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The 5 Best Way To Wire Transfer Money Internationally

The electronic transfer of funds from one person to another via a money transfer account or bank account held with a specialized provider (such as a credit union) is known as a wire transfer. The primary goal of foreign wire transfers is for them to be completed quickly and without the inconvenience caused by sending and clearing cheques.

Although the words “wire transfer” and “bank transfer” are frequently used interchangeably, this is not always the case: both banks and non-banking financial organizations make use of wire transfers. This implies that not all wire transfers are bank transfers, but all bank transfers are wire transfers.

Factors To Consider When Making An International Money Wire Transfer

  • Fees: The costs you’ll be charged to send money outside of the United States are known as fees. The fee is usually a percentage of the total amount. Another thing to bear in mind is that the firm will most probably charge you a fee on the currency exchange rate. When sending United State dollars to another nation, like China or Mexico, don’t expect the best exchange rate.
  • Amount Limit: Another thing to consider is the maximum amount that may be taken. There will most likely be a minimum and maximum amount that you can send overseas depending on the firm or bank you select. Limits may be imposed on each transaction or a total amount over a specific time period.
  • Timing: Another important consideration is the time it takes for money to reach another nation. It might take a few days, if not weeks, for the funds to arrive in your family member’s bank account. There are alternative methods to send money if the transaction is to be completed as quickly as possible. If your receiver requires the cash right away, anticipate paying an additional charge for the convenience.
  • Money Destinations: There are several different ways that money can be transferred, with some services requiring the receiver to already have an account with them. Before the money transfer takes place, decide which option is most convenient for you. Other organizations, like Western Union, enable people to collect actual cash at specific physical locations. 
  • Countries: Many providers exist, and it’s important to shop around and compare their services since many specialize on certain countries and are not accessible all over the world. In certain countries, receiving cash from the United States may not be an option.

Requirements For An International Wire Transfer

  • Address and full name of the recipient.
  • The amount of money being sent by wire transfer.
  • The recipient’s bank name and address.
  • Recipient’s bank account type and account number.
  • Bank routing number of the recipient.
  • Recipient bank’s BIC or SWIFT code.
  • Purpose of the transfer.

Are International Wire Transfers Secure?

International wire transfers are quite secure if they are sent to the correct recipient information, which is verified against proper banks. When there is cash in the payee’s account, it is generally marked “cleared funds” and the transaction is finished. The money should then be released to the payee as soon as possible.

Although it’s unusual for a worldwide wire transfer to encounter problems, they do happen. If a hacker obtains access to the receiver’s account, they may immediately receive and quickly withdraw money as well as move it elsewhere. There is always a risk when you transfer funds via wire transfer.

If you are wiring a significant amount of money, it’s worth getting in contact with the payee about setting up more restrictions on the transfer. Make sure no one else has access to the receiving bank account, and that you’re the only one who knows its existence.

Advantages and Disadvantages Of Wire Transfer


  • Speed: In most cases, wire transfers take one to two days. Depending on the amount, currency, and the service you are using, transactions can be nearly instantaneous and the fastest method to transfer money.
  • Safety: Specialist money transfer providers and banks must obey financial rules established in the nation they operate in. Because wire transfers are a common way to move money, any firm that offers money transfer services will have prior knowledge of how to keep your transactions safe.
  • Convenience: From the comforts of your home, you may transfer funds to any location on the planet thanks to the internet. Simply sign in to your online banking and make a payment. However, for those who are sending a substantial amount of money, things may be different. On such situations, your provider might need further details.
  • Global reach: Money transfers can be sent to almost any place on the planet, in nearly any currency (as long as you choose the appropriate provider).


  • Cost: Though it is simple to transfer funds internationally through online banking, bank wires are more expensive. There are several money transfers firms that have lowered their prices significantly, so it’s important to do your homework to discover the best way to wire money. Wire transfers, in general, are likely to have greater exchange rate markups and costs than other payment options.
  • Non-reversible: It might be very tough to reverse a mistake if the wire transfer information is incorrect. Before clicking Send, double-check all of the information.

How Long Does International Wire Transfers Take?

Wire transfers to international locations can take two days or more, depending on a number of variables such as the bank and the recipient’s destination. International bank wire transfers, which can take up to a few days to complete, are more time-consuming than domestic wire transfers.

Because of more checks, both the domestic ACH (Automated Clearing House) and its equivalent in another country are required to approve the transfer.

Is Tracking A Wire Transfer Possible?

Tracking your bank wire transfer might give you peace of mind that the money has been delivered to the person or company you sent it to. To monitor the payment’s progress, you must first register for internet banking. When the funds are ready, the beneficiary will get a notification, so they’ll need to check their account frequently.

A tracking number will be generated by online wire transfer providers, which the sender will communicate to the receiver. If you have set up an online account, the receiver may use this number to keep track of the transfer’s progress.

When receiving wire funds, the service will notify the receiver when they are accessible for collection and when the transaction is finished. The receiver and sender may also access their accounts to obtain additional information.

