Flight Centre Money Transfer Review: Fees, rates and transfer times

Samuel Clennett
31.07.20
4 minute read

If you’re planning on sending money overseas, you’ll want to research a range of providers to find the right service for your needs. Flight Centre offers international payments through Travel Money Oz, in a broad range of currencies.

This guide will walk through all you need to know about sending money overseas with Flight Centre, including the process, options and fees. We’ll also give a comparison with an alternative provider - Wise - to help you find the service which is best for you.

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What are the fees for an international money transfer with Flight Centre?

Flight Centre partners with Travel Money Oz¹ for currency services. You’ll be able to buy currency, top up a prepaid card, or make an international transfer through the Travel Money Oz website or in store.

When it comes to sending money overseas with Travel Money Oz, you have a couple of options.

You can make a payment directly through Travel Money Oz, which is facilitated by TorFX and designed for large payments of AUD10,000² or more. Alternatively you can use their partnership with MoneGram to send money either directly to a bank account, or for cash collection³.

To see the fees for either option, you’ll need to create an account and get a quote.

Travel Money Oz states that there is no transaction fee for sending money using the TorFX service - but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s free. You may well pay a charge in the form of an exchange rate markup - we’ll explore that a little more in a moment.

MoneyGram states transfers to most countries can be made for a fee of AUD1.99. However, the terms and conditions do also note that MoneyGram and their agents make money from currency exchange. Again, this is likely to mean there’s an additional fee wrapped up in the exchange rate you’re given. This can mean your payment is more expensive than you expect.

What are the currencies that Flight Centre supports?

Flight Centre international transfers through TorFX and MoneyGram cover 60+ countries and currencies⁴. Create an account to see if your destination country is available.

Don’t forget, you can also check out the currencies and great rates available through Wise, here.

What is the Flight Centre exchange rate?

When you’re sending money overseas, one thing that can make it hard to know if you’re getting good value is the fact that exchange rates change all the time. That can make it tricky to see if an exchange rate markup has been added to the rate you’re offered by a specific provider.

The best way to check if there’s a markup added to the exchange rate you’re offered by Flight Centre, is to compare their rate to the mid-market exchange rate. The mid-market rate is the one banks and currency services get when they buy foreign currency themselves, so it’s a fair benchmark.

Exchange rate markups are common. You may well find an exchange rate markup - also known as a spread - has been added to the rate used by many mainstream providers. This isn’t transparent, and can mean your payment costs more than it needs to.

Here’s what MoneyGram says about the exchange rates they use:

“In addition to the transfer fees applicable to a transaction, a currency exchange rate set by Travel Money Oz or its consultants may be applied….MoneyGram also makes money from currency exchange.”³

Before you choose to use Flight Centre, MoneyGram or Travel Money Oz for a cross border payment, check the rates available against a mid-market competitor like Wise. Because Wise only uses the mid-market rate for payments, it’s easier to see what you’re actually paying for your transfer - and you could save, too.

How long can a transfer with Flight Centre take?

If you’re sending cash for collection with MoneyGram or a similar service, you’ll usually find it’s available quickly - as little as 10 minutes in some circumstances.

However, payments made direct to a bank account will take longer - 3 to 5 business days is normal.

One reason bank payments can take longer is if they’re processed using the SWIFT network. The SWIFT network is commonly used by banks and traditional money transfer services, but it’s not particularly fast, and can mean you run into unexpected fees. That’s because up to 3 banks work to process a single transfer - and they may choose to deduct a service fee as they handle the payment.

Check if your payment will be processed through SWIFT before you confirm it, to ensure there are no nasty surprises.

How does Flight Centre work?

You’ll be able to get travel money through Flight Centre’s partnership with Travel Money Oz. The services available include foreign currency in cash, or pre-loaded debit cards in foreign currencies⁵.

As we have also discussed, Travel Money Oz also facilitates international transfers - more on the processes for sending money overseas with Flight Centre and Travel Money Oz coming right up.

What kind of transfers can you make?

With Flight Centre’s partnership with MoneyGram you can send money in store or online[3]. Depending on where you’re sending to, you may be able to send money for cash collection at a MoneyGram agent near to your recipient, or to a bank account. Direct bank transfers are available to India, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

Flight Centre also offers money transfers through another partnership with TorFX, which is designed for large payments of AUD10,000 or more². To learn about this service you’ll need to set up an account and call or email for a quote.

Does the recipient have to sign up with Flight Centre?

The recipient does not need an account with Flight Centre or MoneyGram in order to receive money.

Are there any limits to the amount you can transfer?

You can send up to the currency equivalent of USD8,000 in a rolling 30 day period.

Is the service available to anyone?

To send money with Flight Centre you must be 18 or over, and have a valid government issued ID document to open your account.

What are some competitors?

Before you choose an international transfer service, you’ll want to look at a few different services to get an idea of which might work best. Check out these competitors to see which suits your needs:

If you’re looking for the best available value for your international payment, the exchange rate really matters. If a bad rate is applied your transfer costs more - or your recipient may get less than you expect them to in the end. Don’t forget to look at both the fees and the exchange rates on offer from different providers to get the best deal out there. You may be able to save with a provider which uses the mid-market exchange rate, like Wise.

Sources:

  1. https://www.travelmoneyoz.com/
  2. https://www.travelmoneyoz.com/international-money-transfers/travel-money-transfers
  3. https://www.travelmoneyoz.com/international-money-transfers/moneygram
  4. https://www.travelmoneyoz.com/frequently-asked-questions/travel-money-transfers
  5. https://www.flightcentre.com.au/flights/planning-your-flight/foreign-currency
  6. https://www.westernunion.com/au/en/home.html
  7. https://www.ofx.com/en-au/
  8. https://www.riamoneytransfer.com/au/en
  9. https://www.paypal.com/au/home

All sources accurate as of 28 July 2020


This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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