Almost every year, people in America send out almost $150 billion. Wow! There are a lot of reasons people send money abroad. Whether you’re travelling, want to send money to family, or to support good causes, a time will most likely come when you want to wire money internationally.
A lot of people do not know exactly how to go about wiring money internationally. But don’t worry, we have compiled 10 of the best services that can help you send money internationally. So let’s get to it!
Ria Money Transfer
Ria is undoubtedly one of the largest money transfer services. Available in over 140 countries and with more than 300,000 agents in all of those countries, sending money with Ria is definitely an option.
Sending money with Ria is as easy as opening their website, entering what amount of money you want to send, and what country you are transferring money to. You will then need to create an account, enter your recipient’s information, and how you would like to pay. With Ria, sending money can be as easy as paying with cash at 7-Eleven. Of course, you can also pay with your credit card, debit card, or through your bank account.
Ria’s exchange rates are not the best but are mostly the prevailing exchange rates. What Ria charges depends on how fast you want the money delivered, where you are sending it to, and the amount you are sending. Recipients can have the money sent to their bank, delivered by courier, or pick it up from Ria agents closest to them.
The major problem with Ria is that they only let you send up to $2,999 per transaction. And over 30 days, the maximum transfer amount is $7,999.
Xoom is another money transfer service founded in 2001 but acquired by PayPal in 2015. Xoom’s main advantage? Speed. With Xoom, a lot of recipients receive the money a lot faster. This speed is, however, also dependent on the location. Due to differences in time zones and banking hours, transfers could also take some time.
So Xoom is fast, but the speed they offer comes at a price. Xoom charges a lot more than its competitors. Most times, fees begin at $5. And although they claim to be transparent about their charges (which they mostly are), a lot of customers fail to notice Xoom’s exchange rate markups. This means that by the time the money is actually delivered to the recipient, the person will most likely receive almost 3% less than the rate you were shown. Other services usually charge between 1% and 2%.
Xoom is also very secure. They offer a money-back guarantee if your transfer does not reach the recipient. Since it is owned by PayPal, you can also be assured the service is regulated. With Xoom, the money could be delivered right to your recipient’s door, and in some countries, you can pay bills for the recipient.
Available in 200 countries with over 300,000 agents located globally, MoneyGram is one of the biggest and most reputable money transfer services. And MoneyGram is perfect if you need to send money to someone who needs it urgently.
In the United States, users can transfer money from their debit card, credit card, or bank account. MoneyGram also offers you the option to transfer money from your digital wallet directly to the recipient’s digital wallet. But in most cases, you send the money to the bank account of the recipient or where they can pick up the cash.
Most MoneyGram transfers are completed within an hour or the same day. Worst case scenario? The next day. Their website also claims you can send up to $10,000 per online transfer in most countries. MoneyGram’s fees are also a bit on the high side since they also use the 3% exchange rate markup, but you can trust the reputation of MoneyGram on this one.
Western Union was founded in 1851, and after almost 160 years in business, it has the biggest network and coverage among money transfer service providers. Over the years, Western Union has established itself in more than 200 countries, with up to 500,000 agents globally. With Western Union, you can send money to virtually everywhere in the world.
Western Union also allows its customers to send and receive physical cash. This means you can send cash from the United States by dropping it off at an agent’s kiosk, and that money can also be picked up by whoever you send it to at a similar kiosk, after 3-5 days. This is usually the most affordable option, but you can also send money faster and for a higher price. Debit or credit card funded transactions can get to your recipient within minutes or a day.
Western Union is also not the cheapest service. Their exchange rate markups vary from under 1% to 6%. It all depends on where you are sending the money to. Western Union also carries out your transfer based on the exchange rate at the time the transfer is made. So, your estimate might not be the actual rate at which Western Union carries out the transfer.
The website is also not the easiest to use and, a lot of people have been defrauded with Western Union’s platform.
OFX is a foreign exchange broker that also offers money transfer services. Founded in Australia but with offices all over the world, OFX lets you send money to more than 130 countries. Since 1998, they have helped customers send over $100 billion and are regulated by the US Department of the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
What makes OFX one of the best is their transfer rates. Their rates are a lot cheaper than what is offered by banks and even other money transfer services. Partnered with about 150 different banks globally, OFX eliminates most charges on your end and on the receiver’s end.
