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Reviews

Synchrony Bank Review: CD, Savings Account, Money Market, and IRA Rates

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1988
Total Assets$91.8B
Synchrony Bank is a relative newcomer to the banking scene, having opened up right around the same time as the World Wide Web was being developed in the late 1980s. Today, it’s one of the largest online-only banks around, offering a range of products including high-interest savings accounts, CDs, money market accounts, and IRAs.

Big banks can have notoriously high fees and low rates, so since Synchrony is a smaller, online bank, we put them to the test. In general, they offered very high rates on their savings and CD accounts, but their money market accounts are a little behind in the rate department. Read on to find out the specific details. This will help you decide whether or not this bank is right for you.
Synchrony Bank’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

2.25%

Savings

Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Synchrony Bank CD rates

You might need a higher-than-average minimum deposit for these CDs, but you’ll earn a very good interest rate.

Term

APY

3-months

0.75%

6-months

1.00%

9-months

1.25%

12-months

2.80%

18-months

2.75%

24-months

2.90%

36-months

2.90%

48-months

3.00%

60-months

3.10%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $2,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • For CDs of 12 months or less, you’ll pay 90 days’ worth of interest
    • For CDs of between 12 months up to 48 months, you’ll pay 180 days’ worth of interest
    • For CDs over 48 months, you’ll pay 365 days’ worth of interest

You’ll need to come to the table with a fairly hefty minimum deposit of $2,000 to open a CD at Synchrony. But, once you have it, this bank offers a fair amount of flexibility in how you are paid your dividends. You can elect to roll them over in the CD account, or have them paid out to you directly in the form of a check or an electronic deposit into another Synchrony, or other external, bank account.

Once your CD completes its term, you also have a few options. Your CD will automatically roll over into another CD of the same term length, but you’ll get a 10-day grace period to make any changes. During this grace period, you can withdraw the cash, add more cash, and/or open up a new CD with a different term length.

How to open a CD account with Synchrony

You can easily open up a CD account with Synchrony Bank online. You’ll need to provide some basic identifying information, such as your Social Security number and date of birth (this is required of all banks in order to comply with the USA PATRIOT Act). You’ll also need to provide a government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Synchrony Bank’s CD rates compare

While Synchrony doesn’t currently offer the highest rates, they’re still consistently among the top of the pack for the current highest CD rates. Specifically, their 12-month and 60-month CDs are among some of the best offerings out there right now.

The early-withdrawal penalties at Synchrony Bank are also right on par with many of their competitors. You can rest assured that you won’t be paying inordinately high fees should you need to withdraw your cash early.

Synchrony Bank savings account

Synchrony charges no fees and offers a very high interest rate to boot.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

2.25%

$0

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: None; however, the ATM’s owner may charge a separate surcharge fee in order to withdraw cash
  • ATM fee refund: Synchrony will refund up to $5 per month in ATM surcharge fees
  • Overdraft fee: None

This is one of the most accessible high-interest savings accounts for people looking for low fees and low minimum balance requirements. While most banks charge an overdraft fee if you overdraw your account, Synchrony Bank does something different: They may not honor the withdrawal, meaning that you won’t incur an overdraft fee.

Watch out, though: you’re limited to six withdrawals and transfers per month as per Federal Regulation D (not including ATM withdrawals). If you go over that amount, Synchrony Bank reserves the right to close your account for you for “misuse.”

How to open a savings account with Synchrony

You can easily open up a savings account with Synchrony Bank online. You’ll need to provide some basic identifying information, such as your Social Security number and date of birth (this is required of all banks in order to comply with the USA PATRIOT Act). You’ll also need to provide a government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license. Finally, by signing up for an account, you authorize Synchrony to run your application through ChexSystems, which checks to see if you have any negative standings with other financial institutions.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Synchrony Bank’s savings account compares

Synchrony currently has one of the best online savings accounts. For people looking for a no-minimum-balance account, or those looking to grow a small savings account balance into a larger one, you can’t go wrong with this account.

