There are various international money transfer services online which have lower costs and offer better exchange rates compared to other payment methods.
In this article, I’m going to talk about some key aspects of sending money internationally, which services you should look at, and what each of them can offer you.
There are two things that you should pay attention to when you’re thinking about sending money internationally. Namely the fees and speed.
Banks and transfer services charge you two different kinds of fees on your transfer: Transfer fees and exchange rate markups.
The transfer fee could be a fixed amount or a specific percentage of the amount you’re sending. These can change depending on the transfer method you use.
This is a very common way for services to make money. Since when you send money internationally there might be different currencies used and their exchange rate can differ. A markup is exactly what it sounds like. Companies will charge an extra fee for exchanging one currency into the other and those fees can change dramatically between services.
It’s important to pay attention to this. Some services can immediately transfer money internationally. Others, charge you a cost for faster exchanges or you would have to wait for slower transfer speeds which can go up to a few days.
So here comes the big question, how should you send your money internationally? Let’s explore the options and see what each of them can offer you:
Global Money Transfers Through Your Bank
Most banks offer international services known as “wiring”. These are usually more expensive than digital services which focus only on money transfers. Firstly, banks always have exchange rate markups and the fees for these transactions are usually comparatively high.
Secondly, banks usually only allow for transfer from a bank account with them to another bank account. Though this could still be the safest and best way to move substantial amounts of money.
Wise has some best exchange rates you can find. You can also see the fees upfront and it’s amongst the cheapest if you use a bank account, generally less than 1 percent of the amount you’re transferring.
Bank transfers with Wise can take up to a couple of days, but same-day deliveries are a possibility. If you transfer using a debit or credit card, it can arrive within a few minutes. On the other hand, if you transfer using a bank account it’ll take about one to three business days depending on the destination.
Transfer limits can be up to $1 million if you’re using a wire transfer to pay Wise. You can also use your debit card, credit card, Apply Pay, or direct debit from your bank account. Keep in mind that the recipient should also have a bank account.
The Wise mobile app is excellent and easy to use. It receives high user ratings and the website has an excellent FAQ section. Phone support is limited to weekdays though.