How Does Moneygram Exchange Rates and Fees Compare?

In this 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.
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. Their stickers are on many, many doors and windows with 7-Eleven being the most recognisable.

Moneygram logoMoneyGram International Inc. is a money transfer company based in the United States with regional and local offices around the world. MoneyGram is a public company and listed under the ticker symbol MGI. MoneyGram businesses are divided into two categories: Global Funds Transfers and Financial Paper Products. The company works with individuals and businesses through a network of agents and financial institution customers.

The Currency Shop says:

  • A dedicated currency provider will almost always give you better rates and lower fees than MoneyGram.
  • Use our comparison table to compare foreign exchange rates, fees and services of other providers.
  • OFX, Torfx and WorldFirst are good places to compare exchange rates.

What we will cover in this Moneygram review

What we will cover

We’re most interested in how much it costs to transfer money internationally through MoneyGram. In this article, we’ll explore:

  • How much does it cost use MoneyGram?
  • How easy is it to make a transfer?
  • Overseas money transfers using MoneyGram and what to consider.
  • How long does an international money transfer take using MoneyGram?
  • The final verdict: should you use MoneyGram?
Australian dollar coin on calculator

How much does it cost use MoneyGram?

A lack of transparency is very frustrating when it comes to fees. In the case of MoneyGram, it can be difficult to find out exactly how much a transfer is going to cost. 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 and currency 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 which is 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.

Overseas money transfers using MoneyGram – things to consider

There are two ways to use MoneyGram to make international money transfers. Through an agent 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.

How easy is it to make a transfer?

You can also send money through MoneyGram’s 334,000 locations worldwide. You can pick up your money through MoneyGram’s selected agents. These include 7/11 outlets.

How long does an international money transfer take using MoneygGram?

With MoneyGram’s same day service, your money can arrive as soon as 10 minutes.

Can you use a credit card when sending money overseas using MoneyGram?

Unlike most banks, you can pay for the money transfer with a credit card. Just remember that a card issuer could charge cash advance fee and associated interest charges may apply.

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. MoneyGram has steep exchange rates and a variable transfer fee. This method is best as a one-off but definitely not a method we would suggest for ongoing transfers.

Compare money transfer services like Moneygram Australia

The best deal for you

TransferwiseRead ReviewTotal (AUD)$13,937.40Exchange Rate0.7208Transfer Fees$63.93Transfer Time1-2 DaysLearn MoreTotal (AUD)$13,937.40Rate Updated less than 1 min agoGO TO SITE
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7208 will cost you $13,937.40 which includes a fee of $63.93

About TransferWise

Transparency and an easy online experience are the 2 things that set TransferWise apart from the banks and other money transfer companies. If you prefer to bank online, you'll like TransferWise. Setting up an account and making a transfer is very easy. They are also very clear on the exchange rate and fees you'll pay before you make a transfer. Click here for the full review

Pros

  • Clear and transparent exchange rates fees
  • The online experience is first class
  • Like the banks, they are regulated by ASIC and registered with AFSL
  • Constantly bringing out new innovative products

Cons

  • There are currently a number of global currencies they do not currently support
  • Limited support based in Australia
  • Percentage based fee can add up on very large transfers

More trusted money transfer options

Provider Exchange Rate Transfer Fees Transfer TimeTotal (AUD) Rate Updated less than 1 min ago
TorFXRead ReviewTotal (AUD)$13,943.19$5.79 more expensive Exchange Rate0.7172 Transfer Fees$0.00 Transfer Time2-3 DaysGet discounted rate $13,943.19$5.79 more expensive GO TO SITE
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7172 will cost you $13,943.19 with no fees.

About TorFX

TorFX are particularly good taking care of customers over the phone but using their website isn't the easiest to use. They don't charge a flat fee which is great but it's important to consider their exchange rates. While, they don't offer fantastic rates for small amounts under $2000 , TorFX offer exceptionally good exchange rates for larger transfers to the UK, New Zealand, South Africa and Europe.

Pros

  • No transfer fees
  • Highly competitive exchange rates
  • Secure transfers with authorised
  • Assigned account manager
  • 24 / 7 Assistance
  • Available range of transfer options

Cons

  • Limited exotic currencies available
  • Exchange rates on small transfers aren't great
  • Website experience could be better
XERead ReviewTotal (AUD)$13,954.41$17.01 more expensive Exchange Rate0.7166 Transfer Fees$0.00 Transfer Time2-3 DaysGet discounted rate $13,954.41$17.01 more expensive GO TO SITE
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7166 will cost you $13,954.41 with no fees.

