Home Bank & Money transfers How to transfer money to Australia

How to transfer money to Australia

How to transfer money to Australia

If you are preparing for a trip to Australia, you’re probably wondering about the best way to transfer money from your home currency to AUD without having to pay huge fees. When you arrive in Australia, you will need to have a decent amount of savings to pay for your food, accommodation and other expenses until you find a job. The cost of living being quite high Down Under, especially in the big cities, a few euro or pounds definitely won’t be enough to keep you going! If you’re coming to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa, you need to have at least $5000 in your bank account. When you arrive, we recommend that you transfer your money to your Australian account. Transferring money to Australia doesn’t have to be complicated or costly. Whether you’re moving funds for travel, work, or to support someone down under, this guide will walk you through the easiest and most affordable ways to do so.

Open a bank account in Australia

The first thing you need to do to be able to transfer money from a European or American account to Australia is to have an Australian bank account. Not only will this save you from international withdrawal or payment fees, but it will also allow you to be paid if you plan to work in Australia.

How to open an Australian bank account?

Opening a bank account online or in person

Opening an Australian bank account can be done remotely before your departure, as offered by Commonwealth and NAB banks, or in a branch when you arrive. In both cases, once you arrive in Australia, you just need to go to a branch of the Australian bank you selected and confirm your identity. You will have to present your passport and your account will be opened. You will then receive your debit card by mail within five business days, or you can often choose to pick it up directly from the bank.

Useful bank codes

Once your bank account is open, you will be given a bank identification number consisting of two numbers.
Your BSB number is the code of your Australian bank. It is composed of 6 digits.
Your account number is your bank account number. It has between 6 and 9 digits, depending on the bank.
These two numbers together correspond to the European IBAN number, i.e. the international bank identification number. Whichever money transfer method you choose, you will need these numbers.

What are the fees to open an Australian bank account?

Opening a current account is free at most Australian banks. However, fixed account operating fees, often monthly, may apply (about $5/month). Check with your bank, as these fees can be waived under certain conditions (if you are under 25, you are a student, you have a minimum income each month, etc.). In general, these fees are not applied within the first year of you opening a bank account.

transfer money australia

How to transfer money to Australia?

Once your Australian account is available, you will have 2 options to transfer your money:

  • Go through your bank in Europe and make a classic international transfer
  • Go through a specialised international transfer platform (recommended).

Make a bank transfer to Australia (through your bank)

Too often European banks don’t know how to make a transfer to Australia. They’ll ask you to provide them with the IBAN and BIC numbers of the account you want to transfer to, which doesn’t exist in Australia. You will need to bring your BSB + Account Number (= IBAN) and ask your Australian bank for its SWIFT code (= BIC) and voilà!

Once your bank in Europe has made the transfer order to your Australian account, allow approximately 5 days to receive your money. To avoid any delay, make sure that you do not exceed the transfer limit authorised by your bank and of course that you have sufficient funds in your starting account.

How much does it cost?

The main disadvantage of international transfers is that it is expensive! European banks will generally charge you transfer fees (around 25 Euros of fixed fees + commission). In addition, the process is often long and the exchange rate that will be applied to your transfer will be very low.

Indeed, most of the time the bank does not tell you the exchange rate that will be applied during your transaction … Although some banks in the UK and US have agreements with Australian banks they still charge high transfer fees or apply daily limits. And even if your bank offers to offer you transfer fees, be careful. What is important is not the price of the transfer, but rather the exchange rate applied.

Transfer money with Online Money Transfer Services: recommended

The main advantage is that the exchange rates are much more competitive than those of the banks. Indeed, these are international companies that have accounts in many countries. In most cases, they use their local accounts to receive and send funds. Thus the transfer of money generates very few intermediary bank charges. This will allow you to make great savings on each transfer!

