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MoneyGram review

Fast money transfers to 200+ countries worldwide, but watch out for weak exchange rates.

finder.com’s rating: 3.0 / 5.0

★★★★★

How’d we get our score?

Fees & rates: 2.0 / 5.0
Speed: 5.0 / 5.0
Services: 3.0 / 5.0
User experience: 2.0 / 5.0

  • Good if you want to pay in person or send money for cash pickup.
  • Not so great for low-cost transfers – watch out for high fees and inconsistent exchange rates.

24 hours

Fastest Transfer Speed

$1

Minimum Transfer Amount

$10,000

Maximum Transfer Amount

You’ll most likely find MoneyGram locations at grocery stores, small corner shops and in many other places around your city. It has served nearly 150 million people across the globe in the past five years and has an extensive network of agent locations in more than 200 countries and territories. As a result, it provides customers with a range of transfer options and is often one of the fastest money transfer services. But this convenience comes at a cost in the form of more fees and weaker exchange rates than some of its smaller competitors.

Why should I consider MoneyGram?

  • Wide reach. MoneyGram has approximately 350,000 agent locations in more than 200 countries and territories – with more than 30,000 of those locations in the US.
  • Diverse transfer options. Customers can send money both online and in-person. Pay using credit and debit cards, bank wires and cash. Be sure to select the payment option that best balances your desired transfer speed with the associated fees.
  • Speed. With same-day delivery available at many locations (subject to the holiday hours and compliance with regulatory requirements), your recipient could have their money in as little as 10 minutes during normal business hours when using the cash pickup service.
  • Delivery options. Send money for pickup in different ways, including cash pickup, to a mobile wallet, directly to a Visa debit card in the US, to a bank account and even to inmates.
  • Rewards. Sign up to MoneyGram Plus Rewards, which gives you discounts on fees every few transfers you send.

What to be aware of

  • Low maximum limits. When sending online with MoneyGram, your transfer is limited to $10,000 per transaction. There is also a $10,000 per month limit. When you need to send more you can do so in-person from a MoneyGram agent location.
  • High fees. As with most money transfer services, MoneyGram’s international and domestic transfers incur a fee. Fees are often higher when paying with a credit or debit card and lower when making a bank transfer.
  • Inconsistent exchange rates. MoneyGram’s exchange rates vary depending on how you are paying for your transaction and how it will be received. Pay close attention to the exchange rate to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
  • No hedging options. MoneyGram doesn’t offer recurring transfers, scheduled transfers or any other hedging too to help you save money.

How much are MoneyGram’s transfer fees?

MoneyGram bases fees on the amount you are sending. Fees typically increase around $500 and $1,000, sometimes doubling when you bump up to the next fee tier. If you click on the “Rates & Fees” tab on the homepage, you can see an estimate of transfer costs.

  • Cheapest option. Paying via bank transfer and having the money delivered to a bank account is often the cheapest way to send money through MoneyGram.
  • Expensive option. Paying by credit card and having the money available for cash pickup is often the most expensive way to transfer money using MoneyGram.

How are MoneyGram’s exchange rates?

MoneyGram makes money by adding a margin to the exchange rate in addition to any fees charged. These exchange rates may change depending on how you are paying and how the money is being received, so pay attention to the total amount expected to be transferred when deciding on how to send your money through MoneyGram.

It is best to compare the displayed rate on MoneyGram with the current mid-market rate to work out the size of the margin charged. You can also then use the interbank rate as a benchmark for comparing the rates of other money transfer providers.

What are the ways I can send money abroad with MoneyGram?

MoneyGram has a diverse range of transfer options. We’ll go through each one and what the steps look like.

How to send money transfer online with MoneyGram

How to send money with the MoneyGram app

MoneyGram’s Money Transfer app enables you to move your money around the globe.

How to send money in-person at a MoneyGram location

Agent locations are in almost every country in the world. Take advantage of this network and send money in-person by completing the following steps:

How to send money with Sendbot on Facebook

MoneyGram’s Sendbot feature allows you to send money using the Facebook messenger app.

Check if there are any MoneyGram promo codes available

How can my recipient get the money?

