MoneyGram Review

MoneyGram is a global payment provider with digital transfer services, and an impressive 400,000 agents around the world. Send your payment online, in the app, or in person - and have your pick from a range of payout options to suit your needs.

This MoneyGram review runs through all you need to know including services available, fees, whether it's safe to use, how fast it is, and how to get set up.

MoneyGram: Key points

Key features:

  • Send payments to bank and mobile wallet accounts, to debit cards, for cash collection or home delivery
  • Over 200 countries are covered - delivery options vary by destination
  • Arrange your transfer online, in-app or in person at a MoneyGram location
  • Pay online and in-app using a credit or debit card - or use cash at an agent location
  • In the UK, agent locations include over 8,000 Post Offices for convenience

Key stats:

  • MoneyGram has served 150 million people across the globe in the last 5 years[4]
  • There are 400,000 MoneyGram agent locations globally
  • The MoneyGram app has over 2 million downloads worldwide
  • 33% of all MoneyGram transfers are digital
  • 80% of MoneyGram customers use MoneyGram more than once

Pros:

  • 200 countries covered, through a network of 400,000 global agents
  • Good range of payout options
  • Cash collection payments and transfers to debit cards can be available in minutes
  • Fully FCA regulated, safe provider

Cons:

  • Exchange rates and fees may not be market beating
  • Delivery options vary by destination
  • Payments can only be made by cash, debit or credit card - no bank transfers

Overall:

MoneyGram is a giant in global payments, with an impressive agent network covering almost every country on the planet. This makes them an especially good provider if you need to pay in cash - or you want to have your payment collected in cash at the other end.

The headline fees are often pretty low, but you will also want to see how the exchange rate you're offered compares with alternative providers. The rates available from MoneyGram change based on payment type, and aren't necessarily the cheapest out there. Still, if you're looking for convenience and a fast cash transfer, they're a good option to look at.

Using a specialist provider can often be much cheaper than opting for a regular bank when you need to send a payment overseas. Let's look at how sending a payment with MoneyGram might match up with a few popular banks.

This comparison assumes you're sending a payment using a bank transfer, which is then delivered right into your recipient's own bank account.

Sending in GBP so your recipient gets:BarclaysLloyds BankMoneyGram
1,000 EUR 25.12 GBP fee 29.91 GBP fee 17.92 GBP fee
5,000 EUR 125.59 GBP fee 149.54 GBP fee 89.61 GBP fee

Fees and exchange rates correct at time of research - 24th November 2021

About MoneyGram

MoneyGram is a US based money transfer service - and one of the largest in the world. In the UK MoneyGram offers personal international payments all over the world through digital channels and a physical network of 400,000 agents.

This agent network is probably what MoneyGram is best known for. In the UK agents include over 8,000 Post Offices - making this a convenient option for people who want to pay for their international transfer using cash.

Payments can be collected through a range of payout options. Not all payout options are available in all destinations - you'll see the ones available to you when you start your MoneyGram payment. Let's take a look.

Send money for cash collection or home delivery

You can set up a payment either online, through the MoneyGram app or at an agent location, and have your recipient collect it in cash. Money can be available in just 10 minutes, subject to agent opening hours at your destination location.

In a few select destination countries you can also opt to have your payment delivered in cash to your recipient's home address. This typically takes a little longer to arrive, but can be convenient if your recipient needs cash but isn't close to an agent location.

Sending cash either for collection or home delivery is a good solution if your recipient doesn't have easy access to a bank or mobile money account - and if you choose cash for collection, it can be very quick too.

Great for: people who need to send money and have it paid out in cash at the destination.

Send money to a bank account or card

Bank account deposit - or sending money to a debit card - can be convenient for your recipient as there's no need to go to an agent location to collect the payment. It will simply arrive in their account when it's been processed.

Bank transfer payments can arrive in just a few hours - but the delivery time varies based on the destination country and the recipient's bank's processes. Most payments will arrive by the next day at the latest.

Sending money to a card is usually much quicker - the payment can arrive in just a few minutes in this case. This service is only available in select countries.

Great for: sending money directly to a recipient's bank account.

Send money to a mobile wallet

A final convenient option is to send a payment to your recipient's mobile wallet. Mobile wallets are e-wallets linked to mobile phones, and usually set up by the telecom operator. They're especially popular in countries where access to bank accounts is more limited.

Great for: people who need to send money to a mobile wallet, in a destination country covered by MoneyGram.

How does MoneyGram work?