Synchrony Bank money market account

Synchrony’s money market account doesn’t offer very high interest rates, but does give you the power to write checks.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

1.20%

$0

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: None; however, the ATM’s owner may charge a separate surcharge fee in order to withdraw cash
  • ATM fee refund: Synchrony Bank will refund up to $5 per month in ATM surcharge fees
  • Overdraft fee: None

Money market accounts technically work a little differently than savings accounts. But for you, the consumer, Synchrony Bank’s money market and savings accounts essentially operate the same way. One big difference is that the money market account offers a lower interest rate than their savings account. One other important difference is that you can actually request and write checks using your money market account, whereas the savings account doesn’t come with this option.

Otherwise, you can still expect the same withdrawal limits dictated by Federal Regulation D. You’re stuck with six transactions (minus ATM withdrawals) per month, lest the bank close your account for “misuse.” You’ll also incur few, if any, fees with this account. Given that these two accounts are so similar, we recommend going with the regular savings account, because that one offers a truly exceptional interest rate with the same terms of this money market account.

How to get Synchrony Bank’s money market account

You can easily open up a money market account with Synchrony Bank online. You’ll need to provide some basic identifying information, such as your Social Security number and date of birth (this is required of all banks in order to comply with the USA PATRIOT Act). You’ll also need to provide a government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Synchrony’s money market account compares

Synchrony Bank offers exceptional rates on their savings accounts and CDs. However, their money market account is a little underwhelming in the interest rate department. If you’re looking for the best money market account rates, you can easily find better accounts at other banks and credit unions.

However, Synchrony Bank still does stand out in the fee department. This account — like Synchrony’s savings account — comes with very little fees attached.

Synchrony Bank IRA rates

These IRA CDs are virtually identical to Synchrony’s regular CDs — and still, the fairly high minimum deposit requirements may exclude some savers.

Term

APY

3-months

0.75%

6-months

1.00%

9-months

1.25%

12-months

2.80%

18-months

2.75%

24-months

2.90%

36-months

2.90%

48-months

3.00%

60-months

3.10%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $2,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • For CDs of 12 months or less, you’ll pay 90 days’ worth of interest
    • For CDs of between 12 months up to 48 months, you’ll pay 180 days’ worth of interest
    • For CDs over 48 months, you’ll pay 365 days’ worth of interest

These IRA CDs work just like Synchrony Bank’s regular CDs, with one exception: they play by the rules of IRA accounts. That means you can open them up within a Roth or traditional IRA, complete with all of the rules governing these two accounts.

Just like Synchrony’s regular CDs, these IRA CDs come with some fairly high minimum deposit requirements. This will exclude some people who can’t come to the table with a full $2,000 — but for those folks, Synchrony Bank has another option: the IRA money market account (discussed below).

If you need to withdraw your money early (if you decide to move it to another company to invest in the stock market, for example), you’ll still face an early withdrawal penalty. However, if you are at the age where you need to take required minimum distributions from CD money held in a traditional IRA, Synchrony Bank will waive the early withdrawal penalty.

How to open an IRA CD with Synchrony

You can easily open up an IRA CD account with Synchrony Bank online. You’ll need to provide some basic identifying information, such as your Social Security number and date of birth (this is required of all banks in order to comply with the USA PATRIOT Act). You’ll also need to provide a government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Synchrony Bank’s IRA CD rates compare

Synchrony’s IRA CDs are again very close to being the top IRA CD rates around. However, there are a few banks offering higher rates on IRA CDs, so if this is your preferred retirement savings option, it may pay to shop around.

Synchrony’s IRA money market account

This money market account — like Synchrony’s regular money market account — doesn’t offer very high rates.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

1.20%

$0

  • Minimum opening deposit: $250
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: None; however, the ATM’s owner may charge a separate surcharge fee in order to withdraw cash
  • ATM fee refund: Synchrony Bank will refund up to $5 per month in ATM surcharge fees
  • Overdraft fee: None

If you need a bit more flexibility in your retirement savings or can’t afford the minimum deposit requirement of Synchrony’s IRA CDs, you might want to consider their IRA money market account.

You can deposit or withdraw cash at any time, however you’re still subject to Federal Regulation D that limits you to six transactions per month. Since this is an IRA account, you’ll also need to stick to the rules of whichever IRA you choose — Roth or traditional — lest you end up paying a tax penalty at the end of the year.

