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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.
Updated . What changed?
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.
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
Let’s say you need to send $2,000 to Germany. Here’s what you 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 you use Ria for your transfer, your recipient 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.
Frequently asked questions
Is it possible to send more than $7,999 a month with Ria?
Yes. If you need to send more than the maximum 30-day limit that Ria allows online, visit an agent location. You’ll need to provide additional documentation, including government-issued ID, to ensure a safe and secure transfer.
What is Ria’s exchange rate?
Ria money transfer does not use the mid-market rate, instead it uses a slightly worse rate to make money on the transfer. This rate changes depending on where you are sending among other factors. Our Ria Money Transfer review explains more about this exchange rate and offers a calculator to find out how much your Ria transfer may cost.
Is Ria available worldwide?
Ria provides money transfer services to more than 160 countries.
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