Best Remittance Companies: Cheapest & Safest

If you live abroad and need to remit money back home – whether you’re a retired expat, a migrant worker, or someone who resides in his own country but is being paid from abroad, we are here to help you fulfil your needs and gain access to viable remittance information. Our page will explain how to remit money internationally for cheap, we will compare the leading remittances companies and recommend the cheapest remittances companies and best remittances companies on the market today. Our remittance comparison will give you all the information you need to choose the best remittance provider for your needs.

The Best Remittance Transfer Companies

Below you can compare remittance transfer providers and rates – including bank-to-bank transfers alongside cash pickups. Learn which are the best international remittances services and which are most suited for your specific requirements and needs. Remit money home for cheap – possibly 50% less than what you would have paid with traditional foreign exchange companies (such as WU or Moneygram) or a bank. Compare remittances companies and view the top remittances companies here:

Remittance Company Ranking – August 2021

Best for Large or Repeating Transfers
UK EU Currencies Direct: Best Overall for International Money Transfers
Headquarters:
1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AA, UK
97.8% Editorial rating
3,000 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
£100 / €100 / $100 or equivalent
Why Them?
  • #1 Rating on MTC for the Past 2 Years
  • Global Leader in International Money Transfers - £10bn in Annual Turnover
  • No International Transfer Fees and Excellent Rates
+Read more
Best Online Money Transfer System
Australia UK EU USA New Zealand OFX: The Publicly-Traded Money Transfer Company from Down Under
Headquarters:
Level 19, 60 Margaret St, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia
90.4% Editorial rating
1,500 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
£100 / €100 / $100 or equivalent
Why Them?
  • Traded Publicly in Australia
  • Excellent Online System, Easy to Understand and Use
  • 24/7 Support
+Read more
Best for Remittances Below £1,000
EU UK USA Australia Wise (Previously TransferWise): Valued at £10bn
Headquarters:
17 Avenue Marnix, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
86.8% Editorial rating
32,000 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
No Minimum
Why Them?
  • Largest Money Transfer Provider of its Kind
  • Fully-Online Journey
  • Transparent Pricing
+Read more
EU UK USA Australia One of the Hottest Money Transfer Startups
Headquarters:
Colm House, 91 Pembroke Rd, Ballsbridge, Dublin, Ireland
86.8% Editorial rating
32,000 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
No Minimum
Why Them?
  • Very Low Margins, Down To 0.33%
  • Great Reputation And Client Reactions
  • Regulated By Central Bank Of Ireland
+Read more

* Azimo is our best provider for cash pickup which is at the majority of destinations, but we removed it off of our recommended companies listing due to bad customer reviews.

You’re in the right place if you are seeking

Migrant Remittances: 

You’re working abroad as a migrant and remitting money (your income) home to family, friends, or your own domestic bank account. You’re looking for cheap remittances with great global reach, enabling you to either wire your money remittances to a bank account, or enable its recipient to receive it in cash. This transaction could be a one-off, or on a regular basis.

Regular Remittances: 

You’re residing abroad and want to conduct  overseas cheap remittances on a regular basis; you are either remitting your salary to your home back account, remitting money from your home bank account to your current bank account, or paying for something in installments (most commonly, mortgage payments and pensions).

Remitting Payments:

Even if you have not moved abroad as an expat or migrant you may still have a bank account abroad for a variety of reasons. If you are accepting money into that overseas bank account, you would eventually want to receive that money from abroad so you can make use of it. A remittance comparison should help you find the best solution.

Discovering the best remittances companies could be a struggle in this cumbersome area but we are here to help our reader get down to the nitty-gritty.

A Case Study for Efficient and Cheap Remittances Services:

Meet the NZ expat using one of the best remittances companies for remitting money from Australia to New Zealand and Fiji

Who:

Prashant Lal, New Zealand expat

What:

Sends money back to New Zealand and Fiji to support his family and in-laws as well as pay off the mortgages on two properties

When:

Every month since September 2014

How:

Remitting money home using the services of OFX

PlalPrashant Lal, an employee of OFX, moved to Australia for work in September 2014, bringing with him his partner – 28 years old, Manisha.

