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How to send money to Colombia
Get the most pesos for your dollar by comparing your options for your transfer to Colombia.
Updated . What changed?
Whether planning for a visit or supporting family members back home, knowing how to send money to Colombia can save you time, money and stress. Learn how to compare rates and find the best deal for your transfer to Colombia from the US.
Send money to Colombia with WorldRemit
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How to send money to Colombia online
Sign up and send money with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:
- Sign up for a free account. Pick a provider and sign up for a free online account using your contact information, proof of ID and preferred payment method.
- Provide transfer details. Submit your recipient’s contact information and pick a delivery method. If transferring to a bank, you’ll need their Colombian bank account details.
- Confirm transfer details. Double-check your payment method, expected fees and destination.
- Save your receipt. Record your receipt’s confirmation number to track the progress of your transfer to Colombia. Some money transfer providers send a text or email when your transfer is complete.
Compare money transfer services
What's in this guide?
- How to send money to Colombia online
- Compare money transfer services
- What's the best way to send money to Colombia?
- How to get the most out of your money transfer to Colombia
- Colombia's exchange rates explained
- Documents needed for sending to and receiving money in Colombia
- What to watch out for
- Bottom line
What’s the best way to send money to Colombia?
Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees on money transfers to Colombia. Some offer cash pickup in as little as a few minutes, while others seamlessly transfer to bank accounts. Sending money through PayPal or your bank is also an option, but you’ll typically face higher fees and weaker exchange rates when going that route.
Digital money transfer services
Companies like XE and Transferwise specialize in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective transfers. Most offer transfers directly to your recipient’s Colombian bank account, often in as little as a day or two.
Services like WorldRemit allow you to transfer cash for pickup at a local branch in Colombia— often in 15 minutes. While it’s a fast way to send money, you’ll pay for the convenience in weak exchange rates and high fees.
Colombian pesos are not a popular currency, so your local bank probably won’t be able to exchange them. If your bank supports Colombian pesos, beware of high fees and wide margins on the exchange rate compared to digital and other options when sending a wire transfer to Colombia.
Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000 to Colombia
Let’s say you need to send $1,000 to family in Colombia. Here’s what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of May 25, 2020.
|Digital money transfer service||Cash transfer||Bank transfer|
|Fee||$0||$3.99||$25 + additional correspondent bank fees|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 3,734 COP||1 USD = 3,745 COP||1 USD = 3,328 COP|
|Transfer speed||1-2 day||Minutes||2-5 days|
|Amount received||COP 3,734,079||COP 3,730,428||COP 3,244,800|
The bank option ends up being both the slowest and gets the smallest amount of money to your recipient in Colombia. If you go with the digital money transfer service, your recipient ends up with COP 489,279 more than the bank offers. If speed is crucial, a cash transfer can typically have your transfer to Colombia in as little as 15 minutes, just make sure there is a cash pickup location near your recipient before sending.
How to get the most out of your money transfer to Colombia
Weigh costs and fees against convenience to learn how to compare money transfer providers that send to Colombia to best meet your needs:
- Exchange rates. The USD-COP relationship fluctuates often, so using a service that allows you to lock-in exchange prices may help you save money down the line if the Colombian peso rises against the US dollar.
- Transfer fees. Transferring money overseas nearly always requires fees, but they might be hidden in the exchange rate. When sending large amounts, it may be cheaper to pay a flat fee to secure a stronger USD-COP exchange rate.
- Transfer limits. How much you can send varies by company, and different amounts can attract higher or lower fees. Shop around for the best deal on the amount of pesos you’re sending to Colombia.
- Turnaround. Transferring money through a local bank can take a business week or longer. If you need the funds delivered quickly, seek out a digital specialist that offers instant transfers to Colombia.
- Sending limits. Comparing prices for one large transfer instead of many small transfers is typically easier, so picking the service you use based on how much you’re sending is a valid strategy for saving money.
- Transfer methods. Whether you want money sent to an Colombian bank account or picked up as cash at a local agent, narrow down a company that matches your preferred delivery method.
Emergency cash transfer
When urgency trumps cost to get your money to Colombia quickly, look for money transfer companies that support cash pickup in minutes. You can pay with a credit or debit card for fast pickup, but fees are higher than other methods.
How to send money to Colombia without a bank account
Cash transfer services can help you if you’re unbanked or marginally banked. If you don’t have a bank account, look for a local company that supports storefronts for cash payments. These services include agent locations in other countries that allow your recipient to pick up cash without a bank account.
Colombia’s exchange rates explained
The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another country’s currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weaker currency. Colombia’s exchange rate is flexible compared to the US dollar. Because of this, the USD-COP relationship may make sharp movements. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
Track how the Colombian peso trades against the US dollar in our historical rate chart.
Documents needed for sending to and receiving money in Colombia
To send money to Colombia from the US, you’ll need government-issued ID and other documents, while documents needed to pick up money in Colombia may be different by company.
Documents to send money from the US
To send money from the US to Colombia, you’ll need documentation and details that include:
- Identification. Most services require a driver’s license, passport or other government-issued ID. Some services allow you to send transfers without ID, but they may require your SSN.
- Payment method. Your service may accept credit or debit cards, cash, bank accounts or personal checks.
- Recipient information. Submit your recipient’s name as it appears on their ID, along with their phone number and Colombian bank account information.
Documents to receive money in Colombia
To pick up money in person, documentation can include:
- Transfer number. The person sending you money can forward the transfer’s confirmation details — called a PIN, a MTCN, a reference number or a tracking number, depending on the company.
- Government-issued ID. A Colombian Passport, Colombian ID or similar official ID may be required to pick up your transfer..
- Amount sent. You may need to know how much was sent, usually within 10% of the total.
- Sender’s information. Take along your sender’s full name, the sending country and their address, if known.
What to watch out for
When you send money to Colombian relatives or family members in Colombia, the money may be subject to taxes but it depends on a lot of variables. In general, any large transfers being sent from the US to Colombia should be filed with the IRS to avoid any penalties. To learn more about what penalties you may face by failing to file your transfer, read our guide on transfers from the US to Colombia.
Sending your hard-earned money to Colombia shouldn’t cost a fortune. Compare money transfer companies that specialize in foreign transactions for the strongest rates, lowest fees and flexible delivery. For transfers to other countries, rely on our country specific guides the next time you need to make a transfer.
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