Are you going to start your undergraduate or graduate studies in the US this fall? Education in the US is not at all cheap. With the depreciation of INR, the overall expenses will go even higher. The USD – INR rate is at an all-time high ($1 = INR 79.53 at the time of writing). So, how about being a little smart and saving the international wire transfer fees while remitting funds towards tuition fees, accommodation, books, etc. In this post, we will look at some of the best and cheapest ways to send money from India to USA. It’s always wise to do financial planning and save money while studying abroad.
How to Send Money From India to USA
Sending money to another country is slightly different from sending money to someone inside the U.S. When you’re engaged in such a transaction, it is termed foreign exchange or forex. The legal framework for transferring money to the U.S. or any other foreign country is covered under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA). This act governs every forex transaction.
According to FEMA, you can use foreign exchange services for the following purposes:
- Private visit to any country
- Gifting or donations
- Visiting abroad for employment
- Maintenance for a close relative abroad
- Travel and business
- Medical expenses
- Studying purposes
Modes of Sending Money to USA from India
It is now extremely easy to send money from India to the USA. Carrying out an international money transfer order may sound tricky but it’s fairly easy if it’s done right.
There’s a common doubt that a lot of people have on which one’s the better option: Doing a money transfer online or visiting a branch of your own bank to do so? Now, let’s go through the best ways to transfer money offshore to the U.S. and some of the things you need to keep in mind.
You have two methods to transfer money to USA from India:
1: Wire Transfer from India to USA (Swift Transfers)
2: Demand Drafts (money orders)
What is a wire transfer?
Wire Transfer (TT Transfer/SWIFT Transfer) is an electronic mode of fund transfer (through the SWIFT network & framework) with which you can transfer money from your Indian Bank account to an overseas bank account. Indian Banks and RBI-approved Authorized Dealers have arrangements with over 400+ major banks across the globe to send and receive SWIFT messages which ensures safe and secure outward remittance from India.
What is a foreign currency Demand Draft?
A Foreign Currency Demand Draft (DD) is another facility for making an international money transfer for educational payments, medical fees, VISA fees, or migrating to other countries, etc.
Demand drafts are a safe option for making international money transfers as it is made ‘favoring’ the beneficiary. They can be reissued if lost or stolen.
DDs are either mailed by the bank which created them to the beneficiary bank abroad or can be personally deposited in the bank abroad. Either way, credit of funds to the beneficiary account happens only after the realization of the DD at the beneficiary bank. This could take anywhere between 2 to 12 days depending on how the DD is being sent abroad.
What to consider while sending money from India to the USA
There are various money transfer tools and services being used today. So which one is the right one for you? Here are some important things to remember when you send money to your loved ones.
Factors to Keep in Mind Before Sending Money from India to US
Understand the cost of sending money
Sometimes, the service provider may charge a premium for an instant transfer or backend fees to your beneficiary while collecting the money, in addition to the processing fees that you have already paid while sending the money. Therefore, always read the fine print before you make a transaction.
Look for the best option
Before you transfer money, it’s best to consider all options of sending money. If the money is needed urgently, you can send cash. You can also send money to a bank account using an international money transfer service or directly through your bank.
Depending on where you’re sending money to, you can also pick services like mobile wallets, remits cards, etc. There are also mobile money apps through which you can send money on the go.
Keep track of changing exchange rates
A lot of service providers, including banks and wire agencies keep a margin on the exchange rate that they offer to a customer. Hence, it becomes imperative that you research the best exchange rate being offered before you send money.
Best Online Money Transfer Service Providers for Sending Money from India to the USA
Wise (formerly TransferWise) is a London-based financial technology company founded by Estonian businessmen Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus in January 2011. The exchange rate they offer is the mid-market exchange rate and the transfer fees are shown upfront. You can send money via their website or their money transfer app.
BookMyForex is the currency exchange marketplace that connects customers looking to exchange foreign currency with the best banks and RBI-authorized forex companies. BookMyForex aggregates forex rates from multiple forex companies/ banks and compares these rates in real-time to determine the best rates available.
ExTravelMoney is India’s biggest online marketplace for foreign exchange and remittance services in India. It empowers students and travelers going abroad to make the Right and the Best choice when it comes to booking foreign exchange services from RBI-authorized banks and money changers near their locality.
Ellis is the world’s first all-in-one solution for international students. It helps students establish themselves in the U.S. by providing phone plans, financial services, immigration assistance, rent co-signer, and more – all in one place.
How Ellis Can Simplify Your Move To USA as an International Student
Ellis believes that the effort to discover, set up, and maintain these fragmented services is, secretly, the root cause of all the anxiety that comes with adjusting to a new life as an immigrant.
As a solution, Ellis offers a suite of products that seamlessly interact with one another, with full context over an international student’s personal, financial, and immigration-related data in one centralized platform.
- Get a U.S. Phone Number in 5 Minutes with ultra-fast 5G or 4G LTE coverage
- Transparent Pricing; no contracts, and no surprise fees
- Apply for a U.S. Bank Account even before you set foot in the USA. It’s safer than carrying cash.
- Free international wire transfers – You can transfer funds from your home country to the US at Zero Wire Transfer fee
- Your account is protected by bank-grade encryption and all transactions are verified through Visa’s fraud algorithm.
- Your money is also FDIC insured through our partner bank for up to USD $250,000.
Moving to the USA this Fall?
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Ellis’ International Debit Card
- Get a VISA Debit Card. You can withdraw money without any fees at over 60,000 in-network Allpoint ATMs! That’s more than Chase, Bank of America, and Citibank combined.
- Send and receive money instantly, spend with Apple Pay and Google Pay, track your card balance and manage your money with ease from the Ellis App.
- No foreign transaction fees
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Featured Image Source: SB NRI