Best International Money Transfers: USA Edition

Discover the best international money transfer services in USA for 2022 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. And in the process, 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.

Best U.S Money Transfer Companies [By Rating]

Updated for: September 2022, featuring money transfer companies with USA offices operating nationwide

#1
UK EU USA 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?
  • 96% Positive Feedback from Customers, Since 1996
  • Service Oriented - Specialising in Large Transfers - Friendly Dealers
  • Very Competitive Rates, No Wire Fees
+Read more
#2
UK EU Australia USA UAE moneycorp: Oldest and Most Reputable Foreign Exchange Service
Headquarters:
Zig Zag Building, 70 Victoria St, Westminster, London SW1E 6SQ, UK
93.2% Editorial rating
7,000 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
£50 / €50 / $50 or equivalent
Why Them?
  • Providing FX Services since 1979
  • Very Recognisable Brand with Excellent Reputation - £36.9in Transfers Annually with Offices in Every Continent
  • Business Specialists
+Read more
#3
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
  • £20bn Turnover per Year
  • Ultra Professional
+Read more
#4
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

Federal Reserve International Payments Resource Center

Individuals originating international transfers from the US will benefit from reading information in the federal reserve international payment resource center. As international trading continues to expand, the Federal Reserve is looking to keep pace with consumer demand for efficient cross-border payments. The resource center includes a foreign exchange calculator and provides details on international ACH transfers and Dodd Frank Section 1073 – legislation introduced in 2013 for US originated cross-border remittance transfers. The intent of the regulation was to provide U.S. consumers with end-to-end transparency over costs and delivery terms related to international payments. This includes the requirement for banks and international money transfer companies to publish the exchange rate that customers will achieve.

Crucially, this is not the FX margin the provider takes, and it can still be difficult for customers to work out exactly how much they will be charged – more on this and currency exchange fees with banks below.

The cost of transferring money from USA

USA, in spite of its vast financial infrastructure and the fact its banks are the some of the wealthiest and most powerful banks globally, is behind when it comes to the costs of international payments. Not only the international money transfer fees with banks are high ranging from $30 to $40 dollar per wire, the foreign exchange rates offered to customers are atrocious.

Look at the indicative table below:

BankMin MarkupInternational Wire Fee

Wells Fargo

>4%$30

BOA

>5%$45

Citi

>4%$35

Capital One

>4%$40

The international wire fees in the USA charged by banks is not even nearly the worst trait of transferring money abroad from USA. The markup added to the foreign exchange rate offered to you by the bank starts at 4% and could be as high as 10%. We’re talking about 4% or 10% LESS money you’d get in return for your transfer.

Let’s break it down with a practical example:

If you are transferring $10,000 from USA to EU, that should be worth 9,966 Euros using today’s (August 30, 2022) exchange rate. When you deduct an average of $35 from such transfer, and then apply an exchange rate which is 5% worse than the current rate, you get back 9,184 Euro. So more than 800 euros that were wasted in that international bank transfer to no avail and without any reason for it, considering that there are alternatives as the best international money transfer services listed above in this page offering NO wire fees and markups which are between 2 and 5 lower.

On LARGE international money transfers, where you will be sending a large sum to a bank abroad like in cases of buying property, a business transaction, or moving abroad, such vast differences in exchange rates could ultimately mean tens of thousands wasted along the way. That is why it’s crucial to seek for the best rates for international money transfers of that scale (while making sure you are getting an appropriate level of service from a well regulated provider that will make you feel as safe as using your bank).

Live Example: US Bank vs Wise for International Transfers

The below screenshots taken at the same time demonstrate a difference of $75 in spreads plus $35 in wire fees so a total of $110 difference over a transaction of only 1,270 Euro from Dollar. More than 5% more if you pay via your bank as opposed to an international money transfer service.

International Money Transfers from USA without using the SWIFT protocol?

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.

Brokers like 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).

For example, If you’re an American expat living in the UK and want to use Moneycorp to transfer your salary to your U.S bank account 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

As a website, our traditional focus has been on assisting UK individuals and businesses who have a requirement to send money abroad to an overseas bank account. This can be seen 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 trade conducted by U.S businesses than UK businesses (as demonstrated by this USA vs UK comparison).

The primary 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 they are 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 of 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.

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 time through their subsidiary company USForex which recently rebranded into OFX.
  • XE Money Transfers is one of a 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?

