The U.S. is one of the leading sources when it comes to international money transfers. For many years, people used traditional methods such as bank draft, money order, and check. However, this is changing in today’s technology-driven world.
There are tons of faster electronic methods that you can use to transfer money between accounts, states, and countries. Fintech companies have continuously developed platforms and services that make sending money from one individual to another cheaper and much faster.
Whether you are using electronic transfers, wire transfers, or payment apps, these money transfer services vary depending on the country you are sending money to. In addition, it will also depend on the bank accounts that both you and the recipient have.
Here are some of the cheapest ways of sending and receiving money internationally in the USA.
Cheap International Money Transfers in the U.S
Let’s examine the cheapest options you can use for your international money transfers.
Transfers of Less than $500
If you need to send less than $500, you can use these payment platforms.
PayPal is convenient, can be relatively cheap, and sends money instantly, making it a good choice for international money transfers. You can use this alternative if both you and the recipient have a PayPal account.
This service supports 26 different currencies across the world. Although they charge a high conversion fee on the exchange rate, including fixed fees, the fixed costs are not that high. When using this platform, keep in mind that it becomes more expensive as the amounts increase.
PayPal is convenient for both individuals and businesses. While it has more than 200M active individual accounts worldwide, its biggest limitation is that transactions are limited to PayPal to PayPal money transfers.
Once you sign up, you can use the app or website to make your international transfers.
PayPal owns this payment service, Xoom. This platform offers an alternative for PayPal because it has more payment options. Xoom supports mobile top-ups, cash payouts, and home delivery in some locations.
When using Xoom, you can send money via a bank transfer or using a credit or debit card. In addition, the recipient doesn’t necessarily need to have a bank account because of the alternative payout methods.
If you were to send money using this service, it’s still cheaper than bank international wire transfers. Their exchange rate mark-ups are lower and make it easier to transfer money to any of the 130 countries that the service is available.
You can also use Xoom via a web interface or the app when making transactions.
If your recipient prefers to pick up the transfer in cash, most people go for remittance companies such as Western Union or MoneyGram due to their wide coverage across the globe. However, these platforms tend to charge a mark-up and extra costs in exchange for speed, security, and cash transfers.
The cheaper alternative to these two services is WorldRemit. They are less expensive than other remitters and have a well-functioning app that you can use to send and receive cash across the world. It’s easy to set up and use. Once you sign up to the app on either iOS and Android platforms, you can transfer cash on the go.
If you are sending small transfers to friends and family, WorldRemit works best because the fixed fees reduce as amounts decrease. On top of the low fees, they have a transparent exchange rate; therefore, you’ll know how much you are sending and the total fees. They also use industry-leading technology to ensure that transactions are ready in minutes and that your money is protected from scammers.
With a presence in over 130 countries worldwide and a selection of 70 currencies, WorldRemit is convenient because it has secure bank transfers, cash pick-up, mobile wallet transfers, and airtime top-up.
This service has transfer limits that vary from country to country. Also, because the fees increase as you increase the amount, it’s the best option if you want to transfer smaller amounts of cash. If you have larger transfers, it’s better to consider other alternatives because of the limits.
In terms of speed, WorldRemit is one of the best in the market. Most transfers are instant, and the speed will change depending on the means of transfer.
For countries with a mobile money service, this option is perfect. It works on smartphones and basic feature phones.
Transfers More than $500 and less than $7,000
If you want to send more cash than $500, other options cater for these amounts. Let’s take a look at the best and cheapest alternatives.
Previously known as TransferWise, this platform is the cheapest and fastest way to send money transfers below $7,000 abroad. While they don’t offer free transfers, they have very transparent services which allow you to see how much you are sending. Unlike banks, this service doesn’t charge an exchange rate mark-up.
Their rates are also competitive and much cheaper compared to banks. Globally, Wise supports more than 50 currencies, making it a good alternative for international money transfers.
With Wise, you can fund transfers via debit card, credit card, ACH, SWIFT or wire transfer, Google Pay, or Apple Pay. On top of this, you can also use location-specific methods in some regions. The transfer limits will vary depending on the country and the currency being used.
With over 10 million users worldwide, Wise is also popular because it delivers cash with speed. If you fund a transfer via debit or credit card, the transaction is processed immediately, and funds get dispatched on the same day. Bank to bank transfers takes 2 to 5 business days.
This payment service is well suited for people who want to incur low costs and at the same time enjoy a solid web experience when sending money internationally.
Wise is a cheaper alternative and has no hidden charges, like other money transfer services. You’ll just pay the flat rate and the fixed percentage that displays before you complete the transaction when making the transfer.
