XE vs WorldFirst

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

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We compare the fees, exchange rates and speeds of popular online services, XE and WorldFirst, to see which could be a better option for you.

The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of 22 October 2019.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
CAD 0 1 day CAD 0.00 0.756 USD
7,561
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

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

Which has lower fees?

XE

XE doesn’t charge transfer fees on international money transfers. However, XE highlights that there may be some third-party charges, such as financial institution fees. To find out, you need to check with the recipient bank.

WorldFirst

WorldFirst also doesn’t charge transfer fees.

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Winner: Tie

Both providers don’t charge fees. This means they make their money on the exchange rate mark-up, so it’s important to pay close attention to the rate you get quoted.

Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000 to Hong Kong

Let’s compare a transfer to Hong Kong dollars to see which provider puts more money in your receiver’s pocket. As both providers don’t charge fees, the key variable to compare is the exchange rate.

Sending $1,000 to Hong Kong

XE WorldFirst
Transfer fee $0 $0
Exchange rate 1 CAD = 5.9345 HKD 1 CAD = 5.9597 HKD
Transfer speed Same day 1 day
Total Hong Kong dollars received HKD$5,935.50 HKD$5,959.68
Receiver gets HKD$24.18 less HKD$24.18 more

XE and WorldFirst are very similar, but in this case, WorldFirst gives you a somewhat better exchange rate, resulting in an extra HKD$24.18 for the receiver (which is around CAD $4).

Which offers better exchange rates?

XE

XE adds a margin to the mid-market exchange rate, normally between 0.4% and 1%. Make sure you confirm what the XE transfer exchange rate is prior to committing as it’s a different rate than what is shown on the currency converter tool (which shows the mid-market rates).

WorldFirst

WorldFirst also adds a margin to the mid-market exchange rate. It tends to average 1% above the mid-market rate.

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Winner: Tie

XE and WorldFirst offer very similar exchange rates. While WorldFirst tends to be marginally better as a whole, both providers charge a relatively low-range margin.

Which is faster?

XE

The biggest benefit of XE is that most transfers are made within the same day, if not the hour. XE will provide an estimate of the arrival date when you set up the transfer.

Some transactions may take longer as it’s dependent on the receiver details, but generally, XE provides a quick transfer service.

WorldFirst

WorldFirst transfer speed depends on a few things, particularly the currency you’re sending or buying, the bank and the amount.

Usually, pound sterling, US dollar or euro transfers are made the same day that WorldFirst receives your funds, clearing by the following day. However, with other currencies, it’s usually between 1-4 days.

If you need your funds to arrive by a certain date, WorldFirst recommends you call for advice on how to ensure your money arrives on time.

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Winner: XE

XE generally has faster transfer speeds across the board, offering same-day transfers in most cases.

General features

Payment methods Receiving options Max and min Transfer speeds Currencies
XE Bank transfer Bank account Minimum: $0

Maximum: $500,000

1 day 40+ currencies
WorldFirst Bank transfer Bank account Minimum: $2,000

Maximum: No limit

1 day 60+ currencies

XE

Once you’ve set up your account and provided the documentation needed, get a quote. You’ll need to tell XE how much you’re transferring and where the money is going.

If you’re happy with the quote, you send the payment and XE will complete the transfer. You can track your transfer on the website and XE will also keep you up to date via email and SMS.

WorldFirst

WorldFirst is an online transfer service, meaning you do everything online. Once you’ve set up your WordFirst account, you provide all the transfer details – the recipient, how much you’re sending and your payment details.

After that, you finalize the transaction and WorldFirst will send your money.

Bottom line

XE and WorldFirst are very similar in terms of fees and exchanges rates; however, XE comes out on top in the end. XE offers faster transfer times and has a minimum transfer amount of $0, while WorldFirst’s minimum is $2,000.

However, it’s always worth checking both providers’ exchange rates for the currency you’re transferring, just in case.

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
USD 150 1 day CAD 0.00 0.756 USD
7,561
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
7,554
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 0.759 USD
7,523
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 0.756 USD
7,561
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 0.756 USD
7,559
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 0.756 USD
7,561
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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