In the UK you can arrange a MoneyGram payment online, using their app, or by visiting an agent location. You'll then be able to decide how you want your payment to be received. Payout options vary by destination country but can include cash collection or home delivery, payment to a bank or mobile money account, or transfer direct to a card. Fees and exchange rates vary depending on how you pay for the transfer, and the payout method you choose.

Is MoneyGram safe?

MoneyGram is regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority. That means it follows all relevant local laws to keep your money safe.

One thing that's worth noting is that cash collection services like MoneyGram are sometimes targeted by fraudsters trying to extract money from strangers. Cash collection services are attractive to criminals because cash can be available very quickly and then can not usually be retrieved. Once you realise you've been the victim of a fraud it may be too late.

MoneyGram offers a range of advice and information for consumer protection[6]. But the bottom line is pretty simple - use the service only to send money to people you know and trust.

MoneyGram pricing

You can estimate the cost of sending your MoneyGram payment easily either online or in the MoneyGram app. You can also visit a MoneyGram agent to get details of the pricing if you'd rather pay in cash.

The fees you pay may vary between sending online and sending at an agent. You might also find that the fees are different when sending with a credit card compared to a debit card - and if you choose to pay by credit card you may need to pay a cash advance fee to your card issuer, too.

MoneyGram exchange rate

The exchange rate you'll get from MoneyGram is always clearly stated when you start to set up your payment. It may include a markup on the mid-market rate. That's an extra fee on top of any transfer fee you may send.

It's also worth knowing that the rates can change depending on how you set up your transfer. The rate you're offered online may not be the same as the one you'll get when you visit an agent location. And the rate may vary depending on whether you're sending to a bank account or for cash collection.

How long does MoneyGram take?

MoneyGram payments sent for cash collection, to debit cards or mobile money accounts are normally ready within minutes. If you're sending to a destination which allows cash to be delivered to your recipient's home you'll be able to see the expected delivery time when you set up the payment.

If you're sending a payment to a bank account it will take a little longer. The exact time depends on the destination country. Here are a few example delivery times for popular payment routes.

Destination countryEstimated MoneyGram delivery time
Canada As little as 1 hour
China As little as 1 hour
Germany Next day
India As little as 3 hours
Philippines Same day

MoneyGram Pros

  • 200 countries covered, through a network of 400,000 global agents
  • Payout options cover both cash payments and account transfers
  • Fast transfers for cash collection or to debit cards
  • Fully FCA regulated, safe provider

MoneyGram Cons

  • Exchange rates and fees may not be the best available
  • Delivery options vary by destination
  • **Cash, debit or credit card payments only - no UK bank transfers
  • Scammers can target cash for collection services like MoneyGram - be aware

How to use MoneyGram

To send money online or in the MoneyGram app you'll need to take the following steps:

  1. Log into your account or open the MoneyGram app
  2. Select a recipient from people you've already sent money to; or create a new recipient by entering their personal details
  3. Confirm how much you want to send, and how the recipient should receive the money
  4. Fund the payment, and your money is on the way

You can also send money from an agent location - or even start the transfer online, and then visit an agent location to make payment.

When you pay at an agent location you'll need to take along a valid ID document, and you can usually only pay in cash.

Funding methods

How you pay for your MoneyGram transfer depends on whether you're setting it up online or at an agent location:

  • Online you'll need to pay by credit or debit card
  • In person, cash is usually the only accepted form of payment

Payout methods

Payout methods vary by destination country. Depending on where you're sending to, you may be able to choose from:

  • Bank transfer
  • Cash collection
  • Mobile wallet
  • Pay to debit card
  • Cash home delivery

How to create an account

You can create a MoneyGram account online or using the MoneyGram app. Here's how:

  1. Download the MoneyGram app or head to their desktop site
  2. Click Sign up
  3. Enter your email, phone number and create a password
  4. Follow the prompts to add your personal details
  5. Complete the verification step as required
  6. Once your account is verified, you're good to go

What documents you'll need

Depending on the payment you're arranging, you may be asked to verify your MoneyGram account. If you're not asked to do this the first time you send money, you may be asked to submit documents at a later stage to comply with local regulations in the UK or the destination country.

You'll be advised of the steps you need to take to verify your account. In most cases you'll be asked to submit a photo of a government issued ID document like a passport. You may also need to verify your address using a recent utility bill or bank statement in your name.

When your account has been verified you'll receive a notification on the phone number and email address linked to your MoneyGram account.

How long does verification take?

MoneyGram may be able to automatically verify your account electronically. In this case the process is usually very quick, and you'll be notified once you're able to start making payments.

