Traveling, studying or visiting abroad can be one of the most exciting times of a person's life. It can also be one of the most expensive. Sometimes unplanned expenses come up or it could simply be a case of not budgeting enough cash for your trip. Either way, if you become the lifeline for family or friends when they encounter financial trouble while traveling outside of the country then you will want to know the best way to get money into their hands as quickly as possible. Of course, cost is also an important consideration along with safety and security. Whether they are facing an emergency and need money right away or anticipate having more trip than they do funds, being familiar with the following money transfer services will help you get the people you care about out of a potentially sticky situation without losing your shirt in the process. The service that you ultimately choose will depend upon a few different factors. Each has its pros and cons and the following information will help you to decide which one best fits your needs at the time you receive that call for help.
1 – Your Personal Bank
Transferring money from your own bank account may feel more comfortable and secure for you. You typically have an established relationship with your banking institution and can easily get help with your transfer if needed. There is also the benefit of being able to send large sums of money with fewer issues. However, there is a cost for the convenience. Banks typically have higher fees and exchange rate markups. Also, if the recipient of the money doesn't have a bank account to deposit the funds into that could be a problem as banks transfer money from your account to another bank account only.
2 – PayPal
You may already have a PayPal account set up which will make sending money abroad pretty
easy. Once again the money will come directly out of the bank account you have linked to your PayPal account. You can also use a credit card to pay through PayPal. This option is good for sending smaller amounts of money and lower fees are normally charged either from your bank or credit card issuer. The catch is that the recipient must also have an established PayPal account to receive the money.
3 – TransferWise
Once again, if your recipient has a bank account and doesn't mind waiting a few days for the money then this may be a good option for you. With low fees and no markups on the exchange rates you are able to keep more money in your pocket. Using a debit or credit card will take less time to transfer funds and this company will send money to over 70 countries. There are daily limits on the amount you can transfer, but these are relatively large amounts. If you are sending emergency money or a reasonable sum to tide your friend or relative over for the time being there should be no issue.
4 – OFX
If you are trying to avoid costly fees then this service may be a good choice for you. Regardless of the amount you are sending there are no transfer fees and there is only a small markup on the exchange rate. The price you pay for lower fees is the wait time. It can take a couple of days for the money to leave your account and another day or two for the recipient to receive it. There is a $1000 minimum transfer limit but no maximum daily limit amount.
5 – Western Union
A familiar name to many, Western Union offers not only bank account transfers but in person pickup as well for those who don't have a personal bank account. You can transfer money online from their website, through the Western Union app, or by going to one of their many physical locations. You have the choice of paying with cash or you can use a credit or debit card. They offer low fees on both money transfers and exchange rate markups for bank account transfers but the wait time is longer. You can pay a higher fee to send the money faster if necessary. One great benefit is that it can just be picked up in person as cash in the recipient country.