What is the best option to transfer money abroad?

We all enjoy paying the lowest exchange rates when we need to transfer money to or from another country. But most of the time financial institutions try to make our life harder by charging fees on top of the exchange rates. Everyone who lived in another country or lived away from their loved ones has certainly faced this challenge and questioned: What is the safest, simplest and cheapest way to transfer money to another country?

There are many companies offering this type of service, such as Western Union or MoneyGram. However, most of them add fees to their exchange rate, and you just realize it when you’re in the final step of the transaction. It really annoys me to find out about unpleasant hidden fees waiting for my distraction.

A few weeks ago, I had to send transfer money to a cousin who is living in the UK to help with his student fees. And I found myself stubborn not to pay those unfair charges again. Therefore, I took the time to research and see if I could find a better option. That’s when a colleague talked to me about TransferWise (click here to register using a referral code that gives you the first transaction for free). At first, I was a bit skeptical, afraid that I would find out about nasty fees in the end of the “ordering” process.

I also wasn’t too sure about their exchange rates, so I decided to compare them with Western Union and MoneyGram. As I friend had promised, TransferWise ended up offering the best deal, as you can see in the ranking below. To make it simple for us to evaluate it, I selected an amount of CAD$2,000 to be exchanged to Great Britain Pounds.

The final results are (ranked according to the highest final amount in pounds):

1. TransferWise: £1,229.84 (7.4% more than MoneyGram, 4.8% more than WesternUnion)

TransferWise Transfer Money Simulation

TransferWise offered the highest amount in pounds: £1,229.84 including their fees. They also gained some extra points because of the simplicity and transparency since the final exchange rate, including the fees, is shown right away, without having to register or sign up.

2. Western Union: £1,173.57 (2.5% more than MoneyGram)

Western Union Transfer Money Simulation

First, I was surprised that I couldn’t even transfer CAD$2,000, which I do not think is an outrageous amount, using Western Union for an international money transfer using my original account. If I wanted to transfer more than CAD$999, I would have to register for a service called “WU Online FX”, even though I was already registered at Western Union. Anyhow, the final amount in pounds would be £1,173.57 and the service fees would also be included at the time of check-out.

3. MoneyGram: £1,145.12

MoneyGram Transfer Money Simulation

MoneyGram allowed me to transfer the amount that I was looking for. However, they offered the lower final amount in pounds (£1,145.12) since they charged a transfer fee of CAD$94.00.

Want to know more?

If you’re interested in registering at TransferWise, you can also benefit from their current promotion. If you use this link you will have your first transfer fee, of up to £500 (or the same amount in your currency), for free. That results in saving even more money, so thumbs up!

I hope I could help you choose the best option to transfer your precious money abroad, whether you’re sending financial support to a loved one, to a friend, or to a business partner. You can learn more about them by watching the following video:

Good luck and happy savings!