Compare overseas money transfers: Ria vs. World First |

Ria vs. World First for international money transfers

Get solid exchange rates at low costs when sending money overseas.

Banks are falling ever more behind in the world of international money transfers. Companies like Ria and World First have steadily gained in the market by offering a low-cost method of transferring money to loved ones across borders and seas.

But how do they compare on costs? And who can get your money to friend and family faster? Read on to learn more.

Ria and World First: How they work

Both Ria and World First can help you send money internationally online from the comfort of your home. But Ria also allows you to transfer money for in-store pickup at any of its more than 240,000 agent locations in 130 countries.

Indicate who you’re sending your money to, how much you’re sending and how you’d like your recipient to receive it. After creating an account, you enter your and your recipient’s details before finalizing the transaction.

Who offers lower fees?


Fees start at just $3 for Ria. But it’s not so easy to pin down your exact fee, because rates can vary by speed at which you’re sending money, how you’re sending it, where you’re sending it and how it’s received.

World First

World First offers more straightforward transfers — and more straightforward fee structure. You’ll pay $10 for transfers of up to $10,000 and no fee for higher amounts.

  • Winner: World First

World First makes it easy to know what you’ll pay before you initiate a transfer.

World First Foreign Exchange

World First International Money Transfers

Convenient money transfers with excellent customer service. Send to 140+ currencies in 45 countries.

Special $0 fee offer for readers:
Because World First is a trusted partner of, you can send your money transfer overseas for free.

  • Enjoy competitive exchange rates.
  • Get even better exchange rates with forward contracts and limit orders.
  • Receive weekly updates on market exchange rates.

    Who offers better exchange rates?


    Ria’s exchange rates tend to come in at just under 1% above the mid-market rate.

    Here’s an example of USD to EUR:

    • If the mid-market rate is 1 USD = 0.8082 EUR
    • Ria’s exchange rate might be 1 USD = 0.7896 EUR

    World First

    World First’s strong rates also fall just under 1% above the mid-market rate, and it offers discounted exchange rates to customers.

    Here’s the same example of USD to EUR:

    • If the mid-market rate is 1 USD = 0.8082 EUR
    • World First’s exchange rate might be 1 USD = 0.8066 EUR
    • Winner: World First

    The discounted exchange rates World First offers to customers means you’ll typically see more favorable rates than by going with Ria.

    Who’s faster?


    Though you can’t transfer money instantly, Ria comes close with a minimum transfer time of 15 minutes for specific transactions that you pay for with a debit or credit card. Depending on your delivery option, you could wait up to four business days with Ria.

    World First

    World First offers a same-day option, but transfers can take up to four business days for your funds to fully clear.

    • Winner: It’s a tie

    Both companies offer nearly identical turnaround and transfer times, though World First may cost a bit more to deliver your money faster.

    I want to send


    Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
    USD 1 3 - 5 days - - No fees for bank account transfers and cash pickup at 240,000 locations in 130+ countries. Go to site Show details
    USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 0.813 EUR 4,063 Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
    No-limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.
    Go to site Show details

    Compare up to 4 providers

    Who offers more options?

    Payment methodsMinimum and maximum transfersDelivery methodsTransfer speedsCountries and currencies
    RiaBank account, credit card, debit card and cash$1 minimum; $2,999 maximum daily, $7,999 maximum monthlyBank account deposit, pickup at a Ria agent location and courier delivery to home or office, in limited locations15 minutes–4 business days200+ countries
    World FirstBank account$1,000 minimum; no maximumBank transfer1–4 business days20+ countries

    Case study: Sending $1,000 to Spain

    Imagine you’re sending $1,000 to your sibling who just moved to Spain. Here’s what an online bank-to-bank transfer could look like with Ria and World First.

    RiaWorld First
    Transfer fee$5$0
    Exchange rate1 USD = 0.79 EUR1 USD = 0.81 EUR
    Transfer speed4 days or less4 days or less
    Total received790 EUR810 EUR

    Your sibling would end up getting more with World First’s stronger exchange rate — and it’d cost you less with a special $0 fee promotion.

    Bottom line

    World First imposes a high minimum compared with Ria, but this provider can outperform Ria when it comes to discounted fees and rates offered to customers.

    Before you jump on either website to make your transfer, compare your options against your needs. You might just find a better fit.

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    US International Money Transfers Offers

    Important Information*
    HiFX International Money Transfers

    Transfer money into 20 currencies and schedule regular payments. $5 fee waived for transfers over $5,000.

    WorldRemit International Money Transfers

    Use promo code FREE to send your first transfer at no fee to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up.

    World First Foreign Exchange

    Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
    No-limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.

    TransferWise International Money Transfers

    Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks.

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