Discover the 5 best international money transfer services in USA for 2023 with our comprehensive guide explaining how to send money internationally from USA. We list, review, rate and compare international money transfer companies in USA 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 rates when converting one currency to another. All of that, of course, while using a trustworthy and credible money transfer service that will provide an exemplary level of service. We have compared and reviewed more than 80 different foreign exchange companies (specifically set up to transfer money internationally) to date, and a selection of the top 5 money transfer companies for USA residents is available below.
Best Money Transfer Services [Top 5 By Rating]
- 96% Positive Feedback from Customers, Since 1996
- Service Oriented - Specialising in Large Transfers - Friendly Dealers
- Very Competitive Rates, No Wire Fees
- Global Leader in International Money Transfers - £10bn in Annual Turnover
- 20+ Global Offices
- Very Friendly Online Platform
- Multi-Lingual Website and Staff
- Fully-Functional App
- Forward Contracts Available
- Will Handle Transfer of Any Size
- Fund Transfers via Domestic Bank Transfer or Debit Card
- Accepts Clients Globally (USA - depending on state)
- 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
- Professional and dedicated service for larger transfers
- 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
- Offering a complete online platform for private and business customers
- Very high customer satisfaction
- 10 offices globally and strong banking connections
- Transfer from $1
- Great Online Platform
- Best Rates for Mexico
- Good Client Reviews (Most of them)
- Transparent Quote
- Transfer from $1
- Send to 130 Countries
- Cash Pickup / Airtime Top-Up
- Good Client Reviews (Most of them)
- Transparent Quote
- Supports Interac (Competitors don’t)
- Wide Global Footprint – Register from over 50 countries
What is an International Wire Transfer?
An international wire transfer or international money transfer is when money is sent from one country to another. For this reason, most international wire transfers involve a currency conversion, exchanging the currency of the remitting country to the currency of the receiving country. However, not all international wire transfers have to involve a currency conversion. As USD is such a widely used currency around the world, it is also quite common to send international wire transfers in USD.
Banks are still the most popular way to transfer money internationally from USA but they are actually the most expensive and generally provide quite a limited offering for individuals and small businesses (more on this later). There are a growing number of specialist international money transfer services that are built specifically to provide cheaper, easier and faster international wire transfers from USA.
What is the Best Way to Transfer Money From the US to Another Country?
Specialized international money transfer companies are most often the best way to transfer money from the US. They provide better exchange rates than banks, charge no fees, and, in most cases, appoint you with a dedicated account manager to guide you through every step of the process. Backed up by an easy-to-use online platform, should you wish to do it all by yourself. Below are some of the best services currently available in the US to make international transfers.
These are the most popular ways to transfer money internationally today:
moneycorp is a world-leading international payment company that transfers over $50 billion every year on behalf of its customers. You could say it’s the most trusted name in the industry. It’s been operating since 1979 and it’s been totally dedicated to currency exchange and moving money across borders in its 40+ years of operation. With offices in Washington and Orlando, the provider is licensed to onboard both personal and business customers in the US. You’ll have access to a currency expert to run you through the different transfer options and when might be a good time to trade.
Publicly traded on the Australian Stock Exchange, OFX is a global money transfer company that launched in the US in 2012, holding an office in San Francisco. It’s easy to make fast global transfers through their online platform or the app, and you’ll always be supported by an ‘OFXpert’ if you want some guidance about movements in your currency pair or how different solutions can help with the timing of your transfer.
Currencies Direct has been safely moving money across borders for over 25 years. Founded in 1996, it was one of the first money transfer companies to launch in the UK. Opening a US office in 2007 it was also one of the first dedicated FX companies to launch here too. They keep things simple, offering great rates, no transfer fees and expert support whether you transfer online, over the phone or by app.
Launched in 2011, Remitly is a US-headquartered online transfer service. They provide no support over the phone but offer a great app and slick online platform for customers to manage the process themselves. They’re a great option for sending low-value transfers with capability to send money to many countries throughout Africa and Asia.
WorldRemit is another online-only service that is focused on low-value or remittance type transfers. One of the most typical use cases is migrants sending money to friends and families back home. Originally launched in the UK, the payments company has an impressive global footprint and can help customers transfer money from the USA to over 130 countries around the world.
Wise is an online-only currency transfer service that can process higher value payments than most other online providers. Listed on the London Stock Exchange, Wise is one of the hottest ‘fintechs’ in the space and has a very smooth app and online platform to make transferring money from USA easy. In addition to handling transfers from the US, you can also open multi-currency bank accounts in a number of countries around the world, allowing you to receive, hold and convert multiple currencies.
PayPal owned Xoom has been somewhat quiet in recent years but it can transfer money from the US to an impressive amount of destinations. Whether that’s to a bank account abroad, for cash pick up or to pay an overseas bill. More expensive than the other options, they still provide rates which are better than a bank.
Ria Money Transfer
Ria is a traditional remittance company which has been operating since 1987. With a specific focus on cash pickup, Ria is an option for those looking to send money from the US to someone without a bank account. They aren’t the cheapest way to transfer money from the US but they have processed over a billion transfers to date – you’re in safe hands.
