What is the Cheapest Way to Send Money from Canada to the USA?

Canada and the USA share the longest border between the two countries in the world. But, they share more than just a border! These countries are united by the same language, similar cultures, and significant trade and economic activity. 

A lot of Canadians, specifically, like to shop and do business in the USA. Therefore, it makes sense that there would be a need to send money between them! While there are a lot of ways to send money from Canada to the USA, the cheapest way is to use an app like Wise or a money exchange service like XE.

We will look a little further at each of the ways to send money so that if you are thinking of doing it, you will know all the different options. 

Send money via local banks

When most people think about sending money abroad, or really anything to do with money, they think about going to their local bank. This is one option to send money from Canada to the USA, but it is not the cheapest, as banks can have very high fees.

Sending money from Canada to the USA through a local bank happens through a wire transfer. Wire transfers require a few different details to make happen, including the beneficiary’s name, address, transit number, account number, and the bank’s SWIFT code. A SWIFT code is a global system for sending money from banks around the world.

Sending a wire transfer via a local bank is fairly convenient since you just need to go to your bank to initiate it, but it can be expensive. The average price for a wire transfer is around $15-40 per transfer, but there is also a fee to exchange currencies, sometimes around 2%.

Final verdict: Convenient, but expensive.

Send money via an app

If you don’t want to pay the high fees to transfer money to the USA from a local bank via wire transfer, there are a lot of different apps available to transfer money. Apps can be very convenient, since you can do it from your phone or computer, but can vary quite a bit depending on what service you choose. 

Some of the most popular apps include PayPal, Venmo, Cash App, Google Pay, and Western Union. These all vary significantly in terms of fees, abilities, and reasons you would use the app. For example, Venmo has gained popularity as a way to send money between peers.

Instarem and Wise are considered the cheapest applications to use to send money to the USA. Their fees are 1.54% and 1.96%, respectively.

Final verdict: Apps are convenient to use, but vary significantly in terms of fees and nd capabilities. Wise and Instarem are two of the cheapest options to use.

Send money via cash transfers

Another way to send money to the USA is through a MoneyGram. In Canada, this can be done through the national mail service, the Canada Post. A MoneyGram is basically a cash transfer. The sender sends money through the service, and the recipient can go pick up that cash at a partner location. This is a quick way to send money to the USA but can be expensive.

MoneyGram charges a flat fee of $10 for a transfer of up to $500. There are additional fees that can sometimes be hidden and not upfront. 

Final Verdict: Cash transfers via MoneyGram is a quick and convenient way to send money, but can be more expensive than other methods.

Send money via a foreign exchange broker

The last method of sending money to the USA is through a foreign exchange broker, which is also referred to as a “forex broker.” Forex brokers are a great option for sending money abroad, as they specialize in currency conversions. 

Because they are typically large companies and are a good option for handling large transactions. Large transactions include anything over $5,000. They can offer more competitive rates than other money transfer services because they deal with large transfers. 

Some good options for cheap transfers include Currencies Direct and OFX, the latter of which actually offers zero transfer fees on the first transfer that you send with them. 

To determine what service offers the cheapest rates, you can use a service like Monito to compare rates and figure out the cheapest option. Once you have determined the cheapest rates, you can initiate the transfer of funds through the Forex broker’s website, app, or over the phone. 

Final Verdict: Forex brokers are a cost-effective way to send money, especially for large sums of money.

Conclusion

Because there is a lot of business, as well as personal and familiar transactions, between the United States and Canada, money moves between the two countries on a regular basis. There are so many different ways to send money from Canada and the USA, depending on what service you need and how quickly you need it. 

The cheapest way to send money to the USA will be through a money transfer application or a foreign exchange broker. There are many different options and depending on how much money you are transferring will determine the fees you need. 

The best way to find the cheapest way to send money to the USA is to use a comparison service like Monito. For example, on August 24, 2021, a $500 transfer from Canada to the USA shows that XE, the foreign exchange broker, is the best deal, netting a total of $393.37 USD. The next best option is Instarem and then WorldRemit. Because currencies are frequently changing, the value of money transfer will also change as well. 

Ultimately, if you’re looking for the cheapest way to send money to the USA, forget about the traditional methods like a local bank wire transfer or cash transfer. Instead, go for a money transfer application or foreign exchange service. Make sure to do some homework and determine the best service for your needs. 

Thais R

I moved to Canada in 2016. This was the best decision that I ever made. I created this website to share what I’ve learned with anyone who’s thinking of moving or travelling to Canada.

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