There are a great many currency transfer/exchange companies on the Internet. There are over forty on the Internet that US citizens may sign up with today, and those are only the popular ones. Banks are able to offer money transfers and exchanges, but many people are driven towards independent money transfer companies because they are more market driven.
We’ve given a list of the popular money transfer companies — that is, services that will take a source currency and send it to another person, either domestically or internationally, with the money arriving as such. Money is sent and money arrives. This is NOT including services like paypal where you send money via a third party and then must ‘withdraw’ from to a bank account. This list covers DIRECT transfers.
Independent money transfer companies have to compete with each other and the banks, which mean you may shop around for cheaper fees and exchange rates. There are a great many independent transfer services to choose from, so here are some of the best along with reasons why you should try them. This article deals primarily with the positive sides of each company rather than getting into the nitty gritty reasons why “some” people do not like them.
Note that the ‘best money transfer company’ may be specific to
a) where you are transferring from
b) where you are transferring to
c) the amount of money you are transferring
d) the convenience (how easy it is to transfer the money)
Regardless of how good these companies are, it may be preferable in some cases just to do a wire transfer from your bank, depending on the sum you want to send and how quickly you need the money to arrive. Indeed, for emergency situations, you might need to use something like Western Union and pay the high fees for a quick transfer.
So keep in mind ‘best’ is a relative term.
Transferwise (The Best…so far)
Score – 9/10
The exchange rates are very good, their online and app GUI is very user friendly and intuitive, and you can make transfers as low as just one dollar. There are fees, but only if you transfer less than a certain amount. Signing up is tricky, but that is mostly due to their security consciousness.
Transferwise is not perfect, but it is very close to perfect. This is THE way to transfer currency abroad, especially for larger sums. The only caveat (downside) is that unless you are based in the EU where you can send wire transfers to another Euro country (without having to pay the wire fee), every transfer you ‘make’ will cost you between $15 to $50 to wire the money from your own bank to the Transferwise bank accounts.
If you are sending money abroad (or converting currency) via Transferwise from say North America, keep in mind you’ll have to tack on your bank wire transfer fee. While on average you may save around 30 or so dollars per $1000 you send via transferwise, you are also going to PAY around 30 dollars to do a wire transfer to get the money into the Transferwise Euro bank account. This means to make the savings and effort worth it, you’ll probably want to transfer at least 2000 or more in one go. In fact, the author of this article uses Transferwise to send money abroad on a regular bases and has used it to send thousands of dollars, saving thousands in fees
See our full Transferwise review.
Other Significant Points[=] Exchange foreign currency without paying large bank fees and unfair exchange rates. [=] Very quick and very easy to use, and is taking business away from banks that are making too much profit on people’s transfers. [=] The reliable service means you may use and re-use the company and have a consistently good experience each time. [=] Transferwise has a very secure system and network that goes above and beyond the standard regulation security. [=] People save time when they use this service, which makes it especially good for customers that do not want to tinker with the nuts and bolts of their transactions. [=] Occasionally, the money arrives before the estimated time of arrival, and usually there are no hitches or problems that slow the transaction. [=] The web interface is very straightforward and clean, which adds to the user experience. [=] Transferwize is good for heavy users that send money frequently because it is very streamlined and efficient.
The company has fair and transparent fees and exchanges rates. They have no hidden charges whatsoever, which means any fees you are due to pay are given in advance. Transfer times can vary, but in most cases, it is due to the debiting or receiving bank rather than Transferwise itself. Transferwise, quite simply, is one of the best — if not the best — ways to transfer money from one currency to another, especially if you need to send that money abroad from your home. You can save huge amounts of money. However, there’s more ‘involved’ such as requiring a source and destination bank account and you’ll need to wire the money from your source bank to transferwise. Depending on your location, you may need to pay the wire transfer fee.
If you need to send money internationally into another currency, however, there is no better way! Keep in mind that it can take 2 days to a week for the money to arrive. If you need the money to arrive within a day or sooner, this is NOT the method to send your money.
What About CurrencyFair
Another similar, alternative service that actually allows you to transfer money even cheaper than Transferwise, with a slightly better exchange rate is CurrencyFair. However, unless you are from Australia or the EU, you won’t be able to use this service in the US or Canada. Even more, it does not support as many currencies to convert your source amount into. As such, we have not added CurrencyFair on this list. If you are based in a country supported by CurrencyFair, you might want to look at what they offer as they could be even better than Transferwise for you.
