Best way to send money to South Africa |

How to send money to South Africa

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When you need to get money to a loved one in South Africa, the last thing you want to have to deal with is a complicated and expensive process. Sending money from the United States to Johannesburg or Cape Town doesn’t have to be expensive. If you compare the transfer fees and exchange rates of the many options available, you can get the most South African rands for your dollar.
World First Foreign Exchange

World First International Money Transfers

Most Convenient money transfers with excellent customer service. Send to 140+ currencies in 45 countries.

Special $0 fee offer for readers:
Because World First is a trusted partner of, you can send your money transfer overseas for free.

  • Enjoy competitive exchange rates.
  • Get even better exchange rates with forward contracts and limit orders.
  • Receive weekly updates on market exchange rates.

    Compare international money transfer services to South Africa

    I want to send


    Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
    $0 3 - 5 days USD 0.00 14.277 ZAR 71,384 Transfer up to $500,000 with no minimums and no fees. Go to site Show details
    USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 14.291 ZAR 71,456 Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
    No-limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.
    Go to site Show details
    USD 1 Within an hour USD 3.99 14.291 ZAR 71,399 Use promo code FINDER to send your first transfer at no fee to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up. Go to site Show details
    USD 1 3 - 5 days USD 35.00 14.421 ZAR
    Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details
    GBP 5,000 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 14.277 ZAR 71,384 Get live quotes on exchange rates and take advantage of no transaction fees with no limits on transfers. Go to site Show details

    Compare up to 4 providers

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    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, South Africa. 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 providers

    The first place many people go when they need to send an international money transfer is to their bank. While banks can certainly send money overseas for you, their fees are often higher compared to companies that specialize in international money transfers. These money transfer companies focus on international transactions and can offer much better exchange rates than most major banks.

    Case Study: Hansie sends money to South Africa

    While Hansie lives and works in the U.S. he wants to send $1,000 home to his parents in South Africa as a gift for their wedding anniversary. He has an account with a large American bank and approaches them about sending his transfer, but when they offer him a poor exchange rate and a high fee, he decides to look elsewhere. He compares the services of two money transfer companies to find the best deal.

    Money transfer company 1Money transfer company 2
    Exchange rate$1 USD = $13.03 ZAR$1 USD = $12.62 ZAR
    Transfer fee$3.99$16
    Transfer methodBank account depositCash pickup
    Processing time1-3 business days10 minutes
    Amount received (in ZAR)$13,030 ZAR$12,620 ZAR

    As you can see, Hansie can get a much better deal by using the first money transfer company, saving $12 in fees and sending more than $410 ZAR extra to his parents. However, if he needs to send an urgent transfer he might use the second provider.

    Steps to send money to South Africa

    1. Choose a transfer provider that sends money to South Africa.
    2. Provide your contact information, email address and phone number.
    3. Supply your recipient’s contact information.
    4. Choose the amount of your transfer and complete the transaction. Save any reference or receipt number to track the progress of your transfer.

    Find the best provider for your transfer

    Answer three quick questions and we’ll give you an instant recommendation for a money transfer service based on your needs.

    Question 1 of 3

    How much do you plan to send?

    Question 2 of 3

    Does your recipient have a bank account?

    Question 3 of 3

    When can they receive the money?

    Based on your answers, check out:

    WorldRemit International Money Transfers

    WorldRemit International Money Transfers

    Send money to 110+ countries for bank deposit, instant e-wallet, mobile top-up or cash pickup at 30,000+ agent locations worldwide. Your first transfer is free with the code FINDER.

    • Low upfront fees and exchange rates.
    • Easy to use with round-the-clock help.
    • Get cash to family and friends in minutes.
      TransferWise International Money Transfers

      TransferWise International Money Transfers

      When you need to send money overseas, benefit from competitive exchange rates and low transfer fees with TransferWise.

      • Fair service fees and mid-market rates — a major market differentiator.
      • Next-day delivery to your loved ones and businesses.
      • Trusted the world over, with five-star ratings on Trustpilot.
        World First Foreign Exchange

        World First International Money Transfers

        Special offer for readers Because World First is a trusted partner of, you can send your money transfer overseas for free. No fees: There are no online transfer fees for all readers.

        • Enjoy competitive exchange rates.
        • Take advantage of spot contracts, forward contracts and limit orders.
        • Receive weekly updates on market exchange rates.

          How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to South Africa

          • Exchange rates. The better the exchange rate, the more of your money will make it to your recipient in the form of South African rands. Compare rates between companies but remember that some companies that offer higher exchange rates will also charge higher fees.
          • Fees. Fees apply to many international money transfers, so examine the fee structure of each provider. You can also keep an eye out for providers that waive their fees when you transfer more than a certain minimum amount.
          • Transfer methods. How can you make your transfer request: online, in person, on a mobile app and/or over the phone?
          • Transfer options. While some companies simply offer one-time transfers, others offer features such as forward contracts, which allow you to take advantage of favorable market conditions.
          • Turnaround time. The processing time can be important when you need to send funds urgently, and transfer times can range from minutes to several business days.
          • Minimum amount. Some providers impose a minimum transfer limit, which can often be restrictive if you don’t want to send a large amount of cash.
          • Pickup methods. From bank account deposit to collection from an agent location and even home delivery of the cash, there are several options available from money transfer providers.
          • Customer service. If something goes wrong with a transaction will phone, email and/or live chat support be available?
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          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. For example, in January 2018, the US dollar was worth approximately 13.10 South African rands. Like most countries, South Africa has a flexible exchange rate, which means it can change from moment to moment based on interest rates, economic stability and other factors.
          Currency exchange rate for South Africa

          Options for sending money to South Africa from America

          • Bank transfers. Many U.S. banks allow you to send an international wire transfer to a South African bank account.
          • Online money transfer providers. Companies like WorldRemit offer fast transfers and competitive exchange rates.
          • Money transfer companies with cash pickup options. Western Union, MoneyGram and other providers offer this option.
          • PayPal. Digital payments giant PayPal allows you to send money online from the U.S. to South Africa.
          • Checks. International guaranteed checks can also be sent between the U.S. and South Africa.
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          Emergency cash transfers in South Africa

          If you need to send an urgent money transfer to South Africa, keep in mind that you will usually have to settle for higher fees and lower exchange rates to get your money there as quickly as possible. Even if you’re in a hurry, make sure to check the fees and the exchange rate that will apply to your transaction to ensure that you know exactly how much your transaction will cost.

          Find a money transfer location near you

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          Tips for picking up cash in South Africa

          Some areas of South Africa, such as Johannesburg, have high crime rates. You should exercise caution when you pick up cash in certain areas.

          • Remain aware of your personal security at all times.
          • Keep cash in a safe place.
          • Avoid any high crime areas.
          • Deposit the cash into a bank account as soon as possible.
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          Cash pickup locations in South Africa

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          8 Responses

          1. 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

            • finder 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!


          2. 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?

            • finder Customer Care
              AshJuly 27, 2018Staff

              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.


          3. 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?

            • finder Customer Care
              AshJune 26, 2018Staff

              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.


          4. 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?

            • finder 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,

          US International Money Transfers Offers

          Important Information*
          XE Money Transfer

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          WorldRemit International Money Transfers

          Use promo code FINDER to send your first transfer at no fee to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up.

          World First Foreign Exchange

          Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
          No-limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.

          TransferWise International Money Transfers

          Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks.

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