There’s More Than One Way To Send Money To Your Spouse!

Not all couples have a joint account. Some just prefer to keep their accounts separate and reconcile joint expenses periodically, including yours truly!

When we first started doing this, we were stumped!

This wasn’t straightforward. Exchanging cash was too cumbersome, writing a check meant a trip to the bank, wires cost money and ACH money transfer isn’t allowed between two different accounts.

Here are some ways you can use to send money to a family member.


Paypal is extremely convenient and the original idea behind Paypal was, as the name suggests, exactly this. You can send or receive money using your registered email ids.

If you pick this route, make sure you do the following to avoid Paypal fees.

  1. Transfer the amount you’d like to send from your linked bank account into your Paypal account.

  2. Select the Personal tab and select the appropriate option. By default, the ‘Purchase’ tab is active. You need to change that to avoid PayPal fees. Doing this ensures that neither you nor the person for whom the payment is intended is charged any fees.

  3. Don’t use a credit card as your funding source as this too will incur fees.

sending money to your spouse via paypal

But PayPal has it’s risks too. If they ever flag your account, you’ll be locked out of your funds for 180 days!

Member-To-Member Money Transfer

Some banks allow for member-to-member money transfer if both you and your spouse have an account there. The transfer is usually instantaneous and free of any charges. This is extremely convenient and I really can’t think of any drawbacks with this approach.

Here’s a screenshot from my bank for doing a member-to-member transfer.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t work for us since both me and my wife have different loyalties when it comes to banks and neither of us want to switch! :)

Using A Hub Account

This is the technique we use. Here’s how it works:

  1. Select a bank that allows for free ACH push and pull
  2. There should be zero minimum balance requirements
  3. Preferably quick ACH turnaround times
  4. Both you and your spouse open a joint account
  5. You link your primary bank account to this and your spouse links his/her primary bank account to this account
  6. Since this is a joint account, any money put in here is available to both, but each of you will get a separate login
  7. You or your spouse’s profile is NOT shared. For example, you can’t view your spouse’s linked account and vice versa
  8. When you wish to send money to your spouse, login to this account and do a ACH pull for the amount
  9. Your spouse can login with his/her id to this account and do a ACH push to her linked account to transfer the money!

This works pretty well for us. Only drawback is that the transfer isn’t instantaneous. ACH transfers usually takes a couple of days depending upon the bank.

eDeposit of Checks

This works if the receiver’s bank allows for free, eDeposit of checks. When you need to send money, simply write out a check for the amount. Your spouse can then scan the check via a scanner or a smartphone and upload it to his/her bank and the funds are made available instantaneously.

Little involved, but hey, avoids a trip to the bank or to the ATM or a mailbox!

Amazon Payments

Amazon recently started a payment service called Amazon WebPay which allows WebPay users to send and receive money. There are no fees to use Amazon Webpay and you can fund your payments even from your credit card starting at a minimum of $10. Amazon is basically eating any credit card fees for now. But I do not think this is viable long-term and won’t be surprised if this changes in future.

But for now, this is yet another commission-free way to send money to family and friends!


UPDATE: I now use PopMoney instead of a hub account to send money! This is a service that is offered by some banks that allows you to transfer money via the recipient’s bank account, email or phone number. You can read my review of PopMoney here.

Discover’s Money Messenger

UPDATE: Discover recently tied up with PayPal to offer commission-free money transfer service called Money Messenger. You can use your discover card to send money for business or personal use to a PayPal recipient upto a maximum of $500 a month. For personal transfers, there are no fees either to the sender or the recipient. Best of all, the money is deposited instantly and you actually earn a cash back on the transaction! Checkout my post for a more detailed review of Money Messenger.

Do you have a creative way of sending money to your spouse?

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28 thoughts on “There’s More Than One Way To Send Money To Your Spouse!

  1. Paypal sounds very convenient, but I really don’t like the lock out thing. Did you just fixed your RSS? I didn’t get anything for almost 2 weeks and now I got 11 posts. :)

    • I have the same apprehension with paypal and that’s the reason I use an ACH hub!

