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Review: Remitly international money transfers December 2020

Quick, affordable transfers to the Philippines and beyond.


Fact checked

Quick verdict

Good for
  • Fast transfers, especially emergency ones
  • Smaller transfers
  • Sending money without ID verification
  • Cash pick-up
  • Paying by card
Not so great for
  • Any extras like forward contracts, limit orders or regular payments
  • Larger transfers

Remitly exchange rates and fees

Remitly updates its exchange rates daily to align with global markets, locking in the exchange rate you see at the beginning of your transaction. Some countries may have a weaker exchange rate than those of competitors.

Remitly charges no extra fees unless you’re sending through their express service or via credit card. At the time of writing (17 October 2018) it’s a US$3.99 flat fee for this, but there’s a 1% surcharge added if you’re using a credit card.

Available currencies

Remitly offers money transfers to over 30 different currencies across more than 80 countries. Some of the more popular include:

  • HUF Hungarian forint
  • INR Indian rupee
  • KES Kenyan shilling
  • MAD Moroccan dirham
  • PHP Philippine peso
  • PKR Pakistani rupee
  • USD United States dollar
  • VND Vietnamese dong

What types of transfers can you make with Remitly?

While Remitly does let you transfer to a cash pick-up location, it doesn’t have forward contracts, limit orders or regular payments. Forward contracts let you lock in an exchange rate now for a future transaction. With a limit order you can set the exchange rate you want and the trade will automatically go through when that rate is reached.

If you’re after a provider with either of these capabilities, check out our pages on forward contracts and limit orders.

Cash pick up locations in the Philippines

Your recipients can pick up funds send through Remitly in any of these establishments:

  • Cebuana Lhuillier
  • M Lhuillier
  • SM Malls
  • BDO
  • LBC
  • BPI
  • Metrobank
  • PNB
  • Palawan Pawnshop

How long does a transfer with Remitly take?

Remitly offers two ways to send – express or economy.

  • Express may cost extra but it can deliver your money to your recipient in minutes.
  • Economy generally takes three to five business days to arrive.

Transfers typically takeClock icon for transfer speed

3 – 5 days

What payment methods does Remitly accept?

You can pay for your transfer using:

  • Bank transfer
  • Debit card
  • Credit card

Paying by card will get your money there faster, but you’ll pay an extra 1% surcharge.

How much can I send with Remitly?

With Remitly, how much you can send depends on the tier you’re approved for. To move up to a tier with higher sending limits, you’ll need to provide more personal information and identity documents.

  • Tier 1. Send up to US$2,999 daily, US$10,000 monthly and US$18,000 every six months.
  • Tier 2. Send up to US$6,000 daily, US$20,000 monthly and US$36,000 every six months.
  • Tier 3. Send up to US$18,000 daily, US$36,000 monthly and US$60,000 every six months.

Is Remitly safe to use?

  • Security and regulation: Remitly is government regulated and keeps its customers’ funds separate from its own. Although Remitly doesn’t have 2-factor authentication, the server connection is secured using 256-bit SSL.
  • Established: 2011.
  • Reviews: Trustpilot gives Remitly a score of 4.5* out of 5, based on about 29,500+ reviews.
  • Investors: PayU, Stripes Group, Bezos Expeditions, Silicon Valley Bank.
*According to Trustpilot on Nov 19, 2020.

Remitly is regulated in the Philippines by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; in Australia, by ASIC (the Australian Securities and Investments Commission). ASIC is the regulatory body that oversees finance companies to protect consumers. Part of this regulation means Remitly has to keep its customers’ funds separate from its own in case it runs into any financial problems.

Remitly also says it has a number of risk management procedures in place that help show any suspicious account activity if you’ve been hacked.

How does Remitly make money?

Remitly only charges a fee for its express transfers so makes the rest of its money from the margin. The margin is the difference between the rate you’re quoted by Remitly and the live mid-market rate you can see on Google or XE.

Money transfer providers often include a margin on the exchange rate to cover their costs. When comparing providers, keep an eye on both the fees they charge and their exchange rate.

How to register and send your first transfer

Signing up for an account with Remitly is simple and free. The following steps can help guide you through the process.

What is Remitly’s background?

Remitly was founded in 2011 by Matt Oppenheimer to disrupt the remittance industry. It aims to lessen fees and create greater transparency and has a focus on being easy to use on your mobile. Remitly is based in Seattle in the United States and chiefly services those sending transfers out of the US, Australia, the UK and Canada.

In a nutshell

  • Instant transfers. If you pay through card, your money can be transferred in minutes with the express service.
  • On-time guarantee. Remitly offers a money-back guarantee if your transfer doesn’t arrive on time.
  • Fast registration time. You’re able to register an account and send a transfer in minutes. For transfers smaller than US$2,999 you don’t need to provide any proof of identity or address, such as a passport. However, Remitly will ask for your date of birth, address and full name.
  • Cash pick-up. You can send cash to a range of pick-up locations. This isn’t available in every country, however.
  • Limited currencies. Remitly doesn’t currently offer as many currencies as other providers.
  • Low maximum daily limits. Especially for the lower tiers.
  • Higher fees for expedited service. Credit card transactions and transfers to certain countries can be expensive.
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How does Remitly compare to other providers?

Our table below shows you the exchange rate and fees for other money transfer specialists.

Name Product Minimum Transfer Transfer Time Transfer Fee
1 - 2 days
USD 3.99
WorldRemit Philippines lets you use your debit, credit or pre-paid card to send instant mobile airtime top-ups.

Compare up to 4 providers


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