Remittances may influence household expenditures, poverty rates, development and investments in the receiving country. Using World Bank survey data from Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya, the influence of remitters’ and recipients’ characteristics on remittance amounts and allocation is examined. Effects of the remitter–receiver characteristics on remittance amounts are generally similar between countries. Such similarities imply a potential similar effect of policies in these countries. Age, household income, frequency of communication, family relations with remitter and country the recipient resided in influence remittance allocation. Recipients in Ethiopia and Uganda are more likely to allocate remittance towards savings than those in Kenya.