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TransferWise international money transfers review

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A secure, low-cost way to send money overseas.

finder.com’s rating: 4.25 / 5.0

★★★★★

How’d we get our score?

Fees & rates: 3.0 / 5.0
Speed: 4.0 / 5.0
Services: 5.0 / 5.0
User experience: 4.0 / 5.0

TransferWise offers an easy way to transfer money to another country from your credit card, debit card or bank account — but no cash pickup option means it’ll take a couple of days for your funds to arrive.

USD 1

Min. Transfer Amount

USD 1,000,000

Max. Transfer Amount

1 - 2 days

Transfer Speed

Details

Product NameTransferWise
Min. Transfer AmountUSD 1
Max. Transfer AmountUSD 1,000,000
Transfer MethodsOnline
Transfer OptionsRegular payments, One off payments
Transfer Speed
Minimum transfer time
1 - 2 days
Customer ServicePhone, Chat, Email
Available CurrenciesAED, ARS, AUD, BDT, BGN, BRL, CAD, CHF, CLP, CNY, COP, CZK, DKK, EGP, EUR, GBP, GEL, GHS, HKD, HRK, HUF, IDR, ILS, INR, JPY, KES, KRW, LKR, MAD, MXN, MYR, NGN, NOK, NPR, NZD, PEN, PHP, PKR, PLN, RON, RUB, SEK, SGD, THB, TRY, UAH, USD, VND, ZAR
Online Transfer Fee1.2%
Exchange Rate UpdatesReal time

Rates & fees with TransferWise

Unlike banks and many other services, TransferWise boasts that it does not skew exchange rates to make a profit. Instead, it claims to offer the mid-market rate to customers when sending money overseas. The mid-market rate is what your money’s actually worth on the global market compared to another currency. It’s the midpoint between worldwide supply and demand for that currency — and the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves.

While you can’t schedule future transfers, TransferWise offers the flexibility of forward contracts and rate limits for certain currencies and transfer methods. It also guarantees its rates: as long as your money either reaches TransferWise by 4 p.m. Eastern Time on the next business day or you create a successful ACH payment during this time, your recipient will receive the amount you were shown at the time you completed the transfer creation.

Our experience transferring money with TransferWise

Here’s what we found when we sent live transfers to France and Mexico through TransferWise:

  • Our ultra competitive exchange rates were within 0.02% of the mid-market rate on average, with rates updated multiple times a day.
  • Our funds were deposited into our recipient’s French bank account in a speedy two days.
  • TransferWise’s easy-to-use website allowed us to sign up and initiate a transfer in under 2.5 minutes. You also have the option of initiating a transfer by phone.

How much does it cost to transfer money with TransferWise?

The fees that apply when sending money overseas with TransferWise vary depending on how much money you’re sending and where you’re sending it to. The fee is made up of:

  • A percent fee of the transfer amount, plus
  • A small fixed fee

For example, a $1,000 transfer in United States dollars to Canadian dollars would incur a 0.6% fee plus $1, for a total fee of $6.96.

TransferWise’s fees are transparent and always visible when you’re calculating or making a transfer, so you won’t be surprised by hidden fees. Use the calculator below to estimate your transfer. Exchange rates change often, so click the “go to site” button to get a final spot rate for your transfer directly from TransferWise.

Calculate your transfer with TransferWise

Choose your currency and desired transfer amount. Exchange rates change frequently, so visit TransferWise’s site to get a final quote.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 1 1 - 2 days USD 40.00 0.907 EUR
4,499
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

What types of transfers can I make with TransferWise?

TransferWise allows you to make secure one-off transfers to a range of destinations around the globe. However, there currently is no option to set up recurring transfers.

US customers can pay by:

  • Debit or credit card. These payments reach TransferWise immediately.
  • Bank transfer. This option requires a maximum three business days to reach TransferWise, depending on the currency.
  • Facebook Messenger. Send money to Canada, Australia, the UK and Europe using TransferWise’s integration with this popular chat service.
  • ACH bank debit. You’ll need to allow one to four business days for your funds to reach TransferWise.
  • Bank wire transfer. Allow up to one working day for your transfer to reach TransferWise.

The funds are deposited directly into your recipient’s bank account once TransferWise receives your payment.

Pros and cons of TransferWise

Pros
  • Easy to use. We were able to sign up and initiate a transfer in under 2.5 minutes.
  • It’s affordable. Compare the costs for a TransferWise international money transfer with the expenses charged by banks and other money transfer companies.
  • Offers the mid-market rate. This approach offers better rates than many other providers.
  • High daily transfer limits. Individuals can send up to $49,999 a day and $199,999 a year.
Cons
  • Bank account transfers only. Funds are sent to your recipient’s bank account only, with no option for cash pickups.
  • Two-step process. You must first wire your money to TransferWise, which then deposits the money to your recipient’s bank account.
  • Requires a Social Security number. You’ll need an SSN to send money.

