Review: MoneyGram international money transfers

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Fast money transfers to over 200+ countries and territories worldwide, but keep an eye on the offered exchange rate.

  • Good for sending money almost anywhere in the world instantly and if your recipient doesn’t have a bank account.
  • Be wary of high fees and poor exchange rates.

MoneyGram's coronavirus response

MoneyGram is encouraging customers to take business online when possible. According to the MoneyGram website, customers should:
  • “Take advantage of our online and in-app services to limit unnecessary travel
  • Check with local agents for store hours, restrictions, and closures if you need to send money using cash”

Visit our step-by-step section of this guide to learn what information you need to send money online through MoneyGram.

Why should I consider MoneyGram?

  • Wide reach. MoneyGram has approximately 350,000 agent locations in more than 200 countries and territories.
  • Diverse transfer options. Customers can send money both online and in-person. You can pay using credit and debit cards and cash. Be sure to select the payment option that best balances your desired transfer speed with the associated fees.
  • Country and currency support. MoneyGram transfers can be sent to over 200 countries in almost 50 currencies. Some destinations support multiple currencies, which may help you save money on the exchange rate by sending through the more popular currency.
  • Speed. With same-day delivery available at many locations (subject to the holiday hours and compliance with regulatory requirements), your recipient could have their money in as little as 10 minutes during normal business hours when picking up cash. When speed is important, cash pickup is typically your fastest option with MoneyGram.
  • Delivery options. You can send money for pick up in different ways, including cash pickup, to a mobile wallet, to a bank account or to pay your bills.

What to be aware of with MoneyGram

  • Low maximum limits. When sending online with MoneyGram, your transfer is limited to €8,600 per transaction. The monthly send limit is also €8,600. When you need to send more you can do so in-person from a MoneyGram agent location.
  • High fees. As with most money transfer services, MoneyGram’s transfers incur a fee. Fees are often higher when paying with a credit or debit card and lower when sending to a bank account.
  • No hedging options. MoneyGram doesn’t offer recurring transfers, scheduled transfers or any other hedging tools to help you save money. Hedging tools can help you save money when used appropriately to lock in an exchange rate for future transfers.
  • Inconsistent exchange rates. MoneyGram’s exchange rates vary depending on how you are paying for your transaction and how it will be received. Pay close attention to the exchange rate to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

MoneyGram’s exchange rates and fees explained

MoneyGram’s fees may vary between online and agent locations, but for online transfers the cost depends on:

  • Location. Fees depend on what country you’re sending from and where you’re sending to.
  • Payment. Paying by credit card will usually have the highest fees. Pay close attention to the exchange rate when paying with different methods, as the exchange rate you’re offered may change based on how you’re paying.
  • Receiving method. If your recipient wants cash, the fees are generally higher, while receiving money to a bank account is less expensive.

How long does a MoneyGram money transfer take?

Transfer speed will depend on the amount of fees you are comfortable paying, how quickly you need it to arrive and how you want your recipient to receive it.

When using a credit or debit card, your money could arrive in as little as 10 minutes. However, your credit card may charge a cash advance fee, further increasing the cost of your total transfer.

Sending a money transfer to your recipient’s bank account may take longer and up to five days in some cases, depending on the country.

How does MoneyGram keep my money safe?

After multiple legal cases, one in 2012 and another in 2016, MoneyGram has increased its fraud prevention protocols to keep customers safer. It does this by monitoring transactions, educating customers on the dangers of money transfer fraud and providing numerous resources to customers to report potential fraud.

Common consumer scams, according to MoneyGram, include:

  • Revenue Extortion Scam. A person claiming to be from a government agency asks for money to cover back debts owed to the Revenue in Ireland. To do so, the person claims you must transfer money or send a prepaid card to a “government account.”
  • Refund scams. A person claims to be working for somewhere official and promises to help you get a refund, sent directly to your bank account.
  • Disaster relief. After a major disaster, scammers set up fake charities and ask for donations.
  • Foreign lottery. A person contacts you claiming that you’ve won a foreign lottery or sweepstakes, but due to international tax laws requires you to pay a fee upfront to claim your price.
  • Buying a vehicle. An online or newspaper ad for a vehicle seems too good to be true, and to secure the vehicle you must send a deposit before meeting with the person.

Fraud can be reported through MoneyGram’s website or by telephone at 1800 832 736. Additionally, fraud can be reported to FraudSMART, created by the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland.
More on money transfer scams and how to avoid them

What MoneyGram’s reviews look like

Reviews accurate as of 10 July 2020.

Trustpilot score4.1 out of 5, based on 3,800 customer reviews
CompareRemit1.4 out of 5, based on 94 customer reviews
BBB ratingA-
Monito4 out of 10, staff reviewed
NerdWallet3.5 out of 5, staff reviewed

MoneyGram is a massive global company that has been in business since 1940. A lot of complaints online are about fees and exchange rates, often remarking on how the exchange rate was different from what was originally presented. Because of this, it is crucial that you always review the transfer before clicking Send.

What are all the ways I can send money with MoneyGram?

MoneyGram offers one of the widest ranges of ways to send money and ways for your receiver to get it. We’ll go through each of them and what the steps look like.

Options for setting up a transfer

Online via MoneyGram’s website

MoneyGram allows you to send money online to destinations around the world. To do so, you’ll need to:

  1. Register for an account, or login if you already have one
  2. Select a receiving bank or MoneyGram agent location
  3. Choose how you want to pay

You can also set up the money transfer online, but pay with cash in-store. Make sure to bring valid ID and enough money to cover the transfer if you choose this option.

Another online option is using Facebook. Find the MoneyGram Sendbot on Facebook then follow prompts provided by the bot. You’ll need a Facebook account to send money this way.

