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Review: TransferWise money transfers – October 2020

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Save money with the mid-market rate and a transparent fee structure.

Quick verdict

Good for
  • Fair exchange rates
  • Transparent fees
  • Low minimum transfer amount
  • Fast registration and verification
  • Easy to use
Not so great for
    • Large transfers
    • If the receiver is unbanked
    • Paying by cash

TransferWise exchange rates and fees

TransferWise is one of the few services that offers its customers the mid-market rate. This is the rate you can see on Google or Reuters and it’s what your money’s actually worth on the global market, compared to another currency.

While you might see that the quoted exchange rate from other money transfer services is different to the mid-market rate, this won’t happen with TransferWise. Other services make their money from this margin added on to the exchange rate, but TransferWise only charges a fee.

TransferWise’s fee is usually a combination of a percentage and a fixed flat-fee of a few euros. You can see what your transfer would look like with TransferWise by using the calculator below, which offers real-time exchange rates and fees.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Minimum Transfer Transfer Time Online Transfer Fee
TransferWise - Germany
USD$1
1-2 days
Varies
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Available currencies

TransferWise offers money transfers to over 45 different currencies. Some of the more popular ones include:

  • CNY Chinese yuan
  • EUR Euro
  • GBP British pound
  • INR Indian rupee
  • LKR Sri Lankan rupee
  • PHP Philippine peso
  • USD US dollar
  • VND Vietnamese dong

What types of transfers can you make with TransferWise?

With TransferWise, you’ll only be able to make transfers to a bank account, so you can’t send to a cash pick-up location or mobile wallet just yet.

TransferWise also doesn’t offer some of the forex products its competitors do, like forwards contracts and limit orders, but there is a service specifically for business.

If you’re sending money to China, you’re now able to pay directly to your recipient’s AliPay ID. This means the money will appear instantly in their linked bank account.

Which payment methods does TransferWise accept?

You can pay for your transfer a few ways, including:

  • Bank transfer
  • Debit card
  • Credit card
  • Apple or Android Pay

Keep in mind that a bank transfer will usually cost you the least. Paying by credit card ends up adding a percentage fee on top.

How long does a transfer with TransferWise take?

Transfer time depends on what currency you’re sending and to which country.

As a general rule, it’ll be anywhere between one and two business days. But if you’re sending to the UK, for example, your money could arrive in minutes.

Transfers typically takeClock icon for transfer speed

1 - 2 days

Is TransferWise safe to use?

  • Security and regulation: Government-regulated, two-factor authentication (2FA)
  • Established: 2011
  • Number of customers: Over 4 million*.
  • Reviews: TrustPilot gives TransferWise a score of 9.2 out of 10, based on over 59,500 reviews*
  • Investors Virgin Group, JP Morgan, LHV Ventures, NatWest Bank

According to TransferWise and Trustpilot on 26 February 2019.

TransferWise uses 2FA, meaning that when you log in, you’ll need to go through two levels of verification to access your account. This gives you extra protection for your account. Since TransferWise is government-regulated, it keeps its clients’ money separate from its own funds. This means if TransferWise runs into financial hardship, your money will be safe.

How to register an account and send your first transfer

What is TransferWise?

TransferWise was founded in 2011 when two friends, Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, devised a way to transfer funds overseas without losing any of their money. TransferWise now has 11 offices, including the headquarters in London and other offices in New York, Sydney and Singapore.

In a nutshell

Pros
  • Offers the mid-market rate. This is the fairest exchange rate you’ll be able to find.
  • Transparent fee structure. You can find out exactly what fees you’ll be paying without having to sign up for an account.
  • Fast registration. The verification process is incredibly quick, so you can sign up and make your first transfer within 10 minutes.
  • Very low minimum transfer limit.The smallest amount you can send is 1, making it super accessible.
Cons
  • Fees can add up. Since most of the fees come from a percentage of the transaction, you’ll find they may add up if you’re sending a lot of money. Compare your other options for large transfers.
  • Receiver has to have a bank account. You won’t be able to send to a cash pick-up location or mobile wallet.

How does TransferWise compare to other services?

Name Product Minimum Transfer Transfer Time Transfer Fee
Azimo - Germany
GBP 10
Instant
Varies
TransferWise - Germany
USD$1
1-2 days
Varies
Remitly - Germany
EUR 0
1-5 days
EUR 1.49
Skrill - Germany
Skrill - Germany
EUR 50
1 day
None
XE Money Transfers - Germany
EUR€0
Same day
USD$0
WorldRemit - Germany
USD$1
2 working days
USD$3.99
CurrencyFair - Germany
EUR€8 or equivalent
1-2 days
0.1% to 0.6% of the amount exchanged plus a EUR€3 (or currency equivalent) transfer fee.
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