I’ve previously written about using XE Trade for currency exchange: exchanging Canadian dollars for US dollars and sending money internationally. In both cases (including sending money to the UK and Australia), there are no fees charged by XE Trade except for the exchange rate spread (since, as with all currency exchanges, they charge more than the mid-rates).
My company recently had to send money from Canada to Brazil. We first used PayPal, but for the amount involved, the fees were quite high. So we looked at XE Trade. Unfortunately, there are no fee-free options when sending money to Brazil, and it was a bit more complicated than sending money to the UK or Australia.
The first thing to be aware of when sending money to Brazil is that the standard international currency is US dollars, so all foreign currencies that arrive are first converted to US dollars. Therefore, we had a couple of options:
- Send a US dollar wire transfer directly to XE Trade
- Use XE Trade to convert Canadian dollars to send a US dollar wire transfer
There were a couple of problems with the first option: the XE Trade fee was $64.91 instead of $22, and we had to send a wire transfer to XE’s bank (Custom House) in the US — that would have added an additional fee. My company’s bank (RBC Royal Bank, using their RBC International Remittance option) does not currently support any online wire transfers for business accounts, and oddly does not support wire transfers to the US even from personal accounts.
With the second option, the wire transfer fee charged by XE Trade was $22, and we could pay using our bank’s online bill payment system since we were paying in Canadian dollars. For the amount that we were sending, the additional transaction costs of converting CAD to USD (instead of directly from any existing US dollars we had) plus the wire transfer fee still added to less than the fees from the first option.
In the end, it worked out well using XE Trade to send money to Brazil and it took only 2 business days for the money to arrive!