Eventually, most of us will need to send money overseas at least once. You may even find that you’re regularly sending money abroad, and this can get super expensive if you don’t follow the right steps. Luckily, we’ve got some tips to ensure you keep more of your money in your bank account when you’re doing international transfers.

Being aware of the best ways to transfer money overseas involves a few different components, including knowledge and common sense, reliability, safety and security, and affordability.

Here are some top tips for sending money overseas:

Understand exchange rates
Most people are unaware that the exchange rate tends to be the biggest fee when you’re sending money overseas. You can expect to pay an extra 3-6% exchange rate with most banks to send your money overseas, and that’s before they add any extra fees.

Know those fees
You also need to compare transfer fees. These are often added onto your transfer from both the recipient and the sender. It’s best to find a service that will give you reasonable transfer fees.

Be secure and safe
If you’re using a money transfer company of bank, you need to be secure and safe. Find out which body oversees and regulates the company. That way, you’ll have peace of mind since you’ll know that your money is in safe hands. It’s also a good idea to see if the service has an easily-contactable customer service team that isn’t diverted to an outsourced call center.

Shop around
Typically, you’ll pay more with banks than with currency exchange companies. Not only can banks take longer, but they usually add on a much larger margin. Foreign exchange providers are also more likely to give you more transparency, while bank margins and rates can be changed without notice. For this reason, it’s a good idea to carefully compare your options, including the exchange rate, any fees, and the estimated time for the transfer.

Consider a regular plan
If you need to send regular transfers overseas, setting up a payment plan can give you lower fees. This allows you to budget for international payments and also keep up to date with any changes in the exchange rate. Since you can lock in the amount you send or the foreign currency received, this can allow you to get a favourable exchange rate.

Be timely
If you know you need to send money overseas, don’t wait until the last minute. This will give you less time to compare options, and you may end up getting a less favourable deal. Instead, take plenty of time to do your research.

Have you sent money overseas recently? Which company did you use? Do you have any tips? Leave a comment below and let us know!