Best Ways of Sending Money to India

Best Ways

Cash: MoneyGram and Remitly
Smaller transfers (less than $7,000 USD): Wise and Instarem
Larger transfers (above $7,000 USD): OFX and TorFX
Cheapest transfers: Remitly for Cash transfers / Instarem for small transfers (if you use their new customer rate) / OFX or TorFX for large transfers
Fastest transfers: MoneyGram and Remitly for cash transfers / Wise and Instarem for small transfers / TorFX for large transfers
Reliable transfers: MoneyGram for cash transfers / Wise for small bank transfers / TorFX for large bank transfers


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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which may save you and do not cost any more. For more information, see my disclaimers here.

1. Transfer Methods to India from the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Europe, Singapore and more

moneygram logoRemitly logo
โญTrustpilot Rating4.5/5 with over 38,000 reviews (January 2024)4/5 with over 43,000 reviews (January 2024)
๐Ÿ’ฑExchange Rate0.4-2% on top of the mid-market rate (depending on the currency pair)0.3-1% percentage fee over the mid-market rate

Note: Express exchange rate has a lower exchange rate compared to Economy.
๐Ÿ“จ Send fromUS, UK, Canada,US, UK, Canada, Australia, EEA countries, Singapore
๐Ÿ’ฐTransfer FeesService fees are between $1.99 USD to $34.99 USD depending on the payment method and receiving method

Note: MoneyGram offers 0 fees for new customers
A flat fee of $3.99 USD below $1000 USD

Cash Advance fee for Express service (up to 3% for credit cards)

Note: For a limited time, Remitly offers 0 fees and special FX rates for new customers.
๐ŸƒTransfer TimeMinutes to Same dayExpress: Within Minutes

Economy: 3-5 days
๐Ÿ”’Security and SafetyMulti-level securityMulti-level security
๐Ÿ’ฌ Official Website LinkMoneygram.comRemitly.com
๐ŸŒLink to Full ReviewMoneyGram ReviewRemitly Review
Wise logocurrencyfair logoInstarem logo
โญTrustpilot Rating4.2/5 with over 204,000 reviews (January 2024)3.9/5 with over 7,000 reviews (January 2024)4.3/5 with over 8,105 reviews (January 2024)
๐Ÿ’ฑExchange RateMid-market rate0.6-1% margin on the mid-market rate0.4-1% mark-up on the mid-market rate
๐Ÿ“จ Send fromUS, UK, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, HongKong and other parts of AsiaUS, UK, Canada, Australia, Europe, and othersSingapore, the UK, the US, Europe, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia
๐Ÿ’ฐTransfer FeesLow percentage service fee (0.66% of the amount on average)

Note: Wise has an online calculator to know your fees upfront. No sign-up needed
120 INR Fixed fee

Other bank fees are applicable.

Note: Currencyfair has an online calculator to know your fees upfront. No sign-up needed
0.25% to 1% service fees.

Other fees applicable

Note: Instarem offers 0 fees and special FX rates for first-time users. T&Cs apply
๐ŸƒTransfer TimeMinutes to 3 daysSame day to 3 days (depending on currency pair)Minutes to 3 days
๐Ÿ”’Security and SafetyDedicated fraud team, real-time notifications, two- factor authentication, security audits, and 24×7 monitoringSegregated customer accounts, two-factor authentication, 256-bit encryption via SSL from VeriSign, secure data center, regular security checksRegular audits, security vulnerability assessments, firewalls and intrusion detection and prevention tech, malware detection, traffic analysis
๐Ÿ’ฌ Official Website LinkWise.comCurrencyfair.comInstarem.com
๐ŸŒLink to Full ReviewWise reviewCurrencyFair ReviewInstarem review
OFX logotorfx logo
โญTrustpilot Rating4.2/5 with over 6,500 reviews (January 2024)4.9/5 with over 7,100 reviews (January 2024)
๐Ÿ’ฑExchange RateBelow 2% margin on the mid-market rate (goes down as the amount increases)0.5%-2% margin on the mid-market rate (goes down as the amount increases)
๐Ÿ“จ Send fromThe US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, EuropeAustralia, the UK, Singapore, and Europe
๐Ÿ’ฐTransfer Fees$5 fixed fees below $5,000 USD + margin on the exchange rate

