MoneyGram is a widely-used money transfer service, and in our review, we found that it stacks up well against the competition in some areas, and not so great in others. If youâre looking for a way to send or receive money quickly, MoneyGram is certainly convenient and hard to beat â but if youâre looking for the most affordable option to send money, however, MoneyGram probably wonât make you happy.
The company traces its roots back to 1940, with the founding of Travelers Express Co., based in Minneapolis. Travelers Express went on to become one of the worldâs largest processors of money orders and a key player in the electronic payments industry.
In 1998, Viad Corp (the parent company of Travelers Express) purchased a company known as MoneyGram Payment Systems Inc. MoneyGram Payment Systems itself had originally been founded a decade earlier in 1988. The acquisition lead the way for MoneyGram to become a globally recognized and well-trusted brand in the money transfer industry.
Keep reading for our full takeaway on MoneyGram.
Large network: MoneyGramâs sizable international transfer network makes it more convenient to send money to friends and family members around the world.
Multiple ways to send and receive money: One area where MoneyGram stands out from competitors is in how many options the service has available to send and receive money. You can send money online, from MoneyGramâs mobile app (see below for details), or in person at a MoneyGram location. You can pay for your transfer in cash, with a bank account transfer, via credit card or debit card. Depending upon where your recipient is located, he or she may be able to receive the funds in a bank account, on a mobile wallet, or by picking up cash at one of the locations.
International and domestic money transfer capability: This service allows you to send money within the United States and abroad. That option isnât available with all money transfer providers.
Thereâs an app for that: MoneyGram has launched a mobile app in the United States and 14 additional countries. The app makes it easier for customers to send and receive money from their smartphone or tablet.
Membership program: MoneyGram Plus Rewards is a membership program which rewards you every time you send money. The program offers you the opportunity to enjoy benefits such as:
|How long does a transfer take?||Many transfers may arrive in minutes, even to many international locations, but it varies. The actual time by which funds are available will depend on operating hours, regulatory requirements, destination and other factors, the company says.|
|Where can you send money?||Money can be sent to 350,000 agent locations in more than 200 countries and territories around the globe (including over 30,000 locations in the United States).|
|How much can you send?||For online transfers, send up to $6,000 for most countries per transfer. There is also a $6,000 maximum per every 30 calendar days.
*If you need to send more money, you may send additional funds in person from a MoneyGram agent location.
MoneyGram has numerous options for sending money, both in the United States and abroad. This makes it easier to find the solution which best fits your needs.
MoneyGram transfers are often convenient, though that convenience can come at a hefty price.
Moneygram fees may vary widely based upon where youâre sending money, how much youâre sending, and how youâre paying. Fees are generally lower if you use a bank account to transfer funds (U.S. checking accounts only). If you pay with your debit or credit card, fees will be higher. MoneyGram does allow you to estimate fees in advance to see how much a transfer will cost.
In an estimate using MoneyGramâs Estimate Fees feature, a $1,000 transfer to Ontario, Canada, was estimated to cost $19.99 if sending funds through an online bank account, $61 if sending cash from a MoneyGram location, or $95 if using your credit or debit card.
When compared with other competitors, the cost of sending funds through MoneyGram is often higher and may include additional transfer fees.
|Fees and Penalties|
|Transfers Within the United States:||Fees will vary based upon the payment method youâre using to send funds. If you are using a credit card or debit card to pay for a transfer, expect higher fees. You can use the âEstimate Feesâ tool to get exact pricing for your domestic money transfer.|
|International Transfer Rates:||Once again, MoneyGram fees for international transfers can vary based upon a variety of factors, including how you will sending the money and where you will be sending it. You can use the âEstimate Feesâ tool to get exact pricing for your domestic money transfer.|
Want to compare other options? Here are a few alternative money transfer services to consider.
The best perk which OFX has to offer is the ability to save money on many transactions. If cost is your primary concern, OFX may be a good choice.
Western Union stands out for its convenience and speed. With over 500,000 agent locations worldwide, it may be easier to find a place to send or receive money with Western Union versus another provider.
Although MoneyGram can sometimes be a bit pricey, it is still a decent money transfer option. The conveniently large number of locations and the potential for fast, same-day transactions can be helpful if you need to send or receive money in a hurry. MoneyGram also shines for people who need to send or receive cash without using a bank account or debit/credit card as part of the process.
If youâre not in a rush, however, an alternative option might be available at a lower cost. Because money transfer fees vary so widely based upon where youâre sending money and how youâre sending it, your best bet is to estimate and compare fees first. You can estimate fees with MoneyGram plus one or more competitors to see who will offer you the best deal for your specific situation.