How to save money on international money transfers?

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As we are slowly transcending into a cashless society with most of our finances taking place digitally, efficient money transfers have become a huge part of our everyday lives even if we don’t notice it. Thanks to the wide Internet access and well-developed transport and logistics market, we can buy goods from almost any place in the world. Business owners and entrepreneurs can remotely hire skilled employees from different countries. There are also people who work abroad, but they still provide for their families in their home countries. All of these involve thousands of international transactions each day.

You may be used to free domestic transfers, however, almost any overseas payment has fees of some kind. You may not even notice them, as they can be hidden under the currency conversion rates. But if there is a few dollars of additional costs on every transfer, it can quickly add up to more significant total expenses. In this article we will cover a few essentials to help you send money abroad much cheaper.

1. Send money online

It may sound obvious and most of us do it without thinking, because it’s just convenient to order your transfer online with a few clicks of a button or taps on the smartphone. However, the costs of ordering for example a bank wire personally at the branch can be almost twice as much! You may also need to stand in a long queue and carrying bigger sums in your pockets doesn’t sound sensible.

Therefore, if you ever have a chance to handle your payment digitally go for it, as in most cases it’s much cheaper, as it doesn’t involve unnecessary personnel or intermediaries.

One exception from this rule can be some remittance companies such as Western Union for example, who have their agencies all over the world to make it convenient to send and collect cash in person.

2. Research the best transfer platforms

The online remittance market consists of literally thousands of platforms and companies who can help you move your money across the border much cheaper than a regular bank wire. Banks have become too expensive and slow a long time ago when it comes to international payments.

Many people think that PayPal is the only way to go. And while it has become one of the most convenient platforms to handle finances for a business, in many cases its rates for individual transfers aren’t the best on the market and it’s good to research the prices of the competition once in a while to see how much one could save.

Companies such as TransferGo, Monese or Azimo just to name a few offer their own unique features when it comes to overseas payments. One of the most popular choices for international money transfers is also Transferwise. If you want to learn more about this company, read this full in-depth review of Transferwise offer with fees breakdown and customers’ feedback.

3. Check Exchange Rates

Sometimes you may come across suspiciously cheap transfer offers, but be careful, as they can hide the real cost of the service.

International money transfers often involve currency conversions and that’s where the remittance company can add their own margin. In many cases the exchange rates vary from the official ones, so your recipient will simply get less money than you intended to send. Let’s say that 1USD exchanges to 70INR. If the company adjusts the rates to 1:60, your recipient will get 10INR less. Now if you send $1000, it translates to a hidden fee 60000INR… Therefore, be careful of the so-called “free international transfers”.

With these basic tips if you send money abroad regularly you can easily save a few dollars on every transfer.