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International Money Transfer 

Did you know you can save thousands simply by registering with a reputable money transfer company? 

Transferring funds globally can be an expensive process if you use your bank. Fees are charged by both the sender bank and receiving bank.

In addition to fees, the exchange rate offered is not competitive meaning that you are paying another hidden fee that can easily amount to thousands. 

Situations - What's Best for You? 


Situation 1 


Situation 2



  • You have bank accounts in both countries
    (or your recipient has one in the destination country)
  • No bank account in the destination country

> There are two options:

Option 1Sign up to a Money Transfer Company with low or no fees
and a competitive exchange rate (typically 1%-2%)


Option 2Use Your Bank and pay fees up to $100/£50
and get an unfavourable exchange rates
(typically 2% - 4%)


> There is one option:




Option 3Use a Remittance Company 




Option 1: Money Transfer Company

Option 2: Your Bank

Option 3: Remittance Company or PayPal

Money transfer companies allow you to transfer money quicker, easier and cost far less than your bank.                                                                       

Fees are low or not charged.

Exchange rates are competitive.                                 

You can transfer money from your bank to another account overseas whether it be your bank account or someone else's.

Your bank will charge a fee for this service ranging from $20/£10 to $50/£25 

The receiving bank will also charge you a fee for receiving funds internationally ranging from $20/£10 to $50/£25 - usually this just means less of your money arrives as the amount is deducted automatically.

However the main cost is usually hidden in the exchange rate offered. For amounts over $1000/£500 exchange rates are usually more than the fee charged*.

If you do not have a local bank account or are simply passing through another country, your only option may be to uses services like Western Union to transfer cash to pick up in-person.
PayPal may also be a good option especially for smaller amounts - less than a few hundred dollars (recipient and sender both need PayPal accounts)


*Banks earn income from international transfers through fees and their exchange rate offered.

In our tests, exchange rates offered by Banks are typically 2-4% more than a Money Transfer Company.

For example, if you wanted to transfer money from UK to Australia, Canada, Europe, USA or Vice Versa- Say $1000/£500 being transferred on average $75/£35 less will arrive in your bank account due to fees and the exchange rates offered by the banks. 


Option 1:

Money Transfer Companies

In recent years a new breed of online money transfer companies has emerged that are inexpensive and user-friendly compared with transferring money through your banks. 

To make a transfer through one of these companies, you'll need to establish account with them and be able to access your sending bank account via online or phone banking.  

The key is to choose a service based on the amounts you intend to send.

Of course it is also important to choose a reputable company as your money will be transferred to them before it gets to you.

The three companies we compare here are all secure, credible institutions that you can trust.

All companies mentioned are registered with the the FSA in the UK and ASIC in Australia and other countries including Canada, USA and South Africa is which they operate.


How it Works



Register online with the transfer service of your choice.


Input transaction details, including the amount you want to transfer.


Get approved by the the transfer company - You may need to scan/email a copy of your ID for the first transaction.


Transfer funds through your bank using the account details from your transfer company.


Get your money! Your transfer service will deposit your funds in your destination account. 


Leading Money Transfer Companies

Which one is right for you?  

                   Below is the best international money transfer services based on rates and service.               


 1st ContactTranzfersWorld First 
Fee Per Transfer

GBP to AUD = £2
GBP to NZD = £1
AUD to GBP = AU$5
NZD to GBP = NZ$5

No fees for: 1st transfer, every 5th transfer and transfers on your birthday

AUD $15, GBP £7, CAD $15, USD $5, NZD $12

No fees: transfers over £3000/$10000

No transfer fees
Min. Transfer Amount  No Minimum  £50 or $100   £250
Exchange Rates  Bank beating exchange rates Extremely competitive  Extremely competitive 
Countries Served Australia, UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Poland, Europe and the UAE  UK, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Singapore, South Africa, Canada, Hong Kong, Europe (Euro and Polish Zloty), Sweden and the USA  UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France, Spain, Europe and many more 
Support  Phone support 24/5  Phone support 24/5 Phone support 24/5
Option to pay off credit cards? 

