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Review: Ria international money transfers

Send money to more than 160 countries, but a USD$2,999 daily limit means it’s not an option for large transfers.

By default we are always referring to Ria online transfers, unless otherwise noted. When specifically discussing Ria agent locations, we mean the physical, in-person locations found around the world. Keep in mind that Ria agent locations are able to set their own limits, transfer destinations and fee schedule, all of which may not align with what you see online.

Why should I consider Ria?

  • Fast transfers. It can take as little as 15 minutes for the money to be ready for cash pickup. This option can get money quickly to a loved one in an emergency, but check that hours of operation for the location you’re sending to work for your recipient.
  • Multiple payment options. Pay with a debit card, credit card or bank account for online transfers. Or pay with cash at a Ria agent location. Because different payment methods attract different fees, weigh the benefits of each for the best deal.
  • Diverse delivery options. Send money to a bank account, for pick up at an agent location or, in some markets, for home or work delivery.
  • Worldwide transfer network. With a network of more than 435,000 agent locations in over 160 countries, Ria is the third-largest provider of international money transfers worldwide.
  • Bank-beating rates. Using Ria to transfer money internationally is not only often faster than your bank, but lower fees means more money for your recipient.

What to be aware of with Ria

  • Maximum daily limits. Online transfers are limited to USD$2,999.99 daily or USD$7,999 monthly — lower than many digital competitors. Ria agent location limits may impose further limitations.
  • High fees for card payments. Fees vary depending on your transaction, but credit cards typically attract the highest fees. And agent location fees may differ from what you see online.
  • No hedging options. Unlike some of its competitors, Ria does not offer forward contracts, limit orders or any of the other tools you’ll find to lock in strong rates on future transfers. Hedging tools can help you save money when used appropriately to lock in an exchange rate for future transfers.
  • Inconsistent markups. Exchange rates with Ria vary depending on the country you’re sending to — anywhere from 0.25% to 3.5% on top of the mid-market rate.

Ria’s exchange rates and fees explained

Ria’s fees vary between online and agent locations. But for online transfers, fees depend on:

  • Location. Fees depend on where you’re sending from and where you’re sending to.
  • Amount. Different fees are charged based on how much you’re sending.
  • Payment. Paying by bank is typically the cheapest option, while paying by credit card tends to come with the highest fees.
  • Delivery. To send cash, fees are generally higher, while receiving money to a bank account can be less expensive.

Unlike many competitors, Ria offers the same exchange rate no matter how much you send.

Sending USD$500 from the USA to the Philippines

Home delivery is available for transfers to the Philippines, though it typically costs more than other transfer options. As of September 30, 2020, the cheapest option is sending from a bank account for either cash pickup or bank-to-bank delivery — you’ll pay USD$0 in fees. The most expensive option is paying with a credit card for home delivery, which costs USD$9 in fees.

BankCreditDebitCash
CashUSD$0USD$12USD$4USD$3
BankUSD$0USD$12USD$3USD$5
Home deliveryUSD$3USD$12USD$5USD$5

When we checked, Ria’s margin markup for USD to PHP was 2.4%.

Ria delivery options when sending money to the Philippines

If you have a friend or loved one abroad who sent money using Ria, you have three ways to collect your funds:

  • Cash pickup. Ria has numerous convenient pickup locations nationwide, such as the ones below. You will find a comprehensive list of Ria pick up locations on their website. You need to present a government-issued photo ID, along with the order number from the transaction receipt. The recipient’s name must be a complete match to the name in the photo ID presented.
    • BDO
    • Cebuana Lhuillier
    • M Lhuillier branches
  • Bank deposit. Ria supports bank deposits to major Philippine banks such as BDO. Make sure your sender gets your full name, bank account number and/or IBAN number.
  • Home delivery. The Philippines is one of the few countries where Ria supports the home delivery option. Make sure the recipient’s name on the transaction matches the name on the valid photo ID for the delivery to be completed.

How long does a Ria money transfer take?

Turnaround depends on how quickly you need your money delivered and how much you want to pay.

  • Fastest option — as little as 15 minutes

    Pay for your transfer with a credit or debit card. When using a credit or debit card, you’ll typically pay more in fees, but your money arrives in as little as 15 minutes. Your credit card might charge you an additional cash advance fee, further increasing the cost of your total transfer.

  • Cheapest option — up to 4 business days

    Using a bank account to pay for your transfer is typically the cheapest way to send money, but it’s nearly always the slowest. For your first transfer through Ria, you may have to verify your account, which can take four or more business days. After verification, your delivery can take an additional four business days.