What Is The Maximum Amount Of Money That You Can Wire Without Getting Reported?

Banks and money transfer providers are required to disclose large international transactions, which is defined as any transfer over $10,000. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has additional information about the Bank Secrecy Act. They won’t disclose transactions worth less than that amount.

Banks, on the other hand, are obligated to track transactions and report suspicious behaviors. A sender may make numerous smaller payments to avoid exceeding the $10,000 threshold and pay taxes.

Authorities may use monitoring to protect you as well as the government from unlawful activities and fraudulent transactions. Also, it makes it more difficult for individuals to utilize tax shelters in foreign nations.

What Documents Should Be Submitted For Transactions Valued At More Than $10,000?

The IRS is interested in determining whether you have foreign financial assets. There’s enough evidence of a foreign account in the form of international wire transfers. As a result, make sure to notify the IRS about your foreign accounts since you may be fined if you do not fulfill FATCA requirements.

Depending on your financial position and transactions, you may need to file various sorts of forms for tax reasons.

The following are some of the international wire transfer reporting requirements:

  • The information was all obtained from the IRS website. Make sure to complete all of your paperwork accurately. Avoid any mistakes that might result in an IRS audit, which may result in financial and legal difficulties.
  • Before making wire transfers, be aware that there are additional worldwide money transfer regulations apart from FATCA that you must research. The Bank Secrecy Act and Patriot Act are two examples of such laws.
  • When unsure, consult with a tax attorney who can advise you on which forms you need and how to complete them correctly.

What Is The Procedure For Sending An International Wire Transfer?

Wiring money is usually simple. The procedure generally goes like this:

  • Choose a money transfer service: Banks and non-banking financial companies are the two most common types of institutions that accept wire transfers. A bank will often allow you to transfer money from one bank account to another across the globe, but it will usually charge significant expenses in the process. After you’ve created a transfer, you’ll be able to choose wire transfer as a payment option with non-banking financial institutions. The exchange rate markups and flat fee may differ dramatically when sending the identical amount by wire transfer.
  • Gather as much information as possible: You’ll need to supply certain information no matter which option you pick for wiring your money.
  • Get to know the fine print: Before you send the wire transfer, double-check the cost of fees, the exchange rate you’ll get, the arrival date, and how much money will be sent to the recipient’s account. Some money transfer services and banks provide online calculators that allow you to figure out the precise costs before you execute a transaction, while others will only present the final cost once you’ve decided to go ahead with it.
  • Fill out the necessary forms for wire transfers: A wire transfer is irreversible, so double-check the information before submitting it. If you submit the form incorrectly, your money may be sent to someone else. Make sure to double-check all of the information before submitting it; this includes the bank account details of your recipient and the amount you wish to send.
  • Track the progress of your wire transfer: You can follow the transaction number provided by the bank or payment service to track it once you’ve started a wire transfer. If the process is delayed, you may utilize this data to track its progress.

The 5 Best Ways To Wire Transfer Money Internationally

Best Way To Wire Transfer Money Internationally

1) Wise

  • Best for: Great web experience and cheap costs.
  • U.S. coverage: More than 70 countries.
  • Cost: The most affordable. Wise has some of the best exchange rates available, and upfront costs are commonly lower if you use a bank account, typically around 1 percent of the transfer amount.
  • Speed: Banks take several days to complete, but same-day delivery is feasible. The time it takes for a money transfer to be completed is determined by the destination, but most often ranges from one to three business days.
  • Transfer options and limits: Wise limits the amount you can transfer to $1 million each time. You may also use a direct bank transfer, debit card, credit card, or Apple Pay. Your recipient must have a bank account.
  • Customer experience: Wise does not provide phone support on weekdays, but its mobile app has favorable user reviews, and its website is easy to navigate.

2) OFX

  • Best for: Cheaper costs.
  • U.S. coverage: More than 80 countries.
  • Cost: Most affordable. OFX does not charge any fees for sending money. Even if a lot of money is sent, there are no transfer costs. Transfer rates are generally less than 1%, so you get good value as well.
  • Speed: There is no same-day delivery option. If you’re sending a wire transfer to a foreign bank, OFX is the ideal provider. It usually takes 1 to 2 business days for OFX to receive your payment and deliver the cash to your recipient.
  • Transfer options and limits: The minimum charge for each transfer is $1,000, and there is no maximum. Transfers are limited to bank accounts rather than cash pickup locations abroad.
  • Customer experience: OFX’s customer service line and website FAQs are useful, but they do have some shortcomings. If you don’t register, you won’t be able to see the exchange rates or send money in a user-friendly manner if you’re unfamiliar with its terminology and the foreign exchange market.