How to transfer money to an account in Australia via a platform:

  1. You make a transfer free of charge (Euros -> Euros) to a European account of which the chosen company (Wise, CurrencyFair,…) you will receive contact details.
  2. The company receives the money in their European account, it converts it to a rate close to that of the market (Euros ->AUDollars) and makes it available on your Australian account.
  3. It performs a wire transfer to your account in Australian Dollars -> AUDollars) and you will receive dollars from an account in Australia, here again, you will have no bank fees.

How much does it cost?

These transfer companies get paid on the margin they make by applying an exchange rate slightly below the market rate. To this, they can be added transfer fees, of around 3 to 8 EUR, depending on whether you want a faster transfer.

Comparison of the two options

For a transfer of £1000 (exchange rates from February 2024) – comparaison between a traditional bank and CurrencyFair:

Via bankVia CurrencyFair
Fixed costs£20 (sometimes offered)0 AUD
(1st transfer free)
The market rate1 POUND = 1.9325563 AUD1 POUND = 1.9325563 AUD
The exchange rate applied1 POUND = 1.8799AUD1 POUND = 1.9275 AUD
Amount received1 842.30 AUD1 927.50 AUD

Which makes a difference of more than 80 AUD!

Recommended international money transfer companies

Here is a small selection of three major international transfer platforms which, according to our experience and the various user comments, constitute the most advantageous means of transferring money to Australia. All these companies are very secure and their services have obviously been tested by us and many travellers.

We remind you, however, that it is necessary to open an account in Australia in order to be able to make a transfer.



  • Exchange rate very close to the real rate
  • Very secure system
  • Transfer fees: 4 AUD (the first 5 transfers are free thanks to our partnership)
  • Transfer time from 1 to 2 days (4 to 5 days for the first transfer)
  • Online assistance available
  • Simple system, easy to use.


To benefit from 5 free transfers, register here:

For more information on CurrencyFair: CurrencyFair – Free transfer



  • Offers one of the best exchange rate (close to actual market rate)
  • Online assistance
  • Transfer fee: $5.14
  • Transfer time: 1 to 2 days (allow 4 to 5 days for the first transfer)
  • Simple and easy system
  • Mobile app available.

WISE – 1st transfer free

Create your Wise account and make your first transfer for free (for any transfer of more than £500)!

For more information on Wise: How to Transfer Money with Wise

Tips for a Smooth Transfer

  • Check for Fees: Understand all associated fees, including transfer fees and any receiving bank charges.
  • Know the Exchange Rate: Compare the rate you’re offered with the current market rate to ensure you’re getting a good deal.
  • Transfer Limits: Some services have minimum and maximum transfer amounts. Ensure your transfer amount complies.
  • Transfer Time: Depending on the method, transfers can be instant or take several days. Plan accordingly.
  • Safety First: Only use reputable services to ensure your money and personal information are secure.

Other ways to transfer your money to Australia

If you are just passing through and do not want to open an Australian bank account, there are different ways you can still use your money there.

Use an online bank

More and more online banks are offering free payments abroad, regardless of the currency! Practical, especially when travelling, online banks are more economical than conventional banks and allow you to carry out all your transactions from your smartphone. The best known are the banks N26 and Revolut which will allow you to withdraw and pay in Australia free of charge.

Withdrawing money with a bank card from your home country

There are several banks and different types of credit cards, but with all of them, you have to pay fees when withdrawing money from an ATM in Australia. Most of the banks apply fixed fees for each withdrawal plus a commission on the withdrawal amount (usually between 2% and 3,5%).

For example, if you withdraw 100£:
+ 4£ of fixed fees,
+ 3% commission,
+ 2£ to pay to the bank of the country you are withdrawing from
= 100 + 4 + 100 * 0,035 = 109,5£

Using your bank services, you already lose approximately 10£ on a 100£ withdrawal!
And even if your bank is promising you a free withdrawal, just think about the exchange rate! Since banks apply low exchange rates, you will definitely lose money.

By paying directly with your bank card from your home country, you will still have international bank charges to pay. And depending on the bank, you will have a fixed rate + a commission rate relating to the amount of the payment. These fees and rates vary again depending on the bank. In general, they are slightly lower than those applied when withdrawing from an ATM.

