If you want to send money to a friend or relative abroad, you need to make an international money transfer. Bank transfers are a well-known method, but they are not the only methods available to consumers.
When exploring international money transfer options, there are several factors to consider, including fees, maximum transfer limits, and how long it will take to transfer money. Below are some of the most common methods of sending money internationally and their steps.
The best way to send money internationally
Bank transfers are a common way to send money abroad. Typically, you can make international transfers through your financial institution or through a third-party provider such as Western Union.
You can usually transfer money online or at a bank branch. To do this, you’ll need the recipient’s bank code, account number, and name; some services may also require the recipient’s address.
If you initiate a transfer one business day before the deadline published by the institution, it may take 1-2 business days for the funds to arrive, but may take longer. Since transfers are processed by financial institutions, they will not be processed on public holidays or weekends. Bank transfers are a faster way to send money internationally, but with higher fees. International transfer fees average around $44, according to an analysis by Bankrate.
Wise (formerly TransferWise) offers a unique way to send money internationally without paying high remittance fees.
The service is essentially an online account that connects you to other accounts around the world. To send money with Wise, you need to make a bank transfer to Wise’s local account for a small fee. Wise will not send the money directly to the recipient country, but will debit the equivalent amount from the foreign account you want to transfer to.
Suppose you want to send $1,000 from the United States to France. First, you will enter your account information and the recipient’s account information on the website. By linking your bank account, Wise can initiate an ACH transfer for a fee of $2 plus a $5.30 service fee for just $7.30 (this may vary by currency). After the transfer to the local Wise account, the recipient will receive the converted EUR amount from the local French account.
Transfer speed depends on which country you’re sending to, but a sensible transfer usually takes no more than two business days. Wise also allows you to transfer money from a debit or credit card, albeit at a higher cost.
Xoom is an international money transfer service from PayPal that works like other peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps. You need a PayPal account to send money through Xoom, but the recipient doesn’t.
Payments through Xoom can be sent from a bank account, debit card, credit card or PayPal balance. However, debit and credit card transfers often incur additional fees. Otherwise, you will usually be charged an international fee of 5% and a fixed conversion fee depending on the recipient’s currency.
Users can also choose to send money to withdraw cash. So when you send money to other PayPal users, you can keep it as cash in a convenient location near the recipient, such as a bank. B. At your local bank or retailer.
Depending on the amount of personal information you provide, the maximum amount you can send via Xoom will increase. The base limit is $2,999 per day. This increases to $10,000 if you provide your Social Security number or passport. The fee increases to $50,000 if you provide a driver’s license or passport, bank statement or payslip, and answer security questions.
Xoom money transfers are usually very fast, appearing in the recipient’s PayPal or bank account within minutes. However, when you send the money to their PayPal, the recipient may need to additionally transfer the money to their personal bank account, which may take one to three days. Instant transfer service is possible for an additional fee.
With MoneyGram you can send money internationally online or in person. Online, consumers can send money via credit card, debit card or bank account. In most cases, cash is the only payment method accepted when transferring money in person at a MoneyGram branch.
MoneyGram also has a unique tool called Sendbot, available through Facebook. Facebook users can enable Sendbot by searching on Facebook or the Messenger app. After entering your account information, Sendbot will guide you through the transfer.
MoneyGram transfers are inexpensive. With a debit card, the fee is usually no more than $2. Fees may be higher for other payment methods, as well as for cash pickup services, which allow recipients to receive transferred amounts in cash at nearby locations.
The time it takes for the funds to reach the recipient’s bank account varies by country. Next business day availability in most countries.
Compare International Money Transfer Services
|Method||Fees||Speed||Maximum transfer amount|
|Wire transfer||$44 for outgoing on average||24 hours or next business day||Varies by bank from $1,000 to unlimited|
|Wise||$7.50 (may vary by currency)||1-2 business days||No limit in most cases|
|Xoom||5 percent + fixed currency fee||Within minutes||Up to $50,000 per day|
|MoneyGram||Usually $1.99 with a debit card (varies by country)||Next business day||$15,000|
How to send money internationally
1. Determine which transport service you want to use
The four methods above — bank transfer, Wise, Xoom, and MoneyGram — are the most common. Transfer speed, fees, available countries and accepted payment methods are some of the factors that vary between them.
When choosing between these different transfer methods, keep the following in mind:
How long will it take you to send money? If the transfer is urgent, a bank transfer or Xoom may be a better option as they transfer faster.
Is the transfer amount large? Some services have stricter limits on the amount you can send internationally. For example, your bank may only allow international wire transfers of up to $1,000.
Which country are you sending to? Not all transfers are available in all countries. For example, MoneyGram only allows international online transfers to 34 countries, while the Western Union service is available in almost every country.
Which payment method do you use? Charges may vary depending on the payment method used.
For example, if you use a debit card, transferring money through Xoom has a higher fee, while paying with MoneyGram’s debit card is relatively cheap. Also, not all types of services accept cash, including Wise.
Does the recipient need cash? If you need cash, you will need to use a service with an international cash withdrawal option like MoneyGram or Xoom.
2. Enter sender and recipient information
To initiate an international money transfer, you must first provide the money transfer service with some basic information. Most services require you to provide the recipient’s account number, classification code, and name. For services other than banking, you will also need to provide your bank details to link your bank account.
For some services, such as B. Xoom, you may be required to provide additional identification documents to transfer larger amounts.
3. Select the currency and amount to send
Make sure you are sending to the correct country with the correct currency conversion. Conversion fees may vary depending on the country you are sending money to.
Typically, the fees you pay for services and conversions are deducted from the total amount you send. Be sure to send enough funds so that the correct amount ends up in the recipient’s account after fees are deducted.
4. Complete and track your transaction
Once you send the specified transfer amount, it can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days for it to appear in the recipient’s account. If you transfer money for withdrawal, make sure the recipient knows when and where to withdraw.
Check your account history to confirm that the transfer was processed, and note any additional charges that may have been charged in case a dispute arises.
With the variety of services available today, sending money internationally is a simple process. Keep in mind that while your bank is your preferred location for sending money internationally, it is often the more expensive option. Many non-banking services offer international money transfer services with much lower fees and reasonable delivery speeds.
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