HiFX vs. TransferWise: Who has lower fees & better rates? | finder.com
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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.

Important

As of August 2018, HiFX is no longer available and has switched over to XE Money Transfer. XE offers international money transfers to over 170 countries with no commission or transfer fees.

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

hifx transferwise
HiFX TransferWise
Fees For 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 rates About 0.4% of the mid-market rate Mid-market rate
Speed 1–7 business days 1–6 business days
Max Transfer Amount No limit Private 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 transfer Via credit card To exchange currency
$0 1.5% $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 transfer Via credit card To exchange currency
$0 Typically 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 Methods Minimum and maximum transfers Delivery methods Transfer speeds Countries and currencies
HiFX Bank transfer, credit or debit card $50 minimum; no maximum Bank transfer 1–7 business days 19 currencies (online); 800+ currencies (telephone); all currencies (regular transfers)
TransferWise Bank transfer, credit or debit card 1 minimum; $36,000 maximum Bank transfer 1–6 business days 39 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
$0 3 - 5 days USD 0.00 18.667 MXN 93,334 Transfer up to $500,000 with no minimums and no fees. Go to site Show details
USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 18.761 MXN 93,806 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 18.723 MXN 93,543 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 1 3 - 5 days USD 75.00 18.894 MXN
93,050
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details
USD 20 Same day - - Send your first transfer for free with code NOFEEFINDER Go to site Show details

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US International Money Transfers Offers

Important Information*
XE International Money Transfers

With global payments provider XE, enjoy fast and secure transfers and a range of foreign currency tools and calculators, while benefiting from $0 transfer fees.

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.

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