In addition, an exchange rate is imposed by the VISA or MASTERCARD centre for each purchase. This rate can be that of the same day or that of the day before. In all cases, it won’t be as good as the market exchange rate.

Exchanging money in a currency exchange office

Currency exchange offices offer exchange rates lower than the market rate to obtain a commission on each exchange. Using these services is recommended for short trips or stopover in a country. But it is not suitable for people intending to live in the same country for several months.

Moreover, be sure to avoid offices in airports as they usually offer even lower exchange rates than offices in the city centre.

Pay through Mobile Apps

Apps like PayPal, Venmo, and Revolut simplify sending money internationally with just a few taps on your smartphone. Watch out for fees and exchange rates, which can vary. Be aware, however, that PayPal charges significant fees and will charge you up to 5% border fees and over 3.5% conversion fees.

Remember to check the exchange rate applied at the time of your transfer. Also check the transfer fees before choosing this option.

Cash Pickup Services

Western Union and MoneyGram allow you to send money that can be picked up in cash in Australia. This method is useful if the recipient needs immediate access to cash but tends to have higher fees.


How much time does a money transfer take via a platform?

The time a transfer takes depends on four different factors.
1. Departure and destination countries: in general, whatever the currency, the conversion takes a maximum of 2 days. The speed of the transfer also depends on the payment methods available in your source currency and the processing of incoming transfers by your beneficiary bank.
2. Your means of payment: transfers made from a credit/debit card are immediate. Bank transfers, on the other hand, take longer. You can get an idea of ​​the duration of the transfer when you choose your payment method. Note that rapid transfers are subject to additional fees.
3. Timing of payment: Transfers are only processed during business hours. In addition, be aware of holidays and weekends as well.
4. Security checks: Following the creation of your account, it may happen that during your first transfers, platforms such as Wise or CurrencyFair may need to verify your identity (address or source of your money). This step is for your security. As a general rule, allow between 1 and 5 days, depending on whether this is your first transfer or not.

Why transfer your money via an international transfer platform?

The major incentive here is to benefit from the best exchange rates. A specialised money transfer service will apply a rate extremely close to that of the market, unlike a bank which have less favourable rates. In addition, the fees when you go through a platform are lower (generally free for the first transfer(s). A bank will charge you transfer, conversion and administration costs. The savings you make are significant!

Is Wise reliable?

The Wise platform is extremely secure. Used by over 13 million customers across 80 countries, the platform transfers over £6 billion every month. Wise Inc is registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) under Money Service Registration Number 31000065314305.

Is it safe to transfer money via CurrencyFair?

With over 10 years of experience, CurrencyFair has already traded over $15 billion since its launch. The company has all the necessary accreditations and is controlled by the financial authorities of all the countries where it operates. CurrencyFair is rated 4.6/5 from over 5,700 reviews on TRUSTPILOT.

What is the exchange rate, and how is it determined?

The exchange rate is the rate at which one currency is exchanged for another. It is determined by currency markets and can fluctuate. Banks and transfer services often offer their own exchange rates, which may have a markup compared to the mid-market rate.

What is the equivalent of an IBAN in Australia?

When you create your Australian bank account, you will be given a bank identification number consisting of two numbers.
The BSB number indicates the code of the Australian bank (6 digits).
The account number is your account number (between 6 and 9 digits depending on the bank).
These two numbers together correspond to the European IBAN number.

What information is required to send money to Australia?

To initiate a transfer, you’ll typically need the recipient’s full name, bank account details, including the bank’s name and branch, and the recipient’s SWIFT/BIC code (for international transfers). You may also need to provide identification and complete any required forms.

Can I track the progress of my money transfer to Australia?

Many service providers offer tracking services that allow you to monitor the status of your transfer online and receive confirmation when the funds are delivered to the recipient.
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Australia Backpackers Guide
The ultimate guide to work and travel around Australia with a Working Holiday Visa! Get all the tips and advice from other backpackers. The first travel guide written by Backpackers for Backpackers in Australia!!!


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