National Consumer News

Free ways to transfer money within the U.S. and overseas


By Clark Howard

Looking to send money from person to person without spending a fortune? There are more options available for free or at a very low cost to you.

Walmart has a service called Walmart 2 Walmart that allows you transfer money much cheaper. While the typical wire cost could be $50 to $75 from Western Union, this new program allows you to go into any Walmart store to the Money Center and send a wire of up to $900 for just $9.50.

PayPal is another option. You can send money from your PayPal to another PayPal person by linking up bank accounts. This is significant because it allows you to send money overseas for nada.

These free apps will help you transfer money

Then there are also apps for smartphones that will let you send funds for free to another person. There’s one called Venmo, which is an app for Android and iPhone, and Square Cash offers yet another way to transfer money for free. Other options include Google Wallet and Facebook Messenger.

So let’s say you’re at dinner and you’ve got to split the bill. One person pays with a credit card or cash, but what do you do as the other party if you don’t have enough cash on hand to give them for your part of the bill?

That’s where something like Venmo or Square Cash comes in handy. You can send money with a simple e-mail to anyone you want for free. With Square Cash, for example, you just put in an e-mail address, how much you want to send them, and then you CC a special Square Cash e-mail address. Just like that you’re done; it’s seamless, easy, free.

The one question is security on systems like Square Cash. But if you set a $250 maximum daytime cap, you can rest pretty easy.

Send money internationally for cheap

When you need to send money internationally, you’ve historically had to pay very high fees. It’s not been unusual to spend 8% to 10% in fees alone. But now new apps make it possible to lower what you pay to about 1%. Here are some options:

For more money-saving advice, see our Money section!

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