Every year, approximately six million households in the United States send billions of dollars’ worth of money to family and friends abroad. There are costs associated with sending money abroad, though fees have been reducing in recent years, with ways to send money increasing.
Recently enacted government legislation states that money transfer services must disclose exchange rates, along with the amount of foreign currency which will be delivered, and fees associated with delivery.
Having such a vast array of options can make it complicated to choose the best money-sending service. With money-transfer services available in retailers such as drug stores, convenience stores, supermarkets, standalone operations such as Western Union and MoneyGram, as well as online through banks and money-transfer websites, you’re probably wondering which service best suits your needs. In addition, many money-transfer companies offering different sending methods with various fees and exchange rates.
Given the number of providers, you should identify your needs and budget and then compare services in order to get the most out of the money you send. Read on to find out some of the most common ways to send money overseas.
How to Send Money Overseas
- Sending cash with walk-in money transfer centers. If you are transferring cash, you can go to a walk-in money-transfer center, such as MoneyGram, Ria, or Western Union. The cash is converted to the currency of the country of your choice and then picked up and/or delivered to the recipient.
- Transferring money between bank accounts. Whether online or by phone, you may be able to transfer money between your bank account and a recipients’. In this case, you will need the account and routing numbers for both financial institutions. Bank wires can also be used to send money from one bank to another; however, this method is usually involves steep fees.
- Credit and/or debit cards. Using a credit or debit card to send money tends to be faster than sending money from one bank account to another. However, this method may cost you more in fees.
- Prepaid debit cards. Prepaid debit cards can be used by the recipient to make cash withdrawals and in some cases, purchases. The card can be refilled in the United States by various methods, and the money is available quickly. However, there are high fees associated with this method.
- Websites and applications. If both you and the recipient have access to a secure Internet connection, whether on a computer or a smartphone, you can use a website and/or application to send money. Sites such as PayPal, Xoom, Viamericas, and Western Union.
How to Send Money to Mexico
Some U.S. banks offer special programs which allow U.S. residents to safely send money to Mexico. If you have an account at a participating bank, you can send money to designated partner locations without incurring fees. However, exchange rates may be lower than other services. Other banks have methods that offer flexibility to senders, such as sending cash to an account or sending money in an account which can be picked up in cash.