Best International Money Transfers in Canada

Canadians are well aware Canadian banks aren’t competitive. Particularly the Top 5 banks in Canada are sitting on their laurels when it comes to online banking and particularly when it comes international money transfers, a service that is in very high demand in Canada. For those reasons, many Canadians are seeking for the best international money transfer services in Canada. In the UK, the USA, and Australia such international money companies are enjoying high popularity and high satisfaction from customers, and there is absolutely no reason why Canadians would not opt for such an easy, comfortable and money-saving service.


Why not use Canadian banks to transfer money internationally

The two biggest issues we have encountered with transferring money to a bank account abroad from Canada are:

  1. Sending money from Canada if you don’t have a physical presence (for example, if you are a Canadian who moved to another country and needs to make a payment) can be difficult or even downright impossible. While Canadian banks allow you to make domestic payments via Interac e-transfer, they are would oftentimes not allow customers to make SWIFT transfers abroad.
  2. The exchange rates offered by Canadian banks for sending money overseas are just ridiculously high. At an average of 2.5% markups on top of C$15 to C$20 per wire transfer make this borderline not feasible to use your bank account to make international money transfers.  For view the current rates you can view Canadian bank’s foreign exchange rates for transferring money to a bank account internationally:

What we can see here, is that out of the leading Canadian banks, HSBC offers the most competitive spreads on international wire transfers from Canada at 2.1% when customers are looking to buy $10,000 USD. The most expensive bank to buy the same amount ($10,000 USD), is easily CIBC bank who charges a 3.34% markup. In all cases, the banks charge a higher markup than specialist money transfer services would for payment of the same size – using the best money transfer company will enable you to save a minimum of 50% of the associated costs (and will not charge you for outgoing wires).

Canadian Top 5 Bank Criticism (not foreign exchange oriented)

Other than providing poor rates and service when it comes to foreign exchange services, Canadian big banks have been criticised for numerous things. Being a completely oligopoly, Canadian banks allow themselves to have very little regard for customers. Just look at this article about Canadian banks raising fees during the pandemic in spite of record profits to get a notion of why Canadians are angry at banks. Using a Fintech non-bank service normally saves hassle and fees, and when it comes to international money transfers – it’s no different.

How much money can you save circumventing bank foreign exchange in Canada?

Let’s look at a completely superficial scenario to see what kind of savings you could make by opting for a money transfer service in Canada. Let’s assume you found an attractive bungalow near Fort Myers, Florida you wanted to buy. To purchase it, you need to move 10,000 USD for the down payment. According to Royal Bank at 1:18 am GMT on April 1, they had a CAD/USD rate of 1.3627. At this price, you’d need to come up with 13,627 CAD. However, you could get a much better rate through an online money transfer provider. From our sampling, the worst rate offered by money transfer services operating in Canada was 1.3300 – this means you could buy 10,000 USD for 13,300 CAD.

Why transfer money from Canada?

There are a whole host of reasons you may be looking to make a foreign currency transfer from / to Canada. And depending on whether you’re looking to make an international wire transfer from US to Canada for a house purchase or send a small international wire from Canada to the UK for a family member, it can impact the money transfer service that you would need. Some money transfer providers are better in certain locations and sometimes their products are simply the correct solution for what their client needs.

3 Most Popular routes for transferring money from Canada:

Majority of Canadians are looking to transfer money from Canada to USA (or send money from USA to Canada). Transferring money from Canada to Europe (CAD to EUR) is also very popular, as well as transferring money from Canada to UK. Additionally there are the popular routes of transferring money from Australia to Canada, and transferring money from HK to Canada (the third biggest destination for Canadian immigration). Lastly, there is a lot of demand for transferring money from UAE to Canada, where many Canadians are employed.

🔎 Money transfers from Canada to USA:  sending money from Canada to USA has always been the primary destination but has propelled in 2022 as Canadians are investing billions in U.S real estate. It was reported that in 2021 alone, Canadians purchased U.S properties to the tune of $5bn making them the biggest foreign investors in USA real estate. The reasoning for that is that the Canadian housing market which very hot since the beginning of the pandemic has cooled down, while the U.S real estate market is still standing tall and presenting an opportunity for Canadian investors. Additionally, when transferring money from Canada to USA and tying an investment to U.S dollars, it makes perfect sense with the strengthening of the US dollar and help Canadian investors make a little extra on their investment (USDCAD rate grew over the past 12 month approximately 4-5%).

