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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.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
NZD 1 1 - 2 days NZD 80.00 0.699 USD
6,932
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies. Go to site Show details
NZD 0 Same day NZD 0.00 0.695 USD
6,953
XE has fast transfers with competitive rates and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

Which has lower fees?

XE Money Transfer

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

Wise

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.

Trophy icon
Winner: XE

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 TransferWise
Transfer fee$0$4.50
Exchange rateNZD$1 = EUR€0.621NZD$1 = EUR€0.63
Transfer speed1–4 days3–5 days
Total euros receivedEUR€621EUR€627.17
Receiver getsEUR€6.17 lessEUR€6.17 more
Sending $10,000 to France
XE Money TransferWise
Transfer fee$0$45
Exchange rateNZD$1 = EUR€0.628NZD$1 = EUR€0.63
Transfer speed3–5 days3–5 days
Total euros receivedEUR€6,280EUR€6,271.65
Receiver getsEUR€8.35 moreEUR€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

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

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

Trophy icon
Winner: Wise

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

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

Wise

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.

Trophy icon
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: $0

Maximum: $500,000

Same day50+
WiseBank transfers, credit or debit card payments, Facebook Messenger, Apple Pay, Android PayBank transfer, mobile money appMinimum: $1

Maximum: $2,200,000

1 - 2 days20+

XE

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

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.

Bottom line

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.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
AUD 250 1 - 2 days NZD 0.00 0.696 USD
6,960
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies. Go to site Show details
NZD 250 1 day NZD 0.00 0.696 USD
6,960
Send guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Send has fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.
Go to site Show details
NZD 0 Same day NZD 0.00 0.695 USD
6,953
XE has fast transfers with competitive rates and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
NZD 2,000 2 days NZD 0.00 0.696 USD
6,960
Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for all Finder customers.
WorldFirst sends 60+ currencies at competitive rates. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
Go to site Show details
NZD 250 1 day NZD 0.00 0.696 USD
6,960
TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Go to site Show details
NZD 1 Within an hour NZD 3.99 0.695 USD
6,947
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Go to site Show details
NZD 1 1 - 2 days NZD 80.00 0.699 USD
6,932
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies. Go to site Show details
NZD 5 1 - 2 days EUR 3.00 0.693 USD
6,933
Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details
NZD 10,000 1 - 2 days NZD 0.00 0.693 USD
6,932
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

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