Originally from Fiji, Prashant moved to Wellington, New Zealand at age 13 where he lived for 12 years. In September 2014, Prashant was offered a position with OFX in Sydney and he and Manisha decided to make the move.

Having never been to Australia, Prashant was initially concerned about how to transfer money to begin setting up his new life here. Although he was able to set up an Australian bank account with his current bank, bank transfer fees between the two accounts remained high.

As I was about to start a job with OFX I decided to give the service a try. I looked into how much I was going to be saving compared to transferring with my bank and it was quite a substantial difference! We decided to use OFX to transfer money into our Australian account to help pay for moving costs such as our flat bond, new furniture and groceries until we received our first pay packets.”

Supporting Family Back Home

Impressed with the savings he was enjoying, Prashant began making regular transfers back to New Zealand to help support both his parents, still living in Wellington.

Having lived with and near my immediate family my whole life, it was a big step to move away from them to Sydney, so I decided to send money back regularly in order to continue supporting them. My wife and I also send a monthly amount back to her parents, sister, and nephew, which goes towards paying for utilities.”

We also own two properties in Wellington, which we are renting out. We use OFX to top up the respective mortgages and hope to have fully paid them off by 2025.”

A Proudly Recommended Service

When I set everything up I obviously compared the savings between my bank and OFX and still sporadically continue to do so, but OFX always comes out best. I have so far transferred about [$28,600] since September 2014 and I’ve made an estimated savings of [$1,000]. I proudly recommend the OFX service to any friends and family who are either travelling or relocating overseas, and continue to be impressed by the savings I make.”

> Read more about how you can remit money online for cheap with our review here: OFX (Formerly OzForex) review, rated as one of the best online money transfer platforms by us.

 

More Cheap Remittances Companies & Money Transfer Firms

Remit money from UK and USA using the following options. Here is the complete list of companies remitting small amounts internationally of companies we have covered:

  1. Currencyfair Review
  2. Transferwise Review
  3. Azimo Money Transfer Review
  4. Lebara Money Transfer Review
  5. Travelex Money Transfer Review
  6. FairFX Money Transfer Review
  7. OrbitRemit Review
  8. Xoom Money Transfer Review
  9. Ria Money Transfer Review
  10. WorldRemit Money Transfer Review
  11. TranserGo Money Transfer Review
  12. Western Union (WU) Money Transfer Review
  13. Moneygram Money Transfer Review

 


What makes them the top remittances companies?

✓ Remit online for cheap, without having to go to your bank or foreign exchange office.

✓ Understand exactly how much you are going to get.

✓ Automated regular transfers can be set up with some companies.

✓ Wide global reach that enables sending money to even very remote locations in Africa, South America, and Asia.

✓ Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Approved Payment Provider, so you know that your money is safe.

✓ No upfront charge fees. You only pay in relation to the amount transferred.

 Satisfaction from customers who used the service and high media attention and encouragement from established institutions, such as the World Bank.

✓ Different products like a Limit Order or a Forward Contract.


Why are bureaux de change and banks a worse option than the best remittance services?

 To trade with a bank you need to go through a lengthy account setup process.

 There is no personalised assistance in banks or in exchange offices.

 You don’t get a clear indication of the money you will receive in return for the exchange.

There are high transfer fees of up to £30 per transfer.

✗ These often have terrible reviews by clients online (true for most UK banks, Western Union, and Moneygram).


Read our FX FAQ page which addresses all concerns with international money transfers.

