4 Reasons a Money Transfer Makes a Great Holiday Gift in 2019
What people really want is cash
When we hear the words “Christmas shopping madness”, it makes us think of the madness of giving gifts instead of cash. A 2018 GoBankingRates survey found that 54% of Americans prefer receiving cash or gift cards instead of physical gifts for Xmas. The numbers are presumably even higher in parts of the world–like most of Asia, much of Latin America, and a handful of European countries–where there are no taboos on giving cash.
Cash is a low-risk gift
It’s long been said that it’s the thought that counts, but what if your choice of gift is so far off the mark that it looks thoughtless? Unless you have the sort of relationship with your loved ones that allows you to tell each other what you want for Christmas, buying a physical gift is always going to be fraught with risk. Money, on the other hand, carries few risks. Dollars, pesos, euros, pounds, rupees. These are different currencies with different names but the same meaning: the recipient gets to choose what to do with the cash.
Cash now goes further than ever
Never in history has there been a better time to send money abroad to loved ones than the 2019 holiday season. The Trade Weighted US Dollar Index, which measures the dollar against a basket of other currencies, is up 25% compared to 10 years ago. Thanks to online money transfer services, it’s now possible to send money overseas at a cost of only a few dollars in transfer fees and conversion charges.
Transferring money is now easier than ever
Not only is it now cheaper than ever to move money abroad; it’s also easier than ever. With online money transfer services, you can do everything from your computer or phone–and have the funds arrive in your recipients account within a couple of business days (and, in some cases, the same day).
The 5 Best Services for Transferring Money for the Holidays
When transferring money for the holidays, it’s important to think about using a trustworthy service that’s cheaper than the banks. We recommend checking out the following money transfer companies this holiday season:
Best for: Tracking exchange rates in real time
XE is best known for its currency converter application, used by hundreds of millions of people around the world to check official exchange rates. It also offers international money transfers to more than 60 different currencies, which is a higher number than most of its rivals. The XE website and mobile app both offer a range of free currency conversion tools, making it easy to stay up to date with the latest exchange rates in the weeks leading up to the Christmas shopping rush.
+ No fee (only a markup)
+ Enterprise-grade security
+ Official source for exchange rates
- No credit card payments
- High markups on some currencies
Best for: Last-minute transfers to the recipient’s mobile wallet
WorldRemit fills a high-demand niche: quick, small transfers to mobile wallets. With WorldRemit, the sender has the option of paying from a bank account, debit card, credit card, or mobile payments app. To have the money sent instantly to your recipient, just enter details of their Apple Pay or Google Pay account. A mobile money transfer is the perfect solution for anyone looking to send money to loved ones at the last minute.
+ Instant mobile transfers
+ Multiple transfer options
+ No fees on first 3 transfers
- Low daily transfer limits
- Lower limits for certain countries, e.g. Mexico
Best for: Sending money to multiple recipients
HiFX is a large money transfer company that caters to individuals and businesses. Its business-friendly features are actually quite useful for individuals wanting to send money to multiple relatives and friends during the holidays. For example, if you’re looking to send the same amount of money to several people, you can do it all in one transfer without having to make separate transfers for each person.
+ Transfers protected by Norton online security
+ Easy-to-use mobile app
+ Send multiple payment simultaneously
- Slow transfer times
- No 24/7 support
Best for: Cheap transfers of large amounts of money
TransferWise is one of the cheapest money transfer services on the internet, provided users meet the requirements. Specifically, it offers very good rates and fees when sending money from your bank account to your recipient’s bank account. Bank-to-bank transfers generally take 2-4 days to arrive in the recipient’s account, although it can take longer around the Xmas period when banks operate on a holiday schedule. TransferWise is an excellent option for anyone who doesn’t mind waiting a week for the money to get to their recipient.
+ Low fees
+ High transfer limits
+ Easy-to-use website and app
- No instant transfers
- Sender and recipient must use bank account
5. Currencies Direct
Best for: Transferring on phone or in branch
Currencies Direct specializes in alternative payment types. While Currencies Direct offers online and mobile payments, it is best used for paying over the phone or in one of the many branches around the United States. If you’d prefer not to wire money to a transfer service, then it’s worth considering Currencies Direct for all your transfer needs these holidays.
+ Recipient gets funds in as little as few hours
+ Range of transfer options
+ Lets you lock in exchange rate
- Limited currency options
- High markups
Sending Cash Overseas Has Never Been Easier
As kids, we’re taught that the holidays are all about unwrapping gifts. But as adults, physical gifts often fall short of expectations. Thankfully, times have changed and cash is now seen as an acceptable Xmas holiday gift. Even if your loved ones live overseas, sending cash is now cheap and easy thanks to online money transfer services.