How Much Does It Cost to Wire Money?
When a friend or family member is in need of some financial help, one way to get them the funds quickly is to wire it to them. Sending a check in the mail can not only take a few days, but can also be potentially put you in danger of identity theft. When you wire money, the other party receives it almost immediately.
How much does it cost to wire money?
- The cost of wiring money depends upon a few things: the amount of money being wired; whether it is instant (within ten minutes), same business day, or economy (within 2-3 days); whether the recipient will pick up the funds from a specific location or if it will go directly to their bank account; if the sender is sending the funds from a specific location or online; whether the sender is using cash or credit card; and if the money wire is within the United States or international.
- The cost of wiring an amount such as $200 within the United States will be between $8-$30, which means you are being charged between 4% and 15%. Online service such as MoneyGram will charge $12 while Western Union charges $8 for next day service or $12 for same day service.
- Increasing the amount of money being wired will increase the fees at a somewhat constant rate. For example, MoneyGram charges $12 for $200, $23 for $400, and $62 for $800. This falls in the given range of 4% to %15 as previously stated. These prices are for the cheapest wire transfers – the more services you add, the higher your percentage would be.
What are the extra costs?
- Some services charge more fees than just the wire transfer fees, such as a processing fee or service fee. Be sure to read the fine print when signing up for a wire transfer.
- Some services charge the fee to the recipient while others charge the sender. For instance, a wire transfer of $200 with a $12 fee charged to the recipient would result in $200 being sent and $188 being received. This still costs the sender exactly $200. A wire transfer of $200 with a $12 fee charged to the sender would result in $212 being sent and $200 being received. Check with the service you choose to see what their policy is.
Tips to know:
- Remember that wiring money is the same thing as sending cash. Once you send that money out, you’re not going to be able to get it back!
- NEVER wire out money to someone that you have never met, or haven’t done business with. Avoid sellers that demand a wire transfer, or an employer that says it’s part of a new “job.”
- Common scams that one should be aware of include lottery, sweepstakes, overpayment, relationship and mystery shopper scams.
- To learn more about these scams, the FTC has set up a page that is designated to those that want to prevent them.
How can I save money?
- Wiring money through your bank can be cheaper since it negates the need for a third party to be involved. Most banks such as Bank of America charge a flat fee for domestic and a slightly higher flat fee for international.
- Be careful of paying for goods or services through wire transfers, especially when the goods and services have not yet been received. Craig’s List and eBay have both been known to have wire transfer scams.
- Consider sending money through services such as Paypal. Paypal has reasonable fees and accounts can be setup within minutes, if one doesn’t have one.