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XE vs Wise (TransferWise)

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

XE and Wise 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 Wise for fees, exchange rates and transfer speeds.

Which has lower fees?


With XE, you typically pay no transaction fees, commissions or ongoing fees. However, do note that a nominal fee of 3USD (and its equivalent) applies to transfers below USD500 and its equivalent in other currencies.


Fees vary depending on where your recipient lives and how much you’re sending. Wise 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 Wise typically charges lower fees than banks and other money transfer specialists, it can’t trump XE’s low-fee service.

Which offers better exchange rates?


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.


Wise 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 €1,000Wise €1,000XE €10,000Wise €10,000
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: Wise

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

Which is faster?


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.


Wise 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.

Wise 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 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 make it worth checking before you send your next transfer, particularly if you’re sending a large amount of money.


Wise always gives you the mid-market rate, something few companies do in the money transfer market. On top of this, Wise 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 Wise’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 low-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.

Wise, 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 Wise 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
Wise (TransferWise) - Ireland
1-2 days
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Azimo - Ireland
GBP 10
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
Same day
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Remitly - Ireland
1-5 days
EUR 2.99
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
XE Money Transfers - Ireland
Same day
XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.

Compare up to 4 providers

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