However, in return for this flexibility and low cash requirement to open an account, you’ll pay for it with lower interest rates. You can earn much higher rates on your retirement savings with Synchrony Bank’s IRA CDs, or even with an IRA savings or money market account at another bank entirely. In fact, many of the best money market accounts out there also offer you the ability to open them as an IRA.

How to open an IRA money market account with Synchrony

You can easily open up an IRA money market account with Synchrony Bank online. You’ll need to provide some basic identifying information, such as your Social Security number and date of birth (this is required of all banks in order to comply with the USA PATRIOT Act). You’ll also need to provide a government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Overall review of Synchrony’s banking products

We really like Synchrony Bank for their low-fee, high-yielding savings products, especially their savings account and CDs. These accounts are among the top contenders for highest interest rates available.

However, Synchrony’s money market account falls a bit short in the interest rate department. Once upon a time, money market accounts offered higher interest rates than savings accounts, but today that’s often not true — and Synchrony Bank is no exception.

On the whole, however, Synchrony is a great option for people looking for high interest rates on their savings — just skip their money market account.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Reviews

Barclays Personal Loan Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Disclosure : By clicking “See Offers” you’ll be directed to our parent company, LendingTree. Based on your creditworthiness you may be matched with up to five different lenders.

Barclays
APR

5.74%
To
18.99%

Credit Req.

700

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 60

months

Origination Fee

None

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Barclays is a global bank with customers in 40 countries. ... Read More

Barclays Personal Loan Details
TermsFees and Penalties
  • Term lengths: 36 to 60 months
  • APR range: 5.74% to 18.99%
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $35,000
  • Time to funding: A few business days
  • Credit check: Soft Pull
  • Origination fee: None
  • Prepayment fee: None
  • Late payment fee: None

Barclays product details

One of the most unique features of the Barclays personal loan is the complete lack of late fees — your balance will still accrue interest if your payment is late, which could increase your total loan payment, but you won’t incur a penalty.

When you check your personal loan rate, Barclays performs a soft pull that won’t affect your credit score. This allows you to comparison shop, without lowering your score. Do note, the bank will check your credit score to determine your creditworthiness after you submit an application.

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: 700
  • Minimum credit history: Not specified
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not specified

Specific eligibility requirements for personal loans are not available on the Barclays website.

Applying for a personal loan from Barclays

The Barclays personal loan application is entirely online. To begin the process, click “Check your rate,” follow the prompts and choose the options that best meet your needs. You do not need an invitation code to apply, but if you have one, click “Use my invitation code” at the top of the page to receive your customized rate.

During the application process, you’ll be asked to provide your name, address, contact information, Social Security number, employment details, and personal financial information. Barclays will send you a message through its secure application center to request written documents needed to evaluate your application. These items can be uploaded through the bank’s secure application center.

Before you sign your loan application, you’re free to cancel it at any time. If you choose to accept your loan, Barclays will issue the money within a few business days. You’re able to have the funds deposited in a U.S. checking or savings account or direct the bank to pay off up to five of your credit card balances without touching the funds yourself.

Pros and Cons of a Barclays Personal Loan
ProsCons
  • No fees: Barclays personal loans come with zero fees. This includes origination fees, prepayment penalties and late fees, which can result in significant savings.
  • Soft pulls: Checking your rate will not impact your credit score, because Barclays uses a soft credit inquiry that is not reported to creditors or credit reporting agencies.
  • Flexible terms: Choose a repayment period that fits your budget, as Barclays offers terms of 36, 48 and 60 months.
  • Competitive baseline APR: Barclays offers a baseline APR of 5.74%, which is lower than most lenders. However, rates are based on creditworthiness and length of term requested, so depending on your unique situation, you could end up with the maximum 18.99% APR.
  • Loan amounts: Barclays only offers loans between $5,000 to $35,000. This can be problematic if you’re looking for a smaller amount.
  • Time to funding: After you’re approved for a Barclays loan, it takes at least few business days to get you the money. The bank notes that delays are possible based on the policies and procedures of your financial institution.

Who’s the best fit for a Barclays personal loan?

A Barclays personal loan might be a great fit if you’re opposed to paying fees of any kind. The lack of origination fees, prepayment penalties and even late fees can result in serious savings.

Considering loan amounts range from $5,000 to $35,000, this product will only work if you need to borrow a substantial amount of cash. Due to the seriously competitive baseline 5.74% APR, it’s also a better choice if you have a low credit score. Rates are based on creditworthiness and length of term requested, so if your credit isn’t the best, you could end up with the highest rate, which tops out at 18.99% APR.

Since Barclays’s personal loans offer a fully digital experience, this is also a better choice for the tech savvy crowd. While a customer service team is always a phone call away, you might become frustrated with the self-service features and the lack of face-to-face interaction if you prefer more a more personalized banking experience.

Before deciding on a personal loan, it’s smart to read Barclays reviews and comparison shop to see what other lenders have to offer. LendingTree has a personal loan tool that can be used to quickly and efficiently explore your options. Barclays loans have no origination fees, and below are a few alternatives that also offer this benefit.

Alternative personal loan options

LightStream

APR

3.99%
To
16.99%

Credit Req.

660

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 144

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

LightStream is the online lending division of SunTrust Bank.... Read More


Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding. Rates under the invoicing option are 0.50% higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 3.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $295.20.

LightStream, a division of SunTrust Bank, offers personal loans from $5,000 to $100,000. Rates are extremely competitive — the bank is willing to beat any qualifying lower rate offered by another lender by 0.10% — and vary by loan purpose. There are no fees attached to the loan, including prepayment penalties. This can be a good choice if you’re looking for a fee-free loan, but need a higher amount than Barclays offers.

SoFi

SoFi
APR

5.99%
To
16.99%

Credit Req.

680

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 84

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

SoFi offers some of the best rates and terms on the market. ... Read More


Fixed rates from 5.990% APR to 16.990% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.74% APR to 14.70% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of March 18, 2019 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.72% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.49% plus 4.28% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.

See Consumer Licenses.

SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Minimum loan requirements might be higher than $5,000 in specific states due to legal requirements. Fixed and variable-rate caps may be lower in some states due to legal requirements and may impact your eligibility to qualify for a SoFi loan.

Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi's underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

SoFi grants personal loans from $5,000 to $50,000. There are zero fees attached to the loans and SoFi’s unemployment protection benefit allows you to temporarily pause payments, while helping you find work if you lose your job. If you’re looking to borrow more than the maximum Barclays personal loan limit or want to spread your payments out across a longer term, a SoFi personal loan can be solid option.

Earnest

Earnest
APR

6.99%
To
18.24%

Credit Req.

680

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 60

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Instead of offering credit-based loans, Earnest has taken a very nontraditional approach using a merit-based system.... Read More

Earnest offers personal loans that range from $5,000 to $75,000 and you’re able to choose your desired monthly payment. You might also score a more competitive rate with Earnest, as the lender analyzes your entire financial profile to calculate your APR, instead of relying solely on your credit score. Earnest could be a good choice if you need more money than the maximum Barclays limit or you feel like your credit score doesn’t properly represent your financial standing.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Laura Woods
Laura Woods |

Laura Woods is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Laura here

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Reviews

Review of OFX: A Money Transfer Provider

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

When you need to send a large amount of money internationally, OFX could be your most affordable option. The company offers web-based money transfer solutions for individuals and businesses alike. In our review, we found that this service has some features which put them ahead of the competition. However, it also lacks other features and capabilities that might be important to you.

Although OFX money transfers can sometimes take longer than some of the company’s speedier competitors, price is where it consistently shines — it charges no additional fees for transfers beyond the standard exchange rate markup, although it requires a minimum transfer for $1,000 to start with. That means people who have smaller amounts to transfer will need to look elsewhere.

OFX’s headquarters is based in San Francisco and the company has been in business since 1998. Currently, the company has offices located in six different countries. Yet it all started a little over two decades ago when it launched its first website from a garage in Sydney.

In the past 20 years, the company has grown to more than 200 employees. OFX has managed over 1 million money transfers for more than $119 billion, with the numbers still growing.

Here’s a full breakdown of OFX’s costs, fees and a look at how it compares with its competitors in the international money transfer space.