In case you are having problems with your transfer, you can reach the Wise customer support via email, phone, or live chat, who are known to be efficient and fast. Their website also has a help section that you can use to get assistance.
CurrencyFair is also another great option if you need to transfer funds less than $7,000. This transfer service keeps the fees low with its peer-to-peer (P2P) platform, giving you control over the exchange rate.
CurrencyFair allows you to send cash to 153 countries, and it accepts registrations from 62 countries. This service has the edge over Wise because it offers two ways of sending money. You can use P2P transfers to process transactions directly and swap money with others or use bank transfers.
P2P transfers come with a lower exchange mid-market rate, which is good because your transfer will be very affordable. These rates are very competitive, especially if you are sending smaller transfers.
Though it has a more extensive base for recipient countries, it supports 38 currencies when sending and receiving money. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support some location-specific funding and transfer methods such as mobile money payment services.
The transfer speed for CurrencyFair is 2-5 business days for bank transfers, while debit card transactions are processed immediately and transfers completed in 1-2 days.
Transfers of More Than $7,000
If your transfer is more than $7,000, you’ll need to find the cheapest means to send money internationally. Here are the best options.
This money transfer service is a licensed and regulated provider that allows you to send money to more than 190 countries in more than 50 currencies via its website and mobile app. While OFX accepts transfers from as low as $1,000, it can also send larger international transfers of more than $7,000.
OFX has an advantage over other providers when it comes to large transfers because the fees become better as the transfer amount increases. They also don’t charge transfer fees, have no maximum transfer amount, and offer better rates than the competitors.
What’s more, your money is safe with OFX because more than 50 regulators monitor the platform across the world. In addition, it has better services because the company has physical global offices in the UK, U.S, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Therefore, if you need assistance in these regions, you are more likely to get help faster.
If you are dealing in more than one currency, OFX has a multi-currency account, making it easier to manage your transfers across the globe.
Although they have cheap bank-to-bank transfers, their transfer speed is slower than other alternatives. Therefore, this is a good platform if your recipient is not too concerned about speed and can wait for the cash for a few days.
Signing up for OFX is pretty simple. Once you verify your identification, you can lock in your transfer and select the currency you are using. You can use the app or website to confirm and monitor your transactions.
They are not the cheapest option if you need to send small transfers; hence, you should only choose this alternative when you have a larger transfer.
TorFX is a good alternative if you need to make personal and business transfers. They have flexible options which come with personalized services. This is a good service if you need to set up repetitive payments every month for your business.
This transfer service is also ranked very highly for customer support. Since it’s very telephone-oriented, you’ll be assigned a particular account manager to guide you on your transactions on the platform.
TorFX is affordable because they don’t charge any fixed fees, but they will add a mark-up on the exchange rate. You can also secure a reasonable rate for your transfer for either your personal or business account by talking to your account manager. Their role is to help you initiate transfers, especially the larger business transactions.
What Factors Affect International Money Transfers
These remittances play a huge part in keeping the global economy afloat. Whether you are paying for services or sending money to family members or friends, several operators choose from. But first, here are the essential factors to consider before making that international transfer.
- The Exchange Rate
Getting the best exchange rate is crucial while making an international money transfer from the U.S. Some platforms, especially banks, offer unfavorable exchange rates that could make you lose a lot of money.
- The Transaction Charges
On top of the exchange rate, you might lose a few dollars on transaction fees. Before selecting a money transfer platform, it’s vital to go for platforms that won’t charge exorbitant fees in commissions.
- The Speed
When sending money internationally, speed is critical. With the advancement in financial technology, more companies are focusing on delivering international money transfers much transfer.
Convenience with money transfers is a crucial factor. Since they are international transactions, it’s better when you can send them at your own convenience.
When sending money from the USA to other countries, you can use the above money transfer services. Each provider has different options and rates depending on the amount sent and the country of destination. To determine the cheapest way to send cash internationally, it’s essential to calculate the transfer fees, transaction charges, and exchange rate.
Some of these money service providers might be slower than others. You can choose this alternative if it lowers your fees and the transfer is not urgent. If possible, you can select the transfer services with a mobile wallet or cash pick-up option. They tend to have lower charges; therefore, they are a cheaper alternative.
Before settling on one provider, consider the latest fee information because exchange rates fluctuate. The cheapest option may vary depending on the country you are sending money to or the total amount; therefore, it’s crucial to do your homework. With the right information, you’ll get the best deal for your next international cash transfer.