Review: Remitly international money transfers December 2019

Quick, affordable transfers to the Philippines and beyond.

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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.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 150 1 day CAD 15.00 0.751 USD
3,745
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.
Go to site Show details
CAD 0 Within an hour CAD 3.99 0.756 USD
3,776
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.
Go to site Show details
CAD 1 1 - 2 days CAD 45.00 0.759 USD
3,760
Make online transfers with transparent exchange rates, low fees and low minimum amounts. Go to site Show details
CAD 0 1 day CAD 0.00 0.751 USD
3,757
Send money in more than 60 currencies. Fee-free international money transfers with a global brand. Go to site Show details
CAD 2,000 1 day CAD 0.00 0.751 USD
3,757
TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction. Conditions apply.
Send money overseas in 45 currencies.
Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

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