 

Compare to Find the Cheapest Remittances

Are the companies featured in this section really cheaper than traditional settlements like Moneygram and Western Union agents? The World Bank has a programme named “Remittances Prices” that has set itself a goal to reduce the remittances fees to developing countries that rely on that inflow of cash from its residents abroad. The most recent report published on remittances prices was December 2020 which calculated the average cost of remitting money home to be a whopping 6.51%. Follow our tips on cheap remittances providers and you should certainly find a better deal than this.

Below you can find statistics based on the World Bank Remittances Prices for Q4 2020 (2021 data not yet available):

Example 1: Remit money online from the UK to Romania

TransferwiseTotal Cost 1.19% of total

AzimoTotal Cost 2.6% of total

Western Union (online): Total Cost 4.84% of total

Transfer- Fast (Transfast) Total Cost 4.86% of total

Skrill (eWallet): Total Cost 5.67% of total

Western Union (Branch): Total Cost 12.58% of total

Xoom Money Transfer: Our research dictates between 1.5% and 5% in total of the total cost

Orbit Remitour research dictates between 2% and 3%.

TransferGo: our research dictates between 2% and 3%.

On a 500 pound transfer you can save 56 pounds per transfer (data from World Bank)

(equals  based on Today’s Exchange Rates)

 

Example 2: Remit money online from the UK to Brazil

AzimoTotal Cost 2.4% of total

Small World FS: Total Cost 4.17% of total

MoneyGram (online): Total Cost 4.85% of total

MoneyGram (branch): Total Cost 7.59% of total

Western Union (online): Total Cost 8.22% of total

On a 500 pound transfer you can save 29 Pounds per transfer (data from World Bank)

(equals 3,620.9274 BRL based on Today’s Exchange Rates)

 

 

Example 3: Remit money online from the UK to Poland

TransferwiseTotal Cost 0.78% of total

Western Union: Total Cost 5.69% of total

MoneyGram: Total Cost 5.77% of total

Sami Swoi: Total Cost 7.99% of total

On a 500 pound transfer you can save 35 Pounds per transfer (data from World Bank)

(equals 2,674.8580 PLN based on Today’s Exchange Rates)

 

Example 4: Remit money online from UK to Thailand

TransferwiseTotal Cost 0.8% of total

Skrill (eWallet): Total Cost 5.5% of total

Western Union (Branch): Total Cost 11% of total

On a 500 pound transfer you can save 22 Pounds per transfer (data from World Bank)

(equals  based on Today’s Exchange Rates)

When remitting money from the USA to India, Thailand, the Philippines or other developing countries in Asia or Africa, companies like Ria Money Transfer or Transfast cost around 3% of the total costs, which isn’t bad but still much more expensive than the companies featured on this table that can accept U.S clients that send money home.

Newcomer: The Lebara money transfer service is breaking the market by offering very low margins and small fees on transfers from the UK to 13 different locations. It is even cheaper than Transferwise on the GBPEUR route.

2021 Update: WorldRemit is another remittance company that’s rapidly adding new routes and improving both its bank transfer and cash pickup services throughout Asia & Africa. With an easy-to-use online payment calculator, customers can also know exactly how much they will have to pay to remit money internationally.

 

Regular Transfers for Expats

Looking for regularly timed transfers, for things like pensions, mortgages or salary transfers?

 

What makes these companies a great choice for regularly remitting money internationally?

✓ Easy sign-up is available on the website.

✓ You can choose whether to use an online platform or telephone.

✓ Automated regular transfers can be set up.

✓ Personal currency assistants for each client.

✓ Wide global reach, allows for accepting clients from most countries, and dealing with most currencies.

✓ Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Approved Payment Provider.

✓ Charge no transfer fees.

✓ Will beat a bank’s Buy / Sell rates any day of the week.

Expertise in immigration services and the transfer of pensions, mortgages, and salaries.

✓ Great client reviews can be found across the web.

 

What makes banks a worse choice?

Not easy to sign up. You can only figure out the rates once you’re a client.

No personalised assistance is available. Private clients don’t have direct access to currency dealers.

 Non-transparent fees. Fees consist of fixed transfer fees, commissions, and exchange rate markups.

