Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.
Compare instant money transfers
Cash transfers are the fastest way to get money to someone overseas.
If you want to send money internationally and have it be available in minutes, using an instant money transfer provider that offers cash pickup is the fastest option — but it’s not always the cheapest. Comparing instant transfer services can help you save on fees, leaving more cash in the hands of your recipient. Read on to discover if speed is really what you need or if another option might be best — for you and your wallet.
Send money internationally with WorldRemit
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
- No minimum transfers.
- Wide range of destinations.
- Competitive exchange rate.
Compare and send an instant money transfer today
Not all instant transfers are created equally. And the best deal for you might depend on how much you need to send, your country’s currency and your recipient’s country. Compare top providers with our table to quickly discover which listed companies will give you the best deal.
Largest international instant money transfer companies
The quickest way to send an international money transfer is with a cash transfer. These transfers allow you to send money that will then be available for collection as cash within as little as 10 minutes.
Some providers also offer the option of transferring funds directly to your recipient’s bank account, but these transactions take longer to complete.
Three of the largest cash transfer providers are:
WorldRemit is an international transfer provider that offers instant transactions of up to $5,000 around the world. With a global base of more than 120 countries, WorldRemit offers fast transfer options, including:
- Cash pickup. Money is available for collection instantly from WorldRemit agent locations around the world.
- Bank deposit. Instant transfers are only available to selected banks in selected countries.
- Airtime top-up. Mobile airtime top-ups are usually added instantly.
- Mobile money. Funds are added to the recipient’s mobile money account instantly.
Read more in our WorldRemit review.
MoneyGram has an international money transfer network of more than 347,000 agents in over 200 countries, so it also provides significant global coverage when you need to send money overseas. You can send an instant cash transfer in a number of ways:
- Cash pickup. Money is available at a MoneyGram location around the world.
- Bank deposit. Be aware that transfer times may vary bank-by-bank.
- Mobile wallet. Send your MoneyGram transfer to a mobile wallet and the funds are instantly available.
For both online and in person, you can only send up to $10,000 to most countries — though limits can vary. Read our MoneyGram review for more information.
Western Union has more than 500,000 cash pickup locations in more than 200 countries and territories, making it the world’s largest provider of international transfers. There are three ways to send a quick cash transfer with Western Union:
- Send online. Transfer online using your credit or debit card.
- Agent location. Send in person at a Western Union agent location by paying in cash or with a card.
- By telephone. Send money over the phone by calling 1-800-CALL-CASH.
Read our Western Union review for information on transfers and rates.
Specific money transfer limits will vary by location and how you choose to send — agent locations work better for large transfers. The cash you send will be available for collection from your recipient’s nearest Western Union agent location within minutes.
How to send an instant money transfer
It’s quick and easy to send an instant cash transfer to a friend or relative overseas. Although some providers allow you to pay for the transaction online, the most common transfer method is to pay cash in person at a transfer provider’s agent location.
The exact transfer process varies slightly from one company to the next but you will usually have to follow these steps:
- Visit your nearest cash transfer provider location.
- Make sure you have a valid form of photo ID (such as a driver’s license or passport) and enough cash to pay for the transaction.
- Fill out a form with all the details of your transaction, including your recipient’s full name and address and the currency they will collect the cash in. The name you give must exactly match the name on your recipient’s ID.
- Pay for the transaction and make note of the transaction reference number or PIN you are given.
- Contact your recipient and give them the PIN or transaction reference number.
- Your recipient can visit their nearest transfer provider location with photo ID and the reference number and can collect their cash.
What are the pros and cons of instant cash transfers?
There are a few advantages and disadvantages you should consider before choosing an instant cash transfer:
- Fast. Cash transfers are usually available for collection by your recipient within minutes, even if they’re located on the other side of the world.
- Easy. It’s easy to lodge a transfer request and pay for a transaction, with the entire process taking just a few minutes.
- Convenient. Cash transfers are a simple and stress-free way to get your money where you need it to go as quickly as possible.
- Send money anywhere. Cash transfer providers make it possible to send money to just about any country in the world.
- Transfer fees. Cash transfer companies tend to charge higher transaction fees than some specialist online transfer providers.
- Low exchange rates. It’s often also possible to find better exchange rates when you send an online money transfer instead of a cash transfer.
If you need to send money fast, cash is your best bet. But big fees can add up fast when you need to transfer money in a hurry — leaving you with less cash to send to your recipient. Don’t let your need for speed stop you from taking a minute to compare transfer providers to find the most competitive exchange rates and fees.
Frequently asked questions
How long do bank transfers take?
Another option for sending an international money transfer is to send the funds from your bank account. This is an easy and convenient way to send funds, but it’s not a good option if you want instant transfers.
Processing times for international bank transfers range between two and five business days depending on where you’re sending the money, so you’ll need to look elsewhere if time is of the essence.
How long do transfers with specialist online transfer companies take?
Transfer speeds with these providers typically vary from one to five business days — but some offer instant transfers.
Specialist online transfer companies have given banks and cash transfer companies major competition, offering secure and affordable transactions with better exchange rates than their competitors.
Can my credit card provider charge me any fees?
Yes. Your recipient can pick up the cash at an agent location even if they don’t have a bank account. You can still send cash at an agent location without a bank account.
If I am inheriting money from outside of the country, do I have to pay taxes on it in the US?
Yes, some credit card providers will consider it a cash advance if you use your credit card to send money, and any cash advance fees or interest rates on your card will apply.
Will my recipient have to pay to pick up the money?
No. Any fees will be taken directly out of the money you send — your recipient won’t have to pay anything at the agent location.
More guides on Finder
The best debit cards for kids for 2021
Support your child’s financial knowledge and teach the important real-life money skills in a safe and controlled way with a kids’ debit card.
Alternatives to Fidelity
If you’re looking for a broker similar to Fidelity, here are some platforms to consider.
Help your child learn to spend and save wisely with a virtual, COPPA-compliant debit card.
Best balance transfer credit cards of 2021
Here are our top balance transfer picks for 2021.
Sigue international money transfers review
Sigue offers speedy money transfers to 50+ countries, but you have to set up a transfer to see the transaction fees.
Boss Revolution money transfer review
Join Boss Revolution with an email address and phone number, and send money within minutes.
Online banks Simple and Azlo are shutting down; here are two alternatives
If you’re a current Simple or Azlo customer, here are your options for switching banks.
Usend combines money transfers, bill pay and mobile phone reloading.
DasherDirect prepaid card review
Dashers can get instant access to earnings, plus 2% cash back at gas stations with this prepaid card.
Paysend offers transfers to more than 70 countries through its app and online service.
Ask an Expert