Quick and easy ways to send money to India from the United States
With a large community of more than three million Indian expatriates in the United States, it’s no surprise that there are tens of thousands of people looking for a convenient way to send money between India and America.
Whether you’re sending money home to your family, you own a property back in India or you have some other reason, it’s important that you find an affordable and secure way to get your funds to their destination.
Compare International Money Transfers
Banks versus money transfer companies/services
When you need to complete an international money transfer, the first option you might think of is to go to your bank. However, while you’ll be able to send money to India from any major US bank, this is not typically the most cost-effective transfer method available. Banks tend to charge high fees and offer low exchange rates when handling overseas money transfers, which means that a significant amount of your initial deposit won’t end up in your recipient’s hands.
With this in mind, you might want to consider the services of a specialist money transfer company. These companies focus solely on moving money across international borders and can offer much better exchange rates than the banks. Such companies may charge lower fees and waive transfer fees altogether when you send more than a certain minimum amount.
Virat sends money to India
Virat lives and works in the United States and he wants to send some of his salary (USD$2,000) back to his parents in Mumbai. He approaches his bank to take care of the transfer but he’s shocked when he sees their low exchange rate and high fees. He decides to conduct some research and compare the company’s services with those of a specialist online money transfer company, as you can see in the table below.
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 63.1 INR||1 USD = 63.8 INR|
|Transfer method||Bank account deposit, cash pickup||Bank account deposit|
|Processing time||1-3 business days||2-4 business days|
|INR received||126,200 INR||127,600 INR|
As you can see, Virat’s family will receive more than 1,400 more Indian Rupees if he sends his money via a specialist money transfer provider. He can also save a further $5 in transfer fees.
How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to India
- Exchange rates. This should be the first feature you look at when you compare providers. However, keep in mind that a company that offers better exchange rates than others may also charge higher transfer fees.
- Transfer fee. Review the fees that will apply to your transfer before completing any transaction. Look for a company that offers low fees – some will even waive the fee if you transfer more than the minimum fee-free threshold.
- Transfer methods. Consider the different options available for placing a transfer – can the transfer be placed online, over the phone and/or in a branch? Also compare the payment options available, including bank deposit, credit card and debit card.
- Transfer time. Compare the processing times offered by different providers. When you need your funds to arrive as quickly as possible, some companies will allow your recipient to collect the cash you send within minutes.
- Pickup methods. Are the funds transferred to your recipient’s bank account or does the provider offer the option to pick up cash from an agent location?
- Transfer options. In some circumstances you might want a company that offers flexible transfer options, such as the ability to lodge forward contracts, place market orders or schedule regular payments in advance.
- Minimum transfer amount. Be aware that some money transfer providers will require you to send a minimum amount, which can be inconvenient if you only wish to make a small transfer.
- Customer service. What customer service options are available? Does the provider offer phone, email and live chat support, and during what hours?
How to send money to India from America
- Bank transfers. Send money from your bank account to your recipient’s bank account in India. Be wary that this option generally doesn’t offer the best exchange rates or fees available.
- Online money transfer companies. Companies like Xoom, Remit2India and WorldRemit make international money transfers easy.
- Transfer services with a cash pickup option. Providers such as Western Union, Money2India, Remit2India, MoneyGram and Ria provide this service and offer multiple pickup locations in India.
- PayPal. Use this well-known digital payments service to enjoy quick and easy transfers across international borders.
- Checks/telegraphs. This method may be old-fashioned and take longer than other options but checks or telegraphs can still get your money to where it needs to go.
Emergency cash transfers in India
If you need to send emergency cash to India, it’s important that you exercise caution. Don’t forget to double check the exchange rate and any fees that will apply to your transaction, and remember that you may have to fork out more if you select the fastest possible transfer option. Take the time to carefully review any transfer before you complete it to ensure that you get the best deal.
Cash pickup locations in India / Western Union / MoneyGram branches in India
Companies like Western Union and MoneyGram allow you to quickly and easily send funds to be collected from thousands of agent locations across India. You’ll need to provide your recipient with a transaction reference number and also make sure that the recipient takes along photo ID when they collect the funds.
For larger transfer amounts, it may be wise to phone ahead to an agent location to make sure the agent has sufficient cash available for your recipient to collect.
Here are the details of a handful of popular Western Union locations across India.
3G Tours Travels
Shop No 1oppkailash Chsvakola
Mumbai, Maharashtra 400055
Open 9:30am to 8:30pm seven days a week
Pbn0 7532 89Jawahar Nagar Goregaon West
Mumbai, Maharashtra 400062
Open 10am to 3:30pm Monday to Saturday
C4184a Yamunavihar New Delhi 110053
Delhi, Delhi 125071
Open 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday
Indian Overseas Bank
48 Yusuf Sarai Br 1070
Open 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 12pm Saturday
If sending funds via MoneyGram, consider these cash pickup locations across India.
Near Guru Darshan Hospital
Open 10am to 3:30pm seven days
1 C Kalina-Kurla Rd, Santacruz (E)
Open 10am to 2pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 12pm Saturday
Shilpa Plaza FB-4
Open seven days 10:30am to 4pm
United Bank of India
New Delhi, 110004
Open 10am to 2pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 12pm Saturday
Tips for picking up cash in India
The US State Department warns that US citizens should “practice good personal security” when you collect funds in India. Just as you would at home, remember to be careful when you pick up your money. Take a friend along for added security and make sure not to publicly display your cash unnecessarily.
Deposit your funds into your bank account as quickly as possible and avoid any high-crime areas if you can.
How to send money to India
While the process for sending money to India varies depending on the provider and transfer method you choose, you’ll generally have to sign up for an account with the provider before you can transfer funds.
You’ll need to supply:
- Your name
- Your address
- Your contact details
- Proof of ID
- Your payment details
Once a transfer has been lodged, you’ll be provided with a tracking or reference number that you can use to monitor the progress of your transfer.
Sending money to India from the United States is both easy and affordable. Just make sure you compare all your transfer options so that you choose the most cost-effective and convenient international money transfer method available to you.