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Compare instant money transfers

Cash transfers are the fastest way to get money to someone overseas.

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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.
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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.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
$10 Within an hour USD 1.99 0.822 EUR 410 Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Go to site Show details
$1 3 - 5 days USD 20.00 0.818 EUR 393 Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world. Show details
$1 Within an hour USD 8.00 0.82 EUR 404 MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide. Show details
$1 Within an hour USD 3.99 0.834 EUR 414 WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

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 logo
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 Logo
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.

WesternUnion Logo
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:

  1. Visit your nearest cash transfer provider location.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Pay for the transaction and make note of the transaction reference number or PIN you are given.
  5. Contact your recipient and give them the PIN or transaction reference number.
  6. 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:

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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.
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Bottom line

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.

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