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Columns | Go Far With Kovar

What is the quickest way to wire money?


by Taylor Kovar

Hi Taylor: Is there a good way to do a quick wire transfer? I recently had to send my brother a few hundred dollars and paid a lot in fees. Wondering if there's a better way to do it. -Terrence

Hi Terrence: It all depends on the institutions you and your brother have access to. Some options work well; others try to take you for all your worth. I'll list a few options and hopefully something will make sense for you going forward.

1. Money-sharing apps. This is the obvious solution, though it doesn't work for everyone. If the recipient has the means of sending money to the collector or their bank account and then making immediate use of the funds, then Venmo, PayPal, or Cash App are ideal. Most of these services allow you to share without any sort of fee. Unfortunately, this typically doesn't work for someone who needs cash in a hurry. The funds will transfer right away, but if your brother doesn't have access to a bank account or the internet, having electronic funds won't do a lot of good. (I'm assuming this option wasn't available, but it should still be on your radar.)

2. Bank/credit wire transfer.
I'm guessing this is what you did the first time if you had to deal with fees. Transferring immediately from a bank account or a credit card through a service like Western Union makes it really easy to share money, but it's not going to be cheap. The fees come from both ends, with Western Union charging for the service and your bank charging on their end as well. If you use a credit instead of a debit card, you'll also get hit with cash advance fees. If you can avoid this, you should. Naturally, this might be the only option for someone who has to send money in a hurry. My advice is to avoid using a credit card and potentially hop on the phone with your bank; talking to a person could help you dodge a transaction fee or two.

3. Cash transfer.
This option requires a little more effort, as you have to go to a physical location with cash in hand. However, using cash instead of going through your bank eliminates half the fee potential. Another benefit of cash transferring is setting the terms. If you have to send money to someone who has lost their wallet and identification, paying cash upfront usually allows you to set a password or a pin number that the recipient can use on their end.

It's never fun to be in the position of sending money in a hurry, so it's good to know your options ahead of time. Hope this information proves helpful in the future!


Taylor Kovar November 3, 2020
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Legal Disclaimer: Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. To submit a question to be answered in this column, please send it via email to Question@GoFarWithKovar.com, or via USPS to Taylor Kovar, 415 S 1st St, Suite 300, Lufkin, TX 75901.



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