Last Updated on by Lohanna Reis
International money transfers can be tricky if you skip those major transaction fees and bad exchange rates. To help, I’ve put together this article below with the best option to transfer (send and receive) money from the United States or Canada to India.
Pretty much anyone who lives in the United States or anywhere overseas has gotten stuck figuring out how to send money to bank accounts back home… without paying massive fees.
Luckily, sending money back to India (or to anywhere you are in the world) has become much easier over the years thanks to the internet.
But with the number of options out there, many are left asking the following question: what’s the cheapest way to send money from the United States to India and vice versa?
And that’s why I’ve put together this list of the 5 methods that I believe are the best options. Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- 1 What are the 5 cheapest ways to transfer money from the United States to India?
- 1.1 1. Wise (formerly Transferwise)
- 1.3 2. Xe
- 1.4 3. Remitly
- 1.5 5. WorldRemit
- 1.6 Cons of using WorldRemit to transfer money
- 2 Table comparing final cost of international transfers from US to India
- 3 In sum…
- 4 2 Best ways to send money internationally from Europe to India
- 5 In conclusion…
What are the 5 cheapest ways to transfer money from the United States to India?
Below, I’ll talk about the websites that believe to not only be the cheapest, but also the most trustworthy and easy-to-use options for international money transfers in general.
At the end of the article, you’ll also find a table comparing the cost of transfers for the companies recommended below and a cheap option to send money from Europe to India.
Remembering that the companies below work in several different countries and several different currencies. So besides sending money from the US to India, you can also send money from the United States to Nigeria, Australia, Pakistan, South Korea, Vietnam, Mexico, El Salvador, China, etc…
1. Wise (formerly Transferwise)
Today, Wise is likely the most well-known way to transfer money from the United States to India. But of course, it’s also possible to send and receive money from India with Wise (formerly Transferwise) no matter where you are in the world.
Wise grew in popularity thanks to its very low fees, which are much lower than traditional bank exchange rates. Because of this, it has become a common tool for people who live or work outside of their home countries.
One thing that makes Wise unique is that you can create an online Wise bank account, or a 100% digital account held right on the website itself. This makes transfers between countries and currencies very easy (and often a bit cheaper) since your two accounts are hosted on Wise.
With your Wise bank account, you’ll also receive a debit card that you can use in different countries. But keep in mind: you may still have to pay withdrawal fees depending on the ATM.
All that said, you don’t need to create or use a Wise online bank account to complete your international transfers. You can also use your normal savings or checking accounts in your home country and the country where you are now.
One final thing to know about Wise: they work with more than 50 currencies, making them a great option to use whether you are living overseas or just going on a trip abroad.
How to transfer money with Wise
To send or receive money from the United States to India is quite simple. All you have to do is follow these steps:
- Sign up for free with your email or even your Facebook account
- Choose the amount of money you want to transfer in your current currency so the site automatically calculates how much this will be in the currency of your destination
- Add in the bank info of whoever receives the money
- Verify your identity (normally for large transactions)
- Pay your transfer by local transfer, debit card, or credit card
- Wait for your money to arrive
Pros of using Wise to transfer money
- Easy and simple to sign up
- Trustworthy and reliable
- Often the cheapest option for international transfers
- No additional fees on international transfers
- Ability to make transfers in more than 50 different currencies
- Ability to create a Wise online bank account and use different currencies
- Ability to make transfers through the website or the application
- Ability to create business accounts (in India – not valid for all countries)
Cons of using Wise to transfer money
- May not be the cheapest option for large transfers (above $10,000 USD)
- It’s not possible to receive the payment directly in cash…you can only receive the payments from the transfer to a bank account
Who is Wise best for?
Given that Wise is so well-known and trustworthy, I’d say that Wise is a great option for anyone who wants to do a transfer from the United States to India.
The only exception is for individuals who need to make large transfers since the Wise fees may be higher than other options.
As soon as you land on Xe’s website, you’ll be met with a message stating they are “the world’s most trusted currency authority.” But honestly, although Xe is definitely a safe company, there’s no really a reason to be concerned about security with any of the companies recommended here.
Like Wise (formerly Transferwise), Xe also works with many different currencies, which allows you to transfer not only in the United States and India, but basically anywhere else in the world.
The biggest difference between Wise and Xe are Xe’s additional services. You can, for example, create an alert that tells you when the exchange rate between two currencies has gone down. Xe also has an area reserved for businesses, which offers currency data and payment APIs.
How to send money with Xe
The first thing that you need to do to send money with Xe is sign up. As with Wise, you can input your numbers to get a quote of your final exchange rate and fee total.
