Cheapest Way to Wire Money Within the USA

by Leigh Egan; Updated September 26, 2017

When wiring money within the USA, there are several options to look for. Price, convenience, and security will usually make the difference as to what company will suit your needs best. Although there are a plethora of companies to choose from, some companies stand out above the rest for their security, cheap fees, and ease of use.


PayPal is an Internet e-commerce business that allows individuals to wire funds to others online. To get started, you will need to create a PayPal account by registering your e-mail address. To send money, link a banking account, debit or credit card, or both to your account. Your recipient will also need to sign up for PayPal using an e-mail address, and in order to receive the funds, must link a credit or debit card, or banking account to their account as well.

Sending money using a personal account with PayPal is free as long as the funds being sent come from your personal banking account or your PayPal balance. If you choose to wire funds using a credit or debit card, fees start at 2.9% of the total sent, but this amount decreases as the amount of money being sent increases.

Western Union

For individuals who don't have a banking account or credit card, Western Union is an efficient way to wire funds within the USA. You can send funds via the Internet, by phone, or in person at an authorized Western Union location. You will need a debit or credit card in order to send funds, but if paying at an authorized location, cash is acceptable as well.

Western Union offers a few different options to send money. The quickest way to send funds is through an instant wire transaction where the money will be available to your recipient within minutes. The other method is a next day service transfer. Both methods have a starting fee of $5.00. This fee will increase according to the dollar amount sent, with instant transfer fees being slightly higher.


MoneyGram is an alternative to Western Union, but basically has the same premise. The main difference between the two is the fees. MoneyGram tends to run a bit higher. However, if an authorized MoneyGram location is more convenient for you, then MoneyGram may be the logical choice. If you are sending from an authorized location in person, fees start at $12.50 for same day service and economy service. Funds will arrive within 10 minutes for same day service and within three days for economy service. Fees start at $14.50 for Internet transactions. Both fees will increase as the dollar amount to be sent increases, with same day service fees being slightly higher.

If you choose to send money at an authorized location, you must bring identification, fill out a money transfer form, then pay by cash, credit or debit card. You will then be given a reference number. Give the reference number to your recipient for pick up. For Internet transactions, you will need to register online, fill out the money transfer form, copy your reference number to be given to your recipient, and pay by debit or credit card.

About the Author

Leigh Egan, a professional writer since 2000, has vast experience within academic research, journalism and web writing. She has written for and various other websites, and works as a staff writer and a freelance journalist. Egan majored in English at Kennesaw State University and holds a certification in creative writing and grant writing.