How Can I Get the Best Exchange Rate for My Money Transfer?

You may not be able to influence the currency markets, but there are a few things you can do to get a favorable rate for your next money transfer.

Xe Corporate

June 8, 20204 min read

When you’re transferring money, your exchange rate makes a big difference in how much you need to send and how much your recipient will get. For a lot of people, the exchange rate can be the dealbreaker when shopping around for a money transfer. Without a good exchange rate, you might be tempted to hold off on transferring until the markets have moved in your favor.

We’ve already taken a general look at exchange rates, where they come from, and what we mean when we talk about the “mid-market rate”. Now that we understand a little bit more about what makes currency exchange rates work, it’s time to take the next step into exploring what you can do to ensure that you get the best possible exchange rate next time you decide to make a transfer.

Keep an eye on the markets.

You’ve probably checked the Currency Converter in preparation for your transfer. But don’t just check it the day of. Check the values of your chosen currencies and the exchange rate several days or even weeks ahead of time to get a feel for how the market motion affects the rate. And don’t just check once a day—the markets are always moving, and your exchange rate could shift as the day goes on.

Not thrilled by the prospect of checking the rates multiple times per day, every day? Well...

Set up a Rate Alert (so you don’t have to keep an eye on the markets).

We can keep an eye on the markets (and your rates) for you.

If you have an idea of the rate you want to make your transfer at, you can log into your account and set up a Rate Alert that will notify you as soon as your ideal rate is live. If you have plans to make regular, frequent, or even just occasional transfers between the same currency pairs (such as if you’re sending money to loved ones back home or you have a bank account in another country), Rate Alerts are a great way to know when it’s the best time for a transfer.

Shop around for the provider with the best rate.

You won’t get the same exchange rate everywhere you go. Depending on the provider you choose to go to, your rate could come with added margins and hidden fees to benefit the provider. It may not be immediately apparent, but the rates can and will differ. Check the rates at a few different providers; you might be surprised by the difference.

When you get a quote from Xe, you can be assured that you’re getting a true, honest exchange rate. We won’t add any hidden fees or extra margins in our rates; nothing but the real rate, informed by the currency markets.

Avoid the banks.

We trust our local banks with quite a few of our financial needs, but this is the one time where your reliable bank might not be the best one to go to. Banks will rarely offer you the best exchange rates, and their limited working hours could add extra travel time to your transfer on top of the unfavorable rates.

Take advantage of money transfer options.

Rate Alerts aren’t the only way to target a good rate. There are several other alternate money transfer options that you can use to ensure that you’re making your transfer at the exchange rate that you want.

  • If you know the rate that you want and you know you want to transfer, a market order will not only keep an eye out for your targeted rate but will automatically purchase the currency for your transfer once that rate is live.

  • If you like the rates now but don’t want to make a transfer at this moment, a forward contract will lock in the current rate in exchange for a small deposit, and you can make your full transfer when you’re ready.

  • If you know you’ll be making a series of transfers, Regular Payments Abroad (RPA) will lock in the current exchange rate and make regular transfers at that rate for up to 2 years.

In short…

You may not be able to influence the currency markets and guarantee a good exchange rate on demand. However, with some careful planning, research, and taking advantage of the numerous money transfer options and services available to you, you can do your part to ensure that you'll be getting the best possible rate in the current market conditions.