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Banking

Review of Ria: An International Money Transfer Provider

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

With over 350,000 locations worldwide and a robust online presence, Ria is a convenient option for people who need a no-hassle way to send money internationally.

Launched in 1987 as a single New York City storefront, Ria has expanded exponentially in more than thirty years in operation. In 2007, Ria merged with Euronet worldwide and now provides wire transfer services to 149 countries. Money transfers are available to be sent from the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Australia.

Customer service is available by phone during business hours — including Saturdays and Sundays — and a pricing tool allows you to see exactly how much a transfer may cost, making price comparison simple.

In addition to money transfer services, Ria also offers other services like money orders, check cashing, bill payment and prepaid debit cards.

Whether you’re doing business with a client in another country or sending money to family members abroad, it’s important to find a transfer company that delivers money securely, with minimal and transparent fees. You may also look for a money transfer company that’s available both online and in person, in the United States and around the globe. Comparing rates and capabilities helps you choose the best money transfer service for your needs.

In this review, we’ll cover all you need to know about Ria and how it stacks up to competitors.

Ria highs and lows

  • Transparent pricing. Ria has a price calculator tool that allows customers to see a price quote of a potential transfer, making price comparisons between service providers simple. This is a rare feature, as many big name transfer services don’t make it quite as simple to see how much a transfer will cost before you make it.
  • Multiple payment options. In addition to allowing patrons to send payments online and via their app (available on Apple and Android devices), Ria has a partnership with PayNearMe. This program allows customers to pay a transfer with cash at a local 7-Eleven convenience store.
  • Global reach for recipients; limited reach for senders. With storefronts in 149 countries and over 350,000 locations, Ria can be an easy option for those sending money from the U.S. abroad. That said, currently money can only be sent through Ria from four countries: the United States, the U.K., Australia, and Spain. If you’re frequently making transfers and requesting money from elsewhere, Ria may not be the best option for you.
  • Limited daily and monthly transactions. While it may be possible to send more money if you work through an agent (as opposed to exclusively online), Ria only allows you to send up to $2,999.99 a day, or up to $7,999 a month.

Sending a money transfer with Ria

Options for receiving funds depend on where the recipient is located. Ria has a courier delivery service available in Vietnam, Peru, the Philippines and the Dominican Republic. Money can also be transferred for in-person pickup at a Ria agent location or deposited in a worldwide bank location.

Funds can be sent from bank accounts, credit cards, or debit cards, with additional fees that differ based on which option is chosen. Cash payments can be enabled by the company’s partnership with PayNearMe, which allows customers to use cash to start a transfer.

How long does a transfer take?

Transfer time is dictated by the transfer method chosen by the sender. Credit card and debit card transfers should take 15 minutes. Credit card transfers tend to be the fastest, and are also the most expensive due to processing fees.

Bank transfers can be the most economical option, but are also the most time-consuming, taking up to four days to reach a recipient’s account. In addition, bank accounts require you to set up your bank account through Ria’s platform, which can cause a delay as you’ll need to validate your bank account info.

Where can you send money?

Right now, money can be sent to 149 countries on six continents, as well as within the U.S. It’s important to note that some countries have differing services — for example, it’s only possible to send money to Nigeria through bank transfer, and many countries don’t currently offer courier money services.

How much can you send?

If you’re sending money online, Ria caps transactions at $2,999.99 a day or $7,999.99 a month. It may be possible to send more money if you’re working directly with an agent.

Fees and fine print

Fees vary depending on country, the payment method and payout method, but it’s not uncommon for fees to be about 0.5% to 1.5% of the total amount you’re sending.

Ria’s price calculator tool provides transparency into how much you pay in fees based on how you’re sending the funds. There may be different fees based on whether you send the transfer online or work with an agent. In addition, you may be charged a retail exchange fee if you want the payout for your recipient to be in local funds, rather than dollars.

So how do Ria’s fees stack up to other money transfer services? These fees may be lower than transferring money internationally through your bank, but it really depends on all the factors we outlined above, so be sure you compare. Wire transfers from your bank may charge a one-off fee (regardless of how much you’re sending) of $20 to $35 per transaction, and may also charge a fee for the recipient who receives them.

Is Ria a good money transfer service to use?

