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Currencies Direct review

Money transfers designed to fit your changing needs.

finder.com’s rating: 4.0 / 5.0

★★★★★

How’d we get our score?

Fees & rates: 5.0 / 5.0
Speed: 3.0 / 5.0
Services: 4.0 / 5.0
User experience: 4.0 / 5.0

  • Diverse range of tools to help eliminate commission and hidden fees, including spot and forward contracts, limit orders and rate alerts.
  • No cash pickup or payments available, must pay and receive by bank account.

24 hours

Fastest Transfer Speed

$2,000

Minimum Transfer Amount

Why should I consider using Currencies Direct?

Currencies Direct has many features that make it appealing:

  • 90% of its transactions are free, and those that aren’t have terms that are clearly spelled out ahead of time.
  • All users have access to forward contracts, limit orders and similar advanced features.
  • Rate alerts can be set to notify you when the market reaches your ideal transfer rate.
  • Transparent exchange rates will clearly show you how close the rate you’ve locked in is to the wholesale rate, best rate you could get.

What to watch out for

Currencies Direct has limitations, including:

  • Only supports 60 global currencies, so your currency of choice may not be supported if it isn’t commonly traded.
  • Currencies Direct doesn’t offer any type of cash transactions so you must pay and receive by bank account.
  • Some US residents won’t be able to use Currencies Direct due to money transfer restrictions in their state.

Is Currencies Direct expensive?

Creating a personal account with Currencies Direct is free, and you won’t pay any account maintenance or transfer fees down the line. Occasionally you may face a third-party fee when using Currencies Direct, but this fee can sometimes be avoided by picking a different third party for your transfer.

Currencies Direct exchange rates

Currencies Direct provides live exchange rates 24/7. When you exchange funds through it, the rate will be slightly different from the mid-market rate.

Because it doesn’t charge any fees, Currencies Direct has to make its money another way. In this case, it goes a route that’s typical of online international transfer services — it takes a margin on the exchange. This means you won’t exactly get the mid-market rate, but it’s still competitive when compared against other transfer services.

Case study: Sending funds to a friend in Finland

Let’s say you’re looking to get some money to a friend living in Finland but you’re not in a particular hurry. Using Currencies Direct, you can set up a rate alert to let you know when the interbank — or mid-market — rate hits what you’re looking for. Here’s what the process would look like:

  1. Set your target rate through Currencies Direct.
  2. You’re alerted by email or text if/when your target rate is hit.
  3. Log in to your account and start your transfer.
  4. Complete your transfer using the stronger rate you set, instead of the weaker rate the banks were offering when you first decided to send money.

Where banks may come out ahead are transfer times. Because you’re sending the money to Currencies Direct and it’s then sending the money to your recipient, it may take longer than directly wiring it from one bank to another. It may take two or more business days to make the transfer with Currencies Direct, whereas a bank wire may go through in as little as one business day.

Fees explained

Although Currencies Direct typically doesn’t charge any fees for transfers sent through its platform, your transfer may still end up costing you more than you expected. Keep in mind that:

  • Currencies Direct will notify you if it’s going to charge you a fee.
  • Your bank may charge you a fee for outgoing and incoming transfers, and receiving bank may charge your recipient to accept your transfer.

These fees can often be avoided by calling your bank ahead of time to discuss free transfer options.

Currencies Direct reviews and complaints

Currencies Direct enjoys excellent reviews on TrustPilow, with 87% of reviews giving it 5 stars. Only 3% of reviews on Trustpilot are 1 star, and Currencies Direct has responded to 55% of the negative reviews it has received. Many customers leave glowing reviews about how informative the staff is, for example, “Always a fantastic service. The lady who assisted me today talked me through everything I needed to do to make a transfer. Thank you so much.”

However, some common complaints on the negative side touched on the frustration of opening an account and the frequency of which Currencies Direct contacts its customers. Many of the negative reviews on Trustpilot have responses directly from the company offering to fix the problem at hand however possible.

Currencies Direct reviews accurate as of October 8, 2020.

Trustpilot4.8 out of 5 — based on 4,880 customer reviews
Feefo4.8 out of 5 — based on 5,138 customer reviews
iCompareFX84 out of 100 — based on staff reviews
MoneyTransfers3 out of 5 — based on staff reviews
Finder4 out of 5 — based on staff reviews

What types of personal transfers does Currencies Direct support?

Payments can be made to Currencies Direct in two ways:

  • Bank-to-bank transfer
  • Debit card

These payments can be made over the phone, online or if you live close to a physical branch, in person. Unfortunately Currencies Direct doesn’t accept credit card payments at this time.

