Ways to Send Money to Jamaica Without Breaking Your Piggy Bank

heroes-park-Jamaica

If you need to send an international money transfer to Jamaica, here’s how you can find an easy and affordable way to transfer funds.

Famous for its relaxed lifestyle, beautiful beaches and its Olympic sprinters, the Caribbean island nation of Jamaica is one of the world’s great tourist destinations. If you ever need to send money to Jamaica from Canada – maybe to help out a cash-strapped relative travelling through the Caribbean – there are plenty of ways to do so.

However, in order to ensure that you get the best possible deal, shop around and compare the services offered by different transfer providers.

Banks versus money transfer companies

Many people automatically assume that the best way to send money overseas is via their bank. But while banks do offer a convenient transfer solution, they offer a disappointing deal from a financial perspective. Their transaction fees are high and their exchange rates are often not competitive, which means even a small transfer can end up costing much more than it should.

This underwhelming transfer service has led to the creation of many different online money transfer companies. These providers, such as World First and WorldRemit, specialize in moving money internationally, and as such they can offer superior exchange rates to the banks. Their transfer fees are typically much lower as well, so don’t hesitate to compare your transfer options before sending a transaction request.

Case study: Carter Sends Money to Jamaica

Carter is taking a vacation in Canada when he gets an emergency call from his sister, Veronica. Veronica has been involved in a car accident in Jamaica and needs some urgent funds to help get her vehicle back on the road. Carter offers to send her $1,000 Canadian dollars to help, but is disappointed to see that his bank will offer a low exchange rate and also charges a $25 fee on his transfer. He compares two money transfer companies to see if he can find a more cost-effective transfer option.

Money transfer company 1Money transfer company 2
Exchange rate$1 CAD = 93.22 JMD$1 CAD = 94.09 JMD
Transfer fee$50$14
Transfer methodCash pick-up onlyOnline bank account transfer
Processing time1-3 days1-3 days
Amount received (in JMD)JMD93,226.87
JMD94,085.84

It’s obvious to Carter that Company #2 has a better exchange rate and a lower transfer fee, so that Veronica will receive more Jamaican dollars to help her fix her car.

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

  • Exchange rates. Compare exchange rates between providers to see which company offers the highest rates. However, keep an eye out for any high transaction fees that may be attached to competitive exchange rate offers.
  • Transfer fees. Many companies will charge a fee on every transaction, so see how much those fees are and whether there’s a way you can avoid paying them. If you send a large sum of money at once, some companies will completely waive the transfer fee.
  • Transfer methods. Compare the methods available for sending a transfer: online, over the phone, in a branch or using a free mobile app.
  • Transfer options. Check whether the company offers a range of flexible transfer options in addition to one-off transfers. These include forward contracts, limit orders and the ability to schedule repeat payments.
  • Minimum and maximum limits. Does the company enforce minimum and maximum limits on the amount you can transfer?
  • Processing times. How long will it take until your recipient can access the money you send? Some companies offer transfers in as little as a few minutes, but these transactions tend to cost more. Other companies can send the money within three to five days, usually for cheaper fees.
  • Pickup options. Some companies offer cash pickups while others offer bank account deposits or mobile transfers.
  • Customer service. Will phone, email and/or live chat customer support be available if you ever have a question about a transaction? Some companies are available 24/7 to help while others may only be available a few hours a day.

How do I send money to Jamaica from Canada?

  • Specialist transfer providers. Specialist online transfer companies such as World First and WorldRemit offer this service.
  • Cash pickup transfer companies. Check whether Western Union or MoneyGram have convenient cash pickup locations close to your recipient.
  • Bank transfers. Compare your bank’s fees and exchange rates with those offered by other transfer providers. If both you and your recipient have the same bank, you will be able to transfer funds for no fee.
  • PayPal. PayPal customers in Canada can use the company’s international money transfer service to send funds to Jamaica.
  • International cheques. Another option is to post an international guaranteed cheque to Jamaica. Keep in mind that this is the slowest way to send money overseas.

How do I receive money from Jamaica in Canada?

  • Specialist transfer providers. Do some research to find out which specialist transfer companies offer transactions from Jamaica to Canada.
  • Cash pickup transfer companies. Research online to find your nearest Western Union or MoneyGram locations.
  • Bank transfers. Another option is to receive a transfer from a Jamaican bank account into your Canadian bank account or vice versa.
  • PayPal. PayPal’s international money transfer service is convenient for small transfer amounts.
  • International cheques. Ask your bank how much it will cost you to cash a cheque from overseas.

Emergency cash transfers in Jamaica

When you need to send funds to Jamaica quickly, companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram offer cash transfers that can be completed in as little as 10 minutes. However, be aware that urgent cash transfers usually cost more than online transactions processed at normal speed. Higher fees and lower exchange rates apply, so review the full details of your transaction before you transfer any funds.

Cash pickup locations in Jamaica

If you want to send a cash pickup transfer to Jamaica, Western Union and MoneyGram can help. Both have extensive transfer networks and you can see the details below of some of their popular cash pickup locations in Jamaica. Phone ahead to check an agent’s address and opening hours before visiting, and make sure to take proof of ID when you go to collect any funds.

Western Union

  • Kingston

    Bejon Ltd
    111b Molynes Rd
    Kingston 20, St Andrew
    Open 7am to 11pm Monday to Saturday
    +876-929-1331

  • Auto Tech

    59 C Waltham Park Road
    Kingston 11
    Kingston, St Andrew
    Open 7am to 11pm Monday to Saturday
    +876-926-2454

  • Montego Bay

    True North Ventures Limited
    Catherine S Peak Office
    Unit B Sagicor Commercial Comp
    Freeport Montego Bay, St James
    Open 7am to 11pm Monday to Saturday
    +876-929-1331

  • Hometown Supermarket Overton

    Shop 9 Overton Plaza
    P O Box 1130
    Montego Bay, St James
    Open 7am to 11pm Monday to Saturday
    +876-926-2454

MoneyGram

  • Kingston

    Huhenden Pharmacy
    111 Molynes Road
    Kingston 10,
    Open 24/7
    8769343130

  • Jordan Wholesale

    44 Waltham Park Road
    Kingston,
    Open 24/7
    8769604397

  • Montego Bay

    Sunrise Employment Agency
    Suite 4 Rose Hall
    674 Half Moon Street
    Montego Bay,
    Open 24/7
    8769533228

  • New Unico Sales & Services

    30 Union Street
    Montego Bay
    Open 8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday
    8769792870

Tips for picking up cash in Jamaica

The Canadian Government advises Canadian travellers to Jamaica to exercise a high degree of caution, so keep the following tips in mind when picking up cash:

  • Only visit an agent in an area where you feel safe.
  • Don’t go alone – take one or more friends along with you.
  • Keep your cash concealed and don’t wave it around in front of strangers.
  • Deposit the money in a safe place as soon as possible.

What are the steps to send money to Jamaica?

  • Sign up for an account. The first step in the transfer process is usually to sign up for a free account online. You’ll need to provide your name, contact details and photo ID.
  • Enter your transaction information. Provide details of who you are sending the money to and in what country they are located. You’ll also need to enter the amount you wish to send and your chosen currency.
  • Finalize your transfer. After reviewing the full cost of your transaction, submit your transfer request and then use your receipt to track the progress of your funds.
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