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The Best Money Transfer Services

The 10 Best Money Transfer Services

  1. XE
  2. Ria

What is the Best Money Transfer Service?

Transferring money in this day and age has become as simple as a few taps on your smartphone. Whether you're supporting a friend in another state with their rent or covering your cousin's concert ticket, there are limitless reasons to send (and receive) money on the fly.

However, making sure you have the best money transfer service can be a difficult decision. With so many finance apps and transfer services out there, it can be hard to say which one offers the best features or the best fee schedule. The choice of money transfer service can change from person to person based on their financial needs.

Sunday, April 14th

2024 Money Transfer Service Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Paypal Review 5 Star Rating

Paypal

5 Star Rating
  • Free to join
  • Fees from 0-2.9% domestic
  • Fees are 5% international
  • Direct transfers offered for free
  • Mobile app offered
  • Purchase protection
  • Buy from all your favorite retailers
  • Thousands of 5-star reviews
  • "A" rating from the BBB
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Finding a more popular money transfer service than PayPal is a challenge. With an active user base of almost 400 million individuals, the platform is basically a household name in this day and age.

The Go-To choice

PayPal stands out as the go-to choice for various transactions, from sending birthday funds to settling auction wins and beyond. While it may lack the perceived "new app fun" of some competitors and affiliated platforms like Xoom and Venmo, PayPal remains an exceptionally reliable means of sending and receiving money globally. With modern updates and some top-notch security, PayPal has earned its place as the top-rated money transfer company on the market today.

Impressive range of services

PayPal's offerings extend far beyond the capabilities of many other platforms. The best difference is that the transfer limits are notably higher. If you don't have an account with PayPal, and you're just using it to send money, the limit is $4,000. However, if you do have an account there's really no limit on the total amount of money you can send. The only limits are per transaction, which allows you to send up to $60,000 in a single transaction. This is particularly beneficial for individuals engaging in larger transactions, such as compensating a contractor for services rendered or purchasing a vehicle privately.

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Widespread acceptance

PayPal also stands out for its widespread acceptance by hundreds of thousands of online retailers. This means that on top of paying your usual bills and making general transfers, you can also make purchases using your PayPal balance directly through your favorite merchants (online and in person). The platform also facilitates a shop-now-pay-later option with PayPal Credit if you need to create a payment plan.

Few to no domestic fees with PayPal

For most person-to-person transactions, you can enjoy fee-free transactions when processed directly from your bank account or through your PayPal balance. Opting to use a credit card, debit card, or PayPal credit incurs a fixed fee of 2.9%. A notable convenience is PayPal's flexibility, which allows you to employ both your PayPal balance and an alternative funding method within the same transaction if necessary.

International transfers available

If you want to make an international payment or transfer, the fixed fee is 5% regardless of whether you use a PayPal bank account, your bank account, a credit card, or an Amex Send Account (one of their major partners). So, taking the percentage into account, if you transfer $100 domestically, you could look at zero fees if you use one of the free options or up to $2.90 if you use a card. If you want to make an international transfer or payment, the 5% fee applies. So, in this case, the fee for transferring $1,000 overseas would be $50.

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Top-tier security and purchase protection

Rest easy knowing that PayPal has your security at the forefront. Your confidential information is automatically encrypted during both storage and transmission. When you make a purchase using PayPal, your payment details remain private. Their security system is top-tier, so you never have to worry about stolen data. Using PayPal for purchasing goods and services comes with the added benefit of Purchase Protection. This feature guarantees a full refund of the purchase price and any incurred shipping costs if problems arise with your purchase. It proves particularly advantageous when shopping on platforms like Etsy or eBay, offering reassurance in case the received item doesn't match the description.

Impressive reputation and response time

Given PayPal's extensive global user base, it's unsurprising to encounter a higher-than-average number of complaints. While the Better Business Bureau shows an "A" rating and accreditation for PayPal, there are also a range of complaints on its BBB page. However, PayPal distinguishes itself by promptly addressing these concerns, often within a few business days. On other third-party review sites, customer feedback overwhelmingly praises PayPal representatives for their professional and efficient handling of issues. One third-party site showed PayPal had a customer rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Top pick is a one-stop shop for money transfers

At the end of the day, the name PayPal is synonymous with money transfers, much like Facebook is with social media. Even if you haven't used PayPal before, everyone has heard of it. Offering an unparalleled array of features in the industry, PayPal goes beyond person-to-person payments, encompassing online shopping, receiving client payments, and credit-based purchases. While international transfers may be cheaper elsewhere, the fact that PayPal added international payments shows the company's commitment to maintaining and updating its system to keep up with modern needs. For these reasons, PayPal stands as our highest-ranked service, providing an all-encompassing solution for money transfers.