Note: Using this link, you can avoid the fixed fees. T&Cs apply.
No fixed fees – only a margin on the exchange rate

Note: TorFX offers a free quote. Get it here:
TorFX AUS/NZ and Asia โ€“ Get a Free Quote
TorFX UK and Europe โ€“ Get a Free Quote
๐ŸƒTransfer Time1-2 days for popular currencies
2-5 days for exotic currencies
Same-day transfers for some popular currencies
2-4 days for exotic currencies
๐Ÿ”’Security and SafetyPublicly listed company, Fraud prevention technology, SSL certificationLevel 1 rating by Dun & Bradstreet, Customer funds held separately, Audited by PWC
๐Ÿ’ฌ Official Website LinkOfx.comTorFX.com
๐ŸŒLink to Full ReviewOFX ReviewTorFX Review

2. Low-Cost Ways to Send Money to India from the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Europe, Singapore and more

Sending Cash

moneygram logoRemitly logo
๐Ÿ’ฑExchange Rate0.4-2% on top of the mid-market rate (depending on the currency pair)0.3-1% percentage fee over the mid-market rate

Note: Express exchange rate has a lower exchange rate compared to Economy.
๐Ÿ’ฐService FeesService fees are between $1.99 USD to $34.99 USD
depending on the payment method and receiving method
A flat fee of $3.99 USD below $1000 USD

Cash Advance fee for Express service (up to 3% for credit cards)
๐Ÿ’ฒOther feesOther fees like credit or debit card fees, agent fees, etc. applicableCash Advance Fee for using a credit card

Which is cheaper for sending cash to India from the US, UK, Canada, and more?

Weโ€™d say Remitly – their margin on the exchange rate and service fees are lower, which keeps the overall transfer fee for sending cash to India affordable and convenient.

Even with some unexpected fees like the receiving agentโ€™s fees and the credit card cash advance fee, they turn out to be cheaper than MoneyGram whose margin on the exchange rate and complex fee structure drives up the transfer cost.

Why is MoneyGram more expensive?

Theyโ€™re one of the oldest remitters in the world and support more currencies, receiving countries, and registration countries – they charge a premium for their decades of experience and for offering more options.

Sending small bank transfers

Wise logocurrencyfair logoInstarem logo
๐Ÿ’ฑExchange RateMid-market rate0.6-1% margin on the mid-market rate0.4-1% mark-up on the mid-market rate
๐Ÿ’ฐService FeesLow percentage service fee (0.66% of the amount on average)
120 INR Fixed fee0.25% to 1% service fees.
๐Ÿ’ฒOther feesNo hidden fees – local banks in supported countries

If using a credit card to fund transfer then 3% cash advance fees are applicable
Sending and receiving bank fees may be applicableSending and receiving bank fees may be applicable.

For sending $1,000 USD or 1000 GBP, Wise and Instarem are cheaper than CurrencyFair for international bank transfers to India.

In our testing, If you are a new customer, you get more money in India with Instarem than with Wise. Wise uses the mid-market rate and adds 0.66% fees. Instarem offers special rates (lowered fees and better exchange rates) for new customers.

This is because USD-INR, GBP-INR, CAD-INR, and AUD-INR are some of the most popularly exchanged currencies on Instarem, which keeps the fees for these transfers low.

