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TransferWise vs CurrencyFair
TransferWise and CurrencyFair are solid options for international money transfers. We compare them head to head to see who has the edge.
Compared to most banks, TransferWise and CurrencyFair are excellent options to transfer money. Most importantly, they charge low fees and offer favourable exchange rates — two big factors that will determine how much you’ll save on your transfer.
|Fees||From 0.45% to 1.5% of your transaction plus a flat fee||On average, customers at the moment pay around 0.45%|
|Exchange rates||Mid-market rate||Exchange rate varies by user|
|Speed||1–2 business days||2–4 business days|
|Max Transfer Amount||Varies||No limit|
|Read review||Read review|
TransferWise and CurrencyFair: How they work
With TransferWise, enter how much money you want to transfer, and then send your funds to TransferWise. TransferWise will convert the currency and send it to your recipient’s bank account.
For CurrencyFair, you set the exchange rate you want on your currency, and then you’ll be matched with someone who wants to exchange money with you. After your currency is converted, CurrencyFair will transfer it to your recipient’s bank account.
Which offers lower fees?
TransferWise usually charges a small percentage of your transfer, which changes based on which currencies you’re exchanging. A flat fee is incorporated into your transfer depending on the payment methods and the delivery speed you select.
CurrencyFair charges fees in a similar way to TransferWise – a percentage of the transaction, as well as a small flat fee. The flat fee is always equivalent to €3. The percentage, on the other hand, ranges from 0.25%-0.6% of the transfer.
CurrencyFair wins out on fees, charging a smaller flat fee and percentage. However, keep in mind that this won’t necessarily make a transfer with CurrencyFair cheaper. Exchange rates can make a big difference. We’ll go into why below.
Though a money transfer service might not charge for bank transfers, your bank may charge you for sending in your money. Your recipient’s bank may also charge fees for receiving money.
Compare other transfer services
Which offers better exchange rates?
TransferWise exchanges money at the mid-market rate. That’s a great deal compared to most other money transfer services, though you should still keep an eye on the site’s percentage fee.
Because CurrencyFair is a marketplace that matches users, your exchange rate will vary. Depending on what you’re willing to exchange for, you could get anywhere from a poor rate to something even better than the mid-market rate.
Judging purely on exchange rates, this battle is a tie. TransferWise converts at the stellar mid-market rate, but you could theoretically get the mid-market rate or better at CurrencyFair.
Which is faster?
It can take up to four days to send money to TransferWise, depending on which method you use. Paying by card will get your money there immediately, while a bank transfer will be longer.
Currency conversion takes anywhere from a few hours to two days, and it takes a few business days for the money to be sent to your recipient.
It’ll take one to two business days for CurrencyFair to convert the money and send it to your recipient.
In total, it takes two to four days to complete a transfer. If you have an Irish debit card, your transfer could be completed in as little as one business day.
TransferWise could technically take longer to transfer money, but more often you can expect it to take as long as CurrencyFair.
CurrencyFair only offers debit card payments from Irish cards. Expanding credit and debit card payments would speed up the transfer time for many countries.
Which offers more options?
|Payment Methods||Minimum and maximum transfers||Delivery methods||Transfer speeds||Countries and currencies|
|TransferWise||Bank transfer, credit card or debit card||€1 minimum; €1,200,000 maximum||Bank transfer||1- 2 business days||39 countries|
|CurrencyFair||Bank transfer or debit cards (Irish cards only)||None||Bank transfer||2–4 business days||160+ countries|
Example:€1,000 to the US
Say you’re a business owner who needs to buy a few things from a supplier in Florence. Here’s what a transfer would like with TransferWise and CurrencyFair.
|Exchange rate||1 EUR = 1.13110 USD||1 EUR = 1.1257 USD|
|Transfer speed||1–2 days||2–4 days|
While TransferWise offers a slightly stronger exchange rate, you’ll pay more in transfer fees. That said, your transfer could take longer to get to your recipient with CurrencyFair. Going with either service will result in big savings over big banks.
TransferWise and CurrencyFair are very similar, and each edges out the other in a few respects. For example, TransferWise offers credit and debit card payments for more currencies. On the other hand, CurrencyFair offers transfers to more countries and potentially gives you a better rate than the mid-market rate.
Still, you’ll want to compare your options to find a service that’s best for your situation.
Frequently asked questions
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