How to send money to Jamaica

Famous for its relaxed lifestyle, its beautiful beaches and its Olympic sprinters, the Caribbean island nation of Jamaica is one of the world’s great tourist destinations. If you ever need to send money to friends, family or colleagues in Jamaica from the US there are lots of choices. To be sure to get the best exchange rates and transfer times, compare a host of providers to get the best deal.
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  • Get even better exchange rates with forward contracts and limit orders.
  • Receive weekly updates on market exchange rates.

    Compare international money transfers to Jamaica

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

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    Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Services Amount Received Description CTA Details
    USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 124.885 Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account JMD 624,427 Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
    No-limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.
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    USD 1 3 - 5 days - - Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account, Cash Transfer No fees for bank account transfers and cash pickup at 240,000 locations in 130+ countries. Go to site Show details

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    Banks versus money transfer companies

    You might think that your bank is the best way to send money overseas. While banks do offer a convenient transfer solution, they offer a disappointing deals. With high transaction fees and poor exchange rates means even a small transfer can end up costing much more than you planned for.

    In recent years, online transfer companies have stepped up the transfer game, offering competitive exchange rates and fees. Providers like World First and WorldRemit, specialize in moving money internationally, while MoneyGram and Western Union have handy cash locations where you can transfer money quickly.

    How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Jamaica

    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.

    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. For example, in October 2017 the US dollar was worth approximately 126 Jamaican dollars. Most countries’ exchange rates are flexible, which means they can change from moment to moment. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
    Currency exchange rate for Jamaica

    Case study: Carter sends money to Jamaica

    Carter is on vacation in California when he gets an emergency call from his sister Veronica in Jamaica. Veronica has been involved in a car accident and needs some money quick to get her vehicle back on the road. Carter offers to send her $1,000 to help, but is disappointed to see that his bank will offer a low exchange rate and also charge a $25 fee for the transfer. He compares two money transfer companies to see if he can find a more cost-effective transfer option.

    Big-name transfer providerOnline money transfer specialist
    Exchange rate1 USD = 126.4299 JMD1 USD = 125.61 JMD
    Transfer fee$7.99$13.99
    Transfer speedIn minutes1-3 days
    Transfer optionsCash pickupCash pickup
    Total JMD received
    126,430125,609

    Carter’s choice is clear: the big-name provider offers a better exchange rate, smaller transfer fees and a quicker transfer speed, sending $821 Jamaican dollars.

    Steps to send money to Jamaica

    1. Register for an account with a provider, supplying your name, address, contact details, proof of ID and information about your selected payment method.
    2. Supply your recipient’s name, contact information and bank account details as required.
    3. Enter the amount of your transfer and complete the transaction.
    4. Keep track of any receipt you receive so you can monitor the progress of your transfer.
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    What are the ways that I can send money to Jamaica

    • Bank transfers. Many major US banks will allow you to send money to Jamaica.
    • Money transfer providers. Providers like Ria and World First 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 allows you to send money from the US to Jamaica.
    • Checks and money orders. Although not a quick option, you could send an international check overseas, obtained from your bank or US Postal Service.

    How safe is a money transfer?

    When you use a reputable provider, your funds are safely tracked until in the hands of your recipient. There are federal protections in place that require banks, credit unions and money transfer companies to, for example, disclose all fees upfront and give you 30 minutes to cancel a transfer, assuming it hasn’t yet been picked up or deposited.

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    Same-day transfers to Jamaica

    You might need to send an emergency cash transfer to Jamaica— for example, if a family member is in trouble and needs money fast. 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 Jamaica

    Whether picking up funds in Kingston, 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.

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