All of the above routes are fully covered by our recommended best money transfer companies in Canada. You can use them to transfer money to Canada from abroad – USA, UK, France, HK, Australia or UAE – and you can use them to transfer money from Canada internationally to either of these destinations. Foreign exchange providers actually offer approximately 100 currencies on average so the likeliness of you not meeting your foreign exchange requirements through using them is very low (in fact, foreign exchange services have a higher currency selection than banks).

The best all-inclusive international money transfer service in Canada

Australia UK USA Canada EU Best Online Money Transfer: Global Availability
UK, EU, Australia, Canada and USA Residents
95.4% Editorial rating
1,500 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
£100 / €100 / AU$100 / US$100 or eq.
Why Them?
  • OFX is 100% Safe - Large Well Known, Publicly Traded, Corporation with Offices Worldwide
  • Best Overall Onilne Platform - Comfortable, Reliable, No Transfer Fees, Excellent Exchange Rates (ALWAYS beating Canadian banks significantly), Functional App
  • Deals with 100+ Currencies and Able to Onboard Customers of All Sizes from Most Countries
+Read more
UK USA Canada EU UAE For Businesses and Large Transfers
UK, EU, Australia, Canada and USA Residents
93.2% Editorial rating
7,000 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
£250 / €250 or eq.
Why Them?
  • Operating Since 1970 - First Commercial FX Firm
  • Corporate FX Specialists
  • Very Friendly North American Support and Guidance, Large Transfer Specialist Brokerage
+Read more

For corporate clients (not accepting private customers)

UK Best FX Rates for Online Transfers
UK, EU, Canada and Asia (not accepting U.S customers and not regulated in the USA)
95.4% Editorial rating
7,000 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
£1,000 / €1,000 or eq.
Why Them?
  • Very Tight Spreads
  • Great Multi-Currency Account with Many Tech Integrations
  • Specialist in Assisting Online Sellers and Approved by Amazon as a Payment Partner
+Read more

Why is OFX #1 Best International Money Transfer For Canadian Customers?

We believe that the best choice for money transfers to Canada and from Canada is OFX. OFX is a very well known provider with headquarters in Australia but offices across the globe, including Canada. Through their global presence, OFX has banks accounts across the globe so if you need to transfer money from a Canadian bank account when you are not in Canada you can just fund the transfer through an e-transfer, which is a huge advantage considering this is one of the main sticking points for Canadians who use banks to make international bank transfers.

Additionally, OFX is a very credible and safe option, being in business for 20+ years and handling many billions in customer funds every year. The service is ultra friendly and while you can transfer money internationally with ease using their award winning online money transfer system (rated #1 globally on our comparison), you can also speak to local Canadian currency dealers in Canadian times (something which is hardly possible with any other foreign exchange provider).

Lastly, as the best international money transfer service in Canada for 2022, OFX offers incredible rates. While the actual quotes are specific to the currencies you want to exchange and the volume of transfers you need (large international money transfers normally get better rates, as a rule of thumb with all providers)… we can indicate that it would normally cost you less than 1% in margins (against the banks average of 2.5% in Canada and at least twice cheaper than HSBC which is the best bank for international transfers in Canada). Oh, and there are absolutely no international wire fees with transferring with OFX so you can make as many transfers as you’d like.

As an added value you can use OFX to store foreign currency and receive foreign currency payments abroad, through its multi-currency account function.

Compare foreign exchange services

To conclude this guide for international money transfer services in Canada, we encourage you to compare foreign exchange rates yourself and not just take our word on who is the best. The way to do that is to sign up with multiple providers in this space and see what each is offering in terms of features, systems and also rates. Remember that if you have a large amount to transfer internationally you can speak to money transfer company and “negotiate” your rates… that tip can help you save a bundle of money.