Venmo Review 4.5 Star Rating

Venmo

4.5 Star Rating
  • Free to join
  • Fees from 1-5% domestic
  • Fees for business transactions around 1.9%
  • Direct transfers offered for free
  • Mobile app offered
  • Purchase protection
  • Buy from your favorite retailers
  • Millions of 5-star reviews

Venmo is one of the more modern money transfer sites, emphasizing the integration of personal expression in financial transactions. Venmo got its start specializing in peer-to-peer payments. Need to pay back a buddy after dinner? Want to send some extra cash to your partner for movie night? That's where Venmo really shines. And, if you're looking for security, you'll be pleasantly surprised. As a company owned by PayPal, Venmo has some of the top security measures in the industry (matched only by PayPal itself).

Built for social spending with expanded services

Venmo started out as a way to send cash quickly to your friends, but it's grown significantly since then. Now, you can use added features like paying your favorite vendors (online and in person) with Venmo, managing your money through a debit and credit card, using Venmo as your checkout system for a business, or even investing in crypto. The features are fun and easy to use, though if you're looking for international payments, you might need to bundle Venmo with another app to get all the features you need.

Minimal or no fees for most transactions

Venmo distinguishes itself as a cost-effective money transfer service. No fees accompany online purchases or money transfers utilizing the Venmo balance, debit card, or bank account (just like with its parent company PayPal). A modest 3% fee applies when using a credit card for transfers. Receiving funds from other Venmo users, bank accounts, or through direct deposit incurs no fees. However, utilizing Venmo's check-cashing feature incurs fees ranging from 1-5% (with a minimum fee of $5). If you're looking to use Venmo for your business, transaction fees for business accounts amount to 1.9%.

No overseas payments

Unfortunately, you can't currently use Venmo to send money overseas. The company only allows for money transfers or payments to be processed in US dollars and from one US user to another. This is a pretty big snag considering that most other services offer international transactions of some kind.

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Venmo's security backed by PayPal

Since Venmo is owned by PayPal, it has the same purchase protection policy. This means that if your purchase through Venmo is disappointing from any vendor, they'll make sure you get your money (and shipping) back. On top of that Venmo uses encryption to protect your account details and never shares them at checkout when you make purchases. But, specific details about security measures are sparse.

Top-rated on the app stores

While Venmo doesn't have a terribly impressive reputation on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), it makes up for it in customer reviews. According to the BBB, Venmo has just a "C" rating overall. However, when we checked out customer reviews on Venmo's app page, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. On the Apple Store, Venmo has an impressive 4.9-star average out of 5. Customers love how easy Venmo is to use, and many of them have been using the app for years with zero problems. There are over 15 million individual ratings and almost all of them are a full 5 stars.

Great for casual spending

Venmo has emerged as a popular choice for casual money exchanges among friends, marked by its simplicity and minimal fees. However, with no option for international payments, it doesn't rank quite as high as its sister company, PayPal. While well-suited for personal use, shopping, or even business, Venmo may not be perfect for those looking to have more robust international banking services. For this reason, Venmo gets an excellent rating, supported by the millions of positive reviews for the mobile app. So if you're in the market for a free-to-start app to easily pay friends and family with no fees, Venmo is an impressive service overall.

XE Review 4 Star Rating

XE

4 Star Rating
  • Free to join
  • Fees from 0-2.99% international
  • Direct transfers offered for free
  • Mobile app offered
  • Thousands of 5-star reviews
  • "A-" rating from the BBB

XE is a service that offers you the convenience of making international payments directly to your recipient's bank account worldwide. All transactions are easily managed online or through the app, and you can send money to 220+ countries and territories. XE is supported by Euronet, a substantial financial services group. However, XE is designed to be international, so if you're looking for a service to send money domestically, you may need to look at some of the other options in our review.

Full range of services for domestic (maybe) and international

XE offers transfers through various methods, including bank debit (ACH), bank or wire transfer (for amounts of $3,000 and above), and debit or credit card. If you prefer avoiding extra fees, XE recommends using ACH direct debit, while wire transfers or card payments are suitable for quick processing or sending large sums. International transfers typically take one to five business days, but XE prides itself on many transfers being completed within 24 hours, some even in real-time.

Cash pickup

XE allows cash pickup at over 500,000 locations globally, including Walmart stores in the U.S. and Bancomer bank branches in Mexico, with the condition that transfers involving cash pickup must be initiated through the XE app. While it appears that XE does allow domestic transfers within the US, it is ultimately unclear from their website even through outside research.

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Fees based on percentages

XE doesn't have a test-transfer feature on its site, so we had to research the different fees and options for you without using our test transfers of $100 domestically and $1,000 to the UK. Depending on your preferred payment method, there are varying XE Money Transfer fees. If you opt for a debit card payment, the XE fee ranges from 2% for transfers up to $250 to 0.4% for transfers between $2,000 and $3,000. For credit card payments, a fee of 2.99% of the full transfer amount applies.

