The Best Way To Send Money to India From the US

Byron Mühlberg, writer at Monito.com
Jul 24, 2021
Affiliate disclosure

Online money transfers from the US to India form a highly competitive market, abuzz with many services and providers. According to our analysis of search data from Monito's real-time comparison engine between November 2020 and March 2021, the money transfer services Wise, Remitly, and Skrill were, on average, the cheapest of all across tens of thousands of comparison results.

However, before you rush into any of these three, the first thing that you should aim to do is to determine whether you're looking for the cheapest option every time you send money to India or whether you're looking to sign up with one or two services who are on average (although not always) cheaper than the rest.

Once you know which route you'll be taking, the best service or services to suit your needs would then depend on how much money you'd be sending, as the amount you'd pay in fees would depend considerably on this factor.

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This guide only concerns transfers using online platforms. To find the cheapest service for cash pick-up, run a search on Monito's comparison engine.

Looking To Save on Average?

Are you interested in the convenience of signing up with only one or two services that are on average cheaper than the rest? If this is the case for you, our research has found that ⁠— in general, and regardless of the amount sent ⁠— opening an account with Wise or Remitly would be your best bet.

According to our analysis, if you were to send money with either one of these two services, you'd be picking the cheapest transfer option to India from the US more than 54% of the time.

However, there's more to the story yet. The services that are the cheapest on average will also vary depending on how much you plan on sending.

For Smaller Sums (< US$500)

If you're sending small amounts of money abroad, our research found that opening up an account with Wise or Skrill would be your best course of action.

More specifically, if the amount you're sending is less than US$100.00, Wise alone is the cheapest service 35% of the time. If your remittance is between US$100.00 and US$500.00, then Skrill becomes more affordable ⁠— this time, on around 40% of all comparisons we analysed.

For Larger Sums (US$1,000-2,000)

If you're sending a larger amount of money abroad, then Remitly becomes the more affordable service. For the amounts we analysed up to US$2,000.00, for example, Remitly was the cheapest service more than 80% of the time!

Take a look at our guide to transferring money to India with Remitly here to learn more.

Looking To Save on Every Transfer?

There's probably a fair chance that you're looking to save money on your transfers from the US to India, no matter what.

If this sounds like you, then we recommend that you make a point of checking our comparison engine before every transfer. That way, you'll ensure that you both discover the cheapest service in real-time and make considerable savings on your transfers to India:

Find the Best Way To Send Money Online to India From the US

What To Avoid

Our firm recommendation for those interested in cutting the costs on their transfers from the US to India would be to steer well clear of banks and traditional transfer services. These services include Money2India from ICICI Bank, Western Union, and even expensive non-bank entities such as PayPal (which is no longer available for transfers to India.)

Not only do these services charge hefty base fees, but they typically also charge hidden fees that are built into their exchange rates. These fees, known as exchange rate margins, are often not transparent and can clinch a lot of cash from the final rupee amount to arrive in India. (Read our guide comparing specialist money transfer services to banks here to find out more.)

Take a look at the graph below to get a sense of how much could save on a US$2,000.00 transfer to India by choosing InstaReM as opposed to ICICI Bank, Western Union, or MoneyGram:

Service

Exchange Rate (USD/INR)

Amount Received (INR)

Remitly

71.96

₹145,220

Go To Remitly

MoneyGram

71.9547

₹143,909

Go To MoneyGram

Money2India (ICICI Bank)

71.88

₹143,900

Go To Money2India

Western Union

71.3301

₹138,380

Go To Western Union

Quoted: 17/03/2021 18:35 GMT +01:00

Frequently Asked Questions About Sending Money to India

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