3) Xoom 

  • Best for: Great web experience and fast delivery.
  • U.S. coverage: More than 120 countries.
  • Cost: For an internet-based business, it is rather pricey. There are no exchange rate markups when you buy with XOOM using a bank account rather than a credit or debit card. However, fees for buying with XOOM through a bank account can be relatively high, ranging from $5 to over $10. Some providers have rates that are less than 1 percent. Xoom is still less expensive than international wire transfers from banks.
  • Speed: Transfers might arrive in a matter of minutes, regardless of payment method. However, it might take up to a few days depending on circumstances like time zones and banking hours.
  • Transfer options and limits: Some nations offer home delivery, while others utilize pick-up at other locations or supermarkets. Some countries have limits on the amount that can be sent by individual payments; however, overall payment limits are $50,000. Because Xoom is owned by PayPal, you may use a credit card, bank account, or debit card, or PayPal account to make the transfer.
  • Customer experience: During business hours, customer care is accessible in Filipino, English, and Spanish, as well as French, Arabic, Italian, and German at all times. The website is simple to use, with straightforward FAQs and cost calculators, as well as outstanding mobile apps.

4) MoneyGram

  • Best for: In-person transfers and fast delivery.
  • U.S. coverage: More than 200 countries 
  • Cost: On the high side. Bank account-funded transfers have upfront fees that are usually low, although other payment methods and MoneyGram markup margins, which can be as much as 3%, maybe costly.
  • Speed: Depending on the payment method you choose, delivery can be completed in the same day, but it might take longer.
  • Transfer options and limits: Wire transfers from MoneyGram to other countries are limited to $10,000 per day and month. It has the benefit of real-world locations, allowing people to pay in cash and have money delivered to them by recipients. You may use a credit card, bank account, or debit card to pay via its online platform.
  • Customer experience: There is a 24/7 customer support line, and information about rates, fees, and other details may be found with ease. Its mobile applications have received high marks.

5) Western Union

  • Best for: Destination countries not served by other providers and in-person transfers. 
  • U.S. coverage: More than 200 countries.
  • Cost: It varies. Western Union charges a fee of less than $5 for transfers of up to $1,000, but its rates markups usually range from under 1% to more than 6%, depending on the destination.
  • Speed: When you use a credit or debit card, same-day delivery is accessible, although you’ll need to pay extra for the hurry. The most inexpensive transfers need bank accounts for receiving and sending money, and can take up to a week to complete.
  • Transfer options and limits: The cost of sending money through Western Union is dependent on the country to which you are sending the funds. For example, Mexico gets a $5,000 limit while India receives a $50,000 ceiling. Western Union’s main strength is its network, especially for delivering cash in person and offering cash-pickup delivery choices.
  • Customer experience: Every day, there is live chat and phone support, but the website does not make it simple to compare exchange rates or locate relevant FAQs.

International Wire Transfer Fees

  • Exchange Rate Margin: The cost of utilizing a third-party transfer service, transferring money using a digital wallet, or going directly through your bank will almost certainly include a profit for the currency exchange. Even while financial institutions claim low or no transfer costs, there are still “hidden fees” to beware of.
  • Third-Party Transfer Fees: When you utilize a third-party transfer service, they frequently charge an additional fee for the transfer in addition to the exchange rate margin. The percent of the transfer that you request is generally fixed, but it may also be a percentage of the amount sent. Some firms do not charge any transfer fees and just make money by taking advantage of currency exchange rates, as previously stated.
  • Outbound and Inbound Bank Fees: It’s true that you can send money through a third-party transfer service and still have your bank take part in the action. Banks frequently charge both inbound and outbound fees when you transfer funds to or from your account.

Differences Between Wire Transfers and ACH

Wire TransferACH
Costs Up to $35$1 or less
Speed 1 business day2-3 business days
Security Safer for the receiver.Safer for the sender.
Common UsesSpeedy payments.Property down payment.Employee wages.Recurring bills.One-off payments.

What’s The Difference Between Wire Transfers And Bank Transfers?

Wire transfer and bank transfer are frequently used interchangeably, although this is not always the case. The term “bank transfer” refers to the act of moving money between bank accounts. A bank transfer is a one-time, direct move of money from one account to another. It may happen between two different types of bank accounts held by the same person (for example, from savings account to a checking account), but most frequently the phrase refers to the procedure of transferring funds from one place to another via banks.

An international wire transfer, on the other hand, is a more generic term that refers to the transmission of funds electronically from one place to another. A bank transfer is, therefore, a form of wire transfer, along with other sorts of wire transfers. To send money from the United States to France, for example, you may use a bank transfer or wire it through Western Union, MoneyGram, or another money transfer service.

Bottom Line

Transfers via wire are both quick and secure. You may send money to any country on the planet. It’s also essential to know that they can be costly since you’ll have to pay both an exchange rate mark-up and a set transfer fee if you send money. The fees associated with this payment option are frequently greater than you’d expect with other payment choices.

It’s critical to shop around and compare rates and fees to get the lowest prices on your transaction, as several banks are now providing wire transfer services at various costs. Comparing your selections is critical when it comes to wiring money. Fill out our form to compare your alternatives in a matter of minutes so that you can quickly figure out which option is best for you and ensure that your beneficiary gets the most money feasible from the funds you are sending.