These days, it’s easier than ever to send money to someone online instantly.
But with so many competitors, picking the best service for you can be a challenge. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best ways to transfer money.
Top 3 ways to send Money
When sizing up the best ways to send money, the best choice for you depends on how fast, how much, and where you want to transfer.
Zelle: Best for fast domestic bank transfers to known recipients
For the fastest way to send money to friends and family directly from your bank account, Zelle is the way to go.
How it works: Zelle is offered directly through participating financial institutions. If your bank or credit union offers the service, you can sign up through your bank's app or online banking portal. To register with the Zelle mobile app, you have to use a supported MasterCard or Visa debit card issued in connection with a U.S. bank account.
Note that if you have more than one bank account, you’ll need to create a different Zelle account number for each one.
Payment methods: Once you’ve signed up, you can send money from your account to another user with a connected account.
Fees: Zelle charges no fees to send or receive money, but you should confirm with your bank or credit union that it doesn’t charge additional fees to use the service.
Time to receive funds: Transfers only take a few minutes to complete for users already enrolled in the service. If your recipient has not yet registered with Zelle, it may take between one and three business days after they enroll.
Transaction limits: Different financial institutions impose different limits on transactions.
PayPal: Best for Large Domestic Transfers
PayPal has become a standard for making purchases online, but it also comes in handy for transfers between users.
How it works: After signing up for a PayPal account, you can connect your bank account and credit card to begin sending money to friends and family through the online portal or mobile app. Your intended recipients also have to be PayPal account holders. Money goes into the user’s PayPal balance, which they can then transfer to their bank account.
Payment methods: You can transfer money from your bank account, credit card, and debit card.
Fees: Domestic transfers from your PayPal balance or linked bank account are free.
Credit card, debit card, and PayPal credit transfers are subject to a 2.9% fee, plus a fixed fee of 30 cents. International transfers are subject to transaction and funding fees, plus a fixed fee for sending in other currencies.
Time to receive funds: Funds appear instantly in the recipient’s PayPal balance and can be transferred to their bank account the next day.
Transaction limits: PayPal imposes no limit on the total amount you can send, but single transactions are limited to $10,000 (or $60,000 if you’ve provided your bank account data or other identifying information.)
WorldRemit: Best for international cash transfers
Although you have many options for sending remittances internationally, WorldRemit is at the top of the list. The company provides international money transfer and remittance services in more than 130 countries and over 70 currencies.
How it works: Signing up for a WorldRemit account is free and allows you to make international bank transfers, arrange for cash pick-up, send mobile money, and top-up mobile airtime.
Payment methods: In addition to transfers from your bank account, credit card, and debit card, WorldRemit supports many other payment options, including Poli, Interac, iDEAL, Soford, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Trustly.
Fees: Transfer fees vary based on country and method of delivery.
Time to receive funds: Transfers to bank accounts, mobile money accounts, and cash pick-up are generally completed within a matter of minutes. Home delivery can take one to seven days, depending on the location.
Transaction limits: Limits vary depending on the country you send the money from. Debit, credit, or prepaid card transfers from the U.S. are limited to $5,000 per transaction to a maximum of $9,000 per 24 hours.
Choosing the best services to send money internationally
Sending money to family members overseas comes with its own set of challenges. Not all companies offer services in every country, so your choice will depend on the specifics of your situation.
When looking for the best way to transfer money internationally, pay special attention to foreign currency exchange rates and transaction fees — these differ from one company to the next. If you want to send money by cash pick-up or home delivery, make sure the company you choose offers these services in your desired location. You’ll also want to check delivery times — faster transfers sometimes come with a higher price tag.
To help compare different ways of sending money abroad, you can go to Monito.com.
The benefits of cash
While these methods are great ways to send money online, you should never underestimate the value of making transactions with cash.
With no limit on transaction amounts, no transfer fees, and no waiting period, cash remains one of the easiest and fastest ways to move funds. However, one downside of cash is the lack of a transaction record, so you might want to fill out a receipt and get your recipient to sign off on it.
What to consider when sending money
There are many things to keep in mind when sending money online. To ensure your transfer goes off without a hitch, consider these three factors:
Identity theft and credit card fraud are serious threats, so always make sure any service you use is secure and that your information is encrypted.
Also, try to find out if your transfer is insured by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation). Many credit cards also offer insurance, so check with your provider.
Only send money to people you know
Many apps and online services limit recipients to friends and family. But even if they don’t, you should avoid sending money to strangers or anyone you don’t fully trust. You’re always better safe than sorry.
Keep transaction records
Whenever you transfer money online, you should make a point of keeping detailed records of the transaction. That includes confirmation numbers, the time and amount of the transfer, and the recipient's account information. If possible, try to get a confirmation as soon as the funds arrive in the recipient's bank account.
Questions to ask yourself before sending money
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself when choosing a service to send money:
- Where do you need to send your funds? Domestically or internationally?
- How much do you want to send? Do you need to transfer large amounts of money?
- How quickly do you need the money to get to its intended recipient?
- Do you want to use your existing online banking account?
- Do you only want to send money to friends and loved ones, or do you also want to make online purchases?
The bottom line
Figuring out how to send cash to someone can be a challenge, but getting it right will save you money, so it’s worth hunting for the best deals.
To make your money work for you, you need the best tools. That’s why we made PointCard™.
A transparent, easy-to-use alternative payment card, PointCard allows you to spend your own money while also receiving exclusive benefits, including unlimited cash-back on all purchases and bonus cash-back on subscriptions, food delivery, rideshare services, and coffee shop purchases.
You also get fraud protection with zero liability, no interest rates, and rental car and phone insurance.
Made to spend.