15 Best Money Transfer Services To India

Looking to transfer money to India? Look no further!
On this page, I constantly update exchange rates offered by different money exchange/remittance services to India, which you can make use of, sort by any field (exchange rate, fees, transfer time etc) and make your best decision to transfer money to India.

All the remittance/money exchange services feature USA to India exchange rates, so if you are trying to transfer money from other countries except USA to India, please consult with these companies before you make a decision, as the rates could vary.

But if you are transferring money from USA to India, this is a solid list you can trust on, as I personally keep track of it daily with updated exchange rates.

Related: 15 Best Remittance Services to India (Comparison)

Dollar to Rupee Exchange Rates From Money Transfer Services

Remittance CompaniesDisclaimer: Exchange Rates fluctuate and I cannot guarantee above mentioned rates at the corresponding services. Please check with the service before transaction.

These are companies that offer remittance services to India, i.e you can transfer money to your loved ones in India using these services, if you either have a valid ID or have an account with them. For example, banks like State Bank of India would need you to have an account with them. But 100% money transfer services like Western Union will need a valid ID from you (like Driver’s License etc).

Also read > How to send money from UK to India?

Exchange Rates

These are the daily updated exchange rates these money transfer companies offer. For example, when you send 1000 Dollars to India, and the exchange rate offered by one of the companies is 60, then your loved one will get INR 60,000 when successfully transferred (if there are no feed involved).

Fees

This is the one time/per amount fee charged additionally (on top of the money being remitted) by banks and other services mentioned above. For example, if you want to send $1000 and the exchange rate offered is 60 but the fees is $5, then you will have to pay $1005 and your loved one will get INR 60,000. $5 is the banks/companies usage fee. Some services do not have this fees but most do.

Minimum Amount

This is the minimum amount you need to send through any of the services above. Below this amount, the service will not accept money transfer requests.

Transfer Time(Days)

This is the minimum time taken by the company/service to transfer the money and before your loved one can get the money. 100% Money transfer companies like Western Union will ensure fast transfer, charging a fee while banks take more time (See table above).

Tips for getting best rate for money transfer to India

There are several ways to send money to India and there are several money transfer companies too, but making the best of it, requires some homework.

If you’re looking for ease of use and want to send money quickest, you could use one of the services like Western Union, which is probably one of the quickest ways to transfer money to India.

But if you’re looking at getting the best exchange rate, you need to play the “wait and hunt” game. That is, you need to first get an idea of all the fees involved by various services and companies. Then you need to ensure you are ready to transfer at any time by either creating accounts with them and moving enough funds to it. Then you got to wait and see how the Rupee fares with Dollar in the international market and how the different services change their daily exchange rates.

Most companies update their exchange rates every day in the morning. For example, SBI California updates it’s website everyday morning 7 – 9 AM PST and evening 3 – 4 PM PST for exchange rate updates. If you transfer money anytime after that, you can take advantage of the day’s rate.

How to get best exchange rates when transferring money to India?

1. Make sure you check the daily INR Rupees to USD Dollar conversion rate.
2. Make sure you send the money when the Rupee to Dollar conversion rate is highest.
3. Check with your remittance service whether you’re getting the exchange rate as at the time of sending money or receiving it.
4. Try to avoid services that offer the exchange rate at the time of getting money, especially if they have a time of more than one day, because the next day, rate can change.
5. Ensure that there are no or less fees involved/ processing fee. This will be additional to the amount you’re sending.
6. Check the exchange rates with the remittance service before sending. Do not take their oral confirmation like via telephone, but get it in writing/via their official website.
7. Unless you have an emergency to send money right now to India, do not use the instant transfer services. They usually come with a low exchange rate.
8. Some remittance companies have flat fees, but some have slabs based on amount you are sending. For example, 1% of amount sent or $5 for below $500 and $10 for $1000 etc. Check it and don’t assume the basic fee is applicable to you.
9. Ensure you have the right details of the person you’re transferring money to. Most transfer services do not reimburse money already sent for a mistake you make.
10. Try to send money in smaller chunks if you’re unsure about the rates, i.e if you think the rate will go up tomorrow. So, that way, if the rate goes down tomorrow, you still have another chance.

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What Money Transfer service do you recommend?

So, the big question everyone is asking is which is the most recommended money transfer service to India? Well, here is what I think.

There is no one single best service. It depends on what you want. Some people want best exchange rates and value for money, while some people want ease of use and just want to send money fast without bothering about exchange rates. Some people want to send money regularly to India, sort of like investments and paying bills, but some do it only once a while, so they don’t bother about the one time fees.

So based on these criteria let’s look at which are the best options for sending money to India.

Case 1: When you want to send money quick and fast (Ex: An emergency)

Let’s say you have an emergency and want to send money to your loved ones in India as soon as possible. In such situations, I wouldn’t bother about the exchange rates or fees much as all I want is to just make the money available for the recipient in India.

 Quick Money Transfer Services to India

The following services are great for quick and fast money transfer to India.

