Advertiser Disclosure

Ria Money Transfer Review: A Cheap Option for Cash Delivery

Banking, Money Transfer
You can trust that we maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments; however, we receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners and get approved. Here's how we make money.

Ria
NerdWallet’s rating: 3.5 / 5.0

3.5 stars out of 5

Ria logo
  • Cheap costs for some transfers
  • Same-day delivery options available for most countries
  • Average customer experience
Learn more at Ria

Ria, part of Euronet Worldwide, says it’s the third-largest money transfer company thanks to its agent network of over 314,000 locations across 144 countries. Founded in 1987, Ria currently lets you send money online and in person to U.S. and international destinations. In addition to its website and agent locations, the company runs Walmart2Walmart money transfers for sending cash between U.S. Wal-Mart locations.

Ria’s online transfer fees and foreign exchange rate markups tend to be slightly better than average compared with the other 10 high-profile providers that we reviewed. Its delivery options include bank deposits and cash at agent pickup locations, but the availability of both varies by country.

>>MORE: Compare money transfers

The bottom line

  • We rated Ria 3.5 out of 5 stars based on its transfers from the U.S. to seven countries that served as benchmarks for our analysis. We included only transfers with the two most common delivery options, bank deposit and cash pickup. Where the provider shines compared with competitors: transfers with cash pickup to Germany and Canada.
    Country overall ratings
    Average rating for all countries4.0 stars out of 5
    Mexico★ ★ ★ ½
    China★ ★ ½
    India★ ★ ★ ½
    Philippines★ ★ ★ ½
    Germany★ ★ ★ ★
    Canada★ ★ ★ ★
    United Kingdom★ ★ ★ ½
  • Ria’s costs for online transfers to most of the seven countries tend to be cheap when using a debit card and delivering money as cash to be picked up at an agent location. Its other payment options include a bank account and credit card.
  • Same-day delivery option is available for most countries.
  • There’s no delivery to bank accounts in Canada or China.
  • There’s no mobile app for Android phones.

Overview

For each country, we analyzed Ria’s money transfers based on four categories: transfer costs, speed offerings, transfer methods and customer experience. We took the average of all countries’ category ratings to get Ria’s overall ratings:

Overall Ratings
Transfer costs3.5 stars out of 5
Speed offerings4.0 stars out of 5
Transfer methods and options3.0 stars out of 5
Customer experience3.0 stars out of 5
Overall3.5 stars out of 5

Transfer costs

For transfers up to $1,000, fees range from $0 to $142
3.5 stars out of 5
3.5 / 5.0
Ria’s money transfers delivered as cash pickup tend to be cheaper than those from other providers in most of the seven countries, but its costs for transfers to bank accounts are average.

For transfers of up to $1,000 using a bank account or debit card, fees range from $2 to $40 depending on the payment option, transfer amount and destination country, with some fee-free transfer options to India and the Philippines.

Transfers using credit cards are more expensive, with Ria charging fees between $8 and $142 for sending $200 to $1,000. The fee varies by sending amount and destination. In general, paying for money transfers with a credit card can also mean interest charges and cash advance fees.

Foreign exchange rate markups range between 1% to 3% over the mid-market rate, with two countries outside of this trend: India below 1% and China over 10%. So for the most part, Ria tends to give you competitive rates when converting your U.S. dollars to a foreign currency.

The mid-market rate, also called the interbank rate, is the exchange rate that big banks use to swap currencies between each other. Most providers give customers an exchange rate that’s the mid-market rate plus an additional percentage, or markup, to make profit on the transfer.

Example: If the mid-market rate for U.S. dollars to Mexican pesos is 20 pesos per dollar, a 2% markup means the provider is giving you 19.6 pesos per dollar. For a $500 transfer, that’s the difference between 10,000 pesos from the mid-market rate and 9,800 pesos with the markup. And the higher the markup, the less your recipient gets in his or her currency.

Speed offerings

Same-day delivery possible
4.0 stars out of 5
4.0 / 5.0
Ria offers same-day delivery when you pay with a debit or credit card and select the cash pickup option. Bank deposits can take two business days when sent using a debit or credit card. Transfers sent with bank accounts generally take four business days, not including the time it takes to verify your account for the first transfer.

Transfer methods and options

Multiple payment and delivery options, but low transfer limits

3.0 stars out of 5
3.0 / 5.0

  • Sending channels: Through Ria’s website and in person at an agent location. People with iPhones or iPads can use the Ria mobile app, too, but there’s no app for Android devices.
  • Payment options: U.S. bank account, debit card, credit card and cash. Cash is an option for in-person transfers only.
  • Delivery options: Deposit into the recipient’s bank account and cash pickup at a location such as a supermarket, retail store or bank. Ria offers additional options such as home delivery in some countries, like the Philippines.
  • Transfer limits: The maximum you can send online is generally $2,999 daily and $7,999 per 30 days. In two states, Oklahoma and Arizona, the daily maximum is $999. To send more than that, you have to visit a Ria agent location.

Customer experience

Website has handy tools; mobile falls short
3.0 stars out of 5
3.0 / 5.0
The website features an easy-to-use price calculator for online-only transfers, a helpful FAQ page and the ability to cancel transfers by submitting a form online. But it falls short when it comes to mobile and its discussion of in-person transfers. There’s an app in the iTunes store with few reviews, and no app is available in the Google Play store for Android users.

Ria also makes you go through some hoops to contact it. There are multiple dial menus on the help line before you can speak to a representative, and there’s no live chat ability on the website.

Some cheap costs, fast delivery options, average customer experience

If you need a fast way to send money, especially delivered as cash and to a country like Mexico or India that receives a lot of remittances, Ria is a competitive provider with cheap options. But if you plan to use a bank account to send money, there are cheaper ways.

For this review we focused on Ria’s online services and excluded in-person transfers made from Ria locations. Details of those transfers, including costs, were not disclosed by the company.

Spencer Tierney is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: spencer@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @SpencerNerd.


METHODOLOGY

We analyzed 11 top money transfer providers that work in the U.S., including major players and smaller, innovative companies in the international money transfer industry, based on market research, experts, cost analysis and U.S. internet traffic.

Providers considered: MoneyGram, OFX, Placid Express, Remitly, Ria, Transfast, TransferWise, Western Union, World First, WorldRemit and Xoom (owned by PayPal).

What the ratings mean:

5 stars out of 5 — Excellent
4 stars out of 5 — Above average
3 stars out of 5 — Average
2 stars out of 5 — Below average
1 star out of 5 — Poor

How we rate money transfer providers