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The Cheapest, Fastest And Best Ways To Send Money Online

The Cheapest, Fastest And Best Ways To Send Money Online

Since we are in the business of reviewing companies in the financial and banking sector, it is only fair that we update our lists on the best companies for transferring, exchanging and sending money for the year 2017, and that is just what we have done. Here are some of the best companies on the Internet for transferring money. We have even found a company that will allow you to send money and have it in the recipient’s hand within less than half an hour.

If you don’t want to read this 4000-word article, our pick for the cheapest (and, in our experience, the easiest) way to send money abroad is Transferwise. And yes, we use and have used this service ourselves to transfer thousands of dollars abroad, while saving a ton in currency exchange fees.

Each of the companies we have mentioned has their own special selling point that makes them fast, fantastic, or extraordinarily cheap. What is more exciting is that these companies are all mainstream, which means they are secure and they make signing up easy to do. In addition to our detailed list, we have also added a short list of companies that you should maybe consider as alternatives to the stellar companies we have covered in depth.

A Word On Currency Changers And Money Senders

The amount a company quotes and the amount you pay are often very different. A company will give you a low fee to entice you in and then give a poor quality exchange rate. If you are moving money abroad, then beware of this nasty exchange trick.

The images below are in pounds sterling (GBP) because they are part of a series of news story from the United Kingdom where the people of Britain have been naming and shaming companies that claim they are offering currency conversion savings when they are not. The amount that you pay when you combine the fees and the poor quality exchange rate are not what they first appear. As you can see by the quotes Internet image below, you can see the true cost of sending £1000. When transfer companies and banks give you a poor quality exchange rate, it is so they can skim from the top and earn extra money.

Comparing the prices that banks quote

It is a pity that the HSBC bank is named and shamed in that image because they are great at some things, it just happens that their rates are rather sub-par when compared to exchange companies. In the image below, you can see how much money people actually receive with different companies.

The amount that people are paying in currency conversion feesAs you can see by the image above, it is clearly obvious that you get a better deal with some companies over others based on how big their fees are, and how much they skim from the exchange rate (aka giving you a bad rate so they can profit more fully from the conversion). The naming-and-shaming campaign that raged in the UK is what prompted the UK billionaire to invest $23 million into Transferwise.

Richard Branson on the Simpsons

Above, you can see Richard’s appearance on the Simpsons. As a side note, Richard Branson was also the inspiration for the happy-go-lucky billionaire Arthur Fortune on the Simpsons.

Fortune and Richard branson

Sir Richard invested the money because he is sick of banks and transfer companies hiding charges in their exchange rate. Since Transferwise doesn’t skim from the exchange rate, Sir Richard wanted to be sure that they stay in business so that people may exchange their money without being ripped off.

Send Money Internationally And Online With Transferwise

Many currency transfer and conversion companies are going to skim from your exchange rate. For example, if the exchange rate is $1.00 = £0.80, then a currency conversion and transfer company may give you a rate of £1.00 = £0.75, and then they keep the £0.05 for themselves. That is not the case with Transferwise because they give you almost exactly whatever the current exchange rate is, be it maybe 0.05%+/- the current rate.

Transferwise doesn’t make its money by skimming from exchange rates, they make their money with fees. They will charge you $3 up to £356, and then the rate runs on a sliding scale where the more you send, then the less you pay per $1. Their fees are rather good when you consider how much other companies make from you by skimming from your exchange rate. You pay a transaction fee of $3 up to $356, which is $0.08 per $1 transferred. The same rate of $0.0843 per dollar applies after $356, so if you were to send $1000, it would cost you $8.43.

Transferwise Is Very Well Reviewed And Highly Trusted By Its Users

We’ve written a review of Transferwise and were impressed.

The author of this article has in fact used Transferwise to cheaply send thousands of dollars abroad while living in Thailand.

Their mobile app allows you to trace and track your transactions, and the company allows you to both send and request money. Their rates are relatively low when you take them as a whole, which means if you calculate how much the recipient receives and how much it costs you against company A, B and C, then Transferwise may look more expensive, but your recipient actually gets more and you pay far less.

