There is no shortage of challenges involved in moving to a new country, one of the main ones being that you may end up with your finances separated by an international border. You will need a way to transfer your money back and forth without it costing you a fortune; otherwise, even simple tasks like mortgage repayments or sending gifts home can get expensive fast.

These days there are countless ways to send money all over the world, with some faster, others safer and then there are those that will save you money. The following guide will help you find a money transfer method that will work for you.

Bank transfers

Transferring money through your bank is one of the safest available options as all major banks are protected by extensive security mechanisms. Bank transfers are also extremely simple to process, because if you have the bank details and contact information of the recipient you can transfer the money online yourself.

However, bank transfers come with a catch or two as well. Apart from taking up to a week to process the transfer, banks also offer exceedingly poor foreign exchange rates and there are commonly restrictions limiting the size of each transfer as well. Finally, many banks charge fees to both send and receive money, which can get expensive when sending multiple transfers.

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Money transfer services

Services like Moneygram and Western Union specialize in providing fast and easy money transfers to almost anywhere in the world. The only information you need is the recipient’s name and city while all they need to collect the money is government issued ID and your transfer confirmation number.

The biggest drawback of these services is that they are very expensive, as they offer almost insulting foreign exchange rates and their fees only increase with the size of your transfer. Inconveniently, there are also strict limits on how and when you can transfer money and large transfers can’t even be completed online.


Offered in more than 200 countries, this free online-based service has become wildly popular in recent years. PayPal allows its members to send money between their accounts instantly and all you need is the name, email or phone number of the recipient to do so. PayPal also has dozens of customer service representatives standing by to help 7 days a week.

The issue with PayPal is that its fees are charged as a percentage of the amount sent, making this an expensive option for those dealing with larger sums. Not only is the sender charged 1% of the total amount, but the recipient is also hit with a 3.9% fee and additional fees are charged for things like converting currency or paying with a credit card.

Foreign exchange brokers (Forex)

You won’t find a more user friendly money transfer service than those provided by forex brokers. Aside from being treated to the best foreign exchange rates on the market, you can even lock in the best rates or plan future transfers for when the rates are even more lucrative.

Many forex brokers don’t charge fees on larger transfers and every broker is well equipped to advise you on the latest from the world currency markets. The only negative of dealing with forex brokers is that they don’t do small transfers – most require a minimum transfer of around 50,000 SEK.

Unless you know what you are doing, transferring money back and forth from your new home can get expensive quickly. Don’t be fooled by transfer methods that are designed to undermine your finances.

This table compares the approximate fees associated with sending 50,000 SEK to Sweden. All estimations include the cost of sending and receiving the money.

(From)Bank TransfersMoney Transfer ServicesPayPalForex brokers
Australia$45 (AUS)$300 (AUS)$388.32 (AUS)Free
Canada$27 (CAN)$320 (CAN)$371.80 (CAN)Free
USA$45 (US)$237 (US)$283 (US)Free
China304 CNY217.34 CNY1,757 CNYFree
India5,758.78 INRn/a18,155 INRFree