XE vs TransferWise

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

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XE is a well-known name in the money transfers industry, with over 20 years in the business, while TransferWise is relatively newer. Which one can get you a better deal?

We’ve compared them both side by side to examine their fees, exchange rates, transfer speeds and other features.

The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of 22 July 2020.

Name Product Minimum Transfer Transfer Time Transfer Fee
TransferWise - Ireland
EUR 1
1-2 days
Varies
XE Money Transfers - Ireland
EUR 1
Same day
EUR 0
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Compare up to 4 providers


The “Rate” and “Amount Received” displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder Ireland.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder Ireland may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder Ireland” before you commit to a brand.

Which has lower fees?

XE Money Transfer

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 (from 0.45% to 1.5%) of each transfer, which varies depending on the currency.

Use TransferWise’s online pricing calculator to see how much your transfer will cost.

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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.

Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending €1,000 and €10,000 to India

Here’s how much it may cost to send €1,000 and €10,000 to India, so you can see the difference between different providers, and how fees and exchange rates contribute to the total amount received at the end. For this example, we’ll be using a bank transfer to pay for the transaction.

Sending €1,000 to India
XE Money TransferTransferWise
Transfer fee€0€6.11
Exchange rate1 EUR = 85.046 INR1 EUR = 86.1328 INR
Transfer speed1–4 days1 – 2 days
Total rupees receivedINR 85,046INR 85,606
Receiver getsINR 560 lessINR 560 more
Sending $10,000 to India
XE Money TransferTransferWise
Transfer fee€0€56.23
Exchange rate1 EUR = 85.046 INR1 EUR = 86.1693 INR
Transfer speed1 – 4 days1 – 2 days
Total rupees receivedINR 850,460INR 856,847
Receiver getsINR 6,387 lessINR 6,387 more

For both the small and large amounts, TransferWise is the more cost-effective option thanks to its competitive rates, even with higher fees. As your transfer amount increases, watch out for TransferWise’s growing fees, as these could outweigh the promising exchange rate.

Which offers better exchange rates?

XE

XE’s exchange rates are often better than the rates from banks and competitive with other money transfer specialists, but it does add a margin on top of the mid-market rate. It can offer more-favourable rates for higher transfers, which can make a significant difference.

Here’s an example of EUR to USD:

  • If the mid-market rate is 1 EUR = 1.15 USD
  • XE’s exchange rate might be 1 EUR = 1.1343 USD

This ends up being a margin of 1.3%

TransferWise

TransferWise quotes the mid-market rate for money transfers with no added mark-up.

Here’s an example of EUR to USD:

  • If the mid-market rate is 1 EUR = 1.15 USD
  • TransferWise’s exchange rate is also 1 EUR = 1.15 USD

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Winner: TransferWise

By offering the mid-market rate, TransferWise’s exchange rates are impossible to beat, but should be considered alongside its fees to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Which is faster?

XE

XE estimates one to four days for the money to reach your recipient. Delivery time typically depends on your recipient’s country.

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.

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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

Payment methodsReceiving optionsMinimum and maximum transfersTransfer speedsCurrencies
XE Money TransferBank transfers onlyBank transferMinimum: €1

Maximum: US$500,000 or equivalent

1 day50+
TransferWiseBank transfers, credit or debit cardBank transferMinimum: €1

Maximum: €1,200,000

1 – 2 days45+

XE Money Transfer

XE Money Transfer doesn’t charge a fee for its services, regardless of how much you’re sending. Rather, it makes money by adding a margin on the mid-market rate.

XE supports bank-to-bank transfers only, requiring you to send money first to your XE Money Transfer account. It then completes the transfer to your recipient’s bank account.

TransferWise

TransferWise’s transfer fees are based on the amount you’re sending and the location of your recipient. Its rates, though, are as good as it gets: the mid-market rate, or the rate banks use when transferring among themselves.

TransferWise offers flexible transfers beyond bank accounts, accepting payment by credit or debit card.

Funds are deposited into your recipient’s bank account and you’re both notified by email when the transfer is complete.

Bottom line

In our head-to-head with XE and TransferWise, which service comes out on top depends largely on your transfer amount and destination. If you’re sending larger amounts, then XE might edge out the competition, but even with a fee, TransferWise is worth considering.

Looking for more options?

Use our comparison calculator below to weigh up the fees, exchange rates and other details of money transfer providers out there.

Name Product Minimum Transfer Transfer Time Transfer Fee
Azimo - Ireland
GBP 10
Instant
Varies
TransferWise - Ireland
EUR 1
1-2 days
Varies
Remitly - Ireland
EUR 0
1-5 days
EUR 2.99
Skrill - Ireland
EUR 50
1 day
None
XE Money Transfers - Ireland
EUR 1
Same day
EUR 0
WorldRemit - Ireland
EUR 1
Same day
Varies
CurrencyFair - Ireland
EUR 5
1-2 days
Varies
loading

Compare up to 4 providers


The “Rate” and “Amount Received” displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder Ireland.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder Ireland may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder Ireland” before you commit to a brand.

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