What’s The Cheapest Way to Send Money to/from the USA?

If you are working overseas and you want to send money to your loved ones in your home country, most probably you are searching ways on how to send it in the easiest, cheapest, and fastest way. Well, in this post, you will know different ways on how to transfer money to or from the USA. Therefore, I have done my research online to look for the cheapest and recommended money transfer method that can be used by everyone.

The cheapest way to send money to or from the USA is the TransferWise. It offers the best exchange rates and does not have any hidden fees. In fact, it declares all their fees beforehand, taking 1% of the transfer amount if sending from the US or from other currencies such as Philippine Peso. 

However, TransferWise is an online money transfer service and you need to create an account and have it verified to use the app efficiently. That is why, we are introducing two ways on how to send money; you can do it through online and through in-person transfers. Either way is proven and tested for smooth money transfer transactions that will come handy in this kind of situation. 

There are two main ways to send and receive money in the US: online and in person. Let’s look at what are your cheapest options for each:

Online Money Transfer Services

If you want hassle free money transfer services, you can opt to do it through online. However, before you can transfer money, you need to sign up for an account and you must be a verified user to use it efficiently since there are instances where the money transfer app will hold your money for 21 days since you are just a new and not a verified user. Therefore, just a little reminder, make sure to have your account verified first to avoid delays on your transactions.

Another thing to consider, before you can make money transfer is that you must be knowledgeable on how to fund your account. You can do this  through paying using debit or credit card or you connect through online banking by paying on direct debit. Otherwise, you cannot send money online through this app.

Hence, here is a rundown of the best online money transfer services you may consider when sending money overseas.

1. TransferWise

When it comes to money transfer services, of course, this online money transfer service will always be mentioned in the list. This is because of its low-cost rate charge, transparent transfer fees, which are declared upfront, and they convert money at the true mid-market exchange rate, meaning there is no mark up on the exchange rate, which is good unlike other methods of money transfers, wherein they charge customers the above-market rate. Unfortunately, they do not declare this kind of fee.

Currently, you can only send money to 71 countries and send money from 43 countries (mostly on Western countries) using TransferWise. What I love about this money transfer service is the speed of money transfer, wherein the recipient can receive the money the same day (if the sender uses a debit or credit card to transfer money). On the other hand, it takes one to three business days for transfers done through direct debit. 

When talking about transfer limits using TransferWise, generally you can transfer  up to $10,000 using the above-mentioned options. However, there are instances wherein you need to send more than $10,000. Well, to make money transfers that are more than $10,000, you may do it by making a wire transfer. Unfortunately, by doing this, your bank may charge you an additional fee, when you wire money from your bank account to your Transferwise account. The good side is that it will be readily available the same day and you can make money transfers up to $1,000,000 by sending money through a wire transfer. 

2. OFX

OFX has been known as one of the cheapest methods to send money because it does not charge a transfer fee no matter how much you send. However, this depends on your agreed exchange rates. The OFX’s exchange rate markup improves  the more money you send. In fact, it has a margin for as low as around 0.4%, so that you can get the best favorable rates too. So, once you have agreed on the exchange rate with OFX, the rate will be freezed so that you will know ahead of time the exact amount your recipient will receive regardless of the fluctuating exchange rates. 

What’s good about OFX is that they have  24/7 online or over the phone teams that are available to answer your queries and concerns about the transaction process. Unlike TransferWise, the beneficiary can receive the money possible within the same delivery, but with OFX it may take one to three business days to receive the money transfer from your bank and another one to three business days (depending on the destination) before your recipient will receive the money through OFX. 

To know more about how to send money internationally using OFX, you may check this site. With just three easy steps, and you’re done. 

It is good to know that the minimum transfer amount is $1,000 and there is no maximum limit for money transfers. OFX works only through bank to bank accounts, meaning they do not offer services such as delivery to pick up locations overseas. That is why your recipient must have a bank account to make the money transfer work. 

3. WorldRemit

Another online money transfer service that allows people to send money overseas.  Currently, WorldRemit allows users to send money from 50 countries to 150 countries across the world. It offers different options to make money transfer smooth and convenient such as debit and credit card payment, bank transfers, and cash to cash local pick-up location. This is perfect for those beneficiaries who do not have access to everyday banking services. 

There are a variety of options to pay for the transfer. Let’s say for senders who transfer money via a bank transfer, you need to transfer the funds directly to the specific account given by WorldRemit. So, from then on, the WorldRemit will forward the cash to your beneficiary through their international networks of partnered banks all around the world.

Before you make the transaction, you will be provided with information regarding your transfer such as the exchange rates, the transfer fees, and the estimated transfer time. You will only be given 24 hours to transfer your funds since the exchange rate will only be valid within that time period. 

WorldRemit will charge fees based on different factors: your payment scheme, the location of your recipient, currencies involved, and the amount you will be sending can affect the fees you will be charged for a single transaction. For instance, you will be charged 3% if you have made the payment through credit card since it will be viewed as cash advance and might charge you 3% in the region. Hence, to learn more about payment fees when using WorldRemit as your tool to money transfer, you may visit this site.  

In-person Services

These are the traditional ways on how to send money overseas since you will be the one (physically) going to remittance centers or money transfer services without the actual need to open up a bank account because they can opt for pick-up options.

Hence, here are the two most known in-person money transfer services with low-cost charges.

1. Western Union

With its over 220 countries with 550,000 locations spread all over the world, Western Union has been known when it comes to money transfer services. This is an ideal option for recipients who do not have a bank account or do not have daily access to banking services. However, there is also an option where you may send it to your recipient’s bank account.

The fees and charges might be considerate since it varies depending on the recipients location, let’s say a typical Western Union’s rate markup will range from less than 1% to 6% and for money transfers around $1000, the fee can be charged under 5%. The cheapest transfer will take up to 1 week delivery for pickup options. Check this site to know the different ways on how to transfer money to a bank account, money wallet, and for local pick-up options delivery. 


Western Union is also available through online services wherein you can also send money through online. Make sure to sign up for a new account to make it work. 

2. Moneygram

Just like Western Union, you may also send money through online or in-person using Moneygram. This money transfer service makes its money from transfer fees and exchange rates. The transfer fee varies depending on the location of the recipient, the amount you will be sending, and your payment method; however, the exchange rate can be 5% or above the mid-market rate. Therefore, if you will be transferring a huge amount of money, some parts of it will just go straight to Moneygram’s pocket.

Moneygram has a maximum limit of $10,000 online transfer every month. Just like Wester Union, it has the option to send money for recipients without bank accounts and then just wait until it is available for pick-up. 

Payment method can be done using a credit card, debit card, or directly from your bank account. Here are the ways on how to send money internationally using Moneygram.

Another way to send money to the USA or other countries is through banks. You may read the below post to know how to transfer money overseas  through banks.

How to Send Money from Philippines to USA Through Bank?

There are a lot of local banks here in the Philippines that offer money transfer services overseas. Some of the major banks include Banco de Oro (BDO), Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Philippine National Bank (PNB) and Metrobank

If you are transferring money internationally, it would be best to go personally to the bank you have an existing account with to send the money. You will need to fill up your recipient’s information details such as the complete name, address, contact information, and bank account number.

For example, if you have an existing account with BDO, you will need a Wire Transfer Request, wherein you must have a BDO US Dollar Savings Account in order to transfer US Dollar funds to your bank account’s recipient. For BDO clients, this can be done through BDO Internet Banking.

The service charge for Wire Transfer Request will cost you $10.