How to Send Money to India Cheaply

Information verified correct on December 5th, 2016

Quick and easy ways to send money to India from the United States

Map of sending money from USA to India

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

Rates last updated December 5th, 2016
Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received
WorldRemit International Money Transfers
An online money transfer service ... with cash pickup, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
USD 1 Within an hour
OnlineCash Transfer
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
World First Foreign Exchange
Transfer money into a range ... of currencies online and over the phone.
USD 500 2 days
OnlinePhone
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
Transferwise International Money Transfers
Make online transfers in a ... range of currencies and enjoy high maximum transfer amounts.
USD 1 1 day
Online
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
HiFX International Money Transfers
Transfer money between 20 currencies ... and enjoy scheduled regular transfers. No fee for transfers over US $5,000.
USD 100 2 days
OnlinePhoneAgent
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
Travelex International Money Transfers
Get your foreign currency delivered ... to your home or pick up at a store.
USD 500 2 days
Online
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
Currencies Direct International Money Transfers
$0 online transfer fee that ... you can access 24/7.
USD 100 2 days
OnlinePhone
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
USForex International Money Transfers
Take advantage of competitive exchange ... rates and cheap transfer fees.
USD 150 1 day
OnlinePhoneAgentInternational Money Order...
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
MoneyGram International Money Transfers
Send money anywhere, from anywhere.
USD 1 Same day
OnlinePhoneAgent
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
TorFX International Money Transfers
TorFX guarantee to beat any ... competitor's exchange rate for a transaction. Conditions apply
USD 100 1 day
OnlinePhoneAgent
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
Western Union Money Transfers
Send money online to friends ... and family around the world with Western Union.
USD 1 Same day
OnlinePhoneAgent
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More

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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.

BankTransfer company
Exchange rate1 USD = 63.1 INR1 USD = 63.8 INR
Transfer fee$5$0
Transfer methodBank account deposit, cash pickupBank account deposit
Processing time1-3 business days2-4 business days
INR received126,200 INR127,600 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.

Western Union

Western Union Logo

Here are the details of a handful of popular Western Union locations across India.

Mumbai

3G Tours Travels

Shop No 1oppkailash Chsvakola

Bridgesant

Mumbai, Maharashtra 400055

+91-9769486761

Open 9:30am to 8:30pm seven days a week

Canara Bank

Pbn0 7532 89Jawahar Nagar Goregaon West

Mumbai, Maharashtra 400062

+91-22-28723829

Open 10am to 3:30pm Monday to Saturday

New Delhi

Canara Bank

C4184a Yamunavihar New Delhi 110053

Delhi, Delhi 125071

+91-9654-365819

Open 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday

Indian Overseas Bank

48 Yusuf Sarai Br 1070

New Delhi

Delhi 110110

+91-11-26569431

Open 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 12pm Saturday

MoneyGram

Moneygram logo

If sending funds via MoneyGram, consider these cash pickup locations across India.

Mumbai

Vijaya Bank

Chunabhatti

Near Guru Darshan Hospital

Mumbai, 400070

02224054950

Open 10am to 3:30pm seven days

Corporation Bank

Wajid House

1 C Kalina-Kurla Rd, Santacruz (E)

Mumbai, 400029

02226666012

Open 10am to 2pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 12pm Saturday

New Delhi

1st Floor

Shilpa Plaza FB-4

Rewa, 486001

07662250220

Open seven days 10:30am to 4pm

United Bank of India

Ground Floor

President’s Estate

New Delhi, 110004

911123012040

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.

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US International Money Transfers Offers

Learn about our information service
WorldRemit International Money Transfers

An online money transfer service with cash pickup, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.

USForex International Money Transfers

Take advantage of competitive exchange rates and cheap transfer fees.

World First Foreign Exchange

Transfer money into a range of currencies online and over the phone.

Transferwise International Money Transfers

Make online transfers in a range of currencies and enjoy high maximum transfer amounts.

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