We Know: All About Overseas Money Transfers

Why transfer money overseas?

Money is transferred overseas for many reasons. Travelers may need funds in an emergency, business transactions may require funds, relatives in another country may be in need of money for living expenses, students who are attending schools in other countries may need money sent to them.

How can money be transferred overseas?

There's more than one way you can transfer funds to other countries:

  • Bank transfers: These include wire transfers, foreign drafts, and checks.
  • Money orders: Can mail money orders or cashier's check through the United States Postal Service.
  • Cash transfers: Commercial companies will transfer money on your behalf.

What companies offer money transfer services?

In the United States, there are several companies that will transfer your money to another country:

  1. Western Union: Funds are transferred within 24 hours, with the exception of weekends. In many cases, the cash is received in about 30 minutes. You can have money transferred to another Western Union, to a bank account, or to a Western Union approved agent. You can send them money online or use your credit card. They also issue money orders
  2. MoneyGram: Using their eMoney Transfer, funds can be received on the same day they're sent. With their Economy Service, funds are received in three to five business days.
  3. Department of State’s Office of Overseas Citizens Services (OCS): For a $30 Trust processing fee, United States citizens who are experiencing a financial emergency can have money transferred to them by the OCS. The funds must first be given to the OCS which then transfers it to the United States Embassy or Consulate in that country.
  4. Your bank: Your bank can wire transfer funds on your behalf. The process can take from one to seven days.

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