Providing a cheap foreign currency transfer is not the sole purpose of international money transfer services but 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 transfer money with 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. For example, Bank of America  charges $45 in transfer fees per international transfer sent in USD and $16 for incoming international wires (true for July 2022 when this page was updated). Citibank charges $35 per outgoing international wire, and Fidelity charges up to 3% of an outbound international wire transfer (also true for July 2022). These are insane fees, regardless of whether you are transferring a small or a large amount of money internationally.

International money transfer services charge no transfer 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 having any fixed fees attached to each wire.

 

 

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-adding activities that can benefit certain types of customers, particular in comparison with a bank wire transfer.

First and foremost, most international money transfer services offer an online money transfer platform allowing customers to make their international money transfers from home (and/or business to make fx payments, global payrolls and mass b2b payments). While this may seem basic, some U.S banks force customers to physically attend a bank branch to make an international wire, which appears archaically unnecessary.

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 to contact via email and phone (you can also arrange a face to face meeting with them). A 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 an international money transfer. These dedicated account managers, named dedicated currency dealers in the U.K, are well versed in international payments and remain up to date with currency markets. Hence, they can make you aware of the different ways you can make payment and what factors have been influencing the currency pair you are trading. For example, some banks in Europe charge an extra payment for transfers larger than 50,000 EUR and your dedicated account manager can recommend you 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 require a specific settlement date in the future.

Then, there are FX hedging tools which are offered by some of these companies, and most importantly a Forward Currency Contract which enables you to lock in today’s exchange 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 provides more detail.

The Extraordinary Strength of USD in 2022 and the Opportunities it Presents

The US dollar has been demonstrating extraordinary strength against other global currencies throughout the last year and in particular, this summer. And whilst recent global events have fast-tracked the USD’s trajectory even further, it’s a trend which has been continuing for a number of years now. When we look at the wider picture, USD has either already reached or is close to reaching highs not seen in the 21st century against the euro, the Japanese yen and the British pound.

  • As of July 27 2022, it costs $1.01 to buy one euro – a 20 year high for USD. The last time it was possible to achieve such value was in November 2002.
  • As of July 27 2022, it costs $1.20 to buy one British pound at a rate of 0.83. Less than the 0.86 high seen in March 2020 but still reaching levels not seen prior to this since the 1980’s.
  • On this same date, $1 bags an exchange rate of 137 yen – a high not seen since 1998.
  • But what does all this mean for those sending money from America? Well, in the case of transferring money from the US to the UK, money transfer users will quite simply be achieving one of the best exchange rates possible over the last 40 years.

 

Americans traveling or sending money abroad will find that their money goes further than it used to, and in countries like the UK, Europe and Japan they’ll find it goes much further. With a 15% increase in value against GBP over the last 12 months, that also makes properties in the UK ‘in theory’ 15% less expensive than this time last year. When sending money to Europe, Americans will surely appreciate the 16% increase in value seen for USD over the last year against the euro.

A strong dollar also means that businesses who import goods from countries whose currencies have dropped in value against USD become cheaper. Although, with most imports coming from Canada, Mexico and China, it’s worth pointing out that gains for USD against the currencies have been smaller. Ultimately, it all bears well for US citizens looking to invest in, or make large purchases from, the UK and Europe. Even if your requirement is for the future, now may be a good time to consider a forward contract to lock in today’s exchange rate on a future trade.

Cheap Wire Transfers from the U.S – For Smaller Transfers Too

It should be noted there is no minimum transfer volume and you don’t have to be a business owner or wealthy individual to use any of these services. While Money Transfer Comparison will sometimes focus on these types of clients, it should not deter you from transferring funds with a fintech non-bank money transfer company. There are plenty of options which are suitable for users sending small volumes as well.

Wise and OFX have very strong and friendly online platforms with no minimum transfer requirements. You could go through the whole process online and also fund your transfer via a debit card. The exchange rate you will get with these two companies will always be good and, in the case of Wise, will not even depend on the volume transferred (unlike with currency brokerages where the exchange rate markup changes for larger international transfers). Regular money transfers are very easy to set up with either of them, and Wise (formerly TransferWise) also offers express transfers during bank-hours that could instantly reach its target recipient bank account (between 2 and 10 minutes when you are transferring to another Wise account during work hours).

We have reviewed several more money transfer companies with a bigger focus on remittances. All boast low transfer fees, great exchange rates, no hidden fees and in some cases speedy transfers. Below are our favorite selections:

  1. Ria Money Transfer
  2. TransferGo
  3. Orbit Remit
  4. World Remit

The Best International Money Transfer: An Epilogue

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 to send money abroad, 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.