MoneyGram in Canada: Fees and exchange rates

Wise

If you need to send money overseas — maybe as a remittance to friends and family back home, to pay for a major purchase like a new home abroad, or to cover your travel costs, you’ll want to find the best provider for your needs.
The charges made for international transfers can be confusing. Different providers use different payment routes — and so both the upfront fees and the potential hidden costs, can vary a lot.

To help you decide if MoneyGram Canada is the right payment provider for your needs, check out this handy guide, which will cover the following:

  • What are the MoneyGram international transfer costs and payment limits you need to know about?
  • How does MoneyGram stack up against a specialist in international payments like Wise?
  • What’s the mid-market exchange rate, why does it matter — and how can I find it?

It’s all you need to know to get the best international transfer deal. You can thank us later.

How much does MoneyGram really cost? And are there limits?

Before you choose a provider for your international transfer, it’s worth doing some research to carefully compare the real costs involved. You’ll need to look at both the upfront fees and the exchange rate used, as well as being aware of any potential hidden fees, which might cause a nasty surprise for your recipient.

The good news is that there’s plenty of choice out there for international transfers, including low cost payments from specialist providers like Wise. We will look more at a cost comparison later, to help you find the best deal for your needs.

See if you can save with Wise

MoneyGram limits

To check if your transfer is possible you’ll need to model it using the ‘estimate fees’ function on the MoneyGram website¹. The limit for most transfers direct to a bank account is CAD990. We tested a few different currencies, to get an overview.

It’s also good to know, that MoneyGram Canada doesn’t allow transfers direct to your recipient's bank account in all destination countries. For example in United States the recipient of the money can only get it in cash at the pickup location.

MoneyGram cost and fee overview table

When you’re ready to send money with MoneyGram, you’ll need to estimate the fees for your particular transfer on their website. You can see the amount you’ll be charged — which is added to the transfer amount — as well as the exchange rate used. The estimate concludes by telling you what your recipient will get in the end, which is the most important measure to use for comparison with other money transfer providers as well, to understand the full cost.

MoneyGram international transfer Fee
Transfer fee The fee varies depending on what amount you’re sending and where it is going Sending a CAD990 bank transfer to the US will cost CAD5 — while sending the same amount at an agent location could cost CAD56.
Exchange rate markup Here’s how Moneygram explain the exchange rate markup in their terms and conditions: “Any difference in the Exchange Rate disclosed to you and the exchange rate received by MoneyGram will be kept by MoneyGram (and/or its Agents in some cases) in addition to any Transfer Fee.”
Fees levied by the provider of your payment method, or any other third party There may be other fees which could be added to your transfer, by your bank or credit card company for example. Here’s what Moneygram Canada say about this in their terms and conditions: “The provider of your Payment Method may impose additional fees in connection with your use, or attempted use, of your Payment Method to make payment for a Transfer. Fees imposed by such provider or by any other person not directly a party to the Transfer, such as the Receiver's financial institution, may not be reflected in any pre-payment disclosure or on the Receipt”

Wise vs MoneyGram: A comparison

MoneyGram adds the fee they charge to the amount you’re sending, while Wise deduct the fee from the total you choose to send to your recipient.

Both providers have a number of payment routes with different fees. However, MoneyGram often requires the recipient to collect their cash from a location near them, rather than receiving it direct to their bank account. With Wise you don’t get the option to have cash delivered though, as they are an online business.

Here’s an outline of the costs, based on a transfer of CAD990 to USD, for collection in Florida (in the case of MoneyGram), or a bank transfer to your recipient anywhere in the US through Wise — this is the maximum transfer available through MoneyGram. When making your transfer, you’ll want to check the rates and fees again, as the rates change all the time.
The best thing to look at, is how much you have to pay and how much does the recipient get for that money — that way you have full overview of both rate and fees.

