Guide: The Best Ways to Transfer Money (India to USA/USA to India)


Whether you are seeking to transfer money to India from the USA for gifts to friends and relatives or you want to make a money transfer to India for business purposes, you need to familiarize yourself with all the options.

In this article we will show you the best way to transfer money to India as well as how to transfer money from India to the USA, taking into consideration time, cost, and efficiency. 

Money Transfer to India

Image Source: Money Transfer to India

Before you can compare the best companies to use when you want to do a money transfer to India or transfer money from India to the USA, you have to know how international money transfers work.

There are a few simple steps when making an international transfer:

  • Set up an account with a provider
  • Send money to the provider at a locked-in exchange rate with either an ACH transfer or using your debit or credit card
  • Provider sends money to the recipient at the agreed upon exchange rate

According to Investopedia, an exchange rate is “the price of a nation’s currency in terms of another currency.” Exchange rates fluctuate constantly, which is why when you transfer money to India or transfer money from India to the USA, you need to plan for exchange rate values. When the American dollar is strong, you can buy more Indian rupees.

To check the current exchange rate before a money transfer to India, you can check websites such as XE.com or X-Rates.com. Before you transfer money from the USA to India, you can also check the currency exchange rates with the international money transfer providers.

Consumer Reports says that international currency exchange rates can also vary from provider to provider. Companies adjust the exchange rates by different amounts in order to make money on the transfer. This is important to keep in mind when you’re looking for the best money transfer to India.

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Money Transfer to India—Costs

When you are looking for the best way to transfer money to India from the USA, you need to keep in mind the costs associated with international currency transfers. Costs include:

  • Exchange rates
  • Service fees charged by the provider
  • Service fees charged to the receiver of the international funds

Fees are based on a few factors, such as how soon you want the money delivered, whether you are using your bank account to transfer money to a provider or using a credit card, and how much money you are transferring.

You can save money on fees by comparing providers to see who offers the best money transfer to India. Decide whether it’s better to send more money at one time to save on fees or if a provider charges higher fees to transfer a larger amount of currency. Also, don’t pay extra in fees to transfer money to India in a few hours if the recipient can wait a few days.



How to Transfer Money from USA to India

The best way to start a money transfer to India is to check online. While you may check with your bank to see if that is the best way to transfer money to India from the USA, their fees are often higher than online providers.

There are a few factors you must take into consideration when you are trying to decide how to transfer money from the USA to India, such as:

  • How soon you want the money transfer to India to be complete
  • What fees you are willing to pay
  • Whether to transfer money to India in rupees or in American dollars

Bank of America states that in most cases, the funds will be received sooner if you send the money in foreign currency. Also, by sending in the foreign currency, you can ensure the exact amount your recipient will receive because of exchange rate fluctuation.

For example, if you do a money transfer to India in American dollars instead of rupees, the money will have to be exchanged on the receiving end. By the time the transfer of money to India from the USA reaches the destination, the exchange rate could be different than when the transfer was initiated.



Money Transfer to India—Providers

There are several different providers when you are ready to transfer money to India from the USA. International money transfer providers include:

When you transfer money to India, you must look at what each service provides and weigh that against what you need and how much you are willing to pay for the service. Due to these factors, there isn’t a single best way to transfer money to India that will fit every person.

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The best way to transfer money to India is based on the customer’s needs, such as how often they want to transfer money, the amount, and how soon it needs to be received.



Money Transfer to IndiaWestern Union

Perhaps that best-known way to accomplish a money transfer to India from the USA is through Western Union, a company with a solid reputation as a long-time leader in the currency transfer business.

Western Union allows you to send cash online, by phone, or even in person at an agent location. You can also send money with your bank account online, but it will usually take 1–3 business days to process. The other option is to use a US bank–issued debit or credit card to transfer money from the USA to India.

The recipient can receive the money transfer to India within minutes if you send online or at an agent location. Otherwise, they can receive the money as a deposit into a bank account.

At this time, Western Union does not allow you to transfer money to India onto the recipient’s prepaid card.

Western Union allows customers to get a price estimate for a money transfer to India from the USA before making a decision.