Compare TransferWise to other transfer services

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 0 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 0.903 EUR 4,517 Offering no maximum and no minimum limit transfers with $0 fees. Go to site Show details
USD 1 1 - 2 days USD 40.00 0.907 EUR
4,499
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details
EUR 1,000 1 - 2 days USD 10.00 0.898 EUR 4,481 Use TransferMate to help you send money to almost any country around the world for a small fee. Go to site Show details
USD 1 Within an hour USD 3.99 0.903 EUR 4,512 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 0.898 EUR 4,490 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 0.898 EUR 4,490 No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. Go to site Show details
USD 5,000 1 day USD 0.00 0.898 EUR 4,490 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

Case study: Katia's experience

Katia Iervasi profile photo
Katia Iervasi
Writer

I began using TransferWise when I moved to the US from Australia a few years ago. I tested a few money transfer services and TransferWise was my favorite for a couple of reasons:

  • It’s transparent. As soon as you enter the amount of money you want to send, you’ll see the real, mid-market exchange rate as well as TransferWise’s fees. The rate changes so much that if I get distracted and come back to the site a few minutes later, it may have already changed. That’s how I know it’s current.
  • The fee is small. Especially compared to the traditional banks — as someone who regularly transfers money between two continents, I appreciate this. The funds usually appear in my account in 24 hours, or longer if I hit send just before the weekend.

How do I transfer money with TransferWise?

TransferWise prides itself on offering an easy and convenient transfer service.

  1. The first step is providing your transfer details — how much money you wish to transfer, which country you’re sending it to and who will receive the funds.
  2. Specify your full name and address, your Social Security number or photo ID and your recipient’s full address.
  3. Send your funds to TransferWise, which you can do with a bank account transfer, through Facebook Messenger, or using your credit or debit card. TransferWise will convert your US dollars into your recipient’s currency using the mid-market rate and then pair you with a customer sending funds in the opposite direction.
  4. The funds are then deposited into your recipient’s bank account, and both you and your recipient are notified by email when your transfer is complete.

What do I need to transfer money using TransferWise?

To make an international transfer with TransferWise, you will need:





Step-by-step instructions with screenshots

How to fund your transfers with Apple Pay

To make sending your money even simpler, TransferWise has linked with Apple Pay. Sending funds internationally from Apple’s digital wallet via TransferWise works just like a normal Apple payment would work: just click the Apple logo that says “pay.” You’ll see an error message if your payment doesn’t go through.

You’re in luck if your digital wallet is linked to your debit card, as there is no additional fee. If your Apple Pay is linked to your credit card, there is a 2% fee. TransferWise transactions using Apple Pay are not available in Illinois, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Vermont and Virginia.

iPhone and Apple Watch

What happens next?

You can track the status of your money transfer through your TransferWise account. Log in to your account and click “Transfers” in the upper-left corner of the screen. TransferWise will let you know when your payment is processed and when your recipient receives their money.

If you have questions about your transfer, contact TransferWise online or by calling a local call center. Select your country from the drop-down menu for your local call center’s number and hours of operation.

Bottom line

TransferWise offers a cheap, innovative solution to sending money overseas. However, be sure to compare its services with other transfer companies before deciding which is best equipped to handle your international funds transfer needs.

Frequently asked questions

Methodology

Our team analyzes money transfer providers offering services in the US — from big names to digital upstarts. We rank rates and fees, speed, services and user experience for:

  • TransferWise
  • XE
  • OFX
  • WorldRemit
  • Currencies Direct
  • Western Union
  • RIA Money Transfer
  • MoneyGram
  • Remitly
  • Payoneer
  • Remit2India
  • Xoom
  • PayPal

Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

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Watch: Our review of TransferWise’s debit card

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24 Comments

  1. Default Gravatar
    Ron
    May 13, 2019

    What is the difference between SWIFT and IBAN?

    • AvatarStaff
      nikkiangco
      May 14, 2019

      Hi Ran,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder! A SWIFT code is used to identify a specific bank during an international transaction, whereas IBAN is used to identify an individual account involved in the international transaction. Both play an essential role in the smooth running of the international financial market.

      Hope this helps!

      With care,
      Nikki

  2. Default Gravatar
    Mark
    April 15, 2019

    Hello, I am wondering when does this $7 online fee of Transferwise apply? I do not see it mentioned anywhere on TW website. When I try to calculate my fees sending money with card to bank account it does not show that any such fixed fee is added.

    Thanks!

    • AvatarStaff
      johnbasanes
      April 16, 2019

      Hi Mark,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      The online fee changes based on the amount being sent as well as the country to where the funds would be received. You may contact TransferWise customer service to learn more on the fees associated with sending money internationally. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  3. Default Gravatar
    Alex
    March 6, 2019

    @TransferWise I tried to send $2500 using transfer wise, but got an email that my account was deactivated for no reason and the transaction was cancelled. However I did not receive the $2500 back toy bank account. It’s been about 2 months now. I’ve been trying to call and email the customer support, but they keep saying they cannot give me any information and I have to wait more, every time I contact them I hear the same thing. Are they just stealing people’s money???