A thirty-plus year history in international money transfers and a robust presence abroad could make Ria a good option, depending on your needs. Here, some potential things to consider:

Pros Cons
  • Robust global and online presence. A variety of agent locations as well as bank transfer options makes it seamless to transfer abroad.
  • Brick-and-mortar or online options. Having a brick-and-mortar storefront with agents may be an appealing option if you’re planning to
  • Easy cost comparison. The online calculator tool is helpful in planning the most cost-effective transfer method and can be used when pricing out potential alternatives.


  • Minimal app features. Although a mobile app is available, there are mixed online reviews with some customers complaining about a lack of features.
  • Limited origination countries. Right now, Ria can only be used to send money from the United States, the UK, Australia, and Spain. If you’re frequently sending and receiving money, using a service that allows money transfers from the countries you regularly exchange money with may make sense.
  • Limited transfer amounts per month. While you may be able to transfer higher amounts, the limits of $2999.99 per day and $7999.99 per month may be low for some customers doing extensive business abroad.





Alternative money transfer options to Ria

Western Union and TransferWise are international money transfer companies providing similar services to Ria.

Western Union

  • Where can you send money? Western Union’s very large network of 500,000 agent locations lets you send money to more than 200 countries and territories.
  • How long does a transfer take? Most Western Union transactions take place in minutes, although like many other transfer services, factors like the destination country and source of funds can slow things down.
  • How much can you send? Limits depend on where you are sending money from, the destination country, your transaction history with Western Union and the type of transfer service you choose.
  • Fee to send money: Western Union is not known as the least expensive option: exchange rate fees may be higher and there are other transfer fees. You can estimate the cost of sending money using Western Union’s online fee calculator.

Western Union stands out among competitors for its conveniently large network and speed. With more than 500,000 agent locations, finding a convenient spot to send or receive money may be easier than with other service providers.

TransferWise

  • Where can you send money? TransferWise lets you send money to more than 70 countries.
  • How long does a transfer take? Transfers take one to four business days, depending on destination, payment method, and how long it takes the recipient’s bank to process the transaction.
  • How much can you send? How much you send from the U.S. may depend on which state you live in and local laws that apply to international transfers. You can transfer up to $15,000 per order via ACH and up to $1,000,000 via other methods; this upper limit is not applicable in Nevada or Hawaii, or in the territories of Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
  • Fee to send money: TransferWise’s fees vary depending on the currency you are transferring from and the source of the funds, with extra fees for debit cards and credit cards. It offers a handy online pricing calculator to help you estimate transfer costs and fees.

TransferWise is a relative newcomer to the international money transfer market. Among its unique features is a “borderless account,” or an account where you can keep money in 40+ currencies, transferring them when needed. Like other money transfer options, TransferWise has an online pricing calculator to help you estimate transfer costs and fees.

Should you choose Ria?

Ria’s robust global presence, including a very large number of brick-and-mortar locations and variety of delivery options, make it a great choice for people who need flexibility in transferring smaller amounts to diverse recipients. However, it’s less-than-stellar app and lower monthly transfer ceilings may limit its utility for some users.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Anna Davies
Anna Davies |

Anna Davies is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Anna here

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Banking

Best Savings Accounts for Kids

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Piggy banks are fun for small change, but if you want to teach your kids important lessons about managing money and the power of compound interest, get them their own savings account. While your local bank branch probably offers more than one savings account product, you might consider looking online for one that’s designed with children in mind.

To aid in your search, we have chosen six savings accounts tailored for kids from a selection of nearly 100 kids’ savings options offered at banks and credit unions around the country. We based our selections on how well they met these five criteria:

  • Competitive annual percentage yield (APY): Accounts should demonstrate the rewards you can get by saving your money, and a competitive interest rate helps achieve that objective.
  • Low fees: Kids don’t need to lose their money to fees, so finding an account with zero fees was important.
  • Low minimum deposits: Most kids don’t have a large amount of money to save when they first open an account. Having a low minimum deposit requirement can help them get started quicker.
  • Broad geographical reach: Banks and credit unions need to be available to a large geographic market, with extra points for physical locations where kids can go and deposit cash and coins.
  • Great educational tools: Savings accounts that are geared to kids should have some educational tools to help them learn about what it takes to achieve financial success. Bonus points if the tools are fun, too.

 

Best overall savings account for kids: Capital One

Kids Savings Account from Capital One Capital One’s Kids Savings Account has all of the features you’d expect to see in a savings account for adults but with the additional feature of parental controls, which makes it a great overall solution for kids of all ages. The account earns 1.00% APY, has no monthly fees and can be opened with $0. You can set it up the account, and make your initial deposit at a later date.

