The internet has expanded the number of ways to transfer money between two people anywhere in the world. However, convenience is why most people opt to visit a MoneyGram or Western Union location. People who don’t have bank accounts or Internet access generally use these services, but they pay substantially more in fees than someone who sends money through an online-only service provider.
Located inside most Walmarts around the country, MoneyGram is convenient for everyone who lives near one of these stores. The fees for sending and receiving money might vary at some locations. The fees are also different if you choose to send money online rather than in person.
For example, if you want to send $100 from a MoneyGram location to another MoneyGram agent within the U.S., you will pay about $11.50 in fees. If you choose to send money online, you’re looking at paying between $10 and $16. Same-day service costs more than the usual three-day transfer rate.
Western Union has been around since the mid-1800s, so it has a respectable reputation. The fees are similar to MoneyGram. If you want to send $100 cash from a Western Union agent to another agent within the U.S., expect to pay about $12. If you send $100 from the Western Union website to an agent location, you will pay $17 in fees.
Online Alternatives for Money Transfers
Dwolla is like PayPal, but with fewer fees. Users can create a free account online and connect their bank accounts to the Dwolla account. Using a smartphone or computer, you can send and receive money to other Dwolla users for only 25 cents per transaction, paid by the sender or receiver. It doesn’t have the extra merchant features offered by PayPal, but it’s great for casual consumers who want to transfer money quickly without too many fees.
Moneybookers is a popular alternative to PayPal. Once you sign up for a free account, you can send money to and from other Moneybooker users. It costs 50 cents to send money, and it’s free to receive money from a Moneybookers user. Withdrawal fees are $1.80 per transaction. These fees only apply to domestic transfers (within the U.S.).
PayPal is almost a household name now. Even though it started as a way to make eBay payments, it’s ubiquitous in the world of online shopping. It’s free to sign up for an account and get a debit card to use online or in physical locations. It doesn’t cost anything to send or receive money to another PayPal user when you use a bank account. If you want to use a debit or credit card, expect to pay 2.9 percent plus 30 cents per transaction. Either the sender or receiver can opt to pay the fees.