Andrew Munro is the cryptocurrency editor at Finder. He was initially writing about insurance, when he accidentally fell in love with digital currency and distributed ledger technology (aka “the blockchain”). Andrew has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales, and has written guides about everything from industrial pigments to cosmetic surgery.
MoneyGram's coronavirus response
MoneyGram is encouraging customers to take business online when possible. According to the MoneyGram website, customers should:
"Take advantage of our online and in-app services to limit unnecessary travel
Check with local agents for store hours, restrictions, and closures if you need to send money using cash"
Visit our step-by-step section of this guide to learn what information you need to send money online through MoneyGram.
Wide reach. MoneyGram has approximately 350,000 agent locations in more than 200 countries and territories.
Diverse transfer options. Customers can send money both online and in-person. You can pay using credit and debit cards, bank transfers and cash. Be sure to select the payment option that best balances your desired transfer speed with the associated fees.
Country and currency support. MoneyGram transfers can be sent to over 200 countries in almost 50 currencies. Some destinations support multiple currencies, which may help you save money on the exchange rate by sending through the more popular currency.
Speed. With same-day delivery available at many locations (subject to the holiday hours and compliance with regulatory requirements), your recipient could have their money in as little as 10 minutes during normal business hours when picking up cash. When speed is important, cash pickup is typically your fastest option with MoneyGram.
Delivery options. You can send money for pick up in different ways, including cash pickup, to a mobile wallet and to a bank account.
Rewards. You can sign up to MoneyGram Plus Rewards, which gives you discounts on fees every few transfers you send.
What to be aware of with MoneyGram
Low maximum limits. When sending online with MoneyGram, your transfer is limited to $13,750 per transaction to most countries. There is also a $13,750 per month limit. When you need to send more you can do so in-person from a MoneyGram agent location.
High fees. As with most money transfer services, MoneyGram's international and domestic transfers incur a fee. Fees are often higher when paying with a credit or debit card and lower when sending from bank account to bank account.
No hedging options. MoneyGram doesn't offer recurring transfers, scheduled transfers or any other hedging tools to help you save money. Hedging tools can help you save money when used appropriately to lock in an exchange rate for future transfers.
Inconsistent exchange rates. MoneyGram's exchange rates vary depending on how you are paying for your transaction and how it will be received. Pay close attention to the exchange rate to make sure you're getting the best deal.
MoneyGram's exchange rates and fees explained
MoneyGram's fees may vary between online and agent locations, but for online transfers the cost depends on:
Location. Fees depend on what country you're sending from and where you're sending to.
Amount. MoneyGram uses a tiered system for fees, based on the amount you are sending. For example, $1 - $50, $51 - $1,000 and then shifting for amounts over $1,001. Be sure to test a few different amounts for your transfer, as sending two smaller transfers may be cheaper than one large transfer.
Payment. Paying by bank is often the cheapest option, while paying by credit card will mean highest fees. Pay close attention to the exchange rate when paying with different methods, as the exchange rate you're offered may change based on how you're paying.
Receiving method. If your recipient wants cash the fees are generally higher, while receiving money to a bank account is less expensive.
Calculate how much your transfer with MoneyGram could cost
Choose your currency and desired transfer amount (maximum $10,000). Exchange rates change frequently, so visit MoneyGram's site to get a final quote.
Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.
How long does a MoneyGram money transfer take?
Transfer speed will depend on the amount of fees you are comfortable paying and how quickly you need it to arrive.
Fastest option — as little as 10 minutes
Pay for your transfer with a credit or debit card. When using a card, you'll pay a higher fee but your money will arrive in as little as 10 minutes. However, your credit card may charge a cash advance fee, further increasing the cost of your total transfer.
Cheapest option — up to 5 business days
Using a bank account to pay for your transfer is typically the cheapest way to send money, but is also almost always the slowest. For your first transfer through MoneyGram, you may have to verify your account, which can take four or more business days. After verification, your actual transfer may take an additional five business days.
How does MoneyGram keep my money safe?
After multiple legal cases, one in 2012 and another in 2016, MoneyGram has increased its fraud prevention protocols to keep customers safer. It does this by monitoring transactions, educating customers on the dangers of money transfer fraud and providing numerous resources to customers to report potential fraud.
Common consumer scams, according to MoneyGram, include:
Tax Extortion Scam. A person claiming to be from a government agency asks for money to cover back tax debts owed. To do so, the person claims you must send money or send a prepaid card to a "government account."
Refund scams. A person claims to be working for a consumer protection agency and promises to help you get a refund from the agency, sent directly to your bank account.
Disaster relief. After a major disaster, scammers set up fake charities and ask for donations through wire transfers.
Foreign lottery. A person contacts you claiming you won a foreign lottery or sweepstakes, but due to international tax laws requires you to pay a fee upfront to claim your price.
Buying a vehicle. An online or newspaper ad for a vehicle seems too good to be true, and to secure the vehicle you must send a down payment before meeting with the person. Typically they ask you to wire money, which after being sent cannot be retrieved.
MoneyGram is a massive global company that has been in business since 1940. A lot of complaints online are about fees and exchange rates, often remarking on how the exchange rate was different from what was originally presented. Because of this it is crucial that you always review the transfer before clicking Send.
What are all the ways I can send money with MoneyGram?
MoneyGram offers one of the widest ranges of ways to send money and ways for your receiver to get it. We'll go through each of them and what the steps look like.
