cheapest way to transfer money

What Is The Cheapest Way To Transfer Money Internationally?

Getting paid is an important part of not just freelancing but for running many other online businesses.

Especially when you’re working with clients from different countries all over the world, receiving payments often becomes a challenge.

Mainly because different countries have restrictions on sending payments. For example, PayPal is not available in many countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and more.

As a freelancer, this usually means you have to use traditional ways to receive payments from clients. Or you’ll have to resort to other uncommon platforms. What you don’t realize is the hidden fees behind these platforms.

So what is the best way to send or receive payments internationally? Let’s find out.

Hidden Fees Of Money Transfers

Every online payment service charges you a small fee for processing payments. Of course, if it’s a small fee, you would happily pay it to safely receive your hard-earned money.

But the problem is most online payment processing platforms charge heavily for sending money internationally.

For example, if a client from the US wants to send $1,000 to a freelancer in India via PayPal, the platform will charge around $45 as its processing fee. And that’s on top of the credit card processing fees the client will have to cover on their side.

In most cases, the client will often deduct this fee from the amount they send. Now, $45 may not seem like a big amount but for a freelancer living in India, it’s worth a lot.

Almost every money-transferring platform out there uses transaction fee structures similar to PayPal, sometimes even worse.

Thankfully, there are a few platforms that are proven to be cheaper for transferring money internationally.

Why Wise Is Better For International Transfers


Wise (previously Transferwise) is one of the best alternatives you can use to send and receive money internationally. This platform is known to charge the lowest fees on any payment processing site.

If we were to use the same example as above. When a US-based client uses Wise to send $1,000 to India, the platform will only charge a fee of $7.56.

Needless to say, it’s significantly lower than almost every other international money-transferring method out there.

I’ve been using Wise for receiving payments from my clients for a long time. Sometimes I’ll even have to persuade clients to use it when they are not aware of it. But in the end, it’s definitely worth it.

Wise is beneficial for clients too. So they are often happy to use it to send payments.

Other Cheap Ways To Transfer Money Internationally

Wise is obviously my go-to choice for receiving payments as a freelancer. Additionally, there are other ways you can use to receive money from international clients.



Payoneer is one of the most popular PayPal alternatives among freelancers. It’s convenient and easy to use.

One benefit of using Payoneer is that when you’re receiving payments from another Payoneer user, it doesn’t charge any platform fees. So the only fee your client has to pay is their credit card processing fee.

Payoneer also allows you to receive payments directly via receiving accounts, which works like bank accounts. There are no fees for using this function as well.

However, Payoneer charges a hefty fee of 3% when charging clients directly for credit card payments.



Skrill is another great alternative for sending money internationally. This platform is popular among gambling users but it’s useful for freelancers too.

The platform has zero fees for sending money internationally via bank transfers. And it’s only 1% fee for sending money via debit card. For credit cards, there’s a 3.99% fee.

An important thing to keep in mind when using sites like Payoneer or Skrill is that they also have currency conversion fees. This means they will charge an additional fee when you withdraw money from your account.



This is a new website that you should keep an eye out. It works like a combination of Wise and Payoneer but also works like a bank account as well.

When you create an account on Revolut it gives you a card that works just like a credit card. Payoneer has this function too but Revolut offers cheaper fees.

For standard users, the platform charges a 1.5% fee for transactions. But the services is currently only available in limited number of countries. This may change in the future.

In Conclusion

This is not an ad or a sponsored post for Wise. It’s mainly a PSA about the hidden fees charged by payment processing platforms. I only wanted to educate freelancers on how to avoid paying for such platform fees.

Be smart about what you use to send and receive payments. And educate your clients on this topic as well. You’ll save a lot in the process and help your clients along the way.