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The 4 Cheapest Methods of Transferring Funds Internationally

Updated on Apr 11, 2022

There are various ways to transfer money between countries. The four cheapest are the following:

Online Accounts

Services such as Venmo and PayPal send and receive money for you, processing money in three to six days. PayPal, the most popular, deducts fees if you send money to other countries outside of the U.S. or Canada. Fees vary depending on how you pay and which country the recipient's account is in. Expect poor currency conversion rates, which you may be able to reduce by routing the conversion through your bank instead. If you're paying someone under $1,000, PayPal is a wonderful option since it avoids bank transfer fees which can be as high as $18 to $32.

Non-Bank Transfer

Most banks transfer money between countries by phone or email with funds normally arriving within ten minutes, although some banks offer a thrifty three-day option. Rates vary depending on your bank, but generally, cost $25 for a domestic wire and $43 for international transfer.

Want an even cheaper option? Try some international companies such as OFX (formally Ozforex), Western UnionTorFX and World First that offer lower fees and better exchange rates. Transfer fees vary between $10-$15 for small amounts, with a free transfer for amounts over $10,000.

Peer to Peer Transfer (P2P)

P2P companies, such as Wise (formerly known as Transferwise) and CurrencyFair match people selling currency in one country with people buying currency in another. Why is it cheaper? These P2P companies tend to offer better exchange rates, particularly when it comes to transfers between $1000 and $100,000. Make sure to read the small print.


You'll need to set up a wallet with a Bitcoin company like Mycelium, convert your money into bitcoin fintech currency, and send your cryptocurrency over the blockchain to the recipient. The recipient, in turn, will have to have a bitcoin wallet of his own and be prepared to receive his funds in bitcoins.

Why is it cheaper? You're sending the money yourself, therefore avoiding the high exchange rates of the bank. You do have to pay more when it comes to converting currency twice instead of once - but there are money transference companies that can work around these FX challenges and that dramatically reduce your costs.

The Bottom Line

A growing number of money transfer providers point to Bitcoin as the cheapest solution for transferring money between countries however, everything new and revolutionary takes a while to catch on. Bitcoin is no different. At the moment, less than one million people use the currency. They are also largely tech people and a small number of traders, according to Vlad Cealicu, CTO and Co-Founder of So Bitcoin may be the cheapest mode of money transfer, but it's working to overcome two major problems: it can be difficult to understand and scams come easy and until these kinks are successfully worked out, it is likely that people will continue to turn to other channels for their money transfer needs.

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