No fees for wire transfers

On the other hand, wire or bank transfers usually have no XE fee, though third-party fees and exchange rate markups may be applicable. It's essential to consider the fee structure and potential costs here based on your chosen payment method. There doesn't appear to be a separate fee structure for international and domestic fees.

Industry-standard security

XE employs industry-standard anti-fraud measures to safeguard customers and their funds. These measures include a stringent verification process and a secure login system to track and prevent any security breaches or false information. While there aren't any money-back guarantees as we saw at some of the top companies in our review, XE's commitment to security offers a protected and reliable environment for your money transfers.

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Trouble-free with a solid reputation

XE holds a solid reputation. The company has an "A-" rating from the Better Business Bureau. On top of that, Trustpilot shows that XE has a 4.3-star average out of 5 from customer reviews with 81% of those reviews offering a 5-star rating. A lot of the compliments for XE focus on its user-friendliness. Customers love the "sleek" design of the site and the fast and easy transfer process. Multiple reviews are calling XE a "trouble-free" service, making it a standout option for customers looking to complete international money transfers with zero hassle.

Best option focusing on international payments

XE is one of the top services for international transfers. It offers transfers with no fees if you complete your payment directly bank-to-bank or through a wire transfer. Further, the company has an impressive reputation with many customers calling their experience with XE "low-stress" and "trouble-free" . For this reason, it stands out as the top international service on our list. The lack of clarity on whether they allow domestic transfers leaves a few questions on whether or not XE is a true one-stop shop money transfer app. However, given the benefits, it still gets a solid rating overall, even if you can't transfer domestically.

MoneyGram Review 3.5 Star Rating

MoneyGram

3.5 Star Rating
  • Free to join
  • Fees from $1.89 to $8 domestic
  • Fees from $1.99 to $32 international
  • Can send money direct to phone numbers
  • Direct transfers offered
  • Can pick up money in person
  • Mobile app offered
  • Thousands of 5-star reviews
  • "A+" rating from the BBB

MoneyGram is a digital platform with several options. MoneyGram makes it easy for you to send money online, through their top-rated mobile app, or at any of their 430,000+ locations. Trusted by over 150 million consumers, MoneyGram offers affordable fees and excellent exchange rates. MoneyGram has been in the game for over 80 years, originally as Travelers Express, and later transforming into MoneyGram International in 1998.

Basic range of services that focus on payments

MoneyGram's services include online, app, kiosk, and in-person payments. As a new feature, you can transfer money directly to someone via their phone number with domestic payments. MoneyGram also distinguishes itself with perks like a rewards program offering discounts on fees for regular users. You can also complete fund transfers from a debit or credit card. Generally speaking, you can send up to $15,000 domestically and up to $25,000 overseas.

Needed to change browsers

Exact fees are only disclosed upon creating a MoneyGram account. So, all fees available on the site before joining MoneyGram will be labeled as "estimates." To accurately compare MoneyGram to other companies in our review, we evaluated the estimated cost for two scenarios at each service: transferring $100 domestically (to Illinois) and transferring $1,000 to the UK. However, during our review, the estimate tool was not working on MoneyGram's site. To get the tool to work, we needed to change browsers, which could be a problem other customers face.

Expensive fees when using credit cards for international transfers

For domestic transfers, sending to a direct bank account costs a $1.89 fee with a debit account and a $6.42 fee from a credit account. Cash transactions at locations like CVS come with a $8 fee for cash pickup. If you want to send cash directly to someone via their phone number, you'll have to use debit, and the fee is $2.99. For the overseas transfer to the UK, the $1,000 test on a direct-to-bank transfer has a $1.99 fee through a debit card and an expensive $32 fee for a credit card. These fees are competitive for the industry, though it may be best to avoid using credit card payments through MoneyGram due to the $30+ fees attached.

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Baseline security covered

Rest assured when it comes to security - MoneyGram has got you covered. All the data you provide is meticulously encrypted, so that it remains secure and inaccessible to cybercriminals. Plus, MoneyGram is registered with the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), to maintain a trustworthy and secure financial environment for your peace of mind. However, there doesn't appear to be a specific purchase protection policy or refund protection as we've seen at some of MoneyGram's competitors.

Solid option for in-country transfers

MoneyGram's reputation presents a mixed picture, holding an "A+" Better Business Bureau rating. Despite this high rating, the company received over 600 complaints in the last three years. But, if you look beyond the BBB, the ratings get much better. For example, on Trustpilot, MoneyGram holds a solid 4.5-star out of 5 rating. This includes ratings from over 30,000 different customers. Customers praise how user-friendly the app is and they love how fast and easy the money transfers are. Customers specifically noted that they often used MoneyGram to send money and help out family members within the US.

