What Are My International Money Transfer Options?

Depending on why you're making your transfer and whether you have any time constraints, one type of transfer could suit you better than others.

Xe Consumer

10. März 20206 min read

When you break it down, all money transfers follow the same core process:

  1. You select your currencies and get your rate,

  2. You provide your information and that of the recipient,

  3. We facilitate the transfer.

However, they aren't all created equal! Where they differ is when you pay and when the transfer goes out. Depending on why you're making your transfer and whether you have any time constraints, one type of transfer could suit you better than others.

We'll start by discussing these three transfer methods:

  1. Spot transfers

  2. Forwards

  3. Market orders

Let’s take a closer look at what these transfers are and when they’d be best utilized.

Spot Transfers

If you just want to make a quick, “on the spot” transfer, you can immediately do so through our spot transfers. You can buy now, pay now, and get your transfer taken care of ASAP. There’s nothing that will affect the transfer process.

When would I use this? Any time you need to make a quick, one-off payment or transfer, and you know you’re ready to send. If your transfer needs are more complex, one of the next two options might be better for you.

Forward Contracts

You’ve got a dilemma. You’ve checked the currency conversion charts, and the rate is in your favor for your transfer—but you’re not quite ready to take the plunge and initiate the transfer. Maybe you’re still building up your savings, maybe you’re still finalizing the details of your upcoming purchase, or maybe you’re concerned about potential fluctuations in your chosen currency.

A forward contract will let you lock in your rate now, even if you aren’t planning on making your purchase just yet. You’d just pay a small deposit now, and the bulk of your payment at a future date.

When would I use this? If you’ve got a big purchase to make, like property or another investment, and you want to make sure you'll have a great rate.

Market Orders

Let’s flip the last scenario around. You know you want to make a transfer, but you’re not happy with the current exchange rate. Instead of putting your transfer on hold completely, set up your future transfer now with a market order. Specify your currency amounts and desired rate, and the transfer will initiate once that rate is live.

When would I use this? Got time to spare for your transfer? Making a transfer to or from a more volatile currency? Market orders are ideal for those of you seeking the best possible rate, while time is less of a factor.

What about those other transfer types?

If you’ve been researching money transfer, you might be thinking, “Those aren’t the only types of transfer. Why aren’t you mentioning the other types?”

The three transfers described above are all forms of international money transfer that you can easily make on our platform. These other transfers will move your money to another person, but they differ in whether they’re international or domestic, whether there’s any restrictions on the amount you can transfer, and whether they come with an additional fee.

For example, you may have heard about the following:

  • Bank transfer – This refers to any money transfer that is done through a bank. Banks are trustworthy and reliable, but because they utilize the SWIFT network, bank transfers come with numerous additional fees.

  • Wire transfer – One of the oldest and most widely known varieties of domestic and international money transfer, wire transfer allows you to electronically send funds to another person through banks or other wire transfer providers. Wire transfers go through networks such as the SWIFT network, so while they are speedy and secure, they often come with added fees.

  • Money order – This is a paper document that’s used for making payments, not unlike a check. The main difference is that you specify who will receive the money order and how much they will receive, and both you and the recipient must sign for the order. Money orders are a secure way to make domestic and international payments, but they often have a limit of $1000 per order.

  • Cashier’s check – Like money orders, cashier’s checks are a slightly more secure alternative to regular checks. Unlike money orders, you can make larger payments with cashier’s checks, and many people use them to make a down payment, put down a deposit, or purchase high-cost items like cars or boats. Cashier’s checks function by taking the check amount from the paying individual’s account and depositing it into the bank’s account, and then creating a check that draws directly from the bank or institution. The recipient is guaranteed to receive their money, and transactions can settle quickly.

  • ACH payment – Also known as an ACH transfer, this is a direct deposit transfer that is processed within the United States through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network. While they are quick and easy to manage, they are largely domestic, and would not be the best option for anyone with international transfer needs.

  • Balance transfer – This one’s a bit of a trick—balance transfers aren’t really money transfers. In a balance transfer, you’re transferring outstanding debt on one credit card to a new or different card, typically one with a lower interest rate or other benefits.

How do these other methods compare to Xe money transfer?

Now that you know a bit more about the various types of money transfer, you might be considering what would best suit your money transfer needs.

Here are some of the most important considerations when making a transfer:

  • Speed. Bank, wire, and other transfer types could be delayed by limited hours or holidays. Most online money transfers are completed within the day, and can be initiated 24/7/365.

  • Fees. Banks and other providers will often charge additional fees on top of the initial transfer fee. These fees can add up! When you make an online money transfer, you can trust that you won't encounter any surprise fees after confirming your transfer.

  • Location & Currency. Not all of the methods listed above facilitate international transfers, or they may not transfer to your country or currency of choice. We conduct transfers to 170 countries in every major world currency.

  • Rates. Not every institution calculates their rates the same way. Our rates come from the live markets and are accurate to the minute, while other institutions may use rates more in their favor than yours.

Now that you know a little bit more about your options, you can choose the type of transfer that best fits you and your needs.

Ready to take the plunge? Visit our money transfer page to learn more about transferring and to get yours started.