Save time and money with our side-by-side comparison of big-name MoneyGram and digital provider WorldRemit.
Though you have many options for international money transfers, MoneyGram is among the best known. However, newer online startups like WorldRemit could offer a competitive edge of lower fees and stronger rates.
MoneyGram and WorldRemit: How they work
You can transfer money through MoneyGram either in person, online, using an app or over the phone. MoneyGram will convert and deliver your money to a bank account or for cash pickup at locations worldwide.
WorldRemit conducts its business online. To open a free WorldRemit account, you’ll need to provide mobile number for both you and your recipient, as well as a copy of your government-issued ID.
Who offers lower fees?
A number of factors that influence fees when you use MoneyGram: the country receiving the transfer, how you’re sending it and how your recipient will receive your funds. For example, if you send $500 to Mexico using a credit or debit card for cash pickup, you’d pay a $7 transfer fee, while sending $500 to Belgium using a credit or debit card for cash pickup would cost $31.
Transfer fees for WorldRemit also vary depending on where you’re sending money, but the fee for most countries is $3.99. The method you can use to send money will depend on the country to which you’re sending it.
Although for both companies, what you’ll pay depends on the options you choose and your recipient’s country, WorldRemit’s fee structure is simple and transparent. For most transfers, WorldRemit’s flat $3.99 rate will be cheaper than your fee with MoneyGram.
Who offers better exchange rates?
To understand who offers better exchange rates, you’ll need to first look at the mid-market rate. This is the true exchange rate that averages the buying and selling rate of a global currency — and the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves.
We’ll look at the rates that MoneyGram and WorldRemit offer compared to the mid-market rate.
Depending on where you’re sending money, the exchange rate with MoneyGram could be 5% or more above the mid-market rate. This translates to big profits for MoneyGram — at your expense.
Let’s look at the example of a transfer to Australian dollars (AUD):
- If the mid-market rate is 1 USD = 1.30 AUD
- MoneyGram’s exchange rate could be 1 USD = 1.24 AUD
WorldRemit takes a smaller margin than MoneyGram — sometimes less than 1% above the mid-market rate.
Using the same example of a transfer to AUD:
- If the mid-market rate is 1 USD = 1.30 AUD
- WorldRemit’s exchange rate might be 1 USD = 1.29 AUD
Competitive exchange rates make WorldRemit the clear winner here, putting money more money into your recipient’s pocket.
Delivery speeds with MoneyGram vary by transfer option. In-person and phone transfers can be delivered in minutes, although at higher costs. MoneyGram’s cheaper options take two to four business days.
Sending money by bank transfer typically takes one to three business days, although a few banks offer instant transfers. Sending money via Mobile Money or airtime top-up is available immediately.
Winner: It depends
If you need to get your money there in a hurry, you might not mind the higher fees for MoneyGram to get it there instantly. However, WorldRemit’s Mobile Money and airtime top-up options won’t cost you an arm and a leg — and even its slower option could save you a day.
Who offers more options?
|Payment methods||Minimum and maximum transfers||Delivery methods||Transfer speeds||Countries and currencies|
|MoneyGram||Bank account, credit or debit card, cash||Varies by country||Bank transfer, cash pickup, other options by location||2–4 business days||190+ countries and 45+ currencies|
|WorldRemit||Bank account, credit or debit card||$1 minimum; maximum varies by country||Bank transfer, cash pickup, Mobile Money, airtime top-up||Varies from minutes to 3 days||100+ countries|
$2,000 to Greece
Neal and his wife, Lydia, are moving to Greece. Neal wants to send $2,000 to Lydia, who’s already relaxing in Kelafonia, for a down payment on an apartment. Here’s what an online bank-to-bank transfer would like for this transaction with MoneyGram and WorldRemit.
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 0.90 EUR||1 USD = 0.93 EUR|
|Transfer speed||2–4 business days||Within an hour|
|Total received||1,806 EUR||1,857 EUR|
With WorldRemit, Neal saves $20 on transfer fees, and Lydia gets more than 50 extra euros in her pocket — in much less time.
MoneyGram offers more flexibility in terms of transfer methods, but WorldRemit comes out on top when it comes to exchange rates, transfer fees and low-cost delivery speeds.
Ultimately, you’ll want to compare your options to find the service that best fits your specific needs.