MoneyGram Review – 8 Things You Need To Know

About Author: Hi, I’m Quinn Askeland. In 2014, I started Transumo after experiencing expensive, slow, and frustrating international money transfers and payments through banks. Once I discovered how to manage my own international currencies much better, I became driven to help others improve their transfers and payments. Fortunately, today, there are many excellent options. See My Full Bio.

Happy people in different ages with the text MoneyGram Review - 8 Must Knows
  • MoneyGram is a safe and reliable money transfer service. They have thousands of locations where you can send and receive money easily. And they have a lot of happy customers who give them an ‘Excellent’ rating on Trustpilot.
  • But it’s not the best fit for everyone. MoneyGram has some disadvantages, such as complex fee structures and not being set up for large transfers or business transactions.
  • MoneyGram transfer speeds vary based on the type of transfer, type of service, and the receiving country’s regulations, such as holiday schedules.
  • MoneyGram works well if you need to send money quickly in person and your receiver doesn’t have a bank account but can go to a nearby MoneyGram location.

Disclosure: This post may contain offers and affiliate links to save you money and it also helps us to keep providing the best information. For more information, see our disclosures here.

1. Quicktake

On Trustpilot, MoneyGram is rated 4.5/5 with over 35k reviews, which is considered “Excellent”. 83% of the reviews are positive and say they have fast and easy transfers with updates.

💻 Availability200+ countries and 430,000+ agent locations worldwide – The UK, The US, Canada, Australia, Europe, etc.
🔒 TrustHigh. Good ratings. Regulated. Easy to use.
💁🏼‍♂️ ClientsPersonal users – send money to friends and family
💱 Exchange currenciesAll major currencies (including several exotic currencies)
💰 FeesVaries and can be high – depends on funding method, amount, currency, and payout method.
⚖️ RegulationRegulated in the US, UK, and Europe
ReviewsRated 4.5/5 on Trustpilot with over 38,000 reviews (as of January 2024)
🌐 Official WebsiteMoneyGram.com

Overall, MoneyGram is a capable money transfer service that’s widely available and offers many ways to send and receive money. 

They’re regulated, have good ratings on review sites, and users say they’re easy to use (learn more below – What Do Customers Say (including Negative Reviews)).

You may be thinking – but is MoneyGram legit and safe? 

Good news! We also uncover why you can trust MoneyGram with your money and how to protect yourself from online scams and fraud (see – Is MoneyGram Safe).

2. When MoneyGram Works

Sending money from the US, UK, Canada and Australia

Typically, MoneyGram sending and receiving kiosks are integrated with many Walmarts in the US, throughout the UK, Post Offices, and Canada Post in Canada.

Send money anywhere – even island nations and exotic locations

MoneyGram is available in 200+ countries and supports both major and exotic currencies. 

MoneyGram has lower sending limits – Send up to $10,000 per transfer or in a month for most countries. US residents can send up to $15,000 to 42 specific locations but only if the sender’s bank account allows it.

Many payout methods

MoneyGram review comparison table showing when MoneyGram works for money transfers and when it doesn't

Cash (430,000 agent locations worldwide), bank transfers, mobile wallets, and transfers to VISA debit cards – MoneyGram supports many payout methods.

Online and offline transfers

You can set up your transfers offline at an agent location (such as a Walmart, Post Office, or other stores) as well as through their website and app.

3. When MoneyGram Doesn’t Work

Fees

There’s a flip side to MoneyGram’s worldwide presence – they command premium fees in many currencies.

Moreover, their fee structure is complex and not as transparent as some others.

We cover this more in a moment and also suggest some alternatives.

Large Transfers

MoneyGram has lower sending limits – Send up to $10,000 per transfer or in a month for most countries. US residents can send up to $15,000 to 42 specific locations but only if the sender’s bank account allows it.

Business Transfers

MoneyGram doesn’t offer dedicated business accounts to pay your overseas employees.

You might also like Ria vs. MoneyGram vs. Western Union where we found both Ria and Western Union do have dedicated business accounts.

4. MoneyGram Costs and Fees

Typically there are four main fees:

  • Sending Fee
  • Moneygram’s Fixed Fee
  • Margin on the Exchange Rate
  • Receiving Fee + Other Hidden Fees

Here is a short video we made to help explain fees:

  1. Sending Fee

These fees can be charged by your bank, the agent (if you’re funding your transfer online) or your card issuer (credit or debit card). 

MoneyGram says, “Our global network includes more than 400 banks around the world,” which makes bank transfers extremely cheap with them (even Express transfers that arrive in minutes). 

Debit cards also attract little to no fees, but credit cards attract a 3% cash advance fee and agents have their sending fee. 

For example, if you’re sending money from the US to India directly to a bank account, here are the respective fees:

  • For sending $1000 USD
  • Sending with debit card: $1.99 USD
  • Sending with a credit card: $32.99 USD
  • Bank transfer (Express – within minutes) – $5.99 USD
  • Bank transfer (Standard – 3-4 days) – $2.99 USD
  1. Moneygram’s Fixed Fee

The small fixed fee can range from $0.00 to $14.99 depending a lot on your funding method. Online bank accounts are the least expensive and debit/credit cards are more.

Fees vary for cash.

  1. Margin on the Exchange Rate

This is often the largest part of the transfer.

In our testing, the exchange rate margin can be quite competitive (to some countries like India) but can also exceed 5% of the interbank rate (which is very high) for some currencies and countries.

To know if you are getting a competitive rate you have to calculate the percentage difference from the interbank rate which we show here.

Typically, you can save on your transfer with MoneyGram if you fund your transfer from your bank account and send it to your recipient’s bank account.

But here’s the catch:

In some countries, MoneyGram doesn’t support funding transfers with a bank account.