Where can I use Ria?

Ria is available in more than 160 countries through over 435,000 agent locations.

Ria offices are available in:

  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Kosovo
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Puerto Rico
  • Senegal
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Sweden
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Online transfers are available to residents sending from:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Spain
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Ria money transfer reviews

Most online complaints we saw target the customer service and wait times on the phone. Other complaints discussed the fees charged at Ria agent locations that differ from prices quoted online. Ria lists this possibility on its website, but you can easily miss this note while getting a price quote. You can find answers to other questions in Ria’s extensive FAQ section, or contact the company by email, phone or social media.

Trustpilot4.4 out of 5 — based on 5,202 customer reviews
CompareRemit2.7 out of 5 — based on 679 customer reviews
BBB ratingA+ — based on BBB’s internal rating system
Monito5.8 out of 10 — based on staff reviews
NerdWallet4 out of 5 — based on staff reviews
Finder.com3 out of 5 — based on staff reviews

A subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide, Ria is the third-largest money transfer service in the world. Ria is headquartered in Buena Park, California, and sends money throughout North and Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe. In 2014, the company paired with Walmart to launch Walmart-2-Walmart for domestic in-person transfers.

How does Ria keep my money safe?

Ria Money Transfer has been in operation since 1987 and is a global company that serves millions of customers. It partners with large brands like Walmart, and it uses many security features to keep your data and money safe:

  • Identity verification. Suspicious activity such as logging in from various IP addresses and sending money to many diverse locations may trigger flags to help protect your account.
  • 24/7 Security Experts. A security team works around the clock to monitor transactions for suspicious activity.
  • Only storing the necessary data. Ria doesn’t store credit or debit card information on its servers, which means your card information can’t be stolen if Ria is hacked.

How do I send money through Ria?

Six steps to sending money online:

  1. Specify how much you’d like to send and where you’d like to transfer your funds to.
  2. Select whether you’ll pay for your transfer by debit card, credit card or bank account.
  3. Confirm the transaction summary that details the exchange rate and fees that apply to your transfer.
  4. Enter your recipient’s full name, email address and phone number.
  5. Select how you’d like your money delivered: bank deposit, cash pickup or courier delivery, if available in your recipient’s country.
  6. Transfer your funds around the world.

What’s needed to transfer cash online through Ria

To transfer cash online through Ria, you’ll need:

  • A Ria account. Create a free account as you’re setting up your transaction for an online transfer.
  • Valid payment. Ria accepts payment by bank account, debit card and credit card.
  • Valid ID. A government-issued ID may be required while creating your account or sending a transfer at a Ria agent location.
  • Recipient’s name and contact information. The name on the transfer must match their government-issued ID.
  • Recipient’s bank account information. If you’re transferring money to their bank account, you’ll need both their account and routing numbers.
  • Your contact and banking information. That includes the account or card number and security information for the account you’re transferring from.

How to track a Ria money transfer

Go to the Ria tracking page to confirm the progress of your transfer. Here you’ll enter your order number, PIN or reference number. You’ll also enter the sender’s date of birth and the recipient’s country. You can track online and at Ria agent location money transfers this way.

Ria’s tracking number is 12 digits and is called the Order Pin.

Does Ria have a mobile app?

Ria Money Transfer Mobile App
Ria Money Transfers has an app on both Google Play and the App Store. The app makes it possible to:
  • Send again. Repeat a previous transfer by selecting it from your activity list in the app.
  • Log in using biometrics. Both face and fingerprint recognition can be used to log in.
  • Share order details. Sending key order information like the tracking PIN number to your recipient can be done with just a few taps.
  • Find an agent location. Use the in-app map to find agent locations based on your GPS or around the world.
Reviews accurate as of September 30, 2020
Google Play Store4.1 out of 5 — based on 2,624 customer reviews
Apple App Store3.5 out of 5 — based on 742 customer reviews

How does Ria compare to other services?

Name Product Minimum Transfer Transfer Time Transfer Fee
WorldRemit
PHP 1
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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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Ria is a straightforward option to send money all over the world. It offers clear fees, decently low markups on the mid-market rate and secure transfers to its customers. Digital competitors like XE and OFX often offer lower fees and stronger rates, but those specialists may not offer cash pickup at more than 435,000 locations. Ria offers a host of benefits and simple, secure transfers to its customers.

However, to make sure you get the best deal available, compare Ria with other money transfer providers the next time you need to send money overseas.

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