      BTW, thanks for pointing out the RSS issue – I actually have no idea why feedburner is behaving this way. Haven’t touched anything in my feeds.

      Updated commentluv plugin, don’t know if that has anything to do with this behavior. (And sorry about the feed spam, wasn’t intentional whatever caused it! )

  2. My husband and I have joined most of our accounts but if we needed to I think I would use paypal. Funny thing is I have used paypal for years now but never considered using it for transferring money between family.

  3. PayPal works great for friends when I was sharing a place. Now, my wife and I use what you do, we share a join account that is linked to our individual accounts.

    • Same here! Once I even got a call from PayPal asking why there were so many transactions – me and my roommates used Paypal to split bills!

  4. Great tips and screenshots. I’ve been using PayPal for Yakezie. The ACH hub sounds like a good idea, thanks!

    • Thanks Buck! PayPal is certainly very convenient! Make sure you select the personal tab instead of the Purchase tab which is selected by default to avoid any fees.

  5. Paypal is a great method and if you verify your account you can get a Paypal business debit. No hidden fees and you have instant access to your paypal account balance!

  6. @Miss T: I would use Paypal, but for their dispute resolution rules. Quite draconian in my view.

    But for small amounts they are great!

  7. I think it’s pretty important to keep separate accounts and, as there are so many money transferring options, it’s definitely possible. I’ve never used member-to-member transfer. In fact, I’m not even sure whether my bank has that option, but it sounds like the best bet. Funny how complex it has become just to give money to your spouse, but keeping separate accounts makes it much easier to track spending and avoid overdrafts.

    • I’m seeing more banks allowing the option of doing a member to member transfer. I hope this trend catches on!

  8. Hub accounts are new to me. I’ve done the paypal transfer thing before w/ the Mr. but usually do online transfers from my personal checking into our shared joint account, and then he transfers from there to his personal account. That’s funny you and the Mrs. have loyalties to different banks and like to keep it that way. What about sports teams? :)

  9. We have joint accounts. However, this post is very informative, which is why I love your site. You opened my eyes to high-yielding checking accounts, which I hope to open real soon!

  10. While I like the idea of joint accounts, I do think that your post is informative and provides options for handling separate finances. I have used PayPal for transferring money to friends a few times but don’t recall avoiding fees. Anyway, whether I did or not, it’s good to definitively know that there are such options.

    • Thanks Squirrelers! By default, PP is set to deduct fees – you need to choose the personal tab to avoid it.

  11. I love using PayPal. It’s very convenient and user friendly. I’ve never had any problems!

  12. I really like paypal, I think I would go that route for the money transfer between spouses.

    It’s funny, we just booked our flight through continental airlines and one of the payment options was paypal. I was kind of surprised..

    • That is neat! A good way to not expose your credit card details is by paying via credit card but through PayPal!

  13. Don’t you have to pay paypal fees when transferring money?

    We have separate accounts and one joint account and it’s been working out alright so far (crosses fingers)

  14. I’m not allowed a PayPal account so no go there for me. But everyone that I know has a Chase account since they “rescued” a few banks in the downturn. I just discovered that instant transfer thingie to another Chase customer. It’s extremely convenience, saves me a trip to the bank and waiting in line, and instant!

  15. Good post!

    My son and I bank at the same credit union and use a joint account to consolidate funds to cover the monthly mortgage payments for a house we’re co-purchasingkk. The mortgage is with the credit union, too. Since he’s the primary borrower, he gets the bills and he pays them by EFT direct out of the joint account. It’s extremely handy.

    Because it’s a credit union, we’re required to have a small savings account to keep a checking account. He uses that to accrue emergency savings for repairs and upgrades. So, all the transactions associated with the house go through those those two accounts. Eventually, when he gets tired of living in the place, we’ll probably rent it, so having a CU account separate from our personal accounts will be convenient for business purposes.

    My business partner and I use Paypal for transferring funds back and forth and to receive money from certain clients. But we try to keep that to a minimum…I’m not very comfortable with PP, given some of the experiences others claim they’ve had.

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