There are a number of ways to send someone money using a credit card, a debit card or a bank account. You can send a wire transfer from a credit card, use a money transmission service such as MoneyGram or Western Union or use an online payment service such as PayPal or Venmo. Fees will vary based on how you send the money and whether you use a credit or debit card. Shop around for the best fees for the services you need and be wary of scammers.
Wire Transfer from Credit Card
A wire transfer is a way to quickly send money to a person or company via the banking system. You can usually initiate a wire transfer by contacting your bank with the account information, bank name and recipient name of the person who is to receive the money.
Wire transfers are reliable and arrive quickly, but you must pay fees to send money this way. If you're using a credit card rather than a bank account, you often must pay an additional cash advance fee and often must pay interest immediately starting from when you send the money until when you pay it back. You may owe interest even if you pay your bill in full, unlike with typical purchases.
Contact your bank or credit card company to see how to make a wire transfer and how much you would pay for the service. If you have multiple banks or a bank account and a credit card, you may want to see what your cheapest option is for this service.
Use PayPal to Send Money
PayPal is a popular service for sending money online. You can also use it to pay for goods and services on many websites.
You can use PayPal to send money to friends and family using a credit card, a debit card or a linked bank account. If you use a bank account, there is typically no fee to send money with PayPal. If you use a credit card or a debit card, you ordinarily must pay a 2.9 percent fee to PayPal on top of the money that you are sending.
If you use a credit card with PayPal, you may also have to pay a cash advance fee to your credit card issuer. Contact your financial institution with any questions on fees you may be charged for this service.
It's usually free to receive money from friends and family on PayPal and to transfer the money to a linked bank account. There are sometimes optional fees for expedited withdrawals from your PayPal account. Merchants using PayPal to receive payments usually must pay additional fees.
Use Venmo to Send Money
Venmo is another service used to send money online with a credit card. It's also owned by PayPal but is largely run independently from the branded PayPal service. Its app has become a popular way for people to settle small debts with friends, family and coworkers, such as paying for a group birthday gift, a share of a restaurant meal or a cab.
You can send money with Venmo for free using a bank account or debit card. Fees usually apply if you are using a credit card, and you may be charged a cash advance fee or interest by your financial institution. Verify with your credit card issuer which fees you may be charged for using Venmo.
It's typically free to receive money when using Venmo, though you may optionally pay a fee to expedite funds transfers to your linked bank account. Check Venmo's website for the current list of fees and options.
Use Western Union and MoneyGram
Western Union and MoneyGram are two money transmission services used to send money all around the world. An advantage of these services is that you can receive money in the form of cash at stores around the world, including check cashing businesses, supermarkets, drugstores and many other businesses with a Western Union or MoneyGram counter. View these services' websites to see lists of affiliated businesses. These services can also be used to pay bills to companies such as phone carriers and electric and gas utility companies.
Western Union and MoneyGram offer numerous ways to send and receive money. Both allow you to pay cash at a store with a money transfer counter or send online through a website or app using a credit card or debit card. The fees you must pay vary based on how you are sending money and where you are sending it.
Check the Western Union and MoneyGram websites to see your option for sending money and the locations where your desired recipient can pick it up. If you don't need instantaneous cash pickup and your recipient has a bank account, particularly one in the United States, it may make more sense to use a cheaper online alternative.
Send Money with Messaging Apps
Many messaging and email services, including Google's Gmail and Facebook Messenger, enable you to send and receive money online. Different services support different mixes of credit cards, debit cards and bank accounts.
Check with the services you and your family, friends and coworkers use to communicate to see if they offer good ways to send money. Make sure to read the fine print to understand how soon funds will be available, how they can be sent and withdrawn and what fees may apply for the methods convenient for you.
Send Gift Cards Online
Sending money online with a credit card often results in fees, but it's often free to buy gift cards from online and brick-and-mortar stores. Many stores can either deliver an electronic gift card essentially instantaneously via email or text message or can send a gift card via postal mail. If you owe someone money or want to send a gift, it can often be cheaper or easier to send a gift card to a store the recipient likes to shop than to send money with a credit card.
Check stores where you want to buy gift cards to see what the options are. In some cases, you can buy physical gift cards at stores beyond the ones where they will be used, including supermarkets, discount stores and drug stores.
If you need to give someone spending ability on a gift card before you can physically mail or deliver a gift card, consider providing the numeric code from the back of the gift card in the meantime. You can send this by email or text message or take a picture of the back of the gift card to send after all security coverings have been removed.
Keep gift card numbers secure, since they can be used by thieves looking to make unauthorized purchases on the gift card.
Watch Out for Scams
Scammers will sometimes request gift cards or online payments under false pretenses. They may impersonate people you know or pretend to be selling items or services online in order to steal money.
Don't send money, gift cards or anything else of value to people you don't know without some guarantee you're taking part in a legitimate deal. If someone you know appears to reach out unexpectedly to request funds, gifts or assistance, verify that it is not an imposter by talking to the person by phone or another trusted channel.
- Discover: What Is a Credit Card Wire Transfer?
- PayPal: Send Money with PayPal
- Investopedia: How Safe Is Venmo and Is It Free?
- Venmo: Sending and Requesting Money
- Venmo: Adding a Credit or Debit Card
- Facebook: How Do I Send Or Receive Money Through Facebook Using Messages?
- Amazon: Gift Cards
- Western Union: Send Money Online
- MoneyGram: Send Money Online
- Google: Send & Receive Money with Gmail
- Detroit Free Press: Don't Do Your Boss Any Favor Buying Gift Cards - It's Likely a Scam