How to save on extra charges when sending money overseas

Apart from fluctuating money exchange rates, there are other charges involved in transferring money from one country to another.

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There are also limits on the amount of money that may be transferred to other countries from India.

As people move to different countries for reasons like study, medical treatment, vacation, employment etc, there are needs for sending money to other countries or receiving money from abroad. However, apart from fluctuating money exchange rates, there are other charges involved in transferring money from one country to another.

“There are a number of reasons why people transfer money internationally to purchase or rent a property, pay tuition fees or medical expenses, book a vacation abroad, gift money to friends or family, buying a coveted item from abroad, etc,” said Nitin Mathur, CEO, Tavaga Advisory Services.

There are also limits on the amount of money that may be transferred to other countries from India.

“The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allows Indian citizens to send money from India through a process called outward remittance. The RBI allows for up to $250,000 from India to be sent by one individual or entity. The fees incurred for the transfer will depend upon the amount you need to send, the destination, and the transfer speed,” said Mathur.

Mathur also explains the ways to transfer money internationally from India –

  • Bank Drafts and Cashier’s Checks are a comparatively cheaper way to send money overseas but may take longer time to reach the recipient. Traceability of these drafts and cheques reduces the risk of losing your money in the process.
  • Online Money Transfer is one of the simplest methods to send money abroad and is being widely used. The process requires the destination account details, IBAN or SWIFT code of the recipient bank, account holder information, etc. This method however involves heavy taxes and high exchange rates.
  • Online Wire Transfer is one the latest mode for money transfer as they offer low fees and charges. There are various financial institutions available such as banks, authorised money exchangers like Western Union. This process usually takes longer than online money transfers but is one of the cheapest ways possible to send money abroad.

“The preferred method will depend highly on the transfer speed required or if you are looking for a budget alternative or would like to go with only a specific institution such as your bank or online platforms. Whichever option you choose, Make sure you know all the hidden exchange rate costs; check competitive rates and always read the details in order to save on the costs,” said Mathur.

Talking on complexities of international money transfers, Mayank Goyal, Founder & CEO of moneyHOP, said, “Sending money overseas can be a daunting task especially, because of the excess charges levied. Determining the cheapest methods to send money abroad depends invariably on factors like total amount sent, recipients’ destination, and speed of transfers.”

Goyal lists some tips that you can follow to save on the extra charges while sending money overseas –

  • Several money transfer companies are actively operating online like Moneygram, Western Union, etc. that allow you to schedule your international fund transfers at a much cheaper rate, approximately 20 percent less than the usual charges.
  • Choosing a smart Cross-border Partner like moneyHOP will help you save a lot on the hidden charges. Being an RBI-regulated cross-border neobank solution, moneyHOP provides complete transparency and offers competitive exchange rates.
  • Sending money through PayPal is also an available option solely for its zero transfer fees feature during an international transaction.
  • Email money transfers are also an economical way of sending money abroad offered by certain financial institutions. In this process, you can directly send money electronically without physical involvement.

“Searching for reputable currency exchange brokers can also help you get best-in-class exchange rates depending on the exchange time period set by you. For this, you need to open an account with the concerned company using a bank account or credit card,” said Goyal.

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