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XE vs TransferWise

Which of these two money specialists offers cheaper, faster, more flexible transfers?

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XE and Transferwise are two popular international money transfer services that allow you to send funds to dozens of countries around the world. To decide which service offers the best value for money, we’ve compared XE Money Transfer vs TransferWise for fees, exchange rates and transfer speeds.

Which has lower fees?

XE

With XE, you pay no fee on your money transfer, no matter how much you’re sending.

TransferWise

Fees vary depending on where your recipient lives and how much you’re sending. TransferWise charges a fixed fee plus a percentage of each transfer. These fees vary depending on the currency and country you’re sending to.

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Winner: XE

Although TransferWise typically charges lower fees than banks and other money transfer specialists, it can’t trump XE’s no-fee service.

Which offers better exchange rates?

XE

XE’s exchange rates are based on the live foreign exchange markets. They’re often better than the rates from banks and competitive with other money transfer specialists.

TransferWise

TransferWise quotes the mid-market rate for money transfers. Banks and foreign exchange specialists use the mid-market rate when trading with one another, and it’s often higher than prevailing foreign exchange rates.

Crunching the numbers: Sending €1,000 and €10,000 to Nigeria

To give you an idea of how they directly compare, we checked fees and exchange rates for two different transfer amounts on 18 November 2020 while paying by card.

XE €1,000TransferWise €1,000XE €10,000TransferWise €10,000
Fee€0€5€0€41
Exchange rate1 EUR = 1.172 USD1 EUR = 1.187 USD1 EUR = 1.172 USD1 EUR = 1.187 USD
Transfer speed1 – 2 days1 – 2 days1 – 2 days1 – 2 days
Amount receivedUSD 1,172USD 1,181USD 11,729USD 11,820

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Winner: TransferWise

TransferWise always gives you the mid-market rate. However, add TransferWise’s fees on top and it may end up costing you more, even though XE is offering a weaker rate.

Which is faster?

XE

XE estimates that it will take between one and four days for the money to reach your recipient. Delivery time typically depends on what country you’re sending the money to.

TransferWise

TransferWise provides a calculator that can help you estimate how long it will take for your money to get to your recipient. Timing depends on where you live, your recipient’s country and how you pay for the transfer. Credit card payments tend to move faster than bank transfers, for instance.

TransferWise gets a lot of reviews for the accuracy of its delivery estimates.

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Winner: Tie

With so many variables that can affect how long your friends or loved ones might have to wait, we simply can’t determine which of these two money transfer specialists are better when it comes to speed.

General features

XE

XE Money Transfers specialises in international transfers of any size, as orders placed over the phone have no maximum limit. XE charges no fees and lets you send to more than 130 countries around the world. It also offers an app that provides continuously updated exchange rates on hundreds of currency pairs.

Overall, XE’s strong rates makes it worth checking before you send your next transfer, particularly if you’re sending a large amount of money.

TransferWise

TransferWise always gives you the mid-market rate, something few companies do in the money transfer market. On top of this, TransferWise is transparent about its fees, so you’ll know exactly what you’re being charged and how to adjust your transfer accordingly to possibly save money.

With TransferWise’s straightforward website, you can sign up and have your first transfer sent within a few minutes, or call the company and send a transfer by phone.

Bottom line

XE Money Transfer provides no-fee money transfers at rates that beat the banks, similar to other online money transfer specialists. You can send as much as €500,000 online and more by calling a rep.

TransferWise, however, can get you more money for your euro with a stronger mid-market rate, especially on larger transactions.

Still not convinced that XE or TransferWise is for you? Compare your options to send funds overseas.

Looking for more options?

Use our comparison calculator below to compare transaction fees, exchange rates and other key features across a range of leading international money transfer services.

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.
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.
Remitly - Ireland
EUR 0
1-5 days
EUR 2.99
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
XE Money Transfers - Ireland
EUR 1
Same day
EUR 0
XE has fast transfers with no fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Skrill - Ireland
EUR 50
1 day
None
Skrill offers easy transfers to many popular destinations, but keep an eye out for added fees.
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