Cheapest & Best International Money Transfer Companies in Canada for 2024

The cost of transferring money internationally to a bank account abroad – or just exchanging one currency for another – is likely higher than you think. An increasing amount of Canadians are engaging in international money transfers, falsely assuming the cost is just that $15-$30 overseas bank wire charge.

Well, I have some bad news for you folks…

It is not. On top of the wire flat rate there is a hidden currency exchange charge

On a $100,000 transfer, you could end up paying $4,000 in fees. Using a cheaper option, you could save as much as 90% of that cost.

If you are transferring large sums of money internationally from Canada or do so frequently, those transfers are eating away into your savings in a big way.

Quick Jump: Canada’s Best Money Transfer Services (2024 Ready)

There are also other disadvantages to using your bank, which I will touch on below, as I outline the worst and best ways to transfer money abroad, and seek out to find the best companies in this space (NEW: based on popular demand I’ve included Wise in my comparison).

How much does it cost to transfer money internationally from Canada?

What exchange rate markups means, is that when you transfer money internationally with a bank, or even swap them between your own CAD/USD at a Canadian bank, you pay a hidden fee of (likely) 2-3% on your transfer on top of those $15 or $30 international wire fees.

That figure doesn’t include additional fees which may occur along the way, such as recipient bank fees which ???? based on your money’s destination and through how many banks it travelled through until it has reached that destination.

I have compared international money transfer fees between Canada’s top 3 banks:

BankCurrency PairCurrency Exchange Spread
Scotiabank CADGBP2.5%
TD Bank CADGBP3.2%
Percentages are rounded up the nearest tenth of a percent at the time of latest update. Approximated.

Finding a cheap money transfer service is worth it because…

If you are exchanging a large sum of money or making a large payment in foreign currency, it is probable that you will pay more for that single money transfer than all other banking fees for the entire year combined(!)


As financial awareness grows, and Canadians become more savvy about the various ways to send money overseas, they are starting to discover the not-too-many money transfer services available for Canadians.

Quick Jump: Canada’s Best Money Transfer Services (2024 Ready)

These money transfer services (often referred to as foreign exchange companies – or “forex”) offer cheaper way to send money from Canada than what it would cost you with a bank. This makes sense as foreign exchange companies only really exist for the sole purpose of exchanging currencies as cheaply as possible – as opposed to banks who are more of “jack-all-trades, master-of-none” type of companies.

My Personal Experience Checking the Rates at TD Bank

When I was checking my foreign exchange rates I looked into my personal TD bank account. TD bank account quoted me at 1.36 CAD for USD at that time (September 9, 2022)  while the actual rate was 1.32665, so for every American Dollar that I want to buy, I’m paying 3.5 Canadian Cents in hidden charges – which is a 2.5% markup against the Band of Canada’s rates.

If a person makes a real estate investment in the USA, and/or takes a trip or two each year down south, they could easily be transferring $40,000 internationally per year into USD. At a 2.5% currency exchange mark up, that’s a thousand bucks per year! Essentially a voluntary tax.

Heck – even someone who takes an annual vacation down to the States and/or is a “Florida/Arizona snowbird” is looking at paying hundreds of dollars towards this “voluntary tax” each year.

Top 3 Cheapest Money Transfers for Large Sums

The below companies specialize in large amount transfers, and offer bespoke quotes for them. Depending on volume and currencies, they could quote you for a better rate than Wise’s exchange rate (which is still excellent). 

Star Rating4.8 / 5
Online Transfers


Personal Service

Yes, above $50,000

Best option for Canadians. Excellent system and highly-rated app.
Star Rating4.5 / 5
Online Transfers


Personal Service

Yes, above $5,000

Runner up to XE. Good Online system and app, though both are a little dated. More functionality for businesses.
Star Rating4.2 / 5
Online Transfers


Personal Service

Yes, above $5,000

Solid online system, but no mobile app.

International Money Transfer Services: a New Way

Money transfer companies are classified as financial services providers and consequently, are appropriately regulated (FINTRAC in Canada, but most of them operate globally, so they are authorized by multiple regulators around the globe). 

The way they operate is as a third-party broker; transfer your funds to their safeguarded joint bank accounts in Canadian Dollars and they’ll exchange it for you, and make the payment on your behalf. Or, you could receive a foreign currency payment into that account and then get it in Canadian Dollars bank to your account.

They all have a comprehensive online money transfer system that you can DIY, but if you don’t want to you can transfer over the phone or via email. Depending on your requirements, the company’s representative may even meet you face to face to discuss your needs. Far cry from what you would expect when transferring money abroad with a bank.

In Canada, international money transfer services are still relatively unknown compared to the UK where many of these companies originated from, but they are definitely growing in popularity.

