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OFX Money Transfer Review

Feb. 11, 2019
Banking, Money Transfer
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NerdWallet’s rating: 4.0 / 5.0

Where OFX shines:

  • Has no transfer fees and low exchange rate markups.
  • No maximum transfer amount.
  • 24/7 customer service.

Where OFX falls short:

  • Offers only bank-account-to-bank-account transfers.
  • Doesn’t offer same-day delivery.
  • Minimum transfer is $1,000.

Where OFX shines:

  • Has no transfer fees and low exchange rate mark-ups.
  • No maximum transfer amount.
  • 24/7 customer service.

Where OFX falls short:

  • Offers only bank-account-to-bank-account transfers.
  • Doesn’t offer same-day delivery.
  • Minimum transfer is $1,000.

Where OFX shines:

  • Has no transfer fees and low exchange rate mark-ups.
  • No maximum transfer amount.
  • 24/7 customer service.

Where OFX falls short:

  • Offers only bank-account-to-bank-account transfers.
  • Doesn’t offer same-day delivery.
  • Minimum transfer is $1,000.

 

The bottom line

OFX is an online money transfer provider that delivers to more than 80 countries from the U.S. via its website and mobile app. Its biggest advantage is cost: It’s among the cheapest international money transfer providers in a recent NerdWallet survey. And there’s no maximum transfer amount.

Keep in mind that 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.

Best if: You want a cheap bank-to-bank transfer, and speed isn’t an issue.

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


Read on for more about OFX’s transfer costs, speed, delivery and transfer options and customer experience.

Transfer costs

5.0 / 5.0

OFX charges no transfer fee 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 less than 1%. Other providers mark up rates to those countries as much as nearly 7%.

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.

 

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

Speed offerings

4.0 / 5.0

Transfers take on average two to four business days. 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).

Transfer methods and options

4.0 / 5.0

  • 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.

Customer experience

3.0 / 5.0

OFX combines a digital experience with easy-to-reach customer service. You can reach someone at any hour, thanks to OFX’s offices across time zones. 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.

The OFX mobile app displays useful features such as current mid-market rates and the status of transfers as ongoing or completed. The app receives middling marks from users.

Cheap transfers but not the fastest speeds

OFX has lower costs than many other money transfer providers, especially for transfers to major industrial countries like Germany and the United Kingdom. If your recipient can wait a few days to receive the money, OFX can be a cheap option for sending money abroad.

But for faster transfers, you might want to consider other options.

Spencer Tierney is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: spencer@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @SpencerNerd.


Methodology for international transfers

We analyze seven providers that work in the U.S., mostly focusing on major players in the international money transfer industry, based on market research, experts, cost analysis and U.S. internet traffic.

They are: MoneyGram, OFX, Remitly, Ria, TransferWise, Western Union and Xoom (owned by PayPal).

Fees and exchange rate markups mentioned are based on the analysis linked below.

How we analyze money transfer providers