Best International Money Transfers: USA Edition

Discover the best international money transfer services in USA for 2021 with our comprehensive guide at Money Transfer Comparison. We list, review, rate and compare international money transfer companies that customers can easily use alongside their normal bank. It’s what we’ve been doing since 2014, with one clear goal in mind – educating the public about how to find cheap international money transfers and obtain the best exchange rate when converting one currency to another. Whilst always using a trustworthy and credible provider that will provide exemplary service. We have compared and reviewed more than 70 different foreign exchange companies (money transfer companies) to date, and our selection geared specifically at USA readers is available below.

The Best International Money Transfer [U.S]

Updated for: November 2021, featuring money transfer companies with USA offices operating nationwide

USA Currencies Direct: Best for Large International Money Transfers
Local USA Offices:
4705 South Apopka-Vineland Rd,Suite 114, Orlando, FL 32819
97.8% Editorial rating
3,000 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
£100 / €100 / $100 or equivalent
Why Them?
  • 96% Positive Feedback from Customers, Since 1996
  • Service Oriented - Specializing in Large Transfers - Friendly, Professional, Dealers
  • Very Competitive Rates, No Wire Fees
+Read more
USA Moneycorp: Industry Veteran, Pristine Reputation, Business Specialists
Local USA Offices:
4500 Park Granada UNIT 239, Calabasas, CA 91302
93.2% Editorial rating
7,000 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
$250
Why Them?
  • Personal and close service, perfect for large international money transfers and businesses
  • Competitive exchange rates and no transfer fees
  • Many industry and business awards - operating since 1979
+Read more
USA OFX: Publicly Traded Money Transfers Giant, Great Online System
Local USA Offices:
T49 Stevenson Street, 13th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105
90.4% Editorial rating
1,500 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
$100
Why Them?
  • Traded publicly, very well known name in the currency business
  • Great online platform and mobile app - easy to use, comprehend an sign up with
  • Good rates even for small transfers, and no transfer fees
+Read more
USA Wise: Excellent Rates Online
Local USA Offices:
19 W 24th Street, Floor 9, New York City, NY 10010
86.8% Editorial rating
32,000 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
$1
Why Them?
  • Transparent and good pricing
  • Very known name and recently went public, biggest money transfer service by volume
  • No minimum transfer
+Read more
USA WorldRemit: Immigrant-Friendly Rates
Local USA Offices:
WorldRemit Corp, 600 17th Street, Suite 200S Denver, CO 80202
77.0% Editorial rating
50,000 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
$1
Why Them?
  • Transfer from $1
  • Send to 130 Countries
  • Remittances-Oriented
+Read more

🤔 Expat Tip: International Transfers to USA without SWIFT

If you are an American expat living abroad, then you would know one of the biggest struggles with American banks is that they may require your physical presence at the bank in order to transfer money abroad through SWIFT. As ludicrous and foolish as this may sound, this is in fact a requirement which pains a lot of expats who happen to be abroad for prolonged periods of time.

Moneycorp solves this situation easily and elegantly – their payment process circumvents the SWIFT system (as long as they have bank accounts in both the sending and receiving country of that international money transfer).

This is how it works:moneycorp-process

For example, If you’re an American expat living in the UK and want to use Moneycorp to transfer your salary to the U.S then you would settle your transfer to a local Moneycorp GBP account held in the UK. They would then convert the currency to USD and distribute the dollars from their locally held USD Moneycorp account to your U.S bank account. Vice versa, when a US resident sends money abroad using moneycorp’s service, they book the transaction on moneycorp’s website (or by phone/email) and then fund it by paying into moneycorp’s U.S bank account in U.S dollars, domestically. Then, Moneycorp take that money, exchange it, and transfer it to its destination. So any expat who requires to transfer money abroad for cheap and WITHOUT having to physically be on American soil, is recommended to use moneycorp.

Moneycorp is a 1979 established London-headquartered money transfer service that transfers more than $50bn annually, and has consistently ranked among our top 3 best money transfer companies in the U.S.