See also our recommendations specifically for transferring money from USA to UK.
Why Transfer Money Internationally from U.S with Our Top 3
Our top 3 money transfer services listed on our best money transfer comparison above offer the following
- No fees for transferring money from USA internationally
- Better exchange rate for the foreign currency exchange than banks
- An online system to transfer money internationally which is accessible also if you are abroad (whereas some US bank accounts can be problematic to operate from abroad)
- Dedicated dealer function to help make decisions relating to the timing and type of contract when sending money internationally
- Peace of mind – these are all money transfer companies who have been in the business for a long time; some of these companies even do foreign exchange business directly with the U.S government
If you want to read better on which money transfer service fits the best route, you can read our dedicated guides like transferring money from USA to UK, and moreover have a look below. Majority of the largest money transfer companies in USA are able to handle transferring money from USA to any destinations (USA to EU, USA to UK, USA to Australia being our primary targets), as well as able to bring money to USA from any destination (send money from anywhere to USA).
Which Bank is Best for International Transfers From US?
Based on offering the lowest international transfer fees and the best exchange rates, Bank of America is the best US bank for international transfers. They charge no fee when a currency conversion takes place and apply an FX markup of 2.6% – 2.8%, according to independent analysis on international bank transfer fees.
However, the best bank for international transfers is still considerably more expensive than dedicated currency companies (more on this below). And unlike currency companies, you do not get access to a currency expert (just generic bank customer service staff) and you do not get access to the range of currency hedging tools that provide flexibility around the timing of your transfer.
MTC USA Money Transfer Awards: Best International Money Transfer Companies per Category
Updated for: June 2023, featuring money transfer companies with USA offices operating nationwide
- 🏆 Best for Transfers from USA to Europe: Moneycorp
- 🏆 Best Transfers from USA to Australia + Asia: OFX
- 🏆 Best for Transfers from USA to UK: Currencies Direct [separate page]
- 🏆 Best for Transfers to Mexico, Philippines: Remitly
- 🏆 Best for Transfers to Africa: WorldRemit
- 🏆 Best for Transfers to USA from Abroad Currencies Direct
- 🏆 Best Support for Large International Money Transfers: Currencies Direct
- 🏆 Best for Business Payments: Moneycorp
- 🏆 Best Online Money Transfers: OFX
- 🏆 Best for Transfers Australia into USA: TorFX Australia [separate page]
- 🏆 Cheapest Way to Transfer Money Abroad [separate page]
- 🤔 Expat Tip: International Transfers via Domestic Wires
In 2023, U.S Households Plan On Sending Similar Amounts Abroad
A survey that we conducted at the end of Dec 2022 has shown that U.S households of all incomes plan to, on average, send the same amount of money abroad as before. 41% of respondents said they will maintain the same level of international money transfers, 29% said the amounts transferred overseas will increase, and 30% indicated that they will make fewer international payments. It is interesting to note that there is a great fear in the markets of recession but U.S households do not plan on cutting back international transfers – most likely because these are necessary payments that cannot be easily omitted from the household expense (such as supporting family overseas).
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 the 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.
OFAC, a U.S. Department of the Treasury agency, enforces economic and trade sanctions, ensuring compliance and preventing fund transfers to prohibited parties. Financial institutions must screen wire transfer transactions against OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals List, blocking and reporting transactions involving sanctioned parties.
In a recent case, the U.S. Department of Justice laid criminal charges for using cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions. The accused individual sent approximately $10 million in bitcoin to a sanctioned nation. The case highlights the importance of OFAC regulations, which clarified in 2020 that cryptocurrencies used for transactions to sanctioned nations are treated the same as fiat transactions.
In the context of international wire transfers, adherence to OFAC regulations is crucial for banks and financial institutions to avoid potential fines and reputational damage while maintaining the integrity of the global financial system.
The cost of transferring money from USA
The USA, in spite of its vast financial infrastructure and the fact its banks are some of the wealthiest and most powerful banks globally, is well behind many other countries when it comes to the costs of international payments. Not only are the international money transfer fees with banks high – ranging from $30 to $50 per wire – the foreign exchange rates can cause you to lose significant sums when trading one currency to another. This is where much of the costs lie and huge savings can be made by working with a specialized international payment company like moneycorp.
Look at the indicative table below, based on our 2022 international money wire fees and costs in USA research:
|Bank||Min Markup||International Wire Fee|
Let’s look at US international wire transfer fees with a practical example:
If you were transferring $10,000 from USA to EU, that would be worth €10,132 based on an exchange rate gathered November 2, 2022. When you deduct the $30 payment fee and 3.6% spread applied by Wells Fargo, you’re left with €9,738. Roughly 400 euros were lost in this international bank transfer without any reason when we consider there are alternatives such as the best international money transfer services listed on this page which offer no wire fees and markups which are between 2-3% lower. If you’re considering something more exotic, like transferring money from USA to Israel or sending money from USA to UAE with a bank, you can expect to be hit with even higher fees as the transaction will include exotic currencies.
