How to send money to Colombia

Information verified correct on May 25th, 2017

Here’s how to send a quick, affordable and secure money transfer to Colombia from the U.S.

When you need to get money to a loved one overseas, the last thing you want to have to deal with is navigating a potentially complicated and expensive process. Sending money from the United States to Colombia doesn’t have to be expensive. Compare the transfer fees and exchange rates of the options available to you to get the most Colombian pesos for your dollar.
TransferWise International Money Transfers

TransferWise International Money Transfers

When you need to send money overseas, benefit from competitive exchange rates and low transfer fees with TransferWise.

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    Save money on your personal or business international money transfer today. Fill in the form and you’ll be contacted by a foreign exchange expert to have an obligation-free discussion about your options.

    With over 17 years of foreign exchange expertise and over $100 billion transferred, OFX can help with all your currency exchange needs, including:

    • Buying property abroad
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    • Regular overseas payments
    • Risk management
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    Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Services Amount Received Description CTA Details
    World First Foreign Exchange
    USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 2898.418 Online COP 14,492,092 Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
    No-limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for more than 100 currencies.
    Go to site View details
    WorldRemit International Money Transfers
    USD 1 Within an hour USD 4.99 2884.764 Online, Bank Account to Bank Account, Cash Transfer COP 14,409,427 Use promo code FREE to send your first transfer for no fee, to over 110 countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up. Go to site View details
    TransferWise International Money Transfers
    USD 1 1 day USD 2.50 2904.81 Online COP 14,516,786 Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site View details
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    How do international money transfers work?

    An international money transfer allows you to send money to a recipient overseas. Generally, a transfer involves you providing funds to a bank or an independent transfer provider, which then sends the money to your recipient in another country — in this case, Colombia. This can be done in person, over the phone, through a mobile app or online. You can use cash, a credit or debit card, or transfer funds from your bank account, which will then either be deposited into your recipient’s bank account or mobile wallet, or made available as cash for them to pick up at a location in their country.

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    Banks versus money transfer companies

    If you want to send money from the U.S. to Colombia, you could use your bank. But while banks offer a convenient transfer solution, they don’t offer it cheaply. Banks are notorious for offering mediocre exchange rates and charging high fees on international transfers, so even a transfer of a small amount can end up costing a whole lot more than you might expect.

    If you’re looking for a more affordable option, consider the services provided by a wide range of specialist online money transfer providers. These companies, such as World First and Currency Fair, offer quick and affordable transactions to myriad destinations around the world. Their exchange rates and fees are much more reasonable than those charged by banks, which means that more money stays in your bank account (or your recipient’s).

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    Case Study: Carlos Sends Money to Colombia

    While Carlos is living and working in America for a couple of years, he intermittently sends money home to his parents in Colombia. Up until now he has used his bank to send the international transfer, but he decides to compare two money transfer providers to see if they can offer a better deal.

    The results of his comparison are shown below. As you can see, Carlos can save $10 in transfer fees and send an extra 11,736.56 COP using the second money transfer company.

    Money transfer provider 1Money transfer provider 2
    Exchange rate$1 USD = $2,225.85 COP$1 USD = $2,237.5866 COP
    Transfer fee$10$0
    Transfer methodOnline bank account transferOnline bank account transfer
    Processing time1-3 days1-3 days
    Amount received $2,225,850 COP$2,237,586.56 COP
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    How do I compare transfer companies when sending money to Colombia?

    • Exchange rates. Compare the exchange rates offered by a number of transfer companies to calculate just how affordable your transaction will be.
    • Transaction fees. It’s worth pointing out that a company with fantastic exchange rates may also charge high fees, so read up on all the fees and charges that will apply to your transfer. Some companies will also waive their fees for large transactions.
    • Method of placing a transfer. Check to see what options are available for placing transfers: online, over the phone, in person at a branch and/or using a smartphone app.
    • Transfer options. Can you lock in an ideal exchange rate now and transfer the money later, known as a forward contract? Does the institution offer limit orders, which allows you to take advantage of changing market conditions by executing the money transfer when a certain exchange rate is met? Can you schedule recurring payments?
    • Minimum amounts. If you need to transfer a small amount of money, stay away from providers that impose a high minimum transfer limit.
    • Turnaround time. Compare transaction processing times between providers to see which one can get your funds to the destination the quickest, not to mention how much you’ll have to pay for an urgent transfer.
    • Pickup options. Does the provider offer cash pickup transfers or bank account deposits? Are there any other ways your beneficiary can access the money you send?
    • Customer service. If you ever have a question about a transfer or about the services a company offers, can you easily access the assistance you need from the customer support team?
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    Foreign exchange rates explained
    The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it will yield more money when exchanging it in a country with a weak currency. For example, in December 2016, the U.S dollar was worth approximately 19 Mexican pesos. However, most countries’ exchange rates are flexible, which means it can change from moment to moment. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.

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    What are my options for sending money to Colombia from the U.S.?

    • Specialist transfer companies. Money transfer providers can offer convenient and affordable international transfers.
    • Cash pickup transfers. Western Union and MoneyGram offer easy cash transfers to Colombia.
    • Bank transfers. You can send money to Colombia through your bank, but this will usually be an expensive transfer option.
    • International checks. A secure yet slow transfer method is to send an international guaranteed check.
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    What are the steps to send money to Colombia?

    The basic steps you’ll need to complete when sending money to Colombia are as follows:

    1. Sign up for an account. Once you’ve chosen a transfer company, you can usually register for a free account online. You’ll usually have to supply your name, contact details and proof of ID.
    2. Enter your transaction information. How much money are you sending? In what currency? Who are you sending the money to and where do they live? You’ll need to answer all these questions when finalizing the details of your transfer.
    3. Complete your transfer. Review your payment details and the full cost of your transaction, then submit your transfer. You will most likely receive a reference number you can use to monitor the progress of your funds.
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    Tips for picking up cash in Colombia

    It’s important that you take care when picking up cash. If you can, get a friend to accompany you and act as an extra deterrent to would-be thieves. While it’s also a good idea to only visit a cash pickup agent in an area you know to be safe. Don’t display the cash you collect in public and deposit it in your bank account as soon as possible.

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