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Best Way to Send Money From Canada to the US

Best Way to Send Money From Canada to the US

We have added quite a few articles to this website that consider the best ways to send money, and we will be adding quite a few more. This article considers the best way to send money from Canada to the US. It doesn’t consider the cheapest, the fastest, or the most convenient. The methods featured in this article are the most popular methods, they are the most readily available, and they are the easiest methods for sending money from Canada to the US.

Check

A check is and is not the best way to send money from Canada to the US. The biggest problem used to be the difficulty of the conversion process, but these days it is easier to get multi-currency accounts, especially since there are money companies that offer multi-currency checking accounts. There are ways around sending Canadian dollar checks to people in the US where they may convert them into US dollars, and there are places/services in Canada where people may convert their Canadian dollars and then send a check in US dollars.

Upsides

Despite the fact that checks are not as popular as they used to be, they are still easier for some freelancers to handle than other payment-receiving methods. For example, your freelancer may not be willing to take more modern routes such as signing up for Skrill, giving out oodles of personal information to the company, and then waiting 2-5 weeks to be verified. If the currency conversion issue isn’t a problem for you or your freelancer, then a check may be one of the best way to send money from Canada to the US.

Downsides

Sending a check to the US takes so bloody long that some payers and some freelancers will demand an alternative payment method. You have to post it, wait, and then the check itself needs to be deposited and it needs to clear. There is also a mild chance that your check may not reach its destination, or even a chance that your check will be stolen and forged; check fraud is not as common these days as it used to be according to pymnts.com.

Money Order

The USA is one of the countries that accepts international money orders, which is one of the reasons it is the best way to send money from Canada to the US. Your recipient in the US will be able to take your international money orders to his or her local postal service branch and have the money order cashed. You will have to post the money order, which means the process will take a lot longer than an online transaction.

Upsides

Despite the fact that the process of buying, sending, and cashing has multiple steps involved, it is still a fairly simple process. It is certainly more simple than setting up a bank account or a setting yourself up with a money transfers company or online wallet.

You may have another money order re-issued if you send the money order and it is not picked up. You are also able to have one re-issued if your money order is damaged or just plain lost. They will charge you an inquiry fee if you think your money order has been lost.

You avoid any sort of online fraud, which isn’t a big selling point, but it really depends upon your circumstances. For example, if you or your recipient has to share a computer with other people, or if you both have to use public/company/institution computers, then your online secruity may be compromised to the point where money orders are a more secure way of sending money.

Downsides

Security is not really a big issue anymore because theft and fraud involving international money orders has gone down dramatically in both Canada and the USA. The biggest issue, if you do not count the risk of getting your money order stolen or lost, is just how long it takes for your money order to arrive. You can send money via a bank, money company, or even via bitcoin, and it will get there faster than if you send a money order. It takes such a long time because you have to go out and buy the money order, you have to post it, and then your recipient has to go out and cash it.

Money Orders cost money, and there are limits on how much you may send. You will also have to pay a fee for your international money order, which is going to add up if you need to send multiple money orders. You are able to send $999 US dollars, or $999 Canadian dollars via a money order. In addition, you will have to pay the postage fees too, which is another cost to add into the mix.

MoneyGram

The goods thing about MoneyGram is not only that there are plenty of them littered around Canada like autumn leaves in your new pool, but that there are also plenty of them in the US too. Your recipient is less likely to be objectionable to the use of MoneyGram because there is probably a branch near him or her. This is especially true if your recipient wants to receive payment in cash because MoneyGram allows you to pay cash or pay digitally and have your recipient pick it up in cash or have it deposited in his or her bank account.

Upsides

They give you the choice of digital and cash money. As the person looking for the best way to send money from Canada to the US, you are able to send money by handing over cash to a MoneyGram vendor, or you may pay with a credit or debit card, or you may load money into your account online. You may send the money directly to the recipient’s bank account, or you may have the recipient pick the money up in cash at his or her local MoneyGram branch.

Downsides

One of the downsides is the added legwork that is required. You need to visit a branch, hand over your money, and then your recipient has to visit a branch, show ID, and get the cash. If you are planning on doing it all digitally, such as by initiating the transfer online and having it digitally sent to your recipient’s bank account, then you may be making a mistake. If you are doing it over the Internet, then there are plenty of other companies that will complete the transfer for you without charging you as much as MoneyGram does.