The Kids Savings Account parental controls allows parents to sign into the account under their own usernames and passwords to help their children manage their funds. Parents always control transfers in and out of the account, offering good balance between independence for the young holder and parental oversight. Kids get to view their balance and watch their money grow.

Capital One lets you create an automatic savings plan linked with other accounts, so you can automatically transfer your child’s allowance into their Kids Savings Account. When it comes to geographical reach, Capital One has approximately 500 branch locations, as well as a great mobile banking app, which allows you to deposit checks and check balances.

Capital One Kids Savings Account
APY: 1.00%
Monthly Fees: $0
Minimum Opening Balance: $0

LEARN MORE Secured

on Capital One’s secure website

Member FDIC

Best savings account for college savings: Citizens Bank

CollegeSaver from Citizens Bank (RI) If you want to be rewarded for consistent savings, the Citizens Bank CollegeSaver account has a bonus you might consider. If you open the account before your child is six and make a deposit of at least $25 each month until your child turns 18, Citizens Bank will give you a $1,000 bonus (the current account APY is a low 0.05%). You can also open this account if your child is between 6 and 12 years of age, but the minimum monthly deposit will be $50 and opening deposit is $500.

If you were to open the account today with an initial deposit of $25 upon the birth of a child (and assume the current APY held for 18 years), and then deposit $25 a month for 18 years, your $5,400 investment would accrue $24.48 in interest. Add the bonus and you’ll end up with $6,449.48. The bank doesn’t put any stipulations on how the money can be spent, so you can use the balance for college or any other financial needs.

Citizens Bank CollegeSaver
APY: 0.05%
Monthly Fees: $0
Minimum Opening Balance: $25 for children under six years old; $500 for children age six to 12

LEARN MORE Secured

on Citizens Bank (RI)’s secure website

Member FDIC

Best savings account for a young child: PNC Bank

S is for Savings from PNC Bank If you want to engage your child with educational tools, PNC’s S is for Savings account offers a lot. Granted, this account offers the lowest APY of the banks that made this list, but it makes up for it with its interactive online banking experience.

The Learning Center features Sesame Street characters that will help them learn basic money concepts. The site has fun activities you and your child can do together.

Features include the ability to set up automatic savings deposits that help them see the benefits of having a savings routine. Kids can work towards goals and learn about the three components of money: saving, sharing and spending. As your child gets older, you may choose to transfer their accumulated balance to a savings account at a bank that offers a higher interest rate.

PNC Bank’s S is for Savings
APY: 0.01%
Monthly Fees: $0 for account holders under 18
Minimum Opening Balance: $25

LEARN MORE Secured

on PNC Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Best savings account for teens: Alliant Credit Union

Kids Savings Account from Alliant Credit Union When your child turns 13, Alliant Credit Union considers them to be a young adult, offering their High-Rate Savings Account with a 2.10% APY and no monthly fees. For teens who want to set savings goals, the credit union allows them to set up supplemental accounts that can be earmarked for specific items, such as saving for a new car.

What makes this a great option for a teen is that Alliant also offers an interest-paying teen checking account for kids ages 13-17. The checking account earns an APY of 0.65%. The two accounts can be linked and both will earn your teen interest. Alliant also refunds up to $20 per month in ATM fees if the teen uses out-of-network machines.

To open an account at Alliant Credit Union, you must be a member. Membership is open to employees or former employees of partner businesses or organizations. Or you can join by making a $10 donation to the Foster Care to Success Foundation.

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings:
APY: 2.10%
Monthly Fees: $0
Minimum Opening Balance: $5

LEARN MORE Secured

on Alliant Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Best APY for a kid’s savings account: Spectrum Credit Union

MySavings from Spectrum Credit Union Spectrum Credit Union currently offers the highest interest rate on the market for a kid’s savings account, but only on a relatively limited balance. Spectrum’s MySavings account earns 7.00% APY on account balances up to $1,000, making for a rate that’s higher than many CDs. Balances over $1,000 earn the regular savings rate, which is 0.50%. A high interest rate can help get kids excited about savings as their balance will grow quicker.

Spectrum Credit Union currently has branches in six states, but deposits can be made nationwide through the Credit Union CO-OP Shared Network. Membership is open to anyone by joining the Contra Costa County Historical Society ($15 membership fee) or the Navy League of the United States ($25 annual membership fee).