If there's a problem with your documents you'll be notified by MoneyGram directly. This may be caused by poor quality photos, or the name on your ID document not exactly matching your name as entered into your MoneyGram account for example.

MoneyGram limits

MoneyGram has limits in place to limit the number and value of transfers that an individual can make. For most online transfers, the maximum you can send is 7,600 GBP per transfer, and up to a maximum of 7,600 GBP per month. If you need to send a higher value payment you may be able to do so at an agent location.

Overall limits can change depending on market fluctuations, security needs and local laws, and the full details are not published for customers. Instead, MoneyGram advises that you contact customer service to discuss the issue if you get a limit notification when trying to arrange a payment online.

Supported currencies

MoneyGram supports payments to over 200 different countries

MoneyGram regularly updates the countries and currencies available - to see if your destination country is covered, you're advised to start setting up your payment using the rates and fees tool on the MoneyGram homepage. You'll instantly be able to see whether transfers can be made to your destination.

MoneyGram reviews

MoneyGram UK scores an average of 4.4 stars on Trustpilot, from a total of over 5,000 listed reviews at the time of writing. This is an Excellent rating.

Customers leaving positive reviews frequently comment on the speed of delivery times available, and the ease of using the MoneyGram app. Here are a couple of representative comments:

"App is so easy to use, money transferred within seconds, at a reasonable price"

"The service is just straightforward and easy to use"

While the majority of customers were happy with the service provided by MoneyGram, 9% of reviews left give the worst available Trustpilot rating. Themes here include unexpected costs and high fees.

MoneyGram accessibility

MoneyGram services are available on their desktop site, or through the app which you can download on both Apple and Android phones. Alternatively, there are 400,000 agents worldwide, including 8,000 Post Offices in the UK.

MoneyGram customer service

MoneyGram has an extensive FAQ section online which covers a lot of common issues. If you can't find answers to your questions, you can also get in touch through email or the live chat function.

Customer support channelMoneyGram availability
Phone support Not available
Chat support Available in app and online
Email support Use the contact form available on the MoneyGram website

MoneyGram alternatives

  • Wise - send payments which use the real exchange rate and low transparent fees, or open an online international account to send and hold multiple currencies. No monthly fees apply.
  • Western Union
    • has a comparable network of agents compared with MoneyGram as well as online and in-app services. Fees tend to be on the higher side.
  • PayPal or Xoom - send instant payments at home and abroad - convenient and quick, but not always the cheapest. With PayPal your recipient will also need to set up an account to get their money.
  • Remitly
    • similar range of payout options as MoneyGram, but you can choose different delivery speeds which come with a choice of transfer fees.

Conclusion

MoneyGram's agent network and global reach make it a popular choice - especially if you want your payment to be collected in cash. With 400,000 agents around the world, the chances are that there's one conveniently placed for your recipient.

The main drawbacks of MoneyGram are in the costs - while the transfer rate might be relatively low, there may be a markup on the exchange rate which pushes up the overall price. Not all payout methods are available in all destinations, but if MoneyGram offers the service you need in your destination country, it's worth a look to see how the price measures up against other providers.

FAQs

How much does MoneyGram cost?

You can see the costs and exchange rates available for your MoneyGram payment online or in the MoneyGram app. The price you'll pay, and the available rate, vary based on payment type and destination.

2. How long does MoneyGram take to transfer funds?

Cash for collection payments can take just 10 minutes. Payments to a mobile money account or debit card are also often available in minutes. Transfers to a bank account may take up to a day or so.

3. Is MoneyGram safe?

MoneyGram is fully FCA regulated in the UK - making them a safe service for your international payment.

4. How does MoneyGram apply exchange rates?

The MoneyGram exchange rate for your payment is available online and in the app. It may vary depending on how you want your recipient to get the money and how you set up your transfer. It may also include a markup on the mid-market exchange rate.

5. Does MoneyGram have a mobile app?

MoneyGram has an app you can download on both Apple and Android phones.

How does MoneyGram work?

Create your moneyGram account online, in the app, or visit an agent location. You can then send money electronically or in person, with a broad range of payout methods available.

7. How many currencies does it support?

MoneyGram supports payments to 200 countries and territories in a broad range of currencies.

General advice: The information on this site is of a general nature only. It does not take your specific needs or circumstances into consideration. You should look at your own personal situation and requirements before making any financial decisions. We compare currency exchange and money transfer services in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. We only display reputable companies which we have researched and approved.

By Ileana Ionescu
Updated 14 May 2022