- Competitive exchange rates
- Flexible transfer options
- Transfer to 50+ currencies
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.
Your options will vary depending on whether you’re in the US or abroad.
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.
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 Wise and OFX can often safely get your money overseas to California faster, with lower fees and stronger exchange rates.
Calvin needs to send 1,000 Australian dollars from Australia to his wife in Los Angeles.
|Bank||Money transfer service|
|Exchange rate||1 AUD = 0.721 USD||1 AUD = 0.746 USD|
|Transfer fee||$22 AUD or more||$5 AUD|
|Transfer speed||2–4 business days||Up 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.
Depending on whether you’re sending domestically or internationally, you’ll want to keep an eye on:
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.
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:
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.
What’s the quickest way to send money to the US from another country?
Most independent money transfer companies take two to four days to deliver your money, while banks will take slightly longer.
What’s the maximum amount I can send overseas?
The maximum you can send depends on both the transfer service you use and the type of transfer you’re making.
Money orders through USPS are capped at $1,000, although you can send multiple orders. MoneyGram has a per-transfer limit of $10,000 and Ria has a per-transfer limit of $2,999.99 with a 30-day transfer limit of $7,999.
Services like Xoom allow you to transfer up to $2,999 per transaction with a 30-day limit of $6,000 but can increase this limit if you provide more information.
How safe are international money transfers?
Yes. It’s industry standard for international money services to use 128-bit SSL encryption systems at a minimum. Many also are licensed with US financial regulators.
When processed through a reputable bank or company, your funds are safely tracked until in the hands of your recipient. And if you’re sending money internationally, federal protections are in place that require banks, credit unions and money transfer companies to, for example, disclose all fees up front and give you 30 minutes to cancel a transfer, assuming it hasn’t yet been picked up or deposited.
The Federal Reserve is launching its own instant-payment system called FedNow, advertising a staggering delivery speed of seconds.
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