Do you want to compare the best international money transfer services to get the lowest and fastest currency exchange rates? This website provides unbiased comparisons of more than a dozen major currency exchange companies including XE Money Transfer, MoneyGram, and Western Union. We cover details such as reviews from real customers, fees & policies, transfer limits, etc. Also, if you are looking for information on global remittances and other financial topics related to living and working overseas you will find all useful resources for maximizing your income in one convenient place.
Table of Contents
Best Apps For International Money Transfer
Known for its upfront fees and real exchange rate, Wise lets you send money directly to local bank accounts in India from 59 countries¹.
Uses the real, mid-market exchange rate for every transaction
Has one transparent, low-cost fee
No maximum or minimums for a transfer
With over 5 million users, Wise is one of the most popular apps to send money to India. It has an award-winning app that can let you send money on the go to friends, family or merchants. Wise doesn’t always guarantee being the cheapest there is on the market for your particular transfer, but its price comparison tool will let you know that up front.
One of the leaders in starting online global e-wallets, PayPal lets you send money instantly if your friends or family have an account too.
PayPal’s wallet can let you request money, collect and make purchases online
A PayPal account is required to send and receive money and funds can’t be sent directly to a bank account
Pricing and fees can be confusing and unclear
Whether you are sending or receiving funds, you would require an account with PayPal. Plus there are transfer fees, like the currency fixed fee for sending money, a funding fee and a transaction fee². PayPal’s wallet system can seem like a long and expensive process when trying to send money quickly. But it can be a secure option, although one with fees, if you and your recipient have PayPal accounts already set up.
Remit2India has been providing money transfer services specifically for NRIs for the past 16 years. You can send money directly to bank accounts in India with no hidden fees and a guaranteed or indicative exchange rate.
Available to US, UK, Ireland, Canada and Australian residents
Zero transfer fees for amounts above $999 USD or when using your bank account
Minimum sending amount is $50 USD
Remit2India is an attractive option for sending large amounts to India if you are not in a hurry. You can send upto $50,000 using ACH and upto $200,000 with a wire transfer, both which can take 2 or more days, without a transfer fee³. They also offer Instant Transfer for up to 200,000 INR for a fee. Remit2India lets you choose from two different exchange rates they offer, one is a guaranteed exchange rate at the time or your payment, while the second is an indicative exchange rate which is the rate at the time your transaction is converted to rupees⁴.
InstaReM is a modern money transfer service that uses the real mid-market exchange rate for transactions. They then charge a percentage of your transfer amount as a fee, instead of a flat fee.
You can send money from Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Euro Zone Countries, UK, India and the US
Zero-margin exchange rates
Like Wise, InstaReM provides transparent pricing on all of their transfers. So you get the real mid-market exchange rate and an upfront transfer fee on every transaction. And most transactions arrive within 1-2 days. You can transfer money to InstaReM through Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) / Bank Transfers / Wire Transfers in all countries. You can also send money through POLI (in Australia), Debit Card (in EU), FPX (in Malaysia) and ACH Pull or Bank Transfer method (in USA)⁵. InstaReM has differing minimums and maximums you can send depending on the originating country.
Remitly has a strong reputation for offering fast, easy and low-cost transfers directly to Indian bank accounts.
Send money using Remitly from 16 different countries, including the US, Germany, UK, and Australia
Attractive promotional foreign exchange rate for the first few transfers but then set their own
Offers two different options for sending money- Remitly Economy or Express
Remitly is an online-only remittance service provider with a large nationwide coverage with over 130 banks across India. There are no transfer fees if you are sending more than $1,000 USD with either option⁶. Remitly also sets their own exchange rate which is less than the mid-market rate- the rate used by the banks themselves. This small difference can really add up with ongoing transfers. However, Remitly remains a strong option to transfer money abroad with their one-time fee and especially for amounts greater than $1,000 USD.
MoneyGram is well known in the money transfer business especially for their cash pick up, but if you are paying by credit or debit card, their fees can be pricey.
MoneyGram is the second-largest money transfer provider in the world⁷
Your recipient can pick up cash at an agent location, or get the money deposited directly into their Indian account
Different transaction fees depending on how much you are sending, and your payment method
MoneyGram provides online and offline money transfers and is found to be fairly quick compared to other service providers. Depending on how the recipient wants to receive the money, it is ready anywhere from 3 hours to 3-4 days if paid by bank account⁸. They have a transfer fee that varies depending on if you are paying by credit/debit card or online bank account, and if it is a direct to a bank account or cash pick up.
WorldRemit is a fast and secure way to send money to India and is well-reviewed on Apple’s AppStore and Google Play.
