Getting money to another country can be tough, especially if the country is not as interlinked as places such as Europe, the US, Canada and Australia. They all have long-standing trade treaties that make moving money a lot easier, especially if you are a European sending money to another country in Europe. In this article, you will discover the cheapest ways to send money abroad, and you will discover how to set up a fake money-sending company to con people out of thousands.

We’ve updated this article for 2017.

If you are sending money to other countries, you are going to experience a lot of trouble, especially the countries that have a reputation for supporting terrorism, or for groups that defraud people. The cost of your transfers may depend upon how much you want to send, and how often you wish to transfer money to India.

If you want to skip to our top recommendation, then go with Transferwise. It’s easy, secure, and gives some of the best currency conversion rates when you transfer that you can find, outside of special circumstances.

Cheapest Ways to Transfer Money to India

Here are a few well-known companies that offer money transfers to India. They all have their terms and conditions, which mean this list is only good for getting a raw overview of your choices. You also need to be aware that any of the rates or fees may change at any time, which means the fees listed may be incorrect by this afternoon. The fees listed are for if you want to send $1000 to India.

Note, this cost breakdown does NOT give the exchange rate in which many of the companies skim you by giving you a bad exchange rate. So while a fee may be only a couple dollars, you may lose a lot with a bad exchange rate the company uses! So make sure you check out the exchange rate offered!

Here’s a list of the current rates for Transfering Money to India

TransferWise

Cost to Send $1000 USD: $15

Time: 3-5 days

TransferWise is the only company on this list to offer no hidden conversion costs.

Transferwise Currency Calculator – Check the Amount You Get Below

 

Ria Money Transfer

Cost to Send $1000 USD: $5

Time: 3-5 days

MoneyGram

Cost to Send $1000 USD:  $10

Time: Variable sending times.

Transfast

Cost to Send $1000 USD:  $5 – $30

Offers a terrible exchange rate and fee.

Variable depending on fee chosen.

Remit2India

Cost to Send $1000 USD: $6

Time: 3-5 days

Lucky Money

Cost to Send $1000 USD: $0

Time: 3-5 days

Offers a poor exchange rate and fee.

Travelex

Cost to Send $1000 USD: $0

Offers the worst exchange rate and fee in the country.

Time: 3-5 days

Western Union

Cost to Send $1000 USD: $6

Time: 3-5 days

Remitly

Cost to Send $1000 USD: $4

Variable sending times.

Offers a poor exchange rate and fee.

XE Trade

Cost to Send $1000 USD: $0

Offers a terrible exchange rate and fee.

Time: 3-5 days

Zenbanx

Cost to Send $1000 USD: $5

Offers a terrible exchange rate and fee.

Time: 2-3 days

Xpress Money

Cost to Send $1000 USD: $10

Time: 3-5 days

Xoom

Cost to Send $1000 USD: $5

Time: 3-5 days

USForex

Cost to Send $1000 USD: $0

Time: 1-2 days

Offers a poor exchange rate and fee.

Remitly

Cost to Send $1000 USD: $0

Time: 3-5 days

Offers a poor exchange rate and fee.

Western Union

Cost to Send $1000 USD: $10

Variable sending times.

Payoneer

Cost to Send $1000 USD: $3

Offers a terrible exchange rate and fee.

Time: 3-5 days

Ria Money Transfer

Cost to Send $1000 USD: $10

Variable sending times.

WorldRemit

Cost to Send $1000 USD: $4 (changeable)

Time: 3-5 days

Remember that you need to do research into each company to find out how much it will cost you to send your money and to find out if there are hidden fees. You should also be aware that some companies and banks will insist that the recipient have an account with them too. Some companies and banks charge less if the recipient has an account with them. This means it may be worth your time having the recipient sign up for an account with the company you chose.

The Two Charges You Will Pay As A Sender

Fees are the most obvious charge, and they may include a multitude of fees and commissions. Companies often add smaller additional charges to hide the true cost of the transfer. A company may take a slice of the exchange rate. Companies that offer to send money abroad without a commission will often make their money by offering you a less favorable exchange rate. They skim money by offering you a poor exchange rate and keeping the money you technically lose when you take their rate. In simple terms, they may take your money and exchange it with another company for a better rate, send your money and keep the extra.

+ The two charges you may receive are fees and exchange-rate related

+ Hidden fees via smaller charges may hide the true cost of the transfer

+ Taking a poor exchange rate may cost you more than fees would have

Keep It As Simple As Possible

The best way to figure out the best deal for you is to take account of all the factors and see how much money you get to keep/send at the end of it all. Research into different countries and figure out how much you will have left over at the end after all the charges have been added. This means you are not specifically hunting for a company with the best fees or best exchange rates. You are comparing companies to see which gives you the best result in the end. Here is a simple example where the exchange rate itself is not a factor, but the amount the company skims from the exchange rate is:

Company Alpha – $3000 to send, -2% fee, -1.1% exchange = $2907

Company Beta – $3000 to send, -0% fee, -3.5% exchange = $2895

Company Charlie – $3000 to send, -1.6% fee, -2.1% exchange = $2889

Company Delta – $3000 to send, -2.9% fee, -0% exchange = $2913

Company Echo – $3000 to send, -$75 fee, -0% exchange = $2925

As you can see from those imagined examples, the company that charges a flat rate fee of $75 is the best option, but they wouldn’t be as good value if you were sending a smaller amount such as $100. You can also see how the companies that skim from the exchange rate are able to offer no fee.

