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MoneyGram vs. Ria
We compare two competing money transfer services on fees, rates and speed to get you the best deal.
MoneyGram is a household name when it comes to international money transfers. But newer companies like Ria are offering competitive exchange rates to save you money.
We compare these two options to help you choose the best one for your needs.
MoneyGram vs. Ria: How they work
To make an online transfer with MoneyGram, you go to its site, enter how much you’re transferring and to where, and see how much you’ll pay for the exchange. You also have the option of visiting an agent location, calling or using a mobile app to initiate a transfer. And once complete, it converts and delivers your money to a bank account or for cash pickup at locations worldwide.
To transfer money online with Ria, go to its site, enter the amount you’d like to transfer and to which country, and choose your payment and payout methods. On the same page, you’ll see the exchange rate and transfer fee for your particular exchange.
Who offers lower fees?
Fees vary depending on how much money you’re transferring, how you’re sending it and the country you’re sending it to. Unless you actually initiate a transfer, it’s not easy to find out up front how much you’ll pay. For example, to send $1,000 to China from a bank account, you’ll pay $8 in fees; to pay for that same amount by credit or debit card, you’ll pay $48. To send $1,000 for cash pickup in the Philippines, it’s $4.99 from a bank account and $10 by credit or debit.
Money transfer fees with Ria also vary by payment method, country and the amount you’re sending. The cheapest way to send money is by bank transfer, with a typical fee that’s lower than $5. However, fees for credit card payments can be as high as $45.
MoneyGram and Ria offer similar transfer options and fees. Although if you’re planning to pay by bank transfer, Ria may have a slight edge.
Who offers better exchange rates?
Let’s look at the rates that MoneyGram and Ria offer compared to the mid-market rate.
Depending on where you’re sending your money, MoneyGram’s exchange rate could be 5% or more above the mid-market rate. This means that hundreds of dollars on a large transfer could be diverted to MoneyGram’s pockets. 66.78
We’ll use the example of a transfer to Indian rupees (INR)
- If the mid-market rate is 1 USD = 66.78 INR
- MoneyGram’s exchange rate might be 1 USD = 64.22 INR
Ria takes a smaller margin than MoneyGram, with rates that can be less than 1% on the mid-market rate.
Using the same example of a transfer to Indian rupees (INR):
- If the mid-market rate is 1 USD = 66.78 INR
- Ria’s exchange rate might be 1 USD = 66.47 INR
Ria’s competitive exchange rates make it the clear winner over MoneyGram.
MoneyGram’s delivery speeds vary by transfer option. Transfers in person or by phone can be delivered in minutes, although at higher costs. MoneyGram’s cheaper options take two to four business days.
Ria’s transfer speeds also depend on the method that you choose to send your money. When you use your credit or debit card, the exchange typically takes 15 minutes or less. Cheaper transfers from your bank account can take up to four days.
A typical money transfer or instant transfer option, your money will likely get there in about the same time for both services.
Who offers more options?
|Payment Methods||Minimum and maximum transfers||Delivery methods||Transfer speeds||Countries and currencies|
|Western Union||Bank account, credit or debit card, cash||varies by country||Bank transfer, cash pickup, other options by location||15 minutes to 4 business days||190+ countries and 45+ currencies|
|Ria||Bank account,credit or debit card, cash||$1 minimum; $2,999 a day or $7,999 a month maximum||Bank transfer, cash pickup||15 minutes to 4 business days||144 countries|
Case study:Sending $2,000 to Germany
Mark’s nephew, Ethan, has just moved to Munich. Mark wants to send Ethan $2,000 to help with moving expenses. Here’s what Mark would pay for an online bank transfer with MoneyGram and Ria.
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 0.93 EUR||1 USD = 0.94 EUR|
|Transfer speed||4 business days||2–4 business days|
|Total received||1,855 EUR||1,875 EUR|
If Mark uses Ria for his transfer, his nephew will receive 20 extra euros — and get them possibly a few days earlier.
MoneyGram and Ria offer similar options, but you could save money with Ria’s competitive exchange rates — and maybe even save a few days.
Ultimately, you’ll want to compare your options to find the service that best fits your needs.
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