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How to send money to someone in the military

Fast, affordable ways to transfer funds to a loved one stationed overseas.

A specialized money transfer company will offer more competitive exchange rates than a traditional bank — but which transfer service is best depends on where you’re sending the money and how fast you need it to arrive.

What are my options?

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by your options to send money internationally, even without the added complication of getting it to a military base. We’ll help you explore the options.

  • Bank transfers. Most major US banks will allow you to wire money domestically or internationally to another bank account. A downside is the frustratingly high fees and weak exchange rates you’ll typically receive.
  • Online money transfer services. It’s simple and convenient to send an online money transfer to loved ones in the military from the comfort of your home.
  • Providers with cash pickup. Companies like Western Union and MoneyGram offer the option of cash pickups from thousands of agent locations worldwide.
  • Peer-to-peer apps. Venmo, Circle and PayPal are just a few of the apps you can use to send money.
  • Sending checks, money orders or gift cards. Although it’s not a quick or secure option, you can send physical items to your service member’s address.

Compare online money transfer services

Our table lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Compare services on transfer speeds and fees, then click Go to site when you're ready to send.
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
OFX
24 hours
$0

View details
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Dunbridge Financial
Dunbridge Financial
24 hours
$0

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Dunbridge Financial offers competitive exchange rates and zero fees on transfers to more than 120 countries.
CurrencyTransfer
24 hours
$0
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally £5,000)

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Exclusive: Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally $5,000).
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
XE
Within minutes
$3

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XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
WorldRemit
Within an hour
From $1.99

View details
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Wise (TransferWise)
Within an hour
From $2.26

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Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Instarem
Within an hour
$1

View details
Exclusive: Use code GET60 and save $30 on each transaction over $200. Valid for the first two transactions and till 31st July 2021. T&Cs apply.
Instarem offers zero transfer fees on all transfers.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers

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Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Western Union
Within an hour
From $0

View details
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
MoneyGram
Within an hour
From $0

View details
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Can I send an instant bank transfer?

Yes. Most service members will have the option to conduct their banking on the post, base or camp just as they do at home. A few banking options that are built specifically around the needs of service members, like the Navy Federal Credit Union and USAA, offer account-to-account transfers. If both you and your contact have USAA accounts, you can transfer money from your account to theirs almost immediately.

In addition to free money transfers across checking accounts, USAA and others offer the added benefits of withdrawals as well as branches and ATMs overseas.
USAA credit card rewards reviewed and compared

Compare your options

Transfer optionTransfer methodsCashBank accountTransfer timeInternational options
Bank transferOnline, in person, mobile11 to 4 business days1
Money transfer specialistOnline, in person, mobile1Minutes to 4 business days1
Peer-to-peer appOnline, mobile2Minutes to 1 business day
US MailIn personSeveral days to several weeks

1 Varies by transfer option and method.

2 Depending on the app, you may need to pay with a credit or debit card.

How to spot a military transfer scam

While there are many ways that a scammer will attempt to part you and your money, one is so prevalent that it’s under investigation by the US Army Criminal Investigation Command.

This scam involves a bond with somebody posing as a member of the military that you’ve met online through a dating site. That person may even offer their name, rank and where they are stationed. After cultivating a strong connection with you, they claim to be ready to meet in person. But first, they need your cash.

It may sound like an obvious red flag, but once you’re emotionally attached it’s easy to lose perspective. If a service member you’ve met online asks for money — especially for money to go on leave or to get to their next station — it may be time to walk away. These scams can cost thousands of dollars, not to mention heartbreak.

Bottom line

When somebody you care about is serving overseas in the military, you have many options to send some love and financial support. Ultimately, you’ll need to compare your options to find the service that’s right for you.

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20 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    CaliforniaMay 27, 2019

    Someone who claims to be in the military wants to send me some of his allowance, but states that in order to do that he needs my personal login details my username and password. Is this true and can he be trusted?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniMay 27, 2019Staff

      Hi California Girl,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      Please be vigilant in providing your online log-in details like your username and password. If he’s someone you just met online or not really connected – a total stranger, I suggest that you think a thousand times about providing confidential financial info. You may want to know more about money transfer scams as this might help you learn more about this matter. If you’re in doubt, don’t grab and always be safe.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

    Default Gravatar
    JaneFebruary 21, 2019

    In the US Military, can they get access to their accounts on base to book a flight ticket & does their commander have to stamp their flight ticket ?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniFebruary 22, 2019Staff

      Hi Jane,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      I’m afraid that we do not have further info on this matter. Technical details are not included in our pages specially if government related topics. You may seek info on this matter if you have military friends or relatives.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

    Default Gravatar
    AnaOctober 15, 2018

    I have a friend who has a military boyfriend which she said he was based in Nigeria his a US military and before he can money to my friend my friend need to send him money first for confirmation. It is true?

      Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloOctober 15, 2018

      Hi Ana,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      The rule of thumb is: Always follow your gut. If it feels too good to be true, it probably isn’t. Never send money to someone you have not met in person. You can learn more about money transfer scams.

      Please send me a message if you need anything else. :)

      Cheers,
      Joel

    Default Gravatar
    DaveyOctober 15, 2018

    Been talking with a girl who says she is in Afghanistan and asked for some money. Though the address she sent was in Ghana, am I wrong thinking that this is a scam? I want to believe, but I also remain cautious.
    Thanks

      Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloOctober 15, 2018

      Hi Davey,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      The rule of thumb is: Always follow your gut. If it feels too good to be true, it probably isn’t. Never send money to someone you have not met in person. You can learn more about money transfer scams.

      Please send me a message if you need anything else. :)

      Cheers,
      Joel

    Default Gravatar
    CherieJuly 24, 2018

    Ive been talking to this army guy who says he needs money sent to citi bank New York so he can get home from Iraqi? Is this true or scam

      Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloJuly 24, 2018

      Hi Cherie,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      Only you would determine if you are about to be scammed or not. If something sounds too good to be true and it’s coming from somebody you don’t know, it’s almost certainly a scam. You can research the person or business in question until you’re 100% certain that you’re not getting ripped off. Always remember that scammers can be very convincing and patient. They’ll talk with you for hours (over many weeks or months) to make you feel comfortable.

      Ask for help from others who might not be as emotionally involved as you are. Talk about the situation with a friend or relative, and look for similar stories online – you might be surprised at what you find. Keep in mind that many internet money scams are tried-and-true hustles, sometimes conducted from far away (so you’re likely to find good information with a general internet search).

      Cheers,
      Joel

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