10 Ways To Transfer Money From USA to India – Charges, Time Taken
10 Ways To Transfer Money From USA to India
The USA has a large population of Indians and that is why you will find several companies offering a very decent exchange rate for money transfers. 10 Ways To Money Transfer (USA to India)
Why Transfer Money from the USA to India
A large number of Indians have migrated to other countries in order to earn money or have better growth or career opportunities. As per the United Nations, there are more than 17.5 million Indians living abroad. Nepal has the largest NRI population with more than 6 million Indians residing in different parts of Nepal. Apart from Nepal, the USA has the largest Indian population with around 4.4 million Indians (Ministry of external affairs, India).
Indians residing abroad have strong connections with their origin country and it is no surprise that Indian financial companies and banks are able to gain more business from NRI accounts of people living abroad, due to the high economic standards there.
RBI Rules On Money Transfer
RBI’s Liberalized Remittance Scheme (also known as LRS) allows resident individuals (Indian nationals and expatriates) to remit foreign exchange of a maximum of US$250,000 (or equivalent) per Indian financial year. Resident individuals can usually send foreign exchange overseas for one of the following purposes:
- Overseas education expenses
- Medical treatment
- Care for a close relative
- Emigration fees
- Visa fees
- International visits for private purposes
The individual needs to hold an appropriate account at an RBI authorised dealer, generally a bank having international branches. He or she needs to designate a specific branch of the particular bank, using which he or she will be making all foreign exchange remittances under the LRS. The individual can also make overseas remittances through an entity which is not a bank (but has appropriate permission from the RBI to deal in foreign exchange), but the remittance has to be funded by a bank.
Earlier, it was not necessary to produce a PAN card for money transfer transactions abroad up to USD 25,000 or its equivalent. However, in April 2018, this rule was amended. Now, it is mandatory to produce the PAN card for all remittance transactions from India to Abroad regardless of the amount being transferred. This is to ensure that a resident individual is compliant with the LRS limit of USD 2,50,000 in a single financial year.
What Are The Options
There are many ways you can use to send money from abroad to India or otherwise. These are
- Demand Draft
- Transfer Via International Beneficiary
- Transfer Using Forex Card
- Using Online Remit Service from Banks
- Online Remittance companies
Now, let me tell you that sending money using a Demand Draft or International Beneficiary is not a good option. As it may take a longer time and due to the elevated exchange rate, you will end up losing a good amount of money.
Transferring using a Forex card can be a better option as if you opt for a Forex card then you do not have to pay for the cross-currency fees which banks usually charge if the transfer is via a debit card or credit card. You can load your forex card in the currency you want to send and then transact the same currency. But again, the loading and reloading of the forex card can have additional charges and also the exchange rate of the Forex card will be a little more expensive than the other two options.
In recent years, several banks have started online remittance services. The process is not as lengthy as 2–3 years earlier, but again the problem is with the bad exchange rate. If you opt for a bank to transfer the money you may need to open a bank account, and visit the bank to do this transfer.
The last option using the online remittance companies is the best option. The entire process is online and you will see that the exchange rate is much better than banks. As the market has become competitive, there is fierce competition among them which has resulted in a good exchange rate. Sometimes the exchange rate is almost the same as the real exchange rate you would find in Google or Xe.
What To Look Out For
There can be many reasons for you to transfer money from the USA to India – living expenses, college fees, and business purposes. So depending on your requirements, you shall also look out for the below criteria when using an online remittance
- Reliability – How reliable is the money transfer service, you are choosing?
- Speed – How soon do you need it to get there? You may end up paying more if speed is a priority.
- Exchange rate – Are you getting the best rate or are you paying more for convenience or speed?
- Hidden Fees – Are you paying more than you should? Sending money using a debit or credit card may have fees attached.
- Convenience – How easy was the experience from start to finish? Could you do it online or did you have to go to a location to complete the transfer? Is there an app that makes it even easier?
- Tracking – Are you be able to track the process online? Or you need to call the customer care or visit the branch
Sending Money Then Vs Now
Sending money internationally was a daunting task earlier. It used to take multiple visits to banks, waiting for hours, arranging documents and then after everything is fine, it would take 3–4 days for the money to be sent. But thankfully, this is not the case anymore, now this process has become convenient and affordable and you can complete the process in 2–3 minutes, without comprising security.
Banks had been one of the most reliable ways to send money. But there are many disadvantages to choosing banks
- inflated exchange rate
- takes longer to process
- high fees – while sending and/or receiving
- requires more documentation
Because of these issues, people have now shifted to online remittance companies. There are now plenty of online companies that offer very attractive exchange rates and joining offers.
