Cheapest Way To Send Money To Canada From Abroad
How To Send Money To Canada From Abroad Or The Other Way
You just arrived in Canada and need to send money to Canada from abroad on a working holiday visa, student visa or any of the many visas out there.
You managed to set up your bank account, SIN number(social insurance number), SIM card and all that jazz.
Now you just need the cheapest way to send money to Canada from abroad to your shiny new bank account? (We went with TD bank, no charges for first six months).
Well, good news! We have done the research for you; we cover sending money to Canada from abroad and how to send money from Canada to abroad. Such as UK, Ireland and the rest of Europe
Some common questions on how to transfer money to Canada from abroad:
We see many questions over and over again on each of the Facebook groups we are joined.
Some of these groups include International Experience Canada(there are lots of these, this is one of the most active), IEC work Canada and our new group we just created for all things related to Moving To Vancouver.
Some frequent questions on how to send money to Canada from abroad are:
- What is the best way to transfer money from my UK account to my Canadian account once I get it set up?
- Through the bank or money transfer company?
- What money transfer company do I use? How do I send money to Canada from abroad?
- What is the best way to transfer my money from UK bank to my new Canadian bank account?
- Moving to Vancouver on Wednesday. I’m planning on setting up a Canadian bank account and then transferring all the funds from my Irish bank account using CurrencyFair? Has anyone gone through this process, just wondering how long I should allow before I have access to my money?
- I’m sending money to a Canadian Bank Account from abroad how do I do it??!
- What is the cheapest way to send money from Canada to Ireland??
The list goes on and on… these posts are flooded by “use this service” or “here is a free transfer!! Use this!!”
So it can be a bit confusing with everyone saying use this and use that.. so we have outlined a few things based on our experience:
There are a few main international money transfer companies that come up over and over again in most posts:
Banks take by far the largest cut, more so than any of the other international money transfer companies. In comparison banks take 3-4% on the exchange rate plus more charges. The money transfer below take less than 1%!
- Direct bank transfers – While this is by far the most straight forward(you just enter bank details and hit transfer), it is also the most expensive.
- CurrencyFair – We used them when we moved to Australia and was just as great when we moved to Vancouver, Canada – our #1 recommended money transfer company
- We have secured the first transfer is free with this link(normally only $5) and the only site where you can request the rate at which you exchange and beat the interbank rate. Fees are only 0.3%~ – Compared to 3-4%!!
- CanadianForex – Our backup for when we want to exchange larger sums of money. It is a bit more personal, most the time you get a personal broker. Rates are exceptionally good. You can get free transfers over $1000 with this link
- TransferMate – One of the very popular money transfer companies. Trades are normally $20 however we have secured $2 transfers with Sunset Travellers.
- TorFx – Free transfers on all transactions with excellent rates of exchange. TorFX is FCA Authorised with D&B “Rating 1” highest level of creditworthiness. Register here
- HiFx(just bought out XE Currency) – Over £100 billion transferred. FCA-authorised. A reputation built on great rates & great service. Rated excellent & 5/5 from 6,000 Trustpilot reviews.
£9 fee for transfers below £3,000. Register here
- Transferwise – Very popular and highly recommended(partly because you get a commission for recommending a friend) Currencies exchanged by interbank rates. Service rated ‘Excellent’ & 5/5 on Trustpilot.
- Paypal – You all probably know Paypal, and regarding convenience the are great! But did you know they take on average 3.9%! Along with a few other charges. Worth using if you are stuck but as a last resort.
As you can see, there are many options to send money to Canada from abroad
It is up to you depending on who you use, but please don’t use banks you will lose out in 100’s of $’s in unnecessary charges.
Typical most international money transfers are between 2500$ – $5000+ and the additional costs can be anywhere from $50 – $250 extra… which is a decent amount of extra cash in your pocket, that you will be giving to the bank.
How does CurrencyFair work? Simply send the money to their local account and exchange it to your desired currency in their marketplace.