MoneyGram has several options for how your intended recipient can get their money. You can choose from any of the following:

  • Send to a bank account. Although slower, this lets your receive get the money directly in their account.
  • Send as a cash pickup. You can opt for the funds to be picked up in cash at a MoneyGram location. The money will be ready at your chosen location in as few as 10 minutes after you’ve sent it.
  • Send directly to someone’s debit card. In order to do this, select Debit Card Deposit when choosing your receive method. This only works for Visa debit cards within the US.
  • Send to a mobile wallet. A mobile wallet is a place to store funds digitally, with actual wallet types varying by country and user preference. Read our starter guide on mobile wallets as a launching point for further research.
  • Doorstep delivery. In some locations, you can choose home delivery as a receiving method. Your money will be delivered by a local MoneyGram agent.
  • Pay bills through MoneyGram. MoneyGram supports bill payment to utility companies, credit cards and more. Use the online bill pay search to find out if the company you want to pay is supported by the MoneyGram network.
  • Send money to an inmate. Funding commissary and calling accounts for inmates is possible through MoneyGram. You can read more in our guide on how to send money to someone in jail.

What payment methods does MoneyGram accept?

If you are sending money online, you can through your bank account, or with a credit or debit card. When making an in-person transfer you can also pay with cash.

How long does an international transfer with MoneyGram take?

Transfer speed will depend on the amount of fees you are comfortable paying and how quickly you need it to arrive.

If you choose to pay with a debit or credit card, you’ll pay a higher fee but your transfer can be completed in as little as 10 minutes. Just keep in mind, your credit card may charge a cash advance fee which will increase the total cost of your transfer.

Money transfers paid via bank transfer are typically cheaper, but take longer. For your first transfer through MoneyGram, you may have to verify your account, which can take four or more business days. After verification, your actual transfer may take an additional five business days.

Transfers typically takeClock icon for transfer speed

1 day

Is MoneyGram safe to use?

MoneyGram prioritises protecting your banking information when you make a transfer. It has established a reputation for secure transfers with a number of safeguards.

  • Established and licensed. Founded in 1940, MoneyGram is a licensed money transmitter that’s successfully completed millions of transfers.
  • Tracking. You can easily track your transfer online by entering your last name and the reference number in your confirmation.
  • Secure connection. Using physical, technical and administrative security measures, its website is verified by Entrust, Inc.
  • Accountability. MoneyGram (MGI) is listed on NASDAQ.

How does MoneyGram compare to other services?

If you want to see how MoneyGram compares to the exchange rates and fees offered by other money transfer services, enter the details of your transaction into the table below.

1 - 15 of 15
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.
CurrencyTransfer
24 hours
$0
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally £5,000)

View details
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

View details
XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
CurrencyFair
24 hours
€3

View details
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Dunbridge Financial
24 hours
$0

View details
Dunbridge Financial offers competitive exchange rates and zero fees on transfers to more than 120 countries.
MoneyGram
Within an hour
From $0

View details
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
WorldRemit
Within an hour
From $1.99
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Use the code ‘4FREEFINDER’ to get 4 free transfers if you are a first time user. Eligible countries only.

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

View details
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers

View details
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.
Revolut
Revolut
Within minutes
$0

View details
Revolut offers 10 zero-fee international transfers a month, amazing exchange rates, and transfers within 30 minutes.
Instarem
Within an hour
$1

View details
Instarem offers zero transfer fees on all transfers.
OFX International Money Transfers (Business)
24 hours
$0

View details
Business customers: Send safe, no-limit transfers with no fees and competitive exchange rates.
CurrencyTransfer for Business
24 hours
$0

View details
Increase business efficiency with zero transaction fees and same-day transfers.
PayPal
Within minutes
From $0

View details
Use PayPal to safely send money and receive payments from around the world in over 25 currencies with just an email address or mobile number.
XE Money Transfer for Business
Within minutes
$3

View details
Save your time and money with XE Money Transfer for business.
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Frequently asked questions

Review by


Zak Killermann is a publisher 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 into approachable nuggets of information. Before diving into all things crypto, Zak contributed to Finder’s money transfers vertical.

Expert review

You’ll find MoneyGram locations at grocery stores, small corner shops and probably in many other places around your city. But the cost of convenience comes with a high price — more fees and weaker exchange rates than some smaller competitors. Often you may find that MoneyGram is one of your few choices, especially when sending to more remote locations worldwide.

A few places where I think MoneyGram excels are: being able to send straight to a Visa debit card in the US, the exceptionally quick speeds that some cash transfers can be received and the sheer convenience of having more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide. I’d recommend always comparing your MoneyGram transfer costs to that of other companies, though, as you may be surprised at how much money you may save by taking your business elsewhere.

