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Find the best way to send money to South Africa

Learn how to send money to South Africa from the US in our step-by-step guide.

Looking for the best way to send money from the United States to family, friends or businesses in South Africa (or even to your own overseas bank account)?

Unfortunately, Finder doesn't have any providers that can help you send money to South Africa from the United States. Transferring money to countries like South Africa is challenging but potentially services such as Western Union and WorldRemit are worth exploring.

Best ways to send money to South Africa from the US

The best way to send money to South Africa depends on your payment method, how you want your money to be received and how fast you need it to arrive.
  • Online money transfer provider. When buying US dollars or rands , money transfer specialists typically offer better rates and cheaper fees than a local bank.

Compare other the US money transfer companies

Although we don't have any options for you to transfer money to South Africa, here are some other money transfer companies that send from the United States you can check out in the meantime.

Cheapest way to send money to South Africa

When you're hunting down the cheapest ways to send money to South Africa, it's more important to look at the overall cost of your transfer. This has a couple of elements:

  • Transfer fees. While still cheaper than your American bank, some money transfer services charge either a fixed or percentage-based fee for making your transfer.
  • Exchange rates. Another way money transfer providers make money is to add a margin to the mid-market USD/ZAR exchange rate.

Some providers may charge the mid-market rate but add fees on top. Others may have very low fees but apply a markup on the exchange rate. This means it is important to compare exactly how many rands your recipient will end up with.

Safest way to send money to South Africa

The safest way to get your money to South Africa is to use a provider registered with the United States's industry regulator, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. All the companies we've compared in our table are overseen by a local regulator and comply with the relevant laws and regulations in both the United States and South Africa.

A great way to dive deeper is by reading our extended reviews of each transfer service and researching first-hand customer feedback on Trustpilot and similar platforms.

Large money transfers to South Africa

If you need to make a sizable money transfer to South Africa, consider using a provider such as to benefit from its expertise in handling larger transfer amounts.

Using a large transfer specialist can have the following advantages:
  • Tax guidance. Large transfers to South Africa may have tax implications for you or your recipient. A transfer specialist can help get you up to speed on the IRS's latest advice.
  • Foreign exchange (forex) tools. Advanced tools such as forward contracts, limit orders and stop-loss orders can help you lock in the ZAR exchange rate you want.
  • Account manager. Some money transfer providers assign a personal account manager who can help and advise you on your transfer needs.
  • Phone service. If you want to talk your transfer through with someone, some providers can give you support over the phone.

How to send money to South Africa from the US

To send money to South Africa, you'll need the necessary documentation, your recipient's details and a way to pay.

  1. Compare your options.
    Use our table to find a money transfer provider that sends funds to South Africa. One may be better for cash pickups, while another may suit a bank transfer. Once you've found the best one for your requirements, click "Go to site".
  2. Create an account.
    You'll need to give your name, address, contact details, proof of ID and method of payment.
  3. Provide your recipient's details.
    Enter your recipient's name and contact information. If you're sending straight to their South African bank account, you'll need the account number, SWIFT or IBAN plus their bank branch's address.
  4. Enter your transfer amount.
    Make sure you're happy with the fees, exchange rates and transfer speed, then enter the amount you wish to send. Double-check the total rands your recipient gets.
  5. Complete your transfer.
    Send your money transfer to South Africa. Keep your transaction reference number safe so you can track your transfer. Your recipient may need it, too.

Example: Ethan sends money to South Africa

Ethan is working in the United States as a software engineer and he regularly contacts his elderly parents back home in South Africa. His parents need some funds to help pay off a mortgage, so Ethan plans to send them $2,000 from the United States.

He decides to compare a bank and a money transfer specialist to see which one can save the most money on his transaction.

Bank Money transfer company
Exchange rate 1 USD = 17.73 ZAR 1 USD = 17.97 ZAR
Transfer fee $10 $2.50
Transfer method Bank account deposit Bank account deposit
Processing time 2 - 5 working days Next day
Amount received 35,288.58 ZAR 35,890.50 ZAR

The money transfer company enables Ethan to send an extra R601.92, which is transferred straight to his parents' Standard Bank account.

How to choose the best money transfer companies to send money to South Africa

Although we currently have any active deals to help you transfer money to South Africa from the United States, below we cover the most features to consider when researching providers.

  • Exchange rates. Banks and transfer services use the mid-market rate to trade with one another. It is the best rate you can get. However, not all money transfer providers offer you this mid-market rate so compare the ZAR you're offered to the mid-market rate and look for the smallest difference.
  • Transfer fees. Are you being charged a flat fee or a percentage of your transfer amount? For example, a provider offering to transfer your money to South Africa for a flat or low fee might work out better if you plan to send a large amount.
  • Transfer type. Does your recipient have a South African bank account or is cash or cell phone top-up a better option? Each transfer type has different fees. For example, instant cash pickups tend to be more expensive than bank transfers .
  • Transfer speed. If you need your transfer to arrive quickly, you can pay for an express delivery. Some companies offer instant cash pickups but may charge more. If you're not in a rush, online money transfer services offer the best value and get your money to South Africa faster and cheaper than banks.
  • Transfer limits. Find out how much you can send with each service.
  • Discounts. Some providers may offer you a free transfer simply for signing up. Others may offer a discount if you transfer more than a specific amount of rands.

Is this a good time to send money to South Africa?

Compared to a month ago, the US dollar is a little weaker against the rand. Currently $5,000 is equivalent to R90,290.00, whereas a month ago, $5,000 was equivalent to R90,741.00. That's a decrease of 0.5% over the past month.

