How to send money to a debit card abroad
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How to send money to a debit card abroad

We’re all well familiar with debit cards and how they work. With this physical or virtual extension of a bank current account, one can pay via the Internet, by using a special app on the smartphone, and, last but not least, in any physical store with the help of a POS terminal. You can also send and receive funds using a debit bank card, and this payment method has been gaining popularity during the past decade in all countries. In today’s Genome article, we will reveal all about how to use a debit card for moving money online, as well as briefly overview the best services for this. 

Pros and cons of debit cards for sending money

Let’s have a closer look at why sending money using a debit card can be more beneficial (in terms of transfer speed, costs, convenience, and so on) than making a regular bank transfer or using a credit bank card. We’ve prepared a short table covering all advantages and disadvantages of sending money with the help of a debit card:

ProsCons
No annual fees for debit card usage (unless you have a paid current bank account)The transfer amount will be limited by the sum you have in your current bank account. With a credit card – you can borrow money from your financial provider.  
Instant transfers available (a regular bank transfer can take a few business days)Daily and spending limits on debit cards are generally low – only a few thousand dollars. 
No need to pay interest (you’re not borrowing money as with a credit card)International transfers to or from a debit bank card can be very expensive
Rewards (some checking accounts come with discounts, etc.) 
You can send funds both within one country and internationally

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How to transfer money to a debit card

There are plenty of transfer companies that will help you with this. Depending on the range of services offered, you can send money from a debit card to another debit card or send money directly to a bank account using a debit bank card. For the first type of transaction, you will need the receiver’s name and a debit card number (both printed on the front side of the card). To make a second financial operation, you will need the recipients’ checking account details. 

Transfers from credit bank cards are more expensive. In addition, you will need to pay interest in case you don’t pay the money back in time. However, it’s still an option if you need money urgently and cannot borrow from friends or take a loan. For more information on how to move funds between different credit cards to avoid high interest rates and going into debt, check our article on balance transfers

Most money transfer companies have user-friendly and intuitive web and mobile applications. You will need to compare their offers (including sending limits, fees, the exchange rate for cross-currency transactions, etc.) and see what works best for you. Below we’re explaining how the worldwide known money transfer services work and their pros for making debit card money transfer:

MoneyGram

Their scheme Debit Card Deposit works only for Visa issued bank cards. As of now, you can only transfer funds to 13 countries, among which Spain, Russia, Greece, Lithuania, and Sri Lanka. There’s no flat fee for this service, but a hidden exchange rate margin (usually from 0.05% to 5%) of the total transfer amount. 

Wise

Former TransferWise, this service supports online money transfers through a debit card to almost 150 countries (a truly impressive number!). Sign-in options include linking your Google or Facebook accounts. The daily transaction limit for using a debit bank card is $2000. When it comes to international transfers, the flat fee is between $0.5 – 2.0. You will also be charged a 2% currency exchange fee if you’re sending in one currency, but the receiver is supposed to get funds in another one. 

WorldRemit

This money transfer company is particularly famous for its transparency with fees. That is, before confirming a transaction, you will see all the charges on your screen with no hidden fees applied. WorldRemit offers significantly low exchange rates for transactions to countries in South America and Africa, as well as for the Philippines and India. The daily spending limit is $10 000, which is a very high amount if compared to similar services. Moreover, you can order a cash-pick-up service in case you need cash urgently or don’t know the receiver’s bank account details.  

Remitly

This company specializes in transfers to countries located in Asia, South America, Africa. One of the best things about Remitly is that you can choose between two options:

  • Express transfers (faster but more expensive);
  • Economy transfers (slower but cheaper);

XE Money Transfer

With this service, you can send more than 60 currencies to 170 countries all over the world. XE does not charge anything for making a transfer, but the fee will be included in the exchange rate. 

PayPal

PayPal is one of the first money transfer companies and is still widely used by millions of people worldwide. When comparing to other options on the market, it’s not the cheapest way to send funds using a debit card. You will not be charged for domestic transactions using a bank account or PayPal balance. However, for any transfers involving bank cards, there’s a small flat fee (different for every country) + 2.90% of the whole transfer sum. For international transactions with a PayPal balance or a bank account, you will need to pay a 5.00% fee of the whole amount (a minimum fee is $0.99, a maximum fee is $4.99). For card transactions, the charge is even higher. 5.00% + 2.90% + fixed fee with the same minimum and maximum charges. 

Can you send money to a debit card instantly?

Almost all transactions made from one debit card to another one are processed immediately. Thus, it’s much faster to send money between debit bank cards than making a transfer. Nevertheless, the speed of the transaction will also depend on your financial provider and even the location. For example, if you’re moving funds to Kenya, it’s more likely that the transfer will take some time. On the contrary, if you’re sending money to a debit card in the US, such financial operation should be quicker. The banking systems in some countries are not so advanced, which results in slower transfer processing.

Start an account at Genome to make instant international transfers to other Genome users. Our Visa debit cards are coming soon – perfect for payments around the world and money withdrawal. Our debit cards are available both for business and personal accounts. For more information, click here

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How much does it cost to send money abroad to a debit card?

The charges vary with every money transfer company. Some of them, for instance, do not have any flat fee but their own currency exchange rate that includes a hidden markup. Transfers within one country (domestic ones) should be cheaper than international ones. However, you can still send money to a debit bank card overseas almost for free with some money transfer companies.

Can you send large amounts with a debit card?

Unfortunately, it’s not quite possible to move big sums using debit bank cards. In most cases, they have spending limits (daily or monthly) that are rarely higher than $5 000. However, you can try setting up larger limits if this can be negotiated with your financial services provider. 

How to receive money using a debit card

The first way is to provide your current bank account details for the transfer. Then, you should be able to use the received amount with a debit bank card linked to this account. The second way is to provide your debit card details. 

FAQ

Can you transfer money to a debit card?

Yes, you can make a transfer to a bank account to which a specific debit card is linked or send money directly to a debit bank card. For the last one, you will need the name of the cardholder and card number. 

How do I transfer money from one debit card to another debit card?

You can do this with the help of such money transfer companies as WorldRemit, Wise, Remitly, etc. We’ve briefly discussed all of them above. Sometimes, you don’t even need to open an account to transfer money between debit cards. You only fill in the details of both sender’s and receiver’s cards on the website or in the mobile application. 

Can I use my debit card to send money abroad?

Yes, you can make both domestic and international debit card money transfers. Keep in mind that the last ones will be usually more expensive, especially if you’re doing a currency exchange. 

Are debit card payments instant?

The speed of such payments depends on the money transfer company. It is true that debit card transactions tend to be faster than transfers to bank accounts. However, when sending funds using a debit bank card to some distant country with a not-so-developed banking system, you might face some delays.