Score – 8/10
They were established in 2004 and offer exchanges in 59 currencies. Some review websites seem to disregard the criticisms and negative reviews that TorFX receives, which is a little unfair, which is why you should do a little research into the company before you become a customer. Nevertheless, despite their patchy online reputation, TorFX is still one of the best currency transfer companies you can find and it deserves its place on this article.
Benefits[+] The rates are often as much as 4% better than banks [+] Transferring money is hassle free [+] Your transfers will arrive in a prompt fashion [+] The website was upgraded and is now very good [+] An efficient and courteous service [+] Transferring money is easy to the point of being almost effortless [+] Many describe the transfer process and smooth [+] TorFX have an emphasis on security
Other Significant Points[=] TorFX has a good reputation for helping traders with positive guidance and advice. [=] The advisory staff do not use too many esoteric terms and jargon, which makes life easier for new traders and exchangers. [=] Even across three time zones, you will find the transfers happen swiftly and usually without delay. [=] The transfer process and the efficient way in which the company operates are ideal for people that require reliability rather than the lowest rates. [=] TorFX has friendly and cooperative customer support teams who are articulate and are highly trained. [=] Online reviews show that their customer service department is clearly willing to go the extra mile to help customers with problems. [=] They do not offer the best rates, but you can negotiate a little, especially if they give you a quote that is lower than the advertised rate. [=] It is a very easy company to trust, and their mobile and website works without issue.
It is fair to say that many of TorFX’s customers have no issues or problems of any type when dealing with the company. However, if you do have a problem, it is obviously clear that the customer service department staff go out of their way to help you and resolve whatever issues you have. Of all the companies on this article, it seems that TorFX has the best customer support.
Score – 8/10
The exchange company works with private clients and businesses. If you are a private customer, you have to transfer a minimum of $1000, and if you have a business account, you have to transfer at least $10,000.[+] Currency solutions is a very transparent company [+] They give helpful advice on the currency market and money saving [+] The dealers are very polite and pleasant [+] Currency Solutions is one of the most flexible companies [+] Exchange rates for higher sums of money are very good [+] Avoid problems by making transfers long before you need them [+] Some of the customer support workers are exemplary [+] Re-activating your old account is very easy
Other Significant Points[=] The company has a blog that mostly caters to private customers, and it is handy for people that are going on holiday and/or starting a trading career. [=] Online review websites give this company a little too much credit because they assume that its low rate of complaints means more than it actually does. [=] New users often find that the website and associated media helps them fully understand the company in a way that other companies do not. [=] The customer service department is trained to give both pros and cons when currency trading and many people find this helpful. [=] Currency Solutions’ high online reputation is almost exclusively due to their high quality customer support department. [=] You will not be given an explanation as to why your transaction is denied and/or why you cannot get your money back for two weeks, which is why you need to make your transfers long before you need the money, (just in case there is a problem). [=] The transfers are relatively quick when compared to many of the other transfer companies on the Internet. [=] Registering is easy, and the customer service employees will walk you through it if needed.
The company is a good one, but it is inconvenient having to sign up to get a quote, especially when many of the others on this article allow you to get a quote in real time on their website(s). However, Currency Solutions do have a conversion tool that gives you a rough idea of how much you will receive, and it gives historic currency data that goes back over the last 12 months.
Score – 7/10
This foreign exchange company was established in 2005 and has numerous subsidiaries such as UKForex Money, USForex, OZForex, CanadianForex, NZForex, and Transferz. They offer 155 currencies, and their minimum transfer amount is just $100. They have offices around the world, and they have low exchange rates because of the vast range of the parent company.[+] Local client support is very good [+] They have good relationships with worldwide banks [+] Available in a range of countries [+] OFX offers very good exchange rates [+] They have 24/7 customer support [+] Local card processing speeds up the transaction [+] There is a website, iOS app and Android app [+] A transparent public company
Other Significant Points[=] Branding is confusing, but it is inconsequential with regards to the service you receive. [=] Their exchange rates are very competitive, even with less popular currencies, which make the company a great option if you are shopping around. [=] If you are exchanging less-popular currencies to certain countries, the transfer times are far lower than they are with other companies. [=] They have been known to rectify problems automatically without sending your transaction request back for amendments. [=] If you require regular payments/transfers, you can “set and forget” and in most cases, the transactions will go through as expected. [=] You may call and correct any mistakes that you make during the transfer process, and they will quickly amend your transfer instructions for you. [=] Many transfers take between one and two days. Delays of up to four days usually only occur when security checks are undertaken. [=] This company is best suited for smaller to mid-range sums if you want good prices. Larger sum transfers have less favorable rates.
