- Looking for information on how we choose our top picks? Read our top pick methodology.
Methodology for rating money transfer providers
The money transfer industry is notorious for a lack of transparency. That’s not a good fit for the potentially complicated, expensive process in getting your money to loved ones and businesses around the world.
Our team analyzes money transfer providers offering services in the US — from big names to digital upstarts. We rank each service on rates and fees, speed, services and user experience, running them through a gauntlet comprising live transfers, user testing, quotes and verification.
- Currencies Direct
- Western Union
- RIA Money Transfer
We rate these providers using a system of one to five stars.
★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
Finding the top money transfer provider for your needs often involves a complicated variety of options that can dramatically affect how much you ultimately pay to get your money from A to Z.
Our team of researchers tests each provider within four main categories: rates and fees, speed, services and user experience.
We use our research to grade each provider — with 5 representing the best of all available options.
How we rank fees and rates
We look at fees to confirm how providers profit from your transfers — whether it’s a flat cost per transfer or a percentage of how much you’re sending.
We also collect advertised rates for each provider, comparing them against the mid-market rate to determine “hidden” fees that result from a markup on the exchange rate. We then rank providers based on overall cost.
How we rank speed
We select the fastest transfer method available, clocking the time required for delivery against any estimate provided. Because speed often depends on payment and delivery options, we rank like options across providers.
How we rank services
We look at a provider’s global reach and overall flexibility in transferring your money abroad. We count the number of countries and territories that you can send money to and weigh the ability to send a transfer from all 50 states.
We look at flexibility in how you can send and receive money, whether to or from bank accounts, debit cards or storefronts as cash pickups. We weigh the availability of payment against delivery options, weighing more heavily those providing options beyond bank-to-bank transfers.
How we rank user experience
User experience is twofold, measuring how easy it is to use the provider and the accuracy of its claims.
We look at potential barriers to sending a transfer, confirming that you can see rates and fees without committing to a transfer or entering payment. We also check on the government-issued ID require to send a transfer — including a driver’s license, passport or Social Security number.
To confirm that providers update rates regularly with the market, we collect quotes for transfers from various currency pairs that include USD/MXN, USD/GBP and USD/EUR. We use these rates to further confirm the accuracy of how providers explain they profit from your transfers and any hidden fees.
More guides on Finder
Spectrum Credit Union MySavings Youth review
A youth savings account with a whopping 7% APY on account balances up to $1,000.
Three ways to earn cryptocurrency that aren’t DeFi
Bear markets are a unique opportunity to grow your portfolio and build a solid foundation for the next bull cycle.
Cashero savings account review
A high-yield savings account that supports multiple currencies.
How to start a photography business
From your marketing strategy to financing and insurance, we’ll walk you through how to start a career behind the lens.
Navy Federal Visa Buxx review
Navy Federal’s Visa Buxx card has no fees, but you must qualify for membership with the credit union.
Axie Infinity guide: How to play and earn
Axie Infinity is an RPG game that is currently dominating the NFT sector. Discover what Axies are, what makes them unique and how you can earn money simply by playing.
Certificates of deposit methodology
We weigh minimum deposits and APYs relative to term length when rating CDs and share certificates.
Methodology: Kids’ checking accounts and prepaid debit cards
We look for the following features when rating kids debit cards: monthly fees, features, availability, customer service, interest rate and more.
How to buy Bitcoin (BTC) in the US
Want to buy bitcoin but don’t know where to start? This comprehensive guide provides step-by-step instructions on how and where to buy BTC in the US.
Golden 1 New Generation Checking review
Golden 1 Credit Union’s New Generation Checking account is free for teens and comes with check-writing capabilities.