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MoneyGram review

Fast money transfers to 200+ countries and territories worldwide, but keep an eye on the offered exchange rate.

  • Good for sending money almost anywhere in the world instantly and if your recipient doesn’t have a bank account.
  • Be wary of high fees and poor exchange rates.
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Must read: MoneyGram’s services during COVID-19

During the ever-changing COVID-19 situation in the Philippines, MoneyGram has issued this advice to customers looking to send money or receive money:

  • “Use any of MoneyGram’s account deposit options if possible”
  • “Check with local agents for store hours, restrictions and closures if you need to send money using cash”

Visit our step-by-step section of this guide to learn what information you need to send money online through MoneyGram or contact your local agent for more information.

You’ll most likely find MoneyGram locations at grocery stores, small corner shops and in many other places around your city. It has served nearly 150 million people across the globe in the past five years and has an extensive network of agent locations in more than 200 countries and territories. As a result, it provides customers with a range of transfer options and is often one of the fastest money transfer services. But this convenience comes at a cost in the form of more fees and weaker exchange rates than some of its smaller competitors.

Why should I consider MoneyGram?

  • Wide reach. MoneyGram has approximately 350,000 agent locations in more than 200 countries and territories – with more than 10,000 of those locations in the Philippines.
  • Country and currency support. MoneyGram transfers can be sent to over 200 countries in almost 50 currencies. Some destinations support multiple currencies, which may help you save money on the exchange rate by sending through the more popular currency.
  • Speed. With same-day delivery available at many locations (subject to the holiday hours and compliance with regulatory requirements), your recipient could have their money in as little as 10 minutes during normal business hours when using the cash pickup service.
  • Delivery options. Send money for pickup in different ways, including cash pickup, to a mobile wallet, to a bank account and even for home delivery.

What to be aware of

  • High fees. As with most money transfer services, MoneyGram’s international and domestic transfers incur a fee. Fees are often higher when paying with a credit or debit card and lower when making a bank transfer.
  • Inconsistent exchange rates. MoneyGram’s exchange rates vary depending on how you are paying for your transaction and how it will be received. Pay close attention to the exchange rate to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
  • No hedging options. MoneyGram doesn’t offer recurring transfers, scheduled transfers or any other hedging too to help you save money.

How much are MoneyGram’s transfer fees?

MoneyGram bases fees on the amount you are sending. Fees typically increase around PHP5,000 and PHP10,000, sometimes doubling when you bump up to the next fee tier. Be sure to test a few different amounts for your transfer, as sending two smaller transfers may be cheaper than one large transfer.

Please also note that having the money delivered to a bank account is usually the cheapest way to send money through MoneyGram, while having the money available for cash pickup is often the most expensive one.

How are MoneyGram’s exchange rates?

MoneyGram makes money by adding a margin to the exchange rate in addition to any fees charged. These exchange rates may change depending on how you are paying and how the money is being received, so pay attention to the total amount expected to be transferred when deciding on how to send your money through MoneyGram.

It is best to compare the displayed rate on MoneyGram with the current mid-market rate to work out the size of the margin charged. You can also then use the interbank rate as a benchmark for comparing the rates of other money transfer providers.

How I can send money with MoneyGram?

Agent locations are in almost every country in the world. Take advantage of this network and send money in-person by completing the following steps:

If your recipient will be picking up cash in person, let them know to bring along a required ID.

How can my recipient get the money?

MoneyGram has several options for how your intended recipient can get their money. You can choose from any of the following:

  • Send to a bank account. Although slower, this lets your receiver get the money directly in their account.
  • Send as a cash pickup. You can opt for the funds to be picked up in cash at a MoneyGram location. The money will be ready at your chosen location in as few as 10 minutes after you’ve sent it.
  • Send to a mobile wallet. A mobile wallet is a place to store funds digitally, with actual wallet types varying by country and user preference. If your receiver in the Philippines has a GCash account, you’ll be able to send funds to their account. If you’re sending money to someone in Kenya, Tanzania, and Romania via M-Pesa, as well as to Zimbabwe via Econet, MoneyGram offers money transfer service direct to a mobile wallet.
  • Doorstep delivery. In some locations, you can choose home delivery as a receiving method. Your money will be delivered by a local MoneyGram agent.

MoneyGram pick up locations in the Philippines

Aside from the more than 10,000 MoneyGram agent locations in the country, your recipient can also pick up funds in any of these partner establishments:

  • BDO
  • Bank of Commerce
  • BPI
  • Cebuana Lhuillier
  • GCash
  • KwartaGram
  • Metrobank
  • M Lhuillier
  • Palawan Pawnshop
  • PeraGram
  • RD Pawnshop and Jewelry
  • SM Department Stores

How long does a MoneyGram money transfer from the Philippines take?

Your recipient can pick up your transfer at a MoneyGram location shortly after it’s completed during normal business hours. For bank account transfers, the money is available within 24 hours.

Is MoneyGram safe to use?

MoneyGram prioritizes protecting your banking information when you make a transfer. It has established a reputation for secure transfers with a number of safeguards.

  • Established and licensed. Founded in 1940, MoneyGram is a licensed money transmitter that’s successfully completed millions of transfers.
  • Tracking. You can easily track your transfer online by entering your last name and the reference number in your confirmation.
  • Secure connection. Using physical, technical and administrative security measures, its website is verified by Entrust, Inc.
  • Accountability. MoneyGram (MGI) is listed on NASDAQ.

Money transfer scams

MoneyGram has increased its fraud prevention protocols to keep customers safer. It does this by monitoring transactions, educating customers on the dangers of money transfer fraud and providing numerous resources to customers to report potential fraud.

Common consumer scams, according to MoneyGram, include:

  • Tax Extortion Scam. A person claiming to be from a government agency asks for money to cover back tax debts owed. To do so, the person claims you must send money or send a prepaid card to a “government account.”
  • Refund scams. A person claims to be working for a consumer protection agency and promises to help you get a refund from the agency, sent directly to your bank account.
  • Disaster relief. After a major disaster, scammers set up fake charities and ask for donations through wire transfers.
  • Foreign lottery. A person contacts you claiming you won a foreign lottery or sweepstakes, but due to international tax laws requires you to pay a fee upfront to claim your price.
  • Buying a vehicle. An online or newspaper ad for a vehicle seems too good to be true, and to secure the vehicle you must send a down payment before meeting with the person. Typically they ask you to wire money, which after being sent cannot be retrieved.

Fraud can be reported through MoneyGram’s website or by calling MoneyGram Customer Care Center at 80018550275.
More on money transfer scams and how to avoid them

What do I need to send money online through MoneyGram?

Sending money with MoneyGram will require a few documents and pieces of information, including:

  • Contact information. Your full name and contact information is needed. Additionally, if you’re transferring money from your bank account, you’ll also need your banking information.
  • Proof of ID. A government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
  • Recipient information. Be prepared with your recipient’s name and contact information. If you’re transferring to a bank account, you’ll also need their bank name, SWIFT code and account number.

How to track a MoneyGram transfer

Find your authorization or reference number on your receipt. To track, you can:

  • Use the online Track a Transfer tool by entering your last name with the authorization or reference number.
  • Contact customer service and provide the authorization or reference number to them, along with your last name, to check the status of your order.
  • Visit a MoneyGram location and provide your information to the agent to find out where your order is and if it has been picked up or not.

How does MoneyGram compare to other services?

If you want to see how MoneyGram compares to the exchange rates and fees offered by other money transfer services, enter the details of your transaction into the table below.

1 - 1 of 1
Name Product Minimum Transfer Transfer Time Transfer Fee
1 - 2 days
USD 3.99
Use promo code FREE to send your first transfer with no fee. T&Cs apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.

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Bottom line

When you need a money transfer sent fast, or to a remote destination, MoneyGram may be the choice for you. However, it is always a great idea to compare your options before making any transfer, as you never know how much fees and exchange rates may have recently changed. Even if MoneyGram was the best deal in the past, you may find that a competitor is now offering better rates to save you money.

Frequently asked questions

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