The point is that you need to do these calculations for yourself and figure out how much money you come out with at the end. This can be tricky sometimes if you do your research over a number of days because sometimes exchange rates change so quickly that it may skewer the accuracy of your results.

+ Work out how much you come out with at the end

+ No fee sometimes means a poorer exchange rate

+ Higher fees may come with less exchange-rate skimming

+ Sometimes a flat or fixed fee is better for larger amounts

Sending Times And Why They Are So Long

The biggest reason why money takes a while to get to another country is because of fraud checks. Real companies have to do due-diligence checks to see if the money is being sent for legitimate reasons. The other reason is because most companies have to “action” the transfer in some way, and the recipients often have to “action” the transfer, such as deciding to accept the money into the account. The time it takes to action the transfers depends on the companies involved.

Some companies will offer a deal that allows you to send your money quicker, but will often charge higher fees. Some companies will offer lower rates for people that do not mind the money taking a long time to transfer. There are numerous reasons for this, including the fact that the companies may be able to earn interest on the money they keep in their accounts.

Many companies offer better exchange rates, better fees, or better sending times if you deposit more money and send more money at one time. Sometimes a company will offer a fixed rate for lower amounts and then move into percentage rate when the amount being sent is high enough.

+ Fraud checks will slow down your transfer

+ Some companies offer slower transfers for lower rates

+ There are companies that transfer faster with larger amounts

+ Some companies transfer slowly because they are inefficient

Beware Of Comparison Sites

There are three good reasons to avoid them, and even though they are good for getting an idea of the best deals, they do skewer people’s perceptions, and they do not consider other money transfer elements such as how long a company takes to transfer the money. Here are three reasons why you should beware of comparison sites in general and for sending money to India.

Companies are able to manipulate the results

The world of car insurance has proved that comparison websites may be exploited and manipulated. There are now car insurance companies that refuse to be part of comparison sites for this very reason. The easiest way is to lower your charges and fees to make sure they are the lowest so your company appears at the top of the list. You then add hidden charges in at the end of the application process.

For example, some money-sending companies will have a deposit fee they place at the end, claiming it costs you an extra fee to put money into their accounts. They also charge extra depending on the way you move money into their accounts and which cards you use to do it. There are plenty of ways of making your fees look smaller by hiding the true cost with smaller fees and hidden charges that do not appear on the comparison website.

The host website is often paid to promote companies

Put hours of time and spend lots of money making a comparison website that compares companies that send money abroad. You figure you will make thousands from adverts, or maybe from referral fees, but after two months you have only made $200 when the website cost you $3500.

You could play the long game and eventually recoup your money, or you could accept the offer from a company that said they would pay you $250 per week if you funnel almost all of your traffic to them. So, you ensure your comparison tool keeps placing them at the top of the list, so people go to them first.

This is not an indictment of all comparison websites, but you have to be aware that not all comparison websites are as clear-cut and honest as they make out. There are many comparison websites that keep putting different companies at the top of their lists because that month those companies are offering the best referral commission.

It doesn’t take security into account

Buy a cheap second-hand laptop and a mobile dongle. Pay cash and top up the dongle in store and give a fake address when you buy (or have a stranger do it for you). Set up a website, plant a few trusted icons on there, develop it professionally, give the details of your fake company on the website that includes a fake business address, and offer to transfer money to India. Now, submit your details to the comparison site, pay your entry fee (if applicable), and enter your transfer fees so they are smaller than the other companies. Now, pay an Indian writing mill to have its writers create fantastic reviews of your website under fake profile names and have them post them on comparison sites and banking websites.

That is how easy it is to get on a comparison site with your fake company and website. People check the website, take a look at your website (seems legit), they check your reviews on the comparisons site and other websites (they seem good), and they place their money in your hands. Once you have rinsed a few people of their money, delete your website, sell your computer, and give the dongle away to a stranger.

The only problem you have is that a bunch of people paid money into your accounts, which is why you used the accounts of a down-and-out stranger with nothing to lose, with the condition that stranger draws out two thirds of the money and gives it to you by hand. He is happy because it is the first time he has had money in weeks, and he doesn’t mind the risk because he has no idea how risky it actually is.

Comparison websites are not able to take security into account, even if they claim they do, there is no way you can be sure the company you see on the comparison site is genuine. They may have been trading for months, but they may simply be waiting to have enough people signed up so they can do a big takedown in one go and skip the country before they are caught.

+ Companies may hide fees to make their compared fees appear smaller

+ The web master may manipulate the website to promote companies

+ Comparison websites cannot tell you which companies are safe