How to reduce fees when transferring money from Europe to Australia
December 4, 2014 11:20 PM   Subscribe

Please recommend a currency broker (or any better mechanism) for the cheap and secure transfer of a big amount of money between Europe and Australia.

We are selling our family home in an European country, and we plan to use the proceeds to buy a home in Australia, where we currently live. We'd like to minimise the fees paid for the transfer, but the banks on both ends are proving to be less than transparent about costs. From what we can extrapolate from previous (much smaller) transfers, it seems to me the fees can add up to the cost of a small used car, possibly a new one.

We've read about currency brokers, but web searching for a reference is useless. Who is a reputable, won't-lose-or-pocket-our-money currency broker? Or, if a broker is not the best idea, how would you move a mid-to-high 6-figures amount of Euros between a European and an Australian account?

Some details:
- We have two bank accounts, one in each country, both in the same name.
- This question is not about tax dodging or any illegal business. We are only trying to hide from bank fees.
- We'd do a test run with a lower amount first.

We are asking anonymously because we don't want our family's finances published to the world, but if you have questions, we can memail you with details.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (8 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Currency brokers are very good. I use CurrencyFair myself, which offers the best rate when transferring foreign currencies. There are definitely quite a few reputable foreign exchange services out there. It's pretty simple, you sign up for an account and they verify your identity before you are allowed to move any money around.
posted by signondiego at 11:36 PM on December 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

+1 for Currencyfair. I send Euros back to my Australian superannuation account every month their rates and customer service are excellent. Highly recommended.
posted by nerdfish at 12:55 AM on December 5, 2014

I've used for smaller amounts before and they have always proved very reliable.
posted by EatMyHat at 1:05 AM on December 5, 2014

posted by devnull at 2:18 AM on December 5, 2014

I personally use XE currency transfers.
posted by dhens at 3:45 AM on December 5, 2014

The other services are great suggestions, but one thing to note is that they all differ in what they provide: such as transfer fees and the percent amount they take off the market exchange rate. At least when I was transferring a large sum of money a few months ago, I did my research between all the different foreign exchange providers (including ones like TransferWise and XE Trade), and CurrencyFair offered the best rate.

Even a small difference in fees could make a big difference when you're transferring a lot of money.
posted by signondiego at 4:23 AM on December 5, 2014

International wire transfer. While the amount I transferred from Australia to the US If you go to put one through, they cannot tell you the fees up front, it is how the system is set up & is a pain, but they are not trying to be evasive as the wire transfer has to be initiated to determine the fees, they will tell you the everything including fees final amount etc before completing the transaction so you have time to refuse it. I heard afterwards, but have not confirmed they can be even cheaper at credit unions as they wont' charge a fee for receiving the money.
posted by wwax at 8:21 AM on December 5, 2014

I just did a large transfer last week using XE. They are having a special, no-fee and preferred xchange rate until Dec. 31. I don't know if that's for everyone or just current customers.
posted by humboldt32 at 12:38 PM on December 5, 2014

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