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Review: Remitly international money transfers September 2019

Quick, affordable transfers to the Philippines and beyond.

Quick verdict

Good for
  • Fast transfers, especially emergency ones
  • Smaller transfers
  • Sending money without ID verification
  • Cash pick-up
  • Paying by card
Not so great for
  • Sending money to popular countries like Thailand or China
  • Any extras like forward contracts, limit orders or regular payments
  • Larger transfers

Remitly exchange rates and fees

Remitly updates its exchange rates daily to align with global markets, locking in the exchange rate you see at the beginning of your transaction. Some countries may have a weaker exchange rate than those of competitors.

Remitly charges $1.99 for express and economy transfers below $500, with free transfers above this rate. There’s also a 1% surcharge added if you’re using a credit card. If you want to send money using an express transfer, you’ll receive a less competitive exchange rate in return for a faster transfer speed.

Available currencies

Remitly offers money transfers to over 30 different currencies. Some of the more popular include:

  • HUF Hungarian forint
  • INR Indian rupee
  • KES Kenyan shilling
  • MAD Moroccan dirham
  • PHP Philippine peso
  • PKR Pakistani rupee
  • USD United States dollar
  • VND Vietnamese dong

Remitly is planning to launch transfers to a number of countries soon, including Thailand and Hong Kong.

What types of transfers can you make with Remitly?

While Remitly does let you transfer to a cash pick-up location, it doesn’t have forward contracts, limit orders or regular payments. Forward contracts let you lock in an exchange rate now for a future transaction. With a limit order you can set the exchange rate you want and the trade will automatically go through when that rate is reached.

How long does a transfer with Remitly take?

Remitly offers two ways to send – express or economy.

  • Express may cost extra but it can deliver your money to your recipient within 4 banking hours.
  • Economy generally takes three to five business days to arrive.

Transfers typically takeClock icon for transfer speed

3 – 5 days

What payment methods does Remitly accept?

You can pay for your transfer using:

  • Bank transfer
  • Debit card
  • Credit card

Paying by credit card will get your money there faster, but you’ll pay an extra 1% surcharge.

How much can I send with Remitly?

With Remitly, how much you can send depends on the tier you’re approved for. To move up to a tier with higher sending limits, you’ll need to provide more personal information and identity documents.

  • Tier 1. Send up to $999 daily, $7,999 weekly, $10,000 monthly and $18,000 every six months.
  • Tier 2. Send up to $6,000 daily, $20,000 monthly and $36,000 every six months.
  • Tier 3. Send up to $18,000 daily, $36,000 monthly and $60,000 every six months.

Is Remitly safe to use?

  • Security and regulation: Remitly is government regulated and keeps its customers’ funds separate from its own. Although Remitly doesn’t have 2-factor authentication, the server connection is secured using 256-bit SSL.
  • Established: 2011.
  • Reviews: Trustpilot gives Remitly a score of 9.3* out of 10, based on about 11,500 reviews.
  • Investors: PayU, Stripes Group, Bezos Expeditions, Silicon Valley Bank.
*According to Trustpilot on 17 October 2018.

Remitly is regulated by FINTRAC, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada. FINTRAC is the regulatory body that oversees finance companies to protect consumers. Part of this regulation means Remitly has to keep its customers’ funds separate from its own in case it runs into any financial problems.

Remitly also says it has a number of risk management procedures in place that help show any suspicious account activity if you’ve been hacked.

How does Remitly make money?

Remitly charges a very minimal fee for its express and economy transfers and makes the rest of its money from the margin. The margin is the difference between the rate you’re quoted by Remitly and the live mid-market rate you can see on Google or XE.

Money transfer providers often include a margin on the exchange rate to cover their costs. When comparing providers, keep an eye on both the fees they charge and their exchange rate.

How to register and send your first transfer

Signing up for an account with Remitly is simple and free. The following steps can help guide you through the process.

What is Remitly’s background?

Remitly was founded in 2011 by Matt Oppenheimer to disrupt the remittance industry. It aims to lessen fees and create greater transparency and has a focus on being easy to use on your mobile. Remitly is based in Seattle (USA) and chiefly services those sending transfers out of Canada, the US, the UK and Australia.

In a nutshell

Pros
  • Instant transfers. If you pay through card, your money can be transferred in minutes with the express service.
  • On-time guarantee. Remitly offers a money-back guarantee if your transfer doesn’t arrive on time.
  • Fast registration time. You’re able to register an account and send a transfer in minutes. For transfers smaller than $999 you don’t need to provide any proof of identity or address, such as a passport. However, Remitly will ask for your date of birth, address and full name.
  • Cash pick-up. You can send cash to a range of pick-up locations. This isn’t available in every country, however.
Cons
  • Limited currencies. Remitly doesn’t currently offer as many currencies as other providers.
  • Low maximum daily limits. Especially for the lower tiers.
  • Higher fees for expedited service. Credit card transactions and transfers to certain countries can be expensive.
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How does Remitly compare to other providers?

Our table below shows you the exchange rate and fees for other money transfer specialists. You can also check out our guide on alternatives to Remitly to see how it stacks up against the competition.

Rates last updated September 16th, 2019
Name Product Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Description Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received
WorldRemit International Money Transfers
CAD 0
Within an hour
Online, Bank Account to Bank Account, Cash Transfer
Use code FINDERCA and pay zero fees on your first transfer. Conditions apply.
An online money transfer service with cash pick-up, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
TransferWise International Money Transfers
CAD 1
1 - 2 days
Online
Make online transfers with transparent exchange rates, low fees and low minimum amounts.
Exclusive: OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers
USD 150
1 day
Online, Phone, Agent
Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for your first and ongoing transactions. $0 transfer fee.
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in 45 currencies.
XE International Money Transfers
CAD 0
1 day
Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account
Send money in more than 60 currencies. Fee-free international money transfers with a global brand.
CurrencyFair International Money Transfers
CAD 5
1 - 2 days
Online
Special offer: Pay zero fees on your first 5 transfers.
Get bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
TorFX International Money Transfers
AUD 2,000
1 day
Online, Phone, Agent
TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction. Conditions apply.

Send money overseas in 45 currencies.
Venstar Exchange International Money Transfers
CAD 7,000
1 day
Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account
Venstar Exchange offers competitive exchange rates and zero fees on large transfers over US$10,000.
CurrencyTransfer International Money Transfers
GBP 5,000
1 - 2 days
Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account, International Money Order
Aimed at larger transfers, CurrencyTransfer is an online marketplace that lets you shop around for the best exchange rate.
The ‘Rate’ and ‘Amount Received’ displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder” before you commit to a brand.

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