Transferwise Currency Calculator – Check the Amount You Get Below


They are particularly handy if the recipient is you because you will save a bundle compared to if you used other companies. As a final note, their website is easy to use and is a dream come true when compared to the compartmental way in which the Western Union website is set up. I am not saying I do not like the Western Union as a company, but after using the Western Union website to review their services (for this article), I can admit I would like to hit their web designer over the head with several broken light bulbs.

smash a Glass over your head

Receive Money Domestically And Internationally With PayPal

You may not realize it, but your online life would be far worse if it were not for the things that companies such as Google, PayPal and the Western Union have done for us. The products and services they have introduced have freed us from some very unpleasant alternatives. PayPal skims from the exchange rate, which means if you receive a different currency in your account, then converting will sting a little. However, PayPal allows you to hold any type of currency you like, which is something very few others will allow you to do without charging a subscription.

In addition, PayPal allows you to send money between your different PayPal accounts and to your friends and family for free. The service works as a transfer device, a currency converter, and an online wallet. It is not the cheapest in the world, but it is the best online money holder you can find, and it is very secure because it doesn’t give away your card or bank details when you use it.

You may send money by simply using the other person’s email address. When you buy, you do not need to enter your payment details, which limits other company’s exposure to your credit/debit card details. It is also one of the most flexible payment and money-receiving tools in the world. Their exchange rate may be less than perfect, but other than that, they are a top-notch company and the more the company is used by eCommerce websites, then the more useful and flexible it becomes.

Armed with just your email address and your password, you may load money into your account, or conduct transactions and allow it to draw money from your bank. You may request money, create invoices, or send money and pay for things. So fantastic if PayPal that if credit scoring companies considered it to be an online bank and started scoring with it, then it would also be the best online bank ever created.

Western Union Is A Highly Trusted Tool For Sending Money Internationally

It may seem a little naughty entering the Western Union into an article about how to send money cheaply, but if we take the idea of saving money in its broadest terms, then Western Union is right up there as a money saver. Once you put your money in their hands, then it is safe. The company is very secure and operates in a way that protects your money. If you were to lose your money with a company because they were hacked or had problems with their systems, then your money is lost.

It won’t matter how cheap your fees were if your money has disappeared. That will not happen with the Western Union because they offer very secure online transfer and conversion services. If you are sending a large amount and want added protection, then send the money after creating a backup plan such as buying insurance, or send it with the Western Union. MoneyGram are the best at weeding out people who are sending money abroad to fund terrorists, but the Western Union is white hot when it comes to ensuring a safe and loss-free transaction. Their fees and exchange rates are better if you send the money online and have it direct deposited into the recipient’s account. If you do that, then you will receive their best rate and their lowest fee. The only downside is that their cheapest plan usually takes 1-2 days before the money is received.

MoneyGram Is The Second Cheapest International Transfer Company

Small Icon for MoneygramIf you wish to transfer money and you do not want to use Transferwise, then strongly consider using MoneyGram. Some people think that CurrencyFair is the cheapest, but Transferwise is the cheapest, followed by MoneyGram. The reason for the confusion is because the costs become alter slightly depending on the amounts being transferred and other demographic factors.

If you are sending less than $356 with Transferwise, then it is possible (albeit unlikely) that you will find another company that will charge you less. Instead of taking the word of comparison websites, online polls and supposed studies, why not try doing your own research and getting your own rates. If you have an amount to convert and send, then go online and research the costs yourself.

My research has shown me that you will save the most with Transferwise, followed by MoneyGram, which is almost as cheap as Transferwise. MoneyGram has a far better website than Transferwise, and the MoneyGram FAQ section will clear up any questions or concerns you may have. They are no substitute for Transferwise when sending money abroad, but they are a worthy alternative to Transferwise.

HSBC Is There For People Who Need Multi-Account Money Moving

Small Icon for HSBCThe HSBC bank is extremely good when it comes to moving money around within your own accounts, the accounts of your employees, and accounts where more than one person has permission to use it. If you have a private account, then moving your money around will cost you nothing in most cases. If you have a business account, then the transaction fees are very low.

Send Money From Your Phone To Accounts In The US with Venmo

Small Icon for VenmoVenmo is owned by PayPal and is a mobile app that allows you to send money within the US. It has earned its place on this article because it is a cheap way of sending less than $3000 in one transaction, and it allows you to send money using your Smartphone. It is a highly rated digital wallet made exclusively for Smartphones. It works on Windows, Android and Apple Smartphones. You should use a debit card, prepaid card or bank transfer to get the money into your account because they have a 3% charge for using credit cards. The app allows you to send or request $2999 per week, and if you have friends with the same app, then you may see their transactions (if they make them public), so you may see who is moving money where.

When money is sent, it appears as a balance on your Venmo app right away, but it takes around two days before you are able to access your money. With its GooglePlus-like news feed, it has helped to make moving money a socially engaging activity, and if your bank is tied to your checking account (current account, debit account), then moving money to your friends, co-workers and family is free.

