WorldFirst vs TransferWise

Both beat the banks, but how do WorldFirst and TransferWise compare against each other when it comes to exchange rates and fees?

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WorldFirst and TransferWise are two strong contenders in an increasingly crowded market for money transfers. Let’s compare their fees, exchange rates and transfer speed to see which one comes out on top.

The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of 31 October 2018.

Rates last updated February 25th, 2020
Name Product Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Description Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received
TransferWise International Money Transfers
CAD 1
1 - 2 days
Online
Make online transfers with transparent exchange rates, low fees and low minimum amounts.
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.

Compare up to 4 providers

Which has lower fees?

WorldFirst

WorldFirst doesn’t charge fees on any international transfers out of Canada, whether it be a business transfer or a personal one. However, keep in mind that your recipient’s bank may charge a receiving fee.

TransferWise

TransferWise charges a percentage fee as well as a small flat fee. The flat fee is around $1–$2 for a lot of the main currencies but can reach as much as $15 if you want to send money to South Africa, for example. The percentage fee ranges from 0.45–1.5% of your transaction amount.

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Winner: WorldFirst

WorldFirst offers no fees, making it a clear winner in this category. However, keep in mind that this doesn’t necessarily mean your transfer will be cheaper with WorldFirst. Each provider offers different exchange rates, which we’ll go into below.

Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000 and $10,000 to the UK

To show you how the two providers stack up, let’s take a look at how WorldFirst and TransferWise compare when sending two different amounts to the UK. We’re also going to add in a column with the preferential exchange rate WorldFirst is offering Finder customers on their first transfer. Keep in mind, rates vary for other countries.

In our imaginary scenario, we’ll be using a bank transfer.

Sending $1,000 to the UK
WorldFirstWorldFirst deal for Finder usersTransferWise
Transfer fee$0$0$8.45
Exchange rateCAD$1 = GBP 0.585CAD$1 = GBP 0.589CAD$1 = GBP 0.588
Transfer speedSame daySame day1 day
Total British pounds receivedGBP£585GBP£589GBP£588
Sending $10,000 to the UK
WorldFirstWorldFirst deal for Finder usersTransferWise
Transfer fee$0$0$57.71
Exchange rateCAD$1 = GBP 0.585CAD$1 = GBP 0.589CAD$1 = GBP 0.587
Transfer speedSame daySame day1 day
Total British pounds receivedGBP£5,850GBP£5,890GBP£5,870

On a $1,000 transfer, WorldFirst’s preferential rates for Finder customers mean your recipient will get GBP£1 more than if you’d used TransferWise, with an additional $8.45 savings in fees.

The $10,000 transfer works out similarly. With Finder’s first transfer deal, you’ll end up sending GBP£40 more than if you went directly through WorldFirst. However, if you’ve used WorldFirst before and are ineligible for the deal, you’ll save GBP£20 (around $34) on exchange rates with Transferwise, but end up paying an additional $57.71 in fees.

Which offers better exchange rates?

WorldFirst

WorldFirst makes its money off the margin it charges on top of the standard mid-market rate, as opposed to a transfer fee. This margin can range from 0.6% to above 1%, depending on the currency you’re sending to. However, for your first transfer with WorldFirst, Finder users get access to a smaller margin on the mid-market rate, equivalent to 0.4%.

TransferWise

TransferWise converts money at the mid-market rate, with no added margin on top. Just watch for the percentage fees charged for transfers.

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Winner: TransferWise

TransferWise offering the mid-market rate is hard to beat. It means you’ll get a better exchange rate than you would with WorldFirst, no matter where you transfer to.

Which is faster?

WorldFirst

If you’re sending to British pounds, US dollars or euros, WorldFirst will make a same-day payment once it receives your money, though it may take up to one business day for your account to be credited. For all other currencies, it takes one to four days for the money to reach your recipient.

TransferWise

Transfer time with TransferWise depends a lot on how you pay. Credit or debit card is the fastest way to send money and can be instant to a lot of currencies. Bank transfers will take longer, but shouldn’t be more than four days.

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Winner: Tie

Both WorldFirst and TransferWise offer instant transfers for a lot of the popular currencies, but may take several days. However, the most accurate time frame you’ll get is when you’re booking your transfer. There are lots of things that will affect the transfer time, from the country you’re sending to, to how you want to pay.

General features

Payment methodsMinimum and maximum transfersDelivery methodsTransfer speedsCurrencies
WorldFirstOnline bank transfer, phone, appMinimum: $2,000

Maximum: No limit

To bank account1 day60+ currencies
TransferWiseOnline bank transfer, app, credit or debit cardMinimum: $1

Maximum: $1,800,000

To bank account1 - 2 days20+ currencies

WorldFirst

WorldFirst has money transfer options for businesses, online sellers and for your own personal use. For a personal transfer, you tell WorldFirst how much you want to send, then it quotes an exchange rate. After you send your money, WorldFirst will convert the funds and send them to your recipient’s bank account.

TransferWise

Sending money through TransferWise is a similar process: input how much you want to transfer, then send your money to TransferWise. Your money will be converted and sent to your recipient’s bank account.

Bottom line

There’s no clear winner. While WorldFirst wins on its $0 transfer fees, TransferWise’s no-margin exchange rate means you shouldn’t overlook it. Ultimately, the best service for you depends on the currency you’re sending and the payment method you choose.

Looking for more options?

Use our comparison calculator below to weigh up the fees, exchange rates and other details of money transfer providers out there.

Rates last updated February 25th, 2020
Name Product Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Description Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received
Remitly International Money Transfers
CAD 1
1 - 2 days
Online, Bank Account to Bank Account, Cash Transfer
Quick, affordable transfers around the world. Remitly also has an express option that can transfer your money in minutes for a higher fee. The cheaper option takes several days.
OFX 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.
TorFX International Money Transfers
CAD 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.
Global Reach International Money Transfers
GBP 3,000
1 day
Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account
Global Reach will match any competitor's exchange rates. Conditions apply.

Get no fees for both business and personal transfers when you send your money overseas with Global Reach.
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.
InstaReM International Money Transfers
CAD 50
1 - 2 days
Online, Bank Account to Bank Account
Quick and simple international money transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers. Zero-margin rates on some 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.
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.

Compare up to 4 providers

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