Overall, OFX is doing a good job. They could improve the quality of their customer service department in some areas, and an OFX card is probably not worth the hassle. Their service is mostly good, but their occasional fluctuations in service quality are the reason why this money transfer company has not ranked higher on this list.
Global Reach Partners
Score – 7/10
They offer 138 currencies, and they offer superb pricing, which is the reason why Global Reach Partners is on this list. They make it very easy for new buyers to purchase FX options. Their professional guidance makes the process a whole lot easier, and their service is very efficient. The sign up process is rather long, but it is a necessary part of their security process.[+] Their prices are superb when compared to other global companies [+] Delivery of your funds is prompt and efficient [+] First-time buyers are helped along the way [+] You receive professional guidance if you have trading questions [+] Very Wide Offering For Hedging [+] They have a strong payment system [+] They have patient customer support staff who are not patronizing [+] A great way to transfer money to far-off countries
Other Significant Points[=] The online transfer forms are not intuitive, but the customer service department is happy to walk you through it if you are unsure what to do. [=] Once you have learned the system and you are used to using it, then the process becomes hassle free. [=] Global Reach Partners offer a transfer system that informs you of any fees prior to you clicking to finalize your transfer. [=] Transfer times range between one and three days, though the transaction time seems to depend on the country you are sending money to. [=] The company does have fees, despite its online claims that it doesn’t, yet the fees are not high, unfair or unmanageable. [=] The customer service department answers questions promptly, which helps enhance the user experience. [=] Global Reach Partners pay and reward people for posting positive reviews on TrustPilot, which is a shame because they shouldn’t need to manipulate their online reputation since they don’t do enough wrong to warrant it. [=] They have a long-standing reputation for being trustworthy and have thousands of private and trade customers.
You may transfer amounts above $1000, which lowers to a minimum amount of $350 if you agree to transfer monthly. It is fair to say that this is another company where online reviewers seem to ignore criticism of them. Do a deeper search online when considering this company and search out a few negative feedbacks from different sources to get a fuller idea of what some people are unhappy about.
Score – 6/10
The FairFX company has a good online reputation, it has offices around the world and it deals with 41 different currencies. Their service is varied and suited to new traders and people that wish to travel abroad to work or go on holiday. The reason they have not scored higher is because their exchange rates are in the mid-range rather than being the cheapest. Nevertheless, this company deserves its place on this article.[+] The Transfer process is quick and efficient [+] Their fees are very transparent [+] FairFX have a helpful and effective customer service department [+] The process is relatively hassle free [+] Customer service operatives are offer help and respect [+] They offer a one-stop shop for your currency needs [+] Fees are listed on their website [+] Registering and signing up is easier than expected
Other Significant Points[=] The company makes traveling a lot easier thanks to their travel cash services and currency cards. [=] Their international payment services offer a fee-free function that doesn’t charge up to transfers of quarter of a million [=] You may send your money online at any time of the day with their 24/7 online portal. [=] Payments are fairly prompt because they are sent as soon as possible, which means most delays are due to the sending or receiving banks. [=] The FairFX security technology and encryptions help to ensure your money is safe when you send it. [=] They win numerous awards every year because of their consistently good money transfer and exchange service. [=] There is a blog you may use on their website that is specifically aimed at traders and helps them figure out the best times to buy. [=] A combination of the mobile app and their currency cards makes traveling far easier if you use this company.
The company could have made things a little clearer by explaining that customers need not be locked into a certain rate if they apply for a different currency card. Otherwise, this transfer company offers good rates and a reliable service–especially for people that are traveling.
