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Sent money from US to India

How to Send Money From the US to India for Free

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Whether you are living in India and have a business in the US or you stay in the US and want to send money to your family, friends, or relatives living in India. This blog will explain to you in detail the best way to transfer money from the US to India along with the things to consider so that your money reaches India safely and with no additional charges.

Quick Summary

If you have a business in US and looking to send money from US to India, we recommend you create a US bank account from banks like Brex or Mercury. The best ones for swift trasnfers are Remitly, XE Money transfers and Wise. If you are looking to send money for personal uses, we recommend XE Money Transfers, Remitly, Wise or with Agents.

Different Methods For Sending Money 💸

There are 3 ways to transfer money from the US to India. Each of these methods further has different options. I will explain all the options in detail so that you can easily understand and make an informed decision.

SWIFT/Wire Transfer

A SWIFT/wire transfer is a form of electronic payment that sends money directly from one bank account to another bank. With a wire transfer, the bank acts as a middleman for the payment. 

The sender does not need to have their own bank account, in wire transfer, they have to send the money to a particular bank. This bank then sends the money to the recipient’s bank and finally to the recipient.

SWIFT is a part of the global financial system that allows banks to send money to each other. While sending money from the US to India make sure to get your recipient’s bank account information and their bank’s SWIFT code. 

This is a good option if you are considering transferring a large sum of money. 

Here is how SWIFT transfers work with Banks and Western Union.


The easiest and fastest way to SWIFT transfer money from banks is through online banking. Below are the steps, it may slightly vary from bank to bank, but it will give you a general idea.

  1. Sign in to your bank’s online or net banking system
  2. Click on the tab for ‘Transfer’ or ‘Funds Transfer’
  3. Select international transfers.
  4. If this is the first time with your recipient, add their details as a beneficiary (It may take 30 minutes to confirm)
  5. Once the beneficiary is confirmed, head back to international transfers.
  6. Input the amount to be sent.
  7. Input the reason for sending.
  8. Confirm your transaction.

If you don’t want to transfer online, you can visit the local branch and carry out the process.

Western Union

Transferring through Western Union is easier and cheaper as compared to traditional banks. It is ideal for transferring large sums of money.

  • Western Union gives you 3 options to transfer money to India.

Send In Person

They have 11,10,001 Indian agent locations, your recipient can pick up cash close to home.

Send Online

Register your online profile to transfer money.

Send On The App

This allows you to track your money transfer to India.

  • From the western union, you can send money to nearly 200 banks in India. 
  • You will need to feed in the following details to transfer money: the recipient’s account number, Indian Financial System Code (IFSC), and the purpose of transferring the money.

Mobile Transfer

This is the modern way of making international payments. This is perhaps the fastest and simplest method to transfer money. Here you can access money transfers straight from an app on your mobile at any time. 


It is the most popular and most secure app for online money transfers. It has millions of users and businesses on its platforms. If you want to transfer money through PayPal, the recipient should also have a PayPal account. It can be a quick and cheap way to transfer money because here you don’t have to pay foreign transaction fees. It is a good option when you want to transfer a large sum of money.

Steps to transfer money from the US to India using PayPal

  • Log in to your PayPal account at Pay Pal.com
  • Go to send and request
  • Enter the name or Email address of the recipient
  • Select the amount of money you would like to send to the recipient and press continue. Here it will show you the conversion rate of the exchange.
  • Confirm the payment type and choose how to pay
  • Review everything and click send payment now.

Credit Card

This is not the best option, because they are expensive. There are 2 ways you can send money through a credit card. You can use your regular bank account or choose a transfer provider. 

It is an expensive way to transfer cash because it involves additional fees like cash advance fees, transfer fees, and exchange rate markup. It can however be the fastest way of transfer in case of an emergency.

📤 The Best Way To Transfer Money From US Bussiness To India

If you have a small business or start-up in the US then, I would suggest you open a US bank account that specifically caters to start-ups and small business owners. These banks usually have an easy-to-use interface and Cheap or free wire transfers.

Some of the best banks are:

1. Brex

2. Mercury

From these banks, you can directly SWIFT transfer your money, this way you will save money on the fees charged by third-party users, but do check the exchange rates that they are offering. 

I would suggest you compare these banks with the transfer charges and exchange rates of other swift transfers and choose the ones that provide good exchange rates and no hidden charges. Some of the best options for SWIFT transfers are

In case you want to transfer large sums of money, you could also consider using Western Union or PayPal

*I have explained about each of these banks in detail below

🏠 The Best Way To Transfer Money For Personal Reasons

If you want to send money to your family, or friends, or for any other personal reasons, then I would suggest you opt for SWIFT transfers like 

They have cheap or free transfer fees. However, do check the exchange rates they are offering. 

For transferring large sums of money, you can consider  Western Union and Paypal.

*I have explained about each of these banks in detail below

🇺🇸 ➡️ 🇮🇳 How to Send Money for Free from the US to India

There are three options that allow you to transfer money from the US to India for free. They are:

1. XE Money Transfers

If you are not under time pressure, then this is a good option for online users. They don’t charge fixed fees and don’t have a minimum amount, which means they are good for any sized transactions.

The transfer fees are free but there could be hidden costs at the local banks. The exchange rate from the US dollar to the Indian rupee they offer will depend on the amount of money you transfer from the US to India. 

How To Transfer Money With XE

  • Set up an online account or over the phone.
  • Tap in how much you want to transfer, where to, and which currency.
  • Pay XE and they will transfer money to the recipient’s bank account.

How Long Does It Take

It usually takes up to 1-3 business days. 

They are licensed as money transmitters by the DFS in New York and registered with FINTRAC.

Best Features

No fees or minimum amount of money transfers.

Better exchange rates for larger amounts.

Business and individual support and accessible customer service.

2. Remitly

They have Zero transfer fees for $1,000+, even when you send using a debit card.

It also gives you 3 options for determining how you want the recipient to receive money.

  1. Bank Deposit

Send money directly to your recipient’s bank account in India.

  1. UPI

Send money instantly to UPI Virtual Payment Address.

  1. Cash Pickup

Get cash from over 100,000 locations nationwide.

They have 2 options for transferring money:

  • Express Money transfers from the United States to India are available within minutes.
  • Economy Money transfers to India take 3-5 business days, but have a better exchange rate.

Best Features

  • Money-back guarantee – if your money doesn’t arrive on time.
  • Same-day cancellation requests are possible.

How To Send Money Through Remitly To India

  • Create an account.
  • Enter an amount.
  • Choose a delivery method.
  • Enter your recipient’s information.
  • Select a payment method and send.

3. Mercury Bank

Mercury is another bank that does not charge any fees for International wire transfers.

How To Make Payment Through Mercury

  1. Log in to your Mercury dashboard.
  2. Click Move Money in the upper left of your dashboard, then select Pay Someone.
  3. When asked How do you want to pay? You will get a list of options, select International Wire.
  4. Select your currency, then enter the amount you want to send and which account to pay from.
  5. Fill in a few additional details about who you’re paying and why. 
  6. You can either send the payment immediately or select a date to schedule an upcoming payment.
    You also have the option of “Repeat this payment,” (you can set up a recurring payment that will automatically process on a schedule of your choosing)
  7. Review the payment details and click Send Payment.
    From your Review screen, you can enter an email address (your own or anyone else) to send an email receipt. 
*These banks might not charge fees for transferring money but do check their exchange rates before sending the money. 

Opening US Bank Account Remotely 🧑‍💻

There are 4 ways to open a US bank account for non-residents. Choose the one depending upon your needs and preferences.

Big banks in the US

Opening an account in Big Bank usually requires you to be a resident in the US (even though your primary residence is somewhere else) and will require you to travel to the US to visit a bank branch and open an account in person. You’ll also need specific documentation like SSN/TIN number, although this depends from bank to bank. So always call ahead to see the requirements before you make the journey, as it can differ from bank to bank.

Banks in this category include Wells Fargo, Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, US Bank, TD Bank, Capital One, etc. You can consider opening an account in such banks if you tend to visit the US regularly. 

International US banks:

Some banks have international branches and may allow you to open an account online without you having the need to be a resident in the US or have local documentation. 

The drawbacks of these banks are

  • Large Initial Deposit
  • Ongoing Monthly Fees to Maintain the Account 
  • Minimum Balance Requirements

E.g., HSBC, Bank of India, Bank Of Baroda, ICICI Bank, and Union Bank.

Online accounts: 

They are an upcoming sort of financial service provider which are meant to disrupt traditional banks by offering low-cost and savvy online banking. 

Here, you won’t necessarily need an SSN/ITIN, but you will need a US residence. It is basically a good option for US residents who want low-cost, digital banking services and don’t mind slightly less banking coverage.

E.g., Chime, Majority, Current

Wise Account: 

This is the easiest, quickest, and cheapest way to open a bank account online in the US as a non-resident. It is ideal for those wanting to open an American bank account online from abroad. 

