Are you looking for the best money transfer services to India? Look no further! In this article, we will provide you with the top money transfer services to India, based on our research and experience.
When it comes to money transfer services to India, there are many different providers to choose from. It can be difficult to know which one is the best for your needs, but this article will help you compare all of the available options. Whether you’re looking for the best exchange rate, the lowest fees, or the most convenient service, we’ll help you find the right provider for you.
We have personally used all of these services and can attest to their reliability, speed, and low fees. So, whether you are looking to send money for personal or business purposes, these are the best money transfer services to India.
choosing a money transfer service
When choosing a money transfer service, it is important to consider the following factors:
- The cost of the transfer
- The time it will take for the money to be received
- The exchange rate
- Any fees associated with the transfer
- The limit on the amount that can be transferred
- The security of the service
First off, some basics to cover.
These are the daily updated exchange rates these money transfer companies offer. For example, when you send 1000 Dollars to India, and the exchange rate offered by one of the companies is 60, then your loved one will get INR 60,000 when successfully transferred (if there are no feed involved).
Also, read > How to send money from UK to India?
This is the one-time/per amount fee charged additionally (on top of the money being remitted) by banks and other services mentioned above. For example, if you want to send $1000 and the exchange rate offered is 60 but the fees is $5, then you will have to pay $1005 and your loved one will get INR 60,000. $5 is the banks / companies usage fee. Some services do not have this fees but most do.
Related: Apps for money transfer to India
This is the minimum amount you need to send through any of the services above. Below this amount, the service will not accept money transfer requests.
This is the minimum time taken by the company/service to transfer the money before your loved one can get the money. 100% Money transfer companies like Western Union will ensure fast transfer, charging a fee while banks take more time.
There are several ways to send money to India and there are several money transfer companies too, but making the best of it, requires some homework.
If you’re looking for ease of use and want to send money quickest, you could use one of the services like Western Union, which is probably one of the quickest ways to transfer money to India.
But if you’re looking at getting the best exchange rate, you need to play the “wait and hunt” game. That is, you need to first get an idea of all the fees involved by various services and companies. Then you need to ensure you are ready to transfer at any time by either creating accounts with them or moving enough funds to it. Then you got to wait and see how the Rupee fares with the Dollar in the international market and how the different services change their daily exchange rates.
Most companies update their exchange rates every day in the morning. For example, SBI California updates it’s website everyday morning 7 – 9 AM PST, and evening 3 – 4 PM PST for exchange rate updates. If you transfer money anytime after that, you can take advantage of the day’s rate.
How to get the best exchange rates
- Make sure you check the daily INR Rupees to USD Dollar conversion rate.
- Make sure you send the money when the Rupee to Dollar conversion rate is highest.
- Check with your remittance service whether you’re getting the exchange rate at the time of sending money or receiving it.
- Try to avoid services that offer the exchange rate at the time of getting money, especially if they have a time of more than one day, because the next day, the rate can change.
- Ensure that there are no or fewer fees involved/ processing fees. This will be added to the amount you’re sending.
- Check the exchange rates with the remittance service before sending. Do not take their oral confirmation via telephone, but get it in writing/via their official website.
- Unless you have an emergency to send money right now to India, do not use the instant transfer services. They usually come with a low exchange rate.
- Some remittance companies have flat fees, but some have slabs based on the amount you are sending. For example, 1% of the amount sent or $5 for below $500 and $10 for $1000, etc. Check it and don’t assume the basic fee is applicable to you.
- Ensure you have the right details of the person you’re transferring money to. Most transfer services do not reimburse money already sent for a mistake you make.
- Try to send money in smaller chunks if you’re unsure about the rates, i.e if you think the rate will go up tomorrow. So, that way, if the rate goes down tomorrow, you still have another chance.
Which are the best Money Transfer services?
So, the big question everyone is asking is which is the most recommended money transfer service to India. Well, here is what I think.
There is no single best service. It depends on what you want. Some people want the best exchange rates and value for money, while some people want ease of use and just want to send money fast without bothering about exchange rates. Some people want to send money regularly to India, sort of like investments and paying bills, but some do it only once a while, so they don’t bother about the one-time fees.
So based on these criteria let’s look at which are the best options for sending money to India.
Case 1: When you want to send money quick and fast (Ex: In an emergency)
Let’s say you have an emergency and want to send money to your loved ones in India as soon as possible. In such situations, I wouldn’t bother about the exchange rates or fees much as all I want is to just make the money available for the recipient in India.
Quick Money Transfer Services to India
The following services are great for quick and fast money transfers to India.
Western Union Money Transfer
Western Union is a 100% money transfer service aimed at people trying to transfer money fast and easily without hassle for emergency purposes.
They have a flat fee for each transaction and the exchange rates are lower than some of the other competitive money transfer services.
Western Union has two ways by which money is delivered to the recipient. Either by bank account or pick up by cash.
If you have the bank account number and details of the recipient, you can submit it to Western Union and the money will be submitted to their bank account. This will take up to 24 hours.
The other method is when you don’t have the bank account details of the recipient. In this case, you must submit the ID details of the person, like Passport number and full name with contact number and the same person can pick up the money in cash from any Western Union centers near them. There are many western union centers in India, like post offices and other franchises, where the recipient can go show their ID and get the cash.
This is a fast and easy way to transfer money to almost anyone you know. Be mindful that Western Union charges a flat fee of ~10% for all transactions. For example, if you are sending $500, for the faster service (Money in minutes) the fee would be $50.
Xoom Money Transfer
Xoom is yet another money transfer service that offers fast and easy service. And they are one of the reliable money transfer services to India. With tie-ups with banks like Punjab National Bank, they have good service.
But Xoom too has fees associated with every transaction. For example, if you are sending $1000 to India via Xoom, the following are the different ways available and based on what your payment source is, there will be a fee.
If you’re paying with your check, there is a transaction fee of $4.99, if with a debit card, there is a transaction fee of $9.99 and if with a credit card, there is a $9.99 charge.
Negative reviews about Xoom
While we’re at it, I also have to tell you about some of the bad experiences about Xoom I’ve heard so far. The most common complaint about Xoom is that they have repeatedly canceled transactions after they’ve been processed and shown as completed in accounts.
That is, there have been a couple of instances where, after people have sent the money and received notification about money successfully transferred, get the shock of their life saying the transaction has been canceled.
And the most common reason they cite for canceling already successful transactions is exceeding monthly transaction limits. That’s right! Xoom has a monthly transaction limit for every person and they only allow you to send money within those limits. Once you’re over the limit, you have to wait for next month to start sending money again. So, in my opinion, it’s not a dependable service long term, but more like a short-term emergency fund transaction service.
Case 2: When you want to get the best exchange rate and are not in a rush to send money
Most banks offer remittance services to India from their banks. Most of them require you to have an account with them and when approached for money transfer services, will start pitching you to start an account. Banks want your account and are willing to give you good value for money remittance services, with good exchange rates, but they won’t be as speedy as Western Union or Xoom type services. Following are some of the banks offering the good USA to India remittance services.
State Bank of California Remittance Service
I’ve been using the State bank of California for remittance for some time now and have to say they are pretty neat! State Bank of California is technically a US bank but I think it’s more like SBI’s extension in the USA. They need you to open an account with them in order to start money transfer services.
Once you start an account with them (just like any other bank account, give your IDs, Passports, Visas, etc) you can add recipients for money transfer. It could be your own NRE account from India or other people (friends and family).
This process will take a couple of days to complete as you will have to give in your (or other recipient’s) account details and SBCal will show him/her in the recipient’s list. Now, you can add funds to your account and transfer money online to recipients already added.
The negative point is that you cannot send money to anyone you like. They have to be added as a recipient already and have to be approved (with the process above) to be sent any money. Also, their online website is not very friendly to use.
For example, it will only work on IE and not Chrome. I had trouble logging online successfully and had to reset my password a few times before figuring out that it was the browser issue.
But their staff is super friendly and will give you an amazing service if you contact them directly rather than trying stuff on your own. And their offices are never busy, unlike other banks. Every time you go in, there is someone personally available to take care of you.
Also read: Remitly Money Transfer Services Review
best USD to Rupee Exchange Rate
Most banks claim that they have the best exchange rates, but only when you do a test remittance will you actually know the rates and possible problems. For instance, SBI California lets you send money to your NRE account in India but not many other banks let you do that. You can send money to your loved ones but not yourself.
When you send money to your loved ones in India, make sure that you are getting the best exchange rates. When banks promise better exchange rates than other services, ask them if there are any additional charges. Most banks require you to have an account with them or they’ll charge an additional fee or both.
However, in some cases, I’ve seen that if you are a regular contributor, then sometimes if you ask, the bank is willing to waive the transfer fee for you on a one-off basis. There is no guarantee on this one, but it’s more depending on your relationship with the bank.
That is, if they know that you are a regular remittance user, they’d want to keep your business and if you compare other services’ exchange rates to them, they might be willing to do a one-off waiving off for you.
However, from my experience, most banks give lesser exchange rates compared to independent money transfer services. It is always advised that you create a relationship with the bank, before going for higher amount remittances. Most banks offer undisclosed rates if they know your value.
SBI California offers good exchange rates compared to most other banks. What I like about them is that they give you the exact amount that will be in your account after the transfer. This is different from the “indicative amount” as shown by other banks and transfer services. So, once you lock in on a certain amount before transferring, you can pretty much expect no delays and can be sure that the amount will be in your Indian account or your loved ones’ account.
Xoom, for instance, is notorious for transaction delays and canceled transactions, even after successful transfers. Banks on the other hand are more reliable, although their exchange rates don’t match up competitively.
Also read: RIA Money Transfer Services Review
Is Wise a good money transfer service?
Wise (Earlier – TransferWise) is a whole new game-changing money transfer service that works on transparency and simplicity. They claim that their money transfer service is far more clear and more transparent than banks that might charge hidden fees.
For instance, for sending USD to India, here is the breakdown of TransferWise charges.
For all transfers (Wire/SWIFT) from USD to India
For transfers up to $300, the fee is a flat $3. (This is comparatively better than some other money transfer services as there are no hidden fees.)
For transfers up to $4999.99, the fee is 1% of the amount sent (so up to $50). Over that and the fee is 0.7%. (This is a high percentage in my opinion)
So, for a $6000 transfer, the fee would be 1% for the first $4999.9. Then for the additional $1000.01, the fee would be 0.7% making it a total of $57.
Now, compare that to all the other banks and money transfer services and you’ll find that the rates are higher.
I sent a $1000 via SBI California the other day and it cost me a $5 fee. With Transferwise the charge would have been $10.
I’m not even going into exchange rates here!