Sending large bank transfers

OFX logotorfx logo
๐Ÿ’ฑExchange RateBelow 2% margin on the mid-market rate (goes down as the amount increases)0.5%-2% margin on the mid-market rate (goes down as the amount increases)
๐Ÿ’ฐService Fees$5 fixed fees below $5,000 USD + margin on the exchange rate (rate goes down as the amount increases)No fixed fees – only a margin on the exchange rate (which goes down as the amount increases)
๐Ÿ’ฒOther feesVery low (or no) sending and receiving bank fees because OFX has local banks in 115 supported countriesReceiving bank may apply some fees

Which is the cheapest for large bank transfers to India – OFX or TorFX?

TorFX has no service fees – but some receiving bank may issue their own fees.

OFX has a fixed fee for transfers below $5,000 USD – however, we organized to have this fee removed (opens a new tab) so you can avoid this fee altogether โ€“ if applicable.

And both offer the ability to help you lock in favourable exchange rates (Forward Contracts and Market Orders) to save money on large bank transfers to India in the future.

In our experience, the difference in fees is not significant – and itโ€™s difficult to say which is the cheapest. Overall, theyโ€™re both very competitive compared to high street banks for these kinds of transfers.

Learn more in our in-depth comparison: OFX vs TorFX

3. Exchange Rates for Sending Money to India

moneygram logoRemitly logo
๐Ÿ’ฑExchange Rate0.4-2% on top of the mid-market rate (depending on the currency pair)0.3-1% percentage fee over the mid-market rate

Note: Express exchange rate has a lower exchange rate compared to Economy.
Wise logocurrencyfair logoInstarem logo
๐Ÿ’ฑExchange RateMid-market rate0.6-1% margin on the mid-market rate0.4-1% mark-up on the mid-market rate
OFX logotorfx logo
๐Ÿ’ฑExchange RateBelow 2% margin on the mid-market rate
(goes down as the amount increases)
0.5%-2% margin on the mid-market rate
(goes down as the amount increases)

Here are a few tips for getting the best exchange rates for your money transfers to India:

Avoid high street banks:

Banks like Chase or JP Morgan in the US, Barclays in the UK, ANZ, NAB, or Westpac in Australia may seem like the easiest way to send money to India – but watch out.

Typically, these banks don’t offer the mid-market rate (easy explanation) and slap on high fees – starting from a 5-7% margin on the exchange rate.

Choose specialized service providers:

There are no one-size-fits-all money transfer companies – they all specialize in specific kinds of transfers – cash, bank, large, small, etc.

For example, donโ€™t send a large transfer with a service like Instarem or a small transfer with TorFX or OFX. This is because your fees go up as the amount increases with a service like Instarem or Wise – making large transfers very expensive.

On the other hand, OFX and TorFX reward you with competitive exchange rates for large amounts.

Shop around and set rate alerts

Donโ€™t transfer with the first service you come across – take some time to explore which service offers the best rate for your transfers to India.

Most services let you set rate alerts on their mobile app so you can process your transfer when the rate for sending money to India seems favorable to you.

On the other hand, you can visit our weekly currency news round-up which provides insights on favorable exchange rates for major currencies like USD, INR, GBP, and others.

Send money in INR (Indian rupees)

You get the best rates when you send money to Indiaโ€™s local currency – receiving USD, GBP, or AUD may lead to additional currency conversion charges for the recipient.

4. Most Trustworthy Service Providers

For Cash Transfers

ServiceRatingUser Reviews
moneygram logo4.5/5 with over 38,000 reviews (January 2024)The Good

Moneygram delivers on time, generally, the receiver gets the money in 15 minutes at times instantly.
Their reliability is excellent. The system is secure. I have not lost any money in transit to the receiver.
I would highly recommend Moneygram.
Emmanuel on Trustpilot

The Bad

It used to take a day for me to send money out.
Now it takes 4 to 5 days every time I make a transaction from the same account that has already been verified.
Florian Akpabie on Trustpilot

MoneyGram was founded in 1988 and has earned the trust of its users for decades with its consistently good service and support for a large number of receiving countries and currencies.

