Domestic and International
including the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and Europe
The good news is there’s an overwhelming number of options when it comes to sending money in India or home to family from other countries.
Let’s make it simple!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which often saves you money too! 🙂 For more information, see my disclosures here.
Domestic Transfers Made Easy
To determine the best option for you, start by answering the following questions.
- Do I need to send a large or a small amount?
- Does the money need to arrive in cash? (many people in the rural areas don’t have access to bank accounts)
- How fast do I need the money to arrive?
For micro amounts, ₹5,000 INR/$70 USD and below, instant transfers via apps (GooglePay, WhatsApp Pay) and mobile wallets (PayTm, PhonePe) are fast and convenient. The apps are linked to your registered bank account and you need to set up a universal pin code for your transfers (UPI code). You can send money by simply selecting your recipient’s phone number and all transfers are instant with very low fees (free or below ₹5 INR).
For smaller domestic transfers, ₹10,000 INR/$140 USD and above, most banks offer instant transfers with very low fees (usually free if you’re sending to an account with the same bank; ₹5-₹10 INR if it’s a different bank).
Both apps and banks use the IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) method for these transfers.
For larger domestic transfers, ₹200,000/$ 2,000 USD banks are again a better and safer option. (The apps and mobile wallets have a limit on transfer amounts, and larger transfers may be flagged, leading to unnecessary delays.)
These transfers are done via the RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) system and take a couple of days to arrive.
If your recipient needs a cash payout, opt for an Instant Money Order via India’s registered postal service. The money arrives instantly and your recipient can collect it from the local post office.
$300 USD = ₹20,000 INR, $7000 = ₹500,000 INR
Transfers to India from the UK, Europe, US, Canada, and Australia are typically hassle free because India is a popular currency transfer corridor.
However the challenge is choosing the right service from your location to get the best deal in terms of transfer fees, speed, and customer service.
Another important factor to consider is safety and security, which we also cover below.
If you’re sending smaller amounts to friends and family, you may need the money to arrive in cash.
Typically, Western Union (link to review) was the number one choice for decades because their agent locations are so easy to find (over 500,000 locations around the world). However, Western Union’s fees can be relatively high and transparency is not awesome. In addition to this service standards earn them 3.5/5 on trustpilot which is significantly lower than many of their competitors.
But good news! 🙂
Now new services like TransferGo (review) (from the UK and Europe) and Remitly (review) (from the US and Australia) make it easy to send cash to India in as little as 30 minutes – with low fees and little to no hidden fees.
If you’re sending cash from the US and don’t need urgent transfers, RIA works pretty well.
If sending cash isn’t a priority but you’d still like to send a micro amount, PayPal (international) is an easy, fast and reliable option (though rarely the cheapest).
If you’re transferring amounts below $7000 USD and prefer bank-to-bank transfers, TransferWise (review) is an excellent option. Their affordable rates, transparent fee structure, and service coverage to send money to India they are hard to beat.
Another option to send money with affordable fees is CurrencyFair (review) – their P2P structure keeps transfer costs super low and often fee-free for popular corridors.
If you are in Australasia, Europe or the UK – TorFX (review) is a standout for exception customer service.
A couple of things to remember for those large transfers:
- Choose a service whose fees go down as the amount increases
- Excellent customer service, including phone support can be essential in the slight chance they are needed to help out
- Registered and regulated in your sending country provides added layers of safety and service (even better if they have a physical presence)
Keeping costs low and trusting there are no hidden fees is important but even more so as the amounts increase. The three mentioned are solid performers in all the important areas and they also get regulatory checks for larger amounts (like ID) out of the way from signup which usually means smooth, stress free transfers.
Need a quick overview and offers to save money?
To get the lowest fees do not miss the snapshot below.
For smaller transfers, if bank-to-bank or card-to-bank transfers work for you, TransferWise’s transparency and online service is hard to beat.
For those large transfers, OFX is our top pick as they have an office in London and the whole service is designed around making things work well while keeping costs low.
For “instant transfers” to your family in India, Remitly and TransferGo and recommended due to their low costs, speed and coverage of India and Europe.
