If you have family living out of the country, you might regularly send money home.

Sending cash internationally is typically time-consuming and expensive. The U.S. Treasury estimates that 100 billion is wire transferred to individuals in other countries every year, with Mexican residents receiving about $10.5 billion in U.S. currency, but the fees can really add up

If you send $250 by the time it gets to your loved ones that $250 could translate into $200. And all because of the fees and charges.

Currency exchanges charge consumers $40 to $70 to wire cash abroad and another 2 percent of the total amount when you pick up the cash. Last year, all those wire transfer fees added up to more than $4 billion, but now there’s a faster, cheaper way to send money abroad.

“The new global transfer service is one of the most affordable ways to send money,” says Maura Markus of Citibank. “The money can be transferred to any Citibank or Banamex Bank account in the U.S. or Mexico and over a dozen other countries worldwide.”

Simply choose a country, enter the person’s name you’re sending the cash to, their account number and your account information, the transfer amount and your name. The money is available immediately and there are no additional fees for the recipient to pay.

“What we want to be able to do is provide a safe, reliable and very instantaneous way to send those funds abroad,” Markus says.

To help introduce the new global transfer service, Citibank will waive the transfer fee through the end of this month. Go to www.citibank.com.

May 22, 2003.