✗ High transfer fees of up to £30 per transfer are charged.

✗ Worse exchange rates than commercial firms.

✗ Often, terrible reviews by clients online.

Word of Advice

Beware of Honeymoon Rates: Some remittance transfer companies will offer you tight margins for your first transfer, but as you use them more frequently, these margins will increase. Make sure to convey to any company you’re dealing with that you will expect the same margin for future transfers, and take a minute to compare between each transfer’s exchange rate and the real current currency exchange rate. The best foreign exchange rate guide can be found here.


Remittances are defined as the transfer of money by a person who lives in a foreign country to his or her home country. The Remittance industry contributes to the economic growth of the countries participating in the practice as well as to the livelihood of the individuals involved. The remittance system comprises of the Remittance Service Providers (RSP), Remittance Corridors, the Remittance Network and the Money transfer system.

For a long while, the Remittance industry continued to grow as a result of several factors. These factors included the increase in labour requirements across the world, an increase in the number of migrants, and a shift towards global cooperation and economic development. COVID-19, however, has disrupted social mobility and caused an increase in the number of return migrants, resulting in a drop in YoY remittance volumes in 2020 for the first time since 2009. Only the fourth time this has happened since remittance flows were measured since 1970.

According to information from the World Bank, migrants sent US$508 billion back to their families in developing countries — down from the $547 billion sent in 2019, but to put this in perspective, still more than the $479 billion sent in 2017. . These inflows of cash constitute more than 10% of GDP in over 25 developing countries and lead to increased investments in health, education, and small businesses in various communities. In some countries this can be even higher – Nepal for example saw remittance inflows of $7billion in 2020, equivalent to 22.6% of Nepal’s GDP.

Key findings:

  1. The loss/benefit picture of this reality is twofold: while the migration of highly skilled people from small, poor countries can affect basic service delivery, it can generate numerous benefits, including increased trade, investment, knowledge, and technology transfers from diaspora contributions.
  2. More than 247 million people, or 3.4% of the world’s population, live outside their countries of birth.
  3. Remittances reached a record $547 billion in 2019 but are estimated to drop to $508 billion in 2020, with forecasts of $470 billion in 2021*.
  4. The top migrant destination country is the United States, followed by Saudi Arabia, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Spain, and Australia.
  5. The top six immigration countries, relative to population, are outside the high-income OECD countries: Qatar (91 percent), United Arab Emirates (88 percent), Kuwait (72 percent), Jordan (56 percent), and Bahrain (54 percent).
  6. The World Bank projected a decline of remittance flows in 2020 across all regions: Europe and Central Asia (-16%); Sub-Saharan Africa (-8.8%), South Asia (-4%), the Middle East and North Africa (-8%), Latin America and the Caribbean (-0.2%), and East Asia and the Pacific (-10.5%).
  7. The global average cost of sending $200 remains high at 6.51 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020. Significantly higher than the cheapest remittances companies listed on this page.
  8. Sub-Saharan Africa continued to have the highest average remittance costs, at about 8.5 per cent; South Asia had the lowest average remittance costs at 5 per cent. The average remittance costs for the remaining regions were: Europe and Central Asia (6.5%); East Asia and Pacific (7.1%); Middle East and North Africa (7.5%); and Latin America and the Caribbean (5.8%).
  9. The five countries to see the largest remittance inflows in 2020 were India ($76bn), China ($59.5bn), Mexico ($40.5bn), Philippines ($33bn) and Egypt ($24bn).

*Note that even as of May 2021, the figures for 2020 remittance flows are still estimated by the world bank.

Remittances rates are decreasing but inequality grows

The world’s inequality has grown tremendously, and some of the currencies belonging to developing countries have declined. The exact split between different remittance providers is unknown, but it is clear Western Union and Moneygram have the biggest market share, which is slowly eaten away by new providers like Transferwise, Currencyfair, World Remit, and Azimo.

