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MoneyGram vs. Ria

We compare two competing money transfer services on fees, rates and speed to get you the best deal.

Ria beats out MoneyGram on exchange rates, but the two tie on fees and transfer speeds. However, MoneyGram’s cash pickup options may make a slightly more expensive transfer worth it for you. Compare these two options to help choose the best one for your needs.

Compare Ria vs MoneyGram

Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
MoneyGram
Within minutes
From $0
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
Ria
Within minutes
From $1.00
Ria lets you send money to 130+ countries with cash pick-up at 240,000 locations.
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How they work

MoneyGram and Ria are very similar in how they work. To make an online transfer with both, you need to visit their sites, enter how much you’re transferring and to which country and choose your payment method. The main difference is that with MoneyGram you also have the option of visiting an agent location, calling or using a mobile app to initiate a transfer.

Who offers lower fees?

MoneyGram

Fees vary depending on how much money you’re transferring, how you’re sending it and the country you’re sending it to. Unless you actually initiate a transfer, it’s not easy to find out up front how much you’ll pay. For example, to send $1,000 to China from a bank account, you won’t pay anything for a bank account to bank account transfer; but to pay the same amount with a credit card, you’ll pay $32.99. To send $1,000 for cash pickup in the Philippines, it’s $5.99 from a bank account and $34.99 by credit card.

Ria

Money transfer fees with Ria also vary by payment method, country and the amount you’re sending. The cheapest way to send money is by bank transfer, with a typical fee that’s lower than $5. However, fees for credit card payments can be as high as $45.

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Winner: Tie

MoneyGram and Ria offer similar transfer options and fees. How much you will pay in fees will depend largely on where you are sending money and how you plan to pay for it.

Who offers better exchange rates?

To understand who offers better exchange rates, you’ll need to first look at the mid-market rate. This is the true exchange rate that averages the buying and selling rate of a global currency — and the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves.

MoneyGram

Depending on where you’re sending your money, MoneyGram’s exchange rate could be 5% or more above the mid-market rate. This means that hundreds of dollars on a large transfer could be diverted to MoneyGram’s pockets.

We’ll use the example of a transfer to Indian rupees (INR):

  • If the mid-market rate is 1 USD = 76.63 INR
  • MoneyGram’s exchange rate might be 1 USD = 75.67 INR

Ria

Ria takes a smaller margin than MoneyGram, with rates that can be less than 1% on the mid-market rate.

Using the same examples of a transfer to Indian rupees (INR):

  • If the mid-market rate is 1 USD = 76.63 INR
  • Ria’s exchange rate might be 1 USD = 76.07 INR

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Winner: Ria

Ria’s competitive exchange rates make it the clear winner over MoneyGram.

Who has faster transfer speeds?

MoneyGram

MoneyGram’s delivery speeds vary by transfer option. Transfers in person or by phone can be delivered in minutes, although at higher costs. MoneyGram’s cheaper options take two to four business days.

Ria

Ria’s transfer speeds also depend on the method that you choose to send your money. When you use your credit or debit card, the exchange typically takes 15 minutes or less. Cheaper transfers from your bank account can take up to four days.

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Winner: Tie

A typical money transfer or instant transfer option, your money will likely get there in about the same time for both services.

Who offers more transfer options?

MoneyGram

MoneyGram has an extensive network of agent locations worldwide, which it uses to provide multiple options for how your intended recipient can get their money. These include:

  • Bank account.
  • Cash pickup.
  • Debit card.
  • Mobile wallet.
  • Doorstep delivery.
  • Pay your bills.
  • Send money to an inmate.

Ria

Ria is more limited with its transfer options. Recipients can pick up their money in one of three ways:

  • Bank deposit.
  • Cash pickup at an agent location.
  • Home delivery (not available in all locations).

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Winner: MoneyGram

MoneyGram wins out here purely because it has many more options for customers to take advantage of.

Who has better coverage?

MoneyGram

MoneyGram has over 350,000 agent locations in more than 200 countries and territories. It does have limits to how much money customers can send on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis. As these are changeable, it is best to check the restrictions for your chosen transfer destination.

Ria

With a network of more than 507,000 locations in over 160 countries, Ria is the third-largest provider of international money transfers worldwide.

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Winner: Tie

While MoneyGram has a presence in more countries than Ria, Ria has a larger number of agent locations. So they effectively balance each other out.

Who has more payment options?

MoneyGram

If you are making an online money transfer, then you can pay through your bank account, or with a credit or debit card. When making an in-person transfer you can also pay with cash.

Ria

You can use several methods to pay for your online transfer with Ria. These include a transfer from your bank account, credit or debit card or with cash when initiating a transfer at an agent location.

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Winner: Tie

Both MoneyGram and Ria are evenly matched when it comes to payment methods. The ability to pay with cash in person is a particularly useful one.

Which is better: MoneyGram or Ria?

MoneyGram and Ria offer similar options, but you could save money with Ria’s competitive exchange rates – and maybe even save a few days.

Ultimately, you’ll want to compare your options to find the service that best fits your needs.

Still looking for other options?

Our table lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Compare services on transfer speeds and fees, then click Go to site when you're ready to send.
1 - 12 of 12
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
Wise (TransferWise)
Within minutes
From 0.41%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies.
Cash App
Within minutes
From $0
With this peer-to-peer payment app make payments to your friends and family with no transfer fees within the US or from the US to the UK or EU.
Instarem
24 hours
From 0%
New Instarem customers will get a special FX rate and zero-fees on their first transfer.
Instarem offers offers rewards on every transaction.
MoneyGram
Within minutes
From $0
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
OFX International Money Transfers (Business)
24 hours
$0
Business customers: Send safe, no-limit transfers with no fees and competitive exchange rates.
CurrencyTransfer for Business
24 hours
$0
Increase business efficiency with zero transaction fees and same-day transfers.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Xe Money Transfer for Business
24 hours
$0
Save your time and money with Xe Money Transfer for business.
Currencies Direct (business)
24 hours
$0
Minimizes costs of international transactions and offers custom solutions for business clients. Currencies Direct may call you to confirm your transfer, so be prepared for a phone call shortly after initiating a transfer.
Xe
Within minutes
$3
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
CurrencyTransfer
24 hours
$0
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
Currencies Direct
24 hours
$0
CurrenciesDirect makes transferring money abroad simple with bank-beating exchange rates. Currencies Direct may call you to confirm your transfer, so be prepared for a phone call shortly after initiating a transfer.
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More Ria alternatives