Zelle Puerto Rico: Why It's Not Available, and How To Save Money With Alternatives

Byron Mühlberg, writer at
Jun 3, 2022
Affiliate disclosure

If you're a Zelle user, you probably know that it's one of the best ways to send and receive money right from your smartphone. However, if you've ever tried to use Zelle to send money to Puerto Rico, you'll probably have noticed that there's no option to do so.

Sadly, this is because Zelle is only available in the mainland US and, despite Puerto Rico's status as a US territory, the app currently doesn't support debit cards linked to accounts based there. This means if you want to transfer your money to the island, you'll need to pick a Zelle money transfer alternative. For most people, an ordinary bank transfer will be the best bet.

In this short guide, we look at why Zelle doesn't work in Puerto Rico in the first place. Then, we'll delve into the best Zelle international alternatives to help you make the best money transfer choices.

Why Doesn't Zelle Work in Puerto Rico?

Zelle is not only available in Puerto Rico, but in every country outside of the 50 US states. —

To use the Zelle app in the first place (let alone send and receive money via online banking), both the sender and the recipient must have US bank accounts. Moreover, this only applies to the mainland US, as Zelle is unavailable in US territories, including Puerto Rico (but also the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands).

How To Send Money to Puerto Rico

Instead of using Zelle, you can use the following methods to send money from the US mainland to Puerto Rico:

  1. Bank wire/ACH: If both you and your recipient in Puerto Rico have bank accounts, you'll be able to send them a wire transfer (which takes one business day) or an ACH transfer (1 to 2 business days) from your bank to theirs. You will probably be charged a small fee.
  2. Check: You can write and mail a check to Puerto Rico if you have a US checking account.
  3. Money order: You can buy a money order from the USPS and mail it to your recipient in Puerto Rico, regardless of whether you or they have a bank account.
  4. Remittance provider: You can use a remittance provider such as MoneyGram or Western Union to send money to Puerto Rico. This is usually the best method if you want your recipient to pick up physical cash.

Get the best deal on online international money providers by running a search on Monito's real-time comparison engine below:

Zelle doesn't work in Puerto Rico. Compare top providers instead:

Popular Money Transfer Comparisons on Monito

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