How to send money to Costa Rica

Send money to Costa Rica using an international money transfer service and you could beat the bank's rates.

Last updated:

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

If you have friends, family or business interests in Costa Rica, sending money from the United States shouldn’t be a painful and costly endeavor. In fact, transferring funds from the US to Costa Rica can be quick and easy. When you compare transfer fees and exchange rates for a host of options you can 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 FINDER.

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

    Compare money transfer services

    Use our comparison calculator to assess transfer fees, exchange rates and other details for sending funds to Costa Rica with our money transfer partners.

    Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
    USD 1 Within an hour USD 3.99 563.24 CRC 2,813,955 Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Send to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up. Go to site Show details
    GBP 1,000 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 559.96 CRC 2,799,800 Exclusive: Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally $5,000).
    For larger transfers, get no transaction fees and no maximum send limits.
    Go to site Show details

    Compare up to 4 providers

    Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Back to top

    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?

    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 yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weak currency. Costa Rica’s exchange rates is flexible, so it can change from moment to moment. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
    Currency exchange rate for Costa Rica

    What are my options for sending money to Costa Rica from the US?

    • 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.

    Steps to send money to Costa Rica?

    1. Sign up for an account with the provider of your choice. Provide your name, contact details and proof of ID.
    2. Provide information about who you are sending the money to and where they live.
    3. Specify the amount you are sending and the transfer currency.
    4. Save your tracking number or receipt so you can monitor the progress of your transfer.
    Back to top


    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.

    Using a credit card in Costa Rica

    Cash pickup locations in Costa Rica

    Read more on this topic

    • XE vs. OFX money transfers Check out this side-by-side comparison of XE and OFX to find out which provider offers the best value on international money transfers.
    • Alternatives to CurrencyFair Thinking of using CurrencyFair? Double check to make sure it’s the best option for you before sending money overseas.
    • Alternatives to InstaReM Find the best alternative websites to InstaReM for online money transfers.
    • XE vs. TorFX We look at TorFX and XE to see which will get you a better deal the next time you send money overseas.
    • XE vs. Western Union We compare XE's and Western Union’s fees, exchange rates and transfer speeds side by side.
    • Remitly vs. PayPal Compare a well-known payments giant to the newer Remitly and see which one can give you a better deal.
    • Remitly vs. TransferWise Remitly and TransferWise’s fees, exchange rates and speeds compared side by side.
    • How to send money to Guinea Compare the services that send money to Guinea. Find out how to get the best value for your money, how long it takes and what to look out for.
    • Best places to exchange currency in Sydney Your guide to currency exchange services in Sydney, including where to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees.
    • Best places to exchange currency in Winnipeg Looking for the best deal on Canadian dollars in Winnipeg? Compare popular services and access handy tips to get the most out of your next transfer.

    Ask an Expert

    You are about to post a question on finder.com:

    • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
    • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
    • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
    • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

    Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

    By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

    Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.

    2 Responses

    1. Default Gravatar
      DougApril 30, 2019

      I just tried to wire some money to Costa Rica using MoneyGram, I have used them before. This time I was denied the transfer because they said I wired to much money this month. The problem with that is I have not wired any money to Costa Rica in over a year.

      Using your WorldRemit, is there a place in Quesada, Costa Rica where my daughter can pick up the money I want to send.

      Thanks,

      Doug

      • Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JoshuaApril 30, 2019Staff

        Hi Doug,

        Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I’m sorry to hear about the trouble you are having Doug.

        If you still want to use MoneyGram, you can directly get in touch them to resolve the issue.

        If you want to use WorldRemit instead, your daughter can pick up money to any Teledolar branch in Quesada, Costa Rica.

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

        Have a wonderful day!

        Cheers,
        Joshua

    Go to site