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Best ways to send money online

Our picks for the best services to use when transferring money to someone else within the US.

Sending money within the US? Best local services
Want to send money overseas? Best international services

Choosing the right service to send money online can save you time, money and headaches. And although your bank may offer transfers, it’ll often be more expensive than the other options available to you. Find the cheapest and fastest way to pay your roommate for rent with our hand-picked list of 5+ ways to send money online you can download right now.

Best services to send money within the US

Best for…ServiceWhy use it?
No frills transfersCash App's logoCash AppEasily send and receive money from debit cards and bank accounts
Socially interactive transfersVenmo's logoVenmoSend money with emojis and fun messages when paying friends and family
Fast transfersGoogle's logoGoogle PayCombines contactless payments, an electronic wallet and money transfer services in an easy-to-use app
iPhone usersApple's logoApple PayIntegrates with iPhones to seamlessly send money through Messages
Free transfers between PayPal accountsPayPal's logoPayPalPayPal is a convenient option for free domestic transfers, paying businesses and sending money online internationally.
Bank-to-bank transfersZelle's logoZelleSupported bank accounts can send and receive nearly instant transfers

Send money online within the US

Many free options allow you to send money within the US between bank accounts. Here are some of the most popular options for sending money online to friends or family within the country.

Cash App

Cash App's logo

What we like:

  • Straightforward app with no receiving limits and offers a way to purchase Bitcoin
  • Easy and fast to pay friends back

What we don’t like:

  • Instant withdrawals charge a higher fee than some competitors

Why use Cash App?

For users seeking a clean, simple interface and straightforward payment options, Cash App is high on our list. If all you want to do is send and receive money without social feeds or having to share your bank account numbers, this may be the choice for you.

Cash App’s fees and limits:

Instant depositTransfer limitsOther fees
1.5% (minimum $0.25)Send: $2,500/week
Receive: Unlimited
3% to send from credit card

Venmo

Venmo's logo

What we like:

  • Include emojis to make your payments more social
  • Fast transfers and non-restrictive limits for casual users

What we don’t like:

  • Instant withdrawals can get expensive if used often

Why use Venmo?

Venmo is a more socially-focused payment app that includes features like emojis, seeing payment history sent between friends and a clean user interface. Connect a bank account, credit card or debit card to make payments — but make sure to check your privacy settings if you’d like to keep payments out of the public eye.

Venmo’s fees and limits:

Instant depositTransfer limitsOther fees
1%Send: $4,999/week
Receive: Unlimited
3% to send from credit card

Google Pay

Google Pay's logo

What we like:

  • Integrates with other Google services like Google Home and Gmail
  • Easy to use

What we don’t like:

  • When paying merchants, you have to use your phone — no physical card exists to spend your Google Pay balance

Why use Google Pay?

Google Pay is integrated with Android phones, but can also be used through a browser and iPhone app. It works well with many of the existing Google Services, such as Gmail, Google Assistant and Messages. It comes with enhanced security and has the option for Two-Factor Authentication and sign-in notifications — must-have features for anyone who’s prone to losing phones.

Google Pay’s fees and limits:

Instant depositTransfer limitsOther fees
Free to bank accountSend: $10,000/week
Receive: Unlimited
Google Pay charges no fees for bank transfers, but your bank may — contact it to find out

Apple Pay

Apple Pay Logo

What we like:

  • Integrates with Apple services like Messages
  • Included on iPhones by default

What we don’t like:

  • Only accessible to Apple product users, making it awkward to try and set up payments with friends who use other brands.

Why use Apple Pay?

Apple Pay is integrated with Apple products, making it a simple service to use if you’re an avid iPhone user. You can add payment methods, pay merchants and manage App Store purchases all through Apple Pay.

Apple Pay’s fees and limits:

Instant depositTransfer limitsOther fees
Free to bank accountSend: $10,000/week
Receive: Unlimited
Apple Pay charges no fees for bank transfers, but your bank may — contact it to find out

PayPal

PayPal's logo

What we like:

  • Fraud protection covers the sending and receiving of funds for both domestic and international purchases
  • Free transfers to other PayPal accounts

What we don’t like:

  • Fees can add up quickly when you send money online to international destinations

Why use PayPal?

Transferring money for both businesses and individuals is one of PayPal’s strengths, and its network of global coverage makes it a good option for international users trying to figure out how to wire money online safely. Sending money domestically is free between PayPal accounts, but pay attention to fees when sending money across borders from a linked bank account. PayPal also offers money transfer protection when making purchases online from other individuals, something Cash App and Google Pay lack.

PayPal’s fees and limits:

Instant depositTransfer limitsOther fees
1% up to a maximum of $10Unlimited for both sending and receiving2.9% + $0.30 to send from credit card

Zelle

Picture not described

What we like:

  • Bank accounts that support Zelle transfers can send and receive money instantly
  • Uses your banking app so you don’t need to install anything else on your phone

What we don’t like:

  • Transfer speeds are slow for bank accounts that don’t support Zelle

Why use Zelle?

Zelle is supported by many major banks and has built a network that makes it easy for supported accounts to send and receive money with ease. If your bank supports Zelle you can use the transfer service through your existing bank’s app or online portal, almost always for free.

Zelle’s fees and limits:

Instant depositTransfer limitsOther fees
0%VariesNo fees

Bottom line

There are a range of options that can securely transfer your money from A to B while avoiding steep bank fees — be it within the US or internationally. The best way to send money online depends on your situation, how fast you need the money transferred and to where.

But there’s no need to commit to only one service. With so many options available, it pays to road-test a few first or keep several accounts at once. Checking the prices of different services before you send money online can help save money.

Our approach to helping you pick a money transfer service

Our users have diverse needs, so to find some of the most popular money transfer products, we investigated a variety of companies by comparing factors like fees, consumer sentiment, transfer limits and user experience.

All of the sending and receiving limits are based on the highest limits a user can unlock with each service.

Read more on this topic

  • Zelle vs. Cash App

    Compare Zelle vs. Cash App to see which is best for your next transfer.

  • Zelle vs. Venmo

    Compare Zelle and Venmo to see which is better for your next transfer.

  • How does PayPal.Me work?

    Learn how to create a custom link for your PayPal account and what you can use it for.

  • Cash App vs. Venmo

    Compare Cash App with Venmo to see which is better for your next transfer.

  • Venmo vs. PayPal

    Looking to send money? See which of these two options works better for you.

  • Google Pay

    Pay online, in apps or in stores using just your phone. Here’s how it works — and how it keeps your data secure.

  • Zelle review

    Need to send money at a moment’s notice? Zelle could be the app for you — especially if your bank is already a Zelle partner.

  • Cash App review

    See steps to sending money with Square’s Cash App, everything to need to know about safety, plus why it may have an edge on Venmo and Paypal.

  • How do I use Venmo to transfer money?

    Venmo may be easy to use to send money to friends, but is it safe? How exactly can you send or ask for money with it? Get all the info here.

  • How to use Facebook Messenger payments

    Exactly how do you use Facebook Messenger to send or request money? Is it safe? Find out what happens when you use the app to send money to someone.

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