Best Way to Transfer Money from Canada Internationally

When it’s time to transfer money from Canada, find a reliable cost effective service. Look for a company with a proven track record and will not pass on hidden charges to you. Whether you need to transfer money out of Canada for a planned holiday, personal reasons or business all companies are not created equal.

Exchange Rate

The value of Canadian currency for the purpose of conversion to another currency. Many factors affect the Canadian exchange rate as well as in the rate of the transfer currency. Economic, political, and other factors affect the rate. Do your homework and know the exchange rate for the day you will process your transaction. It can change daily or never change.

Online services to transfer money from Canada

You could call this the ‘new normal’. It’s a challenge to find anyone old or young who isn’t required to use an online service for something. So, as you prepare to send money from Canada, remember many online services exist to serve you. Unless you do not have access to the internet, the fastest way to transfer money from Canada is online. There some basics things you will need in order to transfer money online without any problems. The basic necessities are an active email address or active mobile phone and an online bank account. A standard bank account where you must physically go to the bank will not work without an online service with the account.

Some online services will make claims and say just give them your phone number and the phone number for the recipient of the transferred of funds. Sender beware. Services like this might be a third party which already uses an online service you could have done yourself. They charge you a small fee which seem innocuous, so know what this fee is for. Find out their location. Some are located in a third country. For instance, you might need to transfer money to Cambodia through a company located Thailand. They might have to pay a fee to transact business in Cambodia, so they add their fee on the transaction. A different example, A Canadian based company may not have to pay a fee because Cambodia might be interested in developing a stronger financial relationship with Canada. In this example the company might not charge you an additional fee.

Most transactions will occur between two financial organizations, the sending and receiving. With some, three and sometimes more companies are involved. There’s a possibility each will charge you a fee. A small fee which covers the transfer of funds from your account. Use your favorite search engine and search for a company specializing in transferring money from Canada.

A word regarding online currency converter websites. These websites are helpful when it comes to getting an accurate estimate. They aren’t the financial institutions rates. When you travel it’s very important to understand this. These websites aren’t financial institutions. When you arrive at an airport in a foreign country you might find an unexpected rate of almost a half percent either way in some cases.

Bank to bank wire transfers

Bank to bank or wire transfers have a different criterion to transfer money from Canada. There’s usually a fee and you ‘eliminate the middle man’. Although you deal between the sending bank and the receiving bank the cost can be higher. Different companies have different charges, but on the whole the overall fee might wind up being higher than other ways to transfer money. One advantage, the money will be transferred directly from your institution. You do not have to deal with a service such as PayPal, an excellent choice but charges you a fee on top of the fee your institution might charge.

The five Canadian banks that offer international transfer services are

Scotia Bank – Uses Western Union

Bank of Montreal – Uses Western Union

RBC-Offers its own service

TD Bank – Offers its own service

CIBC – Offers its own service


There’s an economics saying, ‘price is what the market will bear’. Simply put, a company which offers money transfer service charges what they think they can get, not what you think customers will pay. It’s essential to research the market, price shop, compare what you get and make informed decisions.


Transferring funds can take three to five business days. With some companies, maybe longer. Some online services promote fast services and work to get money transferred within three to five days or sooner. Western Union has built a reputation on speed, dependability and options. You can use a debit card, credit card or cash. Here’s an example of a company which will issue a document with a number you present at their designated location and your money’s available.

Some banks use a  ‘third party’ to transfer money. Instead of a bank sending money to another bank, they use a company like Western Union to make international transfers.

Another dynamic is the ‘no fee’ or ‘no commission’. The company may tell you that but there is most always a fee somewhere. They may quote a fee to transfer your money and it could be a worse rate than what’s available, then transfer the money at a better rate keeping the difference.

DIY Money Transfers

You can do this yourself if you have the time or simply want to take care of this on your own. If you do not have an online account or simply prefer to do this yourself, it is possible. Go to your branch and work directly with a bank officer. You can withdraw the money from your account, present the account information for the person who will receive the funds and send it off.

Whatever option you decide, take time to do what is right for you. Whether it be online transfer, bank wire transfer or walking into your local branch and do it yourself there are choices. Be aware of the ‘no fee’ ‘no commission’ services. Ask how it’s possible to transfer funds with only a telephone number. The goal is to get the transaction completed, not wind up stressed about getting ripped off.

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