All options and fees for international bank transfers compared by CompareTransfer.

This article describes the different options and pricing for international wire transfers on bank accounts abroad using the SWIFT network and domestic bank routing networks.

Instead of sending an international wire transfer with your bank, you also can choose from foreign exchange providers to benefit from more transparent prices and better exchange rates.

You can facilitate international wire transfers at your bank, or you can consult with a foreign exchange provider.

Compare international bank transfers
Compare international bank transfers.

CompareTransfer is a price comparison for international money transfers. By comparing the live exchange rates of over ten money transfer providers, you can choose from the best exchange rates and lowest fees to transfer money internationally.

The international SWIFT network VS. The national banking network.

SWIFT is the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication and provides a network that enables financial institutions worldwide to send and receive information.

While banks usually rely on the SWIFT network to process international wire transfers, money transfer providers offer more options to send money abroad. In addition to cash transfers, money transfer providers can deposit funds using the domestic bank routing network.

By using the SWIFT network for international bank transfers, both ends can be charged high fees for sending and receiving payments. 

When you choose money transfer providers and domestic delivery networks; instead, you can benefit from cheaper and more transparent pricing policies.

This fee structure used by banks for international SWIFT transfers.

Most banks use this fee structure to charge both parties on international wire transfers.

You can find out more about the international bank transfer fees in your bank’s schedule of prices and services.

OUR: You cover the fees for an international wire transfer. (Not Recommended)

SHARE: Both parties, sender, and receiver, share the fees for an international wire transfer. (Standard Method)

BEN: The beneficiary pays fees to receive an international wire transfer. (Recommended by CompareTransfer)

How to keep fees low when sending an international wire transfer with banks.

Even if you want to cover the fees for the beneficiary, the receiving bank still could charge money as stated in the bank’s schedule of prices and services

For transfers with banks, we tell our clients, when possible, to avoid the OUR pricing and use of the BEN model for an international bank transfer instead, when a discount compared to the SHARE delivery can be obtained. The reason is, the receiving bank might charge, for example, 10$ for receiving an international bank transfer in general, so you can reduce the fees for an international transfer where possible. 

The cheapest method for international bank transfers.

When depositing money using money transfer providers, you can avoid SWIFT transfers technically. Money transfer providers can deposit Hong Kong Dollar into the bank account of the beneficiary from a local bank account.

International Bank Transfer HKD
Example: Send GBP – HKD from the United Kingdom to Hong Kong.

At a money transfer provider, you can ideally deposit your currency at a local bank account to avoid charges for international transfers. When your money was received, the money transfer provider will forward the payment from a bank account in Hong Kong locally by using the domestic banking network. 

By using domestic money transfer options, you can avoid using the expensive SWIFT pricing for facilitating international wire transfers.

No further BEN charges will be credited from the wired amount at the beneficiary when the money is delivered locally. This option is usually free according to the fee schedule of most banks.

International SWIFT bank transfers.

Deposit foreign currency from a bank account abroad using banks or money transfer providers. 

internatonal wire transfer USD
Example: Send GBP – USD from United Kingdom to Hong Kong.

It is important to note that also, foreign exchange providers rely on the SWIFT network for currency transfers involving cross border transactions. For example, when you want to send US Dollar to Hong Kong.

When the beneficiary should receive foreign currency, money transfer providers may send it from an international bank account outside of the destination of the recipient. The same fees charged between banks for international wire transfers, also apply to this cross border transaction.

At CompareTransfer, we provide our clients with the possibility to compare multi-currency transfers internationally. 

When you choose to send money from the United Kingdom to Hong Kong, we display results for the Hong Kong Dollar and US Dollar.

  • Local currencies will be delivered usually without additional charges using the domestic network.
  • Foreign currencies may be sent from a bank account abroad using the SWIFT network.

Fees charged by banks for using the SWIFT network can range from 10 USD – 40 USD for both parties of an international wire transfers.

It just costs a few Dollar to send a SWIFT money transfer using a foreign exchange provider, while there may be additional charges for the beneficiary. Fees vary from bank to bank and can be disclosed by looking into the bank’s schedule of prices and services.

International bank transfer to a foreign exchange provider.

OUR, SHARED, and BEN charges also could apply when depositing currency into bank accounts of money transfer providers abroad. It means, while there is maybe an account for HKD in Hong Kong, USD has to be sent overseas for depositing into an FX provider.

In this case, it can still make sense to pay the fees to benefit from the best exchange rate of international bank transfers. If you do not exchange currencies, it will not make sense to transfer to a foreign exchange provider.

The exchange rate fees for international bank transfers.

international bank transfer FX
Compare the exchange rates of international bank transfers.

Both money transfer providers and banks, use custom foreign exchange rates for selling and buying foreign currencies. While some money transfer providers take this as an opportunity in their marketing to claim like TransferWise, we exchange currencies against the real mid-market rate, other money transfers providers and especially banks use this opportunity to add a mark-up to the exchange rate.

While banks usually publish daily foreign exchange rates for buying and selling currency, which you can find online on their websites, you can compare the live currency rates of money transfer providers in our free online tool.

There are more alternative options for transferring money abroad.

In a price comparison with CompareTransfer, you can choose from other methods than transferring money on bank accounts abroad. We compare the live exchange rates and offers from more than ten money transfer providers. 

By using Azimo or WorldRemit to send money abroad, you can for example also choose from international cash transfers, a cash home delivery (Only available in the Philippines, Vietnam, and the Dominican Republic) or mobile transfers on digital wallets. 

Using one of these methods, you do not have to worry banks could be charging twice on your international wire transfer. If a cash pick up location is collecting fees when picking up money, you should immediately consult with CompareTransfer or the assigned remittance provider.