Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own. Advertiser disclosure

Find the best way to send money to Japan

Learn how to send money to Japan from the US in our step-by-step guide.

Looking for the best way to send money from the United States to family, friends or businesses in Japan (or even to your own overseas bank account)?

Don't head straight to your American bank – compare specialist money transfer services instead. They nearly always offer better JPY exchange rates and lower fees, so for the same amount of US dollars you send, your recipient will receive more yens.

Of the companies we've compared, Remitly is among the cheapest, with competitive exchange rates and fees starting from $0. Need a really fast transfer? Wise (TransferWise) can get money to your recipient in Japan within minutes.

Best ways to send money to Japan from the US

The best way to send money to Japan depends on your payment method, how you want your money to be received and how fast you need it to arrive.
  • Online money transfer provider. When buying US dollars or yens money transfer specialists typically offer better rates and cheaper fees than a local bank.
  • Bank transfer. Bank transfers are an easy way to send money to Japan but they charge extra for the convenience and are often slower than other methods. US banks generally add a 3% to 6% markup onto exchange rates.
  • Cash pickup. If you need your money to arrive fast, cash pickup gives your recipient instant access to the money you've sent when they collect it from their agent location in Japan.
  • Mobile wallet. Essentially an electronic wallet service, mobile wallets allow users to store, send and receive eligible currencies using their phone, often with fees attached.
  • Home delivery. If your recipient may struggle to get to a cash pickup location, you may be able to opt for door-to-door cash delivery.

Compare the best money transfer companies to send money to Japan

Use our table to compare the best money transfer companies to send money to Japan. You can compare deposit and receiving options, fees and transfer speeds, then click the "Go to site" button when you've found the best one to get your money to Japan.
1 - 13 of 13
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
Wise (TransferWise)
Within minutes
From 0.41%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Instarem
24 hours
From 0%
New Instarem customers will get a special FX rate and zero-fees on their first transfer. Plus, Get $5 USD off your first $200+ transfer with code INSTAREM5 by Jan 10, 2024.
Instarem offers offers rewards on every transaction.
Revolut
Revolut
Within minutes
From $0
Revolut offers international exchange rate for over 150+ currencies and transfers within 30 minutes.
OFX International Money Transfers (Business)
24 hours
$0
Business customers: Send safe, no-limit transfers with no fees and competitive exchange rates.
CurrencyTransfer for Business
24 hours
$0
Increase business efficiency with zero transaction fees and same-day transfers.
Revolut
Revolut
Within minutes
From $0
Revolut offers international exchange rate for over 150+ currencies and transfers within 30 minutes.
Xe Money Transfer for Business
24 hours
$0
Save your time and money with Xe Money Transfer for business.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Currencies Direct (business)
24 hours
$0
Minimizes costs of international transactions and offers custom solutions for business clients. Currencies Direct may call you to confirm your transfer, so be prepared for a phone call shortly after initiating a transfer.
Xe
Within minutes
$3
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Revolut
Revolut
Within minutes
From $0
Revolut offers international exchange rate for over 150+ currencies and transfers within 30 minutes.
Currencies Direct
24 hours
$0
CurrenciesDirect makes transferring money abroad simple with bank-beating exchange rates. Currencies Direct may call you to confirm your transfer, so be prepared for a phone call shortly after initiating a transfer.
loading

Cheapest way to send money to Japan

Bank transfers are typically the cheapest way to get your money to Japan. Remitly and Revolut have some of the lowest bank transfer fees of the brands we've compared.

When you're hunting down the cheapest ways to send money to Japan, it's more important to look at the overall cost of your transfer. This has a couple of elements:

  • Transfer fees. While still cheaper than your American bank, some money transfer services charge either a fixed or percentage-based fee for making your transfer.
  • Exchange rates. Another way money transfer providers make money is to add a margin to the mid-market USD/JPY exchange rate.

Some providers may charge the mid-market rate but add fees on top. Others may have very low fees but apply a markup on the exchange rate. This means it is important to compare exactly how many yens your recipient will end up with.

Fastest way to send money to Japan

Many online providers can offer transfers to Japan within minutes, although you're likely to pay a premium for the convenience.

Here are some of the fastest average transfer speeds to Japan:
  • Wise (TransferWise) — within minutes
  • Remitly — within minutes
  • Revolut — within minutes

Actual transfer times from the United States to Japan can depend on several different factors including transfer amount, payment method and currency.

Safest way to send money to Japan

The safest way to get your money to Japan is to use a provider registered with the United States's industry regulator, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. All of the companies we've compared in our table are overseen by a local regulator and comply with the relevant laws and regulations in both the United States and Japan.

A great way to dive deeper is by reading our extended reviews of each transfer service and researching first-hand customer feedback on Trustpilot and similar platforms.

Large money transfers to Japan

If you need to make a sizable money transfer to Japan, consider using a provider such as OFX or Xe to benefit from its expertise in handling larger transfer amounts.

Using a large transfer specialist can have the following advantages:
  • Tax guidance. Large transfers to Japan may have tax implications for you or your recipient. A transfer specialist can help get you up to speed on IRS's latest advice.
  • Foreign exchange (forex) tools. Advanced tools such as forward contracts, limit orders and stop-loss orders can help you lock in the JPY exchange rate you want.
  • Account manager. Some money transfer providers assign a personal account manager who can help and advise you on your transfer needs.
  • Phone service. If you want to talk your transfer through with someone, providers such as Wise (TransferWise) and Remitly can give you support over the phone.

How to send money to Japan from the US

To send money to Japan, you'll need the necessary documentation, your recipient's details and a way to pay.