YesPayments can be made to credit cards in AUS, NZ or SA but not to credit cards issued by UK banks

Yes: Payments can be made to credit cards in NZ and AUS only. 
App for Smartphones?  Yes No Yes
Option to lock in an exchange rate?  Yes No Yes: Choose a favourable exchange rate and automatically send transfers when that rate is reached. 
Free Rate Alerts?              Yes Yes Yes: Get rate alerts to your phone, email or both.


Bottom Line 

1st Contact has a service squarely aimed at working holiday makers and expats who wish to transfer relatively small amounts inexpensively.


1. No minimum transfer amount.

2. You can see the exchange rate you will get without logging in so you can compare with your bank easily.

Cons: Whilst offering rates much better than a bank, if you plan on moving significant amounts you can do better.

Tranzfers has exchange rates that are are super competitive. Their minimum transfer amount is only £50 or $100. The rates become increasingly competitive as the amounts become larger. Phone support is strong.


1. For large amounts you will get a market leading rate.

2. Ability for travellers to pay off credit cards in Australia or New Zealand.

3. Customer service by phone or online 24/7.

Cons: Like most money transfer companies, you have to be registered with them to see the actual rate you will get.

World First has zero fees and like Tranzfers the rates are super competitive. Online tools are strong.


1. If the amounts are above
 £250 (Approx $500), rates are very competitive.

2. They offer an app, rate alerts, and the ability to transfer money automatically once the rate you specify is achieved.

Cons: No ability to pay off a credit card. Minimum amount is set at £250 (Approx $500)


1st Contact

Click to get 1st tansaction free



Click to get 1st two transactions free


World First

Click to get all transactions free



WORKgateways Explainer Video

"I have personally used international money transfer services for almost a decade now and love the savings and service you get over a bank. For me the best part though is the ability to lock in a rate in real time - this in itself is fantastic and I regularly find myself saving a few hundred dollars with just a few checks. I also found that even though I tend to like doing most everything online, you can pick up the phone anytime (24 hrs) and get someone who can help you if you have any questions at all - I love the piece of mind this brings."

Quinn Askeland founder or WORKgateways


Option 2:

Transfer Money Using Your Bank

Most banks provide internationl transfer services. Because you can generally transfer money online through the bank account you've already established in your home country, this transfer method is convenient and expensive. Transaction costs generally range between 15 GBP (Lloyds) for standard services and up to 35 GBP (Barclays) for priority services. From an Australian bank it usually costs about 20 AUD. Furthermore, the receiving bank will charge a fee as well. International money transfer companies offer more favourable exchange rates. If you're looking to make a one-off transfer and avoid the hassle of setting up any new accounts, and don't mind paying these fees, this may be the option for you. 

How it Works 


You will need to be able to send money online with your current bank.


You will usually need to know the address of the receiving bank, the account details of the receiving account, the account name and often the receiving bank's SWIFT code (an international bank identification system - ask your current bank for their SWIFT code).


It's a good idea to check with you bank about exchange rates. 


You can use this method to send an international money order online to your own home bank account or to a third party.



Banks vs. Transfer Companies 

Infographic with thanks from Transumo

Transfer Companies         Banks 

Fast Money Transfer                                                +

Low or Free Money Transfer                                     +

Best International Money Transfer Rates                    + 

Lock in Exchange Rates Online                                 +

Get Money to Your Account Fastest                           + 

Security                                                                  +                           +              

(Both Banks and Money Transfer Companies have to meet the needs set out by financial regulators in the contries they operate. This includes security)




Option 3:

Wire Cash through Global Companies 

If you're visiting a country for a short time and simply need some cash, you may wish to utilize an established, global money transfer company such as Travelex or Western Union. Sending money through these companies almost always involves in-person, cash transactions. Outlets exist nearly everywhere in the world. W 

This is great if you need small amounts of cash on short trips. You'll be able to access these companies from nearly anywhere, you won't need a bank account or internet access to receive cash, and your money will arrive fairly quickly. You can't send money to yourself from your own account this way and you must pick up the cash in-person.  

In the UK, Travelex will also transfer cash to a bank account, and can also organise an in-person pick-up in the UK, for smaller transactions this is often a great way to go.




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