*Long post, I would recommend the variables in the strategy section as the most important information.


This article will give the steps to send the money, but before and much more important, the variables to consider in your strategy of sending. The prices among the options fluctuate for sure, but the strategy is where the real savings are.

Some other countries just don’t use cash anymore, some other are in half way. Canada is not that easy to use only electronic money as debt, then it’s important to understand that people often use cash, and prepare to withdraw some money. It’s also paid, let’s understand how to work to spend less in exchanges.

Ingredients: 1 Spreadsheet, 1 goal, 1 plan to taste, 10 Calls, patience, and let’s start…

Strategy – Things to Consider Before Choose the Best Way to Send your Money

Different needs, different strategies. The best thing to do is fill a spreadsheet with the variables above as columns and fill the information with your researchers to design the plan:

How long you will stay: For a person who is going to stay only four or six weeks, probably the amount os money is low, even for people who wants to shopping a lot. In this case, you can attenuate the risk in two or 3 times of sending, but still pretty close, and the changes are not relevant to demand big strategies, and efforts. In the other hand, people who will stay for more time, like 6 months, 1 year or more, should consider a more elaborate strategy, looking also to other factors below. In general, the best way to send is according to the economic trends and exchange rate, in amounts of 5 or 10 thousand (for example); after all, even if the forecast was wrong, the risk is reduced and the loss and earns stay in the average.

How much you have to transfer each time: First consider that a part of this money should be proved in the visa process, the good news is that they accept proof in two currencies. Slice the money (slice size) in equal parts that make sense with your amount: 2 thousand, 5 thousand, 10 thousand, but always remember that it can affect the fee in some types of transactions.

The Economy is playing for or against now: First look the price exchange a year ago, six months ago. Is it stable or floating in the first decimal place? It’s easy to trust when the rate is solid because is also obvious that the price is not going to change that much.  In the other hand, work with crazy rates should be done with caution, may help to save money but also let open losing easily. How are the exchanges rate for your country?

Playing against: Changing politics, or losing investments? Be fast! Neither the best economists are able to be sure 100% about the rates, and if this money is needed in the short term, it’s important to dissolute but also send it quickly.

Playing pro: Just the needed is the best answer! As much is possible to extend, as much will be saved. Enjoy the dip to buy currency while it’s in the fall or in the early beginning of rising movements to buy the currency.

As much steps, as many intermediaries to pay: Some types consider companies in It’s really easier to send money to U.S., and some people consider the option of sending there before Canada, however, the intermediation is paid, and it can be a big mistake in the end. There are possibilities to earn money this way, but the risks are really really high.

The currency value is always different to the commercial quotation and is extremely important to consider this gap between both can be from 3 cents to 25 cents, when this is multiplied thousands, turn into a huge amount.

May apply taxes related to the country.

After considerate all these topics, it’s about 80% of the work, you’ll feel ready to make the first quotation and also consider useless some tactics in the beginning. The first step – Done!

Ways so send

So with the criteria already planned, is easier to find the best way. The second step is to have a base quotation to compare while call and negotiate in the options and conditions below. It can be easily done with apps. For iPhones, I really recommend “Currency” for the quotation now and “Convert” to see history line of quotations, including during the day.

Follow the options and their criteria:

Buy Cash

Limited option for long trips. Not good for somebody who will stay for a long time abroad. To bring cash, the exchange operator has to sell everything before the trip, what makes limited the quotation options.

The best option when the trip is short and the investment is not so high. Cheap places in Canada accept cash, and even the transportation can be paid this way.

Remember: 1) Always to compare with the official quotation and 2) Above 10 thousand you need to declare.

International Transfer (Banks)

The most difficult requirement to do this transaction is to have the counterpart account to send the money in, but once the account is open, the transaction is easy to be done.The way the sender behave may vary, taking from 2 to 5 business days to be completed. The other option is open an account in international banks as HSBC or CITI- Sorry, I only know the Brazilian quotation, ask me if you want this – But their charges are really expensive.

Banks usually charge both: the price of exchange (1) and/or the fee per transaction (2).

Some banks work with fixed fee per transaction and low exchange rate, while some other say they don’t charge the fee, but usually, they exchange rate is really expensive if compared with the commercial. Always pay attention to both.

Usually and sadly, calling is the best way to negotiate these prices, because do it electronically  is based on fixed prices.

*This way can be used in strategies as send in once or in slices, because after the first quotation and discover wich one is the best, the prices vary is about the same if compared to each other.

Tutorial: The information how to do step by step will be in the Bank page, in the International area.

Western Union

This option works with or without Banks (but always remember the intermediate rule). The receipt can take the money at Western Union centre,  or wait for the credit to be done in the banking account. The good sign is that this is a non-profit organization and sometimes can be cheap than a bank, on the other hand, banks are more robust and have scale that WU haven’t.

A serie of conditions and types of transactions can be seen in this way to send. Check the list of prices and conditions to be sure if it fits in your strategy.

Prepaid cards from Western Union works as well, and also works in ATM to withdraw.

Tutorial: Western Union – How it works

Payment Order

This type of transfer is for somebody to pay something, generally services as school, course, homestay, hotel, it’s an excellent option. The payment order can be done not just by Banks but also by other Financial Institutions as the exchange trader in your country. Have to be done in each category and beneficiary as needed, for example: school is one transaction, homestay/rent is another transaction and so on.


It’s a young company, alternative and cheaper than others when the topic “exchange rate”, but limited to 10 thousand dollars. This company only charges the fee and not exchanges prices in the commercial quotation. In the first transaction no fee, amazing hun?! According to their website, their service is 8x cheaper than banks.

Ok but the life is not so easy, Transferwise only works if there is an account in the destination, the beneficiary have to have a bank account.

Here is the Transferwise Page. In this page is possible to access the menu “How Transferise Works” and have the explanation in details.


Combining the strategies, negotiating in different places, considering the amount of money, the risk of the economy and the size of your slice, not always the cheapest way to send money will be cheaper for your. The spreadsheet comparing this will tell you. It was not in my sending for example.

There is this bunch of options that may work or no for you, remembering always that the most important thing is the entire strategy of sending and not just the connector between your country and Canada.

Good luck, have a nice trip! 😉