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Does anyone knows how to send money from Canada to a country in South America in a safe and cheap way?

In the past I transfered from my bank account here in Canada to a South American bank account with a fee of $50 but I lost so much money in foreign exchange (CAD to USD)!

I was thinking on something like Western Union or virtual services like Xoom. But I wonder if someone can share a better way to send this money to South America.

Sometimes I rely on people that I know who are travelling to South America to send money with them for my relatives. But I need to send right now and I want to minimize the cost of the service.

closed as off-topic by JoeTaxpayer Jun 10 '16 at 23:49

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  • There is, quite simply, no safe and cheap way to send money to most countries in South America, unfortunately. :/ – Fattie Jun 11 '16 at 21:18
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The catch with any exchange service is that you're going to involve some sort of business and they're going to want to get paid for their service. These services all come with their own exchange rates, fees, waiting periods, or requirements to even use said service. Commonly, pros towards one of those comes at the cost of another— e.g. fast transfers have higher fees or worse exchange rates.

Over the past few months I needed a service and ended up using USForex. Since you're going from CAD to USD, you'd likely need to use CanadianForex.

Pros:

  • Maximum $15.00 CAD fee. Free if transferring more than $10,000.
  • Exchange rates get better the more money that you send in a single transaction.
  • A+ rating on the BBB
  • They have a support phone number and come off as very professional.

Cons:

  • Minimum transfer of $200.00 CAD.
  • Funds can take about 5-7 business days to clear. This covers the time to receive, hold the funds for a few days to clear, and to send them to the recipients account.
  • There is some paperwork involved with adding a bank account to your Forex account. Not too intimidating; mainly a bank letterhead and the various information about you and the bank account.

Overall, this option was far better than the $97.00 I was quoted from WesternUnion; or the $25.00-45.00 I was quoted from BMO Harris, which would have required I open a saving account with them. I wasn't provided a clean exchange rate between these two to know how all three compared.

The only bit of advice I can say with any service is compare exchange rates. If you're transferring more than a few hundred dollars, the exchange rate can be seen as a "hidden" fee when it's unreasonably low.

I'm not affiliated with or accommodated by any of the exchange services mentioned.

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