The top 10 recipients of remittances in 2020 were as follows:

There are several different methods by which funds may be transferred. The best ways to send money abroad are:

  • Cash to cash
  • Bank account to bank account
  • Via cellular/mobile phone
  • Via credit and debit cards
  • Via prepaid debit cards

Costly Corridors

The most costly corridors in USD are South Africa to Malawi, South Africa to Botswana, South Africa to Angola, South Africa to Mozambique, and South Africa to Zimbabwe. The least costly corridors are Singapore to Thailand, Singapore to Bangladesh, UAE to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia to Pakistan and Spain to the Dominican Republic.

Value of Funds Transferred by Transfer Method

The most costly corridors in USD are South Africa to Malawi, South Africa to Botswana, South Africa to Angola, South Africa to Mozambique, and South Africa to Zimbabwe. The least costly corridors are Singapore to Thailand, Singapore to Bangladesh, UAE to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia to Pakistan and Spain to the Dominican Republic.

Mobile payments are on the up across the world. Many countries are even skipping the card generation and moving straight from cash to mobile.Great opportunities exist in this area for money transfer services which we have covered on our Best Money Transfer Apps page and below:

Mobile Money Transfer Apps Are Becoming The New Normal For Sending Remittances To Countries In Africa

The remittance market to sub-saharan Africa is currently estimated to be at $44 billion.

Until the unforeseen events of 2020, remittance inflows wereonly getting bigger, yet there have been few easy and cheap ways to transfer that money into the respective countries. Banks charged high fees, up to 29% when transferring from certain countries.

Some of the most important remittance corridors are the most expensive:

  • South Africa still charges high rates for remittances to other African countries. A transfer from South Africa to Lesotho, which is the largest “corridor” in Africa, can easily cost 10%+ of the sum being transferred..
  • Burkina Faso is another country where one can expect to pay 16% on remittances, usually to Nigeria.
  • It costs a lot to send money from Nigeria, with fees between 10% and 13%.

Remittances have been a major part of the economies of many African countries. So much so, that the continent was deeply impacted by the 2008 economic crisis, despite African banks having little to do with the sources of the collapse. Therefore, the money lost in transfer fees is not insignificant in its effect on the economy.

It is understandable then that Kenya is home to the world leader in mobile money transfer capabilities. Safaricom’s M-Pesa service has for a long time had a monopoly on the local transfer market, with extremely functional technology that can be used even on mobile phones not considered “smart”.

A competitor to M-Pesa was launched in 2015 in an attempt to foil the dangers of such an important monopoly. Equity and Airtel partnered to create Equitel, a service which uses “thin SIMs” – a microchip you can slip easily over a SIM card, allowing you to switch operators easily.

Now cross-border mobile transfers are becoming possible.

  • MFS Africa and
  • Terra Connect are becoming big players.
  • WorldRemit  and Azimo has also been strengthening its hand by improving payment systems for remittances to Africa

The most important factor in the popularity of these mobile services is, of course, the huge amount saved on fees. Their significance to the economy has not gone unnoticed by the Kenyan government, who are a major shareholder in Safaricom.

But there are other factors leading to the rise of mobile transfer capabilities. The ease of the process is vitally important, especially since many residents of recipient countries do not have easy access to banks. Extra transparency in the process is also a factor, as people become less trusting in systems that have cost them so much for so long.

The general consensus is the more payment operators there are, the better, as migrants have long known the literal costs of a monopoly. Remittances will continue playing a big part in African economies for the foreseeable future, and we’ll be seeing more and more innovative mobile payments technology emerging in the next months and years.

Concluding Words for Remittances & Inequality

Remittance providers are continually enhancing their payment services. Offering not just bank-to-bank transfers and cash pickup services but also mobile payment and bill payment services. With WorldRemit for example, remitters sending money home to Kenya have the choice between four different payment types; bank-to-bank, cash pickup, mobile money and airtime top up. 