Competitive for domestic transfers

MoneyGram offers versatility but comes at a higher cost compared to no-fee alternatives. While suitable for sending cash domestically or overseas, individuals seeking the most cost-effectiveness in terms of fees may find better options from the higher-ranked services in our review. However, MoneyGram has an impressive review presence with thousands of rave reviews. For a user-friendly service and low-cost domestic transfer fees, MoneyGram is a solid choice.

Western Union Review 3.5 Star Rating

Western Union

3.5 Star Rating
  • Free to join
  • Fees from $12.50 to $19.45 domestic
  • Fees are $0.99 international
  • Some domestic transfers are free
  • Mobile app offered

Western Union is one of the oldest companies in our review with a nearly 200-year history. As one of the few money transfer services with such a longstanding presence, Western Union has done a lot to support its customers. With the ability to send money online to over 200 countries and territories and a network of 500,000+ in-person agent locations, Western Union offers extensive coverage. And, with a mobile app, Western Union offers finances at your fingertips anytime, anywhere.

Services include bill payment

Western Union extends its services to online transfers, payments for in-person pickup, and bill payments. You can locate the bill pay feature in the top menu, select the desired biller (such as Duke Energy or Waste Management), input the account number and payment amount, and proceed with the payment. Beyond this, though, the services at Western Union are standard with nothing truly exciting to set it apart from its competitors.

Bank-to-bank transfers are free for members

The fees associated with Western Union are all over the place, but they can be quite high. For instance, a bank-to-bank transfer is free if you have a Western Union account. If you don't have an account, it can be up to $13 for a transfer. In general, you can expect a 0-5 business day processing time, while an in-store cash payment for cash pick-up can cost up to $12.50 in fees. The highest fee, reaching $19.49, applies when funding the transfer with a credit card for a cash pick-up transaction. Fees for in-store bill payments through Western Union are typically around 1% while paying with a debit/credit card incurs approximately 4%.

Low costs for international transfers

One of the stand-out features of Western Union is its wide range of options for international transfers. Western Union had a standard exchange rate from USD to GBP for our US-to-UK example transfer. Cash-to-cash or cash-to-bank transactions incur a mere $0.99 fee, which is among the best rates we've seen. However, Western Union doesn't offer a full list of all possible fees, so there may be international transfer fees higher than $0.99, but those aren't listed if they are part of the transfer process.

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Proactive security measures

Western Union has specific security policies in place to support customers. These include photo ID and tracking number (MTCN) verification. This helps Western Union to make sure money is sent to the right person. Western Union also has ongoing programs to educate its agents and customers on how to protect themselves from fraud and scams. Western Union also adheres to all required regulations and is backed by financial licenses to protect its customers.

Mid-tier reputation

Western Union's reputation presents a mixed picture. While the company holds an average "B" rating from the Better Business Bureau, customer reviews indicate better feelings. On Trustpilot, Western Union has a solid 4-star rating on average. Out of 63,000+ reviews, over 60% awarded Western Union 5-star ratings. However, the reviews strike us as being fairly generic, and the praise doesn't focus on specific features of Western Union very often. Most comments are simply general satisfaction with the company without much elaboration. The few reviews that dive into specifics praise how easy the international transfers are. Customers also noted that the app is user-friendly.

Mid-tier except for international fees

While Western Union stands as a long-established service, we didn't find any stellar comments or standout features that really set it above the rest. However, if you're looking for low-cost international transfers, this is one of the best in the industry. The mixed reviews don't engender a lot of confidence either. With all the options considered, Western Union is a solid choice for international transfers, but when it comes to everything else it's pretty mid-tier overall.

Ria Review 2.5 Star Rating

Ria

2.5 Star Rating
  • Free to join
  • Fees from $1.50 to $7.00 domestic
  • Fees are $5 to $35 international
  • Mobile app offered
  • Cash pick up at local stores
  • "A+" rating from the BBB

Ria is a transfer service that's been in operation since 1987. Though it might not be a familiar name, it offers in-store transfer services with over 447,000 establishments in 160 countries. As one of the many companies with a mobile app, there's an overall feeling of being "new" or modern which is surprising for a company that opened in 1987. The only downside? Many of the locations Ria uses for cash pickup are smaller or lesser-known businesses that don't feel as secure as the popular name-brand businesses used by other services.

Full range of services

In terms of important services, Ria offers bill payment, mobile top-ups, prepaid debit cards, check cashing, and money orders. General limits disclosed on the Ria site were $2999.99 per day and $7999.99 in a 30-day period. These limits are applicable universally regardless of funding or destination, so no matter which method or service you choose, you'll be subject to the same rules. Beyond that sticking point, Ria functions similarly to most banking apps, and its benefits like bill pay or check cashing help it stand out from the pack.