So your options are card-to-bank (debit and credit cards), card-to-card (to a recipient’s debit card), cash-to-bank or cash-to-cash transfers.

These generally lead to higher fees but these can be just a few dollars or so.

Hidden Fees?

One fee we consider to be hidden is the fee banks charge at the receiving bank.

  1. Bank Receiving Fee

These fees can often be reduced or eliminated by money transfer companies (through local bank accounts worldwide).

Once again with “400 banks around the world” with Moneygram this is unlikely to be an issue.

4. MoneyGram Transfer speed

Card-to-card, card-to-bank, card-to-cash, cash-to-cash, and mobile wallet transfers are near instant (within minutes and more expensive)

MoneyGram also offers two types of bank transfers. 

Express bank transfers can arrive in minutes (and are more expensive), while Standard bank transfers take 3-4 days (more for exotic locations).

The transfer speed for card-to-bank varies according to the receiving country’s banking regulations, business hours, and holiday schedules. This table in MoneyGram’s FAQs section will give you a fair estimate.

5. What Do Customers Say (including Negative Reviews)

MoneyGram is rated 4.5/5 on Trustpilot with over 35,000 reviews – which is considered excellent. 

Of these, 83% were positive (4- and 5-star reviews) and 12% were negative (1-star and 2-star reviews) – which is pretty good. 

So what’s the story behind all the numbers?

We trawled hundreds of independent reviews on Trustpilot to summarize our findings in the table below.

The Good

MoneyGram users liked:

  • Ease of use (MoneyGram app)
  • Fast transfers
  • Transfer updates

Here’s what Lewis, a frequent MoneyGram user had to say:

“My experience was great because I was amazed to see how easy, fast, and safe it was to transfer money with Money Gram. I also love the fact that the money transfer was done on my smartphone which was very convenient for me. The transfer fees are very affordable and the customer service is outstanding, they keep me up-to-date with the transaction, to know when it was delivered to the destination and when it was collected by the receiver. I am feeling positive and secure with Money Gram.”

The Bad

The top causes of dissatisfaction were: 

  • Cancelled/delayed transfers
  • Poor customer service

This is what Cristina had to say

“I made a transfer that was supposed to make the money available within hours. That was on 06/18 at 8:30 am. 24 hours later (06/19) I used the app again to file a request for an update. I received an email on 06/20 from a do-not-reply account with a case number telling me that they are investigating and will get back to me and to email customer service for any further inquiries. After waiting and waiting customer service tells me that they need 90 days to investigate. I have asked time and again to cancel the transaction and get my money back and all they say is Sorry you have to wait. Completely unacceptable,

6. Is MoneyGram Safe?

MoneyGram is a registered and licensed financial services provider in most of the areas they serve – for example, they’re licensed and regulated by the FCA and HMRC in the UK, Authorized to do business in all 50 states, D.C. and all U.S. territories, the National Bank of Belgium in Europe.

MoneyGram uses robust anti-phishing measures to protect your data and money online.

Many people wonder “Is Moneygram legit?” because there’s a lot of scam-related news. 

However, these don’t happen because of the lack of measures taken by MoneyGram. 

For example, they have made it mandatory for receivers to carry a government-issued ID for cash pick-ups. 

They also recommend the following for keeping yourself safe from scammers:

  • Avoid sending money to people you don’t know – this includes charities and businesses you have never interacted with or heard of
  • Double check with friends and family if you get any request to send money – especially if any sense of urgency is conveyed
  • Never respond to any emails from MoneyGram asking for passwords and other personal details

8. MoneyGram Alternatives

For Cash transfers

WorldRemit (review) and Remitly (review) offer potentially more affordable cash transfer alternatives to MoneyGram. 

WorldRemit has wide coverage and Remitly for Express transfer options (guaranteed cash transfer in minutes)

For bank-to-bank or card-to-bank transfers

Wise Money Transfer (review) has transparent fee structure and affordable fees. 

You get to see exactly what you’ll pay upfront – no hidden fees or surprises. You can use the Wise Calculator (opens a new tab) to see the cost of your transfer and the actual amount your receiver will get with no sign-up required.

MoneyGram Best Alternatives

Cash Transfers: Remitly or WorldRemit

Bank-to-bank or Card-to-bank transfers: Wise

MoneyGram Review: Verdict

MoneyGram has been providing safe and reliable money transfers for quite some time. You have different ways to send money with MoneyGram:

  • online 
  • agent location
  • through a mobile app

Now, let’s talk about the fees. The fees for sending money with MoneyGram vary depending on the amount you are sending, the exchange rate margin, the receiving, and the payment method you choose. In our case, sending $1000 USD to India would cost us $1.99 USD with a debit card, $32.99 USD when using a credit card, $5.99 USD for an Express bank transfer, and $2.99 USD for a Standard bank transfer.

However, this is just the fixed fee, their exchange rate is not often the best.

Yet, MoneyGram is still a good option if you want to send money fast in person and don’t care shelling out a bit more for the service, and if your recipient has no bank account and can access a MoneyGram agent location nearby. They currently offer $0 Fees* on your first online money transfer – get it here (opens a new tab).

But, if your receiver has a bank account or debit card to get money, Wise can be better for it has low variable fees and no extra margin on the exchange rate. And remember, there are other safe and affordable options (above) for sending money, too.

Happy transfers!

Can MoneyGram be trusted?

Yes, you can trust MoneyGram with your international money transfers. It has been around for a long time and has an ‘Excellent’ rating on Trustpilot. However, there are certain areas where MoneyGram doesn’t work well.

Should I use MoneyGram?

Yes if it aligns with your needs and preferences. MoneyGram is a trustworthy money transfer service that has its own advantages and disadvantages. However, it is important to know that there are other safe and affordable alternatives for sending money abroad.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *