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Send money to the United States

Secure, affordable ways to send money to the United States from Malaysia.

While your local bank branch might be the most obvious option for sending money across borders, you can save on fees and take advantage of more competitive exchange rates with an online money transfer company.

Send money to the USA with InstaReM

Exclusive: Use code FINDER10 to receive US$10 off your first transaction.

InstaReM offers simple transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers.

  • Low transfer fees
  • Zero-margin exchange rates
  • Same or next business day transfer
  • Earn loyalty points on sign up, referral and every transaction
Promoted

Compare services that send to the USA

Use our comparison calculator to assess transfer fees, exchange rates and other details for sending funds to the USA with our money transfer partners.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 1 Same day MYR 3.99 0.238 USD
1,188
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Go to site Show details
USD 200 1 day MYR 25.00 0.238 USD
1,184
Exclusive: Use code FINDER10 to receive US$10 off your first transaction.
InstaReM offers simple transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers.
Go to site Show details
USD 1 1 day MYR 50.00 0.239 USD
1,183
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies. Go to site Show details
USD 120 1 - 2 days MYR 5.00 0.237 USD
1,184
Malaysia-based MoneyMatch offers competitive exchange rates for overseas money transfers from MYR to more than 70 countries. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

What’s the best way to send money to the United States?

Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees on money transfers to the US. Some offer transfers straight to US bank accounts, while others allow the money to be picked up in US dollars in person. Banks, PayPal and other options are available but come with high fees, weak rates and longer turnaround times.

Blue icon representing money transfers Image: Infogram

Money transfer services

Companies like Wise specialise in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective transfers. Most offer transfers directly to your recipient’s US-based bank account, often in as little as a day or two.

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Cash transfers

Services like Western Union allow you to transfer cash for pickup at a local branch in the US — often in 15 minutes. While it’s a fast way to send money, you’ll pay for the convenience in weak exchange rates and high fees. If a cash pickup is necessary, look to digital services like WorldRemit when possible.

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Banks

US dollars are almost certainly carried by Malaysian banks. Although your local bank can convert your currency into US dollars, beware of high fees and wide margins on the exchange rate compared to digital and other options.

How to send money to the USA online

Sign up and send money with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:

  1. Sign up for a free account. Pick a provider and sign up for a free online account using your contact information, proof of ID and your preferred payment method.
  2. Provide transfer details. Submit your recipient’s contact information and pick a delivery method. If you’re transferring to a bank, you’ll need your recipient’s US-based bank account details.
  3. Confirm transfer details. Double-check your payment method, expected fees and destination.
  4. Save your receipt. Record your receipt’s confirmation number to track the progress of your transfer to the US. Some money transfer providers send a text or email when your transfer is complete.

Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending RM5,000 to the US

To put this into perspective, let’s see what a transfer with each of these options looks like. This table uses real fees and exchange rates so it is current as of 23 October 2020.

Bank transferCash transferMoney transfer service
FeeRM30 + additional correspondent bank feesRM10RM30.89
Exchange rate1 MYR = 0.2376 USD1 MYR = 0.2364 USD1 MYR = 0.2406 USD
Transfer speed2-4 daysMinutes1-3 days
Amount receivedUS$1,180.88US$1,179.77US$1,195.37
Overall
  • Slowest and most expensive
  • Fastest but weakest exchange rate
  • Best value

The cash transfer gets the least amount of money to your recipient, even though it has the fastest transfer speed. If you go with the money transfer specialist, your recipient ends up with US$15 more even though you pay extra RM20.89 in fees. However, if speed is what’s most important, the cash transfer can’t be beaten for instant transfers.

How to get the most out of your money transfer to the USA

Weigh costs and fees against convenience, and learn how to compare money transfer providers that send to the US to meet your needs:

  • Exchange rates. The USD relationship with other currencies fluctuates daily, so using a service that allows you to lock-in exchange prices may help you save money down the line if exchange rates take a turn for the worse in the future.
  • Transfer fees. Transferring money overseas nearly always requires fees, but they might be hidden in the exchange rate. When sending large amounts, it may be cheaper to pay a flat fee to secure a stronger exchange rate.
  • Transfer limits. How much you can send varies by company, and different amounts can attract higher or lower fees. Shop around for the best deal on the number of US dollars you’re sending.
  • Turnaround. Transferring money through a local bank can take a business week or longer. If you need the funds delivered quickly, seek out a digital specialist that offers instant transfers to the United States.
  • Maximum limits. When exchange rates are favorable, sending more money can save you money in the future. If you plan to send large amounts of money to the US, be sure to pick a provider that won’t limit you.
  • Transfer methods. Whether you want money sent to a US-based bank account or picked up as cash at a local agent, narrow down a company that matches your preferred delivery method.

Emergency cash transfer to the US

When it’s more important to get your money to the US quickly, look for money transfer companies that support cash pickup in minutes. You can pay with a credit or debit card for fast pickup, but fees are higher than other methods.

How to send money to the USA without a bank account

Cash transfer services can help you if you’re unbanked or marginally banked. If you don’t have a bank account, look for a local company that supports storefronts for cash payments. These services include agent locations in other countries that allow your recipient to pick up cash without a bank account.

Documents needed for sending to and receiving money in the US

To send money to the US from abroad, you’ll need government-issued ID and other documents, while documents needed to pick up money in the US may be different by company.

Documents to send money to the US

To send money from the abroad to the US, you’ll need documentation and details that include:

  • Identification. Most services require a driver’s license, passport or other government-issued ID. Some services allow you to send transfers without ID.
  • Payment method. Your service may accept credit or debit cards, cash, bank accounts or personal cheques.
  • Recipient information. Submit your recipient’s name as it appears on their ID, along with their phone number, US bank account and routing number if sending to their bank.

Documents to receive money in the US

To pick up money in person, documentation can include:

  • Transfer number. The person sending you money can forward the transfer’s confirmation details — called a PIN, a MTCN, a reference number or a tracking number, depending on the company.
  • Government-issued ID. A US government-issued ID is almost always required to pick up cash, but you may be able to set a passphrase if your recipient doesn’t have any valid ID.
  • Amount sent. You may need to know how much was sent, usually within 10% of the total.
  • Sender’s information. Take along your sender’s full name, the sending country and their address, if known.

What to watch out for

Most money transfers to the United States may be subject to taxes, depending on their amount and place of origin. Unfortunately there are a lot of variables in play, but typically it is always better to report large money transfers to the IRS on your tax forms.

There are a variety of reasons you may be sending money to the US, including repatriating funds you earned abroad. Being extra vigilant about the reasons you’re sending money to the US can save you large fees and possible jail time in the future by paying the appropriate taxes now.

Bottom line

Sending your hard-earned money to the US shouldn’t cost a fortune. Compare transfer companies that specialise in foreign for the strongest rates, lowest fees and flexible delivery.

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