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XE vs Wise (TransferWise)
Which of these two money specialists offers cheaper, faster, more flexible transfers?
XE is a well-known name in the money transfers industry, with over 20 years in the business, while Wise is relatively new. 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 26 February 2019.
Which has lower fees?
XE Money Transfer
With XE, you pay no fee on your money transfer, no matter how much you’re sending.
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, which varies depending on the currency.
Use Wise’s online pricing calculator to see how much your transfer will cost.
Although Wise 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 France
Let’s look at how much it may cost to send $1,000 and $10,000 to France. You can see the difference between different providers, as well as 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 France
|XE Money Transfer||Wise|
|Exchange rate||NZD$1 = EUR€0.621||NZD$1 = EUR€0.63|
|Transfer speed||1–4 days||3–5 days|
|Total euros received||EUR€621||EUR€627.17|
|Receiver gets||EUR€6.17 less||EUR€6.17 more|
Sending $10,000 to France
|XE Money Transfer||Wise|
|Exchange rate||NZD$1 = EUR€0.628||NZD$1 = EUR€0.63|
|Transfer speed||3–5 days||3–5 days|
|Total euros received||EUR€6,280||EUR€6,271.65|
|Receiver gets||EUR€8.35 more||EUR€8.35 less|
For smaller amounts, Wise is the more cost-effective option thanks to its competitive rates, even with higher fees. But for larger amounts, XE becomes the cheaper choice, saving you EUR€8.35 with its preferential rates for larger transfers, as Wise’s growing fees also add to the cost.
Which offers better exchange rates?
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.
Wise quotes the mid-market rate for money transfers with no added mark-up.
By offering the mid-market rate, Wise’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 estimates one to four days for the money to reach your recipient. Delivery time typically depends on your recipient’s country.
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.
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.
|Payment methods||Receiving options||Minimum and maximum transfers||Transfer speeds||Currencies|
|XE Money Transfer||Bank transfers only||Bank transfer||Minimum: $0|
|Wise||Bank transfers, credit or debit card payments, Facebook Messenger, Apple Pay, Android Pay||Bank transfer, mobile money app||Minimum: $1|
|1 - 2 days||20+|
XE 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 account. It then completes the transfer to your recipient’s bank account.
Wise’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.
Wise offers flexible transfers beyond bank accounts, accepting payment by credit or debit card and through Facebook Messenger, Apple Pay and Android Pay.
Funds are deposited into your recipient’s bank account and you’re both notified by email when the transfer is complete.
In our head-to-head with XE and Wise, which service comes out on top depends largely on your transfer amount and destination. If you’re sending an amount above $10,000 then XE might edge out the competition, but for smaller transactions, Wise 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.
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