Circle money transfers app review April 2018 | finder.com

Review: Circle digital wallet app — April 2018

Send money to your friend’s account in US dollars, euros or British pounds.

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Circle isn’t just a payment app, it’s a good option for international money transfers. Circle offers excellent exchange rates that beat other money transfer services. And you’ll also get instant transfers and zero fees for sending, receiving or withdrawing money.

Product NameCircle
Min. Transfer Amount$0
Max. Transfer AmountNo limit
Transfer Methods
Online
Transfer Options
One off payments
Transfer Speed
Minimum transfer time
3 - 5 days
Banking PartnerCircle
Customer Service
Phone, Chat, Email
Available CurrenciesAED, AFN, ALL, AMD, AOA, ARS, AUD, AWG, AZN, BAM, BBD, BDT, BGN, BHD, BIF, BMD, BND, BOB, BRL, BSD, BTN, BWP, BYR, BZD, CAD, CDF, CHF, CLP, CNY, COP, CRC, CUP, CVE, CZK, DJF, DKK, DOP, DZD, EGP, ERN, ETB, EUR, FJD, FKP, GBP, GEL, GHS, GIP, GMD, GNF, GTQ, GYD, HKD, HNL, HRK, HTG, HUF, IDR, ILS, INR, IQD, IRR, ISK, JMD, JOD, JPY, KES, KGS, KHR, KPW, KRW, KWD, KYD, KZT, LAK, LBP, LKR, LRD, LSL, LYD, MAD, MDL, MGA, MKD, MMK, MNT, MOP, MRO, MUR, MVR, MWK, MXN, MYR, NAD, NGN, NIO, NOK, NPR, NZD, OMR, PAB, PEN, PGK, PHP, PKR, PLN, PYG, QAR, RON, RSD, RUB, RWF, SAR, SBD, SCR, SDG, SEK, SGD, SHP, SLL, SOS, SRD, STD, SYP, SZL, THB, TJS, TMT, TND, TOP, TRY, TTD, TWD, TZS, UAH, UGX, USD, UYU, UZS, VEF, VND, VUV, WST, XAF, XCD, XPF, YER, ZAR, ZMW
Online Transfer Fee$0

Easy online transfers without the fees

Cost is an important factor in any international money transfer. Sending money overseas can be expensive given high transaction fees and confusing exchange rates. The Circle app is a cheap way to send domestic payments as well as international transfers.

Finding a money transfer service without fees is rare, and on top of that Circle doesn’t mark up the exchange rate. The rate Circle gets is the rate you get.

However, there are limitations. You can only exchange USD to EUR or GBP to your friend’s Circle account, and the transfer speed can take up to four days.

Circle is best for:

  • Easy payments. Send money like you send a text.
  • Group payments. Send money in a group chat of up to 20 people.
  • No fees. Circle charges no markup or transfer fees.

How much will I pay to send money with Circle?

There are no fees to link a debit card or bank account. There are also no fees to send, receive or withdraw money.

Exchange rates

Money transfer services usually make a profit by offering a slightly worse exchange rate than the mid-market rate.

For example, if the mid-market rate says that $1,000 is worth 950 euros, a money transfer service might exchange your $1,000 for 920 euros instead. Consequently, the service will effectively make a profit of 30 euros.

Banks often charge 3% to 4% above the mid-market rate, and even the best online money transfer services usually charge 1% to 2%. By comparison, Circle does not mark up the rate. The rate Circle gets is the rate you get.

Our experience transferring money with Circle

Here’s what we found when we sent a live transfer to France through the digital wallet Circle.

  • money transfer awards logo-mobileCircle’s exchange rates can’t be beat, offering rates near or at the mid-market rate, or the rate banks and other transfer services use when trading among themselves.
  • It took a speedy two days for our recipient to transfer their money from their Circle account to a French bank.
  • Once we downloaded the Circle app, we were able to sign up and initiate a transfer in under 4 minutes.

We recognize Circle as a winner of three categories in the finder.com Money Transfer Awards 2017: Outstanding Product, Best Rates and Most Trustworthy.

What types of transfers does Circle support?

You can deposit money into and withdraw money from Circle via debit card or bank transfer. Circle does not offer the flexibility of rate locks, forward contracts or recurring transfers. It only offers one-off transfers.

Minimum transfer amounts and available countries

Transfer limits

All users can use Circle’s app to send up to $400 a week using a debit card. Once you apply and are approved, that amount increases to $3,000 a week.

To withdraw from your account, you’ll need at least $30.

Countries

You can use Circle in:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Lichtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Circle supports US dollars, euros and British pounds.

Pros and cons

Pros
  • Strong exchange rates. The rate Circle gets is the rate you get.
  • No fees. You won’t pay a fee to deposit, send, receive or withdraw money.
  • No transfer limits. Though you will need to have at least $30 in your Circle account to cash out.
Cons
  • Limited service. Circle supports only three major currencies to 30 countries. And if you’re a resident of Hawaii and a few other states, you’ll need to find another service until Circle is licensed in those states.
  • Government-issued ID required. You’ll need to upload a license or passport to send money, which could deter those without either form of ID.
  • No live chat option. If you have questions, you’ll need to call or submit an online form for help.

How do I get started with Circle?

To get started with Circle, register for a free account on its website or through its mobile app. You’ll need to input your personal contact information and upload a government-issued ID — like a license or passport — to send money. Then you’ll need to link your Circle account to a debit card or bank account. Circle will notify both you and your recipient of your transfer’s progress.

Sending €10,000 to France from the United States

You live in the United States, and you want to send 10,000 euros to your friend in France. Here’s how you would complete a transfer through Circle:

  • Link a debit card or bank account to your Circle account (this is free).
  • Click the “Send” tab in your Circle app.
  • Select euros as the currency and enter “10,000” as the amount to send. As an example, you might see that this costs $10,545 because of the exchange rate.
  • Specify your friend as the recipient and send the money (this is also free). You will be charged $10,545.

Your recipient will receive the money. At this point, they can withdraw the money for free via debit card or bank account. Debit card providers and banks typically take one to four days for processing.

What is Circle?

Circle is an app and online platform for social payments. You can use it to split the electricity bill with your roommates or pay back the money your brother let you borrow. If you’ve used Venmo, you’ll find that Circle is a similar platform.

Though Circle bills itself as an everyday payments platform, it’s actually a good option for international money transfers. You can only send US dollars, euros and British pounds with Circle, but it’s one of the cheapest ways to transfer money overseas.

What do customers say about Circle?

Circle gets mixed reviews online. At Trustpilot, the reviews are about 50/50, with a TrustPilot score of 4.9 out of 10.

Compare Circle to other money transfer services

I want to send

to

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 0.816 EUR 4,081 Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
No-limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.
Go to site Show details
USD 1 Within an hour USD 3.99 0.817 EUR 4,080 Use promo code FINDER to send your first transfer at no fee to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up. Go to site Show details
USD 100 3 - 5 days USD 0.00 0.815 EUR 4,077 Transfer money into 20 currencies and schedule regular payments. $5 fee waived for transfers over $5,000. Go to site Show details
USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 0.813 EUR 4,063 Exclusive exchange rate discounts
No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.
Go to site Show details
USD 1 3 - 5 days USD 50.00 0.819 EUR
4,054
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

When considering options for money transfers, cost might be your primary concern. In that case, Circle is a great pick — it offers $0 sending fees and excellent exchange rates.

Frequently asked questions about Circle

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