The Best (and Cheapest) Ways to Send Money to Friends

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

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We’ve all been there: short on cash when it’s time to pay the check at the end of the night. You can bum it off your friends and promise to pay them back, or you can pay them on the spot – one of many ways mobile payment apps can make the financial side of friendship a little easier.

Peer-to-peer mobile payment apps like Venmo and Google Wallet make it easy to transfer money between your and your friends’ accounts, often with zero fees. Here are some the most popular mobile payments apps that let you send money for free.

What to look for in mobile payment apps

Not sure where to start your search? Ask yourself these questions to get a better idea of what you need.

1. What’s already popular in your circle of friends and family?

If you don’t know, ask around. The more people already using it, the easier it will be for everyone.

2. How much does it cost?

Most mobile payment apps allow you to send money for free, but only under certain circumstances. For instance, if you plan on using your credit card to fund your person-to-person payment account, you might pay a fee.

3. Where will you be able to send and receive money from?

Most mobile payment apps are limited to the US. If you need to make international payments, make sure that’s an option with the company you choose.

4. Do you want to use the app for business?

If that’s important to you, you may consider looking for a person-to-person payment company that does both.

9 best (and cheapest) mobile payments apps

Square Cash

Major benefits of Square Cash:

  • Part of the popular Square app, a trusted name that many of your friends and family may have already used before
  • Offers person-to-person and business transactions

Limitations:

  • US only
  • Takes 1 to 3 business days to complete transactions

Fees:

  • Free person-to-person if you pay with funds from your debit card
  • Charges a fee if you pay with funds from your credit card
  • Businesses receiving money pay a fee, but it’s free for customers

Venmo

Major benefits of Venmo:

  • Social element makes for easy communication and coordination with friends and family
  • Money in your Venmo account may be used to make payments in mobile apps
  • Can sync with your Facebook friends or phone contacts to easily find people

Limitations:

  • US only
  • Takes 1 to 2 business days to complete transactions

Fees:

  • Free when you pay with funds from your debit card or bank account
  • Charges a 3 percent fee when you pay with funds from your credit card

Circle

Major benefits of Circle:

  •  Allows you to send and receive money all over the world
  • Operates on the Bitcoin network
  • Already available through Bank of America, Chase, Citi, Capital One, Charles Schwab, Fidelity, USAA, US Bank, and Wells Fargo
  • If you do not bank with one of those banks, you can still sign up for your Circle account through the website

Limitations:

  • Limited to US banks and US or UK debit or credit cards
  • Takes 1 to 4 business days to complete transactions

Fees:

  • Free when you pay with funds from your Circle account or debit card
  • Charges a fee if you pay with funds from your credit card

ClearXchange

Major benefits of ClearXchange:

  • Already available through Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, First Bank, US Bank, and Wells Fargo
  • If you don’t bank through any of those banks, you can set up your ClearXchange account through the website
  • Offers person-to-person, business-to-consumer, and government-to-consumer payments

Limitations:

  • US only
  • Takes 1 to 5 business days to complete transactions

Fees:

  • None

Facebook Messenger

Major benefits of Facebook Messenger:

  • Easily send and receive money from all of your Facebook friends

Limitations:

  • US only
  • Requires that both the sender and receiver have Facebook accounts
  • Takes 1 to 3 business days to complete the transaction

Fees:

  • None

Google Wallet

Major benefits of Google Wallet:

  • Popular, trusted brand that many of your friends and family may already be using
  • Google Wallet account balance can be used to make online purchases on Google Play

Limitations:

  • US only
  • Takes 1 to 3 business days to complete transactions

Fees:

  • None

PayPal

Major benefits of PayPal:

  • Trusted brand that many of your friends and family probably already use
  • Allows you to send and receive money all over the world
  • Lets you create a personalized link your friends and family can use to quickly and easily send you money
  • Allows transactions for goods and services

Limitations:

  • Takes 1 to 3 business days to complete the transaction

Fees:

  • Zero fees for person-to-person transactions if using your PayPal balance or a bank account linked to your PayPal account
  • Other fees may be upward of 3 percent, depending on the currency and type of account. Learn more here.

PopMoney

Major benefits of PopMoney:

  • Already available through thousands of PopMoney in-network banks
  • If you don’t bank through any of the in-network banks, you can set up your PopMoney account through the website

Limitations:

  • US only
  • Takes 1 to 3 business days to complete transactions
  • Daily and monthly transfer limits

Fees:

  • If you are using Popmoney through your bank, fees vary
  • If you sign up for Popmoney through the website, it’s 95 cents to send or request money
  • Free to receive money and free to pay a request

Snapcash

Major benefits of Snapcash:

  • Easily send and receive money from your Snapchat friends
  • Since it was created in partnership with Square, having a Snapcash account gives you access to Square Cash, too

Limitations:

  • US only
  • Link to Visa or MasterCard debit cards only
  • Takes 1 to 2 business days to process transactions
  • Transaction will be canceled if the recipient does not claim their money after 24 hours

Fees:

  • None

Paying back friends

Make good on a debt. Send birthday money. Collect contributions for a family reunion. The possibilities are endless, which is exactly how your options for mobile payment apps might seem right now.

Use this list as a supplement to what your friends and family are already using (and like), and splitting the check will soon be a whole lot simpler.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
Get real rates from up to 4 Lenders at once

Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

  1. VARIABLE APR – APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes.

2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student Loan RefinanceFixed rates from 3.999% APR to 7.804% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.480% APR to 7.524% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.480% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.07% plus 0.91% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

  1. Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). The following table displays the estimated monthly payment, total interest, and Annual Percentage Rates (APR) for a $10,000 loan. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) shown for each in-school loan product reflects the accruing interest, the effect of one-time capitalization of interest at the end of a deferment period, a 2% origination fee, and the applicable Repayment Plan. All loans are eligible for a 0.25% reduction in interest rate by agreeing to automatic payment withdrawals once in repayment, which is reflected in the interest rates and APRs displayed. Variable rates may increase after consummation. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.08% effective July 25, 2018.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Education Refinance Loan Rate DisclosureVariable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of August 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.07%. Variable interest rates range from 2.72%-8.17% (2.72%-8.17% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Fixed interest rates range from 3.50%-8.69% (3.50% – 8.69% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Lowest rates shown require application with a cosigner, are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.
  2. Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision at http://www.citizensbank.com/EdRefinance, including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.
  3. Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Eligible applicants may not be currently enrolled, must be in repayment of their existing student loan(s) and must make the minimum number of payments after leaving school. Primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The co-signer (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer will be required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Education Refinance Loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned.
  4. Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  5. Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
  6. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply.
  7. Average savings based on 18,113 actual customers who refinanced their federal and private student loans through our Education Refinance Loan between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. The calculation is derived by averaging the monthly savings of Education Refinance Loan customers whose payments decreased after refinancing, which is calculated by taking the monthly student loan payments prior to refinancing minus the monthly student loan payments after refinancing. The borrower’s savings might vary based on the interest rates, balances and remaining repayment term of the loans they are seeking to refinance. The borrower’s overall repayment amount may be higher than the loans they are refinancing even if their monthly payments are lower.
2.57% – 5.87%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Earnest
2.80% – 6.38%1Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Laurel Road
2.48% – 7.52%2Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit SoFi
2.47% – 7.99%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Lendkey
2.57% – 6.65%3Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit CommonBond
2.72% – 8.17%4Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Citizens
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Published in Big Money Decisions,