The Cheapest Ways to Transfer Money from NZ to the US
Transferring money internationally from NZ to the US is easy and safe. We have researched lots of banks and money transfer services and provided a summary of the essential information you need to know to send your money to the US.
After comparing over 15 different banks and money transfer services, The Currency Shop found it consistently cheaper to use a money transfer service.
They are cheaper for two reasons:
- Lower transaction fees (sometimes there are fee free transactions)
- Better exchange rates
To find the cheapest way to transfer money from NZ to the US use our comparison table and start saving now.
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You can either go to each website and check each online transfer service rate or use our comparison table.
How much does it cost to transfer money to the US?
The 3 main costs to consider are exchange rate costs, transfer fees and additional fees when transferring money from NZ to the US.
1. Exchange rate costs
Exchange rates change daily and the rate shown on Google is the mid market rate or the interbank rate. Most money transfer services will charge 0.000065% to 2% above the Google rate. However, most banks will charge between 1% to 4% above the Google rate.
The difference in exchange rate may look small, but the savings can be up to $100’s of dollars the larger your money transfer.
Exchange rates explained
Simply put, exchange rates tell you how much of one currency you can exchange for another.
For example, if you want to buy USD$1,000 it would cost NZD$2,063.98 with an exchange rate of 0.48450. The stronger the NZD performs against the USD the less it will cost. So if the exchange rate increases to 0.5500 a USD$1,000 transfer would only cost you NZD$1,818.18.
2. Transfer fees
A transfer fee is a one off payment per transaction. Most money transfer services charge between $4 - $8 per transfer. Most banks charge $25 per transfer.
3. Additional fees
Banks can also charge other fees for receiving, intermediary bank fees and bank cheque or draft fees. Receiving fees are approximately $15 per transfer, intermediary bank fees are variable and bank cheques or drafts they can charge up to $60 per transaction.
It's cheaper to transfer money using a money transfer service than a bank due to the fees and costs.
How can I transfer money to the US
3 easy steps using a money transfer service or bank. It's really simple.
Using a money transfer service
Using a bank to send money overseas
- Sign up online or in person. If you are a customer of the bank already then you can skip this step.
- Tell them which currency and how much you want to send. You will need the ABA number and the ABA/ACH routing code of the bank account in the US. The bank will deduct the amount plus fees from your account.
- Money is sent to a local bank account. Any receiving fees will be deducted by the local bank before money is deposited into the account. The banks tend to leave it up to the customer to check if the money has been received.
Methods of Payment
Both money transfer services and banks accept bank transfers, credit cards and debit cards. Money transfer services may offer other forms of payment, such as POLi transfers.
How long does a money transfer take from NZ to the US?
Generally, the method you choose to transfer money will be the main factor that will impact speed.
Money Transfer Services can take 0 - 3 days
When using a money transfer service like TransferWise they tend to quote arrival time in hours not days. They will also keep you updated on the movement of your funds.
Bank to Bank Transfers can take 2 - 5 days
The time it takes until the payee can see money in their account will vary depending on the receiving bank. It also might be delayed by public holidays in either the sending or receiving country. It's up to you to check if the person you sent money to has received it.
Wire or Telegraphic Transfers can take 3 - 5 days
These transfers are slow, because the money moves from your bank usually through the SWIFT network. On the way, the money may go through a network of correspondent banks before landing into the overseas account.
Foreign Cheque or International Bank Draft can take 5 days - weeks
The cheque or draft has to reach the person you want to pay first. They then have to take it into a bank. From this point, it can take several days or weeks depending on the depositing banks policies to clear the cheque or draft.
What information do you need to transfer money to the US?
- Personal information: your full name, address and date of birth. For security reasons they need your photo id scanned or photographed. You can use your phone to take a photo and send
- How you wish to pay: your bank details, account numbers and address or debit/credit card details
- Receiving person details: full name and address of the person you wish to pay
- US bank information: bank account details, the name on the account, the IFSC and SWIFT code of the bank account and bank account number
- Make sure your photo is of a high quality so they can see the picture. Make sure the id is valid and within the expiry date
- You can not give your work/office address or PO box address
Is my money safe online?
One of the first questions people ask us is “will my money be safe online?” The answer is 'yes' for money transfer services and banks.
The money transfer services we research are regulated by DIA or FSP, FMA (NZ) or ASIC (Australia) to send money to the US. In the US, they are regulated by the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, the OCC and the OTS. They have very stringent guidelines they must follow to transfer your money overseas.
Money transfer services also implement strict verification processes to ensure they fully identify all of their customers. They invest in identity protection, fraud prevention and encryption to create a secure connection with your browser when you register and login into their online services.
Banks in NZ are regulated by the Reserve Bank of NZ (RBNZ). US banks are regulated by several federal and state authorities regulate banks which include the Federal Reserve.
Banks keep their transfers safe by offering customer security, fraud monitoring and two-factor identification for online transactions. Customer security is also offered through KeepSafe at Kiwibank, NetCode at ASB and NetGuard at BNZ.
How much money can I transfer to the US?
According to New Zealand immigration there is no limit on how much foreign currency you can bring in or take out of New Zealand.
In the event you arrive at the airport with more than $10,000 NZ dollars or equivalent you will need advise a Customs Officer and they will ask you to declare this on your Border Cash Report.
Taxes & IRS on large transfers to the US
You need to declare and pay taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) when you send a large sum of money to the US. The person you're sending money to in the US will need to declare it to the IRS by filling in Form 3520 if you're:
- transferring a gift worth over US$100,000 from a non-US resident
- sending a gift valued at US$15,601 or more from a foreign corporation or partnership
Although foreign gifts aren't subject to income tax, you still need to declare it to avoid being penalised
When sending money from NZ to the US it's important to read customer reviews before making your decision. TrustPilot is a great place to read reviews for all the money transfer services.
Best TrustPilot rated services to transfer money to the US
The Currency Shop Reviews
In addition to customer reviews we have thoroughly researched the following money transfer services and provided individual, detailed reviews below.
Where can I get support online?
OFX - email: email@example.com, phone: 1300 300 424
OrbitRemit - website: https://support.orbitremit.com/hc/en-us
Torfx - email: www.torfx.com.au, phone: 1800 507 480
XE - email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 0800-932-664 or +64-(0)9-306-3700
World Remit - website: https://www.worldremit.com/en/faq, phone: 0800 800046
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