People love the use of setting up transfers – both online and offline – and the fact that they can send cash to India in minutes.

However, occasionally transfer delays can be caused when their system is down or if the agent office is closed (when setting up transfers on a weekend or holidays).

For small bank transfers

ServiceRatingUser Reviews
Wise logo4.2/5 with over 204,000 reviews (January 2024)The Good

I use Wise whenever I need to make a transaction in a currency other than AUD. They offer the best exchange rate and charge minimal fees. Wise saves me money when I travel overseas or buy online in a foreign currency. The App lets you see exactly what exchange rate is applied and what fees are charged. Once you use Wise you realise how much the Banks rip you off!
Cindy Hawkey on Trustpilot

The Bad

Me and my father have been long-time clients of the transferwise.
After they became wise they went downhill fast.
They required ID and face verification for every transaction I made which hugely delayed the transfer.
Now they even reject some transactions.
Dimitar Amadeus on Trustpilot

Personally, Wise is our top choice for sending small bank transfers to India – offering both inexpensive and fast money transfers. Most of our transactions are completed within minutes.

However, after rebranding to Wise (formerly Transferwise), they have tightened their security as a regulated financial services provider.

This leads to stricter audits for processing transfers and more document verification – which can be annoying but unavoidable as this is standard in the industry for high-quality service providers.

For large bank transfers

ServiceRatingUser Reviews
torfx logo4.9/5 with over 7,100 reviews (January 2024)The Good

โ€œExcellent customer service – I was contacted promptly and regularly and kept well informed by Ally Phillips. She was polite, effective, professional, funny (good sense of humour), down to earth, reliable, and friendly). She took time to explain everything well and I felt reassured and at ease at all times. Everything went as planned. The process of transferring my money went smoothly and easily. No fuss. Will definitely be happy to use this company again in the future.
Annette on Trustpilot

The Bad

โ€œApart from the delay, the amount was also much lower than must have been transferred. The amount promised by torfx was 315.95 while only 295.95 was deposited, on top of which another 15 was charged by my bank for the wire, bringing the total down to ~280.โ€
Muhammad Khan on Trustpilot

What makes TorFX one of the highest-rated money transfer companies in the industry?

Their excellent customer service – which makes their users feel safe and secure for sending large bank transfers.

When you sign up for TorFX, you will be assigned your Personal Account manager who will guide you through every aspect of the transfer on the phone – from negotiating rates and determining the right time to send money to setting up your transfer for you.

TorFX impressed me with their customer service when I started using them over 10 years ago.

5. Speed and Convenience

Want to send money to India fast?

You can send cash with MoneyGram and Remitly in minutes – however, this is not the cheapest method.

Bank transfers are slower but also more affordable.

Typically, transfer speeds for bank transfers depend on the amount, currency pairs, and local banking and holiday hours.

Small transfers for popularly stranded currencies – like USD to INR, GBP to INR – on Wise and Instarem can be completed in minutes or up to 2 days.

Large bank transfers to India take longer because there are more compliance checkpoints at both the sender and receiverโ€™s end.

More about this below.

Service ProviderTransfer Speed
NAB and Westpac (Australia)1-3 days
Chase Bank and JP Morgan (the US)1-6 days
Barclays (the UK)1-5 days
MoneyGram (cash)Minutes to Next Day
Remitly (cash)Minutes to Next day
Wise (small bank transfer)Minutes to Next day.