Money Transfer to India—Xoom

Xoom is a PayPal service that makes a money transfer to India from the USA a fairly simple process. Their website is easy to navigate, allowing the customer to quickly understand what services they offer, such as:

  • Instant deposits to HDFC Bank, PNB, Axis Bank, and Yes Bank 365 days a year
  • Deposits within 4 hours to other banks in India if processed during bank hours
  • No fees when you do a money transfer to India from the USA for more than $1,000 and pay with your bank account
  • Allows you to transfer money to India into your NRE and NRO accounts

Recipients can also do a cash pickup or have a cash delivery, and there is a 100% money-back guarantee. There are daily and half yearly sending limits, unless you provide documentation that is required by United States law.

Xoom offers a fee calculator for a money transfer to India from the USA to help customers make their decision.



Money Transfer to India—Ria Money Transfer

When you want to transfer money from the USA to India, consider Ria Money Transfer. Like the other international currency transfer providers, Ria offers several payment options.

  • Transfer money to India from the USA using a credit card, debit card, or bank account
  • Receive a transfer of money from the USA to India into a bank account or a cash pickup at more than 44,000 locations
  • Zero transfer fee when using a bank account to send less than $2,999

The fees for a money transfer to India from the USA through Ria can be calculated here.

Money Transfer to India—Icici Bank

Icici Bank allows customers to do a money transfer to India from the USA via their online money transfer service or using various offline modes. Offline modes include:

Icici Bank offers online tracking and email updates of your money transfer to India, but one downside is that there is a service fee charged for all transfers.



Money Transfer to India—Transfer Wise

Transfer Wise claims to be up to 8 times cheaper than banks when sending money abroad due to the hidden costs that banks capitalize on. When you are ready to transfer money to India, consider that Transfer Wise says they will give you the “real” exchange rate, also known as the mid-market rate.

The cost to use Transfer Wise when you transfer money from the USA to India is 1% for up to $5,000, and 0.7% on all money more than $5,000. There is a minimum fee of $3.

For many people looking for the best way to transfer money to India, the fee is worth it since it’s not hidden inside the exchange rate.

money transfer to india-min

Image Source: How to Transfer Money from India to the USA

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How to Transfer Money from India to the USA

While it’s fairly simple to do a money transfer to India from the USA, it’s a little more difficult when transferring money from India to the USA. In addition to there being far fewer international currency transfer providers, there are a few issues that consumers need to be aware of when searching for the best methods of transferring money from India to the USA.

According to RemitRight.com, disclosing the exchange rates doesn’t appear to be a requirement in India the way it is in the United States. Also, if you decide to send rupees instead of US dollars, the bank in the United States will do the exchange there, and they generally don’t offer good rates.

That said, there are a few international currency transfer providers when you’re looking at how to transfer money from India to the USA:

The process of transferring money is basically the same when you are transferring money from India to the USA for Western Union India and Icici Bank. Let’s take a closer look at how to transfer money from India to the USA when considering HSBC India and Axis Bank.

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Transfer Money from India to USA—HSBC India

The biggest drawback when attempting to transfer money from India to the USA using HSBC India is that the service is restricted to account holders. Customers are able to transfer money from India to the USA if they have a non-residential external (NRE) account by going online, and without a non-residential external account, they must visit a local branch in India.

A wire transfer can be completed in 3–5 working days. HSBC India offers a complete listing of their charges and fees.

Transfer Money from India to USA—Axis Bank

Axis Bank claims customers can:

  • Get competitive exchange rates while avoiding dual conversion charges
  • Know the exact amount the recipient will receive in their account

Though Axis Bank claims competitive rates, there is not a fee table or calculator available to try. If you are a customer, you can log in to “Internet banking” and apply. You may also visit an Axis Bank branch to request an international fund transfer.

If you’re looking for the best way to transfer money to India from the USA or how to transfer money from India to the USA, remember that each situation is different. Carefully consider how soon the recipient needs the money, how often you need to send money, and if there are discounts or fee waivers for certain amounts of currency transferred.

Make sure to read the fine print on each website and use the currency exchange and fee calculators. Remember, the best money transfer to India is the one that fits your personal needs.

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