Are there any ways of transferring money that don't involve commissions?

Besides check and cash, that is. For example, if I want a friend in New York to send $100 to me in California, how can this happen without a chunk of it being taken out?

PayPal doesn’t charge a fee if it is funded from a PayPal balance (not credit card) and you choose “Personal” rather than “Business”.

Generally, if both of you have accounts at the same bank, you can transfer money between them free of charge.

I do this all the time in my circle of friends. I know it is true for Bank of America and Wells Fargo.

In ancient times (say before 2000), he could just send you a check.

Currently, there are no fees when using Amazon payments. Both the sender and recipient must have an account. Whereas paypal requires that you have the funds either A) already in your paypal account or B) in your checking account , with Amazon Payments you can even send $1000 per month to an account using a credit card with no transaction fees to either buyer or seller. Send $1000 --> Receive $1000. This has been going on for at least the past 6 months. People are speculating that Amazon is doing this fee-free (eating the credit card fee itself) as it attempts to compete with Paypal. Good luck!

That costs about 44 cents plus the cost of the envelope.

My wife sends money to her parents monthly. She does this with the bill pay from her bank account. She does not pay an extra fee for this. If you have onlline bill pay with your bank you should see if this will work for you.

Do it online. I can transfer money, without charge, directly to anyone else’s bank account (regardless of whether or not the account’s at the same bank as mine).

Open a bank account on a bank that also has branches in New York, and give your friend the account number. I used this method to transfer money to my daughter when she was in an out of state college. If you put in cash, it is available immediately at the other branch.

An online transfer from bank account to bank account costs me $0, assuming both are local (ie Australian) banks. If US banks aren’t like that, well, welcome to the land of liberty (I’m assuming you are American as you haven’t said, and that almost always means you are).