Wise isn’t a traditional bank in the US, but a money transfer operator. It is well-known for offering some of the cheapest international transfers globally.

However, Wise also offers a Multi-Currency Account, a low-cost foreign currency spending account, and a Visa debit card.

🏬 Best Bank For Start-up Or Small US businesses

I would suggest you open a bank account in Mercury Bank if you have a start-up or small business in the US.

Benefits Of Opening A Mercury Account

  1. Mercury does not charge any monthly, transactions, or other hidden fees.
  1. No minimum deposit is required to open your account.
  1. Get Unlimited fee-free transactions with no overdraft fees.
  1. Free domestic and international wire transfers.
  1. You can easily manage your account online or through the mobile app
  1. Offers the service to create virtual debit cards, as well as manage your debit card through their App.
  1. Allows you to integrate your account with third-party business tools, such as QuickBooks, Xero, Stripe, Venmo, and Paypal. 
  1. Allows customers to connect their other business bank accounts with Mercury. 
  1. API access: Mercury gives API access to all accounts. It will help you automate your banking processes that previously had to be performed manually.
  1. Mercury checking and savings deposits are FDIC-insured 

What Documents You Will Need

  • US company with a federal EIN
  • Company’s article of Incorporation
  • A picture of your passport

How To Open The Mercury Bank Account

You can find detailed step-by-step information in our blog on Mercury Bank Account For Foreigners. (Add link)

🧾 Paid ways to send money from the US to India

Online Banking

It includes payment through Bank transfer, Mobile banking, Debit, and Credit card.

Money Transfer Operators

They are usually finance companies and not banks. They engage in cross-border transfer of funds using either their internal system or using their collaboration with another international banking network. E.g., Transferwise, Moneygram.


You will have to meet the agents and give them cash or use credit or debit cards for transfers. E.g., Western Union, Ria. They have the highest charges as compared to other mediums. 

SWIFT Transfers

Popularly also called Wire Transfers. As mentioned above with a wire transfer, the bank acts as a middleman for the payment. The sender does not need to have their own bank account, in wire transfer, they just have to send the money to a particular bank. The bank then sends the money to the recipient’s bank and finally to the recipient.

If you choose to go with Wire transfers, you can compare the exchange rates of different banks through Monito

Here, you just need to select from which country you want to send the money to which country.

Enter the amount and currency you want to send. 

Then select COMPARE. They will give you the list of all the banks and their exchange rates so you can choose the cheapest one.

Image source

Foreign Currency Demand Drafts

A form of Demand draft made in the US bank branches to transfer money to India. It is however not the quickest way to send money. 

It is a low-cost option, you will need to pay a minimal fixed fee and applicable service tax. It is secured and cannot be misused because the beneficiary’s details are mentioned. 

Steps for Transferring Through Foreign Currency Demand Draft.

Ask your bank to give you a Demand Draft form.

A typical request form will ask you:

  • Name of the recipient
  • Name of the sender
  • Amount to be transferred
  • The location where the transferred money needs to be paid. 
  • The mode in which the transferred money needs to be paid. It could either be in cash or through a bank account. 
  • How the money will be paid to the bank.

Before Signing Off

Consider these points before you choose the right option for you to transfer money. 

Trust and Safety

Make sure that the option you choose can be trusted with your and your recipient’s details. Also, they should be reliable enough to transfer your money safely and securely. 

The best way to check the reliability is to check the number of users. The more the number of users, the more safe they are. 

Fees And Charges 

There are two main fees to look out for

Transaction fees

Hidden Exchange Rate Fees

Transfer Speed

Depending on the speed at which you want to transfer money you can choose the right option. Credit cards are the quickest way to transfer money, but they have high fees. Wise and Paypal can take a few minutes. SWIFT and Wire transfers take a few days. While Demand drafts take around 21 days. 


If you need to transfer money frequently then ease and convenience should be taken into account. Decide whether you would prefer to track it online, complete the transaction or you would prefer sitting down in person at a bank. This will help you choose the best option for you.


If you want to save money on fees and hidden charges while transferring money from the US to India then you have come to the right place. Whether you have your business in the US or you need to send your money to your family, relatives, or friends, there are multiple ways to transfer money. Some of these methods are free, some cheap, and some expensive. I have explained all these methods in detail along with the pros and cons of each. This will help you choose the right option that meets your needs the best.

The blog also has a tool to help you compare the exchange rates of different banks or SWIFT transfers, along with a checklist to make sure that your money reaches securely with no additional charges.

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