OFX key features

  • Low exchange rates: OFX claims to have better rates and fees than many banks. Per the company, you can save up to an average of 50% on global money transfer rates when compared with using a bank. Banks make money off international money transfers by charging a markup (aka a margin) on foreign exchange rates. The reason OFX fees are lower is because they say they charge margins which are “substantially less” for money exchanges than the rates many banks charge their customers. OFX exchange rate markups are often less than 1%, they claim.
  • $0 transfer fees: Once upon a time, it did charge a flat-rate fee for money transfers. However, now OFX doesn’t charge any additional transfer fees for international money transfers. (The company does point out that your recipient’s bank might deduct a fee for the incoming transfer, but it doesn’t receive any part of those funds.)
  • No hidden fees: OFX doesn’t charge setup fees, monthly account fees or any other hidden fees.
  • Compare fees before transfer: OFX lets you check the rate you will be charged for an international money transfer in advance. However, you’ll have to create an OFX account first. This process is a bit cumbersome compared with the easy-to-access fee estimators available from some other money transfer service providers. However, it also gives you a way to compare the rate it will charge you with the rate your bank would charge you for the same transaction, so you can make sure you’re getting the better deal. This is a nice touch (though you should still estimate fees from other online money transfer providers to make sure you’re getting the best deal available). To estimate fees you’ll have to create an account, log in or use the “Get Extra” widget to see how much you could save when you transfer money with OFX instead of your bank.
  • There’s an app for that: You can transfer money, track your transfers and get current exchange rates with the OFX app, available for Apple and Android devices.
  • Membership program: If you own a business, you may be able to enjoy preferred exchange rates from OFX. Preferred rates could make sending or receiving money cheaper by helping you save more on exchange rate margins. The OFX Member Benefits Program lets you share your preferred rate with your own customers, members or employees by granting them access to your OFX network as well.
  • Referral program: The OFX Referral Program allows you an opportunity to earn a revenue share when your customers or referrals use OFX for international money transfers. You can also add the company’s free rate and currency calculators to your website, giving your users access to the most recent currency information.

Sending a money transfer with OFX

Review of OFX: A Money Transfer Provider
Transfers generally take 1-4 business days. Times may vary based upon the country to where you are transferring funds.

You should allow:
  • 1-2 business days for OFX to receive your funds plus

  • 1-4 business days for the funds to reach your recipient



*OFX provides a currency converter tool inside your account, online or using the app, which can also provide approximate delivery times.
Where can you send money?
OFX can transfer your money to over 190 countries in 55 different currencies. See a list of locations here.

How much can you send? Transfer amounts start at $1,000(minimum).

*Maximum transfer amounts are determined based on your money transfer provider and type of currency. USD can generally be transferred without restrictions.

How to transfer money

Here’s a look at the process you’ll experience if you transfer funds internationally with OFX.

Step 1:
You can sign up for a personal account or business account online or via the OFX app. For a personal account, you will need to provide the following information:

  1. Your location
  2. Your email address
  3. Your currency pair (aka where you’ll be transferring money from and to)
  4. Your estimated transfer amount
  5. Your personal information (name, address, phone number, date of birth, nationality and occupation)
  6. Your driver’s license state and number (optional)

Step 2:
Create a password and set up a security question.

Step 3:
Verify your account by uploading one of the following:

  1. Copy of your driver’s license or passport (color)
  2. Proof of address (bank statement, utility bill or letter from a government agency)

Step 4:
Add the U.S. bank account you’ll be using to send funds.

Step 5:
Add new recipient details, including the person’s name and banking information.

Step 6:
Calculate transfer rate (if desired).

Step 7:
Transfer funds by setting up a direct debit or wiring the funds to OFX.

Step 8:
Funds are converted and delivered to your recipient.

Fees and fine print

Fees and penalties
Transfer rates
When you transfer money with OFX, the company takes a “small percentage” of the money you’re sending to cover costs.

Here’s how it works. Fees are based upon the market rate (also called interbank rate), which is a wholesale rate available to large financial institutions. Customers of OFX are charged a markup on the market rate, and that is how OFX makes money. You can check exchange rates here.


Transfer fees None
None

Compared with other money transfer options, OFX is often one of the most affordable ways to send money internationally. However, this isn’t the case 100% of the time. If you want to get the best value on your money transfer, it’s wise to compare costs among several money transfer providers.

