What’s the Cheapest Way to Send Money to Colombia?

send money to Colombia

Money transfers to South America could be very expensive if you’re unaware of hidden conversion costs (and these are typical for numerous service providers).

There will be a significant difference in the charges that you’ll pay if you use your bank or some of the online payment systems. If you have to send money to Colombia from the US, add up to 100 dollars to the sum which you’re intending to transfer.

Some of the most popular transfer methods charge you two times and add up to the cost. There will be an upfront fee and a hidden currency exchange charge that can add up to a relatively big amount.

What transfer methods do we use at Time Doctor?

We have a remote team with people in 19 different countries around the world. The two transfer methods we use the most are:

  • Payoneer – very convenient for sending and receiving. They are also one of the few methods that works to receive money in almost every country and the receiver can get their money on a debit card and withdraw from an ATM. They also have an option for direct transfer to the receiver’s bank account. They also have a $50 bonus if you receive more than $100 through this method.
  • Wise, formerly Transferwise – very low cost and also a convenient method for transfers to most countries.

Take a look at the tables below to make your money transfers to Colombia more cost-efficient. You can see how much it will cost you to send money from the US, Canada, Australia and Europe to Colombia. The estimates are based on an international transfer of 1,000 dollars.

Table 1 – Sending $1000 from the US to Colombia
Transfer Method Stated fees to send $1000 USD Hidden currency conversion cost Total cost Time for the transfer to arrive
Sharemoney $3 $11 $14 minutes
Small World FS $5 $17 $22 3-5 days
Ria Money Transfer (slow) $5 $25 $30 3-5 days
Payoneer $3 $28 $31 3-5 days
Worldremit $4 $27 $31 3-5 days
Ria Money Transfer (fast) $7 $25 $32 minutes
XE Trade $0 $42 $42 3-5 days
Western Union (slow) $8 $35 $43 3-5 days
MoneyGram (slow) $5 $46 $51 3-5 days
Xoom (slow) $5 $49 $54 3-5 days
Western Union (fast) $20 $35 $55 minutes
Xoom (fast) $13 $49 $62 minutes
MoneyGram (fast) $20 $46 $66 minutes
Wire Transfer $25 – 55 $10 – 30 $35 – 85 3-5 days

Notes regarding this table:

  1. Worldremit is offering the money transferring services to only these following US states: Idaho, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Wisconsin and Washington DC (more States are coming soon).
  2. If you’re not sure what I mean by “hidden currency conversion” check out our explanation in this article.
  3. The fees for wire transfers are estimates and vary from bank to bank.
Table 2: Sending money from Several Countries to Colombia. The Total Cost including Hidden Currency Exchange Fees.
Transfer Method From the US From the UK From Canada From Western Europe From Australia
Sharemoney 1.4% Not available Not available Not available Not available
WorldRemit 3.1% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6% 1.5%
Small World FS 1.7% 4% 4.8% 5.1% Not available
Western Union 4.3% 2.8% 6.7% 3.8% 10%
Azimo Not available 3.1% Not available 2.9% Not available
Ria Money Transfer 3% Not available Not available Not available Not available
Payoneer 3.1% Not available Not available Not available Not available
XE Trade 4.2% 4.5% 4.5% 4.1% 5.3%
Xoom 5.4% Not available Not available Not available Not available
Exchange4free Not available 5.1% 5.1% 4.9% 5%
Wire transfer 2.5 – 5.5% 2 – 4.5% 2.5 – 5.5% 2 – 4.5% 3 – 6.5%
MoneyGram 5.1% 9.8% 8.7% 6.7% 12%

Notes regarding this table:

  1. Canada, Germany and Australia are offering only a fast Western Union Method, in which it transfers the Money in Minutes.
  2. All the Transfer methods which are marked as “Not Available” are currently unavailable.

In conclusion, if you need to send money to South America like we do, you will soon discover that it is quite expensive and also can be quite a hassle. These charts will help you save money and alert you to those hidden fees that are never hidden for very long.

