Compare exchange rates, transfer fees and transaction speeds when you need to send money to Latvia.
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 Latvia doesn’t have to be expensive.
Compare the transfer fees and exchange rates of the options available to you to get the most euros for your dollar.From bank transfers and online transactions to options that allow recipients to collect your funds within minutes, sending an international money transfer to Latvia is easy. However, do your research and shop around for the best available deal.
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Compare money transfer services to Latvia
Use our comparison calculator to assess transfer fees, exchange rates and other details for sending funds to Latvia with our money transfer partners.
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, Latvia.
This can be done in person, over the phone, through a mobile app or online. You can use cash, a credit or debit card, or transfer funds from your bank account, which will then either be deposited into your recipient’s bank account or mobile wallet, or made available as cash for them to pick up at a location in their country.
Banks versus money transfer companies
You might think the best place to go when you need to send an international money transfer is to your bank. While your bank can certainly help you send money to Latvia, however, they won’t do it cheaply. High fees and low exchange rates are hallmarks of international transfers through banks, so you’re better off looking elsewhere for a more cost-effective solution.
Specialist money transfer companies are the best place to start. These companies, such as OFX and WorldRemit, offer fast, secure and much more affordable transfers to Latvia and around the world. Their fees are usually lower than the banks’, their exchange rates higher and the transactions can be handled from the comfort of your own home.
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. 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.
How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Latvia
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.
Case study: Lukas sends money to Latvia
Lukas wants to send a $1,000 gift from the US to his parents in his home country of Latvia. He wants them to spoil themselves for their anniversary, but he doesn’t want the transaction to cost him any more than it has to. Instead of using his bank, which charges a $25 transfer fee, he compares two money transfer companies to get the best deal.
|Money transfer company 1||Money transfer company 2|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 0.89 EUR||1 USD = 0.87 EUR|
|Transfer method||Bank account deposit||Bank account deposit|
|Processing time||3 business days||1-3 business days|
|Amount received (in EUR)||890 EUR||870 EUR|
As you can see, Lukas can send an extra 20 euros to his sister if he uses the second transfer company.
How to send money to Latvia
Whether you send money through your bank, a money transfer provider or any other option, you’ll need to first register for an account with a provider, supplying your name, address, contact details, proof of ID and information about your selected payment method.
Keep a record of any transaction reference number you receive so that you can review the progress of your transfer.
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.
What are the ways that I can send money to Latvia
- Bank transfers. Many major US banks will allow you to send money to Latvia.
- 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 Latvia.
- Checks and money orders. Although not a quick option, you could send an international check overseas, obtained from your bank or US Postal Service.
Emergency cash transfers in Latvia
If you need to send money to Latvia as quickly as possible — maybe you need to help a relative settle an overdue debt — there are several companies that offer emergency cash transfers.
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.
Find a money transfer location near you
Picking up cash
Whether picking up funds in Riga, 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.
You have multiple options to choose from when sending money to Latvia from the United States. To get the best value for money for your international money transfer, compare the benefits and features of competing services before selecting a provider.