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Ria, part of Euronet, lets you send money online, via mobile app and in person to more than 165 countries. Its network of about 500,000 physical locations where consumers can pick up cash is one of the most extensive worldwide.
Its transfers can have low fees, but its exchange rates aren’t the best you can find among online providers. Delivery can be within minutes if a transfer gets funded by debit or credit card, but can take several business days for transfers using bank accounts. Live customer service is available 24 hours a day, except for Saturday.
This overview of Ria is for U.S.-based consumers sending money within the U.S. and abroad only. Fees and other figures included are current at the time of writing; they are subject to change.
» Compare your options: Find out what banks charge for wire transfers
Ria is best for:
Consumers looking to send and pick up cash transfers fast, but in lower amounts.
Affordable if you fund with a bank account. Ria charges a fee of $5 or less for transfers using bank accounts to the countries we researched.
Low transfer minimum. You can transfer amounts starting from $1.
Same-day delivery is an option. Funds can be ready in as little as 15 minutes when you pay by debit or credit card, or with cash at a Ria location. Note that fees for paying with debit or credit cards can be steep.
Extensive network of cash pickup locations. Ria offers about 500,000 locations to pick up cash in more than 165 countries, including more than 4,500 Walmart stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Free, fast estimates. Ria lets you choose your destination country from a dropdown menu, and you can quickly get estimates for the exchange rates and fees based on the send amounts you enter. No login is required to see these estimates.
Highly rated mobile apps. Ria lets you send money using its app, and both Android and iOS users rate the Ria mobile app well.
Live chat support is available most of the time. Ria customer support by live chat is available 24 hours a day, every day except Saturday, when it’s available from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. PT. Support is also available by phone.
Costs aren’t competitive for every destination. Depending on the destination, Ria can be cheaper or more expensive than other providers. Shop around to find the most cost-effective way to send money to another country.
Sending limits are low. There’s an online sending limit of $2,999.99 per day and $7,999 per 30 days, but the daily limit can be as low as $999.99, depending on where you’re sending from. These limits are much lower than what other money transfer services allow. Note that you can send more money per day by visiting an agent.
Bank-to-bank transfers take days. Money transfers from one bank to another are usually the cheapest option, but it can take up to four business days for funds to arrive. That’s about the norm for other money transfer providers, but some can do it within three business days.
Card funding carries high fees. Using a credit card to send money will incur high fees. Using a card is expensive with other providers, too, and your credit card provider may also charge fees. The fee for using a debit card is also costly but is usually less expensive than using a credit card.
Ria transfer methods and options
Ria offers several options to transfer money. Here’s a breakdown of the different choices:
Sending channels: Online through Ria’s website and mobile apps or in person at a store.
Payment options: Bank account, debit card or credit card — standard for many providers. You can also pay with cash at a store.
Delivery options: Recipient’s mobile wallet or bank account, cash pickup at a location such as a retail store, and delivery straight to a recipient’s home in a few countries.
Transfer limits: $2,999.99 per day online ($999.99 per day from some states) and $7,999.99 every 30 days. Note that the limit may also vary depending on the country you’re sending to and the pickup method you’re using.
» Ready to transfer money? Ria is a fast option, but there are many other great ways to send money, too.
Definitions: Money Transfer Rates
There are three rates that determine how much your money transfer will cost and how much money your recipient will receive.
Exchange rate: An exchange rate is the price of one currency in relation to another currency. For example, if you want to convert U.S. dollars to euros, you would check what one U.S. dollar is worth in euros.
Midmarket rate: The midmarket rate, also called the interbank rate or interbank exchange rate, is the exchange rate that big banks use to swap currencies among one another.
Exchange rate markup: Most providers use an exchange rate markup when pricing your transfer. They give customers an exchange rate that’s the midmarket rate plus an additional percentage, or markup, to make a profit on the transfer. The higher the markup, the less your recipient gets in their currency.
General advice for international money transfers
1. Know how exchange rates work (and how to find the best). One of the ways money transfer providers make money is through exchange rate markups. Most transfer providers won’t give you the exchange rate you’d find on a currency exchange platform like the one at Bloomberg.com or Reuters.com. Those sites just tell you the price of one currency in relation to another, but they are a helpful starting point to know what the best rate looks like this minute. When you check the exchange rate for an international transfer with services like Western Union, focus on the exchange rate markup by looking at the foreign currency amount. The higher it is, the lower the markup is, and the more money your recipient receives.
2. Compare total transfer costs across multiple providers. There are two types of costs: upfront fee and exchange rate markup (see above). Find the provider that has the lowest fee combined with the best exchange rate you can get. Usually online nonbank providers offer cheaper transfers than banks.
3. Avoid paying with a credit card. It’s an option for some providers, but there might be a higher upfront fee and your credit card issuer may tack on costs such as interest and cash advance fees. A transfer paid by bank account directly tends to be a much cheaper (and much slower) transfer. If you need money delivered quickly, use a debit card, which will also incur a lower fee than using a credit card.
We analyzed seven providers in the international money transfer industry that work in the U.S. For more details, see our Ratings Methodology for Domestic and International Money Transfer Providers.