If you need to send money to Chile, you can save a lot of money by comparing international money transfer services first, especially when sending large amounts.
This guide can help you find a more cost-effective way of getting funds to your family and friends.
Compare your money transfer options to Chile
The table below shows a range of money transfer services. Just enter the amount you want to send and the table will do the maths and calculate the approximate fees and exchange rate on the amount you're sending.
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How to send money to Chile in a few simple steps
- Choose your service. One service might have the lowest fees, but once you factor in exchange rates it's not necessarily the best way of sending money to Chile. Consider transfer times, how your recipient wants the money delivered and exchange rates.
- Create an account. You'll usually need to provide some form of identification, like your driver's licence or passport, and proof of address.
- Pick your payment method. Credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers and even cash-deposits are usually widely accepted.
- Choose your delivery method. This is how the recipient will receive their funds. You can opt to send it directly to their bank account, mobile wallet or to be picked up as cash in Santiago, Valparaíso and other locations.
- Enter your transaction details. You'll need to provide some details before confirming the transaction, such as the recipient's details, the transfer amount and similar.
- Review and confirm your transfer. Confirm all the details and make sure everything's in order, then confirm your transfer to send the money.
- Receive email/SMS confirmation. You'll receive an email or SMS confirmation letting you know that your funds are on the way.
How to compare Chile money transfer services
- Fees. These refer to the service fees associated with money transfers. Sometimes you can get the fee for your first transfer waived, which helps save money for one-off transfers. If a service says it has no fees, make sure you check the exchange rates as these can often be less favourable.
- Exchange rates. Exchange rates will often make up the bulk of the cost, especially for large transfers. The rates can vary widely between providers, but you'll typically want to look for as close to the current official exchange rates as possible. Factor the rates in next to the fees for an idea of the total costs.
- Delivery methods. Want to send funds to be picked up in cash? Want to send directly to a bank account or a mobile money app? Check for a service that lets you send funds the way you want.
- How long it takes. Bank account transfers will often be more cost-effective, but can take up to five business days to arrive. If you need to send money in a hurry, a cash pick-up can be ready in a few minutes.
- What the limits are. If you're sending a large amount you might run into maximum transfer restrictions. But if you're sending a very small amount, it might be below the minimums of a certain platform. Look for an option where the limits work for you.
- Customer service available. Check the customer service details prior to sending your money to make sure you know where to turn in the unlikely event of something going wrong. It's also worth considering which time zone the customer service team is based in and whether you'll be able to reach it easily.
- Reputation. Reviews aren't everything, but they do count for something.
Exchange rates explainedExchange rates describe the value of one currency compared to another. Because these exchange rates are constantly changing, it's possible to get more value for money by sending funds when the markets are in your favour.
What are the ways I can send money to Chile?
- Make a bank transfer. You can walk into your local bank branch or go online to see if your bank can send money to Chile. It can be convenient, but transfers are often slower and more expensive than other options.
- Use a money transfer service. Dedicated money transfer services typically offer some of the quickest and most cost-effective money transfers around.
- Send cash. If you want the funds to arrive as cash on the other end, you can use a service like Western Union or MoneyGram to send money to a chosen pick-up point.
- Mail a foreign cheque. Banks will often provide foreign currency cheques. You can make out a cheque in Chilean pesos and send it overseas. But naturally, this can take longer than other options.
- Use another platform like PayPal. Many money apps and payment services will allow international transfers, but additional fees can apply, the rates may vary widely and the value-for-money will often fall short of what you can get with a specialised international money transfer service.
Crunching the numbers: Compare two providers side by side
Not all money transfer services are the same. Sometimes you can save a lot of money by comparing options carefully, especially if you don't mind a slower transfer.
Here's an example of how two money transfer companies compare head-to-head with a $1,000 transfer to Chile.
|Money transfer service 1||Money transfer service 2|
|Exchange rate||1 AUD = 449.104 CLP||1 AUD = 470.405 CLP|
|Transfer speed||Within minutes||1–2 business days|
|Total pesos received||CLP449,104||CLP468,053|
|Receiver gets||CLP18,949 less||CLP18,949 more|
In this case, money transfer service 2 offers both lower fees and a better exchange rate than the other, which combines to make a total difference of almost CLP19,000. That's more than $40.
Emergency cash transfer to Chile
If you need to send cash in a hurry, such as if a travelling relative loses their wallet, it could be worth looking for the fastest way to send money to Chile.
Cash transfers are one of the fastest transfer methods and may be one of the only ways if someone is unable to access their bank account. They can often be ready to pick up within just a few minutes.
If you're sending an emergency cash transfer, it's important to consider the available pick-up points and make sure the recipient is able to get to one of them.
Sometimes you may have to pay more or use a slower option if it means choosing a more suitable pick-up location.
Tips for picking up cash in Chile
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) advises travellers to exercise normal safety precautions in Chile which means being cautious, especially when picking up or handling cash and in certain hotspots.
- Be mindful of hotspots. Muggings and robberies are frequent in urban areas and tourist areas, including Santiago, Viña del Mar, Valparaíso and Calama. Take care on public transport.
- Go during the day. Muggings occur at night, even in some of the more popular and busy areas.
- Don't go alone. If you're alone, you may be a more likely target.
- Keep the cash with you. Do not separate yourself from the cash. Keep it with you rather than putting it in luggage on public transport. Be alert of attempts to distract you from your possessions.
Cash pick-up locations in Chile
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