Western Union

There are Western Union branches and locations all over the country, and there are plenty in the US. You may conduct transactions online, or you may visit a location/branch where they will take your cash money or your card payment and transfer it to the recipient if your choice. Your recipient may visit a branch and pick the money up in cash, or the money may be transferred to the recipient’s bank account.

Upsides

If you are sending money so that your recipient may pick the money up at a branch location, then you are in luck because there are Western Union branches in many locations in the USA, and there isn’t a long verifying process when your recipient picks up the money. There are plenty of places in the USA for your recipient to pick up the money when it arrives.

Downsides

One of the most commonly cited downsides of Western Union is that they take no responsibility for transfers. If one of their agents messes up and your transfer is lost, then there is nothing you can do about it because Western Union states in its terms and conditions that they are not responsible for ensuring your transfer works correctly. If they lose your money, then your money is lost.

Your money is going to take two to four days to arrive, which is a pretty long time these days. If you are used to online money companies having your money wired quickly and efficiently, then you may not like Western Union.

Paypal

Think of PayPal as a multipurpose tool that allows you to hold money online, it allows you to exchange money, transfer, receive, buy, sell, and hold numerous currencies. Some consider it the best way to send money from Canada to the US because it is easy to use, it is very secure, and most people have a PayPal account. Sending from one person to another is as easy as getting their email address and using the send function on the PayPal website or app. It is a highly trusted online wallet with many uses.

Upsides

Sending money is very fast. In most cases, it will take you just seconds to transfer your money from your account to your recipient in the US. Plus, there is no imperative to convert your Canadian dollars into US dollars because your account can hold numerous currency balances and so can your recipient’s PayPal account.

Transfers are also very cheap. It is the recipient who pays for the transfer and not you. Your recipient is going to have to pay a receiving fee of 2.9% and 30c when he or she receives your payment or transfer. It won’t cost you a penny to send the money. Plus, if the person you are sending the money to is a family member or a friend, then he or she may receive the money for free if you use the friends and family payment option.

Downsides

The exchange rate is not very good. They charge your recipient a fee for receiving, but they also skim money from the exchange rate too. Even if you are not transferring, even if you are just withdrawing or are converting your balance to your own currency, they are going to skim from the exchange rate.

What they do is offer you an exchange rate that is the same as the market rate, but then they lower it by 2.5%. For example, if the exchange rate on Google says that you get $1 US for every $2 CAD, then PayPal gives you $0.975 for every $2 CAD (they kept $0.0275 for themselves). Plenty of other exchanges do something similar, which is why exchange companies are always saying than they don’t charge fees; it is because they are skimming from the exchange rate. Nevertheless, it is possible to get a better exchange rate with other online exchange companies.

Skrill

You can think of Skrill as a lesser version of PayPal. It is a fair statement, but Skrill does have things that PayPal doesn’t. In particular, Skrill allows you to send payments to and from countries that PayPal and other online wallets do not deal with. Skrill probably isn’t the best way to send money from Canada to the US, but it may be a useful alternative if you cannot get/have/use PayPal or one of the other methods listed on this article.

Upsides

Skrill’s biggest advantage over other online money companies and online wallets is the fact the it allows its users to deal with people in countries that other online wallets and money companies will not touch. Most online wallets and online money companies are willing to deal with transactions between Canada and the US, so Skrill doesn’t have a big advantage over its competitors in this case. Nevertheless, you may consider Skrill if some of the other options on this article are not open to you, or if some of the other options in front of you are a little too expensive.

Downsides

The fees you have to pay are the biggest downside. Skrill charges you 3.99% for currency exchanges, which is a high fee when compared to other online exchange companies.

You are going to have to pay $5.50 if you wish to withdraw your money. That is the standard fee that Skrill charges for you to withdraw your money. They set it so high to try to make people save their money in Skrill and have them wait until they have a larger amount to withdraw before actually withdrawing. It is a silly and unnecessarily high withdrawal fee.

If you leave money in your account for twelve months, and you leave your account inactive, then Skrill will start to drain your account. After a year of inactivity, Skrill starts to drain your account by $3.00 at a time.

Conclusion – There Are Other Options Open To You

The methods featured in this article are the most popular methods, they are the most readily available, and they are the easiest methods for sending money from Canada to the US. But, there are other options open to you if you are still stuck for payment methods. There is Transferwise, CurrencyFair, Xoom, OFX, and other mainstream currency exchanges that may help you transfer money into the USA.

About The Author

Ash The Great

After a varied career in different industries from the hospitality industry to the financial consultancy industry, Ash now spends his days working as a professional writer.

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