How to pay low fees when safely sending money to friends and family in Puerto Rico.
Sending money to Puerto Rico doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. If you need to transfer funds to friends and family to the Island of Enchantment, you’ll want to compare your options to find the fastest services with the lowest fees available.
Because Puerto Rico is a US territory, there’s no need to worry about losing money on weak exchange rates. When sending money to Puerto Rico, you’ll pay only a transfer fee.
Transfer fees will vary by provider, method of payment and delivery. For instance, if you’re sending $1,000 to Puerto Rico by bank transfer, your local US bank could charge $35. By transferring money at a local Western Union or MoneyGram for cash pickup at an agent location, fees could drop to about $20.
What is the official currency of Puerto Rico?
A territory of the United States, Puerto Rico uses the US dollar as its official currency.
Picking up cash in Puerto Rico
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Banks vs. money transfers
While you could choose the convenience of walking into your local US bank for a money transfer to Puerto Rico, you’ll may pay a steep transfer fee to do so. That’s because some banks exclude US territories like Puerto Rico and Guam from its list of reciprocal banks, treating transfers to these territories as international transfers. Fees can $35 or more, depending on your bank.
With an independent money transfer specialist, you will typically pay a lower fee with better options for payment and delivery to your recipients.
How to compare transfer providers
- Fees. Fees can vary wildly by provider, but your local banks will typically charge more than you’ll pay with an independent money transfer specialist.
- Transfer options and speeds. Do you need to schedule your transfer online, by phone or in person? Confirm each provider’s method of payment, and ask how long it will take for delivery.
- Minimum amounts. If a provider imposes a minimum limit on transactions, make sure this limit isn’t too high for your needs.
- Pickup methods. Some providers allow for bank deposits only, while others may also offer the ability for your recipient to pick up your funds in cash.
- Customer service. Confirm whether customer support is available 24/7 by phone, email or live chat, if you encounter a problem.
Ways to send money to Puerto Rico from the US
- Bank transfers. Most US banks and online providers like World First and Xoom will allow you to send money to bank accounts in Puerto Rico.
- Transfer companies with cash pickup. Funds can be picked up at Western Union, Ria and MoneyGram locations throughout the island.
- PayPal. With low fees and fast transfer times, PayPal can be a sound option for sending smaller amounts to Puerto Rico.
- Checks and money orders. While a slower option, these old-school payment methods are safe and effective.
In an emergency situation, sending money to Puerto Rico can be expensive. Bank transfers are not ideal for emergency situations, because of their longer processing times.
However, most independent providers allow you to send expedited payments with additional processing fees. Using a credit card can also save time, but expect higher fees with some providers for this method of payment.
Tips for picking up cash in Puerto Rico
When picking up cash in Puerto Rico, take a friend along who speaks Spanish, if you don’t know the language. Only about 20 percent of those living on the island speak English, and you can make expensive errors simply by not knowing the language. Never flash your cash when traveling, and avoid dark secluded areas.
How to send money to Puerto Rico
Regardless of how you choose to send money to Puerto Rico, you’ll typically need to set up an account.
Most banks and money transfer providers will require your name, contact information and government-issued ID. Next, you’ll provide your recipient’s name and contact information, how much you’re sending and how your recipient will receive it. If you’re sending a bank transfer, you’ll also need to provide your recipient’s bank name, routing number and account number.
Once you’ve completed your transfer, the provider will confirm your transaction with a reference number. Use this reference number to track the progress of your transfer to receipt.
With so many options available, sending money to Puerto Rico should be a simple and painless Process. By comparing your options, you can prevent unpleasant surprises like high fees and penalties for cash pickup.