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Finance For Dummies

Finance For Dummies offers personal finance information on investing, retirement investing, finance, insurance, credit cards, loans and more. Personal finance education is our goal.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Transfer Money Overseas

It can be costly to transfer money overseas to a friend or loved one. Below is some important information when transfering money overseas:

Cash Transfers

  • Western Union: can transfer money overseas by phone or online. You can use a bank card or credit card.
  • If you need to transfer money overseas in person you need cash and will have an extra charge.
  • Fees, procedures, and the locations of money transfer agents are available on or by calling 800-325-6000.
  • The recipient of your money transfer should be able to pick up the funds within the hour depending on the location's operating hours. You must have identification.

MoneyGram allows you to transfer money overseas online now. It has 75,000 agents in 170 countries. Western Union and MoneyGram both have calculators on their website to calculate the cost of your money transfer.

Money Orders: U.S. Postal Service & Banks

The United States Postal Service issues international money orders to transfer money overseas:

  • Maximum allowed is $700 per money order, but you can up up to $10,000 in one day in money orders.
  • The USPS will charge a processing fee which ranges from $3 - $8.50 per money order.
  • You must fill out the recipient's name on the money order before mailing to the recipient.
  • U.S. Money Orders can be cashed in banks or post offices in most countries around the world.
  • Keep the numbered carbon copy receipt for your records in case of problems occurring with the money transfer.

Banking Transfers, Sending a Check Abroad, Foreign Drafts and Wire transfers are other methods to transfer moeny overseas, but they are more difficult, slower and more costly.

Western Union
Recipient can pick up cash in 20 minutes.
Recipient can pick up cash in under 60 minutes.
Money Order
Five days mailing time. Will probably be able to cash the money order on the same day.


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