My Top 4 International Money Transfer Services in Canada

The best 4 international money transfers companies in Canada, in my view, are Xe, OFX, moneycorp, and Wise. Each of those has slightly different designations and advantages, and I’ll review them briefly below. My aim is completely geared towards large

For an even deeper analysis of these companies you can look at MoneyTransferComparison best money transfers in Canada article and delve into their much more comprehensive reviews.

Most Canadian and Best Overall: Xe

If you think you have heard the name Xe before, it’s because you probably did. is one of the world’s most famous currency exchange converters, and has been like this since the early days of the internet. As the two-letter domain indicates, the site was started in 1993, and has quickly established itself as a leading provider of real time currency rates used by many leading organizations and software providers.


And… it’s Canadian! and to be be fair, this might be the most popular Canadian site of all times!

In the mid 2000’s, Xe started engaging in international money transfers. It started off as a white-lable agreement that have used companies like Western Union to facilitate their transfers and had no real role of an actual money transfer service – at that point in time they were just a traffic source for other companies.

It all changed drastically when Euronet worldwide, a leading international payment company (the owners of famous American remittances company Xoom), purchased Xe in 2015, that things turned into the service it offers nowadays.

Euronet has developed Xe into a diverse, intuitive and well-thought online money transfer platform. They have bought a very successful British currency company with a very long trading history which was already moving $50bn a year for its customers, and merged it into Xe.

The end result is a multi-faceted company that knows how to handle smaller transfers online, as well as large transfers that may require a dedicated account manager. It’s owned by one of the biggest corporations in this space so it is completely safe and there are good internal procedures to verify customer funds are safe (in addition to the fact they operate almost globally and authorised by 10+ regulators).

It’s pretty nice to be able to do your currency exchanges from the same platform that so many corporations trust for their own currency rates or currency exchanges, and it’s nice that you get integrated currency rate news in their platform to help you decide on the right time to transfer (my thinking is that trying to time foreign exchange is even hard than timing the stock market so I wouldn’t do that).

On top of all that, it doesn’t only have a “branch” or “subsidiary” in Canada, it is headquartered here! They offer Canadian customer service standards and all contract with them adhere to Canadian law. That’s a big thing if you are going to be using a non-bank service to transfer large sums internationally.

Runner-Up: OFX

OFX is another great choice for customers in Canada, because of its high diversity, excellent online functionality, and excellent rates on both small and large international money transfers. 

It is also one of the NHL’s sponsors which is about as Canadian as it gets.


OFX is a highly credible-appearing company which has been operating in Canada since 2007 (previously under the brand CanadianForex which consolidated into OFX). It handles $20bn in customers’ funds every year, is traded on the Australian Stock Exchange, and has always received superb feedback from its customers.

The company has been, from day a very service-oriented company, which is what got me to put them at #1. This is not your run-of-the-mill digital provider whose support is somewhere thousands miles away, nor a bank where you’d find yourself hard-press to get assistance… it’s a brokerage type of setup where you have a personal account manager who is available for you.

That’s a big thing, especially if you are transferring larger amounts of money and want to know you have a direct contact with a company that has boots on the ground here in Canada.

OFX Rates

From what I’ve been seeing, their default exchange rate spread is around a 0.8% markup and you can negotiate the rates, particularly if you are sending a large amount abroad. If you have a competing quote then from what I know they will do their best to beat it.

Ultimately, if you are willing to do the legwork this means you’ll get the cheapest transfer.

You can do so online through a very complex online payment system, through their app (rated 4.5/5 on Google Play and 4.8/5 on Apple App Store), or simply via email or phone. OFX is the perfect combination, in my view, between the new school and old school, who really do both things very well – technology and service. 

Best for business owners, HNWI: moneycorp

moneycorp is truly a pioneer in the money transfers business, offering small businesses payment services since the 1970s. They were truly the first ones to identify that there was a gap in the market between the rates and service offered to large corporations and the (lack of) service SMEs are getting.

Later on, they expanded their model to private customers and they specialize in high sum transfers.

They’re a bigger company than the aforementioned OFX, routinely transferring billions of dollars in a single transaction, and employing several hundreds of employees across five continents.

Much like OFX, they have local presence in Canada, and are a service-oriented company “brokerage” style. It means that you have your dedicated currency expert at hand – someone you can speak with about your transfer, get updates from, get quoted, negotiate the rate etc.

If you aren’t all that much of a phone guy like me, I found it easier to do through email, but more comfortable and “safe” than with an online system. Sometimes you don’t even want to type those complex SWIFT codes and would much rather hit the Forward button and send it for someone else to mess around with.

