Send Money To USA

In 2017, the United States received $6,621 million in remittances. The top five countries from where US nationals send money home are Mexico, Canada, United Kingdom, Puerto Rico, and Germany. In the 2017 financial year, US immigrants domiciled in Mexico sent $1.774 billion of remittances to their loved ones back home.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA) estimated in 2016 that over 9 million Americans live abraod. Most of the US emigrants are skilled workers in emerging economies, naturalised US citizens returning to their home countries, and missionary workers.

If you are an overseas American and want to send money home, you need to be clear on the procedures and requirements. Some of them include various ways to send money to the United States, the information to provide when sending and receiving, the advantages of online money transfer services, and specific things to consider when sending. This guide will delve into those areas and more.

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United States
United States
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United States
United States
Amount Received 989.20 USD
Fees: 0 USD
Rate: 0.9892*
Payment Options Speed
Debit Card 2 Days
Bank Transfer 2 Days
Key Features
  • No transfer fees
  • 5/5 'excellent' rating on TrustPilot
  • £25 amazon gift card when you refer a friend
Amount Received 916.68 USD
Fees: 9 USD
Rate: 0.9250*
Payment Options Speed
Bank Transfer 3-5 Days
Debit Card 3-5 Days
Key Features
  • Internationally renowned bank
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Current Mid-Market Rate:   1 USD = 1.0000 USD
* Some rates may be indicative.

How To Send Money To USA

Sending money to USA is simple and easy. Follow these steps to get started.

Find a Trusted Provider

Use our comparison table to find the best provider for your needs.

Sign Up and Deposit

Sign up with the provider and deposit the amount you want to transfer.

Transfer Money

As soon as you're ready, you can start sending money online.

Ways To Send and Receive Money In USA

There are multiple ways to easily send and receive money in the USA but these will largely depend on the provider you decide to use. Below you will find everything you need to know about sending and receiving money.

    Ways to Send Money to the United States

    With a nominal GDP of $19.39 trillion (2017 est), the U.S. has retained top position as the world’s largest and most developed economy since 1871. It has a well developed financial system comprising financial intermediaries and financial middlemen.

    There are several options when sending money to your family, relatives, and friends in the U.S. You can opt for international wire transfers, online money transfer services, international checks or even money orders.

    Bank Wire Transfers

    The U.S. banking system is the most extensive in the world. The number of FDIC-insured commercial banks in the country in 2017 was 4,909. Also, being the most banked society in the world, your loved ones can access money sent to them conveniently.

    Most banks in the U.S. readily accept both international wire transfers denominated in the dollar and those denominated in foreign currency. That said, some banks may require different receiving information based on the originating currency.

    Bank wire transfer charges largely depend on the location of the sending bank. International wire transfers typically take three to five days to complete a transaction. If your loved ones in the U.S. haven’t received any money after a week, contact the sending bank. As for the transaction charges, expect to pay anything between $30 and $50 per transaction.

    Online Money Transfers

    The increase in technology, mainly driven by the need for innovative, faster, and inexpensive ways to send money has seen online money transfers dominating the remittances space. Majority of the money transfer companies have their headquarters in the U.S. and trial their products there.

    • Western Union -Denver, Colorado
    • MoneyGram - Dallas, Texas
    • Xoom - San Francisco, California
    • Ria Money Transfer - Buena Park, California

    Even for companies like WorldRemit and TransferWise that are elsewhere, their presence is all over the United States. The only limitation is the country you are in and the options available there.

    Majority of online money transfer services only need you to sign up for an account and top it up using a debit or credit cards, bank transfer, or in-person cash deposit at a store.  

    Most of the providers allow you to send from their websites, through downloadable mobile apps, or from physical stores. Western Union allows you to start the process online and complete it at a store convenient to you. MoneyGram has a SendBot you can use to send money on the Facebook messenger app.

    Using online money transfer services, you can send to the U.S. through any of the following options.

    • Transfer to Bank – Choose the bank option from the provider’s sending platform and transfer directly to the recipient's bank account.
    • Cash Pickup – If the recipient is closer to a cash pickup location and they prefer to receive money this way, money transfer service providers such as Western Union, TransferWise, MoneyGram, Xoom, and WorldRemit can help you send.

    Money Orders

    The United States Postal Service accepts money orders from 27 countries. Many of those countries are in South and North America except for Japan. Money orders are still a secure, reliable, and convenient way of sending money.

    International Check

    Most banks in the U.S. accept international checks. That said, payment gets delayed until the bank presents the check to the foreign bank. Apart from the fees charged, this method of sending money may be subject to limits.

    What’s Needed to Send Money to United States

    When sending money to the United States, the provider you choose will largely determine the information to provide. Though circumstances may change especially, with many providers implementing the Know Your Customer (KYC) policies, you’ll still need the following information to send money to the U.S.