How do I send money through Currencies Direct?

You can send money a variety of ways using Currencies Direct. Follow these steps to get your funds where they need to be:

  1. Register for an account online.
    You’ll need to supply identifying documents when you apply, including a copy of a state or federal ID — such as your passport — and bank statements.
  2. Initiate the transfer.
    Start the process online, over the phone or in person. You’ll agree upon the exchange rate before committing to the transfer.
  3. Fund the transfer.
    Use a bank transfer or debit card to pay Currencies Direct.
  4. Your funds are delivered.
    Typically your funds will be transferred to Currencies Direct the same day you send them. Delivery times can vary based on where you’re sending the funds and how long they take to clear with Currencies Direct.

How do I track my Currencies Direct transfer?

You can track your transfer online using the website on your desktop or mobile app on your smartphone. Log in to your account to track your transfer.

You’ll also be sent an email as soon as your funds are sent from Currencies Direct.

How does Currencies Direct compare to other services?

Our table lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Compare services on transfer speeds and fees, then click Go to site when you're ready to send.
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
OFX
24 hours
$0

View details
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Dunbridge Financial
Dunbridge Financial
24 hours
$0

View details
Dunbridge Financial offers competitive exchange rates and zero fees on transfers to more than 120 countries.
CurrencyTransfer
24 hours
$0
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally £5,000)

View details
Exclusive: Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally $5,000).
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
XE
Within minutes
$3

View details
XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
WorldRemit
Within an hour
From $1.99

View details
New customers send USD 20 to Lebanon and use code ADD10 for a USD 10 discount. Valid till 7 November 2021. T&Cs apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Wise (TransferWise)
Within an hour
From $2.26

View details
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Instarem
Within an hour
$1

View details
Exclusive: Use code GET60 to save 30 USD on each transaction over 200 USD. Valid for the first two transactions and till 30 November 2021. T&Cs apply.
Instarem offers zero transfer fees on all transfers.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers

View details
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Western Union
Within an hour
From $0

View details
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
MoneyGram
Within an hour
From $0

View details
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Find out other alternatives to Currencies Direct

Is Currencies Direct safe to use?

Currencies Direct has been in business since 1996 and is licensed and regulated in many countries around the world:

  • Canada
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

    In addition to these licenses, Currencies Direct maintains a Level 1 Dun & Bradstreet credit rating, the highest possible through the agency, and transferred more than £7.5 billion pounds in 2019.

    Does Currencies Direct have a mobile app?

    Currencies Direct app homescreen

    Yes, Currencies Direct has an app available on both the App Store and through Google Play. Through the app, you can do the following:

    • Set rate alerts. Create and monitor rate alerts to stay on top of your transfers wherever you are.
    • Send money. Create transfers and send them directly through your mobile phone.
    • Manage transfers. See a history of your transfers and track transfers currently in progress.
    • Access customer support. Find phone numbers and customer service emails if you have any issues.
    Reviews accurate as of October 8, 2020
    Google Play Store3.9 out of 5 — based on 257 customer reviews
    Apple App Store3.6 out of 5 — based on 65 customer reviews

    Bottom line

    Currencies Direct has years of experience in the international money transfer game, and with its promise to beat the banks, it’s a strong contender for getting your funds to friends and family worldwide. Before you sign up, make sure Currencies Direct services your state.

    You can also use our guide to compare international money transfer services if you find Currencies Direct doesn’t meet all your needs.

    Frequently asked questions

    Can I make a forward contract?

    Yes. Forward contracts can be held for up to a year, but require a deposit.

    Are international money transfers safe?

    Currencies Direct transfers money the same way a business or bank would.

    Federal protections are also in place to hold banks, credit unions and money transfer companies to certain standards when it comes to international transfers. For example, it must disclose all fees upfront.

    Can I transfer money from anywhere in the United States?

    No. You can’t use Currencies Direct’s services if you live in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Guam, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, the US Virgin Islands., Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.

    How long will it take for my money to reach its destination?

    Most transfers arrive within 48 hours, depending on where you’re sending the funds and how long it takes your money to clear with Currencies Direct.

    Sending money with Currencies Direct for businesses

    Methodology

    Our team analyzes money transfer providers offering services in the US — from big names to digital upstarts. We rank rates and fees, speed, services and user experience for:

    • Currencies Direct
    • MoneyGram
    • OFX
    • Payoneer
    • PayPal
    • Remit2India
    • Remitly
    • RIA Money Transfer
    • Wise
    • Western Union
    • WorldRemit
    • XE

    Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

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