Allows you to receive money in India from more than 50 countries
Receive money by either bank transfers or mobile top-up
90% of bank transfers to India arrive in less than 10 minutes, and airtime is added to Indian mobiles almost immediately⁹.
With WorldRemit you can transfer money directly to an Indian business or individual bank account or add mobile credit to prepaid phones in India. The sender is charged a transfer fee that you see upfront, as well as a WorldRemit set exchange rate. Make sure to check the amount you might be losing against the exchange rate you see on Reuters or Google to know what the transfer is really costing you.
- Ria Money Transfers
Ria has been in the money transfer game since the late 1980s and with their 377,000 locations worldwide¹⁰, Ria has an advantage for cash pickups in India.
You can send money online for cash pickup at a Ria agent location, or deposit directly into your recipient’s bank account
Maximum transfer limit of $2,999 per day/$7,999 over 30 days in the US; Maximum ￡4,999 over 30 days in the UK¹¹.
Only for US, UK, Spain, and Australian residents
It is free to sign up for Ria Money Transfer and your recipient doesn’t need to have an account to either receive the money in their account or pick up the cash. The exact fees charged on your transaction will differ based on the amount you are sending and the payment method and are not clearly listed without signing up. In some cases, Ria may not charge any transaction fees but will still take a cut by marking up the exchange rate.
OFX lets you deposit money directly into recipients’ bank accounts, and is most attractive when moving amounts larger than $10,000 AUD.
Sets their own exchange rate and has a fee for any transactions below $10,000 AUD.
Usually 80% of all of the major currency transfers are completed within 24 hours of receiving the payment at OFX¹²
Available for residents of Australia, the US, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, and the UK
Using OFX, you can send money directly to any bank account in India. The minimum transfer amount is $250 AUD¹³, so if you are looking to send anything smaller than that you may need another option. If you are sending over $10,000 AUD, OFX does waive the transfer fee and it can be an attractive option for sending money.
This PayPal owned company offers international payments to India from Europe, the UK, and the US, but paying by debit/credit card may be costly.
Available for direct bank account deposit in India.
No transfer fees when you are sending $1,000 USD or more and paying with your bank account
Xoom offers fast and safe international payments directly into bank accounts. You can send bank deposits typically in minutes to HDFC, Axis Bank, Yes Bank, and Punjab National Bank (PNB). Bank account payments are cheaper, but there is a substantial fee when paying by debit or credit card. If you are making transactions that are less than $1,000 USD, you may want to look at options that are low cost and with a transparent exchange rate.
list of money apps
Super-secure transfers to over 150 countries
Operating system: iOS and AndroidMinimum transfer: Dependent on destination and card usedTransfer speed: InstantBest for: International transfers
TODAY’S BEST DEALS
at World Remit LTD
REASONS TO BUY
+Easy to use
+Fast and secure
REASONS TO AVOID
WorldRemit lets you transfer money using a service that is based solely online and finds favor thanks to its competitive rates and solid options for moving money around via an iOS or Android app.
The money transfer service is certainly flexible thanks to the way it offers an array of different methods for moving cash. These include debit, credit and prepaid options, along with bank transfer, Poli, Interac, iDEAL, Klarna, Apple Pay and Trustly too. However, WorldRemit no longer accepts Google Pay.
While its rates might be seen as competitive what you pay depends on where you’re going to be sending the funds. Costs will vary depending on the type of transfer method and also the currency.
There is plenty of scope for transfers though, with WorldRemit offering the ability to send cash from over 50 countries to in excess of 150. Easing the transfer process is the way WorldRemit has partnered with the likes of M-Pesa, EcoCash, MTN, Metrobank and other localised finance operations.
Transfers can be received as bank deposits and swiftly at that, in under 10 minutes in some cases. Alternatively, recipients can use a cash pickup, select mobile money or even an airtime top-up. WorldRemit sends an SMS to you and the recipient on completion of the transfer. There’s also the backup of FCA approval and full licensing for the operation.
Read our full WorldRemit review.
Website screenshot for Azimo
(Image credit: Azimo)
International transfers you can trust
Operating system: iOS and AndroidMinimum transfer: No minimumTransfer speed: Dependent on bank and card usedBest for: Simplicity
TODAY’S BEST DEALS
REASONS TO BUY
+Fast updates on transfers
+Over 200,000 pick-up points worldwide
REASONS TO AVOID
-No phone number for support
Azimo boasts a crisp and clean operation that offers quick and easy transfers, with instant or one-hour options available to a wealth of different countries. There’s also the benefit of 24/7 delivery to selected countries, without any of the usual delays incurred at weekends. First-time users also get the benefit of two transfers free-free.
