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No matter where you live, transferring money to someone in another country can be an expensive and complicated process, especially if they don’t have an active bank account. Luckily, MoneyGram is the second-largest money transfer business in the world and they can help you easily send funds internationally to recipients in over 200 different countries and territories. 

You can also use the MoneyGram website or mobile app in 20 of those countries and transfer money through online banking, as well as with your debit or credit card. If you prefer to visit an actual terminal or customer service agent with cash, they have more than 350,000 physical locations globally. 

How Much Money Can You Transfer Through MoneyGram?

Although conditions may vary depending on where you live and what currency you’re sending, MoneyGram generally allows you to transfer $1 – $990 Canadian Dollars (CAD) to the country of your choosing. It’s important to note that you can transfer larger amounts via wire transfer if you choose to go with a bank financial institution. 

That said, they may allow you to transfer up to $10,000 USD within certain countries, as long as you’re willing to deal with some extra paperwork, restrictions, and service costs. However, depending on the circumstances, a larger amount might have to be divided into multiple payments, each costing a separate service charge. 

Does MoneyGram Charge Service Fees? 

Perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks to transferring money through MoneyGram is that you’ll have to pay some pretty hefty service fees. The overall cost of your fees will vary based on the amount you’re transferring, how and where you’re performing the transaction, and what country or territory you’re sending it to.

For instance, you might only pay around $11 if you send a bank transfer online to another valid bank account. However, that fee can shoot up to over $30 if you’re paying by debit or credit card and the recipient is doing a cash pickup on the other side. 

Service fees may be even higher if you use a MoneyGram terminal or visit one of their agent locations, especially if you’re transferring more than $900 to a country with a bad exchange rate, wherein they may charge you 2% or more of the total transfer amount. 

Can you transfer money from a credit card to a bank account? Find out here.

What Exchange Rates Does MoneyGram Charge?

Another variable cost that you’ll encounter if you do a MoneyGram transfer is the margin they charge on their exchange rates which, sadly enough, aren’t as competitive as other money transfer services or financial institutions. 

In fact, MoneyGram typically charges a rate of around 5% (possibly more) above the mid-market exchange rate. Again, your own rate will fluctuate according to what country or territory you’re sending the money to and from.  

What Transfer/Payment Methods Does MoneyGram Accept?

As previously mentioned, there are several ways that you can transfer money through MoneyGram, as well as deal with any associated costs. One of the cheaper methods is to create an account online and fill out the proper forms, during which you must give them certain details, such as:

  • How much you’d like to send and where you’re transferring to
  • Your bank account information and personal data
  • Your recipient’s personal and financial information
  • How your recipient will collect the money (cash pickup, bank transfer, etc.)   

Once that’s done, you simply have to agree to MoneyGram’s terms, conditions, and service costs, then pay via credit card, debit card, or straight from your bank account. You can also complete the online process, then select “cash at location” and make your payment within 48-hours at one of their agent locations (make sure to bring a piece of government identification).  

If you prefer not to create an online account, you can just visit a MoneyGram location near you, where you can once again pay by credit, debit, or cash. Thankfully, these same conditions will apply if you’re the recipient of the transfer and the whole process can even be done at your local Canada Post office.

Should the recipient decide to collect their funds at a MoneyGram outlet, they’ll usually be able to do so within a few minutes, whereas it can take several hours or business days if the transfer is large, sent to an area with different laws or regulations, or if it’s a direct bank deposit.  

Is MoneyGram A Safe Money Transfer Company To Use?

Despite all this new knowledge, it can still be difficult to decide whether it’s better to send money internationally through your bank, credit union, or using a money transfer business like MoneyGram. 

After all, traditional banking often allows you to send larger amounts of money to just as many parts of the world, at similar fees and exchange rates as the average money transfer company. Not to mention that your transaction would be relatively safe, especially with a big-name bank that has good security protocols.

Nonetheless, MoneyGram is the second-largest money transfer company in the world next to Western Union and its service points are not restricted to typical banking locations. Although their conditions, fees, and rates may not be the best, they are a fully licensed and authorized organization that’s been in business for more than 80 years.

What Are The Benefits and Drawbacks Of A MoneyGram Transfer? 

Your financial situation is important and so is the way you transfer your money abroad. As such, it’s essential to weigh the various pros and cons of the institution that you’re thinking of choosing, even if they are a long-standing company like MoneyGram. 

Benefits

  • Services can be accessed in over 200 countries and territories globally
  • Money is available in more than 50 different currencies
  • Certain types of transfers can be processed and collected within minutes
  • A variety of payment and collection methods are available
  • Recipients can collect funds even if they don’t have a bank account 
  • Online options and service conditions/fees are easy to understand
  • Cash is accepted at all agent locations
  • They also offer money orders, bill payments, and prepaid mobile phone top-ups
  • Exchange rates are guaranteed   

Drawbacks

  • Large transfers can take numerous business days to go through
  • Customers cannot transfer more than $10,000
  • Exchange rates are variable and may be too high to afford
  • Many different administrative fees are included in the final cost
  • Customer service reviews are not the greatest 

Bottom Line

For those looking to transfer a small to medium amount of money to a friend or family member in another country, MoneyGram is a safe and effective option. As with any financial decision, always make sure you check out all the options available to you and choose the one that best suits your needs. 

Bryan Daly avatar on Loans Canada
Bryan Daly

Bryan is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University. He has been writing for Loans Canada for five years, covering all things related to personal finance, and aims to pursue the craft of professional writing for many years to come. In his spare time, he maintains a passion for editing, writing screenplays, staying fit, and travelling the world in search of the coolest sights our planet has to offer.

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