Our pick: OFX International Money Transfers
OFX offers flexible transfer options, 24/7 customer support and no maximum limit. Send a minimum of $1,000 per year.
- $0 transfer fees. Send fee-free transfers to over 195 countries worldwide.
- Transfers in 55 currencies. OFX supports major, minor and exotic currencies.
- Flexible options. Choose from forward contracts to scheduled transfers for convenience and flexibility.
Compare money transfer services to Russia
Sending money to Russia
Banks versus money transfer services
If your bank handles all of your other financial needs, why not see if it can handle an international transfer to Russia for you as well? Unfortunately, banks are notorious for providing quite dismal exchange rates on international wire transfers, not to mention charging high fees on each transaction.
However, in recent years we have seen the emergence of several online money transfer companies. With expertise in moving funds abroad, these companies offer better exchange rates and lower fees than banks.
Another option is to use a money transfer company with a cash pickup option, such as Western Union or MoneyGram. These two companies offer large worldwide transfer networks and allow your recipient to pick up the cash you send within minutes.
Case study: Vera sends money to Russia
Vera has received a job in the U.S., and after working here for six months, she’s decided she will one day apply to become a permanent resident. Although she loves her new country, Vera still maintains strong ties with her homeland, specifically her parents. So when they need money to pay for repairs to their car, Vera offers to send the $1,000 as soon as possible. Instead of accepting the low exchange rate offered by her bank, Vera compares two money transfer companies with cash pickup options to see which one will offer a more affordable solution.
|Money transfer company 1||Money transfer company 2|
|Exchange rate||$1 USD = $59.38 RUB||$1 USD = $58.624 RUB|
|Transfer method||Online, phone||Online|
|Transfer time||2 days||1 hour|
|Amount received||$58,786 RUB||$58,624|
As you can see, although the second transfer company doesn’t charge a transfer fee, the first company’s better exchange rate allows Vera’s family to receive more money.
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring money to Russia?
- Exchange rates. What exchange rate does the company offer when converting U.S. dollars to Russian rubles?
- Transfer fees. Compare how much each company will charge you for sending your money overseas.
- Transfer time. How long will it take from the moment you pay for your transfer to the moment your beneficiary gets the cash in their wallet or bank account?
- Transfer methods. Will you place your transfer online, over the phone, or will you need to visit a branch?
- Pickup methods. Does the company offer a cash pickup option or transfers directly to bank accounts? If they offer cash pickups, do they have locations convenient for you and your recipient to access?
- Flexible 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 recurring payments?
- Minimum transfer limit. Does a minimum limit apply to all transfers?
- Customer service. Will you be able to access phone, email and online support if you ever need help with a transaction?
Steps to send money to Russia
- Choose from among the numerous transfer providers who send money to Russia.
- Register with the provider of your choice on their website providing your name, address, contact information and date of birth. A valid photo ID will also be required.
- Provide your recipient’s name, address and contact details. Depending on the transfer method you may also have to supply their bank account information.
- Enter the amount you want to transfer and complete your transaction and save your tracking or receipt number to follow up on the progress of your transfer.
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 will yield more money when exchanging it in a country with a weak currency. Russia’s exchange rate is flexible, which means it can change from moment to moment. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
Currency exchange rate for Russia
What are my options for sending money to Russia from the U.S.?
- Bank-to-bank transfers. Ask your bank about sending an international money transfer to Russia.
- Online money transfer providers. Compare online transfer companies to see which ones offer transfers to Russia.
- Money transfer providers with a cash pickup option. Companies like Western Union, MoneyGram and Xpress Money offer this service.
- International money order. Ask your bank if they can provide you with an international check or money order.
Emergency cash transfers in Russia
While sometimes you have the luxury of being able to wait several days for your funds to arrive, there are other times when you need to send your money to Russia as quickly as possible. When you find yourself in such a situation, always remember to check the exchange rate and any fees that apply to your transaction, as urgent transfers will usually cost more. Reading all the details of your transaction before you hand over your money will prevent any nasty surprises in the future.
Tips for picking up cash in Russia
Picking up cash from a transfer agent in Russia? Follow a few simple steps to ensure that you and your money stay safe:
- Avoid any areas where crime is known to be a problem.
- Keep your wallet and/or bag safe and secure at all times.
- Take a friend along to provide additional security and peace of mind.
- Don’t flash your cash around in public.
- Don’t carry large sums of money around for any longer than is absolutely necessary.