Similarly, compared to a year ago, the US dollar is again a little weaker against the rand. A year ago, $5,000 was equivalent to R90,857.00. That's a decrease of 0.62% over 12 months.

What's more important, however, is where the strength of the US dollar against the rand goes from here – which is harder to call. Based on those two quick glances back, your US dollars might not go as far as they would have, so shopping around for the best deal on your transfer is key.

Ready to compare rates?

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Frequently asked questions

Whether products shown are available to you is subject to individual provider sole approval and discretion in accordance with the eligibility criteria and T&Cs on the provider website.

Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
Xe
Within minutes
From $0
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Xe Money Transfer for Business
24 hours
$0
Save your time and money with Xe Money Transfer for business.
WorldRemit - 4free
Within minutes
From $0.99
Use promo code 3FREE and pay no fees on your first 3 transfers. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
CurrencyTransfer for Business
24 hours
$0
Increase business efficiency with zero transaction fees and same-day transfers.
WorldRemit
Within minutes
From $0.99
Use promo code 3FREE and pay no fees on your first 3 transfers. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
CurrencyTransfer
24 hours
$0
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
PayPal (business)
Within minutes
$0
Provides business solutions for small business owners in over 24 currencies worldwide. Try 3 months free of Spotify Premium when you sign up with PayPal.
Wise (TransferWise) International Money Transfers Business
Within minutes
From $8.16
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 40 currencies, while saving up to 90% over local banks.
Xe
Within minutes
$3
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
CurrencyFair
24 hours
€3
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
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.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
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.
CurrencyFair
24 hours
€3
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
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.
PayPal
Within minutes
From $0
Use PayPal to safely send money and receive payments from around the world in over 25 currencies with just an email address or mobile number. Try 3 months free of Spotify Premium when you sign up with PayPal.
Wise (TransferWise)
Within minutes
From 0.41%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies.
MoneyGram
Within minutes
From $0
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
Wise (TransferWise)
Within minutes
From 0.41%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies.
OFX International Money Transfers (Business)
24 hours
$0
Business customers: Send safe, no-limit transfers with no fees and competitive exchange rates.
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10 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    PamelaDecember 10, 2018

    I would like to send money to family in South Africa. When I’ve previously sent money, the recipient bank charged a good few R100’s in bank charges, meaning that some 13% of what I sent went towards bank charges. This was on top of the UK transfer fee I paid to send the money. Is there a way to minimise or negate the recipient bank charges?

      Default Gravatar
      nikkiangcoDecember 13, 2018

      Hi Pamela,

      Thanks for getting in touch. When transferring money, you’d always need to check fees and charges, such as taxes, and you’ll need to add that on top of the money your sending. It’s helpful to know that the recipient doesn’t get charge of any fees unless the amount your sending is over the country’s international transfer limits, then the recipient would be charged taxes as well.

      Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.

      Best,
      Nikki

    Default Gravatar
    StormSeptember 29, 2018

    Hello i live in South africa and my friend from America wants to send me money but cant use the bank bec they where hacked and dont do transfers . I need a site thay makes it easy to put the money in my FNB account and PayPal is not a option

      AvatarFinder
      JoshuaOctober 2, 2018Finder

      Hi Storm,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      I’m sorry to hear about your situation. Thankfully, you can use the table above to compare international money transfer services to South Africa. You can specify the amount of money you want to send and the table will show you how much money you will receive. Once you found the right one for you, click on the “Go to site” green button to learn more or initiate your transfer. The companies listed on our table should also allow you to send money to your bank account.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

    Default Gravatar
    KaylaJuly 25, 2018

    Hi. I started an online job with a company that pays into PayPal in USD. I have an FNB account with a debit card.
    Do I have to get a credit card?
    How long does it take to go from PayPal account to FNB account?
    And what should I register it as?

      Default Gravatar
      AshJuly 27, 2018

      Hi Kayla,

      Thank you for contacting finder.

      No, you do not need to have a credit card for your Pay Pal account to receive the salary from your employer. Since you already have an existing bank account, you need to register/ link it to your Paypal account. Here is the instructions on how you can link your bank account:

      1. Go to Wallet.
      2. Click “Add bank account” then select your account type (enter the sort code and account numbers)
      3. Check if all your information are correct then click “Add Bank Account”.

      I hope this helps.

      Let us know if there is anything else that I may assist you with.

      Cheers,
      Ash

    Default Gravatar
    SandyJune 25, 2018

    I want to send money to someone who is only in South Africa temporarily.. In order to receive it is he going to have to provide an address? Or is just his passport/ID and the ref # sufficient?
    Thanks

      Default Gravatar
      AshJune 26, 2018

      Hi Sandy,

      Thank you for contacting finder.

      If the recipient will be picking up the money to one of the provider’s agent locations, he/ she should only show a valid ID and provide the reference number for the transaction.

      I hope this helps.

      Let us know if there is anything else that we may assist you with.

      Cheers,
      Ash

    Default Gravatar
    LindyJune 24, 2018

    I wish to receive funds from Doha to Cape Town South Africa who offers what rates and what are the different time periods plse?

      Default Gravatar
      nikkiangcoJune 24, 2018

      Hi Lindy,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      On the page above, you’ll see a table of money transfer services that can be used by your sender to transfer money to Cape Town, South Africa.
      To check the price and transfer periods, simply enter the amount to be transferred and assign the currencies to be used. When you press enter, it will automatically generate the rates and transfer periods.

      Hope this helps.

      Best regards,
      Nikki

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