MONEYGRAM REVIEW: We look at things to consider before using Moneygram. Their fees and charges along with our verdict on when and why to use them.
With this Moneygram review, we've compiled the top tips for you. The article below looks at their fees and charges, along with our verdict on when to use them and why.
There is a good reason that Moneygram is one of the most well-known brands for overseas money transfers. Moneygram uses an enormous network of agents to send and receive money transfers and their stickers are on many, many doors and windows- 7-Eleven being the most recognisable. No doubt, if you live in anything more than a single-road country town, you walk past at least one agent every day and may not even know it.
Overseas money transfers using Moneygram – Things to Consider
There are two ways to use Moneygram to make international money transfers – through an agent (i.e. at a physical store) or online.
As a skeptical consumer myself, my first question is always about the security of my money. If I am parting with my hard-earned cash and am expecting my money to reach someone overseas (who needs to collect it from an agent at their end), I NEED to feel comfortable trusting the person behind the counter. And, do I? It really depends on the place the agent is located. I feel more comfortable at a post office or major department store than a dodgy convenience store, that’s for sure.
Second, must I rely on physically presenting cash to an agent? Answer: No. Moneygram has an online transfer service – enabling you to send funds overseas directly to a bank account. Personally, this would be my preference, but, to use this method, you must have the recipient’s bank account details.
The final alternative is to send FROM an agent directly TO a bank account. This is somewhat cumbersome, but may alleviate at least some anxiety – knowing the money is being paid directly into your recipient’s bank account.
For additional information, see Moneygram’s FAQ page.
What does Moneygram charge and how?
There is little I dislike more than a lack of transparency when it comes to fees. Generally, I don’t mind paying, as long as I can see what I am paying…and why. I certainly don’t want to have to dig around much to find out. In the case of Moneygram, that is exactly what you have to do. To find the fee, you have to use the “Fee Estimator” and manually re-enter to estimate different amounts – a ‘trial & error’ process. What isn’t clearly disclosed is that the fee is variable, depending on the amount you send.
For example, a $100 or $250 payment to the US has an estimated charge of $20. To send $499, the fee is $35. And for $1000, the fee climbs to $60. A $10,000 international transfer (the maximum allowed through Moneygram) costs $380.
Moneygram exchange rates
As for currency exchange rates, since this is not a wholesaler you can expect to pay a premium – everyone takes their piece, right? In a mock transaction performed by our currency exchange specialists at The Currency Shop, the spread (the difference between wholesale and retail – banks and you) was significantly worse than what you would get at a bank or other international payment provider. On US dollars, it cost approximately 5% of the amount being sent. This is one of the most expensive exchange rates in the industry. The cost of convenience, it seems.
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Our Verdict: When Moneygram is your best option and why
Because Moneygram is so widely available globally, it is great for immediate convenience, such as sending emergency funds to someone overseas who has lost their wallet – impressively, the funds are available for collection within 10 minutes of being sent!
Of course, that incredible convenience comes at a price – steep exchange rates and a variable transfer fee. This method is best as a one-off but definitely not a method I would consider for ongoing transfers.
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