Options for setting up a transfer
Online via MoneyGram's website
MoneyGram allows you to send money online to destinations around the world. To do so, you'll need to:
Register for an account, or login if you already have one
Select a receiving bank or MoneyGram agent location
Choose how you want to pay
You can also set up the money transfer online, but pay with cash in-store. Make sure to bring valid ID and enough money to cover the transfer if you choose this option.
Another online option is using Facebook. Find the MoneyGram Sendbot on Facebook then follow prompts provided by the bot. You'll need a Facebook account to send money this way.
In-person at a MoneyGram location
Agent locations are in almost every country in the world, so to take advantage of this network you'll need to:
Head to MoneyGram's website, where you can type in your location and all locations will appear.
Bring necessary documents: valid ID, receiver's information, and the money you plan on sending.
Pay for your transfer with the agent and collect your receipt.
You'll often be able to send a MoneyGram from a local convenience store, but it's always best to verify with MoneyGram's Find a Location tool before you head there.
Options for your receiver to get the money
Send to a bank account. Although slower, this lets your receiver get the money directly in their account.
Organise for it to be picked up in cash at a MoneyGram location. The money is ready at the location in as little as 10 minutes after you've sent it, dependant on the opening hours of the pickup location you've selected.
Send to a mobile wallet. A mobile wallet is a place to store funds digitally, with actual wallet types varying by country and user preference. Read our starter guide on mobile wallets as a launching point for further research.
Delivered right to their door. In some locations, you can choose home delivery as a receiving method. Your money will be delivered by a local MoneyGram agent.
Pay bills through MoneyGram. MoneyGram supports bill payment to utility companies, credit cards and more. Use the online bill pay search to find out if the company you want to pay is supported by the MoneyGram network.
What do I need to send money online through MoneyGram?
Sending money with MoneyGram will require a few documents and pieces of information, including:
Contact information. Your full name and contact information is needed. Additionally, if you're transferring money from your bank account, you'll also need your banking information.
Proof of ID. A government-issued ID, such as a driver's license or passport.
Recipient information. Be prepared with your recipient's name and contact information. If you're transferring to a bank account, you'll also need their bank name, SWIFT code and account number.
Payment method. A valid method of payment is necessary for all transfers. Online transfers can be paid for through a bank account, credit card or debit card. In person transfers you can also pay with cash.
How to track a MoneyGram transfer
Find your authorization or reference number on your receipt or in your email, if you placed an order online. To track, you can:
Use the online Track a Transfer tool by entering your last name with the authorization or reference number.
Contact customer service and provide the authorization or reference number to them, along with your last name, to check the status of your order.
Visit a MoneyGram location and provide your information to the agent to find out where your order is and if it has been picked up or not.
Does MoneyGram have a mobile app?
Yes, MoneyGram has an app on both Google Play and the App Store. The app makes it possible to:
Scan your card. Use your phone's camera to quickly scan your credit card, debit card and photo ID.
Log in using biometrics. Both face and fingerprint recognition can be used to log in.
Check exchange rates on the go. Current currency exchange rates and fees can be found in the app.
Share order details with your contacts. Sending key order information, like the tracking PIN number, to your recipient can be done with just a few taps.
Find an agent location using GPS. Use the in-app map to find agent locations based on your GPS or around the world.
When you need a money transfer sent fast, or to a remote destination, MoneyGram may be the choice for you. However, it is always a great idea to compare your options before making any transfer, as you never know how much fees and exchange rates may have recently changed. Even if MoneyGram was the best deal in the past, you may find that a competitor is now offering better rates to save you money.
Frequently asked questions
How can I see my transaction history?
When you log in to your account, any recent transactions you have completed will be displayed on your homepage and you'll also see a link that lets you view all. If you haven't made any transfers recently you will have to click on My Account and then Transaction History to view the relevant details.
What are the perks of the MoneyGram Plus Rewards program?
When we checked, MoneyGram was offering the following rewards:
Welcome Gift. Joining the program earned you 20% off your second money transfer.
Ongoing Rewards. A 40% coupon is available after every fifth money transfer.
Premier Status. After completing your fifth transfer you are upgraded to Premier Status and earn additional rewards which are occasionally sent to you through email.
Note: Rewards may change without notice.
Why is MoneyGram reviewing my transfer?
MoneyGram reviews all money transfers for compliance with know-your-customer (KYC) and anti–money laundering (AML) industry protocols, which involve knowing the identity of its customers, their financial activities and any risks they pose to MoneyGram's business. MoneyGram typically reviews transfers within a day or less, and will contact you directly if there are any problems with your transfer.
Can I cancel a money transfer?
Yes, if it hasn't yet been picked up by your recipient. To cancel a transfer, log in to your account and view your transaction history. There is an option to cancel specific transfers on the Transaction Details page.
In a nutshell
Instant transfers available. MoneyGram can let you send money to most places in the world in just a few minutes.
Able to pay with cash or card. You can pay by cash or card in person at a branch and you won't need to sign up for an account or wait for verification like you would with other online services.
Variety of delivery options. You can send money to your recipient's bank account, mobile wallet or door, or to a cash pick-up location.
Currency and country range. MoneyGram agents can be found all over the world – it has one of the widest reaches.
Low maximums. MoneyGram generally isn't suitable for larger transfers.
Expensive. MoneyGram will generally have higher fees and poorer rates than other money transfer services.
How does MoneyGram compare to other services?
Check out the table below to see what your transfer could look like with other online money transfer services.
Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.
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