Send money abroad as a French living in the USA


I’ve decided to share with you my experience as an expat who need to send money abroad, in my case from USA to France. The first job I found was in New York, I just had finished school and needed to pay back my student loan, so I needed to transfer USD to France.

How do you send money abroad?

Before leaving to the USA, I went to my bank in France, LCL, and asked them if they had a partnership with an American one so that I could easily set up a monthly transfer to pay back my loan. At that time they did not but told me that it would cost me nothing to send money abroad from the USA. I just had to do a wire transfer from my American bank to my French account.

It is exactly what I did the first month I arrived there and I can tell you that it was the last one! I ended up losing 10% of the amount I had sent. I sent $500 and received the equivalent of $450!


Let me ask the right question now…

How do you send money abroad avoiding your bank? 🙂

You basically have 2 choices. You can go for high street operators such as Western Union or Moneygram. They are extremely famous worldwide as they have branches in almost every street corners. However they remain extremely expensive. You’ll be paying between 8 to 10% fees using their solution. Note that they do not guarantee your money, so if something wrong happen, it is very unlikely that you’ll see your money again. You can find their office in post offices or go to their websites as they now offer online money transfers. Personally I would not go for them to send money abroad.

Last but not least: you can use an online money transfer operator, peer-to-peer, such as Transferwise, World Remit or Azimo. Such actors recently appeared on the market and offer very competitive prices: very low fees (4% of the transaction maximum) and operate very quickly (you generally receive the money 2 to 3 days after it’s been sent). I have been using this kind of operator to send money abroad each month and I must say that I am extremely satisfied with any of them.

To conclude, if you need to send money abroad make sure you get all the information before choosing one operator.

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