One of the most convenient ways to receive an international money transfer is by cash.
Whether you’re sending money to family overseas, buying goods from an international seller or just helping out a traveling friend who’s run out of funds, you have a range of reasons to send an international money transfer.
In the digital age, there are plenty of options when it comes to sending money overseas quickly, easily and efficiently. One worth considering is an international money transfer specialist that offers cash pickups. With a cash pickup, you to securely send funds to someone on the other side of the world without breaking the bank, and your money is available for your recipient to collect in person at an agent location — often within minutes.
Compare international cash pickup money transfers
Use our comparison calculator to assess transfer fees, exchange rates and other details for sending funds overseas with our money transfer partners for cash pickup.
How does a cash transfer work?
The basic premise behind a cash transfer is quite simple. In a nutshell, you send money overseas to your friends or family who can then visit an agent or office to pick up the cash you send.
The best-known providers of this service are Western Union and MoneyGram. Western Union allows you to send money online or in person at more than 500,000 locations in over 200 countries. MoneyGram also offers online and in-person transfers to more than 200 countries, with some 350,000 agent locations around the globe.
Digital provider WorldRemit is another option for a cash pickup. It sends your money overseas that your recipient can then collect from a local bank branch.
Cash transfers are designed to be both secure and convenient, giving your recipient fast access to the cash you send. However, the costs involved in sending a cash transfer can be steep, so it’s a good idea to compare your range of options.Back to top
How do I compare cash transfer services?
Compare the following features when weighing the pros and cons of cash transfer companies:
- Exchange rates. Nearly all providers skew exchange rates for a profit. Compare the rate you’re offered to the mid-market rate — the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves — and look for the smallest margin between them.
- Fees. Does the provider charge a flat fee or a percentage of your transfer? Do the fees vary by method of payment? If you’re sending a large amount, will you qualify for a fee-free transfer?
- Pickup locations. How many agent locations are there in the area you’re planning to send money to? Make sure the location and operating hours are convenient for your recipient.
- Transfer speed. How long will it take for the money you send to be available for your recipient to collect? If you need to send an emergency transfer, can the cash be ready for pickup within minutes?
- Payment methods. Can you pay with cash, credit or debit cards or a bank account transfer?
- Transfer methods. Can you initiate the transfer online, by phone or with an agent? Does the provider offer an online app?
- Customer support. Most companies offer customer service by Internet chat, phone, in person or by email. Make sure help will be available if you need it.
What are the pros and cons of cash transfers?
- Cash transfers are fast. Cash pickups offer an incredibly quick way to send money overseas — some for pickup within minutes.
- Plenty of choice. Several trusted companies operate in the money transfer industry, giving you the freedom to shop around for a better deal.
- Safe and secure. Reliable providers like Western Union and MoneyGram can offer secure international transfers.
- Convenient. Picking up cash from a transfer agent makes it simple and convenient for your recipient to access the funds you send.
- Can be expensive. Cash pickup money transfers are typically more expensive and offer weaker exchange rates than bank account deposits.
What should I look out for?
- Transfer fees. You’ll often pay more for a cash pickup over a transfer deposited into your recipient’s bank account. Confirm all of the fees involved in cash pickups before handing over your cash.
- Weak exchange rates. Exchange rates on cash transfers can be weaker than those you’d receive from an online money transfer specialist — and even a small difference in rates can mean a lot less money received by friends and family. Compare the exchange rate you’re offered against the mid-market rate before making your decision.
- Untrustworthy providers. Compare reputable providers to find one that’s best for you.
- Picking up cash. In certain parts of the world, picking up cash from a transfer agent can expose you to the risk of theft.
What are some tips for picking up cash?
No matter where you are in the world, picking up cash from a transfer agent can be dangerous. Stay safe with these tips:
- Avoid unsafe areas. Find a location that’s safe and convenient.
- Call ahead. Confirm an agent’s location and business hours before visiting.
- Bring a friend. Carrying money alone can be dangerous. Ask a friend to come along.
- Deposit your money immediately. The likelihood of losing your money grows the longer you have it with you, so head straight to the bank after pickup.
- Keep your cash hidden. Openly carrying cash could make you a target. Put your money in a purse or wallet before leaving the office.