A thin wedge of land bordered by the Pacific ocean and jutting off the southern portion of North America, Mexico is a marvel for the senses, with its chili-spiced cuisine, tequila cocktails, crashing topaz waves and palm-fringed beaches. For Canadians, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump across the water, which makes it a prime travel destination in any season. In addition to tourism, Mexico and Canada also enjoy strong diplomatic relations and are working hard to increase bilateral trade and cooperation.
When it comes to sending money to Mexico, Canadians have a plethora of suitable options. So how do you make sure you choose the right service for you? Look for one that offers the most return on your dollar, with better exchange rates and lower transaction fees.
Banks versus money transfer companies
While banks can help you send money from Canada to destinations all around the globe in a pinch, that doesn’t mean that they should be your go-to. Why not? A couple of reasons. Banks are notorious for jacking up exchange rates while at the same time charging exorbitant administrative fees and taking several days to process your transaction. What does this mean for you as a consumer? You’re paying top rates for the slowest possible service. For this reason, it’s often worth your time and energy to compare your options.
When it comes to transferring funds overseas, many Canadians opt for online transfer services, specialized in offering safe and affordable international transfers. Since these companies trade in large volumes of currency every day, they are better-positioned to offer competitive exchange rates with lower fees than the bank.
Back to top Juan, a Mexican national, has been given the opportunity to work as a Spanish teacher in Canada. Although he wants to take the job, he worries that his parents will suffer financially without his help. He decides that, if he travels abroad, he will need to send remittances home every month to help them cover their living expenses. After calculating his estimated budget, Juan realizes that he can send $1000.00 back to Mexico each month. Juan compares two well-known international money transfer services to see which one will save him the most money. Juan can send an extra $419.65 MXN to his parents by doing a quick comparison and choosing the second transfer provider.
Case Study: Juan Transfers Money to Mexico
Bank Money Transfer Service Exchange rate $1 CAD = $10.82 MXN $1 CAD = $11.24 MXN Transfer fee $20 CAD $60 CAD Amount received in Pesos $10,816.50 $11,236.15 Transfer time Three to five business days 10 minutes Transfer options Bank to bank transfer Bank transfer or cash pick up Difference +$419.65 MXN
Juan, a Mexican national, has been given the opportunity to work as a Spanish teacher in Canada. Although he wants to take the job, he worries that his parents will suffer financially without his help. He decides that, if he travels abroad, he will need to send remittances home every month to help them cover their living expenses. After calculating his estimated budget, Juan realizes that he can send $1000.00 back to Mexico each month. Juan compares two well-known international money transfer services to see which one will save him the most money.
Juan can send an extra $419.65 MXN to his parents by doing a quick comparison and choosing the second transfer provider.
How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Mexico
Juan learned a lot from his quick inquiry into his money transfer options. So what does he recommend you look for when comparing services.
- Competitive exchange rates. Track down the best rates. While official rates are set, financial institutions can make adjustments to cover their costs, which means more money out of your pocket. Exchange rates can have a big impact on your bottom line and it pays (quite literally) to do your homework.
- Minimal fees. Look for flexible fees. The bank charges a standard fee on all transfers regardless of the amount. Money transfer services have flexible fees that vary according to the amount being transferred. Simply plug in different cash amounts to see how much your fee is going to be with each service.
- Various transfer methods. Discover your options. Depending on your circumstances, you may prefer a bank account to bank account transfer rather than a cash pickup. Figure out your limitations, and then choose the right fit for you.
- Fast transfer times. Don’t get left behind. Money transfer services have faster processing times (most completed within one business day). For regularly scheduled payments the bank is an option, but in case of an emergency, your friendly neighborhood transfer service is your best bet.
- Suitable transfer amounts. Know your limits and play within them. Some services have a minimum and maximum amount that can be sent with each transaction. Make sure to do your homework.
- Reliable customer service. Hold reputation in high regard. When transferring money frequently, ensure peace of mind by using a reputable service that will connect you with an agent immediately if there’s a problem with pick-up.
How to send money to Mexico from Canada
With the growing relations between Canada and Mexico, Canadians have a number of options to choose from when transferring money to our almost neighbor south of the border.
- Canadian Banks. Many Canadian banks can facilitate overseas transfers online, but most cost more than a dedicated international money transfer service.
- Money Transfer Services. Most money transfer services offer lower exchange rates and fees. Just make sure they offer a cash pick-up option in Mexico (like Western Union) so that you don’t run into problems on the receiving end.
- Cash pickup transfer companies. Western Union and MoneyGram both have several cash pickup locations in Mexico.
- PayPal. PayPal offers international money transfers between countries all over the world.
Emergency cash transfers in Mexico
If something comes up and you need to send money to Mexico post haste, then search for a cash pick-up option like Western Union to complete your transaction in as little as 10 minutes. With this type of service, higher transaction fees and lower exchange rates often apply, so just be clear on the terms of the agreement before you sign on the dotted line. Once the money is sent, your recipient just needs to present with their passport at the appropriate pick-up location to collect funds.Back to top
Cash pickup locations in Mexico
Before making arrangements to have cash delivered to you in Mexico, it’s not a bad idea to look into reputable cash pick-up locations in the proximity of your hotel. Check out the listings below for more information.
- Find a pick-up location with the Western Union Agent Location tool.
- Pick up from more than 16,000 locations in Mexico, including Banorte, elektra, Waldo’s, Ley, Coppel, BodegaAurrera and Super Farmacia.
Tips for picking up cash in Mexico
If you do plan to visit Mexico, the Government of Canada recommends that you exercise a high degree of caution (as of 26 Jan 2018) due to high levels of criminal activity, as well as demonstrations, protests and occasional illegal roadblocks throughout the country. Petty crime—including pick pocketing and bag snatching—occurs frequently in Mexico. It’s important to be cautious of strategies to distract your attention and avoid showing signs of affluence. When picking up cash, be extra careful around automated banking machines (ABMs), steer clear of isolated areas and never walk alone at night.Back to top