How to send money to Costa Rica

Find out how you can save yourself a lot of money when sending an international transfer from the U.S. to Costa Rica.

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 Costa Rica  doesn’t have to be expensive. Compare the transfer fees and exchange rates of the options available to you to get the most Costa Rican colóns for your dollar.
WorldRemit International Money Transfers

WorldRemit International Money Transfers

Send money to 110+ countries for bank deposit, instant e-wallet, mobile top-up or cash pickup at 30,000+ agent locations worldwide.

Your first transfer is free with the code FREE.

  • Low upfront fees and exchange rates.
  • Easy to use with round-the-clock help.
  • Get cash to family and friends in minutes.

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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
    • Emigrating
    • Regular overseas payments
    • Risk management
    • Forecasting

    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 0.00 582.048 Online CRC 2,910,241 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 4.99 579.306 Online, Bank Account to Bank Account, Cash Transfer CRC 2,893,641 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
    Western Union Money Transfers
    USD 1 Same day - - Online, Phone, Agent, Bank Account to Bank Account, Cash Transfer Big name in easy money transfers, with cash pickup at more than 500,000 locations worldwide. Go to site View details
    Do you send money often? Track this rate with tailored alerts direct to your inbox

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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, Costa Rica. 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

    We use our banks to take care of all our other financial needs, so surely we should use them when we need to send an international money transfer, right? Not necessarily. While major U.S. banks offer money transfer services, they usually present less competitive exchange rates coupled with high transfer fees.

    You can often save money by using the services of a dedicated money transfer company. These providers specialize in handling overseas money transfers, offering attractive exchange rates and affordable transfer fees. This translates to big savings for you.

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    Case study: Jon Sends Money to Costa Rica

    Jon’s daughter Kelly is on vacation in Costa Rica when, after one too many shopping sprees, she runs out of money. She calls home to ask her dad for a quick transfer of $1,000, which Jon agrees to send right away. But rather than settle for the quite disappointing exchange rate offered by his bank, Jon compares the services of two specialist money transfer companies in an effort to find a more cost-effective transfer solution.

    Money transfer company 1Money transfer company 2
    Exchange rate$1 USD = $543.25 CRC$1 USD = $545.822 CRC
    Transfer fee$5$10
    Transfer methodOnline transferOnline transfer
    Processing timeWithin an hour2 days
    Amount received$543,245 CRC$545,812 CRC

    Even though the second transfer company charges double the fee of the first, Jon will still be able to send his daughter 2,567 CRC more because of the second transfer company’s superior exchange rate..

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    How do I compare transfer companies when sending money to Costa Rica?

    • Exchange rates. How do the company’s exchange rates compare to those of other transfer providers?
    • Transfer fees. How much will you have to pay to send the transfer? Can you avoid a transfer fee if you send a larger amount?
    • Transfer methods. Will you be able to place transfers online, over the phone or by visiting a branch? Is there a mobile app available so you can send transfers from just about anywhere?
    • Transfer options. Check to see whether the company offers a range of transfer options to provide increased flexibility and convenience. For example, can you set up a recurring transfer in advance?
    • Minimum and maximum limits. What are the company’s minimum and maximum limits for each transaction? Do they suit your needs?
    • Processing times. How long will your recipient need to wait until they can access the funds you send?
    • Pickup options. Will the money be deposited straight into your beneficiary’s bank account, or will they be able to collect the transfer in cash?
    • Customer service. How will you be able to access customer service and during what hours is support available?
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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 Costa Rica from the U.S.?

    • Bank transfers. Bank-to-bank transfers may cost more than other options but they are a secure way to send money to Costa Rica.
    • Online money transfer providers. A reliable online money transfer company can offer fast and cost-effective transactions.
    • Money transfer companies with cash pickup options. MoneyGram and Western Union are the world’s two largest providers of this service.
    • PayPal. PayPal offers secure international money transfers to many destinations around the world.
    • Checks. International checks can be obtained from U.S. banks and then sent overseas.
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    What are the steps to send money to Costa Rica?

    • Sign up for an account. The first step in the process is to register for a free account. This is usually done online and you will need to provide your name, contact details and proof of ID.
    • Enter transaction details. Next, provide information about who you are sending the money to and where they live. You will also need to specify the amount you are sending and the transfer currency.
    • Finalize your transfer. The final step is to review the details and cost of your transfer before submitting your transfer request. Many companies offer an online tracking option so you can monitor the progress of your funds.
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    Tips for picking up cash in Costa Rica

    • Confirm an agent’s location and hours of operation before you visit.
    • Only pick up cash in an area where you feel safe.
    • Ask a friend to go along with you to collect the funds.
    • Don’t display the money in front of strangers or carry it around for any longer than is necessary.

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