Is OFX a good money transfer service to use?

Overall, OFX can often offer a more affordable way to send money internationally. You just have to be comfortable with the wait and minimum transfer requirements.

Pros
Cons
  • Low exchange rates mean OFX is often a cheaper way to send money.
  • Zero transfer fees keep the service affordable and simple to understand from a cost perspective.
  • 24/7 customer service support

  • No same-day delivery, (except from Australia to the U.S.)
  • Minimum transfer requirement of $1,000
  • Bank-to-bank transfers only with no cash payment or cash pick up options
  • No domestic transfers within the United States


Alternative money transfer options

MoneyGram and Western Union are international money transfer companies providing similar services to OFX.

MoneyGram

  • Where can you send money? MoneyGram has a large network. You can send money to more than 200 countries and territories around the world online or in person at one of MoneyGram’s 350,000 (approximate) global agent locations. Unlike OFX, you can also transfer money within the United States.
  • How long does a transfer take? Once you send a transaction successfully, your recipient can usually pick up cash within minutes. Just keep in mind that transfer time also depends upon operating hours and regulatory requirements.
  • How much can you send? $6,000 per online transfer is typically the cap on MoneyGram transfers, but it also depends upon the country where your recipient lives. Also, there’s a $6,000 cap per every 30 calendar days for online transfers. If you need to send more, you can. You’ll just need to a MoneyGram agent location to send additional transfers.
  • Fee to send money: MoneyGram’s costs can be a little on the high side. When compared with other competitors, MoneyGram fees are often higher plus they may include additional transfer fees. The cost to send money via MoneyGram varies quite a bit based upon where you’re sending money, how much you’re sending and how you’re paying. On the plus side, MoneyGram has a tool which can easily allow you to estimate fees online, without the hassle of being required to create an account first.

One area where MoneyGram shines is its potential speed of delivery. If timing is your primary concern when you are sending money, MoneyGram may be a good option to consider.

Western Union

  • Where can you send money? Western Union lets you send money to more than 200 countries and territories. The company also has a sizable network of over 500,000 agent locations, this can make finding a place to send or receive money in person a lot more convenient.
  • How long does a transfer take? Western Union allows you to send money in minutes in 130 currencies. Many transactions take place within minutes. Just keep in mind that factors like the service you select, your destination country, any regulatory issues, etc. could slow things down.
  • How much can you send? The amount of money you’re allowed to transfer will vary. Limits are based upon your transaction history with Western Union, the country where you are sending money, your location and the type of transfer service you choose. Based upon these factors, limits may range from $300 per money transfer up to $10,000 per transaction.
  • Fee to send money: Western Union is known for having a large network, not for being the most affordable way to send money internationally. Compared with competitors, exchange rate fees may be higher and you may be charged transfer fees on top of that. You can estimate the cost of sending money using Western Union’s online fee calculator. It’s a helpful and convenient feature, partly because you aren’t required to set up an account to access it. Also, even though Western Union may be more expensive in many cases, you shouldn’t just assume that is always the case. If you’re sending an online money transfer, it’s worth your time to see if Western Union can beat the cost your receiving elsewhere.

Western Union stands out among competitors for its conveniently large network and speed. With more than 500,000 agent locations, finding a convenient spot to send or receive money may be easier than with other service providers.

Should you choose OFX?

OFX frequently beats competitor pricing for international online money transfers. Yet there are so many moving parts when it comes to money transfers that you shouldn’t take for granted that it is the cheapest option. If you want to save the most money possible on your international money transfers, you have to be willing to do a little homework (perhaps every time you prepare to transfer funds) and compare costs between several money transfer networks.

Of course, even if it is the least expensive option for your specific situation, the cheapest option may not be the right choice for you. OFX tends to be a bit on the slow side with regard to getting money into your recipient’s hands. Also, OFX doesn’t give you the option to pay with cash nor does it give recipients a cash pickup option. If you don’t have the capability to transfer funds directly into your recipient’s bank account, you’ll need to find a different company to handle your money transfer.

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Michelle Black
Michelle Black |

Michelle Black is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Michelle here

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