Spectrum Credit Union MySavings
APY: 7.00% for the first $1,000; 0.50% on balances above $1,000
Monthly Fees: $0 for account holders under 18
Minimum Opening Balance: $0

LEARN MORE Secured

on Spectrum Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Best online tools for a kid’s savings account: Capital One

Kids Savings Account from Capital One Kids are digital natives, and that makes a kid’s savings account’s online banking features extra important. In addition to being our pick for best overall savings account for kids, the Capital One Kids Savings Account offers a great selection of online saving and budgeting tools that will keep kids engaged and informed.

One of the best features is the ability to create additional savings accounts and set a target goal for each account. For example, you child may set a goal for holiday gifts, another goal for a new bike or car and another goal for vacation money. They can even give each account a nickname, such as “My Wheels Fund.”

Capital One has a full suite of online tools for your child to track their progress and success, helping to keep them focused on their goals. Capital One also offers standard features on its mobile banking app, some of which are available for kids, including the ability to check their balance or make a mobile deposit.

Capital One Kids Savings Account
APY: 1.00%
Monthly Fees: $0
Minimum Balance: $0

LEARN MORE Secured

on Capital One’s secure website

Member FDIC

Why your kid should have a savings account

It’s never too early to start teaching your kids about money, and a savings account is a great tool to help accomplish this aim. According to the 9th Annual Parents, Kids & Money Survey by T. Rowe Price, 55% of parents said their child has a savings account, but just 23% of kids said that they talk to their parents frequently about money. Parents who discuss financial topics with their kids at least once a week are more likely to have kids who say they are smart about money than than those who do not have a discussion with their children.

Savings accounts show kids the value of saving at an early age. They get to watch their money grow as compound interest work its magic, and they can set short- and long-term goals for the money they save. The reward of achieving the goals will teach life lessons on patience and planning. Once you open an account for your kids, share money management tips with them, things like “paying yourself first” by saving a portion of gifts and allowances they receive instead of spending it all.

When you teach your child good money habits early on, you help set them up for success later in life. Putting your child on the path for financial responsibility and independence by choosing the best savings account for kids could be the greatest gift you can give them.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Stephanie Vozza
Stephanie Vozza |

Stephanie Vozza is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Stephanie here

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Banking

Money Management Tips to Help You Save Successfully

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Increasing your savings is easier said than done. The National Endowment for Financial Education’s most recent annual consumer survey found that saving money is the biggest cause of financial stress for more than 51% of Americans. If you feel the same way about your savings, don’t despair. There’s a way to manage your money instead of letting it manage you.

Top 14 money management tips

Have enough income to cover your monthly expenses, but can’t seem to gain traction when it comes to building a college savings fund, saving for a down payment on a home or growing your retirement nest egg? Start by taking charge of your finances by using these simple, yet practical, money management tips.

1. Use a budgeting app

Tracking your spending on the go is easy when you use a budgeting and personal finance app, like Mint or YNAB. Simply download your app of choice and, if you want to, link it to your bank account. You can then input your fixed and variable expenses and monitor your spending with the swipe of a finger. Keeping your budget within arm’s reach also helps you to stay on top of your daily spending and stick to a monthly budget.

2. Trim unnecessary expenses

Examine your spending habits to determine where you can cut unnecessary spending. Food is a common expense that can be reduced with a little planning. A grocery shopping list can be your first line of defense against overspending, as it’s easier to make impulse buys at the grocery store when you don’t have a shopping list to guide your purchases.

3. Commit to a written savings goal

Establishing a clear savings goal can keep you motivated and put a stop to impulse buys. Make your goal SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. For example: “I will transfer $100 a month to my savings account so that by Month 20YY, I will have $800 to put toward a new television.” Post your written goal in visible locations to help reinforce your commitment to achieving it.

4. Live below your means

Spending more than you earn is a recipe for financial heartburn. When you have more bills than money with which to pay them, you could be subject to late fees and other financial penalties which make it harder to save. Cancel services you no longer need or can access at a lower cost. For example, nix the gym membership if you haven’t used it in five months or downgrade your cable package to only include the channels you actually watch.

5. Pay off debt

Eliminating debt may allow you to save more money. By bringing your balances to zero as quickly as possible, you’ll save on future interest charges. To potentially save money now, consider refinancing your debt to a lower interest rate or transferring your debt to a credit card with a lower interest rate.

