Canstar’s International Money Transfer Star Ratings 2018

For anyone with loved ones overseas, you probably have made or wanted to make an international money transfer. It is also likely you have stumbled upon or worried about factors such as hidden fees, getting a bad exchange rate and delays in the transfer.

Canstar has researched and rated 19 financial institutions from its database to determine which offer outstanding value international money transfers to help consumers narrow their search.

Canstar’s International Money Transfers Star Ratings involve a sophisticated and unique ratings methodology that compares both cost and features, including fees, exchange rates and speed of the money transfer.

International money transfer providers assessed included Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions (ADIs) and non-ADIs.

After extensive analysis, Canstar has announced four 5-Star Rated international money transfer providers in 2018. They are (in alphabetical order):

  • Citi
  • OFX
  • TorFX
  • World First

The Canstar Research team found all four were standouts when it came to providing competitive exchange rates. They also outperformed the market average when it came to fees and customer service.

Because the margin the provider has built into the exchange rate makes up a large portion of the overall transaction costs in most international money transfers, Canstar Research has weighted its ratings towards exchange rates and 500 transaction scenarios based on an average transfer amount of $15,000.

Please note that where a provider is listed below as charging no transaction fees, this is for international money transfers of $15,000. Lower or higher transfer amounts may incur fees.


Apart from a $25 transaction fee, Citi charges no other fees for people transferring money from Australia to an overseas account.

The transfers are instant when sent to another Citi account across 18 countries, including the UK, US, Vietnam, India, Bahrain and Mexico. For a complete list check out Citi’s website.

Transfers otherwise should take three to five business days when sending money to any other country, or to any non-Citi bank account.

Canstar Research also found Citi rated highly when it came to customer convenience. Citi offers exchange rates online, over the phone and within branches. Transfers can be made online, in a branch or from Citi’s app.

There is no minimum or maximum restriction on the amount of money customers can transfer if made in a branch. As for online, there is a $10,000 maximum limit. Citi also provides 24/7 phone help and live online customer support.


If you transfer under $10,000, OFX charges a flat fee of $15, however if you’re transferring more than $10,000, there are no fees.

OFX offers 57 different types of currencies people can make a transfer to, including United Arab Emirates’ Dirham, Polish Zl?oty, Swedish Krona and Thai Baht.

OFX advises that most transfers take one to two business days to appear in the recipient’s account. Transfers can be made online, over the phone or from OFX’s app.

OFX provides exchange rates in real time over the phone and online. They have no cap on the maximum amount of money you can transfer, however a minimum of $250 is required.

Payments can be tracked and customers have access to 24/7 telephone customer service.


TorFX charges no fees for sending your money abroad, with transfer speeds ranging from same day to two business days.

According to TorFX, the features that make its service convenient include exchange rates set in real time which can be accessed over the phone, online and from its app. Customers can manage their currency transfers online or over the phone.

TorFX has a minimum transfer amount of $200. For online transfers, there is a maximum transfer amount of $50,000, but there is no maximum for transfers made over the phone. Payments can be tracked and customers can phone for help from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturday.

World First

World First charges no transaction fees, however customers are required to transfer a minimum of $1000, or a minimum of $10,000 for some less-widely used currencies.

When it comes to the British Pound, US dollar and Euro, international money transfers from Australia can be sent to the overseas’ account on the same day if funds are cleared by 3pm AEDT. It can take between one and four days to transfer funds to other currencies.

The features that World First offers customers which Canstar Research found were a standout included: 

  • Exchange rates are set in real time and are available online and over the phone
  • Transfers can be made online, over the phone or in the app
  • There is no maximum transfer amount (minimum is $2000)
  • Payments can be tracked
  • Live online help
  • Help available 24 hours, 5 days a week over the phone
  • 100 currencies on offer

World First was also found to offer the best exchange rates across the seven currencies measured, which were: US dollar, British Pound, New Zealand dollar, Euro, Indian Rupee, Japanese Yen and Singapore Dollar.


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