send money abroad

10 Best Ways to Send Money Abroad

For decades, people were used to sending money across to the family and loved ones abroad by post, mail, travelling relations, and other antiquated remittance systems. Today, it is not a question of when and how to send money abroad, rather, it is now a question of the best, fastest, secure, and most cost-efficient means of sending money abroad. 

Thanks to the miracle of technology, sending money abroad has never been easier, with transactions taking as fast as 10 minutes for processing and delivery which is something we could not have believed in the distant past.

Below is a recommended list of the 10 best ways to send money abroad to your loved ones. Consideration factors include ease, speed, fees and rates, and security.

1. Rewire 

Operating as an online banking application, Rewire is notable for its incredible speed of delivery, low fees for international money transfer, and the free IBAN and debit card that comes with signing up. Transactions can take a few minutes to 2 business days to arrive depending on the country of the recipient. Considering fees, transfers only can cost 1% of the amount and can sometimes vary according to market conditions.

If you are particular about cost-efficiency and speed, Rewire is an absolute go-to for sending money abroad. 

Related: What is Rewire and why should I use it for international money transfers?

2. Western Union 

Western Union is accepted in over 200 countries, making it a quite versatile choice to send and receive payments to and from abroad.  Considered to be the biggest international money transfer platform, this can be ascribed to its ubiquitous adoption over the years. While its transfer limit is capped at $50,000 for a one-time individual transfer, Its fees are not fixed as it varies according to the amount of money to be delivered as well as location. On average, about 1%-6% is charged for the transaction. Speed-wise,  it takes 3 business days for the money to be received by the recipients.

If you are looking to send money to your family, friends, or loved ones living in countries with limited means of receiving money from abroad, Western Union is a good platform to get it done.

3. Money gram 

If what you require is a fast, in-person transfer, this would make a great choice to get your transaction done. Notably, Money gram processes transfers through bank accounts with fees placed at about 3% of the transfer amount. The payment method also varies and international transfers can take 1 or 2 working days to deliver. Transfer limits are pegged at $10,000 per month for individual accounts.  

For recipients who do not possess a bank account to receive money abroad,  Moneygram is a great way of sending money across as an option for cash pick up is made available. 

4. Ria 

Ria operates in over 100 countries and has no less than a thousand branches worldwide, most of which are set up within the local bank. Delivery takes from 10 minutes to 4 working days, depending on the recipient’s country. Transfer fees vary according to the amount and local service provider. However, its exchange rates are not very friendly.

While the cash pick-up option is available, money must be transferred through the sender’s bank account as the debit and credit cards option is not available. Transfer limits are pegged per day, with the maximum amount stretching up to $3000 unless it is an in-person transaction. 

5. WorldRemit

For individuals seeking to send a little amount of money abroad, WorldRemit is well optimized for the job. In addition to fair transaction fees and exchange rates, users can send as little as $500 abroad to their loved ones. Fees for international transfers are calculated based on the transfer amount, with the maximum limit set at $10,000 per transaction.

6. Wise 

Formerly TransferWise, with Wise money can be sent abroad directly via your debit or credit card and bank account, making payment easier and convenient. Although card transfers attract extra transaction fees, it ranks as one of the cheapest in the industry, usually taking 1% of the amount when you transfer through your bank account. There is no minimum limit and delivery can be instantaneous for cards and up to 5 days for bank transfer.

7. OFX 

OFX  is cost-effective in terms of fees as it poses to be one of the cheapest online platforms for sending money abroad. Although its exchange rate may seem above average, its peculiar feature is the no-charge policy for international fund transfer irrespective of the amount to be transferred. It is considered the best for the international transfer of large sums as there are no maximum transfer limits. The minimum amount you can transfer using OFX is $1000.

Delivery takes about 3-5 working days from the day of initiation of the transaction. Interestingly,  it also features a lock-in feature which allows you an option to “buy now, transfer latter” to take advantage of current low market rates against higher future rates. This feature avails only customers who have performed up to 4 prior transactions. 

8. Xoom 

A  product of its parent company PayPal,  Xoom is the ideal choice for customers that prefers sending money abroad through their bank account. While you are allowed to send money using PayPal,  the funds must be sent directly from a local bank account that supports debit/credit cards, unlike PayPal which sends money from the PayPal account balance. Additionally, the Cash pick-up option is made available in some countries, thus giving recipients without bank accounts a fluid means of receiving money abroad.  

Xoom also supports express transfers.

9. PayPal 

Rated as the most popular peer-to-peer online money transfer platform,  PayPal stands out for its ease of accessibility, options of payment, and speed. When you use PayPal to send money abroad, funds can be received in the recipient’s PayPal account and can subsequently be sent out to the local bank which only takes a few business days. Money can be sent abroad via bank account or debit/credit card linked to your PayPal account.

The maximum limit of transfer for an individual account is capped at $10,000 and rates can go from 1%-2% of the transfer amount. An advantage of using PayPal to send money abroad is that a recipient who is not willing to withdraw funds to his local bank account has an option of spending right from the PayPal account during transactions that allow payments from PayPal. 

10. Remitly 

Remitly offers fast and cost-effective options to send money abroad: Express and Economy,  with the express option arriving almost instantly. Money can be transferred to the recipient through bank transfers between the sender and recipient as well as personal pick-ups in countries where it is accepted.  The delivery period takes a few minutes for express transfers and up to 5 working days for the cheaper economy option. 

Fees for each transfer vary according to the amount to be sent, with some transactions taking as low as $3.99 to process.

Wrap Up

In making an informed choice as to which medium to use when looking to send money abroad (international fund transfer), it is pertinent to consider factors such as fees, exchange rates, delivery time, and pick-up options to derive maximum satisfaction for your transaction. 

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