Score – 5/10
With a minimum transfer amount as low as $50, and with 90 currencies offered, it is no wonder this company transfers over eleven billion per year. It may have scored higher if the signup process and account settings functions were easier.[+] Accurate and prompt transfers [+] Use it for money transfers and travel money [+] A seamless process after signing up [+] Save money compared to banks [+] MoneyCorp gives out good advice [+] The traders are very professional [+] They have a secure system [+] Suitable for travel money
Other Significant Points[=] Suitable for infrequent users and people who only wish to transfer smaller amounts of money at a time. [=] The online interface is usable and you do not need to dedicate a lot of time to learning how to use it. [=] MoneyCorp offer some attractive exchange rates for certain currencies, so you should consider it if you are shopping around for rates. [=] The live rate system is convenient, and they are especially good if you need money posting out to your home. [=] They change lower amounts of money, which many exchange companies refuse to do. [=] If you take the time to read their small print, you will see that they do not hide charges or additional fees. [=] Their system is relatively hassle free, especially if you are looking to buy travel money. [=] MoneyCorp may also be useful for traders in the FX business, and they have sophisticated hedging offering.
The company doesn’t have a very good online reputation for a number of different reasons, which is why you should try the company out with a smaller amount before committing large sums of money to the system. Fundamentally, MoneyCorp is a good transfer and exchange company, but it has its fair share of issues.
Score – 5/10
You would think by its scarce online reputation that this was a new or small company, but it has been around since 2005 and has partners as large as Google, Amazon, AirBnB and Getty Images. Payoneer is also one of the more unique payment processors is it allows you to send money…or get paid to your local bank account from people in other countries…such as the US or Europe. For people who live in areas where it’s challenging to receive payments from the US, this is a great way to get paid or receive money as Payoneer will send money your local bank account in places that Paypal and the like will not. For worldwide entrepreneurs (and freelancers) who don’t live in the US and want to do business there, this is a great service.
However, for direct money transfers or currency conversions, there are better companies that offer less fees than do Payoneer.
The Benefits[+] They have offices all around the world [+] Ideal for people that work abroad [+] Freelancers tend to use the service to receive foreign payments[+] There are no loading fees [+] You may receive money in a foreign company [+] The Payoneer MasterCard is a great touch [+] Invoices are automatically generated through their systems [+] Payments are processed very quickly
Other Significant Points[=] The company is starting to hit its stride and compete in a major way with other online competitors. [=] One of the reasons this company is popular is because you may receive payments in another currency and keep it on your account, which suits freelancers. [=] Signing up is very easy and much of the process happens online during the initial sign up phase and verifications happening once the account is open. [=] You receive access to all available currencies once your account is open and you may use any foreign bank that is available. [=] Your account doesn’t require a great deal of overhead attention, and the payment process is highly simplified for the payer. [=] Withdraw your money with your Payoneer MasterCard, or transfer it to your bank account. The Payoneer card may be used anywhere in the world where MasterCard is accepted. [=] Payoneer provides solutions that are usually unattainable by other means, but they are still neck and neck with Paypal for service diversity and reliability. [=] The Payoneer MasterCard is ideal for use in countries that have corrupt banking systems because you do not have to put your money through the bank.
PayPal and Payoneer are almost identical, since they both offer unique services when compared with other transfer services. Paypal has a better user interface, offer a better user experience, and their turnaround time is fantastic. However, Payoneer is featured here instead of PayPal because Payoneer costs you around 20% less than PayPal. Payoneer is also one of the best solutions for online entrepreneurs to get paid if they don’t live in a country where it’s easy to do banking. For example, you can use Payoneer’s north american bank account information to get paid by Amazon and other big north american companies. Payoneer will take the payment and will send you the payment (minus a small fee) to your own local bank. This makes Payoneer an ideal solutions for those who need to get paid in countries that typically make it difficult to accept payments from the US. Places like India, Pakistan, and other such countries.
The Final Word
The money transfer/exchange companies that are featured in this article are scored against each other. For example, even the company that scored as low as five is still streets ahead of most of the other competition on the market; it only scores five in comparison this the other top-quality companies in this article. As you can see from the points made on this article, there is plenty of reason to shop around because the benefits of each will suit different people, be you wanting to travel, trade, save money, initiate quick transfers, large exchanges and small exchanges. Even within the superior companies listed in this article, there is no single company that suits everybody. You still need to choose carefully based on your specific needs.
For more detailed information about money transfer companies, their rates, and what they offer, look at our money transfer companies compared article. Also look at our best ways to send money abroad and best ways to send money to individuals.