There’s also an advanced strategy for international money transfer that moneycorp enables and others don’t… which is the ability to buy Forward Contracts. I am not going to get into the nitty gritty of this financial instruments I’m just going to say that if you aren’t wanting to take risks on a future payment in foreign exchange, then you it’s something you could use to fix the rate today for a future date.

So if you know you are about to receive $100,000 US from that property you sold in Florida and that will take place in 3 months, you simply commit to the current USDCAD rate and know the exact CAD amount you’ll be eventually receiving.

They offer a bunch more hedging tools for those who need it, alongside full-on currency treasury services for businesses and corporations.

Wise is a great option too.

So a bunch of people have been commenting to me (and rightfully so) that I’ve omitted Wise from research. They also noted that Wise could be in some situations the cheapest way to transfer money internationally from Canada. That is completely true.

What is Wise?

If you’ve been following global tech stocks then you must have came across Wise. Wise is one of the most successful IPOs in London over the past years with a market cap of >10bn Canadian dollars.

They offer two related services. A multi-currency “virtual bank account” offering, alongside a debit card, as well as the option to send and receive money from abroad.

It’s all done through a truly magnificent online system or app which is one of the most user friendly interfaces I’ve ever used. It also enables customers to store foreign currency in their dedicated “bank accounts” in different countries (but does not allow them to invest the funds, so I don’t recommend having cash just sitting around there).

To top it off, they have some great pricing with extreme level of transparency. You log on to their website insert what you need and bang – you have a real time quote. Much better system compared to OFX and moneycorp where you need to sign up to view the rates.


There has to be a but, right?

They have a great system, great functionality, excellent rates, transparency, and credibility… so what don’t they have?

Wise Vs OFX (Or Other Brokers)

The only part where Wise is lacking, in my opinion, compared to a rival like OFX is the personal account management aspect. OFX gives customers that personal touch, while still offering an online system, and an app, and all the bells and whittles (other than the multi-currency account, which OFX offers for business clients only).

The core difference here is that Wise, while being a good Fintech, is still a Fintech, while OFX is a hybrid. It doesn’t mean that Wise doesn’t have good support, it just means it’s not the same type of support where there’s a person who knows you and your needs by name. Someone you could present a complicated situation to, and he will be happy to accommodate and try to guide you on that. Or suggest whether and how to hedge.

Because this post is mostly geared towards Canadians who are investing abroad, buying property abroad, or have bank accounts abroad, i.e. transferring large sums – then my choice goes to OFX.

Worth a Mention – Cheapest for Remittances: Remitly

Remitly is the cheapest way to transfer money internationally from Canada to countries like India, Kenya, or China. This immigrant-friendly startup has been receiving accolades all over the world for its fair rates and easy online money transfer system.

With more than 35,000 reviews on TrustPilot and an average rating of 4.8 stars, it is clear that Remitly is doing something right. The company offers a “fees back” guarantee if money doesn’t come on time, and offers receiving methods which are specific to countries where some people don’t even have a bank account such as cash pickup or mobile top-up.

Using Money Transfer Companies to Receive or Store Funds

You can use the above companies to send money internationally to many different countries but it’s worth mentioning you can also use them to receive money from abroad. Or use them to move money back and forth between your own named accounts. 

With some of those companies, you are limited to strictly sending and receiving, and with others you could also store money in foreign currency. Particularly useful if you know you will have future expenses in the same currency.  

With Xe, you can only send and receive. With OFX and moneycorp you can store money, and if you are a business or a trust, have got a multi-currency which is essentially a bank account that you can use freely to send and receive payments from, with multiple currencies available. One popular use case of that service is for overseas payroll transfers, and another would be for online stores operating internationally.

With Wise, you can get the full functionality of a named bank account even as an individual. And you can issue a debit card connected to this account. But you still don’t accumulate interest on funds on account or have the ability to put that money in a savings account (or invest it in any other way). Hence, there are other, better, USD bank accounts available to Canadians.

How Banks Get Away With Such High Fees on International Money Transfers

International money transfer fees is one of the least discussed topics in Canadian personal finance and always catches people by surprise.

Canadians are slowly moving away from Big Five banks towards online banks so that they can enjoy commission-free chequing (among other advantages), and similarly move their stock trading to online brokerages to save up on fees, but often have no idea what they’re actually paying when using their banks to send money internationally. 

Bank practices when it comes to money transfer fees and exchange rates are particularly shady.

An unsuspecting customer would never realize that they are being taken advantage of when transferring money internationally through his bank. If I were to continue my TD Bank example you’ll see that in the send money internationally section of their website there is not a single mention that the exchange rates will be a lot worse than the official exchange rate. 

By the way – TD Bank is just an example I picked due to the fact they have substantial US operations. The other big banks in Canada have at least the same exchange rate profit margins. 

