Strategic Ways of Sending Money to Family Overseas

Learn about the various ways of transferring money to friends and family overseas, and decide which way is best for you and your circumstances.

What will we cover in this article?

Transferring Money to Family OverseasWe will all likely discover a time when one of our loved ones becomes in need of our help, and at times, this help will be financial. However, when they are not in the same country as you, then helping them out financially can be a somewhat overwhelming process if you don’t know where to go.

We’ve put together a short article to help you decide. In this article, we will explore the different ways to pay money overseas:

  • Credit or Debit card
  • Paying into a bank account using a New Zealand bank
  • Using dedicated currency providers

Using a credit or debit card for transferring money to family overseas

You can use your credit or debit card to transfer money overseas, but usually, this incurs higher costs along with a higher exchange rate.

For more information about whether or not you should use a credit card to send money overseas, you can read our article here.

There are companies that will provide a service to allow you do this of course, as listed below;


Their minimum online transfer is $250NZD.

Alternatively, you can click here to read a review article on Moneygram for international money transfers

Western Union

No minimum. Want to find out more about Western Union? Click here.


No minimum. They accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express.

Because they use percentages rather than fees, it can be costly. Paypal is great if you are transferring $200NZD or less, and is a lot faster and convenient that a lot of other companies. Do look at the fees and charges before completing a transaction.

Cash Pick-up

Not to worry! Some people don’t have bank accounts, and sometimes there are occasions where friends or family members can’t access their accounts from where they are. MoneyGram and Western Union both offer the ability to pick up the cash sent via them at over 350,000 locations worldwide.

To read more about PayPal, click here.

Paying into a bank account using a New Zealand bank

Each bank has different charges to send money abroad. Using your bank account might provide ease and convenience, but it is one of the more expensive ways to send funds overseas. The big banks in New Zealand are as follows:


You need to be registered via your Internet banking to be able to transfer money overseas, so do check this first.

ANZ charge their fees and any additional fees charged by the beneficiary (recipient’s) bank will generally be deducted from the amount being sent. Please be aware of this before you send your money.


Type of Transfer Issue Fee Amendment Fee Enquiry fee
Internet Banking or Direct Online $18NZD $18NZD* $50NZD*
(May apply)
Phone or Branch $28NZD $28NZD*  


(May apply)

*Subject to exchange rate fluctuations

Bank of New Zealand

You must be registered for Internet banking to be able to transfer money internationally. You can pay via Internet banking or in a branch.

Bank of New Zealand transfers money internationally through what they call ‘telegraphic transfers’. Essentially what this means is that you, the sender, will have to think about the amount of money you want the recipient to receive before sending, as the charges and fees will be deducted from the amount being sent.


Type of Transfer Issue Fee Amendment Fee Enquiry fee
Internet Banking or Direct Online $25NZD $25NZD $25NZD
Branch $25NZD $25NZD $25NZD

Kiwi Bank

Kiwi Bank boasts their ‘International Direct Credit’ option whereby the charges and fees applied will be deducted from your bank account, so your loved one will receive exactly the amount you decide to send them.

You can organise this international transfer through your Internet banking, or again, visiting the branch. You can also organise to fax it by filling out a form on their website.

The fees:

Type of Transfer Issue Fee Amendment Fee Enquiry fee
Internet Banking or Direct Online $20NZD $25NZD $25NZD
Branch or Fax $25NZD $25NZD  



Westpac again have telegraphic transfers so do keep an eye out on the fees and charges, as it could be your loved one in need that suffers when they don’t get the right amount.

You can organise this through Internet banking, or in a branch.

The fees:

Type of Transfer Issue Fee Amendment Fee Enquiry fee
Internet Banking or Direct Online $20NZD $50NZD $50NZD
Branch $30NZD $50NZD  



  • TIP: Note that some countries vary in what you need to include with your international payment. While Canada and the USA use your recipients account number rather than an IBAN (International Bank Account Number) code, the United Kingdom requires an IBAN code that you will need to acquire from the bank you’re sending the funds to.

Using Dedicated Currency Providers

Currency providers act as an intermediary between you and your recipient. Like your banks or other companies, you take into consideration the additional costs: transaction fee and exchange rate. You will however likely get the best exchange rate going through these providers and the fees are considerably less than companies such as MoneyGram, and your banks.

Like your bank, you will need to set up an account if you wish to transfer money through them. You would be given an exchange rate live from that day, and would need the recipient’s bank details. Once confirmed, you’re good to go.

Some companies that offer this are:

You can compare these providers and more via our comparison table. 

Need some help?

If you want to talk to someone about your situation, call us on 1800 004 930 or Request a call here.

We also offer free personalised advice via phone, email or even face-to-face if it all seems a bit overwhelming. Get in contact to arrange a chat with one of our local consultants, you’ll be surprised by what’s out there.

So whether you’re an importer paying a supplier in a foreign currency, an expat sending money home, or a holiday maker looking for the best deal on Travel Money, avoid the hassle of shopping around and get in touch today.

Case Study

After Fred’s sister moves to London to complete her Master’s degree, Fred spots the opportunity to buy her old laptop from her. She gives Fred a sibling-special deal and asks for Fred to simply send her $150NZD to her for it – this will help fund a few beers at the local pub for a few nights at least! Fred agrees and decides to do it through his bank. As he banks with Kiwi Bank, he understands that through their International Direct Credit, Fred can pay for the fees out of his bank account, and not have the fees taken off the amount sent to his sister. As he’s already registered for Internet Banking, Fred completes the transaction quickly and easily, and lets his sister know it will be her within 1-2 business days.

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