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Send money to South Africa

Compare transfer companies to get the most rand for your dollar.

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Online money transfer companies usually offer the lowest fees and the most competitive exchange rates, often beating your local bank by a long shot. If you’re sending money by phone, online or through a mobile app to South Africa, compare fees, rates and speed to get the best deal.

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Compare international money transfer services to South Africa

Use our comparison table to quickly compare rates, fees and transfer speeds by entering the amount you want to send and clicking Calculate.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 1,000 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 15.088 ZAR 75,442 Exclusive: Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally $5,000).
For larger transfers, get no transaction fees and no maximum send limits.
Go to site Show details
$1 Same day USD 0.00 15.172 ZAR 75,862 XE offers fast transfers with no fees and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
$10 Within an hour USD 1.99 14.936 ZAR 74,651 Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Quick, affordable transfers around the world with both express and economy options.
Go to site Show details
$1 1 - 2 days USD 100.00 15.241 ZAR
74,680
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details
$1 Within an hour USD 3.99 15.177 ZAR 75,824 Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Send to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

What’s the best way to send money to South Africa?

Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees on money transfers to South Africa. Some offer cash pickup in as little as a few minutes, while others seamlessly transfer to bank accounts. Banks, PayPal and other options are available but come with high fees, weak rates and longer turnaround times.

Digital money transfer services

Companies like OFX and CurrencyTransfer specialize in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective transfers. Most offer transfers directly to your recipient’s South African bank account, often in as little as a day or two.

Cash transfers

Services like MoneyGram allow you to transfer cash for pickup at a local branch in South Africa— often in 15 minutes. While it’s a fast way to send money, you’ll pay for the convenience in weak exchange rates and high fees. If a cash pickup is necessary, look to digital services like WorldRemit or Remitly when possible.

Banks

The South African rand (ZAR) isn’t a popular currency, so your local bank probably won’t be able to exchange USD for ZAR. If your bank does support the South African rand, beware of high fees and wide margins on the exchange rate compared to digital and other options.

Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000 to South Africa

Let’s say you need to send $1,000 USD to ZAR, to family in South Africa. Here’s what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of April 27, 2020.

Digital money transfer service Cash transfer Bank transfer
Fee $0 $3.99 $25 + additional correspondent bank fees
Exchange rate 1 USD = 18.709 ZAR 1 USD = 18.765 ZAR 1 USD = 17.649 ZAR
Transfer speed 1-2 day Minutes 2-5 days
Amount received ZAR 18,709 ZAR 18,691 ZAR 17,208
Verdict
  • Best value
  • Fastest
  • Slowest and most expensive

The bank option ends up being both the slowest and gets the smallest amount of money to your recipient. If you go with the digital money transfer service, your recipient ends up with ZAR 1,501 more than the bank offers. If speed is crucial, a cash transfer can typically have your transfer to South Africa in as little as 15 minutes.

How to send money to South Africa online

Sign up and send money with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:

  1. Sign up for a free account. Pick a provider and sign up for a free online account using your contact information, proof of ID and preferred payment method.
  2. Provide transfer details. Submit your recipient’s contact information and pick a delivery method. If transferring to a bank, you’ll need their South African bank account details.
  3. Confirm transfer details. Double-check your payment method, expected fees and destination.
  4. Save your receipt. Record your receipt’s confirmation number to track the progress of your transfer to South Africa. Some money transfer providers send a text or email when your transfer is complete.

How to get the most out of your money transfer to South Africa

Weigh costs and fees against convenience, and learn how to compare money transfer providers that send to South Africa to meet your needs:

  • Exchange rates. The USD to ZAR relationship fluctuates often, so using a service that allows you to lock-in exchange prices may help you save money down the line.
  • Transfer fees. Transferring money overseas nearly always requires fees, but they might be hidden in the exchange rate. When sending large amounts, it may be cheaper to pay a flat fee to secure a stronger exchange rate.
  • Transfer limits. How much you can send varies by company, and different amounts can attract higher or lower fees. Shop around for the best deal on the amount of South African rand you’re sending.
  • Turnaround. Transferring money through a local bank can take a business week or longer. If you need the funds delivered quickly, seek out a digital specialist that offers instant transfers to South Africa.
  • Minimum limits. Average incomes vary widely between the US and South Africa, which means companies with high minimums transfers may not be your best choice.
  • Transfer methods. Whether you want money sent to a South African bank account or picked up as cash at a local agent, narrow down a company that matches your preferred delivery method.

Emergency cash transfer to South Africa

When it’s more important to get your money to South Africa quickly, look for money transfer companies that support cash pickup in minutes. You can pay with a credit or debit card for fast pickup, but fees are higher than other methods.

How to send money to South Africa without a bank account

Cash transfer services can help you if you don’t have a bank account. If you don’t have a bank account, look for a local company that supports storefronts for cash payments. These services include agent locations in other countries that allow your recipient to pick up cash without a bank account.

South Africa’s exchange rates explained

The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another country’s currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weaker currency. South Africa’s exchange rate is flexible compared to the US dollar, which means it sometimes shifts a few rand a month, if not more. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.

