How to avoid the international money transfer rip off

Transferring money overseas is costing Australians big bucks, with the latest figures from the World Bank showing Australia is one of the most expensive developed nations in the world for international money transfers, behind only South Africa and Japan.

Unsurprisingly, the big banks are the main culprits here, with a review by comparison website Mozo revealing that Australians can save hundreds of dollars on international money transfers by avoiding the big four banks.

Mozo’s researchers found that shopping around for the best rates could net a saving of over $500 on a $10,000 transfer into US Dollars, Pounds or Euros.

Mozo director Kirsty Lamont advised Aussies looking to transfer money overseas to do their research on exchange rates and fees in advance to avoid being “ripped off”.

“The big banks are far from the only options for international money transfers these days. A growing number of specialist money transfer providers now offer more competitive rates and lower fees than the banks.

Mozo discovered the cheapest rates in Australia were generally from online providers, such as TorFX, WorldFirst and CurrencyFair.

“We found that online money transfer providers are on average 5c cheaper per dollar transferred than the big four banks. When you’re transferring thousands of dollars, that difference adds up to hundreds of dollars in savings,” said Lamont.

What’s more, specialists like TorFX and WorldFirst process the transaction in one to two days compared with the big banks, which can take up to five days.

Australians can compare exchange rates and fees from 14 providers across 22 currencies using Mozo’s free international money transfer tool, with rates updated every hour.