Sending Money to Family Overseas From The US


Discover all of the different ways you can send money to family overseas. Everyone’s situation is different, to make the best decision for your needs review exchange rates, fees, and options before sending your cash.


Can I Use a Credit Card or Debit Card?

If you have a Visa/Mastercard credit card or debit card you can send money through the following providers:


Sending Money to Family Overseas Using Paypal

Paypal is an excellent option for sending small amounts of money overseas (less than $200). There are no minimums (dollar amount), and Paypal may be a cheaper alternative to using your bank because they charge a relatively small fee for the transfer.

If your recipient has a Paypal account this process is super fast and easy. If they don’t, a setup process is required and it could take up to 28 days for funds to arrive.

Click here to read a review on Paypal.


No Bank Account? Cash Pick-up Options

Not every relative you send money to is going to have a local bank account. For these situations, Western Union and MoneyGram both offer a cash pick-up service.


Sarah’s son is doing volunteer work in India. She gets an email one day that he has lost his debit card and has no money. Her son doesn’t have a Paypal account so she wires him money using Western Union. Due to the circumstances, she is willing to accept the higher fees and bad exchange rate for the convenience of a cash pick-up.



Western Union Review

MoneyGram Review


Paying into a Bank Account Using an American Bank like Chase, CitiBank, Bank of America or Wells Fargo

Using your primary bank to send money abroad is one of the most common methods people use. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most expensive. The rate between banks will vary.

The ‘Big 4’ (named above) charge a fixed fee between $35 and $45 to wire money internationally. Most of these banks have the same rates if you do this online or in a branch, with Chase being the exception — charging $10 more in a branch.

It’s not hard to send money overseas using your own bank. Here is how to do it:

  • Log in to your account online.
  • Click on the “Transfers” or “Wires” section and choose an “International Wire Transfer”.
  • Enter the details of the bank where you are sending the money. They are usually called the “Recipient”. You will need the International bank account number (IBAN) of the recipient or “Swift” routing number to complete the transfer.
  • Choose which account you’d like to fund the transfer.
  • Confirm the details – and voila!

Related: Citibank review


Money Transfer Specialists

As their name implies money transfer specialists help you move money from your account to family members abroad. The process is about the same as using a bank but sometimes you’ll get lower fees and a better exchange rate.

We’ll use Travelex as an example: You will have to register (free) and link an account with them online. From there, the process similar to using internet banking:

  • Get a quote for the exchange rate.
  • Enter the banking details of where you are sending the money. They are usually called the “beneficiary” or “recipient” with transfer specialists.
  • Confirm the details and lock in the rate.
  • Transfer the dollars to their account (converted and transferred by Travelex) — and you’re done!

Some alternatives include: Transferwise, Xoom, and OFX (USForex Inc.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *