Ben Todd | Jun 3, 2017 | 2
Best Ways to Send Money Overseas
In this article we cover the best ways to send money overseas. There are plenty of businesses and banks that offer international transfers and currency conversions. We cover some of the best companies and bank services. Your circumstances, your needs, your timeline and your budget will probably determine which of the methods you choose for yourself. If you are looking to transfer money overseas, then here are a few businesses and bank methods that will help you.
Transferwise is a company that allows you to send money overseas and convert money from one currency to another. The great thing about Transferwise is that they show you all you need to know up front. On the surface, such a policy is a little damaging because their competitors do not have to do much to “Appear” to be cheaper . After all, most other currency converters hide fees and hide the real costs of transfer to the point where Transferwise looks far more expensive than they actually are. However, if you check the value for money you receive with Transferwise, you will see that it outperforms every other money transfer and currency conversion company.
How You Use Transferwise To Avoid The Fees That Others Are Hiding
There are three ways that money converters draw money from you. The first is their fees that they take a lot of effort to hide. The second is by skimming off your exchange rate. Their third method is to tag fees on at the end or onto the recipient’s money amount. Here is how each one works:
Others Currency Converters May Hide Fees
Transferwise gives you all your fees upfront when you make your quote, and they show you exactly how much you are putting in and how much your recipient receives. Other companies will not be as upfront. They hide fees with a tier system that is complex or difficult to understand. They may apply processing fees, or tell you that your currency conversion is free but that the transfer itself costs money. Transferwise does not hide fees.
Others Skim Your Exchange Rate
Many currency converters skim off the conversion rate. Even PayPal, which I consider to be a top-class company, is going to skim off your conversion rate. Skimming is done by offering you a rate that is lower than the market value. For example, if the current exchange rate is that you get £0.70 for each $1.00, then the skimmer will give you $0.68 for each $1.00. The currency converter then keeps the £0.02 that they didn’t give you. Transferwise gives you the market rate at the time of conversion, which means you get what you are quoted, and you can Google the current currency rate to check it is correct.
Hiding Fees At The End Or Tagging On A Fee To The Recipient
A common trick is to have you sign up for a currency conversion company, have you go through all the application process, and then hit you with a fee when it is time to complete the transaction. They may do something sneaky such as say that conversions and transfers are free, but that you have to pay a monthly fee to hold an account. Or, they may add a “Completion” fee at the very end that is added on just before you deposit your money. Another trick is to tag the recipient with a fee, which means you send $100 at a rate of £0.70 per $1, but the recipient only receives £68 because there was a £2 receiving fee. Transferwise shows you exactly how much you are sending and exactly how much your recipient will receive.
Transferwise is one of the best ways to send money overseas if you are transferring and converting at the same time. They allow you to send just dollars from one place to another, but there are probably easier ways of sending money, but if you are sending dollars that you wish to convert to another currency, then Transferwise is the one for you.
Maybe one of the best ways to send money overseas is to already have an overseas account. It sounds nutty, but the Transferwise Borderless account is the trailblazer in a very new and real way of having national and international bank accounts merged as one. Having this account is just like having an account in tens of different countries.
The Transferwise Borderless account acts like a bank account in numerous different countries. It works just like a bank account in the US, and then if you go to Spain, it works just as if you have a bank account in Spain too. You can even store different types of currency side by side with no need to convert them if you do not wish.
For example, if you take a job in Japan for two months, then you may have your company pay you in Japanese Yen into your Transferwise Borderless account. You do not have to convert the money to US dollars to keep it in your account. You can convert your Yen into dollars, or draw it out in a Japanese ATM, or do what you wish with it.
Put All Your Currencies Into One Account
The idea is that instead of sending money to another country, you simply load it into your Transferwise Borderless account. When you visit that country, or if you need to buy something from that country, you then simply use your Transferwise Borderless account. You can load it up with the currencies of your choice (within the limits of the account), and you can even convert your current currency into another currency without it ever leaving your account.
