Personal international money transfers - Colin buys a boat for his great Mediterranean fishing trip

Colin lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland, just three blocks from the beach, so he’s a keen fisherman. He’s been dreaming of a Mediterranean fishing trip for years now, and since he’s just retired, he decides it’s time to buy a boat and set out.

After shopping around, he finds a deal that’s just too good to pass up - a 34 foot, seagoing fishing boat priced at €14,000! It’s perfect, and he can just imagine sitting on the deck with a stubby and a fishing rod in hand.

The boat is in the Mediterranean Ocean, floating just off the coast of Filiatra in Greece. Colin decides to make a personal international money transfer and buy the boat before he sets off on his trip, so he knows it’s there waiting for him.

His options for transferring money internationally

Colin does some research and works out that there are a few different options to make an international money transfer to the seller of the boat. He can:

  • Transfer with his bank

This option appeals to Colin because it’s easy - he doesn’t have to set up any new accounts or transfer money from his bank to a new provider. He also trusts his current bank, so it seems like a good idea to let them handle such a large transaction.

  • Sign up with an IMT specialist

Colin’s daughter has suggested looking into a provider who specialises in international money transfers. There are a couple of extra steps with this option, but the great exchange rates and low fees on offer might just make it worth the effort.

  • Write an international cheque

Although Colin is comfortable using cheques in his day-to-day life, he’s a little worried about what will happen if this one goes missing in the mail between Queensland and Greece. Plus, there are some hefty fees to get his hands on the internationally guaranteed cheque.

  • Use Paypal

Colin already has a Paypal account set up for when he makes online purchases, and he thinks this could be a safe and easy way to transfer the money. But now that he’s making such a large transfer, the fees quickly start to add up, until his new boat starts looking awfully expensive.

Colin decides pretty quickly that an international cheque or using Paypal aren’t the best options here. So he has a closer look at his other two options - transferring through his bank and choosing an IMT specialist.

What he should look for in an IMT offer

Before Colin can decide which is the best option for transferring the money to buy his boat, he needs to know what he’s looking for in an IMT deal.

There are five main things that will determine if the deal he’s offered is the right one for him:

  • The exchange rate. One of the most important things Colin needs to look for is a good exchange rate. This rate will determine how many Euros he gets for his Aussie money - his first priority is snagging a great exchange rate!
  • Fees. Fees and charges can sometimes be the biggest difference between sending money overseas with a bank or a specialist IMT provider - and they can make a big difference to how much money your transfer is worth at the other end! Colin is looking for a low fee option.
  • The transfer limit. Some banks and IMT providers have minimum and maximum amounts that can be transferred in a single transaction. Colin needs to make sure his amount is in line with those.
  • The transfer time. Colin wants to get this deal done as quick as possible, so he can get fishing. He’s conscious of the fact that transfers can take anywhere between 1 and 5 business days to go through, so he’s looking for the provider with the best turnaround time.
  • Convenience. Colin doesn’t want to have to go through a lot of hassle to make the transfer - after all, he’s meant to be retired! So he needs to make sure that there are convenient transfer options available to him, like the ability to complete the transaction online or over the phone.

Armed with this list of things he needs, Colin compares his options.

How do his bank and an IMT specialist compare?

Colin takes a look at the offer from his bank and from an IMT specialist he has found online. Here’s how they stack up:

BankIMT specialist
Exchange rate1 AUD buys €0.6373
1 AUD buys €0.6704
FeesColin’s bank will charge a set fee of $30 to make the transfer in person, or $22 if he does it himself online.The provider Colin chooses, like many other IMT specialists he looked at, charges no transaction fees for amounts over $10,000. Great!
Transfer limitHis transfer limit will be subject to the usual daily withdrawal limit from his bank, which is $2,000.While some IMT specialist have no limits, the one Colin has chosen has a $40,000 limit on online transactions. This is still easily a high enough limit for him to make his transfer.
Transfer time1-5 days1-3 days
ConvenienceSince he already has an account here, it’s convenient for Colin to make an international money transfer. There’s also the option to set the transfer up online, over the phone or in a branch.Colin will have to set up an account with the IMT specialist, and after that, he can make the transfer either over the phone or online.

Crunching the numbers

He’s not quite decided yet, so Colin fires up his calculator and does some math to work out which deal will save him more money.

After running the numbers, it’s pretty clear to Colin that the IMT specialist is the better deal - a saving of over $1,000 is nothing to sneeze at - so he sets up an account and does the transfer using their service.

What details he’ll need to buy the boat

But it’s not over yet! Setting up his account with the IMT specialist is the first step in successfully transferring the money and getting his hands on his boat. Colin also needs to provide a number of details for the transfer to go through, including: 

  • His personal details (name, address, date of birth and phone number)
  • His account details (for the bank account the money is coming out of)
  • The recipients details (name, address and bank account details)
  • The details of the recipient's bank (full name, as well as the SWIFT/BIC code)

Once he has all these details, he can go ahead and set up the transfer. Once the payment goes through, all he has left to do is book his flight, slap on some sunscreen, and he can start his Mediterranean fishing adventure!

Buying a boat overseas?

If, like Colin, you’ve found the perfect little fishing boat halfway around the world, then you might need to make an international money transfer as well.

First things first, head over and read our guide about buying a boat overseas so you know what you’re getting yourself into. Then you can drop by our IMT hub to check out what rates are available for transferring money into a range of different currencies.

Now, what are you waiting for? All those fish aren’t going to catch themselves!