Xoom Is Used For Receiving Less Popular Currencies From The US

 Small Icon for XoomI am not a fan of Xoom because of its limited functionality. It was built to allow people to convert and draw money from the US, and allow people in the US to send have money sent to them. Yet, the 55 countries that you may conduct transactions with are not very popular on the currency conversion front. For example, many US citizens repeatedly convert their US dollars into Euros to send it into a European country, which is why the Euro is considered a popular currency. However, Xoom deals with currencies such as the Nepalese rupee, where people are able to request money from people in the US and have it converted into Nepalese rupees. Xoom is a cheap money sending and requesting company for people who are looking to transfer and convert some of the world’s less popular currencies.

SqaureCash Is A Venmo Alternative That Is More Streamlined

Small Icon for SquareCashThe amount you send and the fees you pay are going to vary depending upon which state you live in. SquareCash is similar to Venmo except that sending money is easier. If other Smartphone users have a SquareCash account, then you may send them money using just your Smartphone. You may send up to $2500 per week. If you are sending money to a friend or relative, then there is no fee, you may send the money for free.

The Google Wallet Offers the Fastest Email Transfers

Small Icon for Google WalletIt does many of the things that PayPal does, except that it is not as flexible. However, if you have moved your money or received your money, then you may draw your money from your Google Wallet onto your debt card within minutes. PayPal will take a few minutes, two hours, or a day, but the Google Wallet offers quick transfers almost all the time. It rarely takes the Google Wallet more than 2 hours to complete your withdrawal.

Sending $10,000 Or More Is Easy With OFX

Small Icon for OFXSending money with OFX is relatively cheap if you are looking to send more than $10,000. Up to $10,000, and the company is beaten into the ground by Transferwise, but when it comes to amounts in excess of $10,000, then OFX offer more competitive fees and rates.

Do not be fooled by their claim that they only charge $5 in fees up to $5000 because they are making a bundle by giving you a poor quality exchange rate, which means you end up with less than you would have if you had used a company with higher fees.

Send Cash With Wal-Mart Instead of Sending it by Mail

Sending cash by mail is really dumb. It is dumber than a guy who tries to cash in the reward for his own capture

Dumb man tries to cash in on his own reward

If you send money by mail, it is going to be stolen unless it is a specially sealed and insured parcel, and even then, there is a chance your mail carrier will steal the money, or somebody else in the supply chain will poke their fingers in for the cash. If you want to send cash, then do it with Wal-Mart.

There are over 4000 in the USA, which means there is probably one near to you. Instead of using MoneyGram or Western Union to send money nationally (to another person in the USA), you may send up to $2500 for just $25. Put your money into the account at your local Wal-Mart and the recipient may pick it up at the Wal-Mart near him or her. You may fund the transfer with hard cash, or you may use a debit card or pre-paid card.

As far as I am aware (I don’t know if it varies from location to location), the recipient receives cash at Wal-Mart and it is not onto their debit bankcard–but I am not 100% sure about this. I think the recipient may only receive hard cash. Put your money into the Wal-Mart scheme and you receive a pass code. The recipient may then go into a Wal-Mart within just 20 minutes and use the pass code to withdraw the money. As a way of sending and receiving hard cash, it is the fastest way of getting notes into another person’s hand.

Sending Money In The USA with A Wire Transfer Will Allow You To Send Bigger Amounts

Peer-to-peer mobile apps allow you to send money to other people’s phones onto their Smartphone accounts, but for money-laundering and fraud reduction reasons, these apps limit how much you may send and how frequently you may send money. Wire transfers work in a very different way and will often allow you to send $10,000 or more within just one transaction, and many times you may send $10,000 and then send another $10,000 right after, which is not something you may do with a mobile app. You may send larger amounts more quickly with a wire transfer. Sending thousands may only cost in the region of $25 if it is a national wire transfer rather than an international transfer. It is annoying when they charge you to receive money, but you can find companies and banks that will not do that for national (not international) transfers.

Other Companies To Consider

The companies mentioned above offer you the cheapest, fastest, and best ways of sending money nationally and internationally. However, when it comes to moving money around in the USA, you are not short of options. Here are a few other companies you may wish to consider–they are not the best, but they get the job done.


It is not as popular as PayPal by a long shot, but it is commonly seen in a number of countries and cannot be ruled out as a payment, receiving and transferring company for your particular needs. Echecks do not take a long time, offline checking is convenient, and they have merchant tools that are similar to the ones that PayPal offer. Their customer service department is well trained and usually get the job done if you have a problem. You may also here Payza referred to as AlertPay.