However, OFX is not the best when you intend to transfer small amounts of money. As a matter of fact, OFX’s minimum transfer amount is $1000. With OFX, the more money you send, the less the fees you would have to pay, so to get a really good deal, you would have to be sending up to $7000. OFX also requires both the sender and receiver to have bank accounts. Creating an account of OFX will take some time because they carefully verify identities.
OFX also offers good customer service support. With all of their global offices, you can contact the customer support team 24/7. OFX is also really good for businesses. But for users who do not really know much about the forex market, some terms on the OFX website could be confusing.
Founded in 1993, and with almost 280 million global customers, this list will not be complete without XE. Initially focused on providing the most accurate currency exchange rates over the internet, XE is still very much considered one of the world’s leading currency authorities. With time, however, XE also began to offer money transfer services to their customers. With XE, you can send money to over 130 countries in over 60 different currencies.
XE allows you to send money to the bank accounts of recipients and track your payment as it goes. XE prides itself on offering a totally free service, so you open an account for free and send money with no charges. However, there is a high probability that the destination bank you send the money to would still charge.
XE money transfer is based on mid-market exchange rates, which means that XE provides you with live currency exchange rates whenever you want to send money. You can also place an order to exchange currencies when the rates would be most favorable to you. XE is regulated by FinCen in America and secured with Norton Security.
When compared to the others, Remitly has a much smaller coverage. They currently let you send money to just about 50 countries. So why is Remitly close to topping this list? Given that most people in America sending money abroad are actually sending money to developing countries most of the time, Remitly is perfect for this purpose. A lot of their coverage is focused on developing countries.
Remitly successfully combines speed and moderate transfer rates. When transferring money with Remitly, you can choose between two options to determine the speed of your transfer. The economy option sends the money within 3 to 5 business days at almost no cost. The express option sends the money almost instantly (depending on how the recipient intends to get the money). With the express option, you pay 3% of the transaction fee if you use a credit card.
Remitly lets you send the money directly to the home of the recipient, bank account, or mobile wallet. They also have almost 150,000 cash pick-up locations. They also offer a 100% money back guarantee if the recipient does not get the money.
Your Bank will charge you a lot more than any of these other services. That is the reason most of these services exist in the first place, to eliminate those fees banks charge when helping you send money internationally. Also, with your bank, you can only send the money to another bank account. And the transfer is going to take some time.
But your bank still provides one of the safest ways to wire money internationally, especially when it is a lot of money. There’s also a very high probability that you have a lot of trust in your bank. To send money internationally with your bank, you will need the bank account number you are sending to and that bank’s routing number.
In 2010, Ismail Ahmed was a Somali immigrant studying at a university in London. While trying to send money home, he discovered the banks cost too much, took a lot of time, and required a lot of paperwork. As a Somali immigrant, he also knew that a good number of people did not have bank accounts, and bank transfers require bank accounts. Later that year, he started WorldRemit.
Today, WorldRemit lets you send money to over 150 different countries, and everyone can receive money, whether they have bank accounts or not. Since WorldRemit does not operate physical venues for people to go to send money, they require less money to keep the business running and so charge less. WorldRemit also tries to eliminate all hidden costs, the calculators on the website let you see exactly how much you are going to spend on that transfer. Their exchange rate markups are usually between 1% and 1.5%, so their services are a lot cheaper. Most of the time, WorldRemit transfers are authorized in minutes.
WorldRemit does door-to-door deliveries for recipients, offers locations to pick up cash, lets you send to the recipient’s bank account or mobile wallet. You can also top-up airtime for recipients all over the world. While there is no minimum transfer fee with WorldRemit, the maximum is about $5000 per day. The service also offers multiple options to make payments.
For amounts under $10,000, TransferWise charges the least if you send from a bank account. Paying with a card takes about an extra 2% of the amount being sent. You can, however, transfer amounts up to $1 million per transfer if you are going to be wiring the money to TransferWise. Using the Automated Clearing House Transfer, the maximum amount is $15,000. Generally, TransferWise is very good for smaller amounts of money. With their Borderless account, TransferWise lets you transfer amounts between currencies all in the same account. This is an amazing way for frequent travelers to save money.
Established by Estonians in London who were frustrated by how difficult it was to send money to one another, TransferWise today lets you transfer money to over 70 countries. However, the only way to receive when using TransferWise is through a local bank account.
One of the most impressive features of TransferWise is transparency. Once you open the website and enter how much you want to send, you can tell exactly how much the recipient is going to get and when they are going to get it. Most of the rates (which are accurate mid-market rates) are also stable for a day or two.