It’s that time of the year, the days are getting warmer, the calendar is filling up quickly with parties and get-togethers and shopping centres are packed to the brim with people buying presents. When it comes to expats living in Australia, the holidays season often means traveling home or sending gifts or money to other side of the world.
We recently surveyed over 2,000 expats living in Australia who told us that sending money to family and friends was the number purpose of their international money transfers and traveling back home was number three on the list.
Here’s some tips to making your holiday international money transfers go further.
1.Forget the cash
If you have an international bank account, or a family member does, opt for using a bank-to-bank transfer over cash. It’s very difficult to achieve a competitive exchange rate and your cash is less secure. Some of the worst places to make a foreign exchange transaction is at an airport or tourist areas.
2.Use a currency specialist where possible (Not your bank!)
Our expats study revealed 50% of expats still send money home and over half use a bank [58%]. Our weekly price research on the big 4 banks shows that you can lose up to 4.5% through inferior exchange rates*. Even a small transfer through a FX specialist can result in extra money for you to enjoy over the holiday season.
World First are specialists which means we can give you better exchange rates than the banks, plus you’ll be assigned a dedicated currency specialist for each and every transaction so you’ll never be left in the dark.
Additionally, World First were recently awarded a 5-star rating for Outstanding Value in International Money Transfers by CANSTAR, Australia’s premier financial data provider helping consumers make better financial decisions.
3.Send a larger amount once, rather than smaller amounts multiple times.
Generally speaking, the more money you send in one go, the better exchange rate you may be able to achieve.
4.Beware of the of the term ‘No fees’
A common misconception is that your transfer will be free, but in fact the outlet will be taking a large margin on the exchange rate. Look at the ‘inter-bank rate’, work out how much less they are giving you per $1 (or equivalent) and that’ll be your true transfer cost.
5. Keep an eye on exchange rates
In the months leading up to Christmas, stay up-to-date with currency markets. This will be on the news each day or you can subscribe to currency updates (which World First offer). If markets are looking quite volatile, you might want to make your exchange or transfer early or lock a rate in. Look at 2016, volatility has been driven by the US election, ‘Brexit’ in the UK and demand for Australia’s natural resources by countries like China.
6.Speak to a real person
Choose a foreign exchange company where you’ll be able to chat through your options. There are more choices than most think when it comes to foreign exchange, so being able to chat through your situation first will mean you’ll get the most out of your transfer.
With a dedicated currency specialist that can assist you through the transfer process and competitive exchange rates, you can make the most of your moving fund for a more comfortable start in Australia and easily manage any transfer of funds once you settle in.
These comments are the views and opinions of the author and should not be construed as advice. You should act using your own information and judgement. Whilst information has been obtained from and is based upon multiple sources the author believes to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy and it may be incomplete or condensed.
All opinions and estimates constitute the author’s own judgement as of the date of the briefing and are subject to change without notice.
Please consider FX derivatives are high risk, provide volatile returns and do not guarantee profits.
We have no commercial affiliation or commercial interest regarding the businesses mentioned in this article. The information is only provided as gathered and should be verified before, using your own judgement.