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OFX Money Transfer Review: No Instant Delivery, But Low Costs

Banking, Money Transfer
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OFX

ofx logo.01 (2)
  • Has no transfer fees and low exchange rate markups
  • Focuses on bank-account-to-bank-account transfers
  • Doesn’t offer same-day delivery
  • Minimum transfer is $150
Learn more at OFX

NerdWallet’s rating: 4.0 / 5.0

 

OFX is an online money transfer provider that allows around-the-clock service to 91 countries from the U.S. via the company’s website, mobile app or phone lines.

OFX’s biggest advantage is cost. OFX doesn’t charge any transfer fees, and its exchange rates tend to be better than the competition’s because of lower rate markups. Delivery relies on standard banking hours and processing, so you generally won’t get same-day or next-day delivery with OFX.

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

The bottom line

We rated OFX 4 out of 5 stars based on its transfers from the U.S. to six of seven benchmark countries. Where the provider shines: cheap bank account-funded transfers to Mexico, Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Country overall ratings
Average rating for all countries
Mexico
ChinaN/A
India
Philippines
Germany
Canada
United Kingdom

 

  • Transfers require bank accounts on sending and receiving ends
  • OFX’s transfers tend to be cheap, especially when converting to major currencies like the euro or the British pound
  • Minimum amount per transfer is $150; there is no maximum
  • No same-day delivery option is available
  • Transfers to China are for business customers only

Overview

For each country, we analyzed OFX’s money transfers based on four categories: transfer costs, speed offerings, transfer methods and options, and customer experience. We took the average of all countries’ category ratings to get OFX’s overall ratings:

Overall Ratings
Transfer costs
Speed offerings
Transfer methods and options
Customer experience
Overall

Transfer costs

No fees and small exchange rate markups

4.5 / 5.0

OFX charges no transfer fee regardless of the sending amount.

Like other providers, OFX makes money off an exchange rate markup. For transfers to most of the benchmark countries, its markups above the mid-market rate tend to be less than 1%. Since countries such as India and the Philippines have less-traded currencies, OFX has higher markups for them, around 1% to 2%.

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 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

No same-day option

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 wire money internationally within minutes.

Transfer methods and options

Only bank accounts for payment and delivery, but three sending options and high transfer limits

4.0 / 5.0

  • Sending channels: OFX’s website, mobile app and by phone with a customer service representative
  • 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 $150 per transfer

Customer experience

Detailed FAQs, 24/7 support, no live chat

4.5 / 5.0

OFX combines a digital experience with easy-to-reach customer service. You can reach someone at any hour, thanks to OFX’s breadth of offices across different time zones. There’s no live chat feature online, though. The provider’s website lays out an organized list of helpful information in its FAQs, such as:

  • An explanation on the interbank rate and exchange rate markups
  • How to track your transfer, how to avoid money transfer scams and what common acronyms used in transferring money mean

Beware that 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 solid 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.


Ratings Methodology

We analyze 11 providers that work in the U.S., including major players and smaller, innovative companies in the international money transfer industry, based on market research, experts, cost analysis and U.S. internet traffic. They are: MoneyGram, OFX, Placid Express, Remitly, Ria, Transfast, TransferWise, Western Union, World First, WorldRemit, and Xoom (owned by PayPal).

What the ratings mean:

5 stars out of 5 — Excellent
4 stars out of 5 — Above average
3 stars out of 5 — Average
2 stars out of 5 — Below average
1 star out of 5 — Poor

How we rate money transfer providers