Higher domestic fees than competitors

Examining Ria's performance in our two scenarios - transferring $100 within the US and $1,000 to the UK - was a simple process. Different payment methods include a bank account, credit or debit card, or cash. Regardless of the combination, be it bank-to-bank, bank-to-cash, or cash-to-cash, most incurred anywhere between $1.50 to $7.00 in fees for a $100 transfer. The least expensive method was debit card to bank while the most expensive option was cash to bank. While it says your first transfer is free, that isn't a great help since you'll be charged for all the others.

Competitive overseas fees

To transfer overseas, Ria charges anywhere between $5 to $35 for sending $1,000 to the UK. The cheapest option was bank-to-bank which cost just $5 in transfer fees. However, the most expensive was credit card to bank, which incurred the previously mentioned maximum charge of $35. Sending your money for cash pickup also incurs the same fees. While this isn't as low as some of the services that specialize only in international transactions, the rates are competitive with other one-stop shop-style companies in our review.

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Security measures cause delays

Regarding payment timeframes, Ria's policies noted that it could take up to 4 business days for bank account transfers to go through. For cash/credit/debit transfers, the expected time frame is around 15 minutes. While this is slower than some of its competitors who offer instant transfers, it isn't too bad if Ria sticks to it. Cash transfers within the US allow recipients to collect payments at participating BP Food Mart or Boost Mobile stores. However, some reviews noted that the 4-day timeframe was often unrealistic, as lengthy security reviews created delays, especially for new customers.

Mixed reputation

Ria's reputation has risen in recent years. Currency Ria holds an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. However, on other third-party review sites, Ria is a bit of a disappointment. With only 1.4 stars on average from Consumer Affairs, customers complain about things like canceled transfers (with no warning), as well as lengthy "review" periods where money transfers aren't sent long past the 4-day window that Ria promises. One customer said that Ria blocked their account with no explanation, and in all cases, customers struggled to get a hold of the customer service team.

Missing the mark on speed

Ria's longstanding presence and partnerships are solid and it has competitive fees overall. However, the company's reputation and concerns from customers about service and timing highlight some potential problems under the surface at Ria. With these concerns in mind, Ria falls a little in our ratings. There are definitely more reliable (and faster) money transfer services out there, so you may want to check out those before you go with Ria.

Zelle Review 2.5 Star Rating

Zelle

2.5 Star Rating
  • Free to join
  • No fees from Zelle
  • Direct transfers offered
  • Connects directly to your banking app

If you hold a US bank account, there's a good chance you have access to Zelle right through your banking institution. Zelle is an integrated money transfer service available through the mobile banking platforms of over 800 financial institutions nationwide.

Easy to start out

Zelle facilitates direct transfers of funds between accounts, typically making them available within minutes. The fees and charges for using Zelle directly through your bank will depend on your bank's individual policies. Utilizing just your phone number or email, you can sign up in a flash. Better yet, those are the only details you need from a friend, loved one, or other recipient to send money through Zelle, making it quick and easy overall.

Use Zelle with your pre-existing bank app

Zelle's services are mostly for sending money to people you know for personal or professional reasons, not retailers. The app supports direct deposit and allows you to send money from your checking or savings account after you've linked your bank with Zelle. But most people won't even need to sign up; you'll already have access to Zelle just by having an open bank account. The most unique feature of Zelle is its extensive integration into banking apps, and it comes stock with the program. You can conveniently access Zelle through your mobile banking app or through your desktop banking page. From there you can start sending money from the Zelle tab with no extra hassle. If you don't have Zelle integrated, you can easily enroll through your email or mobile number via the dedicated Zelle app; there's no account setup required beyond that.

Fees and limits are based on your bank

A notable feature of Zelle is its cost-free nature. While partner banks may have the discretion to impose fees on their end of the transaction, the money transfer service itself does not entail any charges for you. So, if you want details about fees, you'll need to hop on your banking app to clarify any fees or charges that might be related, like transfer limits or other details dictated by your bank.

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No international options or protection

Despite its merits, Zelle falls short compared to some competitors. It operates exclusively within the United States along with requiring a US bank account to use any of its features. Additionally, there is no protection in place for fund transfers; mistakes, such as sending money to the wrong person, may not result in a refund. Issues or fraudulent activities must be addressed directly with your bank. This limitation also makes Zelle less suitable for transactions involving the purchase or sale of items in person or online.

Top and bottom scores at the same time

Zelle earns commendation in various third-party assessments for its exceptional speed. Transactions typically register as received within a minute or two of being initiated, particularly if the recipient is already set up with Zelle. However, if the recipient is not yet enrolled, they need to take the necessary steps to complete the payment on their end. Zelle's parent company, Early Warning, holds an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. And yet, Zelle itself does not provide customer support. This lack of customer support is a common grievance found in over 700 1-star reviews on Trustpilot. The mixed reputation leaves a lot of questions about whether Zelle is going to be the right choice or not.