Fee MoneyGram Wise
Sending fee Interac bank debit: CAD5 Send from a location in Canada: CAD56 Direct Debit CAD2.73 Domestic wire transfer: CAD7.25 Debit Card: CAD11.31 Credit Card: 17.11
Conversion fee No fee listed CAD5.66
Exchange rate* Interac bank debit: 1 CAD = 0.747395 USD Send from a location in Canada: 1 CAD = 0.728521 USD All payment methods have same rate:1 CAD = 0.75570 USD
Total If you transfer CAD995 inclusive of fees direct from your bank account - Your recipients gets USD739.92 It’s good to know that sending CAD990 from a location will cost you much more — CAD1046 inclusive of fees — and your recipient gets only USD721.24 If you transfer CAD995 inclusive of fees direct from your bank account via wire transfer — Your recipients gets USD742.17 Paying by direct debit the recipient would get USD745.58

*Exchange rates taken between 05:25-05:30 GMT on 15. November 2018

Sending money to or from Canada? Wise could save you money with each transfer

Before you continue, a word.

Banks and money transfer providers often make extra profits from exchange rates they give to their users.

Wise is different. Its smart new technology skips hefty international transfer fees by connecting local bank accounts all around the world. Which means you can save money with Wise rather than your bank when you send your money abroad.

Check out how to make your first transfer with Wise. And give it a try.

Oh, and while you’re at it, check out Wise’s multi-currency account. Where you can manage and send dozens of currencies all from the same account.

Sign up for a Wise account

MoneyGram sending fees

MoneyGram in Canada allows customers to either set up an international transfer online, or by visiting an agent location to place the transfer in person. It’s helpful to know that the fees vary significantly — transferring CAD990 to a friend in the US direct from your bank account will cost CAD5, but sending the same amount from a location in Canada could cost CAD56.

MoneyGram exchange rates: A fee not always disclosed

To know whether or not the exchange rate on offer from MoneyGram — or any other exchange service — you need to understand a bit about the mid-market rate. This is the exchange rate you’ll find if you google your currency pairing, and the one banks use when trading currency between themselves.

Most banks, exchange services and international transfer providers don’t offer retail customers the mid-market exchange rate. Instead, they add a markup to the exchange rate they use, and then keep the difference as their profit. That can be considered a hidden fee, and it can make it tricky to see how much your currency exchange is really costing you as it’s not disclosed, what kind of a percentage is added.

Here’s how Moneygram explain this markup in their terms and conditions:

“Any difference in the Exchange Rate disclosed to you and the exchange rate received by MoneyGram will be kept by MoneyGram (and/or its Agents in some cases) in addition to any Transfer Fee.”

To check if the exchange rate you’re getting is fair, you can google the currency pair you need to find out the real rate or use an online currency converter.

Below you will find some examples of the range of exchange rates out there, comparing Wise and MoneyGram rates — the better ( higher ) rate is marked in bold.
Since these rates are taken at one specific date, they won’t reflect the situation when you are making the transfer, so at the time you need to transfer your money, the best thing is to check the rates yourself and make a decision based on that.

Canadian dollars to Wise exchange rate* MoneyGram exchange rate*
Australian dollar 1.03920 AUD 1.033456 AUD
British pound 0.58095 GBP 0.575450 GBP
Brazilian real 2.85946 BRL 2.788681 BRL
EU euro 0.6664 EUR 0.66071 EUR
Indian rupee 54.51809 INR 53.917107 INR

*We checked all rates between 05:40-05:50 GMT on 15. November 2018

As you can see, there is quite a difference in the costs, and fee structures between providers of international transfers. That’s why it’s well worth understanding the small print, and knowing where to look for to understand the final cost, such as the exchange rate and markups. By becoming familiar with the mid-market rate, and comparing several services before you choose a provider for your international payment, you can make sure it doesn’t cost you more than it has to.


Sources:

  1. https://secure.moneygram.com/mgo/ca/en/estimate
  2. http://www.moneygram.ca/faq

Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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