Cheapest Way To Transfer Money from Canada to India – 6 Options Compared
Cheapest Way To Transfer Money from Canada to India
According to the the World Bank, India holds the top position when it comes to receiving money from other countries. This may be because a lot of Indians are residing in the USA, Canada, UAE, Saudi, etc. In 2016 alone, Indians from Canada send over 2 billion CAD to India. Cheapest Way To Transfer Money from Canada to India
RBI Rules On Money Transfer
RBI’s Liberalized Remittance Scheme (also known as LRS) allows resident individuals (Indian nationals and expatriates) to remit foreign exchange of a maximum of US$250,000 (or equivalent) per Indian financial year. Resident individuals can usually send foreign exchange overseas for one of the following purposes:
- Overseas education expenses
- Medical treatment
- Care for a close relative
- Emigration fees
- Visa fees
- International visits for private purposes
The individual needs to hold an appropriate account at an RBI authorised dealer, generally a bank having international branches. He or she needs to designate a specific branch of the particular bank, using which he or she will be making all foreign exchange remittances under the LRS. The individual can also make overseas remittances through an entity which is not a bank (but has appropriate permission from the RBI to deal in foreign exchange), but the remittance has to be funded from a bank.
Earlier, it was not necessary to produce PAN card for money transfer transactions abroad up to USD 25,000 or its equivalent. However, in April 2018, this rule was amended. Now, it is mandatory to produce the PAN card for all remittance transactions from India to Abroad regardless of the amount being transferred. This is to ensure that a resident individual is being compliant to the LRS limit of USD 2,50,000 in a single financial year.
When it comes to Canada, you are allowed to send money to someone you closely related to, be it your wife/husband, child, parents, etc. This money would be tax-free and considered as gift. However, if the person you are sending money (above 950 CAD) is not related to you then it may add to your tax.
In any case, the tax department keeps a close eye on money transfer above 10,000 CAD. So I suggest you keep the amount below that, and while transferring put remarks and mention it as gift.
What Are The Options
There are many ways you can use to send money from abroad to India or otherwise. These are
- Demand Draft
- Transfer Via International Beneficiary
- Transfer Using Forex Card
- Using Online Remit Service from Banks
- Online Remittance companies
Now, let me tell that sending money using a Demand Draft or International Beneficiary is not a good option. As it may takes longer time and due to elevated exchange rate, you will end up loosing a good amount of money.
Transferring using Forex card can be a better option as if you opt for a Forex card then you do not have to pay for the cross-currency fees which banks usually charges if the transfer is via a debit card or credit card. You can load your forex card in the currency you want to send and then transact the same currency. But again, the loading and reloading of forex card can have additional charges and also the exchange rate of Forex card will be little expensive then the other two options.
In recent years, several banks have started the online remittance services. The process is not that lengthy as 2–3 years earlier, but again the problem is with the bad exchange rate. If you opt for a bank to transfer the money you may need to open a bank account, visit the bank to do this transfer.
The last option using the online remittance companies is the best option. The entire process is online and you will see that the exchange rate is much better than banks. As the market has become competitive, there are fierce competition among them which has resulted in a good exchange rate. Sometimes the exchange rate is almost the same as the real exchange rate you would find in Google or Xe.
What To Look Out For
There can be many reasons for you to transfer money from Canada to India – living expenses, college fees, business purposes. So depending on your requirements, you shall also look out for the below criteria when using an online remittance
- Reliability – How reliable is the money transfer service, you are choosing?
- Speed – How soon do you need it to get there? You may end up paying more if speed is a priority.
- Exchange rate – Are you getting the best rate or are you paying more for convenience or speed?
- Hidden Fees – Are you paying more than you should? Sending money using a debit or credit card may have fees attached.
- Convenience – How easy was the experience from start to finish? Could you do it online or did you have to go to a location to complete the transfer? Is there an app that makes it even easier?
- Tracking – Are you be able to track the process online? Or you need to call the customer care or visit the branch
Options For Sending Money From Canada to India
Now let’s see if you are sending money from Canada to India, what are the options and which is the most reliable and cheapest option available.
There are basically two options to send money
- Online remittance companies
Here, I will not be talking about Bank, because the bank uses the mid-market rate and you will always find that their exchange rates are expensive than online remittance companies.
When it comes to online remittance companies. There are quite a few options. Let’s assume that you want to send 5000 CAD to India and see how they are performing.
1 – Transferwise (Avail Offer on Transfer Fee)
TransferWise is an online money transfer service, which lets you transfer money up to eight times more cheaply than with a bank. It is one of the most popular apps/sites and has the highest customer satisfaction ratings on Google play and Trustpilot. TransferWise was founded in 2010 by two financial gurus and its system is beautifully simple. It bypasses pricey international payments entirely by using two local transfers instead of one international transaction.
Is Transferwise Reliable?
Google Play Ratings
It is also one of the fastest growing online remittance companies (more than 7 million customers) having more than 50% over last few years. You would see that their profit has not increased as much as their revenue. This is because the company is expanding and growing its customer base, and another most important thing is its attractive exchange rate and low transfer fees as compared to its peers.
