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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.

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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.

TransferWiseCurrencyFair Logos
FeesFrom 0.45% to 1.5% of your transaction plus a flat feeOn average, customers at the moment pay around 0.45%
Exchange ratesMid-market rateExchange rate varies by user
Speed1–2 business days2–4 business days
Max Transfer AmountVariesNo limit
Read reviewRead review

TransferWise and CurrencyFair: How they work

It’s easy to transfer money through TransferWise and CurrencyFair, and the process is pretty similar for both services.

TransferWise

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.

Read review: TransferWise

CurrencyFair

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.

Read review: CurrencyFair

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Which offers lower fees?

TransferWise

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

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.

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Winner: CurrencyFair

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.

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PRO TIP

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

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Minimum Transfer Transfer Time Transfer Fee
TransferWise - Ireland
EUR 1
1-2 days
Varies
TransferWise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Azimo - Ireland
GBP 10
Instant
Varies
Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries.
Remitly - Ireland
EUR 0
1-5 days
EUR 2.99
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Skrill - Ireland
EUR 50
1 day
None
Skrill offers easy transfers to many popular destinations, but keep an eye out for added fees.
XE Money Transfers - Ireland
EUR 1
Same day
EUR 0
XE has fast transfers with no fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
WorldRemit - Ireland
EUR 1
Same day
Varies
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
CurrencyFair - Ireland
EUR 5
1-2 days
Varies
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Which offers better exchange rates?

TransferWise

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.

CurrencyFair

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.

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Winner: Tie

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.

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Which is faster?

TransferWise

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.

CurrencyFair

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.

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Winner: Tie

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.

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Which offers more options?

Payment MethodsMinimum and maximum transfersDelivery methodsTransfer speedsCountries and currencies
TransferWiseBank transfer, credit card or debit card€1 minimum; €1,200,000 maximumBank transfer1- 2 business days39 countries
CurrencyFairBank transfer or debit cards (Irish cards only)NoneBank transfer2–4 business days160+ countries
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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.

TransferWiseCurrencyFair
Transfer fee€9.90€4.50
Exchange rate1 EUR = 1.13110 USD1 EUR = 1.1257 USD
Transfer speed1–2 days2–4 days
Total receivedUSD$1,120.69USD$1,120.63

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.

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Bottom line

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.

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