After you’ve done this, just follow the steps to choose the currency that you want to transfer and then add the details of whoever will be receiving the transfer funds. From there, all you have to do is wait until the transfer has arrived.
Pros of using Xe to transfer money
- Plenty of extra tools to help you find the best rates
- Option to create a business account
- Ability to access Xe via the website or an app
- No extra fees for international transfers
- Ideal for high-value transfers
Cons of using Xe to transfer money
- Doesn’t work with as many currencies as the other options on this list
- You can’t make payments directly with cash
- You can’t access many of Xe’s tools without creating an account
Who is Xe best for?
Xe is a very safe and reliable option for anyone who wants to do a transfer between the United States and India. Personally, I think Xe is ideal for anyone who needs to make larger transactions…especially businesses since the site has many tools specific to these types of transactions.
Remitly, as the name suggests, helps individuals process money transfers (or “remits”) remotely. The many options for how the money arrives at your destination is one of the top benefits of using Remitly. Unlike the other options on this list, you can receive your money directly in cash, in digital accounts, to a normal bank account, or even directly to your home through Remitly’s delivery service.
It’s worth pointing out that Remitly’s website isn’t quite as easy and intuitive as the other websites on this list, so it may take a bit more time to figure out how to use it.
And although we’re speaking strictly about receiving money from the United States to India, it’s important to remember that Remitly has a fairly limited number of countries that you can send money from. However, you can receive money transfers from basically anywhere in the world.
How to transfer money with Remitly
To send money with Remitly, all you have to do is:
- Create a free account
- Add in the info of whoever will be receiving the money
- Add in your personal info
- Add in your payment info
- Wait until the transfer has arrived
Pros of using Remitly for international money transfers
- You can track your entire money transfer
- Very reliable
- Competitive rates and fees
- Many options for receiving your money
- Ability to do transfers on short deadlines
- Cash pick up is now available in India as an additional delivery method
Cons of using Remitly for international money transfers
- Website is less intuitive than others on the list
- Works with a limited number of countries and currencies
- Fees and timelines vary based on the way you choose to receive your money
- Not possible to get a quote without creating an account
Who is Remitly best for?
After looking at all the pros and cons of Remitly, I’d say that Remitly is ideal for anyone who is looking for a more personalized option to transfer money.
If you need money to arrive in cash directly to your home back in India, for example, then Remitly is your best choice. Especially since they also have an “express” delivery option that lets you receive your transfer quickly and efficiently.
CurrencyFair is very similar to Wise and the process to use it is the same.
The only downfall with CurrencyFair is that it doesn’t work with as many currencies (Brazilian reais, for example).
Pros of using CurrencyFair for international money transfers:
- It’s a super cheap way to send and receive money from other countries – they only charge around 0.35% of the total value, like Wise does
- They use the official exchange rate (which is much better than the “tourist” rates banks use)
- It’s super practical – you can do everything online
- You can send funds to more than 18 countries, including those that use the Euro
- As with Wise, you can use CurrencyFair for your Business to pay suppliers or employees
- It’s cheaper and faster than doing international transfers with a bank
- There isn’t a minimum transaction amount
- Now they are also working with Indian Rupee (INR)
Cons of transferring money with CurrencyFair:
- It only works with about half the number of currencies Wise does
Personal experience with CurrencyFair: I’ve also used CurrencyFair to send money from the United States to Sweden, and it worked just as well as Wise did.
Here’s a quick video on how to sign up for free:
And how to do a transfer with CurrencyFair:
The last website on our list here brings together all the benefits of the options above: it’s cheap, quick, secure, and simple. Essentially, WorldRemit works to decomplexify international money transfers.
Like Remitly, you also have a number of options for how to receive your money, including more traditional options like having the transfer deposited directly into your bank account or sending the funds to a specific location where someone can pick up the cash. However, WorldRemit does not have a delivery service.
Another benefit of WorldRemit is that you can make your transfer via “mobile airtime,” which lets you transfer money from one phone to another somewhere else in the world.
How to send money with WorldRemit
WorldRemit works very simply, to transfer your money just:
- Create a free account
- Add your transfer details
- Choose the amount to transfer
- Add recipient details
- Pay for your transfer
Pros of using WorldRemit to transfer money
- Ability to receive money in several ways
- Ability to send and receive money from mobile phones in other countries
- Easy to use
- Ability to do transfers around the world
Cons of using WorldRemit to transfer money
- They don’t always have the best rates/fees depending on how your transfer is received
Who is WorldRemit best for?
