Whether you’re doing a tab at the end of the evening, sharing the rent with roommates, or sending a portion of your paycheck home to support aging parents, person-to-person money transfers are an important part of life these days.
Fortunately, these types of transactions don’t require small bills, personal checks, or international transfers. There are now several apps that make it easy for you to send money right from your phone.
Below are the best apps for sending money domestically and internationally.
Best apps for sending money domestically
If you’re trying to send money to someone with a US based bank account, you can be sending and receiving money in less than a minute. However, some apps require users to pay a fee for “instant” transfers to accounts, while non-paying customers have to wait two (or more) business days to receive their funds. These are the top apps for sending money domestically.
Venmo is one of the most popular person-to-person payment platforms in the United States. Users can send up to $ 4,999 per week to a specific person, and transfers are free for the sender. (If you are paying someone with a credit card, the fee is 3%).
When you send money to someone else, it will instantly show up in their Venmo wallet. However, it usually takes 1-3 days for the relevant transaction to appear in your checking account.
Users can either keep the money in their “Venmo” wallet to pay for others, or they can transfer the money to a bank account for expenses. Standard transfers (which take 1-3 days) cost nothing for recipients. Instant transfers (which will only take a few minutes to show on your account) cost 1% of the transfer amount. Instant transfer fees are a maximum of $ 10.
Many large banks (and some smaller banks too) allow their customers to use cell to send money to people on the cell network. With Cell, customers can send and receive money through their mobile banking app. For those whose financial institution doesn’t already offer Cell, they can download the Cell app and sign in with their Visa or Mastercard debit card. Your bank doesn’t have to be part of the cellular network. However, at least one of the two parties to the transaction must have a bank that is located in the cell network.
Transfers between cell members are made as quickly as possible. Typically, transactions are processed within 10 minutes of the transfer (if both parties are already registered with cell). And transfers between members are free!
The only downside to cell transactions are the limits. Banks can limit the amount of money you can send to a specific person over a period of time. My bank limits me to $ 2,000 in a single transaction and $ 3,000 in 30 days.
PayPal is the quintessential free peer-to-peer transfer app. Users can instantly transfer $ 10,000 or more to other PayPal accounts. All you need is an email address and phone number to get an account.
Connect your bank account to the app and you can make large transfers of funds to others using PayPal accounts. Once the recipient has received the money, they can transfer it back to their bank account (which takes 1-3 days).
If the money is needed right away, they can either spend it from their PayPal account or do an instant transfer (which takes up to 30 minutes) back to their bank account. Instant transfers cost 1% of the transferred amount.
When using PayPal, pay attention to the fees for “Gotcha”. If you use a credit or debit card to transfer money (instead of your bank account) you will have to pay $ 0.30 plus 2.9% of the amount transferred. International transfers cost 5% of the amount sent (with a maximum fee of $ 4.99).
Cash App and Venmo are almost identical apps, but Cash App has a weekly transaction limit of $ 7,500 per week.
Like Venmo, Cash App charges 3% for credit card transactions and
1-1.5% for instant transfers to a bank account.
Compared to our top three apps, fewer people are using the Cash app, but it’s a great platform with an easy-to-use interface.
Take a look at our review of the Cash App >>>
Apple Pay makes it easy to send money through iMessage. If both people are Apple users, the transfer will only take a few minutes. However, transferring the money back to a debit card takes 1-3 days.
Apple Pay allows users to send up to $ 3,000 per message and $ 10,000 in seven days. A 3% fee is charged for transactions financed with a credit card.
With Google Pay, users can send up to $ 10,000 to each of their Google contacts. Your contact doesn’t need a Google Pay account to receive money from you. However, he will need to connect a bank account or debit card to receive the money.
This is a relatively simple process that only takes a few minutes. Since most people have a Google Account, it’s a convenient way to send large amounts of money to your friends and family.
Best apps for sending money internationally
In the past, international transfers were dominated by Western Union and MoneyGram. However, mobile and web-based breakers have made it faster and cheaper to send money across borders today.
International money transfers include transfer fees and exchange rates. Remittance companies can make money on either side. However, our top recommendations keep margins low for both.
There can also be security concerns when sending money across borders. Our top picks are highly rated companies with excellent reputations, but reputation can’t protect you from all the bad things that could happen. Before deciding on the most cost-effective options, find out about the best money transfer companies locally.
Wise (formerly TransferWise)
Wise, which recently changed its name from TransferWise, is a unique banking service that allows customers to hold money in many different currencies.
The platform supports over 56 currencies in over 70 countries. The world’s most populous countries are all covered, but smaller Central American, South American, African, and Asian countries are not.
Assuming Wise supports the required currency, users can send large and small sums of money to over 70 countries. The company uses published exchange rates when sending money. The only money it makes is modest transfer fees. Typically, transfer fees are less than 1% of the total transaction (but this depends on the currency types, location, etc.).
Wise does not publish transaction limits, but it may have additional requirements for people who send very large sums of money.
Xoom is a PayPal service that values ease of use and fast transfers for cross-border financial transactions. Xoom charges small transfer fees ($ 2.99 to $ 4.99) for small dollar transactions, but increases the exchange rate by around 3%. This equates to a fee of around 3% for large transactions or 5-6% for smaller transactions.
Xoom offers a premium user experience that makes it easy to send money without understanding the Forex. It supports transfers to 120 countries. People who receive money from Xoom can receive bank deposits or collect cash at select locations around the world. For example, Xoom has 38,218 pickup locations in Mexico.
OFX is not the easiest to use transmission service. It is aimed at people who do business abroad or want to make time transfers at favorable exchange rates.
However, the fees are amazingly low, especially for those setting up recurring payments. If you have to pay bills overseas, OFX might be the right tool for the job.
Sending money to friends and family should be cheap and easy. When you pay too much, switch to an app that makes things easier and cheaper for you. The less you pay for the transfer, the more money your friends and family can get!