Process For International Money Transfer
The money transfer process in online remittance companies is quite simple and mostly follows these steps
- Create an account (Email, PAN card, and Passport may be required)
- Provide bank information of the receiver
- Transfer the amount using bank transfer/credit card/debit card
Options For Sending Money From USA to India
There are basically three major ways to transfer money from the USA to India
- Online remittance companies
- Local Agencies offering money transfer
I am opting out of the last two options out because Bank gives a very bad exchange rate and finding a local reliable agent is a big task.
So let’s compare the available options to transfer money
Winner – Wise (Use this link for the discounter transfer charges)
- Xend Pay
- Remit Money
- ICICI – Money2India
- World Remit
- Xoom – PayPal
Let me tell you that all these options are reliable options. I have personally checked their reviews online, Trustpilot, google play, AppStore, etc.
So here are I am comparing the exchange rate, time period and charges if any if you want to send 1000 USD to India.
Pls note when I was doing the comparison – The actual exchange rate is 1 USD = 77.5 INR
1 – Wise (Avail Offer on Transfer Fee)
Wise (previously Transferwise) is an online money transfer service, which lets you transfer money up to eight times more cheaply than with a bank. It is one of the most popular apps/sites and has the highest customer satisfaction ratings on Google play and Trustpilot. Wise was founded in 2010 by two financial gurus and its system is beautifully simple. It bypasses pricey international payments entirely by using two local transfers instead of one international transaction.
Is Wise Reliable?
Google Play Ratings
It is also one of the fastest growing online remittance companies (more than 12 million customers) having more than 50% over last few years. You would see that their profit has not increased as much as their revenue. This is because the company is expanding and growing its customer base, and another most important thing is its attractive exchange rate and low transfer fees as compared to its peers.
How Wise Works?
Wise works in three different steps (in this case, USA to India transfer)
- You send money from your US bank to their US bank
- Wise transfers money from their US bank to their Indian bank
- Wise sends money from their Indian bank to your Indian bank
For safety purposes, Wise might ask to verify your address when you use Wise. They are a financial institution and it helps them combat money laundering, and keep everyone’s money safe.
Now let me show you where does Wise stand when you compared it with other options for sending money from the USA to India. There is a current offer going on Wise for relaxation on Transfer Fee. So you can avail of this offer by following the link I shared above. Using this you would see no transfer fee is charged on the low transfer amount and the reduced transfer fee at a large amount.
How much can I send?
You can send up to 1.5 million GBP per transfer to a private individual. You can send up to 15 lakhs per day to businesses. However, the minimum amount is 20,000 INR.
How long does it usually take for the money to arrive?
Once Wise receives and converts your money, it usually takes 1 working day to arrive in your recipient’s bank account. Conversion can take up to 2 working days. The first transfer can take a longer time but the successive transfer is usually quicker.
Wise is an online account that lets you send money, get paid, and spend money internationally. With a Wise account, you can send money abroad, get paid in other currencies, and spend abroad on the Wise debit Mastercard.
Wise mobile apps review – Wise mobile apps have great ratings on Apple’s App Store (4.7/5 stars on 19,300 ratings) and Google’s Play Store (4.4/5 on almost 80,000 ratings). According to Wise customers, the app is “an invaluable tool for anyone moving money internationally”.
Wise fees and exchange rate – Wise is an innovative international money transfer provider that is often dubbed the “Robin Hood” of the money transfer industry. They focus on making bank transfers more affordable than traditional banks by charging low and transparent transfer fees and converting money at the true mid-market exchange rate. In other words, there’s zero markup on the exchange rate. (As a comparison, banks usually give customers an above-market rate, the margin is part of their fees and in general, they are not transparent about this.)
Most currencies supported by Wise offer one option: a bank transfer from one bank to another. For some currencies, you can pay with debit and credit cards or use a SOFORT transfer option. Apple Pay or Android Pay is also available for certain currencies via Wise iOS and Android apps. In most cases, the recipient will get the money within one to two business days.
2 – InstaReM
Headquartered in Singapore, InstaReM is a leading digital payments solutions provider across Southeast Asia, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas. InstaRem Logo With InstaReM, individuals and businesses can make low-cost money transfers to 55+ countries. InstaReM also offer customers Zero-Margin FX Rates and Best Transfer Amount Guarantee.
For its business clients, InstaReM offers MassPay – an international business payments platform that allows them to send single and bulk payments using the same web, file and API interfaces to over 60 countries in multiple currencies.
