Quick and easy ways to send money to India
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 India doesn’t have to be expensive. Compare the transfer fees and exchange rates of the many options available to you to get the best deal.
From bank transfers and online transactions to options that allow recipients to collect your funds within minutes, sending an international money transfer to India is easy. However, do your research and shop around for the best available deal.
Compare international money transfers
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Sending 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, address, contact details, proof of ID and payment details. If you are not using cash for this transaction, you will need to provide your banking info in order to have funds drafted from your account.
Once a transfer is scheduled, you’ll be provided 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. Be sure you compare all transfer options to choose the most cost-effective and convenient international money transfer method available.
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, India. This can be done in person or oftentimes online. You can use cash or transfer funds from your bank account, which will then either be deposited into your recipient’s bank account are made available as cash for them to pick up at a location in their country.
Banks vs. money transfer companies
When you need to complete an international money transfer, you might first think of your bank. However, major U.S. banks are not typically the most cost-effective transfer method available. Banks tend to charge high fees and offer poor exchange rates when handling overseas money transfers, which means less rupees for your recipient.
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.
Virat sends money to India
Virat lives and works in the United States and wants to send $2,000 of his salary to his parents in Mumbai. He approaches his bank for the transfer but is shocked when he sees their low exchange rate and high fees. He researches and compares the bank’s services with those of a online money transfer company.
|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 some 1,400 more Indian rupees if he sends his money through a specialist money transfer provider. He can save a further $5 in transfer fees.
How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to India
- Exchange rates. Look at this feature first when comparing providers. However, keep in mind that a company offering better exchange rates may also charge higher transfer fees.
- Fees. Review 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 no-fee threshold.
- Transfer methods and times. Can the transfer be placed online, over the phone or in a branch? Will they accept payment with a bank deposit, credit card or debit card? How long will it take each provider to transfer funds to your recipient? (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. Can you lock in an ideal exchange rate now and transfer the money later, known as a forward contract? Does the institution offer limit orders, which allows you to take advantage of changing market conditions by executing the money transfer when a certain exchange rate is met? Can you schedule reoccurring payments?
- Minimum amounts. Some money transfer providers require you to send a minimum amount, which can be inconvenient if you want to make a smaller transfer.
- Customer service. What customer service options are available? Does the provider offer phone, email or live chat support?
Options for sending money to India from America
- Bank transfers. Send money from your bank account to your recipient’s bank account in India. Be aware that this option generally doesn’t offer the best exchange rate or fees.
- Money transfer companies. Companies like Xoom, Remit2India and WorldRemit make international money transfers easy.
- Transfer services with cash pickup locations. 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 payment service to enjoy quick and easy transfers across international borders.
- Checks. This old-fashioned method may take longer than other options, but international checks can still get your money where it needs to go. These can be obtained from your bank.
Emergency cash transfers in India
If you need to send emergency cash to India, exercise caution. Determine the exchange rate and any fees that apply to your transaction, and remember that you may have to fork over more money if you select the fastest possible transfer option. To ensure that you get the best deal, carefully review any transfer before you complete it.
Cash pickup locations: Western Union and 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 make sure he or she takes along a photo ID to collect the funds.
For larger transfer amounts, phone ahead to an agent location to make sure it has sufficient cash available for your recipient to collect.
3G Tours Travels
Shop No 1oppkailash Chsvakola
Mumbai, Maharashtra 400055
Open 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily
Pbn0 7532 89Jawahar Nagar Goregaon West
Mumbai, Maharashtra 400062
Open 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday to Saturday
C4184a Yamunavihar New Delhi 110053
Delhi, Delhi 125071
Open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Saturday
Indian Overseas Bank
48 Yusuf Sarai Br 1070
Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday;
10 a.m. to noon Saturday
Near Guru Darshan Hospital
Open 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily
1 C Kalina-Kurla Rd, Santacruz (E)
Open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Friday;
10 a.m. to noon, Saturday
Shilpa Plaza FB-4
Open 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
United Bank of India
New Delhi, 110004
Open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Friday;
10 a.m. to noon, Saturday
Tips for picking up cash in India
The U.S. State Department warns that you should “practice good personal security” when collecting funds in India. Just as you would at home, be careful when you pick up your money. Take a friend along for added security, and don’t display your cash unnecessarily.
Avoid high-crime areas, and deposit your funds into your bank account as quickly as possible.