Sending money overseas

Look for a good currency exchange rate and check the fees when sending money overseas. A small difference can mean more money gets to your family or friend.

Sending money overseas

Types of overseas money transfers

Money transfer company

A money transfer company is usually the cheapest way to get money to someone overseas. The company can either move the money to the other person’s bank account, or arrange for the person to collect the money in cash at a local branch or agent.

You can transfer money:

  • online, and pay using your credit card

  • in person at a branch or agent, and pay using cash or EFTPOS

The transfer is usually faster if you do it in person than online, but you’ll pay higher fees.

You can transfer money online or in person with Western Union through Australia Post. See International money transfer with Western Union on the Australia Post website.

Bank transfers

You can transfer money by moving money from your bank account directly into an overseas bank account. This is called a money transfer, a telegraphic transfer (TT), or a wire or SWIFT transfer.

Banks can be a more expensive option. The ACCC found the big four banks are consistently more expensive than other suppliers for foreign cash and international money transfers. The exchange rate is generally less competitive. A bank transfer can also take up to five business days to go through.

International money order

An international money order is when the bank gives you an internationally guaranteed cheque. This also called an international bank draft.

You then post the cheque to the other person, and they cash or deposit it at their bank.

This is more secure than sending a personal cheque, but it’s slower and more expensive than an online transfer.

Keep your receipts and transfer documents. Check the time limit for claiming a refund, in case the other person doesn’t receive or claim the funds.

Compare exchange rates for money transfers

It’s worth shopping around for a good currency exchange rate. There are significant price differences amongst companies. You can save a lot of money, especially if you transfer a large amount or often.

Compare the rates and types of transfers on these independent sites:

Compare these features:

Currency exchange 


  • the value of your currency versus the currency of the country you are transferring money to (for example, how many Australian dollars it takes to buy 1 euro)

  • whether the advertised rate is the rate that will be applied to your transaction

Exchange rate guarantee

  • whether the exchange rate is set (for a period of time) or might change

Transfer fees and commission

  • the type of conversion fee (a flat rate or a percentage, or both)

  • the fees for the receiver

  • the ‘margin’ fee to convert your currency

Payment method

  • online via credit card, or cash or EFTPOS

Transfer time

  • how long it takes for the recipient to get the money (it could be instant, or take a few minutes, or take up to five business days)

Transfer amount

  • the minimum (or maximum) transfer amount

Receive method

  • how the recipient gets the money — for example:

    • picked up as cash

    • deposited into their bank account

    • delivered as cash

    • transferred to an online wallet linked to their phone number

If something goes wrong

You and the recipient should both contact the money transfer company if there’s a problem with the transfer.

If you’re not satisfied with their response, you can complain to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).


If you send money to someone and that person turns out to be a scammer, it’s almost impossible to get your money back. Be very careful who you send your money to. Visit the Scamwatch website for more information.

Reproduced with the permission of ASIC’s MoneySmart Team. This article was originally published at

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Authorised Representative 298494
Interprac Financial Planning Pty Ltd 

Darryl Jopling

Senior Adviser

I have worked in the financial services industry since 1982 and as a Financial Adviser since 1999.

I have worked for large Financial Planning businesses, Membership based organisations and looked after the financial planning needs of clients within an Accounting Practice before starting my own business.

I am married, have 4 older children and a grandson and I am keen golfer with mixed results like many .

I have been through many of the strategies I talk with clients about myself and with my family.

I have been through the journey of seeing my parents move into Aged care and negotiated the difficulties and pitfalls of understanding the system for them and this gives me an excellent insight into what is required to assist families at this difficult time.

In a previous roll I used to run retirement seminars looking at Centrelink and Retirement Incomes and how to make these work for you. I have helped many of my clients with Aged Care advice when their parents needed to move into Nursing Homes. For many clients I assist them with superannuation, building wealth and protecting their loved ones with insurance.

I am supported by his, Licensee, Interprac Financial Planning’s in-house resources and ongoing technical, systems and training.

I am committed to understanding your needs and identifying strategies and products to help you achieve your goals.

My guiding principle as an Adviser is to design plans which help to provide my clients with clarity of purpose and the opportunity to build a solid financial foundation.
I will take the time to listen, explain things clearly and keep you informed throughout the advice process.

My experience is complemented by professional qualifications including:

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Whether you are getting married, starting a family, embarking on the trip of a lifetime, planning to enjoy your years after work or assisting elderly parents with Aged Care and Nursing Home placements, we can help.