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How to send money to Guatemala
Shop around for savings when you sending money from the US to Guatemala.
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- 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 to Guatemala
Compare transfer fees, exchange rates and other details for sending funds to Guatemala with our trusted money transfer partners.
Banks vs. money transfer companies
When sending money to Guatemala or anywhere else, your first stop may be your local bank. But don’t let it be your last: While banks offer easy, convenient transfers, they typically won’t offer great value for your money. Bank transfers historically come with weak exchange rates and unnecessarily high fees, making this service far less affordable than it should be.
You can find more cost-effective transfer options through specialist transfer companies like WorldRemit and TransferWise. Because these providers trade large volumes of foreign currency daily, they can offer exchange rates that are more competitive than your local bank’s. Transfer fees tend to lower — or can come with no transfer fee at all. And shopping around for a better deal can reap you further savings.
Case study: Jack sends money to Guatemala
Jack wants to send $1,000 to his brother Steven, who lives in Guatemala City. Steven’s 30th birthday is fast approaching, and Jack wants to send the money as a gift. But he’s dismayed to discover that his bank considers the Guatemalan quetzal an exotic currency, charging higher fees and weaker exchange rates than Jack would like to pay. To find a more affordable deal, he compares the fees and features of two specialist money transfer companies.
|Money transfer company A||Money transfer company B|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 7.31 GTQ||1 USD = 7.24 GTQ|
|Transfer speed||Within minutes||1–3 days|
|Transfer option||Cash pickup||Online bank account transfer|
|Total GTQ received||7,310 GTQ||7,240 GTQ|
By comparing his options, Jack learns that there’s a lot more to compare than the exchange rate when looking for a good deal. Company A’s exchange rate results in more quetzal than by going with Company B, but that gain is eaten up by a higher transfer fee. Then, if it’s important that Steven be able to pick up the cash in minutes, it’s a fee worth paying. Ultimately, Jack compares these results to his specific needs to get money to Steven in time for his big three-oh.
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 weaker currency. Because Guatemala’s exchange rate is flexible, it can change from moment to moment. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
Currency exchange rate for Guatemala
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring money to Guatemala?
By comparing a few elements of your transfer, you can ensure that you get the cheapest deal for your needs.
- Exchange rates. Nearly all providers skew exchange rates for a profit. Compare the rate you’re offered to the mid-market rate — the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves — and look for the smallest margin between them.
- Transfer fees. Find out whether the provider charges a flat fee or a percentage of your transfer. If you’re sending a large amount, ask whether you qualify for a fee-free transfer.
- Payment and delivery options. Some transfer companies allow you to pay with a credit card online, by phone or through an app. Others offer agent locations for cash payments and pickups. Also ask how your recipient can receive your funds: bank account, cash pickup, mobile wallet and more.
- Transfer speeds. If it needs to be there fast, companies like Western Union and MoneyGram allow for quick cash pickups, often in minutes. If you have more time, you’ll get better rates and fees with an independent provider.
- Transfer limits. Your best option might depend on how much you want to send. For large transfers, weigh the best exchange rate — especially since providers encourage large transfers by offering low fees. For smaller amounts, consider the fees you’ll pay on top of the exchange rate.
- Flexible transfer options. Ask whether you can schedule payments ahead of time or protect your transfer against market fluctuations with a limit order or forward contract.
- Customer support. Most companies offer customer service by Internet chat, phone, in person or by email. Make sure help will be available if you need it.
What are the ways that I can send money to Guatemala from the US?
- Bank transfers. Though Guatemala’s currency isn’t carried by all banks, you may find banks that will send money transfers to this country.
- Money transfer providers. Providers like Ria and XE can help you quickly and easily transfer your money online.
- Providers with cash pickup. Western Union and MoneyGram allow you to send funds for cash pickup at agent locations.
- PayPal. Electronic payment giant PayPal may allow you to send money from the US to Guatemala.
- Checks and money orders. Although not a quick option, you could send an international check overseas, obtained from your bank or US Postal Service.
Steps to send money to Guatemala
- Choose a money transfer provider with the fee, rate and delivery speed that suits your needs.
- Register for an account with a provider, supplying your name, address, contact details, proof of ID and information about your selected payment method.
- Provide your recipient’s contact information and complete your transfer.
- Keep a record of any transaction reference number you receive so that you can review the progress of your transfer.
Same-day cash transfers to Guatemala
You might need to send an emergency cash transfer to Guatemala — for example, if a friend traveling through the country loses their wallet. When you need to transfer funds urgently, your fastest possible transfer will often be your most expensive option. Carefully review the exchange rate and transfer fee against your needs so that you understand exactly how much it will cost you.
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Tips for picking up cash in Guatemala
Whether picking up funds in Alta Verapaz or anywhere else around the world, take a few simple safety precautions to prevent yourself becoming a target for thieves.
- Call ahead. Learn the company’s business hours and choose a safe time to pick up your cash. Daylight hours are best.
- Bring a friend. Carrying money when alone can be dangerous. Ask a friend to come along.
- Deposit your money immediately. The likelihood of losing your money to theft or simple carelessness grows the longer you have it with you. Go straight to a bank and deposit your cash as soon as possible.
- Keep your cash hidden. Place your money in your purse or wallet before leaving the office. Carrying cash out in the open could make you a target.
Cash pickup locations in Guatemala
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