- Low transfer fees between 0.25% and 1%
- No extra margins to exchange rates & guaranteed best transfer amount
- Complete transparency and absolutely no hidden charges
- InstaPoints – loyalty points to redeem against transactions
- Dedicated customer support team
- Coverage: No presence in the Middle East and Africa
- Unable to send money to or from New Zealand
- Account activation can take longer than promised
- They don’t accept credit card
- 24/7 support doesn’t extend to personal financial advice
3 – Remitly
Remitly is a digital remittance service on a mission to make the money transfer process faster, affordable, and more transparent. It has around 2 million customers worldwide.
- Offers two money transfer options: Express and Economy
- Can send money to bank accounts, mobile wallets, cash pick up locations
- Offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee where they refund the fees if your transfer doesn’t reach on time
- Many ways to fund your transfer
- Sending large sums (above $1000) is cheaper
- Easy tracking for both senders and recipients
- Limits transfers to family (and sometimes friends; only personal transfers supported)
- Doesn’t offer a business account
- Complex fee structure
- Doesn’t support transfers between the 16 sender countries
4 – Xend Pay
Xendpay was founded by Indian migrant and ethical entrepreneur Rajesh Agrawal. The goal of the company is to make reduce the cost of international money transfers for the millions of migrants around the world who regularly send money home.
- Competitive exchange rates.
- iPhone app. Allows transfers from iOS mobile devices.
- Limited delivery options
- Long transfer speeds. It can take up to 4 days for your recipient to receive the funds.
- No recurring payment
5 – Pangea Money Transfer
Pangea is the fast, easy and secure way to send money to Latin America and Asia. You can send money using your bank account or debit card; friends and family can receive the money directly to their bank account, debit card, or in cash at thousands of retail locations around the globe. Use it to conveniently pay international bills directly to service providers and utility companies abroad.
6 – RemitMoney
RemitMoney is an online money transfer facility which enables NRIs from United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Europe, Australia, Singapore, UAE, South Africa & Switzerland to send money to India. It is Fast, Economical and Safe. RemitMoney has the vision to be the world’s most customer-focused payments portal that helps people send money back home. You can use your US bank account in order to transfer money into your recipient’s Indian bank account (including NR accounts).
- No fees on any transfer
- Earn cash points on every transfer
- Schedule one time or recurring payments over a span of 12 months
- Refer & Earn Cashpoints worth INR 500 on every successful invitation!
- Deposits to to Axis Bank,HDFC bank, ICICI Bank, Punjab National Bank, Central Bank of India, Indian Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, and many more
- The exchange rate is elevated compared to others
- Few customers have complained about auto cancel of their remittance
7 – ICICI Money2India
ICICI bank is one of India’s leading banks which offers international money transfer solutions to and from India. But transferring money to loved ones overseas has always been a tricky experience for many expats, especially NRIs. Many of you might’ve faced difficulties in the past with varying foreign exchange rates, money not being received on time, or spending much more than you planned.
8 – WorldRemit
More than 4,000,000 customers use our money transfer service and many of them choose to do so on our app – a faster and more convenient way to send money worldwide. We offer low fees and guaranteed exchange rates in any case, and to get started, you can now use the code 3FREE and save the fees in your first three money transfers abroad.
- Easy to Use
- Reasonable Fees
- Excellent Customer Reviews
- Worldwide network
- Fees are not clear enough
- Cash is not accepted
- Government-issued ID required
9 – Xoom – PayPal
Xoom is a leading money transfer provider to send money from the United States, Canada, and Europe (Eurozone, non-Euro zone countries, and the UK) to over 130 countries around the world. You can pay using your bank account, debit, or credit card. Depending on the country you are sending money to, the money can be delivered as cash, deposited in a bank account, airtime top-up.
- Excellent network of delivery options and cash pickup locations in Mexico and the Philippines.
- They offer a particularly large number of transfer options to Latin America in general
- Fast transfers to many countries
- Reliable customer service
- Exchange rate markup is not transparent
- Total costs are often higher than competing money transfer options
10 – OFX
Banks use the mid-market rate, so this shall be no surprise that they offer a lower exchange rate. Moreover, the bank uses more internal approval mechanisms, may require additional verifications, and takes a long time to send money. On the other hand, online remittance companies offer a higher exchange rate because of a competitive market and are very quick to respond.
Wise was found to be cheapest and the best option when sending money abroad. But as Wise first transfer sometimes may take 2-3 days, so if you are in hurry then you can opt for InstaRem or Remitly, but if you have time and want to save money then certainly go for Wise. I usually use Wise for all my transfers. They have excellent dedicated customer support and I find them giving the best exchange rate. Moreover, if you follow the above link I shared of Wise, you can get the welcoming offer of no transfer fee when sending 500 USD or below and relaxation of fee on higher amount.
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