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The Best Methods For Transferring Money Overseas

Mar 6, 2008
When you transfer money overseas you invariably double the complications, currencies and cost compared to sending money within your own country.

The two basic costs to transferring money are: The advertised charge including the fee for the transaction and also the hidden charge. The hidden charge usually amounts to not being given a very competitive exchange rate. This is how some money transfer companies are able to advertise saying they have no transfer fees. They get customers using this slogan but charge you a very unfavorable exchange rate and thereby taking a decent cut of your money.

The best thing to do is to ask the simple question: "Overall how many Pounds/Dollars/Euros/Yen will I get for my Pounds/Dollars/Euros/Yen?" This is the easiest way to make a comparison between companies.

If you are sending gifts to friends or family overseas whilst presents are appreciated cash would probably be the preferred gift of choice every time.

The quickest, simplest and most reliable methods for transferring cash quickly are Moneygram and western Union. If you use the services of one of these two money transfer giants your money will arrive almost instantly in cash. The main drawback of this approach is the cost. Whilst Moneygram is a little less costly they are both still expensive although hard to beat for convenience.

However, if your money does not need to be transferred immediately then you could consider a bank transfer which usually cost slightly less but take a bit longer. You may also wish to consider a banker's draft which would need to be sent via insured post again adding to the overall transfer fee.

One of Western Unions main markets is customers transferring money to India. To try and gain a foot hold in this market Indian bank ICICI has joined up with Lloyds TSB and they now provide a zero fee currency transfer service. You will have to seek out your local branch to see if they are offering that particular service as it is usually reserved for major branches at the moment.

It would not be fair to ignore Paypal of Ebay fame when talking about money transfers. Whilst it's main service is to provide an easy method for auction payments it also facilitates very cheap money transfers. All that is required is for the sender and receiver to have a valid email address and a free Paypal account.

First you load your Paypal account with your credit or bank card and with the click of a mouse send it to the recipients email address. Once received the recipient can then download it into their local current account. Download times vary from between 3-9 days which varies depending on which country you are in. Paypal also does not operate in every country as yet, currently it operates in 45 countries and some countries are as yet not able to withdraw the money into their accounts so double check this before you embark on this process.

The great thing about Paypal is that it is free. the only charge is for the recipient when they receive their money. The rate runs at about $2.80 for every $60 withdrawn or there abouts. Their may also be an additional fee for withdrawing the money in to your account, again this varies dependent on location but this is a negligible amount typically $0.50. Paypal only operates in the following currencies: Canadian, Pounds, Australian, Euros, Yen and UK. The exchange rates that they operate are by are comparable to your average credit card.

Setting up a Paypal account is instant however adding funds to the account can take 3-5 days if it is a new account. Overall the fees are minimal it is only the length of time that it takes that could be considered a disadvantage.

There is one further solution for sending money abroad however you have to be very trusting of the person receiving the money. You could locate a cheap credit card regarding overseas fees and simply open a joint account. Allow the recipient to take the card with them and let them withdraw money when they need it. You would simply have to foot the bill in your home country. Obviously you would have to be very trusting of this person and they would have to resist the temptation of overspending.

Overall then Paypal is the cheapest option particularly for lower amounts. For a small transfer of $60 with Western Union you would be charged around $24 whereas Paypal would only cost you a mere $3.00 or less. The key is to shop around and see which money transfer company is the most convenient for you.
About the Author
Money Transfer Review provides free money saving comparison charts, safety tips and money saving advice for all your money transfer needs. Simply click: Transfer Money Overseas to discover more.
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