International money transfer resources

Send money to the USA

Article by Mozo

If you have a bank account in the USA or have friends or relatives that live there, you may find yourself needing to transfer money from time to time. And that’s ok! It’s always possible with the help of an international money transfer. If you’re new to this, you need to know that an IMT is from bank account to bank account, not via cheque, cash or travellers cheque to account - it doesn't work that way.

Here on Mozo, you’ve got everything you need to send money to the US, from a listing of today’s exchange rates and IMT providers to our in depth buyers guide on everything you’ll need to know about sending money to the USA.

Compare USD exchange rates and IMT providers

To help you to save time and money when sending money to the US, you can compare today’s USD exchange rates for the providers that offer international money transfers to America here on Mozo with our International Money Transfer Comparison tool.

Money Transfer FAQs:

How do I actually transfer money to the US?

Sending Australian dollars to the US is easy, but you’ll need to have your own account already set up in America or know someone who has one. Everything is traceable and if it’s a third party you’re sending money to make sure you that you trust and know them so that your money won’t get lost in transaction. Or lost altogether! You can use one of the following establishments to wire your money through:


Banks are the fairest option, right? Think again! After doing some research, you’ll see that banks, including the Big 4 have some of the highest international money transfer rates around. Not only will they slug you a fee for initiating the transfer, also charge you a percentage of the amount and even charge a large flat fee for the recipient receiving the funds. Up to AU$50!

You’re looking at an average fee cost of about $85 for an amount as low as $100. A little too steep, doncha reckon? If you’re planning on sending $1000 overseas via a bank, then your fees could be about: $130. Remember, all fees are on top of the amount that you intend on transferring. Hmmm. You may want to consider some reputable alternatives instead.

Pros: Reliable names you know and trust.

Cons: Higher fees and transfer conversions than most other methods available.

Foreign Exchange Specialist

Sometimes called a Specialist FX or online international payments service, using a company that specialises in foreign exchange means that they are in the business of sending money overseas, possibly at a bundle at a time. Because of their bulk-purchase or exchange, a foreign exchange specialist essentially has the power to save you money in the long run.

Like any business transaction, an online specialist who is familiar with all the pathways to transferring money overseas will be able to simply get on with the job, fast. And they can probably transfer your money to the USA with their eyes closed.

Pros: Low cost, expert and fast for a smooth transfer.

Cons: Higher minimum limits than banks and other transfer options

Wire transfer Agency

An alternative to an online provider is using a wire transfer agency like Travelex or Western Union. You can send money to a specific bank account or an agent location. Money can be transferred in minutes.

Pros: Safe and fast international transfer.

Cons: Fees usually depend on where you are sending the money to and the actual exchange rate you get may be less competitive than banks.

Sending money to the USA? How money transfers work.

In most instances, you will need to offer your bank or money transfer agent proof of ID, including your address. The recipient of your money transfer in the USA will also need to to prove their identity. This way, monies and profiles of sender and recipient remain transparent and made public if needed. In other words, the transaction is traceable and your money won’t disappear into thin air.

What happens when you transfer money to the US?

  • Decide on how much money you will transfer
  • Provide your ID to transfer money
  • A fee may be charged to handle the transfer
  • A percentage of the amount transferred may be charged on top as an additional fee
  • A SWIFT code may be required to identify your recipient’s bank location in the USA
  • Recipient will need to provide ID to receive money
  • Money should be received from 1-3 days.

I want to compare providers - what do I look out for?

It may be a little overwhelming at first, especially when there’s more than a few international money transfer providers out there. But there are differences between them, so if you can save more than a few dollars on your international money transfer to the US, then why not? Here are the types of things you need to look for:

  • Limits: some banks or international money transfer providers have minimums like $1000. So if you don’t intend on transferring anywhere near that amount, don’t feel obligated to meet their min requirements! Shop around and see who else will meet your personal requirements.
  • Rates: there’s no hidden agenda here other than the money transfer agent wanting to make a little money on the amount you transfer. Don’t hold it against them! If they didn’t charge a percentage, then they wouldn’t be able to provide the safe service that they do. But what you can do is do your research on Mozo and see what rate you’re willing to transfer at. There are some great deals out there so it’s worth taking a look.
  • Transfer speed: you and I know that monies can be transferred within minutes. However some money transfer agents or banks choose to hold onto your money from 24 - 72 hours. Sometimes longer. Each have their own agendas as to why they need to hold onto your money for so long, but mostly because they want to legitimise the amount and your identity. It’s a sense of security rather than relying on good faith. There are however agents who will transfer almost immediately, which is good in times of need or emergency. You may pay a higher fee or exchange rate for this super quick service.
  • Fees: this is something you need to weigh up - what will work out better for you? Higher fees with lower rates or low fees with higher transfer rates? Hopefully there’s a balanced deal out there that will satisfy you for the amount of money you want to transfer.
  • Online vs phone or in person: did you know that even the Big 4 offer an online IMT service? Most online services in the banking industry is most competitive as there are little overheads compared to phone or in person. You’ll find that rates may be lower than if you were to transfer money to the US via the bank over the phone or in person walking in yourself. It really depends on your confidence in trying something new or even trusting that you can succeed with the process. If you’re confused and intend on transferring money time and time again, why not ask a specialist to show you what to do in person, write the steps down, then try it yourself on the next occasion. Who knows, you may become and expert!

How do I set up an international money transfer?

Firstly, you need to decide which direction you will take - online, in person or over the phone?

Working this out first, will determine your best next steps.

  • Will you be logging on to your online bank account or app?
  • Visiting a branch?
  • Filling out a form online?

Whichever way you choose to transfer money to the US, some crucial bits of information you’ll need for a successful transfer include:

  • Full name and address of the recipient’s bank
  • Recipient's name, address and account name
  • Account number or International Bank Account Number (IBAN)
  • SWIFT/BIC code of your personal account you're transferring funds from
  • Amount you would like to send.

IMT must-know terminology

BIC - Bank Identification Code

SWIFT - Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication

IBAN - International bank account number

Recipient - The person or party who receives the money being transferred

IMT - International money transfer

IMO - International money order.

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