  1. Compare your options.
    Use our table to find a money transfer provider that sends funds to Japan. One may be better for cash pickups while another may suit a bank transfer. Once you've found the best one for your requirements, click "Go to site".
  2. Create an account.
    You'll need to give your name, address, contact details, proof of ID and method of payment.
  3. Provide your recipient's details.
    Enter your recipient's name and contact information. If you're sending straight to their Japanese bank account, you'll need the account number, SWIFT or IBAN plus their bank branch's address.
  4. Enter your transfer amount.
    Check you're happy with the fees, exchange rates and transfer speed, then enter the amount you wish to send. Double-check the total yens your recipient gets.
  5. Complete your transfer.
    Send your money transfer to Japan. Keep your transaction reference number safe so you can track your transfer. Your recipient may need it too.

Example: Sakura sends money to Japan

Sakura is working in the United States as a digital marketer and she stays in regular contact with her elderly parents back home in Japan. Her parents need some funds to help pay off a mortgage, so Sakura plans to send them $2,000 from the United States.

She decides to compare a bank and a money transfer specialist to see which one can save the most money on her transaction.

Bank Money transfer company
Exchange rate 1 USD = 142.34 JPY 1 USD = 144.22 JPY
Transfer fee $10 $2.50
Transfer method Bank account deposit Bank account deposit
Processing time 2 - 5 working days Next day
Amount received 283,250.57 JPY 288,081.99 JPY

The money transfer company enables Sakura to send an extra ¥4,831.41, which is transferred straight to her parents' MUFG Bank account.

How to choose the best money transfer companies to send money to Japan

When choosing a money transfer provider to send money from the United States to Japan, it's important to consider the cost, how you want your recipient to receive the funds and the turnaround time. Here are other features to review:

  • Exchange rates. Banks and transfer services use the mid-market rate to trade with one another. It is the best rate you can get. However, not all money transfer providers offer you this mid-market rate so compare the JPY you're offered to the mid-market rate and look for the smallest difference.
  • Transfer fees. Are you being charged a flat fee or a percentage of your transfer amount? For example, a provider offering to transfer your money to Japan for a flat or low fee might work out better if you plan to send a large amount.
  • Transfer type. Does your recipient have a Japanese bank account or is cash or cell phone top-up a better option? Each transfer type will have different fees. For example, instant cash pickups tend to be more expensive than bank transfers.
  • Transfer speed. If you need your transfer to arrive quickly, you can pay for an express delivery. Companies such as Instarem offer instant cash pickups but may charge more. If you're not in a rush, online money transfer services offer the best value and get your money to Japan faster and cheaper than banks.
  • Transfer limits. Find out how much you can send with each service. For example, Remitly has a transfer limit of $2,999 while Instarem allows unlimited transfers.
  • Discounts. Some providers may offer you a free transfer simply for signing up. Others may offer a discount if you transfer more than a specific amount of yens.

Is this a good time to send money to Japan?

Compared to a month ago, the US dollar is weaker against the yen. Currently $5,000 is equivalent to ¥724,730.00, whereas a month ago, $5,000 was equivalent to ¥751,985.00. That's a decrease of 3.62% over the past month.

But compared to a year ago, the US dollar is stronger against the yen. A year ago, $5,000 was equivalent to ¥681,875.00. That's an increase of 6.28% over 12 months.

What's more important, however, is where the strength of the US dollar against the yen goes from here – which is harder to call. But whichever way it goes, shopping around has the potential to get you more yens for your US dollars and can help you get the best out of any market conditions.

Ready to compare rates?

Get started

Frequently asked questions

Whether products shown are available to you is subject to individual provider sole approval and discretion in accordance with the eligibility criteria and T&Cs on the provider website.

Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Xe
Within minutes
$4
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Xe Money Transfer for Business
24 hours
$0
Save your time and money with Xe Money Transfer for business.
CurrencyTransfer for Business
24 hours
$0
Increase business efficiency with zero transaction fees and same-day transfers.
Xe
Within minutes
$3
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Instarem
24 hours
From 0%
New Instarem customers will get a special FX rate and zero-fees on their first transfer. Plus, Get $5 USD off your first $200+ transfer with code INSTAREM5 by Jan 10, 2024.
Instarem offers offers rewards on every transaction.
CurrencyTransfer
24 hours
$0
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
PayPal (business)
Within minutes
$0
Provides business solutions for small business owners in over 24 currencies worldwide. Try 3 months free of Spotify Premium when you sign up with PayPal.
Wise (TransferWise) International Money Transfers Business
Within minutes
From $8.16
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies, while saving up to 90% over local banks.
Wise (TransferWise)
Within minutes
From 0.41%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
CurrencyFair
24 hours
€3
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
CurrencyFair
24 hours
€3
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
PayPal
Within minutes
From $0
Use PayPal to safely send money and receive payments from around the world in over 25 currencies with just an email address or mobile number. Try 3 months free of Spotify Premium when you sign up with PayPal.
Wise (TransferWise)
Within minutes
From 0.41%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
MoneyGram
Within minutes
From $0
First online transfer is free.
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
OFX International Money Transfers (Business)
24 hours
$0
Business customers: Send safe, no-limit transfers with no fees and competitive exchange rates.
loading

Are you visiting from outside the US?

Select an option to continue

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and finder.com Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    AnnaApril 21, 2017

    Is it okay to write a check in dollars to send to a mom’s friend in Japan for funeral?

      AvatarFinder
      AnndyJuly 2, 2017Finder

      Hi Anna,

      Thanks for your question.

      Yes, you may send a check to Japan, although it is not a quick option. You can obtain a check from your bank or US Postal Service.

      Kindly note that it may take several weeks before the recipient can actually cash the check.

      If you want a faster option, you may consider any of the money transfer companies listed above.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

Go to site