 

As Featured On

Money Transfer Comparison is a leading contributor to many business, finance and expat magazines.

 

International Money Transfers in USA vs UK: Less Selection

We are a website that has traditionally focused on assisting UK individuals and businesses who have a requirement to send money abroad.s As you can see by our homepage targeting the best international money transfer services in UK. That is in spite of the fact that the U.S population is far greater, its GDP is much higher and there’s a lot more international trading for U.S businesses than for UK businesses (as demonstrated by this USA vs UK comparison).

The underlying reason that most international money transfer comparison sites focus on a UK audience is simple, there are a lot more individuals, SMEs and corporations that work with non-bank providers than in the USA. That’s not to say these customers close their bank account, they simply work with a dedicated international payment company to assist with just that – their international money transfers. Thus, money transfer service providers are more focused on Brits than Americans so it reflects into comparison sites as well.

In fact, the UK is where the currency transfer industry was first formed. Moneycorp, established in 1979, was the first company to offer businesses cheaper foreign exchange and cheaper international money transfers. It was followed by companies like Currencies Direct and WorldFirst, which focused on business customers and individuals but their services were still confined to Brits. These companies have naturally expanded to allow EU citizens, mostly British expats, to use their services, and then expanded to territories such as Australia where they had relatively small regulatory hurdles in on-boarding customers.

The U.S was always a sort o black hole for the international money transfer industry. Customers aren’t familiar with the product, are naturally more conservative and there are less fintech aficionados when compared to the UK. It’s not just consumer understanding though, regulation is a key factor too. ,U.S regulation forces providers to be regulated in each and every state they want to onboard customers from (whereas money transfer regulations in the UK with the FCA are much simpler). This means the costs of being a U.S regulated money transfer service are high and the return is lower.

Hence, there is a lot less selection for non-bank international money transfer companies for U.S customers, even today. If we look at some of the UK’s popular FX transfer specialists, we can see their penetration in the US market is low.

  • WorldFirst was a dominant money transfer service, but the company stopped serving U.S customers when it was bought out by AliPay (and then stopped serving private customers worldwide).
  • Currencies Direct has only recently (2021) started accepting customers from all U.S states. Prior to that, many American customers could not register with this brilliant money transfer service.
  • Moneycorp also served certain U.S states in the past but is accepting U.S customers from all states for a while now
  • OFX has served all U.S customers for a long while through their sister company USForex which is now merged into OFX.
  • XE money transfers is one of few North American money transfer companies in the world and has served American clients for a long time now (it combined forces with UK specialist HiFX to operate under the XE brand).
  • Wise is a relatively newly formed money transfer organization and has appealed to U.S customers several years after its inception (as other money transfer providers, it focused on UK and European customers first).
  • Global Reach Group still can’t onboard American clients.
  • Halo Financial still can’t onboard American clients.
  • Currency Solutions still can’t onboard American clients.

Here is a list of all the money transfer services covered by Money Transfer Comparison who accept U.S customers (including remittance providers):

Are International Money Transfer Services Cheaper than Banks for Transferring Money Abroad?

While conducting a cheap foreign currency transfer is not the sole purpose of international money transfer services, it is definitely one of the main reasons a customer would opt for a non-bank provider. When comparing the costs of international money transfers with banks and independent providers, there is no doubt that whichever money transfer company you opt to choose – it will offer substantially less fees and better international money transfer rates than a bank. This is particularly true for U.S banks which are notorious for their excessive fees.

We break down the costs component into two parts:

International Wire Fees with Banks

It costs a lot to send an international wire with American banks. Bank of America, for example, charges $45 per international transfer and $16 for incoming international wires (true for November 2021 when this article was written). Citibank charges $35 per outgoing international wire, and Fidelity charges up to 3% of an outbound international wire transfer (also true for November 2021). These are insane fees, regardless of whether you are transferring a small or a large amount of money internationally.