Once your credit cards and loans are paid in full, you’ll have additional funds to contribute toward your financial goals. Use the same amount you were paying your creditors each month and deposit those funds into your savings account.

6. Build an emergency fund

Financial experts recommend stashing three to six months of living expenses in a liquid high yield deposit account in case of an unexpected job loss or another financial emergency. If this sounds overwhelming, start with a smaller goal of $500 for your emergency fund.

You can grow your emergency fund account by setting up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your emergency savings account each pay period. To grow your emergency fund faster, consider cutting unnecessary expenses, selling unused items around your home, depositing your tax refund or starting a side job.

Without an emergency fund, you risk paying for your next dental emergency or major car repair with your credit card or a personal loan, which can keep you in a debt cycle that’s hard to escape.

7. Increase your income

As long as you save the money instead of spending it, increasing your income with a side hustle, part-time job or more hours at the office is one of the quickest ways to reach your savings goal.

Before adding additional work to your already busy schedule, determine how many hours you have available along with how many months or years you’ll need to commit to the side hustle. When searching for side jobs, be wary of jobs that require an initial outlay of money to get started.

8. Plan for a regular review

Block out time on your calendar to evaluate your progress toward your savings goals. Consider establishing a monthly or bi-weekly financial review. Asking yourself if you’re still on track or if you’re able to contribute more towards your objectives is key to meeting your goals. A quick assessment of your savings plan can also help identify areas where you may still need to reduce expenses.

9. Never pay full price

Online and mobile coupons make it easy to save on groceries, clothing and big-ticket items like televisions and computers. When saving money is convenient, you’re more likely to stick to your savings plan. Do you do most of your shopping online? Install browser extensions that give you cash back when you shop through their online portals. Is mobile shopping more your thing? Download your choice of mobile app that offers cash back, gift cards and notifications of online and in-store deals.

10. Eat out less

Brown bag lunches and meal planning are smart money management strategies that can save you thousands of dollars annually, but sometimes you’ll want to treat yourself. To keep your spending under control, be selective about when and where you eat out. Make a list of local happy hours, upcoming culinary events and prix fixe restaurants to reinvent what it means to eat out on a budget.

11. Bank your financial windfalls

While it may be tempting to go on a shopping spree, upgrade your ride or take a weeklong vacation in the Caribbean when you get a financial windfall, that might leave you with a financial hangover. Once the thrill has subsided, you’re no closer to your savings goal. Instead, be strategic with any unexpected funds that come your way. Commit to adding at least half of these funds to your savings account.

12. Make savings automatic

Contact your financial institution to sign up for electronic funds transfer. This allows you to designate a set dollar amount for transfer from one account to another before you spend it on something else. For example, set $50 to automatically transfer from your checking account to your savings account on the fifth of each month.

If you have multiple savings goals, use a money savings app connected to your bank account to help to make auto transfers goal-specific.

13. Entertain your options

Movie buffs and avid readers rejoice! Free and low-cost services are available that allow you to binge-watch or read the latest big hit without busting your budget.

Movie rewards programs are available across the country. These programs allow you to earn points based on the amount you spend. Points can then be redeemed for additional movie tickets or concession items. Movie clubs allow fans to consume at least one movie per month at a discounted rate in addition to concession discounts.

The public library is an often overlooked resource for endless media entertainment. Look beyond the hardcover and paperback books, and you’ll find CDs, DVDs and magazines. Many libraries now provide a portion of their catalog online, which means you can access e-books, audiobooks, movies and music on your device of choice — for free.

14. Become rate savvy

Online search tools can reduce the time it takes to locate financial institutions offering the best returns on savings deposits. Use the Maximize Your Bank Savings tool from DepositAccounts, another LendingTree company, to help you identify the best place to park your funds to meet a specific goal. The higher the annual percentage yield (APY) the account pays on deposits, the faster your money can grow. Generally, certificates of deposit (CDs) limit withdrawals but offer higher APYs over savings accounts.

Next steps

A consistent savings habit is necessary to reach both short-term and long-term financial goals. If you’re intentional with your money, you’ll see the results. Recognize each achievement for what it is — documented proof that you’re in control of your financial future. Open a dedicated savings account today, and you might only be a few months away from achieving your first savings goal.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Tracy Scott
Tracy Scott |

Tracy Scott is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Tracy here