    • Your government-issued photo I.D.
    • Your credit card or debit card information if using this method to fund your transfers
    • The recipient's name as indicated on their I.D. or passport document
    • The recipient's address
    • If sending to the recipient's bank, provide the bank name, account number, routing information, and branch.

    Some banks in the U.S. may require specific information and declaration of the funds transferred. Ensure you find out from the recipient in advance to avoid giving incorrect information.

    What Are the Ways of Receiving Money in the United States

    The United States economy and financial system have expanded possibilities for lots of Americans to transact and do business. The expanded options include the different ways people can receive money from overseas. However, all this depends on the provider chosen and the amount of money transferred.

    Whether you are on the East Coast or the West Coast, there are two main ways you can receive money sent to you via money transfers.

    Through the bank – You can choose to have the money transferred directly to your bank account. This gives you the safety and liberty to start transacting right away. Also, you can receive large amounts conveniently.

    Cash pick up from agent locations – Online money transfers have such established networks in the United States that you can’t miss an agent location near you. That said, Western Union, Xoom, WorldRemit and others have limits on how much you can receive through this method.

    What Is Required to Receive Money in the United States?

    Most providers will notify the recipient that their money is on the way. When the money gets to the recipient, they’ll be required to provide some information for verification purposes. Without this information, the providers may decline to complete the transaction.

    • The recipient's government issued I.D. The name on the I.D. must match that provided by the sender.
    • The PIN, money transfer control number (MTCN) or reference number

    The recipient may also be required to identify the sender and the amount to be received. All these checks are necessary especially, in the United States as part of due diligence.

    Common Reasons For Sending Money To The United States

    Living in the United States is relatively pricey. Cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Boston can cost as much as $1,200 per person per month rent not included. In New York City, the average rental for a one-bedroom flat in the city centre is about $3,000. A decent meal for two in a mid-range restaurant can cost upwards of $75.

    Americans in the diaspora, therefore, feel the pressure of some of these expenses and regularly send money home. The following are some of the common reasons for remittances to the United States.

    Household Expenses

    Despite that Americans do not live in setups like in other continents with extended family living and a sizeable number of dependents, they still have families to support at home. Utilities and food expenses can be quite overwhelming if the recipient doesn’t have gainful employment.

    Mortgage Repayment

    Mortgage debt on family residences in the U.S. amounts to about $10 trillion. With a lot of mortgage products available, most first-time homeowners opt for homeownership loans. As families move abroad, some put up their houses for sale, others rent them out and continue to pay the mortgage.

    Investment Financing

    The United States financial market is one of the most complex yet lucrative. From bonds to derivatives to equity and anything in between, Americans in the diaspora have a lot of options back home. The markets are bullish and attractive to overseas Americas looking to build wealth at home.

    Charitable Donations

    National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) found that there are 1.5 million charitable organisations in the US. Each of these organisations supports one cause or the other within and outside the United States. Out of concern and human good, Americans send money home to support such noble causes.

    The use of the money as specified by those sending may not necessarily be the actual use by the households. Beneficiaries may alter the usage of funds to suit their immediate and most pressing needs.

    Why Use a Money Transfer Service?

    Looking at the options available including international wire transfers, money orders and international checks, online money transfer services stick out as the favourite. The technologies they use, the convenience they offer, and the transfer speed, are more than a bargain for the fees they charge. Here are the reasons Americans in the diaspora find online money transfers attractive.

    Easy to Set Up

    Even if you are a first-timer, sending money to the U.S. is such a simple process. You only need to sign up for an account, fund it through a debit/credit card, bank transfer or cash deposit. Once that’s done, you can go ahead and transact on the web, mobile app or in-store. The information you provide is secured using multifactor authentication (MFA).

    Favourable Exchange Rates

    Depending on the country you are sending from, rates of the domestic currency to the dollar can be quite punitive. Traditional methods of sending money maximise on the exchange rate spread to reap a fortune.

    Online money transfer service providers are a little different. They give you more on exchange rates without taking it back on transaction fees. TransferWise is a good example. The company uses real rates when sending money. 

    Lower Transfer Cost

    Transfer charges can erode the amount the beneficiary will receive. If you have a fixed amount to send to your loved ones in the U.S. higher transaction costs can be debilitating. Online money transfers spread the cost of sending over the volume of transactions they handle. The lower transaction cost leaves more money in your pocket or looking at it in another way, enables you to send more.

    Multi-Currency Support

    Providers are expanding into lots of different countries very fast. Western Union is currently present in 500,000 locations in 200 countries and territories. MoneyGram and Xoom have 350,000 locations in 200 and 130 countries respectively. The extensive network guarantees senders that irrespective of their location, they are covered.

    Safety and Reliability

    The first concern senders have is the safety of their money. Online money transfers have put in place different measures to safeguard remittances. The technologies they use have end-to-end encryption that masks the senders and recipients information. The providers also offer 24/7 transaction monitoring services to prevent hacking and phishing.

