WorldFirst vs Currencies Direct

Who offers lower fees, better exchange rates and faster transfers?

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WorldFirst and Currencies Direct are both based in the UK, and both offer online money transfers in dozens of currencies. But which one offers the best value for money?

To find out, let’s compare their fees, exchange rates and transfer speeds side by side.

The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of 21 July 2019.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details

Compare up to 4 providers


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.

Which has lower fees?

WorldFirst

WorldFirst doesn’t charge any fees on international money transfers.

Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct claims that there are no charges for most of its transactions and there are no hidden fees or commissions. If a fee does happen to apply to your transaction, you’ll be notified of this fact upfront.

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Winner: Tie

Both providers offer fee-free transfers, so they share the points in this category. However, the other factor that determines the total cost of a transfer is the exchange rate you receive, as we’ll explain below.

Which offers better exchange rates?

WorldFirst

Although WorldFirst doesn’t charge any fees, it makes money by adding a margin on top of the mid-market exchange rate. The size of this margin varies depending on the currency you’re transferring funds to, but typically ranges from 0.5%-1%. For example, let’s say you want to send CAD to USD.

  • If the mid-market rate is 1 CAD = 0.7656 USD
  • WorldFirst’s rate might be 1 CAD = 0.7581 USD

Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct buys currencies in bulk and adds a maximum markup of 2%. It also offers limit orders, forward contracts and the ability to set rate alerts to help you lock in the exchange rate you want for your transaction. However, in order to check the current exchange rates Currencies Direct is offering online, you’ll need to sign up for an account and provide proof of ID.

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Winner: WorldFirst

WorldFirst has lower margins and allows you to check the latest rates without providing proof of ID, so it takes the victory here.

Which is faster?

WorldFirst

The time it takes for the money you send to arrive in your recipient’s bank account varies depending on the following:

  • The currency you send
  • The amount you send
  • Your bank

Transfers to major currencies (USD, EUR, GBP) can usually be completed on the same day, but sending funds to other currencies will take 1-4 business days.

Currencies Direct

Transfer times vary depending on the payment method you select and where you are sending funds. While transfers to Europe can be completed on the same day in some cases, most transactions take between 24 and 48 hours.

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Winner: Tie

Transfer times are fairly similar across both providers, so this category is a tie.

General features

Payment methods Receiving options Maximum and minimum transfers Transfer speeds Currencies
WorldFirst Bank transfer Bank account Minimum: $2,000

Maximum: No limit

1 day 55+ currencies
Currencies Direct Bank transfer, debit card Bank account Minimum: $0

Maximum: No limit

1 - 2 days 60+ currencies

WorldFirst

WorldFirst offers online bank account transfers in more than 55 currencies. Transfers can be sent through the provider’s website or the WorldFirst mobile app, and you’ll need to register for an account before you can send any funds. Once you’ve signed up, you can specify the amount and currency you want to send before providing your recipient’s bank account details.

Currencies Direct

To send money overseas with Currencies Direct, you’ll need to register for an online account and provide proof of ID. You can then enter the amount and currency you want to send before agreeing to an exchange rate. There’s also a mobile app available if you’d prefer to submit your transfer request from your smartphone.

Bottom line

While WorldFirst and Currencies Direct both offer fee-free transfers and similar processing times, WorldFirst’s competitive margins mean that it will often be a better choice.

That said, it’s worth getting quotes from both providers to see who offers the best deal on your transaction, and you’ll need to compare WorldFirst and Currencies Direct with a range of other international money transfer services before making your final decision.

Looking for more options?

Use the calculator below to compare the exchange rates, fees and transfer speeds of WorldFirst and Currencies Direct with those offered by a range of other transfer services.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 150 1 day CAD 0.00 0.749 USD
7,489
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 0.748 USD
7,481
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 90.00 0.752 USD
7,451
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 0.749 USD
7,489
Send money in more than 60 currencies. Fee-free international money transfers with a global brand. Go to site Show details
GBP 5,000 1 - 2 days CAD 0.00 0.749 USD
7,487
Aimed at larger transfers, CurrencyTransfer is an online marketplace that lets you shop around for the best exchange rate. Go to site Show details
CAD 2,000 1 day CAD 0.00 0.749 USD
7,489
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


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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