At the time of writing, you are able to hold 27 currencies side-by-side in your account, which means there are a great many countries in which your borderless account will be very useful. It is useful because many countries use the same currency, especially in Europe where the Euro currency is used by almost all of its members.
PayPal is quick and very convenient, and it has functions that suit many people. For example, if you are paying somebody in another country, then you can send them money in whichever currency you wish and you can send it to their PayPal account right away. You may also have the person in the other country generate a PayPal invoice so that you may pay the bill and have the money drawn from your bank through PayPal rather than from your PayPal account balance.
PayPal is also ideal if you wish to transfer money to people in other country and you do not want to exchange it. For example, if you have just had a web designer write you a new home page and the web designer is in the United Kingdom, then you may send him or her a set number of dollars to his or her PayPal account. You do not have to convert it and send it as US dollars. The recipient has the choice of converting the money or leaving it as it is and using it as it is.
I Think PayPal Is Great
PayPal is also great because it allows you to transfer money to your friends and family for free so long as your friends and family are using PayPal. The service is very quick and very convenient. The only Paypal downside relates to people who frequently send and use different currencies. PayPal takes part of its fee out of your exchange rate, which means they skim your currency conversion rate. If you frequently use and convert currency, then there are cheaper ways of doing it.
The PayPal interface is very user friendly, their app is great, their service is very fast, and a great many people have PayPal accounts. All of this adds up to a fine option if you are looking to send money overseas.
Before our regular troop of Internet trolls pulls us apart for this this title, let me clarify a couple of things. Firstly, I am saying that it is one of the best and not one of the cheapest ways of sending cash money. Secondly, I am saying one of the best ways of sending money–I am sure you have your own favorite.
There are branches of Western Union dotted all around the developed world, which means it is highly likely that you will be able to walk into a branch and send your hard cash to somebody else in another part of the world. It is the world’s biggest money transferring company with over 101,000 branches in 185 countries.
You can pick up money faster than you may be able to do with similar cash-sending services. There are plenty of places where you may pick up your money, and they will send money to countries where people may not be able to trust their bank account. The company is also very reliable and it is very rare that something goes wrong.
They Are Good But Not Perfect
Western Union is not perfect, especially when you consider their fees because they are on the high side. However, their high fees are the price you pay for having such a convenient cash converting and cash transferring company where you may walk into a branch and send money. Send money electronically, and your transfer is as quick as Transferwise, PayPal and most other currency converters.
Western Union may have high fees, but that is mostly because they have to maintain branches and clerks in their branches. Despite this fact, their currency conversion rates are not bad, and they are usually better than PayPal and High Street banks. If you have cash in your hand that you want to convert and transfer, then Western Union is one of the best ways to send money overseas.
A Multi-Currency Account Is Good For Receiving And Sending Money
It is possible to have a bank account that holds more than one currency. In essence, you can turn it into something similar to a Transferwise borderless account–except that it will have a limited number of functions when compared to a borderless account. For example, you are able to receive payments in another currency, but you wouldn’t be able to take your card to another country and use your card as if you have a bank account in that country.
One assumes that you are moving money overseas and into different currencies. If you move money back and forth without actually visiting the country or using the money in that country, then a multi-currency account may streamline your business and your process. It may help you centralize your investing or your business process so that (at the very least) you won’t have to keep switching back from one online account to another.
It Is Not All Sunshine And Roses
The downside to multi-currency accounts is that it doesn’t guarantee you can use your ATM card or your bank account in another country the same way you use it in your own. In addition, many banks charge a subscription fee for multi-currency accounts. Most will charge you a monthly fee for each currency you hold, which can add up to a hefty monthly fee.
