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Send money to California

What to look out for when transferring money to a friend, family member or business on the West Coast.


Wise (TransferWise)

Wise (TransferWise) logo
  • Fair service fees and mid-market rates – a major market differentiator
  • Next-day delivery for most currencies
  • Easy-to-use app
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Learn how to compare your options — including fees, exchange rates and transfer speeds — to find the best service when sending money to the Golden State.

Compare your options for sending money to CA

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.
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.
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
Business customers: Send safe, no-limit transfers with no fees and competitive exchange rates.
CurrencyTransfer for Business
24 hours
Increase business efficiency with zero transaction fees and same-day transfers.
24 hours
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Xe Money Transfer for Business
24 hours
Save your time and money with Xe Money Transfer for business.
Currencies Direct (business)
24 hours
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.
Within minutes
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
24 hours
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
Currencies Direct
24 hours
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.

What are my options to send money to California?

Your options will vary depending on whether you’re in the US or abroad.

Domestic transfers

Most major US banks offer free bank-to-bank domestic transfers (or waive fees for account holders). However, you’re limited to transferring cash from your bank account to your recipient’s bank account.

If your recipient doesn’t have a bank account or needs the cash more quickly than a bank transfer will offer, Western Union and Walmart offer fast cash pickups at thousands of locations in California.

Online options like PayPal and Venmo can also get money quickly to your recipient.

International transfers

Your bank will typically be your most expensive option when sending money internationally. Banks offer weaker exchange rates, higher fees and fewer options to send and receive cash when compared to other options.

International transfers is where an online money transfer specialist shines. Providers like Wise and OFX can often safely get your money overseas to California faster, with lower fees and stronger exchange rates.

Case Study: Calvin sends money to California

Calvin needs to send 1,000 Australian dollars from Australia to his wife in Los Angeles.

BankMoney transfer service
Exchange rate1 AUD = 0.721 USD1 AUD = 0.746 USD
Transfer fee$22 AUD or more$5 AUD
Transfer speed2–4 business daysUp to 2 business days
Amount received in USD$721$746

For a transfer of 1,000 Australian dollars, an independent online money transfer provider will save more. Not only does Calvin save at least 17 AUD on the transfer fee, but his wife also receives $25 more and at least two days sooner.

How do I compare money transfers to California?

Depending on whether you’re sending domestically or internationally, you’ll want to keep an eye on:

  • Fees. Banks and other providers will typically charge a fee for its services, especially for international transfers. Confirm whether it charges a flat fee or a percentage of the total transfer.
  • Exchange rates. For international transfers, consider how close to the mid-market rate the rate you’re being offered is. You’re looking for a minimal margin between the two rates.
  • Transfer options. For domestic transfers, any bank or service will allow you to transfer money online. Independent services like OFX and Xe offer competitive exchange rates and fees for transfers.
  • Transfer speeds. Whether your transfer is foreign or domestic, the time it takes for your recipient to get your money will vary. If you need to send cash right away, compare options WorldRemit or Western Union over your bank, which is typically not your cheapest or fastest option.
  • Pickup methods. Most services offer bank-to-bank transfers; others will include cash pickups at an agent location. Know your options to find one that fits your needs.
  • Minimum amounts. Your best option may depend on how much you’re sending. For larger international transfers, you can often avoid fees with a money transfer specialist.
  • Frequency and purpose. If you need to send money at set times of the year, see if you can set up recurring payments to save on rates and fees in the long run.
  • Customer service. For those walking through a transfer for the first time, you may find it helpful to speak to a representative. Most companies offer a telephone number that you can call to speak with a representative or financial specialist to help walk you through your options.

Ways to send money to California

  • Bank to bank transfers. Quick and efficient, these wire transfers may incur higher service fees than an independent service.
  • Money transfer specialists. If you live outside the US, an independent provider like MoneyGram or OFX offers lower fees and exchange rates than banks can provide.
  • Cash pickups. While you’ll pay a bit more for a cash pickup, you have options that include time-tested standbys like MoneyGram and newer services like WorldRemit.
  • P2P services. Peer-to-peer services like PayPal and Venmo can get your money to your recipient without hassle in minutes.
  • Checks. If you’ve time on your side, checks are an option.

Emergency cash transfers in California

Sometimes you or a loved one is in an emergency and needs funds quickly — and in cash. Thankfully there are global money transfer providers with tons of agent locations that allow you to pay and pick up in cash, often within minutes. If you have a little more time, however, consider an independent transfer provider that can get you much lower fees and stronger exchange rates.

How to send money to California

Depending on your bank or service, you may need to sign up for a free account before you can begin sending money. Generally, you’ll:

  • Provide your recipient’s details. Their name, contact and banking info, if they’ll be receiving your money as a bank deposit.
  • Specify the details of your transaction. How much and what currency.
  • Review your transaction. Confirming total fees and how much your recipient will receive.
  • Pay for your transfer. Methods could include bank account, debit or credit card or cash.
  • Track your transaction. You’ll receive confirmation that includes a unique number or receipt for monitoring the progress of your transfer.

Need to make an emergency cash transfer?

Bottom line

When sending money to California, you have many options. If you live in a country other than the US, compare your money transfer options to receive the best rates and lowest fees for your situation.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the quickest way to send money to the US from another country?

Most independent money transfer companies take two to four days to deliver your money, while banks will take slightly longer.

What’s the maximum amount I can send overseas?

The maximum you can send depends on both the transfer service you use and the type of transfer you’re making.

Money orders through USPS are capped at $1,000, although you can send multiple orders. MoneyGram has a per-transfer limit of $10,000 and Ria has a per-transfer limit of $2,999.99 with a 30-day transfer limit of $7,999.

Services like Xoom allow you to transfer up to $2,999 per transaction with a 30-day limit of $6,000 but can increase this limit if you provide more information.

How safe are international money transfers?

Yes. It’s industry standard for international money services to use 128-bit SSL encryption systems at a minimum. Many also are licensed with US financial regulators.

When processed through a reputable bank or company, your funds are safely tracked until in the hands of your recipient. And if you’re sending money internationally, federal protections are in place that require banks, credit unions and money transfer companies to, for example, disclose all fees up front and give you 30 minutes to cancel a transfer, assuming it hasn’t yet been picked up or deposited.


Zero fees on your first THREE money transfers

Send money with WorldRemit using the code '3FREE' and pay no fees on your first three money transfers
Kevin Joey Chen's headshot

Kevin Chen is a personal finance expert and a former writer at Finder. His expertise has been featured in CNN, U.S. News and World Report, Lifehacker and, among other top media. See full bio

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    MariaMay 29, 2018

    How much is the exchange rate for 1dollar?
    As i am planning to send money from Philippines to Los angeles CA.

      Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloMay 30, 2018

      Hi Maria,

      Thanks for leaving a question on Finder.

      Our guide on foreign exchange will help you find the best exchange rates, fees and services. Philippine peso is in the table in that page.


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