Blog Post

How to Send Money to Mexico and avoid extra fees

How to Send Money to Mexico

The internet has about a million different ways to send money all around the world. From PayPal to Western Union, there are too many options. Where do you begin? What really is the best way to send money to Mexico, for example? On a mission to find out, I have discovered and researched a ton of online international money transfer services. Let’s take a look at a few possible options for getting your money to Mexico.

How can I send money to Mexico?

As I stated before, there are a lot of options, no matter where you want to send you money. But I’m going to cover just a few here. These are some of the many companies I have tried when using international money transfers to get my dough where it needs to go. The ones I’ll cover today are:

All these companies have transfer services that include Mexico. First things first, let’s take a look at the competition:


TransferWise is a small company that began sending transfers in 2010. They use a peer-to-peer system to transfer money, which traditionally saves customers a lot of money. They are entirely online. They offer bank-to-bank transfers, so you can send money to Mexico’s Elektra Bank or any other local banks.

CouponSpecial offer: Open an account with TransferWise and get your first transfer free of charge. Why not to give it a try?


Did you know Wal-Mart can send money? Neither did I at first! They offer a ton of different money services, like check cashing and more. They also allow you to transfer money just about anywhere in the world where there is a Wal-Mart. Most of their transfers require you to be in a store.

Western Union

A no brainer. Western Union has been around, sending money around for longer than any of us have been alive. Started in 1851, Western Union now has locations everywhere and can send money just about anywhere in the world. You can send money online or in their physical offices.


While you may have heard of most of the others on this list, Xoom might be new to you. But they shouldn’t be; they are a part of PayPal. They can send money to 131 countries around the world, and they are renowned for their customer service and contact. And yes, Mexico is one of those 131 countries. You can send money online, but they have no physical locations.

Wells Fargo

Yep, the big old bank with the horse and carriage for a logo. After buying out Wachovia in 2008, Wells Fargo became one of the biggest banks in the US. You can use their ExpressSend® services to get your money all over the world. They partner with other banks, and directly send money to Mexico with Bancomer and other local branches.

While these aren’t the only transfer services to Mexico available, these are some of the most accessible ones for most folks; they are available in many countries to send money to Mexico. So no matter where you live, you should be able to use most of these options.

So How Do They All Compare?

Let’s delve into one of the most important aspects of transferring money online: fees. While it might seem like fees are straightforward, there can be hidden fees, lodged into the less-than-stellar exchange rate. So we’ll figure out how each of these companies stacks up against one another by figuring out the actual amount that will make it to the recipient. There’s no such thing as sending money to Mexico free of charge, unfortunately. So, check out the full details of the fees below:

Company Money Sent Disclosed Fees Money Received Effective Exchange Rate
TransferWise $500 USD $5.50 USD $9,486.59 MXN 19.184
$1,000 USD $9.08 USD $19,009.81 MXN 19.184
$10,000 USD $73.51 USD $190,429.78 MXN 19.183
Western Union $500 USD $2.99 $9,405.00 MXN 18.923
$1,000 USD $2.99 $18,866.50 MXN 18.923
$10,000 USD Not Available Not Available Not Available
Xoom $500 USD $4.99 USD $9,287.00 MXN 18.761
$1,000 USD $4.99 USD $18,574.00 MXN 18.667
$10,000 USD $4.99 USD $185,742.00 MXN 18.583
Wal-Mart $500 USD $8.00 USD $9,512.30 MXN 19.334
$1,000 USD $8.00 USD $19,024.60 MXN 19.178
$10,000 USD Not Available Not Available Not Available
Wells Fargo $500 USD $5.00 USD $9,331.59 MXN 18.852
$1,000 USD $5.00 USD $18,757.44 MXN 18.852
$10,000 USD Not Available Not Available Not Available

Wow, what a difference! It’s amazing what different companies can charge for the same amount. This is proof that it’s incredibly important to do your homework before you send money with just any old program. Now, there are some disclaimers here that I need to level with you about. First and most important, these totals are for the default way that you can send and receive money with the company. For example, to get these amazing rates with Wal-Mart, you will need to bring cash into a physical Wal-Mart location and the person receiving the money will have to go physically pick up the money at their local Wal-Mart. If you want to send the money directly into their account or from your account, they tack on a whole lot of fees and extras. Not to mention the credit card fees most of these companies charge you! There are fees of up to $80 USD for sending money from your credit cards instead of your bank.

As you may have noticed, some of those slots say “Not Available.” Many online and in-store money transfers services have one-time, monthly, or overall limits to how much money you can spend. For example, WU limits you to $5000 USD in a single transaction. Wal-Mart has an overall monthly limit of just $6,000 USD. While it is illegal to send unlimited amounts across the border every day, you’ll at least want to make sure your transfer company allows you the amounts you will need to succeed. Another reason why doing all your homework is super important before you pick a service. And while you’re at it, I can think of another very important thing you’ll need to know before you send a single dime: how slow is this service?

Speed of Sending Money to Mexico Online

Another factor that really matters when you are sending money to your friends and family overseas is how long it takes. This can be almost as important as how much it will cost you. If your money arrives too late, then does saving a few bucks even matter? Let’s check out how long each service takes and see who is the fastest.

Company Speed of Bank Transfer Speed of Credit Card Other Info
TransferWise 1 Day 1 Day Bank to Bank
Western Union 4-5 Days Not available Online or In Person
Xoom 15 minutes 15 minutes PayPal to PayPal Account only
Wells Fargo Not Listed Not Listed For Cash Pickup Only
Wal-Mart 15 minutes 1 Day For Cash Pickup Only

Look at how long WU takes to send a simple transfer to Mexico! You would think it was across thousands of miles, not just touching the border with the US. However, it is still a viable option if you don’t have a bank account or a Wal-Mart nearby. Speed can be just as important as cost in some cases, so if you need to get your money there fast, you’ll be looking at Xoom most likely; it takes a long time to gather up cash and find an open money center in a Wal-Mart. For most transfers, however, TransferWise hits that sweet spot with both speed, ease of use, and great exchange rates. So before you send money with PayPal to Mamá y Papá back home in Mexico, you might want to take a closer look at all your options.

Final Thoughts

While all these companies can work for some people, I think the overall best pick so far is TransferWise. Here’s why:

  • Their rates are easy to find on their website.
  • The speed of transfers is not the fastest around, but it is still very fast.
  • You can use a bank or a credit card, and you know that the money will go straight into their Mexican bank accounts in about a day.
  • They are inexpensive, and overall they get more money home to your family than most of the other services do.
  • You can send money across the world without even changing out of your pajamas on their website or even from your phone with their app.
  • They have a “get your first transfer free” offer. It’s worth giving them a try just to save 100% of the fees you would normally pay. If they don’t work out, nothing lost!

So next time you need to send a few pesos home, make sure to check out TransferWise. I don’t think you’ll regret it.


About Save On Transfers