Whatever reason you have to send money between the US and Tonga, you’ll want to find a way to get the most out of your money without having to spend extra on fees and losing money through varying exchange rates. Our guide will help you compare the methods so you can get the most pa’anga for your dollar.
Send money to Tonga with WorldRemit
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees on money transfers to Tonga. Some offer cash pickup in as little as a few minutes, while others transfer to bank accounts.
1. Digital money transfer services
Companies like XE and Ria specialize in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective ways to send money to Tonga. Most offer transfers directly to your recipient's bank account in Tonga, often in as little as a day or two.
Why? Digital money transfer services are cheaper because they exist online and don't have as many employees or physical locations.
2. Cash transfers
Services like WorldRemit and MoneyGram allow you to transfer cash for pickup at a local branch in Tonga— 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.
Why? Picking up cash is more expensive because more people are involved.
The Tongan paʻanga may be offered by your bank, but beware of high fees and wide margins on the exchange rate. Compare bank transfers to digital services and other options before sending a wire transfer to Tonga.
Why? Banks offer money transfers as a secondary service so don't strive to offer competitive prices.
Let's crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000 to Tonga
Let's say you need to send $1,000 to family in Tonga. Here's what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of March 11, 2021.
Digital money transfer service
$25 + additional correspondent bank fees
1 USD = 2.265 TOP
1 USD = 2.272 TOP
1 USD = 2.017 TOP
Slowest and most expensive
The bank option ends up being the slowest and gets the smallest amount of money to your recipient in Tonga. A digital transfer sends the most, which is TOP$298 more than the bank. For speed, a cash transfer can typically have your transfer to Tonga in as little as 15 minutes. Make sure there's a cash pickup location near your recipient before sending.
How to send money to Tonga online
Sign up and send money to Tonga with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:
Sign up for a free account. Compare and pick a provider before signing up for a free online account using your contact information, proof of ID and preferred payment method.
Provide transfer details. Submit your recipient's contact information and pick a delivery method. If transferring to a bank, you'll need their bank account details in Tonga.
Confirm transfer details. Double-check your payment method, expected fees and destination.
Save your receipt. Record your receipt's confirmation number to track the progress of your transfer to Tonga. Some money transfer providers send a text or email when your transfer is complete.
Get the most out of your money transfer to Tonga
Weigh costs and fees against convenience to best compare money transfer providers that send to Tonga. Consider:
Exchange rates. The USD–TOP relationship fluctuates, so using a service that allows you to lock in exchange prices may help you save money down the line if the Tongan paʻanga rises against the US dollar.
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 USD–TOP 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 Tongan paʻangas you're sending to Tonga.
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 Tonga.
Sending limits. Comparing prices for one large transfer instead of many small transfers is typically easier, so picking the service you use based on how much you're sending is a valid strategy for saving money.
Transfer methods. Whether you want money sent to a bank account in Tonga or picked up as cash at a local agent, narrow down a company that matches your preferred delivery method.
How to send money to Tonga without 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 Tongan paʻangas without a bank account.
Emergency cash transfer
When urgency trumps cost to get your money to Tonga 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.
Banks and money transfer companies use exchange rate to calculate how much Tonga's currency is worth when converted to USD. The USD-TOP relationship can change daily based on global economic stability, interest rates, inflation and more.
Transfer confirmation details like a transfer number, an MTCN, a reference number or a tracking number, depending on the company.
Government-issued ID like a passport or similar official ID may be required to pick up your transfer.
Sender's information. Take along your sender's full name, the sending country and their address, if known.
Sending to Tonga from the US:
Proof of identification like a government-issued ID or your SSN number.
Recipient information like their name, address and bank account information in Tonga.
Sending your hard-earned money to Tonga shouldn't cost a fortune. Compare money transfer companies that specialize in foreign transactions 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.
Zak Killermann is a writer at Finder who’s been specializing in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology for four years — covering everything from ICO booms, crypto winters, memecoins and more. He’s mined and minted cryptocurrencies, and remembers the days when DOGE was just for fun. Zak’s focus is in breaking down technical concepts (like yellow papers) for the average folk to digest on their morning commute. Before diving into all things crypto, Zak contributed to Finder’s money transfers vertical.
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