Send Money to Costa Rica like a Guru

Information verified correct on December 10th, 2016

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Find out how you can save yourself a lot of money when you send an international transfer from Australia to Costa Rica.

Known for its rainforests, its beaches and its stunning volcanoes, the Central American nation of Costa Rica makes a great inclusion on any holiday itinerary. With a population of almost five million, Costa Rica came under Spanish rule in the 16th century and established its sovereignty in 1847.

If you want to send money to Costa Rica from Australia, compare costs and transfer options to ensure that you don’t get ripped off.

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Banks versus money transfer companies

Banks offer a convenient and easy solution when you need to send money overseas, but they don’t offer cost-effective transfers. They offer low exchange rates and high fees on international transactions, so you can end up paying a whole lot more than you need to for your overseas transfer.

The raw deal offered by the banks has led to the growth in popularity of specialist money transfer companies. These providers, such as World First and WorldRemit, concentrate all their business efforts on moving money overseas. This means they offer far better exchange rates and minimal fees when compared to banks, which means a better deal for you and your beneficiary.

Case study: Jon Sends Money to Costa Rica

Jon’s daughter Kelly is holidaying in Costa Rica when, after one too many shopping sprees, she runs out of money. She phones home to ask her dad for a quick transfer of $1,000, which Jon agrees to send straight away. But rather than settle for the quite disappointing exchange rate on offer from his bank, Jon compares the services of two specialist money transfer companies as part of his determination to find a more cost-effective transfer solution.

As you can see from the table below, Jon can send an extra USD $13 to his daughter by doing a quick comparison and choosing the second transfer provider.

Money transfer company 1Money transfer company 2
Exchange rate1 AUD = 0.688 USD1 AUD = 0.701 USD
Transfer fee$0$0
Transfer methodOnline transferOnline transfer
Processing time1-3 days1-3 days
Amount received (in USD)$688$701

How do I compare transfer companies when transferring and receiving money via Costa Rica?

  • Exchange rates. How do the company’s exchange rates compare to those of other transfer providers? If they’re regularly higher, check to see that the company doesn’t also charge hefty fees.
  • Transfer fees. How much extra will you need to pay in fees and charges every time you send money overseas?
  • Transfer methods. Will you be able to place transfers online, over the phone or by visiting a branch? Is there a mobile app available so you can send transfers from just about anywhere?
  • Transfer options. Check to see whether the company offers a range of transfer options to provide increased flexibility and convenience. For example, can you set up a recurring transfer in advance?
  • Minimum and maximum limits. What are the company’s minimum and maximum limits for each transaction? Do they suit your needs?
  • Processing times. How long will your recipient need to wait until they can access the funds you send?
  • Pickup options. Will the money be paid straight into your beneficiary’s bank account, or will they be able to collect the transfer in cash?
  • Customer service. How will you be able to access customer service and during what hours is support available?
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How do I send money to Costa Rica from Australia?

  • Specialist transfer providers. TorFX and World First are two companies that offer this service.
  • Cash pickup transfer companies. Western Union and MoneyGram are two companies that operate large international transfer networks.
  • Bank transfers. Compare your bank’s exchange rates and fees with those of specialist money transfer companies.
  • PayPal. PayPal’s international money transfer service allows Australian customers to send money to Costa Rica.
  • International cheques. You may want to use the slow transfer method of posting an international guaranteed cheque overseas.

How do I receive money from Costa Rica in Australia?

  • Specialist transfer providers. Research our list of trusted money transfer specialists to see which ones offer transfers from Costa Rica to Australia.
  • Cash pickup transfer companies. Start searching now for the cash pickup transfer company with a pickup location close to you.
  • Bank transfers. Your friend or loved one overseas could send a transfer from their Costa Rican bank account to your Australian bank account.
  • PayPal. PayPal offers international money transfers between countries all over the world.
  • International cheques. Your bank will charge you a fee for cashing an international cheque — find out how much that fee will be before choosing this transfer option.
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Emergency cash transfers in Costa Rica

If you ever find yourself in the situation where you need to send an emergency cash transfer from Australia to Costa Rica, make sure you read the fine print to find out how much your transaction will cost. Urgent cash transfers tend to attract lower exchange rates and higher fees than ordinary transfers, so make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into before you hand over your money.

Cash pickup locations in Costa Rica/ Western Union / MoneyGram branches in Costa Rica

Western Union and MoneyGram both have transfer locations in Costa Rica and Australia, allowing you to send quick and convenient cash transfers between the two countries. You can see the details of some popular cash transfer locations in Costa Rica below. If you’re picking up cash, contact an agent to confirm their opening hours and remember to take along photo ID to be allowed to access the funds.

Western Union

  • San Jose

    Airpak Avenida Segunda
    Sobre Ave Segunda Diagonal A
    Caja Ande
    San Jose, San Jose CR1000
    +506-25285850
    Open 8:30am to 7pm Monday to Saturday

  • Grupo Prides

    Prides
    San Jose, San Jose CR 1000
    +506-25285904
    Open 8am to 5pm Monday to Saturday

  • Limon

    Farmacia Zeledon
    Frente Al Parqueo Del Mas X Menos
    Limon, Limon
    +506-27587778
    Open 8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday, 8am to 7pm Sunday

  • Farmacia Zeledon

    25m Sur De La Cruz Roja
    Limon, Limon
    +506-27510346
    Open 8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday, 8am to 7pm Sunday

MoneyGram

  • San Jose

    Gonzalez Lahman
    Calles 19-21 Avenidas 8 6
    San Jose, 1000
    22218228
    Open 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm Saturday, 7am to 3pm Sunday

  • Drinx

    De La Iglesia Santa Teresita
    100 Mt. S Norte Servicentro
    San Jose,
    47006613
    Open 8am to 8pm seven days

  • Limon

    BCR
    Antigua Urbana De Limon
    Limon, 70101
    221111111
    Open 8am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturday

  • Restaurante Monte De Oro – Teledolar

    Contiguo A Radio Casino
    Limon,
    40002121
    Open 7am to 8pm seven days a week

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Tips for picking up cash in Costa Rica

The Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises visitors to Costa Rica to exercise a high degree of caution, so keep these few simple safety steps in mind when picking up money in Costa Rica:

  • Confirm an agent’s location and opening hours before you visit
  • Only pick up cash in an area where you feel completely safe
  • Ask a friend to go along with you to collect the funds
  • Don’t display the money in front of strangers or carry it around for any longer than is necessary

What are the steps to send money to Costa Rica?

  • Sign up for an account. The first step in the process is to register for a free account. This is usually done online and you will need to provide your name, contact details and proof of ID.
  • Enter transaction details. Next, provide information about who you are sending the money to and where they live. You will also need to specify the amount you are sending and the transfer currency.
  • Finalise your transfer. The final step is to review the details and cost of your transfer before submitting your transfer request. Many companies offer an online tracking option so you can monitor the progress of your funds.
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