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The Best Ways To Send Money

Whether it's your half of the rent or your share of last week's bar tab, there are lots of ways to pay someone back. Here are the best ways to send money.

Financial transactions between friends tend to be casual and vague: You pick up this tab, I’ll get the one this weekend. I put the drinks on my card, you give me a $20.

However, there are times when you want to get more specific and accurate, whether it’s splitting the cost of a birthday gift or paying your part of the rent.

It used to be your only option was to write your friend a check, then they have to sign it and take to their bank to be deposited. But who has checks anymore?

Here are the best ways to send money:


Max transfer amount: No limit

Fee: None

International: No

Ah, yes. Good, ol’ reliable cash. The preferred currency of pretty much anyone, anywhere. There’s no limit on how much you can give, there’s no transfer fee, and there’s no waiting period. For a quick and easy repayment, an envelope of dollar bills is the way to go, but it should be noted that there will be no history of the transaction, something that can make those who are more cautious uncomfortable.

Bank transfer

Max transfer amount: No limit, although there may be internal transfer limits

Fee: Depends on your bank’s policies

International: Yes

If you and your friend happen to be customers of the same bank, it’s most likely you have the option of transferring money to their account for free. If they have an account at a different financial institution, it’s common practice to charge a transfer fee.

You’ll also need your friend’s account number and routing number, which can take some time to track down. There are several banks, including Bank of America and Wells Fargo, that let you transfer money to someone for free using their email address.

To avoid any confusion or unwanted fees, check with your bank first before sending any money.


Max transfer amount: $10,000 per transaction

Fee: Free if using PayPal balance or bank account

International: Yes

PayPal has now been around for years and is still one of the best ways to send someone money (if you both have PayPal accounts). There’s no fee if you send the money through PayPal from your PayPal account balance or your bank account, but PayPal does charge fees for money that’s sent from a debit or a credit card (2.9% of the total amount plus an additional $0.30).

Google Wallet

Max transfer amount: $9,999 per transaction or $50,000 per 5-day period.

Fee: Free

International: No

With Google Wallet, you can send money to anyone in the US using their email address or phone number. When your friend receives the money, they can cash out to their bank account with their debit card for easy access.

An added bonus: The Google Wallet mobile app is extremely secure. The app can only be accessed with your Google Payments PIN and if you lose your phone, you can instantly remove access to your account.


Max transfer amount: $2,999 per week

Fee: Free

International: No

PayPal’s digital wallet app, Venmo, has quickly become extremely popular. Not only can you easily send money to someone from your phone, it also acts as a social network; you can see a feed of your friends’ Venmo transactions.

The reasoning behind this? Venmo believes it helps you “remember the moments you share with friends.”

Like Google Wallet and PayPal, Venmo is free when you send money using your Venmo balance or bank account. They charge a 3% fee for credit cards.


Max transfer amount: $2,999 per week

Fee: No

International: Yes

Xoom, Venmo’s sister app, is also owned by PayPal and works similarly, but is meant for sending money abroad (55 countries as of now). Fees vary depending on what country your friend lives in; your fees will be lowest if you pay with your bank account.

If you’re unsure, Xoom has a handy online fee calculator.


Max transfer amount: $2,999 per week

Fee: Yes, for transactions below $5,000

International: Yes

Whether you need to send large amounts of money at home or abroad, USForex is hard to beat. USForex accepts all major currencies and allows you to lock in an exchange rate before you transfer any money.

If you send an amount over $5,000 you’re not charged a transfer fee; anything below that amount has a flat, $5 transfer fee.

While USForex offers the convenience of both their online service and a mobile app, you can also call if you need someone to make the transfer for you, and one of its dealers will be able to help.


Whether you need to help a friend in a bind or just need to split a bar tab, these options can help you send money safely.

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