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73 Comments

  1. Avatarfinder Customer Care
    Zak
    December 3, 2020

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for reaching out to Finder.

    You have a few options here, depending on how your friend originally sent the money.

    • If your friend sent cash from an agent location, have them revisit the location and talk to customer service about canceling. They’ll need ID and any details about the transfer they remember (amount, date sent, recipient name, etc).
    • Your friend may be able to resend the transaction and include a “secret code” or “secret answer”, which you’ll provide instead of needing ID. This can only be done in-person, and availability will vary by location.
    • Your friend can use the receipt you have (specifically the confirmation number on the receipt) to process a refund.

    I hope this helps. If not, consider contacting MoneyGram directly to see what additional options they can provide.
    Regards,
    Zak

  2. Default Gravatar
    Patrick
    March 31, 2020

    How do i prove to my client that i have sent his/her money?

    • Default Gravatar
      nikkiangco
      April 2, 2020

      Hi Patrick,

      Thanks for your comment on one of our Finder pages and I hope you are well.

      I understand you want to know how to show proof to your client/receiver that you have sent his/her money. When you send money using Moneygram, you are given an Authorization number or Reference number. Your receiver can use the “Track a Transfer tool” on the Moneygram website to look up a transfer using the authorization number or reference number.

      When sending money, it’s important to check the exchange rate beforehand to maximize the funds to be exchanged. Kindly note that exchange rates vary on a daily basis, the rate today may differ from the rate tomorrow. Observe the fluctuations of exchange rates more frequently days before you exchange your money. 

      Hope this helps and feel free to reach out to us again for further assistance.

      Best,
      Nikki

  3. Default Gravatar
    Tina
    March 26, 2020

    Is there a fee for when you are receiving funds?

    • Default Gravatar
      nikkiangco
      March 27, 2020

      Hi Tina,

      Thanks for reaching out to Finder! I hope you are well.

      If the sender is making a bank transfer, the receiver may incur a fee as imposed by the bank. Kindly note that this varies on a bank-to-bank basis. If the sender will be doing a bank transfer, best to check with the recipient’s bank of the fees involved when he/she receives the money.

      A friendly reminder, take note of any reference or tracking numbers should any transaction delays come up during the transit. Also, it’s important to check the exchange rate beforehand to maximize the funds to be exchanged.
      Kindly note that exchange rates vary on a daily basis, the rate today may differ from the rate tomorrow. Observe the fluctuations of exchange rates more frequently days before you exchange your money.

      Hope this helps and feel free to reach out to us again for further assistance.

      Best,
      Nikki

  4. Default Gravatar
    Nancy
    March 17, 2020

    I have a question this morning around 9am I send out 500.00 to a relative n I was wondering if I want to send out 1500.00 to the same person within 24 hours am I able to do so. Thanks Nancy

    • Default Gravatar
      nikkiangco
      March 18, 2020

      Hi Nancy,

      Thanks for your comment and I hope you are well.

      Yes, you are able to send another $150.00 again within 24 hours your relative via a Moneygram transfer. A MoneyGram caps transfers at $899.99, for a maximum of $3,000 in a 30-day period. Given this, as you are well below 800 pesos you are still able to transfer the said amount.

      Please check the terms and conditions of Moneygram as per your money transfer transaction.

      Hope this helps and feel free to reach out to us again for further assistance.

      Best,
      Nikki

  5. Default Gravatar
    Kath
    February 4, 2020

    Hi, how long does it take to receive money sent thru moneygram in saudi arabia. The money will come from the Philippines and they will send me money here in Saudi Arabia thru bank

    • Default Gravatar
      nikkiangco
      February 4, 2020

      Hi Kath,

      Thanks for your comment and I hope you are doing well.

      In general, money transfer with Moneygram takes a minimum transfer time of 1 day. Specifically, the transfer time also depends on how the money was transferred. For example, if the money was sent for cash pick up, your recipient can pick up your transfer at a MoneyGram location shortly after it’s completed during normal business hours. On the other hand, for bank account transfers, the money is available within 24 hours.

      Given that your money was transferred via bank transfer, the transfer will take 24 hours. When the money is received by your bank, you must ask your bank how long they process international bank transfers. This will dictate when you will be able to withdraw your money from your bank.

      Hope this helps and feel free to reach out to us again for further assistance.

      Best,
      Nikki

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