Western Union Money Transfer Service to India

western-unionWestern Union is a 100% money transfer service aimed at people trying to transfer money fast and easy without hassle for emergency purposes. They have a flat fee for each transaction and the exchange rates are lower than some of the other competitive money transfer services.
Western Union has two ways by which money is delivered to the recipient. Either by bank account or pick up by cash. If you have the bank account number and details of the recipient, you can submit it to Western Union and the money will be submitted to their bank account. This will take up to 24 hours.

The other method is when you don’t have the bank account details of the recipient. In this case, you just submit the ID details of the person, like Passport number and full name with contact number and the same person can pick up the money in cash from any Western Union centers near them. There are many western union centers in India, like post offices and other franchises, where the recipient can go show their ID and get the cash.

This is a fast and easy way to transfer money to almost anyone you know. Be mindful that Western Union charges a flat fee of ~10% for all transactions. For example, if you are sending $500, for the faster service (Money in minutes) the fee would be $50.

Also read >  What's The Best Way to Send Money to India?

Xoom Money Transfer To India

XoomXoom is yet another money transfer service that offers fast and easy service. And they are one of the reliable money transfer services to India. With tie ups with banks like Punjab National Bank, they have good service.

But Xoom too have fees associated with every transaction. For example, if you are sending $1000 to India via Xoom, the following are the different ways available, and based on what your payment source is, there will be a fee.

If you’re paying with your check, there is a transaction fee of $4.99, if with debit card, there is a transaction fee of $9.99 and if with credit card, there is a $9.99 charge.

Negative reviews about Xoom

Xoom_Transfer_Fees_RatesWhile we’re at it, I also have to tell you about some of the bad experiences about Xoom I’ve heard so far. The most common complaint about Xoom is that, they have repeatedly cancelled transactions after they’ve been processed and shown as completed in accounts. That is, there have been couple of instances where, after people have sent the money and received notification about money successfully transferred, get the shock of their life saying the transaction has been cancelled. And the most common reason they cite for canceling already successful transactions is exceeding monthly transaction limits. That’s right! Xoom has a monthly transaction limit for every person and they only allow you to send money within those limits. Once you’re over the limit, you have to wait for next month to start sending money again. So, in my opinion, it’s not a dependable service long term, but more like a short term emergency fund transaction service.

Case 2: When you want to get the best exchange rate and is not in a rush to send money

Most banks offer remittance service to India from their banks. Most of them require you to have an account with them and when approached for money transfer services, will start pitching you to start an account. Banks want your account and is willing to give you good value for money remittance services, with good exchange rates, but they won’t be as speedy as Western Union or Xoom type services. Following are some of the banks offering good USA to India remittance services.

State Bank of California Remittance Service Review

SBI_California_RemittanceI’ve been using State bank of California for remittance for some time now and have to say they are pretty neat! State Bank of California is technically a US bank but I think it’s more like SBI’s extension in the USA. They need you to open an account with them in order to start money transfer services.

Once you start an account with them (just like any other bank account, give your ID’s, Passports, Visas etc) you can add recipients for money transfer. It could be your own NRE account from India or other people (friends and family). This process will take couple of days to complete as you will have to give in your (or other recipient’s) account details and SBCal will show him/her in the recipients list. Now, you can add funds to your account and transfer money online to recipients already added.

The negative point is that you cannot send money to anyone you like. They have to be added as a recipient already and have to be approved (with the process above) to be sent any money. Also, their online website is not very friendly to use. For example, it will only work on IE and not Chrome. I had trouble logging online successfully and had to reset password a few times before figuring out that it was the browser issue. But their staff is super friendly and will give you an amazing service if you contact them directly rather than trying stuff on your own. And their offices are never busy unlike other banks. Every time you go in, there is someone personally available to take care of you.

Also read >  10 Websites To Send Gifts To India

Which bank offers the best USD to Rupee Exchange Rate to India?

Most banks claim that they have the best exchange rates, but only when you do a test remittance will you actually know the rates and possible problems. For instance, SBI California lets you send money to your NRE account in India but not many other banks lets you do that. You can send money to your loved ones but not yourself. When you send money to your loved ones in India, make sure that you are getting the best exchange rates. When banks promise better exchange rates than other services, ask them if there are any additional charges. Most banks require you to have an account with them or they’ll charge an additional fees or both. However, in some cases, I’ve seen that if you are a regular contributor, then sometimes if you ask, the bank is willing to waive the transfer fee for you on a one off basis. There is no guarantee on this one, but it’s more depending on your relationship with the bank. That is, if they know that you are a regular remittance user, they’d want to keep your business and if you compare other services exchange rates to them, they might be willing to do a one off waiving off for you.

However, from my experience, most banks give lesser exchange rates compared to independent money transfer services. It is always advised that you create a relationship with the bank, before going for higher amount remittances. Most banks offer undisclosed rates if they know your value.