About XE

XE is a well known and trusted name in the money transfer industry. With over twenty years experience, they now help 33,000 people and 2,000 businesses make transfers each year. Over 60 currencies can be transferred with XE and they pride themselves on the free tools and transparent rates they offer. Click here to read the full review

Pros

  • Well known and trusted brand.
  • Very informative website. Extensive information on currency and money transfers.
  • XE App is available on both iOS and Android. It allows you to see the interbank rate for over 100 currencies.
  • XE themselves charge no fees for international money transfers.
  • Offers support for both individuals and businesses when it comes to international money transfers.

Cons

  • Cannot pay via cash or cheque. Must pay via bank transfer, BPay is also accepted in Australia.
  • Maximum transfer amount is $500,000USD.
  • While XE compares more than 100 currencies, there are only 60 that are available for money transfers.
WorldFirstRead ReviewTotal (AUD)$13,957.22$19.82 more expensive Exchange Rate0.7165 Transfer Fees$0.00 Transfer Time2-3 DaysGet discounted rate $13,957.22$19.82 more expensive GO TO SITE
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7165 will cost you $13,957.22 with no fees.

About World First

World First was founded in 2004 in the UK and has grown rapidly with offices now in the U.S., Canada and throughout Asia. They consistently receive strong customer reviews and in a recent study, 98% of their clients said they would use them again.World First have a strong online offering, particular for businesses selling online. They do provide local support as well with offices in Sydney. Click here to read the full review

Pros

  • No fees and great exchange rates
  • Safe and secure transfers
  • Regulated by ASIC and registered with AFSL
  • Great for personal and business payments

Cons

  • Does not accept BPAY, credit card, cheque or cash
  • Limited currencies available
WorldRemitRead ReviewTotal (AUD)$14,023.93$86.53 more expensive Exchange Rate0.7133 Transfer Fees$3.99 Transfer Time1-2 DaysGet discounted rate $14,023.93$86.53 more expensive GO TO SITE
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7133 will cost you $14,023.93 which includes a fee of $3.99

About WorldRemit

WorldRemit are particularly good for transfers under $10,000 to destinations across Asia, Africa and South America. Sending money online is significantly easier than using companies like Western Union or Moneygram and their exchange rates and fees are clear and transparent. With 2 million users, WorldRemit has a focus on improving access to remittances for the billions people worldwide who don’t have access to banking. Because of this, WorldRemit has a number of ways to both make and receive transfers. They concentrate on servicing individual needs as opposed to businesses. Click here for the full review

Pros

  • They have a great network in Asia and Africa and number of receiving options like cash-pick up or bank transfer.
  • They are clear about their exchange rates and fees
  • No minimum amount

Cons

  • Maximum transfer sizes for every transfer
  • No support for business customers
  • They are not licensed to provide financial advice.
OFXRead ReviewTotal (AUD)$14,064.70$127.30 more expensive Exchange Rate0.7110 Transfer Fees$0.00 Transfer Time1-3 DaysGet discounted rate $14,064.70$127.30 more expensive GO TO SITE
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.7110 will cost you $14,064.70 with no fees.

About OFX

OFX (formally known as Ozforex) is the largest Australian owned money transfer company. It launched in 1998 and grew rapidly until finally listing on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2013. OFX excels in 2 areas – Online experience and customer service. The company was born online and continues to develop easy, intuitive products. While OFX customers do most of their transactions online, they are backed up with exceptional customer service.

Pros

  • Better exchange rates compared to banks
  • Highly safe and secure transfers
  • 1 - 2 days delivery times for most countries
  • Quick response time
  • Fantastic customer service

Cons

  • Credit cards, cheques and cash are not accepted
  • Transfers to Thailand can take up to 4 days
  • Fees for transfers smaller transfers
ANZRead ReviewTotal (AUD)$14,423.77$486.37 more expensive Exchange Rate0.6933 Transfer Fees$0.00 Transfer Time1-2 DaysGet discounted rate $14,423.77$486.37 more expensive GO TO SITE
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.6933 will cost you $14,423.77 with no fees.
ANZ International Money Transfer is a secure and fast way to transfer money overseas.

Pros:

  • Fast transfers
  • Safe and secure
  • No fee for transfers under $10 000 via Internet banking

Cons

  • $12 fee for transfers under $10 000 via Internet banking
  • Poor exchange rates
  • 24 hour hotline not available
Commonwealth BankRead ReviewTotal (AUD)$14,646.86$709.46 more expensive Exchange Rate0.6833 Transfer Fees$12.00 Transfer Time1-2 DaysGet discounted rate $14,646.86$709.46 more expensive GO TO SITE
So, sending USD 10,000 to United States at an exchange rate of 0.6833 will cost you $14,646.86 which includes a fee of $12.00
Commonwealth Bank provides secure and easy transfers to over 200 countries and more than 30 currencies.

Pros:

  • Fast transfers+ Easy transfers
  • Security guarantee covers any losses from unauthorised transactions

Cons

  • $6 fee for transfers under $1000 via Internet banking
  • $12 fee for transfers under $1000 via Internet banking
  • Poor exchange rates