OFX and Wells Fargo are two well-established services for transferring money overseas. Unsure which is better for your needs?
Here, we compare OFX and Wells Fargo head-to-head. We’ll talk about how each service works, who offers better exchange rates and who’s faster. Overall, OFX will save you money, but Wells Fargo may have a slight edge on speed.
OFX and Wells Fargo: How they work
Both OFX and Wells Fargo offer easy online transferring.
With OFX, you go to its site, enter how much money you’ll be transferring, and send your funds to OFX. OFX then converts your currency and sends it to your recipient, who collects it via bank transfer.
With Wells Fargo, you need a Wells Fargo checking or savings account. You can visit a branch or go online to transfer currency from your account to your recipient’s bank account. Your recipient can also collect your money in cash at a bank branch.
Case study: $1,000 to Mexico
Say you want to send $1,000 to help out a few friends in Mexico. Here’s what that transfer would look like with OFX and Wells Fargo.
|Transfer fee||$0||$5 (other bank fees may apply)|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 21.31 MXN||1 USD = 20.94 MXN|
|Transfer speed||Up to 4 business days (1–2 to OFX, 1–2 to recipient)||2 days|
|Total received||21,310 MXN||20,940 MXN|
You’ll save the $5 transfer fee by going with OFX, and your friends will receive about $17 more pesos on the exchange rate alone.
Who offers lower fees?
OFX charges nothing for minimum transfers of $1,000 or more.
Fees vary depending on how much money you are transferring and where you are transferring to. Typical fees are between $5 and $7 per transfer.
OFX’s transparency $0 transfer fee make it the clear winner.
Speak to an OFX Money Transfer expert
Who offers better exchange rates?
To understand who offers better exchange rates, you’ll need to first look at the mid-market rate. This is the true exchange rate that averages the buying and selling rate of a global currency — and the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves.
Let’s take a look at the rates OFX and Wells Fargo offer compared to the mid-market rate.
A typical exchange rate at OFX is about 0.4% above the mid-market rate — which is very competitive.
Here’s an example with U.S. dollars to Mexican pesos (MXN):
- If the mid-market rate is 1 USD = 21.40 MXN,
- OFX’s exchange rate might be 1 USD = 21.31 MXN.
To see how your currency will be converted through OFX, enter the amount you want to transfer into our comparison calculator above.
A typical exchange rate at Wells Fargo is about 2% above the mid-market rate.
Using our example of U.S. dollars to Mexican pesos:
- If the mid-market rate is 1 USD = 21.40 MXN,
- Wells Fargo’s exchange rate might be 1 USD = 20.94 MXN.
If you’re sending $1,000 to your friends in Mexico, OFX’s stronger exchange rate will drop more than $15 in pesos into their pocket over Wells Fargo’s. While rates are in constant flux, you’ll typically find better exchange rates at OFX.
First, it’ll take one to two business days for you to transfer your money to OFX. It will take another one to two days from OFX to your recipient.
In total, it usually takes between two and four business days to complete an entire transaction through OFX.
For bank-to-bank transactions from your Wells Fargo account, it typically takes two days for your recipient to see the money in their account.
It will likely take about the same time to transfer money through either service. However, Wells Fargo has a slight edge given OFX’s possible four-day delivery.
Who offers more options?
|Providers||Payment Methods||Minimum and maximum transfers||Delivery methods||Transfer speeds||Countries and currencies|
|OFX||Electronic funds transfer (EFT)||$1,000 minimum; no maximum||Bank transfer||1–2 business days to transfer to OFX; 1–2 business days to transfer to recipient||190+ countries (exclusions include Afghanistan, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Libya and Syria)|
|Wells Fargo||Wells Fargo checking or savings account||$25; maximum varies||Bank transfer, cash pickup||2 business days||13 countries — Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Philippines, India, Vietnam and China|
Your reasons for sending money overseas will be numerous: to support a kid studying abroad, help friends or family with emergencies or finally put down a deposit on an apartment in Japan.
If cost is your main concern, OFX will be cheaper for nearly all cases. If speed is most important, your transfer could be completed a day or two faster through Wells Fargo. Ultimately, you’ll need to compare your options to find the service that’s best for you.