SBI California offer good exchange rates compared to most other banks. What I like about them is that they give you the exact amount that will be in your account after transfer. This is different from the “indicative amount” as shown by other banks and transfer services. So, once you lock in on a certain amount before transferring, you can pretty much expect no delays and can be sure that the amount will be in your Indian account or your loved ones account.

Xoom, for instance is notorious for transaction delays and cancelled transactions, even after successful transfers. Banks on the other hand are more reliable, although their exchange rates don’t match up competitively.

Is TransferWise Good for Sending Money To India?

TransferWise is a while new game changing money transfer service that works on transparency and simplicity. They claim that their money transfer service is far more clear and transparent that banks that might charge hidden fees.

For instance, for sending USD to India, here is the breakdown of TransferWise charges.Transferwise_Review

For all transfers (Wire/SWIFT) from USD to India

For transfers up to $300, fee is a flat $3. (This is comparatively better to some other money transfer services as there are no hidden fees.)
For transfers up to $4999.99, the fee is 1% of the amount sent (so up to $50). Over that and the fee is 0.7%. (This is a high percentage in my opinion)

So, for a $6000 transfer, the fee would be 1% for the first $4999.9. Then for the additional $1000.01, the fee would be 0.7% making it a total of $57.

Now, compare that to all the other banks and money transfer services and you’ll find that the rates are higher. I sent a $1000 via SBI California the other day and it cost me a $5 fee. With Transferwise the charge would have been $10.
I’m not even going in to exchange rates here!


Hi, Mani Karthik here. Having lived in USA, India & Middle East, and worked for big MNC’s to startups, I have a lot to share with you. My aim is to help people, by sharing everything I’ve learned in life, through this blog. It’s read today by more than 150K people world over! I currently live in LA, California and visit India occasionally. Here’s my full story on who I am and why I blog. Connect with me on FacebookInstagram, Twitter or WhatsApp (+001-408-489-4785). Happy to help! 🙂

17 Comments

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  • What about people who are in US currently and cannot fly to India till next year? How can they get the 500/1000 Rupees Notes exchanged?

    • Mickey,

      As of now there is no information on how you can exchange but in the next weeks, either banks and foreign exchanges will start accepting INR or Govt. will open some kind of interim authorized centers that will accept the old notes. Stay tuned for updates.

  • This is a great article and I agree that one should check the INR Rupees to USD Dollar conversion rate daily. The other important thing that I have seen is a different money transfer company offers the best rates on different days. So I have accounts on multiple services but it takes alot of time to calculate and figure out who is the highest. Som charge fee some don’t and what not. So I use comparison sites to compare the exact amount I want to send. exchangerateiq.com is one such website that I found very useful. Checkout if you feel it makes sense.

  • Transferwise offers the real mid market rate as opposed to banks and most other remittance services. They do charge a fee but with much better mid market rates, the overall amount the recipient gets tends to be higher as compared to other remittance providers (and MUCH more than what you get if you transferred through banks)

  • i want a tutorial of sending money from xoom
    and transfer wise.
    i was trying but i can not send money every time it get cancel do you have any trick to send money

  • I’m also looking for the cheapest (new) way to send money. So far transferwise.com serves the purpose with free transfer service. Really worth trying once for transfers upto $4500 as saves money. I complain about money transfers as I am expatriate. Then a friend referred to a simple place to go for money transfers – transferwise and also comparison site like moneytis.com and compare remit. But best feature is minute by minute updated exchange rate which can be compared online and decided upon. For USA-to-India: Xoom (company) and Western Union are leaders in the online segment by far but not so good on pocket. Among “startups”, TransferWise and Remitly started supporting this corridor few months ago, but remitly has no exciting offer. Remittance setups into India are regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Hope to see more exciting offers.

  • I have done lot of research on money transfer services and tried almost all available services including Xoom, Transferwise. As per my experience, I found Placid Express best for money transfer to India and other Asian countries. It gives highest exchange range for every transaction. There is no transfer fee if you transfer from Bank to Bank account. They have weekly limit of $2400, but I think that is fine for most of us.

  • Out of the all the Remit services , the service which has impressed me the most is Remitly. Remitly has a neat and user friendly website. There is hassle free registration and you don’t have to submit a any documentation if you decide to stay in Tier 1. ( They have three Tiers and if you want to upgrade to Tier 2 you just simply have to provide them a government issued ID) .Currently Remitly has a promotion going on where you can earn $40 in Amazon gift cards. You can Signup for Remitly.

  • Remitly is fast, secure and easy to use with great exchange rates. I sent money through them about 6 times since March 2015. They have a basic locked-in exchange rate that is about 30 paise (0.30 Rs) higher than Xoom consistently, although it takes 3 days (time wasn’t a concern for me). There are NO charges for transactions above $1000 and one gets email notifications at every step of the transaction, from debit to credit. I didn’t have to submit any documents on first sign up, and after that, transactions are basically just 1 click. Enter amount, review amount and send. Simple as that!

    Hope this helps

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