XE vs TransferWise

Which of these two money specialists offers cheaper, faster, more flexible transfers?

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XE is a well-known name in the money transfers industry, with over 20 years in the business, while TransferWise is relatively newer. Which one can get you a better deal?

We’ve compared them both side by side to examine their fees, exchange rates, transfer speeds and other features.

The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of 3 August 2019.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
CAD 1 1 - 2 days CAD 90.00 0.753 USD
7,461
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
7,491
Send money in more than 60 currencies. Fee-free international money transfers with a global brand. 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.

Which has lower fees?

XE Money Transfer

With XE, you pay no fee on your money transfer, no matter how much you’re sending.

TransferWise

Fees vary depending on where your recipient lives and how much you’re sending. TransferWise charges a fixed fee, plus a percentage of each transfer, which varies depending on the currency.

Use TransferWise’s online pricing calculator to see how much your transfer will cost.

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Winner: XE

Although TransferWise typically charges lower fees than banks and other money transfer specialists, it can’t trump XE’s no-fee service.

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

Here’s how much it may cost to send $1,000 and $10,000 to France, so you can see the difference between different providers, and how fees and exchange rates contribute to the total amount received at the end. For these examples, we’ll be using whichever payment method is the cheapest.

Sending $1,000 to France
XE Money TransferTransferWise
Transfer fee$0$10.75 (if paid by bank transfer)
Exchange rate1 CAD = 0.668800 EUR1 CAD = 0.681916 EUR
Transfer speed1–4 days3–5 days
Total euros receivedEUR€668.80EUR€674.59
Receiver getsEUR€5.79 lessEUR€5.79 more
Sending $10,000 to France
XE Money TransferTransferWise
Transfer fee$0$77.99 (if paid by a wire payment)
Exchange rate1 CAD = 0.66900 EUR1 CAD = 0.681916 EUR
Transfer speed3–5 days3–5 days
Total euros receivedEUR€6,690EUR€6,765.98
Receiver getsEUR€75.98 lessEUR€75.98 more

In both examples, TransferWise is the more cost-effective option thanks to its competitive rates, despite having higher fees. For a $1,000 transfer, the recipient receives EUR€6 more (about $9 CAD), and for a $10,000 transfer, the recipient receives around EUR€76 more (about $120 CAD).

Note that transferring a higher amount, sending a different currency or changing the payment method could affect these results. So, it’s important to get exact quotes for the specific transfer you want to submit before deciding which provider to go with.

Which offers better exchange rates?

XE

XE’s exchange rates are often better than the rates from banks and competitive with other money transfer specialists, but it does add a margin on top of the mid-market rate. It can offer more-favourable rates for higher transfers, which can make a difference depending on how much you send.

For instance, if you want to send $100 from Canada to Australia:

  • If the mid-market rate is 1 CAD = 1.11375 AUD
  • XE’s exchange rate could be 1 CAD = 1.09220 AUD

The margin in this case is 1.93%.

However, if you send $10,000 instead, XE’s exchange rate could be 1 CAD = 1.09240 AUD, which lowers the margin to 1.92%.

TransferWise

TransferWise quotes the mid-market rate for money transfers with no added mark-up. So, if the mid-market rate for CAD to AUD is 1.11375, that’s the rate you’ll get.

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Winner: TransferWise

By offering the mid-market rate, TransferWise’s exchange rates are impossible to beat, but should be considered alongside its fees to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Which is faster?

XE

XE estimates 1-4 days for the money to reach your recipient. Delivery time typically depends on your recipient’s country.

TransferWise

TransferWise provides a calculator that can help you estimate how long it will take for your money to get to your recipient. Timing depends on where you live, your recipient’s country and how you pay for the transfer. Credit card payments tend to move faster than bank transfers, for instance.

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Winner: Tie

With so many variables that can affect how long your friends or loved ones might have to wait, we simply can’t determine which of these 2 money transfer specialists are better when it comes to speed.

General features

Payment methodsReceiving optionsMinimum and maximum transfersTransfer speedsCurrencies
XE Money TransferBank transfers onlyBank transferMinimum: $0

Maximum: $500,000

1 day50+
TransferWiseBank transfers, credit or debit card payments, Facebook Messenger, Apple Pay, Android PayBank transfer, mobile money appMinimum: $1

Maximum: $1,500,000

1 - 2 days20+

XE Money Transfer

XE Money Transfer doesn’t charge a fee for its services, regardless of how much you’re sending. Rather, it makes money by adding a margin on the mid-market rate.

XE supports bank-to-bank transfers only, requiring you to send money first to your XE Money Transfer account. It then completes the transfer to your recipient’s bank account.

TransferWise

TransferWise’s transfer fees are based on the amount you’re sending and the location of your recipient. Its rates, though, are as good as it gets: the mid-market rate, or the rate banks use when transferring among themselves.

TransferWise offers flexible transfers beyond bank accounts, accepting payment by credit or debit card and through Facebook Messenger, Apple Pay and Android Pay.

Funds are deposited into your recipient’s bank account and you’re both notified by email when the transfer is complete.

Bottom line

In our head-to-head with XE and TransferWise, which service comes out on top depends largely on your transfer amount and destination. If you’re sending an amount above $10,000 then XE might edge out the competition, but for smaller transactions, TransferWise is worth considering.

Want to learn more? Check out our guide to money transfer service providers to see how XE and TransferWise stack up against competing providers.

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.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
CAD 1 1 - 2 days CAD 1.99 0.745 USD
7,444
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. Go to site Show details
USD 150 1 day CAD 0.00 0.75 USD
7,499
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 2,000 1 day CAD 0.00 0.75 USD
7,499
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
GBP 3,000 1 day CAD 0.00 0.75 USD
7,499
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.
Go to site Show details
CAD 0 Within an hour CAD 3.99 0.749 USD
7,491
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 0.753 USD
7,461
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
7,491
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 0.75 USD
7,496
Aimed at larger transfers, CurrencyTransfer is an online marketplace that lets you shop around for the best exchange rate. 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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