The Cheapest Way To Send Money To Indonesia

send money to indonesia


USA has one of the largest number of immigrants’ population in the world. Although Indonesians hold a minimal percentage, they continue to increase. Either for personal or business purposes, Indonesians living in USA will need to know ways to send money to Indonesia. Whatever the reason, it is important to get acquainted with the transfer charges and how to reduce them.

Here, we present our top picks based on different money transfer situations. In a haste? Our quick comparison table will give you an overview of the best currency exchange rates and fees right now. 


The Best Ways to Transfer Indonesian Rupiah

Moving to or from USA 

All US banks allow and process money transfers to and from Indonesia. Transactions processed by banks are a bit faster (a day difference). Although all of them will accept USD for overseas funds transfer, not all will be willing to accept Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). One disadvantage of using banks is that you may not get the best offer on exchange rates, and they usually charge high prices for international money transfer.

Using online money transfer services is the best alternative to prevent the high charges incurred when using a bank. Another advantage you get from using online providers is the flexibility and the myriad of options.

Transfer service providers that allow you to transfer money from USA to Indonesia include OFX, HiFX, TorFX, WorldFirst, and Venstar.

Our Verdict:  OFX for great exchange rates on USD and IDR transfers to Indonesia. Particularly for payments under $10,000.


Business from USA to Indonesia

If your business requires transacting between the two countries, consider these 2 important things:

  1. The exchange rate margin – this is the difference between the wholesale exchange rate you can see on and the rate you get
  2. The business products they offer – like forward exchange contracts, foreign currency accounts and limit orders

Our Verdict: HIFX. Why? Their exchange rates and $0 fee structure will allow you to maximise your overseas receipts or payments. They also offer Foreign Currency Accounts which would allow you to keep the funds in foreign currency and convert them when you feel the time is right.

To find out more about Foreign Currency Accounts, watch this video.


Buying a Property

Whether you are purchasing your first home or buying a property for investment purposes, it is vital to engage a provider that can give you the flexibility and support throughout the process. A provider with a strong presence in the US and Indonesia will make life easier.

Our Verdict: TorFX is an ideal choice for property settlement transfers. A local account manager will be appointed to guide you through each step. They are fully licensed in the US and also offer a global support network.


Sending Money Home

Being away from home can be difficult as times, especially when you are missing out on eventful festivities with your friends and family. Western Union is a great option if you are seeking to send a small amount of money home. For larger amounts, reach out to providers that can offer you a fee waiver for your transfer.

This is the main reason why it is of utmost importance to search out providers that suits your needs, and discuss your options with a currency exchange and money transfer specialist.

Our Verdict: With the right foreign exchange specialist, such as OFX or TorFX it is possible to receive a spread of 1% – or even lower. And with fees reduced or removed.


Studying Overseas

The cost of tuition fees are always increasing; with some part time courses starting at $15,000 and full time courses even surpassing the $50,000 mark. As an international student, you would also have to consider living expenses, accommodation and bills. At this point, we’re no longer looking at a small amount.

For larger payments such as full time University fees, keep a close watch for the provider that offers the best exchange rate. For smaller payments like a part time course, observe the transfer fee that is being charged. 

Our Verdict: HiFX. This is perfect for students and their parents paying the bills to save on hefty transfer costs.


Best Ways to Send Money to Indonesia

The Costs of Sending Money between USA and Indonesia

Calculating the cost of your transfer can be tricky. Depending on how you send the money, the fees, charges and margins aren’t always obvious. Here are the most common charges to transfer money from one bank account to another

  1. A Transfer Fee – Also known as a TT, Telegraphic Transfer, Wire or Remittance fee
  2. Exchange Rate Margin – this is the difference between the wholesale exchange rate you can see on and the rate you get
  3. Correspondent Bank Fees – The fee your bank will take out for getting the money to the right account. It’s deducted from the amount that finally arrives in the account and is almost impossible to estimate or reverse.
  4. Receiving Bank Fee– If you are paying foreign currency into an account, the receiving bank will charge you for it. For instance, if you send Indonesian Rupiah to your Australian bank account, your Australian bank will charge you to convert it.

What are your options?

A Bank

Banks in USA have higher fees and non-competitive exchange rates but this doesn’t mean you should never use them. Indonesian banks tend to have more competitive exchange rates. Using a bank is the quickest way to transfer between bank accounts. 



This is a great option for anyone sending smaller amounts under $1000. The exchange rate you’ll get are comparable to a bank but the fees are significantly lower. It is particularly handy when the person you are paying has a PayPal account.


A Money Transfer Company

Money transfer companies like OFX and HiFX are often the cheapest option when you are sending between $1000 and $1,000,000 at a time. This is because they offer better exchange rates and lower (and sometimes no) fees. The downside to using a transfer company outside of a bank is that you’ll have to set up an account with them first. This can take between 10 minutes to 2 days depending on how much information is required from you. Also, the transfer itself will usually take 1 day longer than using a bank.


How to use a money transfer company (instead of a bank)

Sending money using a money transfer company is similar to using a bank but there are some important differences. Here are the main steps to do it online:

Setting things up (only has to be done once)

  • Log on to their website and register your details. You’ll need to have some I.D handy
  • Once your account has been approved, you’ll get a login and password
  • Enter the banking details of where you are sending the money. They are usually called the “Beneficiary” or “Recipient”

Transferring Money

  • Get a quote for the amount you want to send
  • Confirm the details including the rate and how much it is in the US dollars 
  • You’ll get a deal confirmation. Finally you’ll need to pay them the US dollars before the money is sent to Indonesia.

Information you’ll need before you make your transfer

To send money overseas, you’ll need the following information of the bank account you are sending the money too. These are commonly known as Beneficiary or Recipient Details

  1. The Account Name of your Recipient (person/business you are paying)
  2. Their address
  3. The SWIFT Code of their bank


A note about sending money to Indonesia

It is particularly important to make sure ALL the bank details you use are correct. Banks are picky and will reject a payment even if a single digit is wrong or a single letter is out of place.



Here is a list of SWIFT codes for the biggest banks in Indonesia:

Bank Mandiri : BMRIIDJA

Bank Rakyat Indonesia : BRINIDJAXXX

Bank Central Asia : CENAIDJA

Bank CIMB Niaga Indonesia : BNIAIDJA


How long does it take to send money to Indonesia?

PayPal, HSBC and Western Union (cash pick-up) are the fastest options. The transfer can be done in minutes. If you are sending the money to a bank account, it will take 1-2 days if you are using a bank or 2-3 days if you are using a money transfer company.


Is there a minimum transfer amount?

The banks and PayPal don’t have a minimum transfer amount but most money transfer companies do. If you are sending less than $500 to Indonesia and intend to use a money transfer company, make sure you check their minimum transfer amount.

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