How Transferwise Works?
Transferwise works in three different steps (in this case, Canada to India transfer)
- You send money from your Canadian bank to their Canadian bank
- Transferwise transfers money from their Canadian bank to Indian bank
- Transferwise sends money from their Indian bank to your Indian bank
For safety purposes, Transferwise might ask to verify your address when you use TransferWise. They are a financial institution and it helps them combat money laundering, and keep everyone’s money safe.
Now let me show you where does Transferwise stand when you compared it with other options for sending money from Canada to India. There is a current offer going on Transferwise for relaxation on Transfer Fee. So you can avail of this offer by following the link I shared above. Using this you would see no transfer fee is charged on the low transfer amount and the reduced transfer fee at a large amount.
How much can I send?
You can send up to 1.5 million GBP per transfer to a private individual. You can send up to 15 lakhs per day to businesses. However, the minimum amount is 20,000 INR.
How long does it usually take for the money to arrive?
Once TransferWise receives and converts your money, it usually takes 1 working day to arrive in your recipient’s bank account. Conversion can take up to 2 working days. The first transfer can take longer time but the successive transfer is usually quicker.
If you use transfers for the first time, you can save on the transfer fee using the above link I shared. The first transfer can usually take 2–3 days as it may require you to verify your identity and/or address, but the successive transfer would be quick.
- Cheap because of the real-time middle-market exchange rates.
- Convenient (online or in-app), no visit to the branch required
- The minimum payment amount is £2 (or the equivalent in other currencies).
- The maximum payment amount is £1 million.
- Lock-in rate available for 24-72 hours
- Highest customer rating on all platforms – Google Play, TrustPilot, Monito, etc.
- The first transfer can take 2-3 business days
- A large amount of money may require to verify the address.
- A credit card may not always be approved
- Not all countries are included, for example – India-China, Israel-India, etc.
- No flexibility on margins for larger transfers.
2 – Currency Fair
CurrencyFair is rather unique through its P2P (Wikipedia) platform and offers huge savings on international transfers compared to banks and compare very well with other similar services. It is quite simple. With CurrencyFair, you can choose your own exchange rate in their peer-to-peer marketplace as long as another user (transferring in the other direction) matches or accepts your rate.
- Inexpensive options available for both individuals & businesses
- Great control over each step (if desired)
- Two low-cost options to exchange & send money: match FX rates with peers or send money with CurrencyFair’s best rates (matches the mid-market rate)
- Not available in the US
- Limited number of currencies supported (21)
- Can only transfer into bank accounts (mobile wallets not supported)
3 – Remitly
Remitly is a digital remittance service on a mission to make the money transfer process faster, affordable, and more transparent. It has around 2 million customers worldwide.
- Offers two money transfer options: Express and Economy
- Can send money to bank accounts, mobile wallets, cash pick up locations
- Offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee where they refund the fees if your transfer doesn’t reach on time (See “Costs and fees” below)
- Many ways to fund your transfer (See “ Ways to Send Money” below)
- Sending large sums (above $1000) is cheaper
- Easy tracking for both senders and recipients
- Limits transfers to family (and sometimes friends; only personal transfers supported)
- Doesn’t offer a business account
- Complex fee structure
- Doesn’t support transfers between the 16 sender countries
4 – Skrill
With the innovative solutions it offers, Skrill has gone a long way since it first started its services in 2001; capturing the global market and having some of the world’s top brands from various fields as its customer. It has become one of the most trusted names when it comes to money transfer services and payment processing.
- Wide availability in 200 countries
- Both Personal and Business options available
- Ability to work with forex and online gambling accounts
- No fixed transfer fee when you send money directly to a bank account
- Send money easily to an email address or phone number linked to a bank account
- Buy and sell crypto currency
- Offers a prepaid card powered by MasterCard
- User-friendly mobile app
- Getting fully operational can be tedious
- Complex fee structure
- High currency exchange fees for “Skrill to Skrill” international transfers
5 – State Bank of India (Amount Received – 2,72,600 INR)
SBI is India’s largest bank which operates foreign offices network and has correspondent banking arrangement with about 600 banks worldwide. You can send and receive money internationally through SBI accounts using any of the methods described below.
- SBI Express Remit
- SBI Demand Draft
- SBI Wire Transfer
- SBI Personal Cheque
I also included the SBI rate here so as to give you an idea that where Tranferwise is giving exchange rate around 55.2 , the bank is giving the exchange rate as 54.5. Ch
More than 4,000,000 customers use our money transfer service and many of them choose to do so on our app – a faster and more convenient way to send money worldwide. We offer low fees and guaranteed exchange rates in any case, and to get started, you can now use the code 3FREE and save the fees in your first three money transfers abroad.
- Easy to Use
- Reasonable Fees
- Excellent Customer Reviews
- Worldwide network
- Fees are not clear enough
- Cash is not accepted
- Government-issued ID required
Way To Transfer Money from Canada to India
Overall you can see that Transferwise is the best option followed by Currency Fair. Also, there is reduced transfer fee at Transferwise. which can be availed following the link I shared above.
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