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Sending money to Mexico during the coronavirus

How to get money to loved ones across the border without leaving your home.


Fact checked

Here’s what to know about sending money to Mexico while you are self-quarantining or social distancing.

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Is the border between the US and Mexico closed?

No. But both the US and Mexican governments are talking about a shutdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus across international borders. If this happens, taking money to family south of the border will become challenging — and sending money online to help them through tough times may be your best alternative.

How is the coronavirus affecting our borders?

As the US responds to the coronavirus outbreak, we are seeing key changes:

  • Global border restrictions. As more countries close their borders to limit the spread of infection, the US–Mexico border may follow suit.
  • Quarantine. Social distancing and self-imposed quarantines may limit your ability to send or receive money in person.
  • Shifting markets. The USD–MXN exchange rate has fluctuated a lot over the last month, making it hard to know when to send money and when to wait.

As our ability to move about freely becomes more restricted, consider sending money to friends and family in Mexico through an online money specialist.

What are my options to send money to Mexico online?

Transfer money online without the risk of physical contact at a bank branch or money transfer agent location.

Receiving methods Payment methods Speed ID required? More information
Remitly Cash pickup
Bank account
Credit card
Debit card
Bank transfer
Express: within minutes
Economy: 3–5 business days
No, but may need SSN
TransferWise Bank account Credit card*
Debit card*
Bank transfer
*Not available in Nevada and Hawaii
Card payments are usually processed within minutes No, but may need SSN
WorldRemit Cash pickup
Bank account
Mobile credit
Credit card
Debit card
Bank transfer
Usually within minutes Yes
MoneyGram Cash pickup
Bank account
Credit card
Debit card
Bank transfer
Usually within an hour Yes
Western Union Cash pickup Cash
Credit card
Debit card
Bank transfer
Wire transfer
Usually within an hour Yes
Xoom Cash pickup
Bank account
Bank transfer Usually within a matter of hours Yes
PayPal Bank account Bank transfer 3-5 business days to transfer to bank account Maybe, case-by-case basis
XE Bank account Credit card
Debit card
Wire transfer
ACH transfer
Usually same day Maybe, case-by-case basis
TransferMate Bank account Bank transfer 2 business days Maybe, case-by-case basis
Your bank Bank account Bank transfer 2–5 business days Yes

Mex$23 for every US dollar on your first transfer

Available for first-time customers only and on your first US$500 sent.

Last verified

Deal ends

What if my family in Mexico doesn’t have a bank account?

If you’re used to delivering cash yourself, a border slowdown or closure may affect your ability to provide for your loved ones in Mexico. Look to online alternatives.

Emergency cash transfer to Mexico

If you need to get money to Mexico now instead of later, expedite your cash transfer. Many online money transfer services offer delivery in as fast as minutes. Learn more about the limits and fees for emergency transfers.

How to send money to Mexico without a bank account

Cash transfer services can help you if you’re unbanked or marginally banked. If you don’t have a bank account, look for a local company that supports storefronts for cash payments. These services include agent locations in other countries that allow your recipient to pick up cash without a bank account.

How might border closures affect how I move money?

Within the first quarter of 2020, the Mexican peso has made great strides against the US dollar. But a volatile news cycle and its trickle-down restrictions on foot, car, cruise and air traffic mean this number is always in flux. Even a favorable exchange rate may not provide security if your workplace is on one side of the border while your home is on the other.

Considering the effects of the coronavirus on the global economy, it pays to stay on top of exchange rates and service fees associated with sending money between the US and Mexico.

Updated: 03 Dec 2020 18:18:34 UTC

Compare online money transfer services

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 1,000 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 0.816 EUR 4,079 Exclusive: Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally $5,000).
For larger transfers, get no transaction fees and no maximum send limits.
Go to site Show details
$1 Same day USD 0.00 0.82 EUR 4,101 XE offers fast transfers with no fees and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
$10 Within an hour USD 1.99 0.808 EUR 4,036 Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Quick, affordable transfers around the world with both express and economy options.
Go to site Show details
$1 1 - 2 days USD 40.00 0.824 EUR
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details
$1 Within an hour USD 3.99 0.821 EUR 4,099 Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Send to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

Bottom line

It’s trickier to send money to loved ones in Mexico at the moment, but you have options. Online money transfer companies specialize in fast, low-cost options for getting money between the US and Mexico. Be mindful of daily updates on travel restrictions, fluctuating exchange rates and the availability of in-person money transfer agents. To learn more about USD–MXN transfers in general, read our guide on sending money to Mexico.

Frequently asked questions

I can’t leave the house due a city lockdown. Now what?

Money transfer companies like Western Union and MoneyGram allow online transfers. If you’re used to sending money with these companies in-person, ask about shifting your account online. Compare other online options to make sure you’re getting the lowest fees and strongest rates you’re eligible for.

Is Mexico enforcing quarantines that could prevent my recipient from picking up cash?

Not as of March 16th, but the progressing situation means things are changing quickly. If Mexico enters a quarantine to protect its citizens, it may follow the example of many European countries that allow its citizens to leave the house for necessary errands, like grocery shopping or picking up a cash transfer.

Can I buy pesos now to send later?

Some services allow you to hedge your purchasing options and lock in a low exchange rate now for a future money transfer. Learn more about hedging options like forward contracts and services that provide them.

More guides on Finder

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