For larger amounts ($7000 USD / ₹20,000 INR) – OFX is our top pick if you are happy doing business in English. Otherwise for larger amounts, if you need a service in Deutsch, Español, Français, Português, Italiano, Svenska – XE has great coverage in Europe and offer low fees and a great service as well.
If you’re looking for an affordable option that can be transferred “within minutes” to India from the US – Remitly (review) is a solid choice.
If cash payouts and instant transfers aren’t a priority, InstaRem (review) is another good option, with very low fees and transfers completed in a day or two.
For those large transfers ($7000 USD / ₹20,000 INR), you can’t beat OFX’s exchange rate, service and fee structure.
TransferWise is our service of choice for amounts below ($9500 CAD / ₹20,000 INR), with transfer fees ranging between 0.6% – 2% of the transfer amount, compared to 3-5% charged by other services and banks).
For amounts over ($9500 CAD / ₹20,000 INR), OFX and XE are great options, with little difference in exchange rates and fees (they’re also both regulated in Canada) with our top pick in OFX.
For near instant micro-transfers from Australia to India, Remitly offers excellent rates and a great service.
For transfers to your recipient’s bank account, TransferWsie is our service of choice.
For those large transfers ($ 7000 USD/$ 9500 AUD and above), OFX is hard to beat with its head office in Sydney which translates to an excellent service and low fees.
The only exception to OFX is TorFX which may be preferable if you prefer do business on the phone and have a dedicated person in Australia looking after your needs.
XE, OFX, and TorFX are all regulated in Australia, but only OFX and TorFX have offices in Australia. For large amounts, this can be a huge difference in customer service.
Regulated (see Safety below)
Size of amount ideal for
|0.6% – 2% of
mark up on
|See exactly what you pay here and compare
|Flat fee ranging
and $24.99 USD
|3 free transactions, use code ‘3FREE”
|Fixed fee + % of
|Get your first 10 transfers fee free
|Flat fee +
margin on the
|You can see what you will pay (desktop) or get the App for mobile – iOS or Android.
|Fixed fee +
margin on the
(up to 3%)
|TransferGo (opens a new tab use promo code “transumo” and all delivery options will cost zero on first transfer)
|No flat fee; only
margin on the
|Fee free transactions
|Flat ($15 USD)
fee + margin on
rate for all
|No Fees if you Register through Transumo
Cost is an important part of choosing a transfer service that’s right for you and the number one reason we recommend looking beyond your bank.
Typically, transfer fees vary based on the currency corridor, pay out method, how you fund your transfer, as well as transfer speed.
Making a choice based on what’s important for you makes the transfer process smooth and effortless.
Apart from cost, a money transfer company’s features and scope of service, including track record of customer service, is another important consideration.
Typically, online only services are great for people who are comfortable handling all aspects of money transfer online or only want to send small or micro-amounts.
But if you need more assistance, especially when you’re sending large amounts, phone support plays an important part.
Service track record is also an important measure of how much support you can expect if you ever hit a snag with your transfer (for example, transfer delays, unexpected account suspensions, producing additional documents).
In our experience, TransferWise is known for exceptional customer service if you ever hit a bottleneck and OFX is great for phone support for larger transfers.
How fast you want the money to reach is also an important filter for choosing the right service.
And heads up: speed also determines your transfer fees.
In most cases, you’ll be required to fund your transfer with a credit or debit card for same day or instant transfers.
Services like TransferWise build these card fees into their transfer fees, but your card provider may charge you extra if you go with WorldRemit and Remitly. But if you want to send money home urgently, it’s well worth paying a premium rate (that’s still lower than your bank).
All money transfer companies are licensed and regulated financial institutions and are required to adhere with many rules similar to banks.
Part of this means they often conduct regular audits to rule out fraud and money laundering, employ industry-leading encryption protocols to protect your data and money online, as well as conduct detailed verifications to stay within the scope of service and serve their customers better.
For sending small amounts, we recommend checking whether the money transfer company is registered in your sending country. For larger amounts, our suggestion is to opt for a service that also has a physical office in your sending country (this often also translates to excellent phone or in-person support with your transfers).