Do you want to send money as a payment or to your loved ones but do not want to break the bank because of the fees? Here are some ways you can send money way cheaper than you would in banks.
US citizens can make use of Zelle to make affordable payments. Given that the sender and recipient have bank accounts in Zelle’s participating banks, they can send and receive money quickly and the best part is that: there are no fees. It is better for peer-to-peer transactions though, since people who use the smartphone app can only send about $500 each week.
Western Union offers flat rates to transfer cash to different states, cities, or countries. Your rate will depend on how much you are sending, where you are sending it to, and how fast you want the transfer to be. However, you will pay for an exchange rate if you want to send money abroad. Watch out for the fees before you use Western Union; while they can be good on some days, it can change at any moment.
PayPal is a well-established platform to receive and transfer money. If you want to send cash to your friends or family with PayPal, there are no fees to receive money, but recipients have to pay a fee so they can cash the payment. However, business and shopper accounts will have to pay more frequent fees, and international transaction fees will still have an exchange rate and are usually 1% higher. Therefore, you can use PayPal to send small sums of cash to friends and family to save cash.
If you frequently travel, then TransferWise is your best bet. Exchanging currencies a lot can burn a huge chunk of cash. Luckily, TransferWise offers “borderless banking” so you can easily manage your cash in multiple currencies. The conversion fees are small, and withdrawing from foreign ATMs will cost you about 1/6th of what it would if you were to use a different debit card. However, you only get about $250 free ATM withdrawals for the first 30 days. If you go above that, you will get charged a 2% fee, so it would be ideal for people who go on quick but frequent getaways.
Your Own Bank
Surprisingly, there are times where using your own bank account is the cheapest way to send money. If you are simply sending money to another person who has an account in the same financial institution that you will use, then there should be no problem. The same bank-to-bank transfer usually has little or even zero fees, so you may not need to find a cheaper alternative if this is the case. However, you may want to stay away from regular bank transfers if you want to send money internationally or use your bank to send money to a different financial institution.
There are tons of ways other than your bank to send money, but that does not mean they are all made the same. Remember the transfer methods above to choose the best choice for you.