How to Send Money to South Africa

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • Visa holders in the US have various methods to send money to South Africa for purposes like family support, investments, and wedding expenses.
  • Options for sending money include bank transfers, writing checks, using PayPal, and utilizing third-party transfer services like Western Union.
  • Recommended remittance companies for international transfers are Transferwise, Xoom, and Remitly.
  • If quick funds are needed, applying for a personal loan through Stilt is an option.

Sending money to a different country could pose several challenges – especially if you haven’t done it before. This is why you might have a bunch of questions on the topic. With that in mind, if you want to send money to South Africa, you’ve reached the right place. We’ll address the most common questions, to make things easier for you.

Can a Visa Holder Send Money to South Africa?

If you intend to send money to South Africa, then the first question on your mind would be whether this is possible or not. It’s a good thing that the answer is positive. As a visa holder in the US, you have the option of sending money back home.

3 Big Reasons South African Visa Holders Send Money Back Home

Evidently, there are several reasons why you might think of transferring money back home. Doing this is relatively easy, and you can choose to do so in order to turn your plans into reality.

Supporting Family

Without a doubt, this is the most common reason why many people look for easy and convenient ways of sending money back home. Many visa holders have parents and other relatives that depend on them from a financial point of view.


The second most widespread reason is, without a doubt, investment. South Africa is steadily becoming an attractive place for investors. Essentially, as an investor, you don’t have the time to travel to South Africa each time you need to make a payment or something of the kind.

This is what makes an international money transfer a really convenient option. It simplifies everything, allowing you to send money right away.

Paying for a Wedding Abroad

Another reason could be paying for a wedding abroad. It’s no secret that weddings are expensive affairs. This is why financial aid is necessary. Once again, international money transfers are the solution to this problem.

5 Best Ways to Send Money to South Africa

Regardless of the reason why you intend to send money to South Africa – as there are many more others than just the ones mentioned – you should know what your options are. In this way, you can see what would work best for you, in your given circumstances. With that in mind, here are the most convenient options.

Bank Transfer

The first option that comes to mind is that of a bank transfer. In order to do that, you should simply go to your US bank account and complete the transfer online. This is convenient, especially if you travel a lot, as you can do this whether you are in South Africa or in the US.

Depending on the bank you work with, you will be charged at a different rate. Make sure you check this beforehand. If the rates charged are too high, you might consider opening a different account with lower rates.

Write Yourself a Check

This might seem odd but it is an option worth considering. What does it entail? If you use a checkbook, you should simply write a check to your bank account in South Africa from your bank account in the US. Afterward, you should simply give the check to your South African bank teller and that’s about it.

The fee for checks is significantly smaller, so this alternative might be more convenient than the first one. But the main disadvantage is that it can take a lot of time – up to 60 days. Therefore, if time is of the essence, this might not make sense for you, even if it is more affordable.

Send via PayPal

The odds are that you’ve heard of PayPal until now. Lately, it has become more and more popular. Of course, this has to do with the fact that it is easy to use and pretty convenient – especially when it comes to sending money abroad.

With that in mind, you can transfer funds to a bank account in South Africa from a US PayPal account. In regards to the fees charged, these can depend on the method you choose. If you want to find out more information regarding the fees charged by PayPal, you should access this link.

Use a Third Party Transfer Service

There are also third-party transfer services such as Western Union, MoneyGram, and others that allow you to easily transfer money to South Africa. The main distinction would be that, as opposed to transferring a sum of money to a bank account, these services are responsible for transferring cash.

To use such a service, you should go online to the official website of the service. There, you’ll have to include details regarding the transfer. In addition, most likely you’ll have to fill out a form. In order for the other person to get the cash, you’ll get a password and ID.

The good thing about this alternative is that it will get your money transferred to your destination in roughly 24 hours. But the thing is that you should find a place that provides this service beforehand.

Withdraw from an ATM in South Africa

Considering that you already have an American bank account, this means you can utilize your debit card. So, when you’re in South Africa, you can withdraw money from the bank. However, note that the exchange rate might not be the most convenient. In addition to that, there is usually a withdrawal fee that applies.

Therefore, perhaps you should choose one of the options mentioned beforehand, as they are more convenient and hassle-free.

Top 3 Remittance Companies for Sending Money to South Africa

Now, let’s move our focus on some of the most reliable money transfer services for those who intend to send money to South Africa.

There are different remittance companies to choose from. You can actually save money depending on the remittance rates charged by the company. Obviously, there are reliable remittance services in other countries as well – including Mexico, China, and South Korea, and more and more people opt for this choice. We will introduce you to the top three choices in South Africa, though.


The first option would be Transferwise. The good thing is that you know precisely all the extra fees that are charged. In this way, you won’t be caught off-guard with any hidden fees, which might happen when working with banks. In addition to that, prior to making a transfer, you will know the exact exchange rate.


Next on the list of recommendations would be Xoom. You can even use the app, which significantly simplifies the entire process so that it takes up a minimum amount of time. You select the sum of money you want to send and the location of the beneficiary. Once you do that, the money is delivered directly in a bank account in South Africa.

The good thing is that you will always know where your money is. In addition, the service is secured.


You can also send money to South Africa by using Remitly. Remitly also offers peace of mind, as each transfer is operated safely. Plus, you can save money on fees. At the same time, the money will get to its destination right on time. So, it’s great if you need to transfer money fast.

Personal Loan to Send Money to South Africa

What if you need to make a quick money transfer to South Africa but you don’t have the financial means to do so?

In this situation, there’s always the option of applying for a personal loan. Stilt can help you in this respect: the application process is straightforward and to the point and convenient for foreigners. Here is what you have to do.

1. Submit an application

This is the first step – namely submitting a loan application. Is as little as 24 hours, you will get an update regarding your submission. In case Stilt requires more information, you will be shortly notified so that everything is straightforward and time-effective.

2. Receive an offer

After your documents and the information you submitted have been verified, you will get an offer. You’ll have to sign the promissory note. Once you sign the note, the transfer is completed. It might take up to three business days until the money reaches your account.

3. Start making payments

The next step is determining the way in which you will repay the sum of money you borrowed. It is easy to set up auto-pay, not to mention that it is utterly convenient. Another good thing is that there isn’t a prepayment penalty that applies if you manage to repay the loan earlier.


In summary, we hope that our article on how to send money to South Africa has been insightful. Thanks to the development of technology, sending money abroad has never been easier and more accessible. If you have other questions regarding sending or borrowing money, we encourage you to browse through our website as there are many resources you’re likely to find useful.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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