Most banks only mention that fees will be up to $25 per transfer, depending on destination – which can sound pretty cheap if you are sending large sums abroad. If you are sending $100,000, for example, $25 sounds like a pretty marginal fee for a massive transaction like that.  

But, of course, those international wire fees become highly irrelevant* compared to markups if you’re sending a large amount. That $100,000 example would cost you $2,500 in currency exchange fees.

*For smaller transfers, flat international wire fees are a lot more significant. If you need to pay $150 for an item bought in the U.S, then $25 makes up an extra 16% in costs, and that’s before factoring the currency exchange markups. International money transfer services don’t charge a flat fee at all.

If you navigate through TD’s website and end up on their FX calculator then they are pretty transparent about their buy and sell rates, but you would have to absolutely know what you are looking for in order to find that.

It’s important to mention that bank practices when it comes to hiding the true cost of sending money internationally aren’t unique to Canada. Other than specific countries in which regulation protects the private consumer and forces banks to disclose those hidden fees (like Denmark for example), banks all over the world – USA, Europe, UK, and Australia for example – do the exact same trick disclosing only the flat wire fees, and hoping consumers will fail to understand the real cost of currency exchange markups.

Compare Money Transfer Exchange Rates And Negotiate Better Rates

If your aim is to get the best foreign exchange rate for your international money transfer, then you should be aware that with some of the best providers listed in this article (and others…) you can actually negotiate the exchange rate you’re getting, and ultimately pay lesser fees.

In practice, what it means is that if you have a large money transfer requirement (say, five figures and up) you could sign up with multiple service providers and retrieve multiple quotes, and in case you have received a better exchange rates than the one offered to you, you could go back to providers who have already quoted you, and ask them to match or beat the rate you’ve just been offered. 

This is exactly why I put OFX and moneycorp above Wise: they can also beat Wise’s rates for high volume transfers.

Quick Jump: Canada’s Best Money Transfer Services (2024 Ready)

That trick is likelier to work with really massive transfer requirements, and will only work with spot contracts (i.e. an immediate need to transfer money internationally, as opposed to a limit order which is triggered when a certain rate has been met or a forward contract which locks today’s exchange rate for the future). 

If you aren’t into getting multiple quotes, then you could use sites like TopMoneyCompare who actually make real time comparison of exchange rates.

How Much is YOUR Bank Charging You For International Money Transfers? Share Your Experiences

To round up this piece about international money transfers from Canada and finding cheaper ways than banks to do them, I’d like to hear your feedback. To reiterate what I wrote previously, bank practices when it comes to sending money abroad are murky, and finding reliable information on what banks actually charge is difficult to do. (This is part of the reason why Canadian bank stocks are such excellent investments by the way.)

If you are transferring money internationally through your bank or have done so over the past years, I’d love to hear what you paid after factoring the exchange rate markup* and whether you were aware of these hidden charges at all. Similarly, on the journey to find the best international money transfers from Canada we are happy to hear about experiences with money transfer providers and how much did you manage to save by using them. 

* To calculate your international money transfer fees in retrospect, use Bank of Canada’s exchange rates for the value date of your transfer and deduct the amount you received from your bank. 

For example, if you transferred 10,000 CAD to Euro on Sept 21, 2020, when the official rate on EUROCAD was 1.5628, and you received 6150 Euros in return, it means the total fee was (10,000/1.5628-6150) = 248 Euros, or 380 CAD.

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Kyle Prevost

Kyle Prevost is Canada's Top Personal Finance Teacher and an author/speaker/advisor when he is not in his classroom. His writing has been featured across Canada’s most-read publications. When he isn’t nerding out about P/E ratios or MERs, you can find Kyle on a basketball court or in a boxing ring trying to recapture something he isn’t sure that he had in the first place.
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4 months ago

Thankfully the status quo of banks is coming to an end. I’ve been using MTFX for a while and it’s been a major revelation in terms of sending money abroad.

7 months ago

Check transferwise rate which came out much better than Remitly and OFX not sure why you didn’t cover them.

7 months ago

Interesting article. I compared the exchange rates from the 3 companies recommended here and they are all more expensive than I’ve been using Wise for a couple of years now and so far I haven’t been able to find anyone cheaper.

1 year ago

Informative article. If you are going to transfer a very large amount (7 figures), is it best to stagger the payment and doing it in tranches!

Brent Handy
1 year ago

I’ve been using (formerly TransferWise) for both large and small amounts for about 5 years. To be honest, it has been clunky sometimes, but in the end I’ve always made the transfers happen. Many payment and funding options. Decent app. It looks like the rate to exchange $10K CAD to USD is actually slightly cheaper than OFX also.