How to Send Money From Canada Safely and Affordably

Last updated on January 20th, 2024 at 01:17 pm

When you’re considering how to send money from Canada, you need a safe, fast payment method—preferably without spending too much on fees.

While there are a few different ways to send money from Canada to other countries, they all have their pros and cons. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular ways to send money overseas so you can get the most bang for your Canadian buck.

How to transfer money within Canada

There are a variety of ways Canadians can transfer money within the country.

Interac e-Transfer allows people to send money to anyone with a Canadian bank account via email for a low fee or for free. Over 250 financial service providers participate in Interac e-Transfer, from the big banks like Royal Bank of Canada to local credit unions.

Canadians can also use payment apps like PayPal, but they’re less popular because Interac e-Transfer is easy to use and usually free.

Bank drafts and checks are also accepted payment methods in Canada.

For automatic payments for bill payments, Canadians typically use direct debits, also known as PADs.

How to send money from Canada

How to send money from Canada: beautiful skyline of Canada

While it’s fairly simple to send money within Canadian borders, what if you need to send money from Canada to friends or family in another country? Your best options in this case are wire transfers, money orders, or a digital payment service.

Wire transfer

One of the simplest ways to send money from Canada is to ask your bank to transfer money from your account directly into another person’s bank account.

Making an international bank-to-bank transfer is called a wire transfer because originally this service was conducted through telegraph wires.

It’s a secure way to send money from your Canadian bank account directly to another person’s bank account and only takes a few days.

Depending on your financial institution, you may be able to use online banking, or you may have to go into a branch.

Either way, you will need the following inform about the person your transferring money to:

  • Name and address
  • Account number
  • SWIFT code (8-11 digits that may be a combination of numbers and letters) or ABA number (nine digits)

You can use wire transfers for a large amount of money, although some banks place limits on how much you can transfer in one day.

The downside to wire transfers is the cost. Typically, banks charge a flat fee between $15 and $100 to set up a wire transfer and a foreign exchange markup. There may also be fees charged to the person receiving the money.

Watch out for the hidden fees in the currency exchange rate. Banks set their own exchange rates, which is less favorable to you than the market rate, when moving your money. That can make a real difference in how much money the person actually receives, so it’s important to understand international money transfer fees.

Wire transfers are a secure and convenient way to send money from Canada to bank accounts in other countries within a few business days. But a wire transfer is not the most affordable money transfer option.

Money order

Woman holding some bills

A money order is a paper payment method for sending money. Unlike a wire transfer, neither you nor the person receiving the money needs a bank account.

All you need for a money order is the name of the person you are sending the money to and the amount you want to send plus fees. You can pay for a money order in cash or via a debit card. For amounts over $3,000 CAD, take a government-issued form of I.D. with you too.

You can buy a money order from Canada Post offices, Western Union, or MoneyGram, which has branches in places like Shoppers Drug Mart or 7-11. Once you’ve bought the money order, you can hand it over in person or send it through the mail.

Once the person receives the money order, they will need an I.D to make a cash pick-up or transfer the funds to their bank account. This makes money orders a secure way to send Canadian dollars to another country.

Fees for money orders vary, depending on which country you are sending the money order to. The fees are generally lower than those charged for wire transfers, but there’s a limit to how much you can send in one transaction. If you need to make a remittance more than once, those fees will start to add up.

Digital payment service

Entrepreneur using a phone

When sending money from Canada, you need a secure payment method at an affordable price. Digital payment services, like Remitly, are a safe and low-cost way of sending money overseas.

A digital payment service is as safe as both a wire transfer and a money order, with the added benefit of affordable fees. Plus, since this is a digital payment method, it’s also faster than other international payment methods.

When it comes to using the Remitly app, you can send funds from a Visa or Mastercard debit card, a credit card, or a prepaid card. You can also transfer money directly from your bank account.

Like money orders, the person receiving the money can pick up cash in a convenient location. But unlike money orders, this is a digital payment, so there’s no need for you to find an agent location. You can simply make your online money transfer from a computer or on the mobile app.

Follow these steps to send money from Canada with Remitly:

  1. Download the Remitly app.
  2. Add the name and address of the person you’re sending the money to.
  3. Choose the country you’re sending the money to and the way you want the person to receive it—into their bank account, via cash pickup at a nearby location, delivered to their address, or via mobile money.
  4. Pick your payment option—either your bank account, debit card, or credit card.
  5. Enter the send amount.
  6. Get notified when the person receives their money.

Tips for making an international money transfer

There are a few things to know before making a money transfer from Canada to another country:

  • If you’re using a credit card, be aware there are usually extra fees associated with this, as it is considered a “cash advance.”
  • You should only use a regulated, trusted money transfer service to avoid scams or fraud.
  • Double-check the details of the person you are sending money to. If you’re sending a large amount, it’s worth sending a lower amount first as a test.
  • A bank or financial institution should be upfront with its fees, but you should also pay attention to the exchange rate before making international transfers.

There is not a limit on the amount of money you can send from Canada.

However, if you make an electronic transfer of $10,000 CAD or more, the bank or financial institution making the transfer will report it to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). The reporting is meant to fight international tax evasion and money laundering.

Canada does not have gift taxes, so you won’t need to pay taxes on money you transfer. But there could be tax implications for the person you send money to, so they should check the laws on receiving gifts in their country.

A digital payment app as cool as a Canadian breeze

When it comes to sending money to your loved ones, you want to make sure they get it quickly and easily.

Plus, because Remitly doesn’t have physical locations, our money transfer fees stay affordable. Download our app to find out how to send money from Canada to almost anywhere in the world.

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