If you’ve moved to Australia from the US, you’re probably focussed on settling in to your new home and getting used to the culture. However, it’s worth checking that you’re making the most of your money when transferring US dollars into an Australian account. High fees and poor exchange rates can add to the cost of transfers, and whether you’re sending money for a one-off payment for a property or sending money regularly back and forth across borders, it’s worth making sure you’re getting the best value by using a specialist in currency exchange.
When should you consider transferring money?
If you’ve just moved, you may have already found that you can use your existing ATM card in Australia for everyday purchases and cash, but while that’s convenient, it’s not the most cost-effective approach. You’ll find that foreign exchange charges and bank fees will be incurred for every transaction, and so you might find it’s better value to open an account in Australia and transfer money from your US account. This allows you to control the timing of transfers and limit the number of transaction charges.
What are your alternatives?
Whether you’re transferring funds for large transfers for property investment, emigration costs or investments or making regular transfers, perhaps from a pension or share dividends, you could use your existing bank to facilitate the transfer, use an international remittance company like Western Union or MoneyGram or speak to a foreign exchange specialist.
Your bank may not offer the best exchange rate and charge high transfer fees; international remittance companies sometimes offer better value but do have strict transfer limits and require a lot of red tape that could delay the transfer, which could be particularly frustrating if you had your heart set on a certain property and couldn’t access the money for a deposit in time.
In contrast, a foreign exchange specialist typically offers better rates, lower fees and provides expert guidance on market movements as well as access to a range of tools for managing your international currency transfers. It’s worth shopping around; even a fraction of a percentage point on the exchange rate can have a significant impact on the overall transfer value, particularly on larger sums of money.
How to choose—and who to choose?
Affordability is important when selecting a foreign exchange broker for your transfer. But also pay attention to things like regulatory compliance, the company’s operating history and track record, its financial status, and membership in international money-transfer institutions. Google as much as you can about the institution, talk to fellow expats, and seek guidance from a professional.
The rates are only part of the picture; expert guidance and dedicated support such as that provided by established specialists like moneycorp can make a big difference. In the long run, taking time to find a currency specialist that offers great value, a range of tools for managing your money across borders and a personal account manager who can add value and take the stress out of international currency transfers – so you can get back to enjoying your new life in Australia.