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

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HiFX vs. Wise (TransferWise)

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

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HiFX is no longer available through finder.com. Instead, a great alternative we recommend is XE Money Transfer. You can expect a similar experience sending money with XE as most details of the service, such as fees and currencies, are the same as HiFX.

Read our full review of XE Money Transfer or click the Go To Site button on this page to be taken directly to its website.

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

Compare HiFX to a Wise alternative

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
$1 1 - 2 days USD 40.00 0.831 EUR
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

HiFX and Wise: 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.


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.

Read review: HiFX


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

Read review: Wise

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Which offers lower fees?


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

  • $0 via bank transfer
  • 1.5% via credit card
  • To exchange currency, $5 for transfers of up to $5,000 and $0 for higher amounts


Wise 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 Wise’s pricing page for details on fees.) If you’re transferring money by credit card, you’ll pay a transaction fee.

  • $0 Via bank transfer
  • Typically 0.3% to 2% via credit card
  • About 1% ($3 minimum) to exchange currency

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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.

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Which offers better exchange rates?


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).


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

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Winner: Wise

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

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Which is faster?


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.


It takes up to four days to send money to Wise, depending on how you pay. It’ll take a few hours to two days for Wise 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.

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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.

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Which 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)
WiseBank transfer, credit or debit card1 minimum; $36,000 maximumBank transfer1–6 business days39 countries
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Case study:Send $100, $1,000 and $10,000 to Japan

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

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 Wise. Assuming a rate of 1 JPY = 0.0087 USD, that works out to $2.46.

$1,000: It’s about even

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

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.

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 Wise charges a 1% fee regardless of the amount you send.

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Bottom line

HiFX and Wise 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.

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