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. This is why it’s crucial to seek 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).
Are banks offering value and innovation?
Money Transfer Comparison USA conducted a survey of 1144 Americans, available here. Here are the key findings:
- Do you think traditional banks have kept up with digital innovations that are used by fintech services? 81% believe that yes, they did.
- Do you think your bank charges you unreasonably high fees? 57% believe that they do (missed credit card and loan payments as well as overdraft fees)
- Would you outsource your financial services from banks to innovative fintechs? Only 26% said they wouldn’t!
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 Wire 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 strange 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 solve 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 US 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 US 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 moneycorp’s US bank account in US 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 US.
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
Despite the US population being over five times larger than the UK, there has traditionally been a much greater demand for finding the best international money transfer services in UK.
In the UK, a lot more individuals, SMEs and corporations 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 have traditionally been more focused on Brits than Americans.
In fact, the UK is where the currency transfer industry was first formed and the first currency brokers came to be. 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 less selection when it comes to non-bank international money transfer companies for U.S customers. If we look at some of the UK’s most 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 US 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 US states. Prior to that, many American customers could not register with this brilliant money transfer service.
- Moneycorp also served certain US states in the past but has been accepting US customers from all states for a while now
- OFX has served all US customers for a long time through their subsidiary company USForex which recently rebranded to 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 hot fintech company and launched in the US 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.
A complete list of US money transfer services is available below (including remittance providers):
- Currencies Direct
- Wise (TransferWise)
- Xoom Money Transfer
- Ria Money Transfer
- World Remit
- Orbit Remit
- Western Union (WU)
- XE Money Transfer
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, particularly 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 from wherever they would like to login). 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 (in some instances, you can even 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 FX solutions and timing to conduct an international money transfer. These dedicated account managers, named dedicated currency dealers in the UK, 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 fee 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 future currency volatility). This is useful for businesses that receive their earnings in one currency and pay suppliers in another currency (or currencies). Our business foreign exchange guide provides more detail.
FDIC Deposit Insurance & Money Transfer Companies
It’s important to note that funds held with a specialist money transfer company are not directly covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The FDIC, however, does still recommend money transfer providers to send money overseas. “Using a bank or a money transfer company to ‘wire’ funds electronically is an easy and convenient way to send cash to someone. And when consumers wire money to people they know, the transaction typically takes place without a problem. But wiring money to strangers… is risky because often they could be scam artists.”
In light of recent bank collapses such as Silicon Valley Bank, FDIC insurance is being reevaluated, with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation advocating for increased deposit insurance limits for business payment accounts. This proposal aims to improve financial stability but may face moral hazard concerns and require Congressional approval.
Providing you opt for a credible and financially sound money transfer company, the primary risks associated with wiring money can be more down to personal errors than necessarily the provider used. Money transfer companies process the majority of transfers within one business day and there will only be a short time period that the money actually passes through accounts belonging to the money transfer company. Still though, it’s important to be aware that the money is not covered under the FDIC deposit insurance scheme and it’s certainly worth selecting a reputable, financially sound and regulated money transfer company.
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 fall. 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 November 2 2022, $1 buys 1.01 euros – a fall from its 1.03 peak in October but still at levels not seen since almost 20 years to the day – November 2002.
- As of November 2 2022, it costs $1.15 to buy one British pound at a rate of 0.87. Less than the astonishing 0.91 high seen in October but still reaching levels not seen prior to this since 1985
- On this same date, $1 bags an exchange rate of 147 Japanese yen – a high not seen since 1990.
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.
Measured against a group of other developed-market currencies, the US dollar rose 17% over the first three quarters of 2022, reaching its strongest level in more than 20 years. So sending money to other developed countries from the US, has ‘in theory’ become 17% less expensive in the period of just nine months.
A year ago to the day $1 would have bought 73p, now it will buy a whopping 87p – 19.2% more on November 2 2022 compared to the same date a year ago.
A strong dollar also means that US businesses who import goods from those 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 CAD and CNY have been a little smaller than their European counterparts (all-be-it still mightily impressive) and USDMXN has remained pretty flat. 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.
The downside to this USD strength is for US exporters. Those selling goods and services from the US are now more expensive to international buyers. The strength of USD has been so extreme that this is starting to have an impact on the company earnings of many businesses in the S&P 500.
Has USD Peaked?
Whilst USD may have reached its peak, there are few analysts predicting a big drop off. After reaching unprecedented levels against both EUR and GBP, we have started to see these two currencies claw back some of their losses in December.Overall, USD is unlikely to weaken much further until the Fed begins cutting interest rates – which is far from being an immediate prospect. Much of USD’s strength has been underpinned by the Fed hiking interest rates and whilst traders have been betting on the Fed to begin lowering rates at some point in 2023, Federal Reserve officials continue to outline their intention not to cut interest rates next year.
Best (Affordable) 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 high-value clients, it should not deter anyone from transferring funds with a fintech or 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:
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 strengths. 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.
Living In USA: Pros And Cons
Considering moving to the Land of the Free? The United States of America attracts visitors from all over the world