Other Articles that might interest you:

Transferring Money with Wise (formerly TransferWise)
Sending Money to Bolivia, 5 Methods that are Cheaper than a Bank

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Leave a reply

  • John Northwick

    I opened a subsidiary in Colombia last year and was having issues with both my local bank in the US and the banks in Colombia when sending money. Wiring transfer was an extremely slow process due to all the questions and information required to complete the process. The banks held up the process almost 2 months! Eventually I hired a firm in Medellin called Ongresso and used their contractor payment service to pay my workers. I believe it's only offered to businesses and not individuals though. The fee is decent, and I'm just happy to not have any more issues.
    UpVote Reply 1 Upvotes
  • Harshal umredkar

    How to send money India to Colombia
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Rocío Echeverri

    So i've been using a company to do this service for me. Overall it has been a good experience, they make sure to negotiate with the banks directly and for this three months they have been transparent. I can recommend them.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Ayan@Transferwise

    I choose transferwise over payoneer. It is cheaper and I think it is the cheapest among the rest. And it is very convenient. there is no reason not to choose Transferwise.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Miguel Delgado

    I have been looking for a less expensive solution than Western Union and Xoom and even my bank. This chart helped me tremendously to save money to Colombia from the US using Sharemoney.
    UpVote Reply 1 Upvotes
  • Mike

    This is BS.... Western Union will not take days but only minutes.
    UpVote Reply 4 Upvotes
  • Eduardo Perez Hernandez

    I send funds with Worldremit to my bank account in Colombia. The funds are deposited within minutes and they offer the best exchange rate out there. Furthermore, their fees are the lowest I have seen. Worldremit is reliable. I've been using them for some time now.
    UpVote Reply 7 Upvotes
    • david

      I agree with Eduardo for sending money from the USA to Colombia. For cash pick ups in Colombia I have used World Remit and Remitly. Both apps have low fees and reliable transfers to Bancolombia for cash pick ups by the recipient.....never had any problems!
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Steve R.

    There is a much cheaper method to send money almost instantaneously. See if your bank in the US has a remittance agreement with a bank in Colombia. For example, I use Wells Fargo, it has a remittance agreement with BanColombia. I can send up to $1800 for a $2 fee. A caveat is, I am a Premier customer with Wells Fargo, I do not know if it makes a difference on the fee charged. Talk to your banker to find out how to set up the remittance agreement.
    UpVote Reply 2 Upvotes
    • Maren

      With Wells Fargo, being a Premier customer make a huge difference! Wells will do anything to keep their Premier customer. The minute your balance drops below a certain figure, though, it is bye-bye time. No more luxurious private office and special services. Back to public off the street offices and waiting in line. lol
      UpVote Reply 1 Upvotes
  • Jade

    What about TransferWise? What's the cheapest option that you recommend?
    UpVote Reply 1 Upvotes
  • Pinto

    Amigos, I use Ria money and so far I am good with the service. It would have been much better if it was live exchange rates. Still better than n=banks who charge unnecessary.
    UpVote Reply 1 Upvotes
  • Michael Lee

    Hey, thank you for the post-Rob! I had some graphic design work done a while back, from a woman from Vietnam and was not sure how to send the money. What about Columbia? My friend has family out there, would be interested in more information on that area too. Overall great post and really well laid out.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • German

    Hi Rob, thanks for this very useful information on ways to send money to Colombia. Just as an update, I registered to send money from your top choice, Small World FS, and after registering they told me they cannot send money from my state (California). So it seems they are like Worldremit in that some states are not eligible but they don't say this in advance.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • sabeel

    Hi, I'm from dubai (UAE), i want send to money colombia bank account or money transfer option, but i have no idea, if you dont mind can you assist me. thanks, sabeel.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Carlo

      Hi Sabeel, These options are available for both Colombia and Dubai: Western Union, World Remit and Payza You can explore these methods and see which one would work best for your transfer needs.
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Juan

    ria, fee $3 $5 or $7 xoom, fee $5 or $6, referrals $25 They do not talk about %, is this wrong?
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Juan

      I get it now. Thanks Rob. SmallWorld does not have US listed on register options, it might be because I am on Colombia.
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

      There are fees from the transfer and then there is a HIDDEN currency exchange fee. We try to calculate both fees. All these companies will not tell you about the hidden exchange fee. It's the difference between the REAL currency exchange and rate that they give you.
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Fernando

    No bitcoin option? ;)
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

      In reality the cost to transfer using bitcoin is very high for most countries. You need to convert it from bitcoin to local currency and that's not easy in Colombia. Of course if you keep the money in bitcoin the transfer fees are minimal but most people need to eat and can't pay for their food with bitcoin (at the moment) and definitely not in Colombia.
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
17 More Comments