Convenient but not the best service

While Zelle has a history spanning over a decade, it lags behind its counterparts, particularly in terms of reliability and customer service. Unsuitable for international transactions and lacking recourse in case of transfer complications, Zelle may not be the optimal choice, especially for high-amount payments. However, the 100% fee-free (unless your bank is charging fees itself) is a bonus.

Remitly Review 2 Star Rating

Remitly

2 Star Rating
  • Free to join
  • Fees from $1.99 to $90 international
  • Mobile app only
  • Delivery guarantee
  • "A+" rating from the BBB

Remitly is a mobile-only app that offers a sending network spanning 30 countries, including the U.S., and a recipient network in over 170 countries. The company is committed to a safe, reliable, and transparent money transfer experience, particularly helpful for immigrants sending remittances back home. One thing on Remitly isn't clear, though. While it's got loads of details about international transfers, domestic transfers aren't listed.

Impressive features for international payments

You can send money to a network of more than 3,000 banks and access over 460,000 cash pickup locations. Remitly even provides options for mobile or home delivery of cash to the recipient. The key feature of Remitly is its international payments. Remitly sends money to most countries in the world. However, you can't send transfers domestically with Remitly. So, if you're looking to send money to a friend or loved one living within the US, you may need to pair Remitly with a secondary service.

No details for domestic transactions

We used the same process with Remitly as with other companies in our review to gauge the fees. To that end, we tested sending $100 domestically and $1,000 to the UK. However, during our testing, we couldn't find a place to send money domestically. The only listings for countries are those outside the US as recipients. Since the company focuses on international payments, we weren't surprised, but it does set Remitly back when compared to competitors who offer both domestic and international options. After some further digging, we found that Remitly does not currently allow transfers to the United States. This means you can only send money from the US to an international location. You can't receive money from other countries or from another US bank.

Flat rate fees

Overseas payments are where Remitly shines. Most of the international fees are flat-rate. For example, when we tried to send $1,000 to the UK, the fees were a flat rate of $3.99. The fees for other countries went up as high as $90 in some cases, but for the most part, the fees stay around $1.99 to $5.99 depending on the location you choose. Still, considering that other international-only services offer much lower fees (some even below a dollar), Remitly doesn't stand out for its international fee structure.

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SSL encryption and delivery guarantee

Remitly offers secure transactions through its global network. Remitly uses SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption technology to safeguard sensitive information like your bank account number, credit card details, date of birth, and government identification number as it's transmitted through the site and/or the app. On top of that, Remitly offers a delivery guarantee. If your transfer isn't in the recipient's account on time, your fees for that transfer will be completely refunded.

Solid reputation overall

On the bright side, Remitly has a solid reputation, which you want for a financial institution sending your funds to the other side of the world. Remitly holds an "A+" rating and accreditation with the Better Business Bureau. Outside of the BBB, Remitly has a solid rating of 4 stars on average from third-party review sites like Trustpilot. Reviews note benefits like fast service and a user-friendly app experience. There are a handful of recent 1- and 2-star reviews too, though, and these complain that the refund timeframe is pretty slow; and, in one case, Remitly blocked a customer's account without any warning.

Lower-than average score

At the end of the day, Remitly isn't doing anything super exciting. While they do offer decent fees for international transfers, other companies in our review offer free transfers for international payments. And without any option for domestic transfers, Remitly is falling behind in the use-case department. While the delivery guarantee is a nice touch, it isn't unique enough to push Remitly to the top of our ratings. It's not a bad service, but with no significant upsides, Remitly falls to a lower rating here.

Xoom Review 2 Star Rating

Xoom

2 Star Rating
  • Free to join
  • Fees from $1 to $5 domestic
  • Fees from $0 to $30.49 international
  • Mobile app offered
  • Transfer completion guarantee

Xoom, another member of the PayPal family, provides you with the capability to transfer funds to bank accounts and Visa or MasterCard debit cards within the US or opt for cash pickups at more than 5,000 partner locations. One feature we loved about Xoom was the impressive level of detail on the site. For each transfer type, there is a paragraph or more of detailed instructions that give you a clear idea of every process on Xoom's roster.

Have money delivered to someone's door

In terms of services, Xoom facilitates bill payments, deposits to bank accounts, transfers to debit cards, in-person pickup locations, or having cash delivered to your chosen recipient's home. This last option is unique. Plenty of sites offer the ability to pick up cash in person, but Xoom takes it a step further. You can now send money directly to your friend or family member's doorstep. However, there were no fee details for this feature available on the transfers page.

Fees for every domestic transfer

There are several fees associated with each of Xoom's transaction types. There aren't any payments that are completely fee-free either. To get a clear look at the fees, we tested sending $100 within the US and $1,000 to the UK. The debit card deposits and bank deposits are the cheapest ways to pay. The fees range from $1 to $1.99. The most expensive option is cash pickup with the fees costing $5.99 no matter what kind of transfer you use. While these fees are comparatively lower than some competitors, the comparison of Xoom to its sister company can't be ignored. With PayPal itself offering free transfers, Xoom doesn't stack up as well.

