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transfer money to india

Submitted by Navin Pathak on Thu, 06/29/2017 - 12:18pm.

Unless there is an absolute dire need, withdrawing cash using foreign debit cards at ATMs in India is like ‘penalty’ just because you need money.

Consider this: I withdrew $325  using my Bank of America’s debit card at Citibank’s ATM in New Delhi.

For this transaction, I paid the following charges:

  • $5.00: charged by Bank of America for using Citi’s ATM
  • $2.00 charged by Citibank
  • $3.25: this is 1% of $325 that Bank of America charged me as foreign transaction fee.

So, overall I paid $10.25 as charges and fees to withdraw just a small amount of $325.  This comes out to be 3.15% of the total transaction and have yet not accounted the exchange rate difference which I could have further saved if used some better alternate to transfer money.

For Indians, who reside abroad but have bank accounts in India, they can transfer money to India online from their foreign bank accounts to their bank accounts in India and easily withdraw the money when needed.

But for foreign nationals who don’t have bank account in India, alternate to ATM transaction is use of money transfer service providers like Western Union, Xoom, Moneydart, etc.  All these service providers have the mechanisms of transferring money to you within an hour or within 1 to 2 days either at your place of stay in India or at their nearby authorized agent.  There are charges associated with this kind of online transfer but by no means they amount to anywhere close to 3% in case of ATM transactions.  TransFast, Moneydart, XOOM, Western Union for example, can transfer few thousand dollars online while charging anywhere between $5 to $15 per transaction. You can get more details from their websites:,,,

The only thing you have to do with these service providers is to open up an account with them and link it with your bank account.  I strongly advise you to open up an account with these service providers before you travel to India as it might take 1-2 days before it is active.

Submitted by Navin Pathak on Sun, 06/11/2017 - 5:15pm.

Sending money to India is of special interest to every NRI with family and friends in India.

NRIs remitted nearly $70 billion to India in 2014, according to Kaushik Basu, World Bank Chief Economist and Senior Vice President.

But even after $70 billion dollars remittance later, most NRIs wonder if they are using the right service provider to send money to India. The following questions listed in order of priority can serve as the guide for answering this:

  • Is it safe to use this service?  Is the service provider safe and reliable?
  • Is the service efficient? How long will it take before the money reaches its intended destination?
  • Is the service easy to use? Can I send it on-line?
  • Does the service provider give competitive exchange rates? Should I wait for a few days to get better rates?
  • What is the money remittance fee for the transaction?

For value of Indian Rupee against dollar and other international currencies on the foreign exchange market (Forex), visit Foreign Exchange Rate Table provided by Entry India.

For safe and fast money transfer to India and to get the most competitive exchange rates available, we have prepared a list of banks.  By clicking on the URLs provided for each, you can either access the remittance service of the bank or directly check exchange rate that it currently offers.

Use the "exchange rate trend" chart provided by Reserve Bank Of India for judging "Should I wait for a few days to transfer money to India?"

Spending 10 minutes on this is likely to save you good amount of money and peace of mind.

Submitted by Navin Pathak on Fri, 09/25/2015 - 1:08am.

Updated on June 4, 2019

There are 4 currency exchangers in both the arrival and departure section (Terminal 3) of  Indira Gandhi International airport in New Delhi, India

  1. Punjab National Bank
  2. Central Bank of India
  3. EbixCash
  4. Thomas Cook

The counters of all the 4 exchangers are open 24 hours.

The exchange rates for both buying and selling foreign currency offered by all the 4 exchangers is mostly the same.  You can use the Airport’s interactive map to see where the currency exchange counters are located.

Indian Passport holder at Departure Terminal

   You are traveling to a foreign country and you want to buy foreign currency

i) You can convert maximum of Rs. 49,999 in cash to a foreign currency.

ii) After the security check, the limit of Indian rupees that can get converted to foreign currency drops to Rs. 25,000

iii) If you use your credit card, then Indian currency equivalent to US$ 3000 can be converted to foreign currency. This means that if the selling rate of 1 USD is Rs. 60, then Rs. 1,80,000 ($3000 x 60) from your credit card can be converted to the foreign currency.

Important Note: Indian currency cannot be purchased after security check

Indian Passport holder at Arrival Terminal

   You are arriving in India from a foreign country

i) If you are arriving within 6 months of your departure from India

In exchange of your foreign currency, you can get Indian rupees equivalent to US$ 1,000 in cash (maximum)

ii) If you are arriving after 6 months of your departure from India:

In exchange of your foreing currency, you can get Indian rupees equivalent to maximum of US$ 3,000 in cash

If you are bringing more than US$ 3,000, let’s say US$ 5,000 then for $3,000 you will get Indian currency in cash and for the rest $2,000 you will get either check or online transfer to your bank account.

Foreign Passport holder at Departure Terminal

   You are leaving India and you want to buy foreign currency by selling the Indian rupees that you may have left with

Now, let’s take an example: From the time you arrived in India, you converted $5,000 (cash) to Indian currency altogether and withdrew $700 from ATM within the last 7 days before your departure date. Of course, for every currency exchange transaction and ATM withdrawal, you get a receipt.

i) In case you lost all your receipts:

Rs. 10,000 (maximum) can be converted to the foreign currency.

ii) In case you have all your receipts:

You will get Indian rupees equivalent to the maximum amount of $3,000 converted to foreign currency. The calculation is done on the basis of the selling rate of USD for that particular day.

So, if the selling rate of 1 USD is Rs. 60 on the day you are departing, then the maximum India currency which you can get converted to foreign currency will be $3000 x Rs. 60 = Rs. 180,000.

Anything over this amount doesnt get converted to the foreign currency.

So, considering the case above, let’s say you are left with Rs. 200,000 and the selling rate of US$ that day is Rs. 60.  This is equivalent to $3,333 (Rs.200,000/60). Now, according to the rule, you can get Indian currency equivalent to $3000 converted. Therefore, you will be left with Rs. 19,980 not converted back to foreign currency.

Keep in Mind: After the Immigration and Security Check at the Airport

  • Indian currency is NOT converted to foreign currency
  • Foreign passport holders cannot carry more than Rs. 10,000

Foreign Passport holder at Arrival Terminal

   You are arriving in India from a foreign country

You can exchange your foreign currency to Indian currency equivalent to the maximum amount of US$ 3,000 cash.

So, if the buying rate (USD to India Rupee) is Rs. 70, then the maximum Indian rupees that you can get converted to will be: $3000 x Rs. 70 = Rs. 210,000 (max)

There is a very small Tax amount (GST) that will be deducted from the total payout to you.

Important insights:

  • The exchange rate for your foreign currency to Indian rupee is generally lower at the airport than from what you can get in the city.  So, get your foreign currency exchanged to little over your immediate requirement at the airport and when you are in the city you can visit branch of any bank or authorized non-banking exchangers to get the rest of foreign currency converted to Indian Rupees (INR).
  • There is no limit to the foreign currency that you can bring with you but the amounts exceeding US Dollar 5,000 (or equivalent) in cash or US Dollar 10,000 (or equivalent) in traveler's cheques must be declared.