International money transfer

International Money Transfer to / from Canada: our guide

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Arranging an international money transfer can be an expensive process, with banks in both countries adding their own charges and typically offering poor exchange rates.

It’s a good idea, therefore, to look around at the different options available to you before you make the transfer. There are reputable third parties who can make an international money transfer easier and cheaper for you.

You can use these links to navigate through the page:

CurrencyFair.

CurrencyFair is another cheap and easy way to arrange an international money transfer from your local bank to a Canadian bank.

  • CurrencyFair is offering the first transfer for free for Moving2Canada customers so you get to sample their service with zero transaction costs.
  • Their homepage has a live Canadian currency exchange calculator where you can find the latest rates.
  • For transferring money to Canada from other locations, there is a flat fee of $4 per transfer.
  • For transferring funds from Canada to other locations, there may be a domestic wire fee applied by your bank. To save on fees, we recommend you set up a free Tangerine chequing account to receive your funds.
  • Good to know: CurrencyFair is safe and is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Always check with your local Canadian bank to see if they charge a fee for a domestic wire as it varies from bank to bank and depends on your relationship with the bank.

Have questions, or want to learn more? Read our free guide to sending money abroad with CurrencyFair.

TransferWise.

Using peer-to-peer technology, and without any hidden charges, TransferWise makes international money transfers up to eight times cheaper than using a bank.

  • TransferWise is offering the first transfer for free up to £3000 (or equivalent) for Moving2Canada customers so you get to sample their service with zero transaction costs.
  • Transfers to Canada have a 0.5% fee, and your money typically arrives in 1-2 working days.
  • Find the latest rates at the widget above, and find out how much you can save.
  • Customers trust TransferWise. It has received an average 9.5/10 rating from 30,000 independent reviews on Trustpilot.
  • TransferWise is safe, and fully authorized by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and is subject to European customer protection rules.

Check with your bank to see if they charge for domestic transfers. It will vary from bank to bank. To save on fees, we recommend you set up a free Tangerine chequing account to receive your funds.

Other international money transfer options.

The next best alternative is an international money transfer through your bank but the rates provided are often much weaker. Western Union and Paypal are by far the most expensive.

PayPal is an efficient means for an international money transfer, but they charge a similar spread to the banks.

For international money transfers to Canada, set up two Paypal accounts — one to your domestic bank and one to your Canadian bank. Then you can transfer money between them then for free; you just need to have two email accounts.

While this is a relatively simple process, be sure to check the rates you’re being charged. You may save yourself a significant sum by going with one of the other international money transfer companies listed above.

Banks.

International Money Transfers

While we don’t recommend going through your banks for international money transfers, this option is available.

If it’s your first time arranging a transfer, you may be surprised to learn that the banking systems in North America are different from elsewhere, so the information you’ll be asked for will be different.

For example, a European bank may request details like BIC and IBAN numbers, however these details don’t exist in Canada, where accounts have transit codes, swift numbers, and ABA numbers. It can be somewhat confusing figuring out what information you should put where.

We strongly recommend you double-check everything with your bank before you complete the transfer. If there is space in the transfer form to leave notes or additional information, leave detailed information here on anything you’re unsure of.

Note also that for large transfers, the receiving bank may attempt to call you to confirm that you’re expecting to receive the amount.

If you’ve set up the bank account before you got your local cell phone plan, they may not have a number to call you on, and this can cause delays in receiving funds. If the transfer is taking longer than expected, don’t be afraid to visit a bank branch and find out what’s going on.

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