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Free transfers for many options

Xoom offers a wide variety of international transfers. However, by selecting the dropdown labeled "Send Money," you will discover a broad array of destination countries beyond the default USA setting. We tested sending $1,000 to the UK and saw something concerning right away. Most companies were offering at least a .78 exchange rate at the time of our evaluation. At Xoom, $1,000 in USD transferred to $771.90 in GBP, a much lower exchange rate than other services.

$0 fees for many international transfers

On the bright side, Xoom does offer zero fees for many international payments. All fees for debit cards are waived for international transfers. If you pay with PayPal or directly from your bank account, bank deposits are also free. On the other hand, if you use a debit or credit card the fee is $30.49. The fee for cash pickup is a little better, costing only $10 for each transfer type.

Transfer completion guarantee

Xoom offers fast transaction speeds, particularly for debit card transfers or in-person cash pickups. These are often completed within 30 minutes. For additional security, Xoom guarantees the safe arrival of funds to the designated account, promising a full refund if the transfer encounters any issues. This assurance stands out compared to services where funds may be in limbo without receipt or refund. However, according to reviews, this guarantee may not be as solid in practice as it seems on paper.

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Concerning reputation for rejected transfers

Xoom has an "A" rating from the Better Business Bureau. But where reviews are concerned, it isn't terribly popular. Xoom only has a 1.1-star rating on the BBB page, and from other third-party review sites, it's just as bad. According to the reviews on Trustpilot, Xoom only holds a 2-star rating with over 20,000 total reviews. There are a lot of reviews on the site using words like "scammers" and even more reviews talking about difficulties getting money transferred during the timeframes promised by Xoom. Other reviews complained that payments got "stuck" or never completed, and when customers reached out to customer service, they couldn't get the help they needed to resolve the issues.

Disappointing customer service

With this many complaints attached to it, Xoom falls towards the bottom of the list. With features like cash pickups and payments delivered directly to customer's doors, it could have been highly competitive. However, with 1 and 2-star ratings across the board, Xoom is one of the most disappointing money transfer services in terms of customer satisfaction. While Xoom remains a good option for free international transfers, which keeps it from earning just 1 star overall, it still falls short of being a highly recommended money transfer service.

TransferGo Review 1.5 Star Rating

TransferGo

1.5 Star Rating
  • Free to join
  • Fees around $0.99 international (to US)
  • Mobile app offered
  • Thousands of 5-star ratings

TransferGo is another service in our review that focuses all its attention on sending money internationally. Established in 2012, this company provides affordable, rapid, and secure global money transfers.

Easy to make an international transfer

You have the flexibility to fund your international transfer through a local bank transfer, and payments can also be made using a debit or credit card from one of 32 countries in nine currencies. These transfers can be sent to 104 different currencies across 163 countries, offering a wide network of potential recipients worldwide. However, there are some problems when it comes to payments within the US. Namely, TransferGo does not support any transfers going out from US banks. So, this severely limits usability for US customers. But if you're curious about how the app can be used in international settings, read on.

Quick transfers abroad

Using TransferGo, you can easily and swiftly send money from your bank account or debit card to the recipient's bank account. This service is available from over 30 countries, allowing you to transfer funds to more than 45 countries. If you're in a hurry, you have the option to pay a bit more for expedited delivery, with funds arriving as fast as 30 minutes. On the other hand, you can choose slower transfers with zero fees, taking up to three business days. Keep in mind that the processing times can vary depending on the country.

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Can't send money from the US

What sets TransferGo apart are its affordable flat fees and clear exchange rates. When we started our tests to send money ($100 domestically and $1,000 to the UK), however, we ran into a snag. At this time TransferGo does not support any transfers from the United States. You can transfer to the US from other countries, however, so if you're traveling or living abroad and need to send money home, this could be an option for you.

Flat rate fees for transfers

Since you can't send money from the US, we tested the payments and fees by doing the reverse of our usual international transfer. Instead of seeing how the fees look for sending money to the UK, we're sending $1,000 from the UK to the US instead. TransferGo offers a flat-rate model for their fees with GBP and Euros costing just $0.99.

Licensed by King and Country

TransferGo is a licensed institution, which means it holds proper authorization from the Financial Conduct Authority and His Majesty's Revenue and Customs in the UK. TransferGo also provides top-notch security for its service. This includes institutional-grade features such as 256-bit SSL encryption with a 2048-bit signature to protect your sensitive information during transactions.

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Customers leave high praise

While TransferGo doesn't have a page on the Better Business Bureau at this time, it does have some enthusiastic reviews out there. For example, on Trustpilot, TransferGo holds an impressive 4.7-star average out of 5. This is from over 30,000 individual reviews. Customers praise TransferGo's speed and efficiency, and many feel it is one of the cheapest ways to send money internationally. Customers also love the service team at TransferGo. When issues do arise, they are taken care of quickly and professionally, with contact being made within an hour of a reported problem.

