Thursday, March 21, 2019

5 Things NRIs should know before Sending Money to India from Abroad

When a young software engineer gets his first onsite opportunity, whether it's short term or long term, he is full of excitement. Nothing beats the excitement and adventure of going abroad, especially America or Europe. As they settle down there are receive their first month's salary, it can be a little difficult for them to send money back home. They are new and not aware of all the options they have for sending money to India. Many of them settled to what they are colleagues are using without doing any research about other options available and whether the option his colleagues are using giving the best value for his money or not.

In this article, I am going to share you 5 money transfer tips which you must follow while sending money from abroad to India.

Always remember, a single penny saved is a single penny earned and don't be like many software engineers and NRIs who work hard to earn money but don't work even 5% of that to save money like saving in exchange conversion rate, transfer fees and miscellaneous charges you may be asked to pay for remitting money to India.

5 Remittance tips new NRIs and Immigrants

Here are my practical tips for every new immigrant who wants to send money to India from abroad. All these tips are quite useful and I have been using them for a long time. They will help you to get the best value for your money by getting the best exchange rate, low transfer fee or zero transfer fee and safety and security of the transaction.

1. Better Exchange Rate
Always search for better exchange rate because of every single dollar matters. Even small fluctuations on the exchange rate can result in a big amount in INR if you transfer a large amount of money to India.

For example, currently USD to INR is around 1 USD = 72  INR and if you are transferring 10000USD but you get an exchange rate of 66, you would end of losing 20,000 Indian rupees which is quite a big amount to lose in India.

So, don't settle for an exchange rate before you compare rates from different online money transfer services. You can use websites like this and this to compare them quickly.

2. Transaction Fees
Many NRIs simply ignore the fees online money transfer services, banks or credit card companies charge to them. To give you an example, when you book your flight ticket by Credit card, you pay a couple of hundred rupees extra in India but if you use net banking you can save that money.

This is the kind of thing many Indians simply ignore.

Same is true with money transfer from abroad. They don't pay attention to how much bank or online money transfer service is charging to remit their money to their Indian bank account.

You must compare transfer fees both overseas and any conversion charges, receiving fees in India before you choose any money transfer services.

You can also check the CurrencyFair website which generally offers a much better exchange rate and also the first 3 transfer is completely free for all new customers, click here to learn more about the free transfer from overseas including UK, USA, and Australia.

5 Things  NRIs should know before Sending Money to India from Abroad

3. Transfer Limits
You must know the transfer limit or the maximum and minimum amount of money you can send from abroad to India using a particular remittance service CurrencyFairMoney2India, Remit2India, Xoom, TransferWise, Western Union, MoneyGram or any other.

Many of these service charge different transfer fees depending upon the amount, for example, Money2India charges 2USD if you send 500 USD but waive the transfer charge for a higher amount because they earn that money in the exchange rate they give to you.

Similarly, CurrencyFair waives off transfer charges for the first three transactions.

4. Safety
You must choose the only safe and reliable option for sending money to India from abroad. Don't go for an unknown bank or company who is promoting a higher exchange rate only to find that the money never reaches home and the remittance service company disappeared.

I suggest you stick with money transfer services provided by known public and private sector banks and renowned local banks e.g. WellsFargo, Bank Of America, Citibank etc. Safety is the utmost importance for your hard earned money.

5. Speed
If two money transfer service is giving you the same exchange rates and charging the same fees or not charging any fees at all then choose the option which can remit the money in less time.

You surely don't want to follow up multiple times with your remittance partner to inquire about the status of your remittance and why money is not reached to your Indian bank account yet.

There are online money transfer services like CurrencyFiar, Money2India from ICICI bank which promises instant money transfer.

There are others who guarantee same day remittance, so choose the one which gives you instant money transfer like DBS India Remit in Singapore credit the money in a couple of hours of your transfer during the banking work period.

6. Bank Holidays
Make sure you don't transfer money during bank holidays both in the foreign country and in India. Many times I have seen newer immigrants transfer money at the end of the business day only to find that next day is a bank holiday and then it's weekend and in the worst case, Monday is a bank holiday in India.

You lost control your money for four days and the exchange rate also moved during this period. So make sure you know there is no bank holiday coming the way of your transaction and you must transfer money at the start or mid of business day and not at the end of the business day.

These were some of the best money transfer tips I have come across for NRIs and immigrants sending money to India. Make sure you don't fall into trap of zero transfer fees but lower exchange rates. Many money transfer websites do this, they would say that they have offered, no transfer charges but when you compare their exchange rate they are lower than the best rate you can get.

Instead of losing money there, I would suggest you make calculation by considering both the exchange rate and any transfer charges and choose the one which gives you the best value for your money.  If you have any more remittance tips to add to this list, please feel free to share.

P. S. - If you are sending a large amount of money, I suggest you check the CurrencyFair website which generally offers a much better exchange rate and also the first 3 transfer is free for all new customers. If you want to avail this here is the link to get first 3 free transfer money from overseas including UK, USA, and Australia.


  1. very good article, well written, and very useful tips are there.

  2. Hi,
    As a house wife I am staying with my husband in UAE last 6 year, additionally my visa is sponsored (Dependent Visa) on my husband job visa.
    As I know any Indian leaving outside INDIA more than 182 days in financial year become NRI. Now the question is,
    * I am able to open a NRE account in INDIA?
    (If I am eligible to open a NRE account)
    * Currently I am doing some handicraft work and earn some cash money irregular base but I have no bank account In UAE. Now If I am planning to send money through authorize money exchange center to my INDIAN NRE account, is this any Income Tax risk waiting for me in when I am back to INDIA.
    * Because of my husband have job visa and I have dependent visa, later when I will go back to INDIA is this any possibility India tax system start calculating this money as my husband income and future earned interest stat calculating taxable clubbing of income of my husband and I have no right in this money.
    India tax system believe, both party NRE account money is individual assets. And there is no matter who earn this money and how earn this money.
    (If I am eligible to open a NRE account)
    My INDIA NRE account - I have 1,000,000 (10 lakhs) and later when comeback to India taxable Interest gain yearly 6% base 60,000 (60 thousand)
    In my husband INDIA NRE account - have 4,000,000 (40 lakhs) and later when comeback to India taxable Interest gain yearly 6% base 240,000 (2 lakhs 40 thousand)
    Husband Clubbing of income - Any chance India tax system start calculating this money my Husband income (240,000+60,000) = 300,000 (3 lakhs)
    Both party incomes are separate and in my money there is no right of my husband.