Is having a multi-currency account one of the best ways to send money overseas? Maybe not, it is probably best if you frequently receive money from overseas where the currency is not the same as the currency you use at home. If you frequently receive money from overseas, then instead of converting it, you may use the same account to send money back overseas. In such a circumstance, having a multi-currency bank account may be a very good idea. It all depends on your personal circumstance and your personal preference. Just don’t let your bank pummel you with fees.
MoneyGram locations are typically green lit (approved) if the branch location is within an area with numerous non-Caucasians. For example, the MoneyGram office in Croyden in the UK (in the image) is in an area that is loaded with people with a Pakistani heritage. MoneyGram branches set up in these types of areas because they know that they will receive their fair share of legitimate customers who wish to send money to relatives abroad, and they also know they will receive cash-in-hand business from undocumented people who are working illegally and wish to send money abroad and are not able to get bank accounts because they do not have passports.
I feel a little sorry for MoneyGram because it doesn’t have the best affiliate program, which means most online articles write negative things about it to make it appear inferior to other money transfer/ money conversion companies. Yet, it is a fine company that is good at what it does. MoneyGram is a reliable money transfer and currency conversion company.
Don’t Believe Everything You Read On The Internet
The online interface is not as complicated as some online articles make it out to be. MoneyGram may be one of the best ways to send money overseas for you personally. They have a transfer-estimating tool that many people like because it gives you a quote for each transfer and conversion you send. MoneyGram is a little more restrictive than companies such as Western Union, but MoneyGram is safer because of it.
If you wish to send cash and you do not fancy using their online services, then they have over 30,000 branches in the USA, which means there may be a branch near you. MoneyGram allows you to send money to bank accounts and to online mobile accounts too. They also have a service that allows you to pay your bills too. If you have set a transaction in motion that takes more than a few seconds, then you may track your transaction on their website if you use the transaction code they give you when you complete your order.
I am not saying that MoneyGram is the best, but I am saying that it is a worthy option for people wishing to send money overseas. Their rates are reasonable, and you should at least get a free quote from their cost estimator because there is always a chance that their fees may be lower for your specific currency amount or location. MoneyGram has a tiered and complex fee structure, and there are places where their fee schedule beats their competition, so you may as well have a look at their fees estimator.
CurrencyFair is a little bit like Transferwise in that they use a currency marketplace to make their money rather than charging excessive fees or scraping from your interest rate. CurrencyFair is able to transfer and convert your money at the market’s rate. This means you are able to look up the currency exchange rate on Google and that is the rate you “usually” get with the CurrencyFair company.
The reason why CurrencyFair isn’t sitting side by side with Transferwise on this list is because it isn’t as quick as Transferwise. If you and your friend were sat side-by-side on your computers, and you had a race to see who can sign up for each company and who can make a conversion and transfer first, the person signing up for Transferwise would win. Transferring your money may be done fairly quickly if you are transferring from one place to another without a conversion taking place. If you are transferring and converting, then the process takes a little longer.
They May Be Exploited So That You Get A Better Rate
CurrencyFair allows you to pop your money into what they call a marketplace. You then wait for the best currency conversion deal to come along and the system takes it for you. The company intends to continue expanding into different countries, but at the moment is doesn’t have the reach that the other companies on this list have.
CurrencyFair is a company you can use to get the very best currency conversion deals. The company itself is able to make reasonable sums of money by exploiting people’s need to change one currency for another, but the amount of profit they make, and therefore the amount of savings you achieve, all depends on how large and robust the CurrencyFair customer base is. If there are few people trading on their currency conversion market, then your ability to change your currency for a good rate will lessen.
Conclusion – What About International Wire Transfers
When people ask about the best ways to send money overseas, most reply with something such as, “International wire transfers.” I didn’t include it because I tried to concentrate on businesses and banks. There are plenty of banks and money companies that transfer money using international wire transfers. In fact, some of the companies mentioned in their article conduct their conversions and transfers with international wire transfers. The company or bank service you choose is really up to you. It all depends on what is the most convenient, the most suitable, and the cheapest for you.