Last Words on the Best Remittances Companies

In a world that gets more global every day, opportunities are increasing and cultural boundaries are becoming meaningless. And whilst remittance flows are forecasted to decline in 2021 due to obvious reasons, this is anticipated to be the only setback in a much larger positive growth trend when market conditions return to normal. Indeed, as the concept of “the global citizen” takes more and more importance, millions of people relocate to remote places to work, live, discover, and pursue their dreams. As this movement entails opportunities, it usually yields financial gains and drives up international remittances.

While some people remit money home from UK or from USA to help their families, others do so in order to invest their savings. Regardless of the purpose, most expatriates rely on a bank or a remittance service provider. In fact more and more expatriates are opting for such money remittance companies as they provide much more value than banks and show a great level of care and sympathy for their clients (whereas banks almost never do). They enable cost savings, risk limitation and quick execution. However, as hundreds of these companies have been created, it has become critical to identify the ones that maximise value, or in other words which are the top remittance companies on the market.

Through our assessment, we could indeed detect some differences and we have carefully filtered and selected the best remittances companies that will satisfy any expatriate. As a result, Transferwise, MoneyCorp, Currencies Direct, and World First are all top remittances services that will enable expatriates to make regular bank-to-bank remittances and hedge future exposure while providing them with state-of-the-art guidance and customer support. We believe they are the best option to remit money from UK, remit money from USA (except Worldfirst that exited this market in early 2019), and remit money from the EU – France, Spain, Germany or Italy are all available with these providers.

Azimo and World Remit, in our opinion, are the best ways to remit money to your family back home, and then pick it up as cash in places like India, Pakistan, Mexico, or Bangladesh. Whilst neither are the cheapest remittances companies available on the market today, you should find they provide cheap remittances when compared to Western Union and Moneygram.

There is no other way to turn your pounds, euros or dollars into rupee, peso, taka, hryvnia, leu, zloty, lira or others. If you have already been using an international remittances company, then the reviews above will definitely provide you with insight and perspective. If you have never done it before, then your journey might begin right here!

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Larry
6 years ago

I use moneycorp because I prefer the big household names. They’re alright, very responsive.

Mal N
6 years ago

TOR FX IS TRUST WORTHY AND ALSO HAS GOOD TOOLS

MonkeyB
6 years ago

Where is World’s First? Best site.

Jeremy - ie
6 years ago

I transfer Euros to pound on a regular basis, currently residing in the great city of Barcelona.

I am paying 20 Euro per transfer, and about 3% in exhange rates. That means I get 950 Euro (value) for every 1000 Euro I transfer.

With either one of your featured companies, should I pay less? What is an FX company standard margin?

Kirk M.
3 years ago

Tried a few companies but I can surely say that, for smaller amounts (<1000 euros), Transferwise is the best option. This is how I get paid for my regular gigs. But for bigger paychecks, I highly recommend WorldFirst because I get a bigger saving overall.

Hope this can help other people.

Ashutosh
2 years ago

Azimo is a great company and solution for money transfers here in India. Most of the people are using it and don’t really go to the banks for this type of services. You can send money with Azimo and have it picked up by the recipient in only 2 hours.

Fabricio
9 months ago

Thanks for the money remittance services comparison. Never knew how much of a difference there is between different services. Always wanted to find the cheapest international money transfer because lately I started sending regularly money abroad. This will help me save a lot on the long term. So thank you for that!

Alex
6 months ago

The first time I’ve sent money to my family in Romania, I did it with WU. The biggest mistake of my life. They charge so much is not even funny! Since finding out about Transferwise from a friend, I never even searched for other remittance companies because it’s so easy and the exchange rates are super low.

For small amounts transferred to eastern European countries, I highly recommend Transferwise for your money remittance needs.

Alex
4 months ago

Thanks for this remittance rate comparison. I never knew I can lose so much money with WesternUnion. I am going to start using Wise to see how good their remittance rates are.