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Find the best way to send money to South Korea

Compare 6+ companies that can send money to South Korea from the US.

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Looking for the best way to send money from the United States to family, friends or businesses in South Korea (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 KRW exchange rates and lower fees, so for the same amount of US dollars you send, your recipient will receive more South Korean wons.

Of the companies we've compared, MoneyGram is among the cheapest, with competitive exchange rates and fees starting from From $0. Need a really fast transfer? MoneyGram can get money to your recipient in South Korea within minutes.

Best ways to send money to South Korea from the US

The best way to send money to South Korea 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 South Korean wons 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 South Korea 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 South Korea.
  • 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.
  • Prepaid phone credit. Specifically used to top up a recipient's prepaid mobile phone plan, prepaid phone credit is usually added instantly or within a few minutes.
  • 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 South Korea

Use our table to compare the best money transfer companies to send money to South Korea. 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 South Korea.
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
Within minutes
From $0
No transfer fees or FX fees for new customers in Latin America, Mexico and Pakistan making their first transfer.
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
24 hours
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
24 hours
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Within minutes
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
24 hours
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
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.

Cheapest way to send money to South Korea

Bank transfers are typically the cheapest way to get your money to South Korea. MoneyGram and OFX 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 South Korea, 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/KRW 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 South Korean wons your recipient will end up with.

Fastest way to send money to South Korea

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

Here are some of the fastest average transfer speeds to South Korea:
  • MoneyGram — within minutes
  • Xe — within minutes
  • Remitly — within minutes

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

Safest way to send money to South Korea

The safest way to get your money to South Korea 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 South Korea.

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 South Korea

If you need to make a sizable money transfer to South Korea, consider using a provider such as OFX or Dunbridge Financial 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 South Korea 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 KRW 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 MoneyGram and OFX can give you support over the phone.

How to send money to South Korea from the US

To send money to South Korea, 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 South Korea. 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 South Korean 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 South Korean wons your recipient gets.
  5. Complete your transfer.
    Send your money transfer to South Korea. Keep your transaction reference number safe so you can track your transfer. Your recipient may need it too.

Example: Minho sends money to South Korea

Minho is working in the United States as a software engineer and he stays in regular contact with his elderly parents back home in South Korea. His parents need some funds to help pay off a mortgage, so Minho plans to send them $2,000 from the United States.

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

Bank Money transfer company
Exchange rate 1 USD = 0.98 KRW 1 USD = 1.00 KRW
Transfer fee $10 $2.50
Transfer method Bank account deposit Bank account deposit
Processing time 2 - 5 working days Next day
Amount received 1,954.18 KRW 1,987.51 KRW

The money transfer company enables Minho to send an extra ₩33.33, which is transferred straight to his parents' Kookmin Bank account.

How to choose the best money transfer companies to send money to South Korea

When choosing a money transfer provider to send money from the United States to South Korea, 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 KRW 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 South Korea 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 South Korean 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 WorldRemit 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 South Korea 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 OFX 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 South Korean wons.

Is this a good time to send money to South Korea?

Compared to a month ago, the US dollar is weaker against the South Korean won. Currently $5,000 is equivalent to ₩5,000.00, whereas a month ago, $5,000 was equivalent to ₩6,608,000.00. That's a decrease of 99.92% over the past month.

Similarly, compared to a year ago, the US dollar is again weaker against the South Korean won. A year ago, $5,000 was equivalent to ₩6,072,500.00. That's a decrease of 99.92% over 12 months.

What's more important, however, is where the strength of the US dollar against the South Korean won goes from here – which is harder to call. Based on those two quick glances back, your US dollars might not go as far as they would have, so shopping around for the best deal on your transfer is key.

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4 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    SusanMay 2, 2019

    Hello! Is there a way to send yourself money in won so that when I get to Korea, I can cash it or withdraw it though paying any fees?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MaiMay 2, 2019Staff

      Hi Susan,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      You may want to check with the money remittance companies listed on this page if they can allow it as they may have limitations if the money sender and receiver are the same people.

      If your intention is to have Korean won when you get to Korea, you may want to check on our article and guide on Travel money guide: South Korea to check on how you would want to spend while in Korea.

      Hope this helps! 😊

      Kind Regards,

    Default Gravatar
    SuesApril 1, 2017

    I want to send US money via PayPal to friend in South Korea, but PayPal does not support the South Korean currency; so then my friend will receive US dollars into her PayPal account. Do these funds get converted to local currency when she transfers the funds from her PayPal account into her South Korean bank account?

      Default Gravatar
      ArnoldJuly 25, 2017

      Hi Sues,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Yes, it is possible. First, your friend must have her bank account linked to her PayPal account. After you send the money she will then transfer the money to her linked bank account (with corresponding fees) in order to withdraw the money.

      Hope this information helped.


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