As the global economy moves into the digital world, it may seem logical – if only for the sake of convenience – that you would use some sort of electronic transfer system to move your money when you move overseas. Traditional cash, bank checks and other “paper” solutions may seem archaic when money can be transferred at the speed of light across the oceans. But, depending on your specific situation, there my be good reason to use these dinosaurs of the money transferring world. Today, we’ll take a look at five ways to get your money where it needs to go with the least amount of hassle.

Your Current Financial Institution

If the bank you use in your home country has branches in your destination country, then moving your money overseas could be as easy as walking into your bank and asking for the appropriate transfer of your funds. Your bank can also help you transfer money electronically to another institution provided you’ve set up an account in your destination country and have that account’s information available (account and routing number). This is probably the easiest and most reliable way to make your transfer. Check in advance for any fees that may be involved.

Person-to-Person E-Transfers

Your bank may offer you a service that involves sending money to another individual overseas – much like an online bill payment system, but in this case the money winds up with an individual – ideally, a relative or trusted friend in your destination country. For this type of funds transfer, you’ll be required to have an IBAN or SWIFT number along with the usual account and routing details. In some cases, this type of transfer is cheaper than using your current financial institution.

PayPal Accounts and Transfers

PayPal has long been a popular method for sending and receiving money as well as making secure online payments. It can also be the ideal way to get your money overseas during your move to a new country. However, it’s important to ensure that you understand PayPal’s rules for transfers as they do charge a fee based on the dollar amount. Also keep in mind that you will likely be charged an exchange rate as you will be making a transfer of international funds. This may be an option for smaller dollar amounts, but if you are transferring a substantial amount, it may not be worth the fees you’re charged.

Money Orders, Cashier’s Checks and Bank Drafts

This option can, literally, keep your money with you during the transfer process and is among the safest and most popular choices when it comes to moving your money overseas in a foreign currency. Money orders can be purchased for a few dollars at just about any U.S. Post Office as well as your financial institution of choice. Bank drafts and cashier’s checks are slightly more expensive and tend to be used when dealing with greater dollar amounts, but they are traceable in case something happens before you get to your destination.

Cash Money

Yes, it’s been around for thousands of years and when it comes down to it, cash money (currency) could be the key to getting your money to your final destination. Be warned though – some countries (even the U.S.) get suspicious of those traveling with large sums of money – so be prepared for questions and have any needed supporting documents ready. This method of getting money from place-to-place can be as easy as going from one bank to another – with an overseas trip in-between. Also keep in mind that, under U.S. law, you must declare amounts over $10,000 that are brought with you to international destinations.

The Bottom-Line on Transferring Money Overseas

The bottom-line is that you should pick the method that suits your needs – be sure to investigate each one for possible hidden fees and other hazards. Seek out the advice of someone with international monetary experience – a financial advisor or an expat who has made the move to the same destination that you are. It will save you potential headaches – and possibly losing some (or all) of you money – depending on the destination and method you choose.


Einat Mazafi is the owner of NY International Shipping, an International Shipping and moving company based in New York. She is also a specialist in providing the best relocation solutions to clients worldwide.

Written by Einat Mazafi
Einat Mazafi is the owner of NY International Shipping, an International Shipping and moving company based in New York. She is also a specialist in providing the best relocation solutions to clients worldwide.