International money transfer services don’t charge a flat fee at all. When you have an account with one of our best international money transfer services for U.S customers as listed on this page, you are eligible to transfer money as many times as you want without any fixed fees attached to each wire.

Currency Exchange Fees with Banks

While wire fees are annoyingly high with banks, the real costs come in the form of poor international money transfer rates with banks. The Buy and Sell rates offered to you for any foreign currency include an embedded markup. So if the real interbank foreign exchange rate for USD to EUR is currently 0.86, banks may only give you 0.84 Euro for each dollar. While this may appear “close enough” to the real official exchange rate, it actually represents a margin of well over 2% which means 2% of your money will be lost in the transaction. When dealing with large international money transfers from USA, this can be quite meaningful. A 2.5% margin on a transfer to purchase a house in Europe costing 500,000 EUR means paying more than $12,500 in currency transfer markups. We have created a full guide discussing the best foreign exchange rates for international bank transfers, if you want to read more about this topic.

International money transfer companies operate in the same fashion by adding an embedded markup to their currency rates, because this is how they earn money, but the exchange rate markup is usually significantly smaller than that applied by U.S banks.

If you want to read more about how money transfer companies make money, you could do so on our website.

Money Transfer Companies: Additional Value-Add for Businesses and Large Transfers

While cheap international money transfers are the biggest perk offered by money transfer companies, there are plenty of other value-adds for certain types of customers.

First and foremost, most international money transfer services offer an online platform allowing customers to make their international money transfers from home. While this may seem basic, some U.S banks force you to physically attend the bank branch for it which appears archaically unnecessary.

Then another strong value add which is mostly relevant for customers who are conducting large or repeating international money transfers is a dedicated account manager escorting you throughout the process and available for you via email and phone (you can also arrange a face to face meeting with them). The dedicated account manager not only makes the process smoother and less worrisome, they can also provide guidance on the right methodology and timing to conduct your international money transfer. These dedicated account managers, named dedicated currency dealers in the U.K, are well versed in international payments and up to date with currency markets; hence, they can make you aware what’s the right way to make your payment. For example, in Europe some banks charge an extra payment for transfers larger than 50,000 EUR and your dedicated account manager can recommend you will split the payment into trenches below that threshold, potentially saving the recipient money on incoming wire fees.

If you are aiming to make the transaction when the foreign currency exchange rates improve, you could use a rate alert service offered by companies like Currencies Direct and Moneycorp which will send you a notification once a certain rate has been achieved. This is particularly useful for deals that don’t have a specific settling date in the future.

Then, there is FX hedging offered by these companies, and most importantly a Forward Currency Contract which will enable you to lock in today’s rate for future currency transfers (so that you won’t be impacted by any currency volatility). This is useful for businesses that receive their earnings in one currency and paying suppliers in another currency (or currencies). Our business foreign exchange guide

International Money Transfer Comparison: Editorial Note

Our list of the top 10 best international money transfer services, companies and organizations could not be complete without our last word of guidance – go with a company that suits your needs and fits your own personal or professional style. All the money transfer companies listed on this page are good, reliable, safe and offer cheap international money transfers but they all have their different style. Wise is straightforward, allowing customers to see rates online even before they sign up – a very fintech type of approach that focuses on driving down costs, while Currencies Direct is more of a traditional currency transfer brokerage which does not offer the same transparency as Wise but makes up for this in the level of service its account management team provide and the wide range of currency hedging solutions available.  One is a better fit for small online money transfers, while the other is more suited to large international money transfers. WorldRemit is a different thing altogether, offering great remittance exchange rates to a wide selection of countries and functionality that includes mobile top up and cash delivery, but we would not use this service for large money transfers.

We encourage you to conduct your own research and if necessary sign up with multiple companies and use the international currency transfer service with the best international money transfer rates for your particular currency requirements.


Please note we have referral / affiliation relations with many of the international money transfer companies reviewed on this website. Read more on our about us page and on our advertising disclaimer which is findable throughout the site.