Cheapest Ways to Transfer Money from Australia to the USA
Making international money transfers is easy these days. All banks and many other specialized financial businesses offer this type of service. However, the majority of the options are rather expensive. If you don’t pick your money transfer method carefully, you will lose about 5% of the money due to fees and high foreign currency exchange (FX) rate margins. Therefore, you should do thorough research before making a transaction. This guide will help you do that.
Also, keep in mind that the cost of the transfer, like any other cross-currency transaction, will be affected by FX volatility. The coronavirus crisis hit FX markets hard and the Australian Dollar weakened considerably. Everyone who needs to send money to the US, or any other country, is exposed to currency risk.
Therefore, while looking for the best method of transfer, you need to consider not only the immediate cost of the transaction. But you also need to look for ways on how to protect yourself from severe changes in FX rates. It’s similar to how you could use a VPN to get better and safer deals when online shopping. The money transfer method you use must guarantee your security as well as offer additional features to benefit you long-term.
Bank Wire Transfers
Bank wire transfers are the most common way to send money from Australia to the US, and pretty much everywhere else. They are the most common mode of money transfer in general today. That’s because the majority of adults have bank accounts and don’t bother with using any other services unless pushed. In some countries, people don’t even have access to any other businesses that can offer money transfer services.
However, being the most popular doesn’t make bank wire transfers the best. In fact, they are definitely one of the most expensive methods of money transfer. The fees the bank presents don’t seem too high. However, there are many hidden fees as well as high FX margins that banks use.
Overall, an international transfer through a bank might cost 3-7% of the transfer volume on average. This number won’t be very high for transfers to the USA because the countries are connected by well-developed currency corridors. To compare, consider that there are still currency corridors today where a transfer could cost up to 20%. They are rare and mostly lead to developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
On the plus side, bank wire transfers are simple and highly secure. Today any decent bank offers an online banking solution. Therefore, you can easily send an international transfer using your smartphone. However, remember that this type of transaction could take up to a week.
Money Transfer Companies/Brokers
Money transfer companies, also called currency transfer or FX brokers, currently are the best way to transfer money from Australia to USA. That’s because the transactions they offer are the cheapest. They also offer a wide range of additional services that can help you mitigate currency risks. Therefore, they are the best choice for businesses, investors, and anyone else who needs to make transfers regularly.
With the help of money transfer companies you can cut transaction costs to under 1%. And they are as simple to use as your online banking solution. As long as you install the mobile app, you will be able to manage your transactions and other currency operations from your smartphone.
Moreover, you might gain an additional level of security because you don’t have to expose your bank account in these operations. You will send money using the company as an intermediary.
The only thing that puts a damper on using these solutions to make transfers to or from America is that there are only a few money transfer companies operating there. There are more of them in Australia and the EU because laws in these countries aren’t as restrictive. When dealing with US transfers, your options are mostly limited to TransferWise, OFX, Moneycorp and Currencies Direct. They are leaders in the industry and offer great rates. Currencies Direct, for example, charges no transaction fees at all.
Most importantly, money transfer companies offer currency counseling and hedging services. This means they can help you reduce the FX risk you are exposed to when making these transactions.
PayPal and similar services are popular as a method of sending money from Australia to the US, especially when shopping. This is basically the “standard” payment method for many online marketplaces, starting with eBay.
However, a PayPal transfer will cost you about 3.5% of the total transaction volume. And while there are ways to avoid or reduce PayPal fees, they aren’t applicable in every situation.
PayPal transfers are also very convenient. Their greatest advantage is that PayPal is an extremely popular platform, in general. Therefore, there is a high probability that the recipient already has a PayPal account. This makes the transfer easier and nearly instant, as well as cheaper than bank transfer but just as secure.
Bottom Line: What Is the Best Money Transfer Method from Australia to the US?
While every popular money transfer method has its advantages, using FX companies is the cheapest way. They make transfers fast, simple, and affordable. And you won’t have issues using them for transactions between Australia and the US because these businesses are active in both countries. There are fewer companies operating in America, but the ones that are available are industry leaders. Therefore, you can be sure they offer top-grade security and great overall terms.