Azimo has been around less than a decade, but its online service now covers over 200 countries. There are around 80 different currencies on offer from the service, and customers can choose from a variety of methods to transfer funds. These include bank deposits and mobile wallets, or even cash, although the coronavirus pandemic has lessened the desire for transfers using physical cash.
Another recent development for Azimo has been the addition of its Azimo Business feature, which is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses who can benefit from transfers that are often more competitive than their bank.
Currently, Azimo claims that it can offer savings of up to 90% compared to rivals. It’s easy to stay on top of changes to currency values and get a constant update on best rates using the alerts within the Azimo app. As is usual, overall fees are largely dependent on where money is being sent from, and its destination along with the preferred delivery method.
Read our full Azimo review.
Website screenshot for Venmo
(Image credit: Venmo)
The millennial’s go-to that’s wooing businesses
Operating System: iOS and AndroidMinimum transfer: No minimumTransfer speed: InstantBest for: Shared bills
TODAY’S BEST DEALS
REASONS TO BUY
+Quick and easy
+Added social features
+Safe and secure
Venmo is popular with both individual users and businesses thanks to its money transfer app, which benefits from having the muscle of parent company PayPal behind it. Most appealing to consumers is its social edge, with Venmo having the option of being able to share updates about purchases to other users in your social group.
The service acts much like a digital wallet and allows quick and easy peer-to-peer transfers, which is undeniably useful if you need to send some money to friends. Sharing the cost of a meal maybe? Venmo is perfect for making sure everyone pays their dues. Better still, there’s no monthly or annual fee, although credit cards do attract a 3% fee if you don’t have anything else to hand.
Setting it up and using Venmo couldn’t be easier, with payments being made via a bank account or debit card linked to your account. Money can also be directly transferred if you’ve got enough funds stored in your Venmo wallet. There’s a 1% charge if you move money out of your Venmo account and into a bank account if you can’t wait for its one to three-day payment schedule.
Everyday money management is similarly straightforward, with a range of settings allowing you to use it as needed, with Public, Friends and Private options proving handy for different payment situations. Venmo also boasts the option of making payments using QR codes, which is perfect for fast, efficient and accurate transfers that are sure to go to the right recipient.
Read our full Venmo review.
Website screenshot for PayPal
(Image credit: PayPal)
Tap into the payment giant’s offering from your phone
App: iOS and AndroidMinimum transfer: $1Transfer speed : Minutes depending on bankBest for: All-round money transfers
TODAY’S BEST DEALS
REASONS TO BUY
+Loose limit on transactions
+Simple way of selecting recipient
REASONS TO AVOID
-Charges on debit card transfers
We weren’t exactly going to leave PayPal out of a conversation about money transfers, were we? The service has become ubiquitous in ecommerce but the company’s acquisition of the aforementioned Venmo suggested it had work to do to establish itself as a popular app for peer-to-peer transfers.
With Vemno clearly pitching itself at the younger market, PayPal’s app maintains the more corporate look and feel. Its tight security measures – making you enter your password every time you open the app, for example – further emphasizes the business heritage. While this may feel like a slight inconvenience, it’s surely a wise security measure.
PayPal’s mobile transfers match the rest of the field in terms of speed, but you do get charged on debit card transactions, a rarity when it comes to domestic transfers.
The simplicity of entering just an email address or phone number to direct your payment will always carry appeal on PayPal’s platform, but if quick peer-to-peer transfers are more important to you than international transactions, those debit card fees may push you towards its cool little sibling, Vemno.
Website screenshot for Western Union
(Image credit: Western Union)
- Western Union
Convenient mobile payment from a money transfer mainstay
Operating system: iOS and AndroidMinimum transfer: No minimumTransfer time: Quick/instantBest for: Range of locations
TODAY’S BEST DEALS
REASONS TO BUY
+Multiple payment methods
Western Union has one of the highest profiles of all the money transfer operations, with a long history to back it up. As a result, there are plenty of options open to you especially now that this global service can be used via your mobile device.
Choose from pricing options using the Western Union Price Estimator tool and select a transfer method from either online, in-store or mobile. Fees are dependent on where you’re sending the money, and also the currency, which follows a similar theme to others in this sector.
While cash pickup is an often-used feature of Western Union for many, there is also a mobile wallet option that has grown in popularity. But it’s really the Western Union app that has really revolutionised the service, simply because it’s so handy.
There’s the ability to have a one-touch fingerprint login, options for setting up instant access to contacts you send money to regularly and, usefully, the ability to dynamically track all of your transfers. Simply enter your tracking number to see when it’s been processed, collected and completed. The option of paying direct from your bank account, via card or in cash adds to the convenience factor, as does integration with Apple Pay.
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.