Then send it to your bank via their local bank, so easy once you do your first trade. See the short video below:
What is the cheapest way to transfer money from Canada to Ireland/UK/Europe?
One thing we haven’t had the issue with yet is sending money from Canada to our bank accounts in Ireland and the UK.
You might be thinking.. “just send it with one of the international money transfer companies” … surely its the same way you send money to Canada from abroad?
Unfortunately not, some banks don’t let you do direct bank transfers from for example the bank we went with TD bank.
Now you might be saying “okay I’ll just take my money(let’s presume it’s $4000) with me when I return home and exchange it there.”
Technically it is fine.. but one big problem is that money exchange companies in Ireland/UK for this example charge anywhere from 4- 6.5%++ whereas CurrencyFair only charges less than 1%…
…so if you do the maths its a lot of extra in charges, plus it’s awkward to carry that much cash on you.
The solution to transferring money from Canada to Europe
In person bank to CurrencyFair(or any money transfer company) via wire transfer approx $30-$40+~ Or Send you money to a bank that doesn’t require a wire transfer
Currencyfair, as we have mentioned is our go to for international money transfers. But if you have left Canada and are reading this in the UK or somewhere in Europe or even Australia then you more than likely won’t be able to use the service(if you are with TD bank).
You can only make the transfer to CurrencyFair in person in a branch, this is the same for all wire transfers. This doesn’t apply to all banks in Canada!
Send the money from your TD account to a friend or your account that accepts direct deposits and have them make the transfer to CurrencyFair. A bit of a pain, but unfortunately due to regulatory and licensing reasons you have to make a wire transfer with TD Bank and others.
We contacted CurrencyFair and at the moment, there are only a select few banks that allow direct transfers, so it is worth enquiring before you sign up or send money.
Now all is not lost if you are with TD bank. You can still go into a branch and send the money via wire transfer; it cost about $30 to send the money to your CurrencyFair account, so yea if you are sending on average $500 back home very often then it is not really worth it.
Trades over the $1000 – $10000 go for it; you just have to be in Canada to do the trade.
Option 2: Use TD’s Visa direct system
Halleluya! There is another option…. for just $8.95, here is the link to the page you see above. We are NOT affiliated with TD bank in any way besides having signed up to them.
You can transfer money from your personal TD Canada Trust Canadian or US Dollar Chequing Account or TD Savings Account to any eligible bank account through a Visa Debit card, or to a Visa Credit card or Reloadable Visa Prepaid card.
Problem one: If you have a Mastercard back home then you can’t use this service.
Problem two: Fees, Fees, and more Fees.. see the image below:
While the above fees are not to bad, we can’t see what it cost for over $2,500.
Also from their hidden “legal” terms they mention this:
Recipient’s financial institution may charge a fee to process the transfer and this fee may be deducted from the transfer amount.
This is probably a “receiving fee” that your bank could charge you. Yes more FEES! 🙁
So to summarise if you are with TD as you can see there are three options for sending money from Canada to another country.
- CurrencyFair or any of the companies mentioned above
- Different Bank – be sure to check with the bank first!
- TD Visa Direct – fine, but costly
A final summary on the cheapest way to send money to Canada from abroad:
Okay, I hope that you are a bit more aware of the “hidden charges” that appear when you are sending money abroad to or from Canada.
This article on sending money to Canada to Ireland covers some similar notes on TD bank.
As we mentioned above, the following are the international money transfer companies we have seen popping up over and over again:
- CurrencyFair – You can register with this link, and you will always have your free transfer when you are ready to send money.
- CanadianForex – We have negotiated free transfers for life over $1000 as a Sunset Traveller reader.
They all will give you a much better rate than the bank, you will save up to 90% on charges, and will certainly be the cheapest way to send money to Canada from abroad.
Let us know if you found the information above helpful by sharing this article or commenting below
Thanks for reading,
Steve + Sabina