Is There a "Best Time" to Transfer Money?

We wish we could give you an exact date and time that’d be ideal for your next money transfer, but it’s not quite that simple.

Xe Consumer

May 22, 2020 5 min read

When you’re planning for a big purchase—such as a home, a car, or a major investment—it’s likely that you factored the timing of your purchase into your plans. Depending on the time of the year, day of the week, even time of the day that you finalize your purchase, you could save money, increase your options, or make your experience easier.

Transferring money to another country could also be a major purchase for you (especially if the transfer is for a property or other investment). New transferrers often want to know if there’s a day of the week, time of the day, or general window that is best for sending international money transfers, whether their goal is to save money, get a better exchange rate, or get their transfer to their recipient as soon as possible. Though we wish we could give you an exact date and time that’d be ideal for your next transfer, it’s not quite that simple.

There’s no definitive “best time” to transfer, but a little planning and paying attention to a few factors can go a long way in ensuring that your next money transfer comes at a favorable rate and reaches its destination quickly and easily.

Keep an eye on the rates

Let’s face it: the markets are constantly moving. From shifting interest rates to inflation, political events, imports and exports, and global developments, there’s no shortage of things happening every day that could potentially affect currency values (and, subsequently, currency exchange rates). So for this reason, it’s tough to pinpoint when the rates will be at their most favorable. Something could happen tomorrow and change everything.

Keep an eye on the rates, and check back as often as you want. Our rates come from the live currency markets, and it’s not common for them to change multiple times per day. If you don’t want to spend all of your time checking the rates, set up a Rate Alert, and we’ll check on things for you. Once the rate you want is live, we’ll let you know that it could be a good time for you to transfer.

Pay attention to holidays and bank hours

A major benefit of making an online money transfer is that you can initiate the transfer from anywhere, any time of day. It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting at your desk in your office or using your phone after a jog. As long as you have all of the information for your transfer and a reliable internet connection, you can start the money transfer process whenever and wherever you want.

However, at some point, the banks are going to get involved. You may provide the money for your transfer from your bank account (by card payment, ACH direct debit, or wire transfer), and your recipient will get the money in their bank account. Since there’s no physical transport of your funds, the banks will need to provide the payment information to one another. If you’ve confirmed your money transfer outside of normal bank hours, you might have to wait until the banks are open for the process to continue.

Don’t forget to take your destination country into account too. It might be an ordinary business day at home, but a holiday in your recipient’s country could potentially add to your transfer’s travel time.

When you make a money transfer on Xe’s website or app, we’ll give you two pieces of information before you confirm your transfer:

  • When your transfer will be sent

  • When your transfer will **arrive.**

Make sure to keep an eye out for those dates, especially if your money transfer is for a mortgage or any other payment that comes with a deadline.

Explore your money transfer options

If you’re not ready to send your full sum of money to your recipient right this moment, at the current exchange rate, you don’t have to. Many people use “spot” transfers to keep things simple, but they’re not your only option. Depending on when you want to make your transfer and how important the exchange rate is to you, you could be better suited by one of the following:

  • A forward contract will let you “pay it forward” for a future transfer. For a small deposit now, you can lock in the current exchange rate for up to two years and set a future date to send your transfer. If the rates are in your favor now but you don’t want to send a transfer at the moment, you can buy now, and pay later.

  • A market order takes the Rate Alert one step further. Enter your currencies and your desired exchange rate, and the transfer will automatically initiate as soon as that rate is live. If your transfer isn’t time-sensitive, this is a great way to ensure that you’ll get the rate you want when you do transfer.

  • [Regular Payments Abroad (RPA)]( the money transfer equivalent to setting your bills to auto-pay. Lock in the current rate for up to two years, let us know how much and how often you’ll be transferring (and for how long), and sleep easy knowing that your transfers will be taken care of, with no need to worry about market fluctuation or future errors.

Every transfer is different, and there will be a different “best time” to make every transfer. If you want more information about making your next transfer, don’t hesitate to reach out to our expert team for guidance in how to make the right transfer for your needs.

Ready to get started on your next transfer? Sign into your account or the Xe app to begin the process, or visit our Money Transfers page for more information.