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HiFX vs. TransferWise

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HiFX and TransferWise are two services giving banks a run for their money. We compare fees, exchange rates and speed to see who comes out on top.

While HiFX and TransferWise are very similar when compared to each other, HiFX can be cheaper for larger transfer amounts.

hifxtransferwise
HiFXTransferWise
FeesFor transfers below $5,000, HiFX charges a $5 fee.
For transfers of $5,000 or more, there’s no transfer fee.
From 0.5% to 1.5% of your transaction
Exchange ratesAbout 0.4% of the mid-market rateMid-market rate
Speed1–7 business days1–6 business days
Max Transfer AmountNo limitPrivate individual – $49,999 per day and $199,999 per year
Business – $199,999 per day and $1,000,000 per year

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HiFX and TransferWise: How they work

Both services allow you to initiate money transfers online, though HiFX offers the option of dealing with a personal dealer by phone.

HiFX

With HiFX, you go to its site and enter the amount you want to send, after which HiFX converts your money and sends it to your recipient’s bank account.

TransferWise

TransferWise offers online transfers only. Just enter the amount you want to transfer, then send the funds to TransferWise. Once TransferWise receives your money, it converts the currency and sends it to your recipient’s bank account.

Case studies: Send $100, $1,000 and $10,000 to Japan

Let’s look at how much each service costs for bank transfers at different transfer amounts. (Fees are factored into the total received.)

$100: Almost even, though TransferWise wins by a nose

HiFXTransferWise
Transfer fee$5$3
Exchange rate1 USD = 114.72 JPY1 USD = 115.28 JPY
Transfer speed1–7 days1–6 days
Total received10,898.40 JPY11,182.16 JPY

You’ll have about 283 more Japanese yen if you send money through TransferWise. Assuming a rate of 1 JPY = 0.0087 USD, that works out to $2.46.

$1,000: It’s about even

HiFXTransferWise
Transfer fee$5$9.90
Exchange rate1 USD = 114.72 JPY1 USD = 115.28 JPY
Transfer speed1–7 days1–6 days
Total received114,146.40 JPY114,138.73 JPY

You’ll have about 7 more yen if you send money through HiFX. That works out to $0.06.

$10,000: HiFX wins

HiFXTransferWise
Transfer fee$0$84.41
Exchange rate1 USD = 114.72 JPY1 USD = 115.28 JPY
Transfer speed1–7 days1–6 days
Total received1,147,200 JPY1,143,069.22 JPY

You’ll have about 4,131 more Japanese yen if you send money through HiFX. That works out to $35.94.

  • Winner: HiFX

The two services are about even for smaller amounts, but HiFX starts pulling away when you transfer more. This is because HiFX doesn’t charge fees for transfers of $5,000 or more, but TransferWise charges a 1% fee regardless of the amount you send.

Who offers lower fees?

HiFX

For transfers below $5,000, HiFX charges a $5 fee. For transfers of $5,000 or more, there’s no transfer fee.

Via bank transferVia credit cardTo exchange currency
$01.5%$5 for transfers of up to $5,000; $0 for higher amounts

TransferWise

TransferWise charges a percentage of your transfer, but that exact figure depends on the currencies you’re exchanging. The fee is wrapped into the amount you transfer. (Check out TransferWise’s pricing page for details on fees.) If you’re transferring money by credit card, you’ll pay a transaction fee.

Via bank transferVia credit cardTo exchange currency
$0Typically 0.3% to 2%About 1% ($3 minimum)
  • Winner: HiFX

HiFX’s transfer fee is the big difference maker. It can weigh more heavily when you transfer smaller dollar amounts, but it’ll become your best friend as you send larger amounts.

Who offers better exchange rates?

HiFX

On average, HiFX offers exchange rates within about 0.4% of the mid-market rate. For example, if the mid-market rate is 1 USD = 115.02 JPY, HiFX might offer 1 USD = 114.51 JPY. That’s quite a good exchange rate compared with many other money transfer services (especially banks).

TransferWise

One of the reasons users like TransferWise is because it exchanges currency at the mid-market rate. That’s technically better than what HiFX offers, but keep an eye on TransferWise’s percentage-based transfer fee.

  • Winner: TransferWise

Judged on exchange rate, TransferWise is the winner here. As always, you should factor in transfer fees before deciding on a money transfer service.

Who’s faster?

HiFX

HiFX recommends allowing up to three business days for it to receive your money. You should also allow up to four business days for your transfer to be cleared by the receiving bank.

TransferWise

It takes up to four days to send money to TransferWise, depending on how you pay. It’ll take a few hours to two days for TransferWise to convert your currency. Finally, it takes a few business days for the money to be sent to your recipient. In total, you can expect your transfer to complete in one to six business days.

  • Winner: Tie

It could take up to seven days to complete a transfer through HiFX, but typically you can expect your transfer to complete in about the same time through both services.

Who offers more options?

Payment MethodsMinimum and maximum transfersDelivery methodsTransfer speedsCountries and currencies
HiFXBank transfer, credit or debit card$50 minimum; no maximumBank transfer1–7 business days19 currencies (online); 800+ currencies (telephone); all currencies (regular transfers)
TransferWiseBank transfer, credit or debit card1 minimum; $36,000 maximumBank transfer1–6 business days39 countries

Bottom line

HiFX and TransferWise are evenly matched if you’re sending smaller amounts. But for larger transfers, HiFX pulls away because of its $0 fee for transfers of $5,000 or more. If you’re transferring spending money for your college student studying abroad, either platform could work just fine. But if you’re transferring money for a down payment on a house, HiFX may be the cheaper option. You’ll need to compare your options to find a service that’s best for your situation.

Frequently asked questions

See how OFX and TransferWise compare to other money transfer companies

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 19.933 MXN 99,665 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 19.813 MXN 98,984 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 19.993 MXN 99,966 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 19.873 MXN 99,364 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 75.00 20.074 MXN
98,862
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details

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US International Money Transfers Offers

Important Information*
HiFX International Money Transfers

Transfer money into 20 currencies and schedule regular payments. $5 fee waived for transfers over $5,000.

WorldRemit International Money Transfers

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.

World First Foreign Exchange

Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
No-limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.

TransferWise International Money Transfers

Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks.

Go to site