Today’s exchange rate USD to ZAR

1
0
Updated: 30 Nov 2020 03:10:00 UTC

Documents needed for sending to and receiving money

To send money to South Africa from the US, you’ll need government-issued ID and other documents, while documents needed to pick up money in South Africa may be different by company.

Documents to send money from the US

To send money from the US to South Africa, you’ll need documentation and details that include:

  • Identification. Most services require a driver’s license, passport or other government-issued ID. Some services allow you to send transfers without ID, but they may require your SSN.
  • Payment method. Your service may accept credit or debit cards, cash, bank accounts or personal checks.
  • Recipient information. Submit your recipient’s name as it appears on their ID, along with their phone number, South African bank account and routing number.

Documents to receive money in South Africa

To pick up money in person, documentation can include:

  • Transfer number. The person sending you money can forward the transfer’s confirmation details — called a PIN, a MTCN, a reference number or a tracking number, depending on the company.
  • Government-issued ID. A South African passport, a South African National ID card, a South African driver’s license, a foreign passport with visa or refugee card or similar government-issued ID.
  • Proof of address. South African residents may have to prove their address using a utility bill or something similar.
  • Sender’s information. Take along your sender’s full name, the sending country and their address, if known.

What to watch out for

Sending cash to South Africa may subject you to both taxes in the US and taxes in South Africa, depending on your sending and receiving situation. The primary tax to pay attention to is the Donations Tax, which is regulated by the South African Revenue Service.

Bottom line

Sending your hard-earned money to South Africa shouldn’t cost a fortune. Compare transfer companies that specialize in foreign for the strongest rates, lowest fees and flexible delivery. For transfers to other countries, rely on our country specific guides the next time you need to make a transfer.

Learn more about using South African rand in South Africa

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10 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    PamelaDecember 10, 2018

    I would like to send money to family in South Africa. When I’ve previously sent money, the recipient bank charged a good few R100’s in bank charges, meaning that some 13% of what I sent went towards bank charges. This was on top of the UK transfer fee I paid to send the money. Is there a way to minimise or negate the recipient bank charges?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoDecember 13, 2018Staff

      Hi Pamela,

      Thanks for getting in touch. When transferring money, you’d always need to check fees and charges, such as taxes, and you’ll need to add that on top of the money your sending. It’s helpful to know that the recipient doesn’t get charge of any fees unless the amount your sending is over the country’s international transfer limits, then the recipient would be charged taxes as well.

      Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.

      Best,
      Nikki

  2. Default Gravatar
    StormSeptember 29, 2018

    Hello i live in South africa and my friend from America wants to send me money but cant use the bank bec they where hacked and dont do transfers . I need a site thay makes it easy to put the money in my FNB account and PayPal is not a option

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaOctober 2, 2018Staff

      Hi Storm,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      I’m sorry to hear about your situation. Thankfully, you can use the table above to compare international money transfer services to South Africa. You can specify the amount of money you want to send and the table will show you how much money you will receive. Once you found the right one for you, click on the “Go to site” green button to learn more or initiate your transfer. The companies listed on our table should also allow you to send money to your bank account.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  3. Default Gravatar
    KaylaJuly 25, 2018

    Hi. I started an online job with a company that pays into PayPal in USD. I have an FNB account with a debit card.
    Do I have to get a credit card?
    How long does it take to go from PayPal account to FNB account?
    And what should I register it as?

    • Default Gravatar
      AshJuly 27, 2018

      Hi Kayla,

      Thank you for contacting finder.

      No, you do not need to have a credit card for your Pay Pal account to receive the salary from your employer. Since you already have an existing bank account, you need to register/ link it to your Paypal account. Here is the instructions on how you can link your bank account:

      1. Go to Wallet.
      2. Click “Add bank account” then select your account type (enter the sort code and account numbers)
      3. Check if all your information are correct then click “Add Bank Account”.

      I hope this helps.

      Let us know if there is anything else that I may assist you with.

      Cheers,
      Ash

  4. Default Gravatar
    SandyJune 25, 2018

    I want to send money to someone who is only in South Africa temporarily.. In order to receive it is he going to have to provide an address? Or is just his passport/ID and the ref # sufficient?
    Thanks

    • Default Gravatar
      AshJune 26, 2018

      Hi Sandy,

      Thank you for contacting finder.

      If the recipient will be picking up the money to one of the provider’s agent locations, he/ she should only show a valid ID and provide the reference number for the transaction.

      I hope this helps.

      Let us know if there is anything else that we may assist you with.

      Cheers,
      Ash

  5. Default Gravatar
    LindyJune 24, 2018

    I wish to receive funds from Doha to Cape Town South Africa who offers what rates and what are the different time periods plse?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoJune 24, 2018Staff

      Hi Lindy,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      On the page above, you’ll see a table of money transfer services that can be used by your sender to transfer money to Cape Town, South Africa.
      To check the price and transfer periods, simply enter the amount to be transferred and assign the currencies to be used. When you press enter, it will automatically generate the rates and transfer periods.

      Hope this helps.

      Best regards,
      Nikki

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