    Transfer Speed

    Money transfer services use this proposition as their unique selling point. Depending on the country you are sending from, the recipient can have the money as soon as ten minutes. The fastest method of transfer is through debit or credit cards. Bank transfers can take up to three days. When sending, most providers give you the option of a slow or fast method.

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    Things to Consider When Sending Money to the United States

    Sending money to the United States is relatively simple. However, there are a few considerations you need to make when sending money home. The investment climate, exchange rate risks, and the regulatory environment.

    1. Investment Climate - Fears of a recession have hit the U.S economy. Economic growth has slowed down, business fixed investment, household spending, and returns on equities especially, bank stocks have begun declining. The US Federal Reserve has remained conservative on adjusting rates. It has opted to maintain them in the 2% to 2.25 range. Investments in such a mature market need to be well calculated, balancing potential risks and returns.
    2. Regulatory Framework -The trade disputes with China have led to the tightening of the regulatory environment. The movement of funds in and out of the country is closely watched for any irregularities. Funds coming into the country have to be reported, who the recipient is and their purpose. Online money transfer services have transfer specialists who handle such compliance requirements. However, sending through bank wire transfers may require that you explain in person.
    3. Exchange Rate Risks - In the wake of the trade wars with China, the U.S. government has given indications of currency interventions to protect the economy. Part of the interventions includes weakening the dollar to improve U.S. exports. If and when it happens, Americans in the diaspora will be giving less of the currency in their destination countries for the dollar. However, it could also result in economic consequences that even the White House says would be difficult to control.

    Whatever the case, sending money to the United States is a simple process with online money transfers. There are lots of options available such as bank transfers and cash pickups. For a smooth sending exercise, ensure you have all the information required, know the different ways of sending money and considered the different aspects in the U.S. economy that could impact your transfers.

    Your Questions Answered

    What’s The Fastest Way To Send Money To The USA?

    The fastest way to transfer money to US from abroad is through Xoom. Sending money to a US bank account should take a matter of minutes with Xoom. Most major currencies only take a few minutes, while others will still take less than an hour. This is because Xoom specializes in speed, as the name suggests while operating in more than 70 countries.

    Xoom easily and simplistically allows you to send money online to a debit card in a matter of minutes. Just keep in mind that if Xoom has a drawback, it would be the price. It is far from the cheapest option available to you.

    What’s The Cheapest Way To Transfer Money To The USA?

    The top spot for the cheapest way to transfer funds to the USA will have to be split between TrasferWise and OFX. We would recommend TransferWise because of their user-friendly interfaces and their lack of foreign exchange rate markups.

    TransferWise works to balance cost with convenience, and they have succeeded well enough in doing so. Just keep in mind that the fees are charged on a per-dollar basis. This is generally a very small percentage, and it still ends up being much cheaper than the competition.

    What’s The Easiest Way To Send Money Online To The USA?

    PayPal is the easiest way to transfer money. PayPal has several shortcomings as a money transfer service, but ease of use isn’t one of them. PayPal is extremely popular, due in large part to how simple it is to use. PayPal also has very high transfer maximums, adding more convenience should you need to transfer large sums of money.

    Keep in mind that while PayPal is great in many ways, they charge 2.9% of the amount sent on top of a $0.30 fee. There are many cheaper options available.

    Current Exchange Rates For The USA

    The American Dollar (USD) is a widely used international currency. The USD is quite strong and has been for quite some time. You should expect a higher exchange rate when sending money to the USA. One Euro today is worth $1.1014 USD, and the average exchange rate over the past 90 days was 1.1057 USD to one Euro.

    There is currently no reason to believe that the USD will change dramatically anytime soon. You could reasonably expect marginal fluctuations throughout the financial year of 2019.

    What’s The Overall Best Way To Send Money To The USA?

    The overall best way to transfer funds to the USA is Venmo. While we haven't mentioned them thus far, Venmo has the highest rated apps for Android and IOS of any money transfer app. When you link a bank account or debit card, it is completely free to send or receive money.

    Venmo also offers intuitive user interfaces that make it fun and easy to use. These same user interfaces also make it easier to track previous transactions.

    If you are looking to send money from USA, we also offer guides on sending money to India, Colombia, Mexico and more.

    Looking to Send Money Somewhere Else?

    Sending money anywhere else in the world is as easy as sending money to the USA. If you're looking to send money to another country, here is the list of the most popular destinations.

    Jonathan Merry
    Written By
    Jonathan Merry
    Jonathan is the founder and editor of MoneyTransfers.com. Having previously worked in the FX trading industry and observing the ways money is exchanged to create wealth for traders, Jonathan gained a passion for how currency is exchanged. Using this knowledge he discovered a need for transparency and education to help people save money on their online transfer, leading to the creation of MoneyTransfers.com