In-person at a MoneyGram location

Agent locations are in almost every country in the world, so to take advantage of this network you’ll need to:

  1. Head to MoneyGram’s website, where you can type in your location and all locations will appear.
  2. Bring necessary documents: valid ID, receiver’s information, and the money you plan on sending.
  3. Pay for your transfer with the agent and collect your receipt.

Verify with MoneyGram’s Find a Location tool before you head to an agent location.

Options for your receiver to get the money

  • Send to a bank account. Although slower, this lets your receiver get the money directly in their account.
  • Organise for it to be picked up in cash at a MoneyGram location. The money is ready at the location in as little as 10 minutes after you’ve sent it, dependant on the opening hours of the pickup location you’ve selected.
  • Send to a mobile wallet. A mobile wallet is a place to store funds digitally, with actual wallet types varying by country and user preference.
  • Delivered right to their door. In some locations, you can choose home delivery as a receiving method. Your money will be delivered by a local MoneyGram agent.
  • Pay bills through MoneyGram. MoneyGram supports bill payment to utility companies, credit cards and more. Use the online bill pay search to find out if the company you want to pay is supported by the MoneyGram network.

What do I need to send money online through MoneyGram?

Sending money with MoneyGram will require a few documents and pieces of information, including:

  • Contact information. Your full name and contact information is needed.
  • Proof of ID. A government-issued ID, such as a driver’s licence or passport.
  • Recipient information. Be prepared with your recipient’s name and contact information. If you’re transferring to a bank account, you’ll also need their bank name, SWIFT code and account number.
  • Payment method. A valid method of payment is necessary for all transfers. Online transfers can be paid for through a credit card or debit card. You’ll also be able to pay with cash at agent locations.

How to track a MoneyGram transfer

Find your authorisation or reference number on your receipt or in your email, if you placed an order online. To track, you can:

  • Use the online Track a Transfer tool by entering your last name with the authorisation or reference number.
  • Contact customer service and provide the authorisation or reference number along with your last name, to check the status of your order.
  • Visit a MoneyGram location and provide your information to the agent to find out where your order is and if it has been picked up or not.

Is there a MoneyGram app?

Screenshot of MoneyGram's app

Yes, MoneyGram has an app on both Google Play and the App Store. The app makes it possible to:

  • Scan your card. Use your phone’s camera to quickly scan your credit card, debit card and photo ID.
  • Log in using biometrics. Both face and fingerprint recognition can be used to log in.
  • Check exchange rates on the go. Current currency exchange rates and fees can be found in the app.
  • Share order details with your contacts. Sending key order information, like the tracking PIN number, to your recipient can be done with just a few taps.
  • Find an agent location using GPS. Use the in-app map to find agent locations based on your GPS or around the world.
Google Play Store4.6 out of 5, based on 29,800 customer reviews
Apple App Store4.8 out of 5, based on 10,500 customer reviews

Ratings collected on 10 July 2020

More on the best money transfer apps

Bottom line

When you need a money transfer sent fast, or to a remote destination, MoneyGram may be the choice for you. However, it is always a great idea to compare your options before making any transfer, as you never know how much fees and exchange rates may have recently changed. Even if MoneyGram was the best deal in the past, you may find that a competitor is now offering better rates to save you money.

Frequently asked questions

How can I see my transaction history?

When you log in to your account, any recent transactions you have completed will be displayed on your homepage and you’ll also see a link that lets you view all. If you haven’t made any transfers recently you will have to click on My Account and then Transaction History to view the relevant details.

Why is MoneyGram reviewing my transfer?

MoneyGram reviews all money transfers for compliance with know-your-customer (KYC) and anti–money laundering (AML) industry protocols, which involves knowing the identity of its customers, their financial activities and any risks they pose to MoneyGram’s business. MoneyGram typically reviews transfers within a day or less, and will contact you directly if there are any problems with your transfer.

Can I cancel a money transfer?

Yes, if it hasn’t yet been picked up by your recipient. To cancel a transfer, log in to your account and view your transaction history. There is an option to cancel specific transfers on the Transaction Details page.

How does MoneyGram compare to other services?

Check out the table below to see what your transfer could look like with other online money transfer services.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Minimum Transfer Transfer Time Transfer Fee
Azimo - Ireland
GBP 10
Instant
Varies
TransferWise - Ireland
EUR 1
1-2 days
Varies
Remitly - Ireland
Remitly - Ireland
EUR 0
1-5 days
EUR 2.99
Skrill - Ireland
EUR 50
1 day
None
XE Money Transfers - Ireland
EUR 1
Same day
EUR 0
WorldRemit - Ireland
EUR 1
Same day
Varies
CurrencyFair - Ireland
EUR 5
1-2 days
Varies
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Expert review

Zak Killermann

Review by


Zak Killermann is a staff writer at Finder specializing in money transfers. He has ghostwritten hundreds of FinTech articles over the years and found his love for publication at St. Cloud State University. Zak has been traveling internationally for nearly half his life and — after getting burned once by an over-the-counter money exchange — vowed to never settle for anything short of the mid-market rate.

Expert review

You’ll find MoneyGram locations at grocery stores, small corner shops and probably in many other places around where you live. But the cost of convenience comes with a high price — more fees and weaker exchange rates than some smaller competitors. Often you may find that MoneyGram is one of your few choices, especially when sending to more remote locations worldwide.

A few places where I think MoneyGram excels are: the exceptionally quick speeds that some cash transfers can be received and the sheer convenience of having more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide. I’d recommend always comparing your MoneyGram transfer costs to that of other companies, though, as you may be surprised at how much money you may save by taking your business elsewhere.

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