Ria vs. World First for international money transfers

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

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Ria vs worldfirst logos

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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.

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World First has discontinued its services in the US effective January 30, 2019. The company will accept no new trades or transactions after this date, and inbound transfers received after 5 p.m. CT will be returned to the sender.

If you’re a personal or business customer who’s concerned about your account, call 737-226-5240 for assistance.

To find a suitable alternative, compare money transfer specialists to find the best rates, fees and turnaround you’re eligible for.

Ria logoWorld First Logos
FeesStarts from $3$10 transfers below $10,000 ,$0 for $10,000 or more
Exchange ratesCan be less than 1% on the mid-market rateUsually 0.2% off the mid-market rate
Speed15 minutes up to 4 days1–6 business days
Max Transfer Amount$2,999 a day or $7,999 a month maximum$25,000 initial transaction maximum and $50,000 after
Read reviewRead review

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.

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Which 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.

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

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Compare other transfer services

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 0 1 - 2 days USD 1.99 0.905 EUR 4,521 Quick, affordable transfers around the world. Remitly also has an express option that can transfer your money in minutes for a higher fee. The cheaper option takes several days. Go to site Show details
USD 1 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 0.918 EUR 4,592 Offering no maximum and no minimum limit transfers with $0 fees. Go to site Show details
USD 1 1 - 2 days USD 40.00 0.923 EUR
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details
USD 1 Within an hour USD 3.99 0.919 EUR 4,592 Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Send to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up. Go to site Show details
GBP 1,000 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 0.914 EUR 4,569 Exclusive: Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally $5,000).
For larger transfers, get no transaction fees and no maximum send limits.
Go to site Show details
USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 0.914 EUR 4,569 No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. Go to site Show details
USD 5,000 1 day USD 0.00 0.914 EUR 4,569 Venstar will support you through the entire process of your international transactions, from start to finish. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Which 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 finder.com 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

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

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Which is 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.

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Winner: Tie

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

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Which 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
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Case study:$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 received786 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 finder.com 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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