In 2023, Wise reported that 76% of their transfers were completed within less than 1 hr.
CurrencyFair (small bank transfers)1-3 days | depends on currency pairs
Instarem (small bank transfers)Minutes to 3 days
OFX (large bank transfers)1-2 days for popular currencies

2-5 days for exotic currencies
TorFX (large bank transfers)Same-day transfers for some popular currencies

2-4 days for exotic currencies

6. Regulations, Taxation and Compliance

  • You can only send money to banks that are sanctioned to exchange foreign currencies by the Reserve Bank of India. These include SBI, AXIS Bank, HDFC Bank ICICI Bank, and Bank of India – as your recipient to enquire with their bank.
  • Remittances from non-relatives exceeding โ‚น50,000 INR are taxable
  • Indian residents receiving foreign remittances must have a KYC-compliant bank account
  • For every incoming international money transfer, a Foreign Inward Remittance Certificate (FIRC) is necessary. Issued by the bank of the recipient, the FIRC provides vital details like the names and account details of both sender and recipient, the transfer’s purpose, and the exchange rate applied during the transaction.

Also check regulations and tax rules for sending money to India from your country – especially limits, taxable amounts, etc.

For example, in the US, all wire transfers (international and domestic) above $10,000 are reported to the IRS by your respective banks.

7. Recipient Information

  • If your recipient doesnโ€™t have a bank account, you can send cash to the nearest MoneyGram outlet or one of the partner institutions Remitly collaborates with
  • If they have a bank account, ask them to enquire with their bank whether they support receiving international transfers. Youโ€™re good to go if they have an account with the following banks: State Bank of India (SBI), AXIS Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Bank of India
  • Double-check their banking information (name, bank account, SWIFT Code/ IFSC code) before setting up the transfer
  • Ask them to carry government-issued ID proof for receiving cash transfers

8. Final Word

If you need to send money to India, you have many options to choose from. But, not all of them are equally convenient, fast, and affordable. We personally avoid dealing with traditional banks, as they tend to charge high fees and have slower speeds than dedicated money transfer services.

It all comes down to your unique needs and preferences. Here are some of the best ones for different scenarios:

Cash transfers: If you or your recipient prefer to deal with cash, MoneyGram or Remitly are great choices. MoneyGram has a large network of outlets throughout India and Remitly partnered with major banks, where your recipient can pick up the cash. Remitly also allows you to send money to mobile wallets like Paytm or virtual payment accounts like UPI.

Both companies offer special rates for their new customers (see more reviews above)

Small bank transfers: If your recipient has a bank account, you can save on fees by sending money directly to their account rather than cash pickups. For small amounts, Wise, Currencyfair, or Instarem are good options. We personally use Wise for our personal and business transfers, as it offers the mid-market rate, which means our recipients get the most out of our transfers.

Best Ways to Send Money to India

Cash transfers: MoneyGram or Remitly
Small bank-to-bank transfers: Wise, Instarem, or CurrencyFair
Large bank-to-bank transfers: OFX or TorFX

You can use the Wise Calculator (without signing up) to see the actual cost of your transfer now.

Instarem also offers special transfer rates for new customers, which can sometimes be better than Wise. (Check service comparison tool)

Large bank transfers: If you need to send large amounts, such as $7,000 USD or more, you might want a more personalized service. That’s why TorFX and OFX for large transfers are great choices. I have been using both of them for over a decade, and I can vouch for their dedicated customer service. They are available 24/7 to assist you with your transfers and offer competitive exchange rates. Start by getting a quote from the right region: TorFX AUS/NZ and Asia โ€“ Get a Free Quote / TorFX UK and Europe โ€“ Get a Free Quote

As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for sending money to India. Although the companies we mentioned are all reliable, you still have to consider other factors, such as the amount, the speed and convenience, and the cost of the transfer. To help you compare these services easily, check our comparison table (above).

Happy transfers!

What is the best money transfer to India?

It depends on your unique needs and preferences. For cash transfers, MoneyGram and Remitly are good options. For small bank transfers, Wise, Instarem, and Currencyfair are great choices. While for large bank transfers, OFX and TorFX are good choices. It is better to compare their pros and cons before deciding which one to use.

How can I send money to India?

You can use a dedicated money transfer service or your bank. Most banks can transfer money to India, but they are usually more expensive and slower than money transfer companies. Explore different services to find the best one for your needs.