Transferring money internationally is an expensive and confusing process the first time you try but if you know where to look, I can help you transfer those Australian Dollars ($AUD) into US Dollars ($USD) in no time!

There are five major players when it comes to transferring money internationally: OFX, Transferwise, WorldRemit, XE.com and PayPal. This isn’t even to mention the major (and minor) banks that offer international trade services (or other financial institutions).

I’ll go through the pros and cons of each and compare the amounts of money that you can expect to receive for a $1,000AUD transfer right now (30 October 2019) as an example!

A note about “market rates” and “mid-market rates”

One thing to note first is that many comparison money sites will list a “Market rate” at the top and allow you to enter some numbers to see how much your money is worth. But be careful because this is basically a marketing trap and you will probably see this text underneath:

All figures are live mid-market rates, which are not available to consumers and are for informational purposes only. To see the rates we quote for money transfer, please create an account.

This rate is not really indicative of how much money you will actually receive because in order for an FX company to function, they need to take a cut. This cut can take the form of the transfer rate being slightly lower, fees, or both.

The market rate for the purposes of this exercise is: $1,000AUD in $USD is currently = $685.89USD.

Transfer money with OFX (special America Josh Rate) – Winner!

This is who I personally use to do all my international money transfers!

$1,000AUD in $USD with OFX is currently = $682.90USD (Your rate: 0.6829)

This rate mentioned is actually slightly better than the normal customer rate. America Josh readers get special access to OFX rates. It’s easy, and you have two options!

Option 1: Sign up for OFX online

If you’re someone who just prefers to signup online and that be that, then you can use this special rate link for America Josh readers.

This will take you through the signup process and you will be put onto our special FX rate.

Option 2: Speak to a real person

For those of you who like a personal touch, then we’ve got the awesome Amelie at OFX! Amelie can give you the same awesome rates for being such an awesome America Josh reader, and can also answer your questions via phone or via email! Just fill in the form below and Amelie will be in touch within 24 hours.

The transfers are almost instantly in your bank account, and the fuss is minimal. There’s a quick check when you first sign up to confirm your identity but this is the case with any reputable resource.

  • If you feel like it!
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Transfer money with Transferwise – 2nd Place

$1,000AUD in $USD with OFX is currently = $681.50USD (Your rate: 0.686 + $6.56AUD Fee)

As you can see, it’s pretty damn close but SLIGHTLY less than those on a special OFX rate. As above, the transfers are almost instantly in your bank account. There’s again a quick signup process to confirm your identity. You can get your first transfer for free and help me out by using this referral link to sign up!

Transfer money with WorldRemit – 3rd Place

1,000AUD in $USD with WorldRemit is currently = $678.78 (Your rate: 0.67878 + $3.99AUD fee)

Not too far behind, but remember that every dollar counts when you don’t have to miss out for any reason! WorldRemit is popular and I can see why but doesn’t quite compare.

Transfer money with XE.com – 4th Place

$1,000AUD in $USD with OFX is currently = $672.27 (Your rate: 0.6723)

Another step down in actual returns when looking at XE.com, another popular transfer method.

Transfer money with PayPal – 5th Place

$1,000AUD in $USD with OFX is currently = $663.11 (Your rate: 0.6631 + Possible Fees)

This one just really is way off the mark and while there is “no fee” if you transfer internally within PayPal, their rate is not helping you at all.

Transfer money with Banks

The most important thing to remember when transferring money internationally is this: Keep your eye on the ball. When companies promote “transparent fees” and “low fees”, “free transfers” and “fixed costs”, you’ve lost the ball. This is their way of distracting you!

The fees attached to transferring money are not normally where these institutions make their money. Instead, they make their money with the rate that they allow you to exchange cash at.

You’ll see in the screenshot below a comparison by Transferwise to the other leaders in the industry and most of the major Australian banks. This includes the rate, the possible fees, and the final transferred value of money.

Compare FX Rates Major Australian Banks

CitiBank & HSBC

A lot of people will mention Citi and/or HSBC as a good way of transferring money because you can do it internally within their own special systems “without fees”. I would still really recommend against this as the rates are still not comparable to those of OFX and the money is just as instant.

The best thing you can do is compare, yourself! Create accounts in all of these services and check the rates just before you transfer, just make sure you are looking at the final amount you will actually receive, and not an advertised rate.

Final note

I know some of these dollar amounts might not seem like much but if you’re moving to the U.S. you will most likely be transferring more than $1,000AUD. The difference might be only $20 but in a $10,000 transfer, that’s $200 that you could have been spending on a rooftop or somewhere!

The other one I want to note is Xoom, PayPal’s international money transfer product separate to PayPal. As far as I can discern, this is only for moving money from the US to other countries, for which it’s not terrible but not all that competitive.

About the Author

America Josh

I had a fantastic life in Adelaide and in Australia but thought in late 2015 that it was time to do something new. I handed over control of my company, sold my house, car, and even gave away my cat (“Aslan”) to start on my journey to New York.

I arrived in New York on January 10, 2017, from Adelaide, South Australia and in March 2017, I started America Josh to help make the transition to the US from wherever you’re from just a little bit easier.

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