    • AvatarStaff
      johnbasanes
      March 7, 2019

      Hi Alex,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      I understand the frustration you are dealing with right now. You may need to escalate this further when you call TransferWise by speaking to a supervisor or manager perhaps. Hope this would work.

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  4. Default Gravatar
    Jane
    February 9, 2019

    What is the partner bank of TransferWise here in Casablanca Morocco or where can I pay my transaction? Thank you.

    • AvatarStaff
      Joshua
      February 10, 2019

      Hi Jane,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      TransferWise allows you to send money directly to your recipient’s bank account. So, it is most probable that no matter what bank your recipient has, you can send it to his/her bank. However, you can also confirm with TransferWise.

      Regarding your second question, you will make payments online. When you click the “Go to site” green button found on this page, you will be redirected to their website where you can make the transfer. When you’re there, you will see that there are a few options for you to make payments. You can pay through debit or credit card, bank transfer, ACH bank debit, and bank wire transfer. You can read more about this by reading the information found under the subheading, “What types of transfers can I make with TransferWise?” found above.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  5. Default Gravatar
    Mark
    January 14, 2019

    I want to find out when you make a transfer with TransferWise, it takes 4 days. I’m here to ask if it’s 4 working days or it includes both Saturdays and Sundays?

    • AvatarStaff
      Jhez
      January 16, 2019

      Hi Mark,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Depending on the type of transfer, it may take up to 4 business days. It means weekends and holidays are not included.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  6. Default Gravatar
    Baltuano
    October 5, 2018

    If I make a transfer, can I do it to my own savings account that I have in another country? In other words, could I be the sender and recipient if I make the transfer?

    • AvatarStaff
      Ash
      October 5, 2018

      Hi Baltuano,

      Thank you for contacting finder.

      Yes, you may as Transferwise allows online transfer of funds to a bank account.

      I hope this helps.

      Please do not hesitate to reach out again to us if you have additional questions.

      Cheers,
      Ash

  7. Default Gravatar
    Mirjana
    July 17, 2018

    Hello,
    Beside all TransferWise fees when sending money, is there any bank fees when receiving money on recipient bank account?
    Thanks

    • AvatarStaff
      nikkiangco
      July 18, 2018

      Hi Mirjana!

      Thanks for your message.

      The money transfer recipient does not incur any fees for the transaction. Fees are usually shouldered by the one sending it. Ultimately, this will depend on the mode of transfer or the recipient’s bank. Before making any transfer, it would be safe for your recipient to ask her/his bank if there will be any fees involved in the transaction.

      Hope this helps!

      Nikki

  8. Default Gravatar
    Zaty
    June 29, 2018

    Apart from all the fees that TransferWise charges, will there also be a charge on my, say, debit or credit card, or my bank account when using the service?

    • AvatarStaff
      Ash
      June 29, 2018

      Hi Zaty,

      Thank you for contacting finder.

      Yes, apart from the Transferwise Fee there will also be Extra Fee if you will be paying by Debit/ Credit Card or SWIFT. The Extra Fees will be in percentage of the money that you will transfer wherein it depend on the currency that you are sending.

      I hope this helps.

      Let us know if there is anything else that we may assist you with.

      Cheers,
      Ash

  9. Default Gravatar
    Dan
    June 28, 2018

    Does Transferwise operate in Costa Rica? Just bought a bnb there and this would be an option to accept payments from guests if so.

    Thanks!
    Dan

    • Default Gravatar
      joelmarcelo
      June 29, 2018

      Hi Dan,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      Unfortunately, CRC is not available on the list of currencies available to transfer to. To weigh your options in sending money to Costa Rica, you can click HERE.

      Cheers,
      Joel

  10. Default Gravatar
    Lydya
    April 8, 2018

    How long should I wait to receive money sent to me (am in kenya)through transferwise from UK London?

    • Default Gravatar
      joelmarcelo
      April 8, 2018

      Hi Lydia,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      They always move your money as quickly as possible. You can see an estimate of how long it’ll take by putting some basic details into their transfer calculator in their website.

      But when you actually set up your transfer on TransferWise, your estimate will change. The reason for this is simple — the more information they have about your transfer, the more accurately they can tell you how long it’ll take. And it depends on these four things:

      1. The countries you’re sending from and to — every currency and country is different. Converting your money can take a maximum of two working days, but it’s very rare that it takes this long. And how quick your transfer arrives depends on how quickly your recipient’s bank can process your money, as well as the ways you’re able to pay in the country you’re sending from.

      2. How you pay — some payment methods are quicker than others. For instance, card payments are normally instant, while bank transfers take longer. You’ll see how long each payment method takes when you set up your transfer.

      If you’re sending money from GBP, they offer different types of transfers like Low Cost transfers and Fast & Easy transfers. In this case, the speed of your transfer will depend on the type you choose.

      3. What time you pay for your transfer — they can only handle your money during normal banking hours. And things may take a little longer if the country you’re sending to has a national holiday.

      I hope this information helped.

      Cheers,
      Joel

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