Many people will never have a reason to transfer money internationally. Yet, there are lots of situations where it’s a necessity.
Maybe your kid decided that they’d capture the benefits of studying abroad. Maybe you immigrated but want to send money to your family in the home country. Maybe you just own property in another country and need to pay taxes or cover the bills.
Any of these situations can leave you in need of a reliable method for getting money from here to there. If that’s you, keep reading for our quick guide to how to transfer money internationally.
Before you even begin, you should understand that you will pay fees for the service in most cases regardless of the service provider.
The provider will often charge a stated fee for the service. Some service charge flat rates for transfers, while other may charge a percentage of the total amount that you transfer. The receiving service, such as a bank, will often charge additional fees for the transfer.
The other, some might say hidden fee, is in the exchange rate. Currency doesn’t exchange at a one-to-one ratio.
If you have a favorable exchange rate, the recipient gets a little more of the local currency. If you have an unfavorable exchange rate, the recipient gets less of their local currency.
While there is no system in place that all banks participate in, bank-to-bank international wire transfers are still a popular method to send money. If you do most of your banking with a large international bank, they often maintain branches in foreign countries. If not, they often have transfer agreements in place with other major banks.
If the destination country is a place where you own property, you can open a local bank account to make the process easier. You’ll need to check with your banks for pricing information.
Financial Technology Options
For many people, the best and cheapest way to transfer money internationally is with a financial technology option. There are a number of general financial services out there that will let you send money internationally. Think of services like Paypal.
There are also a number of financial apps that specialize in international money transfers. There is even an app that offers you real-time comparisons of other international money transfer services. An app like that can help you pick the least expensive option for making your transfer.
How Should You Transfer Money Internationally?
There is no absolutely correct answer to how you should transfer money internationally or even which is cheapest. The fees that any given service charges can vary based on the amount you send. Variable exchange rates can also influence which option is the best or cheapest at any given time.
The frequency with which you make international transfers can also influence the decision. Bank transfers might prove better regular transfers, while fintech options might best your one-off transfer needs.
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