If there’s one word to describe WorldRemit, it’s simplicity. Since there are so many options for transfers and how they are received, it really does make sending and receiving money abroad easy.
So in general, WorldRemit is for anyone who wants their transfers to be simple, quick, and have many options.
Table comparing final cost of international transfers from US to India
|Website||Value to send $1,000||Possible to receive transfer electronically||Possible to receive transfer in cash||Time until money is transferred|
|Wise||73.751,97 INR||Yes||No||Between 1 to 3 business days|
|Xe||74.440,33 INR||Yes||No||Between 1 to 3 business days|
|Remitly||74.470,97 INR||Yes||Yes||Between 1 to 3 business days|
|CurrencyFair||73.389,00 INR||Yes||No||Instantly or between 1 to 3 business days otherwise|
|WorldRemit||73.119,00 INR||Yes||Yes||Instantly (with “mobile airtime”) or between 1 to 3 business days otherwise|
*This simulation was done on November 11th, 2020, when the exchange rate of one U.S. dollar is 74 Indian rupees. Although this chart can give you a general idea of the costs of each website, it’s always important to verify the final exchange rates of the day of your transfer since they change constantly.
Once more, here are the 5 best websites to send money from the United States to India (and vice versa):
2 Best ways to send money internationally from Europe to India
If you are sending money from Europe (European Union and other European countries) to India, you can use the 5 options above. However, there are 2 other major options for making cheap international transfers from Europe to India: TransferGo and Sendvalu.
TransferGo is one of the leading companies specializing in international money transfers. It has been on the market since 2012, providing its services to countries around the world.
Users can make their money transfers quickly and simply to over 45 countries. In addition, transfers can originate from a bank account, a debit card and even a credit card.
One of the main advantages of this company are its varied transfer options. It is possible to choose the quick way, which will drop in up to 30 minutes on the chosen destination account.
The economic option, which will drop in up to three business days. Or the standard option, which takes about a day to complete. Variations in time and rates may vary depending on the country of origin and destination.
If you choose to use TransferGo, take advantage of this coupon: HMSESq
How to send money with TransferGo?
To send money with TransferGo, just follow a few steps:
- Create an account
- Go through the verification process (for transfers over £ 900)
- Set up your transfer
- Send money
Advantages of using TransferGo to transfer money
- Fixed and transparent fees, with no surprises when carrying out your transactions
- Several transfer options, diversifying the choice according to the client’s priorities (economy or agility)
- Credit card transfer option
- Great user reviews
Disadvantages of using TransferGo to transfer money
- Not available to send money overseas that originate in the U.S.
- You do not make transfers to more than one bank account
After all, for whom is TransferGo recommended?
TransferGo is great for those who like bespoke services. The different transfer options fit in the most diverse situations, in addition, if you need to make a transfer urgently, the quick option (30 minutes for the amount to fall into the destination bank account) and the option to transfer by credit card (where you do not need to have the money in your account) are very useful.
Sendvalu is a Swiss-based financial institution. It guarantees that your transactions will be processed within 48 hours, and if your transfer is not processed within this period you can claim a full refund of your money.
The website also has a fee calculator where you can run various simulations and evaluate in a fully transparent manner what fees will be charged if you make a transaction.
A great advantage of this site are the several payment options available. There are more than 104,000 payment centers available in 69 countries. It is also possible to make a direct bank transfer or use a debit or credit card from more than 16,000 partner banks.
In addition, in some places like the Dominican Republic it is possible to send the money and have it delivered in cash to the recipient’s home.
How to send money with Sendvalu
To transfer money with Sendvalu, just select the country you want to send it to. After that, just register and add the payment information.
Advantages of using Sendvalu for international transactions
- For each transfer they donate 10 cents to a social project chosen every month
- All shipments are made within 48 hours
- The company guarantees lower fees than transfers made by ATMs
Disadvantages of using Sendvalu for international transactions
- It is necessary to register to make a transfer simulation.
- It is not available in many countries compared to other options in this list.
After all, for whom is Sendvalu recommended?
Sendvalu is recommended for everyone who wants to make international transfers from Europe to the rest of the world with great rates.
Hopefully, the descriptions above of the 5 ways to send and receive money from the United States to India have given you a clearer idea of which is the best option for you.
As you can see, each company has their own set of pros and cons to consider before making a choice. But of course, it should come as no surprise that I strongly recommend getting a quote from all 5 websites above to see which gives you the best rate. It may take a little bit of extra time…but it save you a lot of money on your transfer!
If you have any comments or any questions about any of the recommended websites or transferring money in general, just let me know in the comments area below!
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