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Which International Money Transfer Platform Is The Cheapest?

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Transferring money overseas can sometimes be a real headache. This is especially so for expats in Singapore where this form of service impacts them the most.

In fact, one can incur a loss everytime they adopt a service to transfer money overseas due to a few reason:

  • Every platform charges a possible service or transfer fees
  • Platforms usually give consumers a less favourable exchange rate to increase their profit margin

For consumers making a huge amount of transaction, the need to optimise cost and fees becomes even more important.

TL;DR: Players in the market: Worldremit, Instarem, TransferWise, SingX, DBS

  • All the stated players are Registered Remittance Business with the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
  • SingX only transfers to India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Philipines.
  • For the currencies that SingX carries, they tend to have better rates than it’s competitors.
  • Instarem seems to have the best rates when we tested it out with US Dollar (USD) and European Euro (EUR).
  • Most platforms do not support Chinese Yuan (CNY) except Transferwise, Worldremit and DBS.

Further Reading: Comparing all platforms with the more commonly used currencies

To better determine the cheapest platform in the market, we compare them using the rates for some of the most exchanged currencies in the world.

Best platform to send S$1,000 (SGD) to US Dollar (USD)

 RateFeeTotal Amount To Receive
Instarem0.7582-$2.50 SGD
(0.25%)
756.30 USD
Transferwise0.75835-$6.97 SGD
(0.4% + $3.00 SGD)
753.07 USD
Worldremit0.75-$0.01 SGD754.55 USD
SingXNANANA
DBS0.7531$0753.07 USD

Best platform to send S$1,000 (SGD) to European Euro (EUR)

 RateFeeTotal Amount To Receive
Instarem0.6131-$2.50 SGD
(0.25%)
611.57 EUR
Transferwise0.6132-$5.98 SGD
609.60 EUR
Worldremit0.61-$0.01 SGD606.52 EUR
SingXNANANA
DBS0.6067$0606.60 EUR

Best platform to send S$1,000 (SGD) to Philippine Peso (PHP)

 RateFeeTotal Amount To Receive
Instarem38.7655-$2.50 SGD
(0.25%)
38,668.59 PHP
Transferwise38.77156-$13.89 SGD
38,233.03 PHP
Worldremit38.68-$0.01 SGD38,680 PHP
SingX38.7599-$7.00 SGD38,759.90 PHP
DBS38.4143$038,414.26 PHP

Best platform to send S$1,000 (SGD) to Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

 RateFeeTotal Amount To Receive
Instarem10,277.5-$2.50 SGD
(0.25%)
10,251,806.20 IDR
Transferwise10,284.75-$11.88 SGD
10,164,491 IDR
Worldremit10,181.04-$0.01 SGD10,181,045 IDR
SingX10,283-$10.00 SGD10,283,000 IDR
DBS10,101.0101$010,101,010.10 IDR

Best platform to send S$1,000 (SGD) to Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)

 RateFeeTotal Amount To Receive
Instarem2.9625-$2.50 SGD
(0.25%)
2,955.09 MYR
Transferwise2.9632-$9.93 SGD
2,933.78 MYR
Worldremit2.95-$0.01 SGD2,951.36 MYR
SingX2.963-$6.00 SGD2,963.00 MYR
DBS2.9369$02,936.86 MYR

Best platform to send S$1,000 (SGD) to Chinese Yuan (CNY)

 RateFeeTotal Amount To Receive
InstaremNANANA
Transferwise4.75261-$19.70 SGD
4,658.98 CNY
WorldremitRequires number in China so we didn't try
SingXNANANA
DBS4.7348$04,734.85 CNY

Seedly Personal Finance Community’s Insight

  • Luke Ho: I use Transferwise. No issued so far and would recommend it
  • Dixon Soo: Just try to use DBS USA REMIT, 0% service charge. I always use it to transfer funds to Gemini .
  • Royston Cheng: DBS do have one of the better forex rates. However, I’ve been using Transferwise for the last 4 years. I was one of the earlier users. Have never looked back ever since.
  • Siti Putri: Just do DBS remit same day transfer. I transfer 4-digits too every month from DBS to my interactive broker account to invest. I find the exchange rate reasonable and it is free and 1 day transfer fast.

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