How to get the best exchange rate when sending money abroad from Canada

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There are several options to send money abroad from Canada, and the best method depends on how much you want to send and if you need the money now. For instance, if you only have a small amount of money to send abroad, then a money transfer app is the best option. But, if you are sending a large amount for a relocation, holiday house purchase, or for a business you will be better of with a currency broker.

It never pays to send money abroad with a bank wire transfer

Bank wire transfers are the traditional method where you can transfer funds directly from your Canadian bank account to an overseas bank account. It is a secure and reliable option, but it can be relatively expensive, especially for smaller amounts, as banks often charge fees for international transfers. It is best to avoid sending money abroad through your bank as you don’t get any control over the exchange rates and it is very expensive.

Use an online money transfer app for small amounts

Several online money transfer services, such as TransferWise (now Wise), Remitly, PayPal, Xoom, and WorldRemit, offer convenient and cost-effective options to send money internationally. These platforms often provide competitive exchange rates and lower fees compared to traditional banks. They allow you to transfer funds online or through mobile apps.

Remitly Review
Remitly

Name: Remitly

Description: Remitly is a low-cost money transfer app that was founded in 2011. Since then it has grown to service over 4.5 million active customers transferring money to 13 different countries. Remitly went public in 2021, and it’s shares are listed on the NASDAQ exchange valuing the company at around $4.9bn.

Summary

Remitly is a cheap and easy way to send small amounts of money abroad. Especially if you are a new customer, as you get better exchange rates on your first £1,000 sent abroad.

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Easy
  • Safe

Cons

  • Limited FX analysis
  • Limited educational articles
  • Online only
  • Pricing
    (4.5)
  • Market Access
    (3.5)
  • Online Platform
    (4.5)
  • Customer Service
    (4.5)
  • Research & Analysis
    (2)
Overall
3.8
Comments Rating 4.33 (15 reviews)
Wise Review
wise (formerly transferwise) logo

Name: Wise

Description: Wise is a low cost international money transfer app that helps people send money abroad for much less than it would cost to do it through their banks. Wise was launched as Transferwise in 2010 as a peer to peer currency network, but has since grown to provide money transfers to over 15 million customers sending more than £9 billion a month.

Are Wise a good money transfer app?

Yes, Wise is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to send money abroad. Highly recommended.

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Easy
  • Fast

Cons

  • Phone support hard to find
  • Only suitable for smaller transfers
  • Pricing
    (5)
  • Currencies
    (4.5)
  • Online Platform
    (4.5)
  • Customer Service
    (4)
  • Research & Analysis
    (3)
Overall
4.2
Comments Rating 4.76 (85 reviews)

Currency Brokers are best for large international money transfers

Foreign exchange (FX) brokers specialize in currency exchange and international money transfers. They can often provide more competitive exchange rates compared to banks. Examples of FX brokers include OFX and Currencies Direct. However, it’s important to research and choose a reputable broker with competitive rates and good customer reviews.

Currencies Direct Review
Currencies Direct

Name: Currencies Direct

Description: Currencies Direct is a specialist award-winning currency broker that can help you send large amounts of money abroad. They were founded in 1996 and are now part of a group that processes around £10bn in international money transfers per year. 

Are Currencies Direct a good currency broker?

Yes, Currencies Direct offer a good service for large international money transfers. They are a well-established and competitive currency broker for buying a property abroad or for international business payments at bank-beating exchange rates.

Pros

  • Great for large currency transfers
  • Get a dedicated account executive to help with transfers
  • You can send money over the phone or do transfers online

Cons

  • Better for large transfers
  • Pricing
    (4.5)
  • Market Access
    (4.5)
  • Online Platform
    (3)
  • Customer Service
    (4.5)
  • Research & Analysis
    (4)
Overall
4.1
Comments Rating 4.83 (644 reviews)
OFX Review
OFX

Name: OFX

Description: OFX is a leading currency broker offering currency services to more than 55 countries around the world. Originally known as OzForex, it was launched by Matthew Gilmour in 1998 as an information only website. Since then, it has grown rapidly handling more than AUD$150bn transfers with more than a million customers worldwide.

Summary

OFX is one of the largest and most trusted currency brokers for large transfers with offices in more than 55 countries around the world. A good choice for sending large amounts of currency internationally.

Pros

  • Bank beating exchange rates
  • Personal service
  • Online or telephone transfers

Cons

Better for larger transfers

  • Exchange Rates
    (4.5)
  • Available Currencies
    (4.5)
  • Online Platform
    (4.5)
  • Customer Service
    (5)
  • Research & Analysis
    (4)
Overall
4.5
Comments Rating 4.47 (40 reviews)
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