How to Send Money to Mexico

Statistics show that about six million U.S. households send money to family members or friends in Mexico. As a result, there are many options to consider if you are ready to send money to your family in Mexico. Below, we go over some of the different methods of sending money to Mexico.

Send Via Money Transfer Centers

Walk-in money transfer centers are plentiful in the U.S. and in Mexico, thanks to Western Union and Moneygram. The transfer is made on a cash-to-cash basis: you deliver the cash to a transfer center, which converts it to pesos. That money is then available for the recipient to pick up at a transfer center in Mexico.

Bank-to-Bank Transfers

Some services provide for bank-to-bank transfers. In this situation, you place money in a bank account and direct it to be routed to your relative’s bank account in Mexico, which you can usually do online or by phone, assuming that you have the account and routing numbers for both the American and Mexican bank accounts. If only one of you has a bank account, you still can use this method for half of the transaction, but if a third party is involved in the other half of the transaction, there may be significant delays.

Wire Money to Mexico

You also have the option of using a bank to wire money, but there are often high fees associated with doing so. Rather than using a bank, you also can use a credit or debit card to speed up the transaction. However, doing so may cost you more in fees and in transaction fees charged by your credit card. With MoneyGram, you even can send funds to your relative’s credit card, although there are higher fees for this service, too.

Sending Money With a Prepaid Debit Card

A prepaid debit card is another way to continually replenish the funds that you want your relative in Mexico to have. The transaction occurs in minutes, and you can place money on the card from the U.S. using cash, checking accounts, debit cards, or credit cards. They then can use the card to withdraw money, and, with some services, to make purchases. This option is usually much more expensive than other options, as there are many fees associated with all steps of the money transfer process that will accrue continually as you refill the card.

Sending Money Through Cell Phone Apps

Cell phone companies also have cashed in on the international money transfer business. PayPal has developed an app for your cell phone that allows you to transfer money from your PayPal account to the recipient’s PayPal account via text message, using either the recipient’s phone number or email address.

Can I Transfer Money to My Family in Mexico Without Paying High Fees?

Although some banks may not charge you a fee, you will still end up paying for the transfer in the form of a poor exchange rate. In the end, banks are probably the most expensive way to transfer funds, and you should avoid using this option if possible. Another fairly expensive way to send money to family in Mexico is a well-known and widely available service like Western Union or Moneygram. While these services are very convenient, with thousands of locations nationwide, they will charge you anywhere from five to ten percent of the value of your transaction in fees, and there are limits on how much money you can send in one day.

Fees also depend on how you make your transaction; it is cheaper to transfer cash rather than taking money from a bank account or credit card. Newer and less well-known money transfer services like Xoom and WorldRemit tend to be much cheaper than the more traditional services, and their exchange rates are usually good. Online services provider Remitly offers some of the cheapest transfers available. This provider has competitive exchange rates, and transfers with no fees from bank accounts, although they typically take three days. If you use a debit card, there is a fee of about $4.00, but your cash will get to your loved one in Mexico within minutes. You can transfer money to one of the many cash transfer stations in Mexico, or to a relative’s bank account in Mexico.

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