Low-rated for usability restrictions

TransferGo is highly popular outside the US. But for customers within the US, it's definitely not going to be your first pick. First of all, you simply can't send money if you're based in the States. So, for anyone looking to send money, TransferGo is a no-go. However, if you're traveling outside the US or have family or friends who want to send money back to the United States, TransferGo can help on that front. Considering that other international services offer domestic and international transfers, TransferGo falls behind the pack. Though it's a fan favorite outside the US, it receives a lower rating here due to the lack of usability for many customers.

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Continued from above...

In the current era, one of the most notable conveniences of money transfers is the ability to complete the entire process online. The days when you had to visit physical locations with cash in hand, navigating unfamiliar neighborhoods - an experience that often felt uncomfortable and less secure - are long gone. Nowadays, whether you want to send money from your bank account to a friend or transfer funds between credit and debit cards, you can effortlessly manage it all from the comfort of your home or while on the go through your smartphone.

And you're not even missing out if you want to send cash. If your recipient needs to receive funds in cash, tons of modern money transfer options offer cash transfers with in-person pickup at secure partner locations. And if that wasn't enough, many money transfer platforms now offer the added convenience of paying bills, from utilities to subscription services, or even shopping from your favorite retailer. Some services even integrate directly into your pre-existing banking app for minimal stress if you don't like making tons of new app accounts.

Selecting the right money transfer service might seem overwhelming. The good news is that you can opt for more than one, depending on your destination and the purpose of the transfer - whether it's covering everyday expenses or making online purchases. For example, you might be looking to make international payments whereas someone else might just want to send a birthday surprise to someone close by.

To help you make sense of all the numbers, percentages, and fees, and make an informed decision, consider the following factors when narrowing down your options:

  • How you send money. Some apps and websites are mainly designed for sending money directly to your pals, like when you want to reimburse your friend for paying for a movie or send an extra tip to your nail tech. Meanwhile, other platforms are more geared towards sending money internationally. Some have different waiting periods for free transfers, so speed can be a factor too.
  • Costs. The fees for transferring money can vary significantly depending on the service you choose. While certain platforms may allow you to send money without any charges, others might have substantial fees. This is why having multiple options is beneficial; you can use a service with no fees for routine transactions and resort to those with fees only when necessary.
  • Reputation. What have other people said about their experiences using the money transfer service? Did they have positive encounters with the company? Checking if the Better Business Bureau has given the company a good rating can also provide insights into its reputation, and reviews can help you see how customers just like you fared during the money transfer process.
  • Assurances. Does the platform assure you that your money will be successfully transferred? Are there any promises for reimbursement or purchase protection? You want a transfer service to have your back if something goes wrong, so make sure those protections are in place before you start sending and spending.

To help you get a handle on money transfers, Top Consumer Reviews has carefully evaluated and rated the top money transfer services on the market today. We hope this helps you select the ideal platform for effortless and cost-effective money transfers. Whether you choose one or multiple apps to serve your needs, you'll be sending and receiving money in no time!

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Money Transfer Service FAQ

It's just like the name suggests. Money transfer services let you send and receive money as needed. Most services can be used for personal reasons, like sharing a restaurant tab with friends, or for business purposes such as paying a babysitter or contractor.
That depends on the service you choose. There are options for going to an in-person location with cash and the recipient gets paid in cash, or 100% online services that let you do everything through an app connected to your bank account and/or credit card. Your money could be transferred immediately, or it might take several hours or more.
Yes, sometimes. Most of the person-to-person services that use an app or online platform have no-fee options, particularly if you're using your bank account (and not a credit card) to fund the transfer. However, if you're sending cash or using a credit card to pay for your transfer, expect per-transaction flat fees and a percentage fee based on the amount of money involved.
Some services allow that. You'll have to go in person to a location near you. Keep in mind that there will be fees associated with your money transfer, so bring enough cash to cover those as well.
Some of them do. In fact, there are money transfer services that specialize in international transactions only and don't offer any domestic options. If you're trying to send or receive money internationally, check that the transfer service offers that capability before you create an account online.
That's an important question. Not every money transfer service guarantees that your funds will arrive where you send them! It's a good idea to see what other customers have said about a service before you trust it with your money.
Sometimes. You could see a limit of $2,000 per day, especially for cash transfers. Online-only money transfer services tend to have higher limits, if they have any at all.
Check the terms of service for any platform you're considering. Particularly among the online money transfer services, there are restrictions as to how they can legally be used. Alternately, there may be certain guarantees (and fees!) when sending or receiving a transaction as a payment for goods and services, compared with doing it as a "friends and family" type of exchange.
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