The sad fact is that Payza has a limited availability depending upon your region. For example, it is only recently that people in the US are able to use Payza. They are a long way behind PayPal when it comes to availability. If you do not link your bank to your account, then they are going to charge you very high fees. Their aim is to get you to link your bank with their service, so they have made it very expensive to fund your account with anything other than bank linking. Their verification platform is broken to the point where you may remove a bank from their system a year ago and it still appears on your account as a verified account.

Liberty Reserve

When it comes to security, this company is deep in the trenches regarding how they conduct their business. For example, Liberty Reserve has Liberty Guard that has antivirus support, will encrypt and decrypt your password, and has automatic IP change/ multiple computer verification. Their customer service department is top notch, and their service has plenty of private-user and business-user tools you can play with. Send private payments without having a merchant account and the sending fees are small and manageable.

The downside is that their security protocols and verification take a while to get used to and you will have to learn how it all works in order to get through the process. Being verified is tedious, and learning how to use your account is difficult. Their “own currency” security protocol is downright confounding when one hopes they were trying to revolutionize rather than aggravate. It is also annoying when you have to keep repeatedly enter and re-enter your master key to conduct transactions.


This is a company you may use if you want a multi-currency account, but you do not want to pay the subscription fees or transaction charges that your bank offers. Zenbanx offer a multicurrency mobile-payments account. The company may have promise in the future, but at the moment, it is a little unstable. If you are looking to send money in small amounts, then you may try to send money with Zenbanx as a bit of a test/trial run.


They offer 121 currencies, but you have to transfer at least $1000 per transaction. They have offices around the world, and they only charge $10 per transaction for transfers of less than $10,000. WorldFirst make their money by skimming from the exchange rate. They give you a poor exchange rate, move the currency, and create profit from moving the currency at its actual exchange rate.

You may sign up with WorldFirst within two minutes, but you will have to verify your account at a later date as time goes on. Many times, you receive your money within 24 hours, but there are some countries where transactions take a great deal of time. The company is not available to people in every state, there are some states where you are not allowed to sign up for an account with WorldFirst.


In short, their exchange rate is okay, their website is great, their customer service needs improvement, and overall they are okay. The fees for transferring with your phone are extortionate, their fees for transferring within 2-4 days are okay–but not perfect, and their fees for online express are stupidly high, (especially when they advertise that express deliveries can take up to two days).

They offer up to 90 currencies, and their minimum transfer amount is only $50. Signing up takes a long time, and some transfers take much longer than 4 days depending on the newness of your account and where the money is going or coming from. Their rates cannot beat some CurrencyFair (below) or Transferwise, but they can beat the banks.

Currency Fair

It is possible to get the best (better than even the interbank) exchange rate with CurrencyFair for those who are willing to do a little work for it via their marketplace options. The online platform is secure, and they have a transparent online pricing platform for sending and receiving money. It is possible to beat the current market rate by using their peer-to-peer marketplace to make your exchange, but it will take time and effort on your part. They have a free quote link and a great app. They have a very good online reputation and online client reputation.

The downside is there are some less-than-transparent fees, such as their withdrawal fees and their varying fixed fees. They do not have a dedicated dealer’s option, and it can take a very long time to find a rate that suits you. There are no hedging tools, and they fund withdrawal fees on top of their fixed fees. Their customer support team is poorly trained and apathetic, and the platform they offer is cumbersome and unintuitive. The service has also been criticized for discontinuing their service without prior notice.

Currencies Direct

They have 18 worldwide offices, and yet there are unavailable in some US states. Signing up for their service is easy, and getting verified is not overly taxing. Their personal dealers are helpful and they offer good exchange rates. Some of their customer service department team members and some of their dealers have been known to be rude with impunity.

There are times when you need extra information on your transfer or conversion and the company is not forthcoming. The recipient’s bank will be charged a fee, and you may not use Visa Electron and credit cards to fund your account.

Conclusion – Send Money Easily, Quickly And Cheaply

The more transfer companies that come into the spotlight, and the more methods for sending money that are created, seem to benefit the end user. Each year, sending money seems to become faster, cheaper and easier. You can even send it with your Smartphone these days, and online transfer has never been so easy and quick. The most impressive companies are Transferwise for their cheap transfers, and Wal-Mart for the sheer speed at which the recipient may receive his or her cash.

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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