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How To Send Money Abroad Safely Without Paying Huge Fees

Updated on January 20, 2015

Do you want to send money to abroad? Are the bank fees too high? Do not worry, there are cheaper ways of sending money abroad, whether to Europe or elsewhere. Ranging from online services to currency brokers and even PayPal, many services have now made it easier for travelers abroad or those working away from home to send money back home.

Whether you want to send a small sum or a large amount, there are some reliable services that charge you less than a bank would. With many of these services transfer is almost instantaneous, so you also don't have to worry about the beneficiary having to wait for days to receive the money.

3 Top Money Transfer Services

The following are three preferred and reliable money transfer services to send money anywhere abroad.

1. Western Union Money Transfer

Fund transfer options, processing time/speed and cost

  • Wire transfers, <1 day, $0.00
  • Direct debit, up to 3 days, $0.00

Delivery options

  • Standard, 3 to 5 business days, $5.00
  • Expedited, 1 to 2 business days, $22.00
  • Draft (check), 10 to 15 business days, $0.00

2. Currencies Direct

  • Speed 1-3 days, fees $0.00

3. TorFX

  • Speed 1-3 days, fees $0.00

Lower Costs of Sending Money Abroad

Banks typically charge anywhere from nothing to $25 for a money transfer to Europe or another international destination. But there are often hidden charges, and banks are not always transparent about the currency exchange rate that you receive. The exchange rate is often not very favorable to the customer. In addition, the recipient may need to have an account for bank transfers, and even for online transfers via PayPal (which charges a fee of $3.9 on average for a transaction along with 20p as an exchange commission). Banks also charge a commission fee, which may vary from 1 to 4 percent more than what other bodies charge.

In contrast, Western Union Money Transfer and Money Gram are two of the most reputed international money moving services, for which the recipient does not need an account. They simply have to pick up the money you have sent them from a nearby Western Union or Money Gram agent, against an ID. Transfer fees for standard delivery is usually a very reasonable $5 on average for these services, and with Western Union, you can even transfer money for no fee if it is not urgent.

Name of Service
Transfer Options
Processing Time/Speed

Foreign Currency Brokers

Foreign currency brokers are preferable when you are trying to send large sums of money, though they are also used to transfer small sums these days. Reputed Services like CurrenciesDirect, HiFX, TorFX, World First, UK Forex, Transferwise, etc. offer real-time exchange rates unlike banks. They also know that banks usually charge 1 to 4 percent extra commission for their services, and make their own services more attractive by charging only around 1 percent in most cases, if there are any commissions at all. These services are all reputed for their credit-worthiness and can be safely used to send money to family, friends and other beneficiaries. The recipient may receive the money within a day or less, and in 3 days at most, with currency broker services.

Whether you are trying to send small sums of money abroad or sending regular mortgage, banks are not the only option. Compare rates and speeds offered by different services and find the one that suits you best.


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