Need to send money to California? Know your options. | finder.com
California coastline in Long Beach

Send money to someone in California

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What to look out for when transferring money to a friend, family member or business on the West Coast.

Learn how to compare your options — including fees, exchange rates and transfer speeds — to find the best service when sending money to the Golden State.

What are my options to send money to California?

Your options will vary depending on whether you’re in the US or abroad.

Domestic transfers

Most major US banks offer free bank-to-bank domestic transfers (or waive fees for account holders). However, you’re limited to transferring cash from your bank account to your recipient’s bank account.

If your recipient doesn’t have a bank account or needs the cash more quickly than a bank transfer will offer, Western Union and Walmart offer fast cash pickups at thousands of locations in California.

Online options like PayPal and Venmo can also get money quickly to your recipient.

International transfers

Your bank will typically be your most expensive option when sending money internationally. Banks offer weaker exchange rates, higher fees and fewer options to send and receive cash when compared to other options.

International transfers is where an online money transfer specialist shines. Providers like TransferWise and OFX can often safely get your money overseas to California faster, with lower fees and stronger exchange rates.

Calvin sends money to California

Calvin needs to send 1,000 Australian dollars from Australia to his wife in Los Angeles.

BankMoney transfer service
Exchange rate1 AUD = 0.721 USD1 AUD = 0.746 USD
Transfer fee$22 AUD or more$5 AUD
Transfer speed2–4 business daysUp to 2 business days
Amount received in USD$721$746

For a transfer of 1,000 Australian dollars, an independent online money transfer provider will save more. Not only does Calvin save at least 17 AUD on the transfer fee, but his wife also receives $25 more and at least two days sooner.

How do I compare money transfers to California?

Depending on whether you’re sending domestically or internationally, you’ll want to keep an eye on:

  • Fees. Banks and other provider will typically charge a fee for its services, especially for international transfers. Confirm whether it charges a flat fee or a percentage of the total transfer.
  • Exchange rates. For international transfers, consider how close to the mid-market rate the rate you’re being offered is. You’re looking for a minimal margin between the two rates.
  • Transfer options. For domestic transfers, any bank or service will allow you to transfer money online. Independent services like OFX and World First offer competitive exchange rates and fees for international transfers.
  • Transfer speeds. Whether your transfer is foreign or domestic, the time it takes for your recipient to get your money will vary. If you need to send cash right away, compare options WorldRemit or Western Union over your bank, which is typically not your cheapest or fastest option.
  • Pickup methods. Most services offer bank-to-bank transfers; others will include cash pickups at an agent location. Know your options to find one that fits your needs.
  • Minimum amounts. Your best option may depend on how much you’re sending. For larger international transfers, you can often avoid fees with a money transfer specialist.
  • Frequency and purpose. If you need to send money at set times of the year, see if you can set up recurring payments to save on rates and fees in the long run.
  • Customer service. For those walking through a transfer for the first time, you may find it helpful to speak to a representative. Most companies offer a telephone number that you can call to speak with a representative or financial specialist to help walk you through your options.

Compare your options for sending money to CA

I want to send

to

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 0 3 - 5 days USD 0.00 0.867 EUR 4,337 Transfer up to $500,000 with no minimums and no fees. Go to site Show details
USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 0.867 EUR 4,335 No maximum limit, no fees and competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. Go to site Show details
USD 1 1 - 2 days USD 50.00 0.875 EUR
4,331
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details
USD 1 Within an hour USD 3.99 0.867 EUR 4,332 Use promo code FINDER to send your first transfer with no fee.
Send to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up.
Go to site Show details
1 - 2 days USD 0.00 0.866 EUR 4,331 Get live quotes on exchange rates and take advantage of no transaction fees with no limits on transfers. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Ways to send money to California

  • Bank to bank transfers. Quick and efficient, these wire transfers may incur higher service fees than an independent service.
  • Money transfer specialists. If you live outside the US, and independent provider like MoneyGram or OFX offers lower fees and exchange rates than banks can provide.
  • Cash pickups. While you’ll pay a bit more for a cash pickup, you have options that include time-tested standbys like MoneyGram and newer services like WorldRemit.
  • P2P services. Peer-to-peer services like PayPal and Venmo can get your money to your recipient without hassle in minutes.
  • Checks. If you’ve time on your side, checks are an option.

Emergency cash transfers in California

Sometimes you or a loved one is in an emergency and needs funds quickly — and in cash. Thankfully there are global money transfer providers with tons of agent locations that allow you to pay and pick up in cash, often within minutes. If you have a little more time, however, consider an independent transfer provider that can get you much lower fees and stronger exchange rates.

How to send money to California

Depending on your bank or service, you may need to sign up for a free account before you can begin sending money. Generally, you’ll:

  • Provide your recipient’s details. Their name, contact and banking info, if they’ll be receiving your money as a bank deposit.
  • Specify the details of your transaction. How much and what currency.
  • Review your transaction. Confirming total fees and how much your recipient will receive.
  • Pay for your transfer. Methods could include bank account, debit or credit card or cash.
  • Track your transaction. You’ll receive confirmation that includes a unique number or receipt for monitoring the progress of your transfer.

Need to make an emergency cash transfer?

Bottom line

When sending money to California, you have many options. If you live in a country other than the US, compare your money transfer options to receive the best rates and lowest fees for your situation.

Frequently asked questions

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US International Money Transfers Offers

Important Information*
XE Money Transfer

Transfer up to $500,000 with no minimums and no fees.

WorldRemit International Money Transfers

Use promo code FINDER to send your first transfer with no fee.
Send to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up.

World First

No maximum limit, no fees and competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.

TransferWise

Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MariaMay 29, 2018

    How much is the exchange rate for 1dollar?
    As i am planning to send money from Philippines to Los angeles CA.

    • Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloMay 30, 2018

      Hi Maria,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      Please go here for up to date forex exchange. Philippine peso is in the table in that page.

      Cheers,
      Joel

US International Money Transfers Offers

Important Information*
XE Money Transfer

Transfer up to $500,000 with no minimums and no fees.

WorldRemit International Money Transfers

Use promo code FINDER to send your first transfer with no fee.
Send to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up.

World First

No maximum limit, no fees and competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.

TransferWise

Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks.

Go to site