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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.
Ria beats out MoneyGram on exchange rates, but the two tie on fees and transfer speeds. However, MoneyGram’s cash pickup options may make a slightly more expensive transfer worth it for you. Compare these two options to help choose the best one for your needs.
Compare Ria vs MoneyGram
How they work
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 won’t pay anything for a bank account to bank account transfer; but to pay the same amount with a credit card, you’ll pay $32.99. To send $1,000 for cash pickup in the Philippines, it’s $4.99 from a bank account and $34.99 by credit card.
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. How much you will pay in fees will depend largely on where you are sending money and how you plan to pay for it.
Who offers better exchange rates?
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.
We’ll use the example of a transfer to Indian rupees (INR):
- If the mid-market rate is 1 USD = 76.63 INR
- MoneyGram’s exchange rate might be 1 USD = 75.67 INR
Ria takes a smaller margin than MoneyGram, with rates that can be less than 1% on the mid-market rate.
Using the same examples of a transfer to Indian rupees (INR):
- If the mid-market rate is 1 USD = 76.63 INR
- Ria’s exchange rate might be 1 USD = 76.07 INR
Ria’s competitive exchange rates make it the clear winner over MoneyGram.
Who has faster transfer speeds?
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 transfer options?
MoneyGram has an extensive network of agent locations worldwide, which it uses to provide multiple options for how your intended recipient can get their money. These include:
- Bank account.
- Cash pickup.
- Debit card.
- Mobile wallet.
- Doorstep delivery.
- Pay your bills.
- Send money to an inmate.
Ria is more limited with its transfer options. Recipients can pick up their money in one of three ways:
- Bank deposit.
- Cash pickup at an agent location.
- Home delivery (not available in all locations).
MoneyGram wins out here purely because it has many more options for customers to take advantage of.
Who has better coverage?
MoneyGram has around 350,000 agent locations in more than 200 countries and territories. It does have limits to how much money customers can send on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis. As these are changeable, it is best to check the restrictions for your chosen transfer destination.
With a network of more than 507,000 locations in over 160 countries, Ria is the third-largest provider of international money transfers worldwide.
While MoneyGram has a presence in more countries than Ria, Ria has a larger number of agent locations. So they effectively balance each other out.
Who has more payment options?
If you are making an online money transfer, then you can pay through your bank account, or with a credit or debit card. When making an in-person transfer you can also pay with cash.
You can use several methods to pay for your online transfer with Ria. These include a transfer from your bank account, credit or debit card or with cash when initiating a transfer at an agent location.
Both MoneyGram and Ria are evenly matched when it comes to payment methods. The ability to pay with cash in person is a particularly useful one.
Which is better: MoneyGram or Ria?
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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