OFX Money Transfer Review

Spencer TierneyApr 6, 2021
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OFX is an online money transfer provider that delivers to more than 190 countries from the U.S. via its website and mobile app. Its biggest advantage is cost: OFX offers comparable rates to its competitors, and it doesn’t charge transfer fees. Plus, there’s no maximum transfer amount.

If your recipient can wait a few days to receive the money, OFX can be a cheap option for sending money abroad. Delivery relies on standard banking hours and processing, so you generally won’t get same-day or next-day delivery with OFX. And you’ll need at least $1,000 to make a transfer. Plus, both you and your recipient will need a bank account.

This overview of OFX is for U.S.-based audiences sending money within the U.S. and abroad only.

» Not what you were looking for? Compare money transfer providers

Best for:

  • People who want a cheap bank-to-bank transfer and aren't concerned about speed.

OFX Pros

  • Easy-to-reach customer service. You can reach someone at any hour, thanks to OFX’s offices across time zones.

  • Well-rated mobile app. The OFX mobile app displays useful features, such as current and historical mid-market rates and the status of ongoing or completed transfers. The app receives high marks from users.

  • No transfer fees. Unlike some other money transfer providers, OFX doesn’t charge transfer fees, regardless of the sending amount. Like other providers, OFX makes money off an exchange rate markup. But for transfers to the countries we surveyed, its markups above the mid-market rate tend to be around 0.03% or lower. Other providers mark up rates to those countries as much as 0.04% for bank-to-bank transfers.

The mid-market rate, also called the interbank rate, is the exchange rate that big banks use to swap currencies between each other. Most providers give customers an exchange rate that’s the mid-market rate plus an additional percentage, or markup, to make a profit on the transfer.

Example: If the mid-market rate for U.S. dollars to Mexican pesos is 20 pesos per dollar, then a 2% markup means the provider is giving you 19.6 pesos per dollar. For a $500 transfer, that’s the difference between 10,000 pesos from the first rate and 9,800 pesos from the second. And the higher the markup, the less your recipient gets in the local currency.

OFX Cons

  • Transfers take two to four business days on average. This breaks down to one to two business days for the company to receive funds from your bank account, plus one to two days for delivery to your recipient. Speed is not a competitive advantage for OFX, considering that some other providers deliver money internationally within minutes (though it costs more).

  • Website experience isn’t as easy as on mobile. The provider’s website lays out an organized list of helpful information in its FAQs, but some of its language can be jargony for a beginner, and there's no live chat feature online. The website doesn’t let you view OFX’s consumer exchange rates without logging in.

» Travel frequently? Check out the best banks for international travel

OFX transfer methods and options

OFX offers several ways to transfer money. Here’s a breakdown of the options:

  • Sending channels: OFX’s website and mobile app.

  • Payment options: Bank account only. You can choose to have OFX do a direct debit, or to speed up delivery, you can send a domestic wire transfer to OFX instead, though your bank may charge a fee (see how much banks charge for wire transfers).

  • Delivery options: Bank account only.

  • Transfer limits: No maximum, but minimum is $1,000 per transfer.

» Need faster transfers? Consider other options.

General advice for international money transfers

1. Compare transfer costs across multiple providers. There are two types of costs: upfront fee and exchange rate markup. Find the provider that has the cheapest combination of a low fee amount and the best exchange rate you can get. Usually online nonbank providers offer cheaper transfers than banks.

2. Know how exchange rates work (and how to find the best). An exchange rate is the price of one currency in relation to another currency. For example, if you want to convert U.S. dollars to euros, you would check what one U.S. dollar is worth in euros. Most transfer providers won’t give you the exchange rate you’d find on a currency exchange platform like the one at Bloomberg.com (or when you Google exchange rates), but a currency platform can be a helpful starting point to know what the best rate looks like this minute. When you check the exchange rate for an international transfer with services like Western Union, focus on the foreign currency amount. The higher it is, the more money your recipient receives.

3. Avoid paying with a credit card. It’s an option for some providers, but there might be a higher upfront fee and your credit card issuer may tack on costs such as interest and cash advance fees. If you need money delivered quickly, use a debit card instead. A transfer paid by bank account directly tends to be a much slower transfer.