Ria money transfer fees: An overview

TransferWise content team
18.10.18
7 minute read

When it comes to making international money transfers, it can feel like you need an advanced degree to understand all the fees that are involved. Considering Ria for your money transfer needs? Not so fast — you’re going to want to know the fees first so you can determine whether Ria is actually the best option for you. Read on to learn:

  • Ria’s fees and limits
  • How Ria makes money from exchange rates

How much does Ria really cost? And are there limits?

On its website, Ria advertises money transfers with “great rates and low fees.” But how do those fees really stack up against other methods of transferring money internationally, like with bank wires or alternative online money transfer services like TransferWise? Unfortunately, there’s just no short answer to that. What it costs to send money via a Ria transfer varies depending on a number of factors: How you choose to pay, where you’re sending the money, how much money you’re sending and how the recipient is receiving the transfer. It’ll take some cost comparison to see whether Ria is your cheapest option, but you still may be able to save money by using TransferWise.

Ria limits

Generally, Ria customers can send up to $2999.99 per day, and up to $7,999 within any 30-day period.¹ This is dependent on where the sender lives, though; residents of Oklahoma and Arizona are limited to $999.99 per calendar day.

Paying for your transfer with cash will also limit you to sending no more than $989 in a single transfer online.² Some countries, like Nigeria also have lower per-transfer limits, which are noted on Ria’s price calculator tool.²

It may be possible to send more than $2,999.99 in a day, but it cannot be done online.¹ You’ll have to visit a Ria agent location to see if you’re eligible.¹

Ria cost and fee overview table

Ria’s transfer fees vary depending on a number of factors: where you’re sending the transfer, how you’re paying for the transfer, how much you’re sending, how the recipient plans to receive the transfer and the exchange rate.²

Ria offers an online price estimator so you can check the specifics for your transfer needs. But let’s say you need to send $1,000 from the US to the UK. Here’s what that may look like with Ria.²

Exchange rate Deposited to bank account (fee) Cash pickup (fee) Total cost
Payment method: Bank account Mid-market rate + possible markup $5 $5 $5 + possible exchange rate markup
Payment method: Credit card Mid-market rate + possible markup $35 $35 $35 + possible exchange rate markup
Payment method: Debit card Mid-market rate + possible markup $15 $15 $15 + possible exchange rate markup
Payment method: Cash Mid-market rate + possible markup $9 $9 $9 + possible exchange rate markup

TransferWise vs Ria: A comparison

Now let’s compare that Ria transfer with TransferWise. You need to send $1,000 from the US to the UK. Here’s what that might look like:

Fee Ria TransferWise
Transfer fee $5-$35 $8.70
Exchange rate * 1 USD = 0.7494 GBP 1 USD = 0.7629 GBP
Total cost $5-$35 + possible exchange rate markup $8.70
Total received 745.65 - 723.17 GBP 756.31 GBP

* Exchange rates taken at 9:56 UTC on October 18, 2018

As you can see, with TransferWise, you may get a lower transfer fee, and the recipient ends up getting more money because the exchange rate isn't marked up.

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Now, back to what you came here to read.

Ria Fee 1: How you pay for your transfer

Ria offers multiple options for how you can pay for your transfer, and each one will affect your total transfer fee. They also affect how long it’ll take your transfer to reach its destination. Your options are:²

  • Pay from your bank account
  • Pay with a credit card
  • Pay with a debit card
  • Pay with cash

Here’s how each option affects your transfer time, according to Ria:¹

Pay from your bank account Approximately four business days
Pay with a credit card On average, 15 minutes
Pay with a debit card On average, 15 minutes
Pay with cash No time estimation given

Since the total transfer fee for your transfer depends on a lot more factors than just which payment method you choose, you’ll have to use Ria’s price calculator to get an estimate for your chosen payment method.

Ria Fee 2: What country you’re sending money to

Another factor that affects the total transfer fee for your Ria transfer is where you’re sending the money. Again, this is just one aspect of the transfer fee, and you’ll have to use Ria’s price calculator to get an estimate for your specific transfer. But just to compare some of the differences for some countries, let’s look at sending $1,000 from the US to a number of popular transfer destinations, sending the money from one bank account to another (if available; in some countries, only cash pickup is available). You can also see how much the recipient ends up receiving with Ria and TransferWise. Note, that TransferWise already has the fee included within the $1000, but Ria doesn’t. This means that you should take into account the Ria fee as well, to understand how much you are in total spending on your transfer.

Destination country Checked at18/10/2018 Transfer fee² With Ria you receive (fee not included)² With TransferWise you receive (fee included)
Australia 13:40 UTC $5 (only cash pickup) 1378.70 1388.81
UK 13:46 UTC $5 744.30 756.51
Brazil 13:48 UTC $5 3680.80 3620.40
Canada 13:49 UTC $15 (only cash pickup) 1279.00 1239.87
Spain 13:50 UTC $5 (only cash pickup) 854.20 861.71
India 13:51 UTC $0 73,170.00 72,862.73
Mexico 14:24 UTC $1 18,460.00 18,729.00
China 14:35 UTC $5 6653.40 6799.55

Ria exchange rates: A fee not always disclosed

When you transfer money with Ria, there’s a fee that isn’t exactly transparent on the price calculator: the exchange rate markup. Ria notes in its terms and conditions, “In addition to the transaction fee applicable to the transaction where you request a currency conversion, RIA will apply a currency exchange rate (the “Exchange Rate”) to convert the Transfer to the currency of the destination country as set out on the front of the Form. Any monies arising from the difference (if any) between the Exchange Rate and the exchange rate received by RIA will be kept by RIA and/or its Correspondents.” ³ That means the exchange rate used by Ria isn’t the real mid-market rate or the rate you’d see on Google; it’s marked up so Ria can take an extra profit from your transfer. To compare the rate you’re offered by a service like Ria to the mid-market rate, you can always Google the currency conversion, or use an online currency converter.

Ria Fee 3: How the recipient receives the transfer

The last factor that affects how much your Ria transfer will cost is how the recipient gets the money. In some cases, you can choose to transfer the money directly into their bank account. In other cases, the only option is for them to pick up cash at a Ria agent location. Again, check the Ria price calculator to see how these different options will affect the cost of your Ria transfer.

Whether a Ria money transfer is right for you is ultimately your decision, and this information should help you decide whether the fees will be a factor in that decision. Whether you go with Ria or an alternative, best of luck with your transfer!


Sources:
  1. https://www.riamoneytransfer.com/help/faq (October 18, 2018)
  2. https://www.riamoneytransfer.com/price-calculator (October 18, 2018)
  3. http://www.riaagent.com/terms-and-conditions-per-country/ (October 18, 2018)

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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