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.
Adrienne Fuller is the head of publishing at Finder. With a decade of experience creating guides in finance and education, she aims to deliver the accurate and transparent information she wishes she had when she made some of life's important financial decisions. For the past 3 years she has been the publisher of money transfers, helping readers save when they send money all over the globe. She has a BA from Colorado College and loves to hike with her two Catahoula dogs around her home in San Diego.
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.
Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.
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
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.
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
Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.
Case study: Katia's experience
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.
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.
Specify your full name and address, your Social Security number or photo ID and your recipient’s full address.
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.
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
Choose from the drop-down menu the currency from which you are sending money and the currency of the country to which you are sending it.
The top number is the amount of money that you are sending, and the bottom is the amount that your recipient will receive.
Enter the exact amount of money that you would like to send in the top bar. Using the current exchange rate, TransferWise will instantly convert the amount you enter into the currency you are transferring to.
For example, if you are sending $100, TransferWise will convert this amount to euros and subtracted its transfer fee, showing that my recipient will receive 92.80 euros. Once you’ve entered the amount of money you would like to send, click the green “Get Started” button.
If this is your first time using TransferWise, click “Sign Up” at the bottom-left corner of the pop-up. You can sign up with an email and password or connect with Facebook or Google+.
Only an email address and a password are required to create an account. Completing your account information is recommended if you frequently transfer money internationally, speeding up any future transfers.
Here, you will see the amount that you are sending and the amount that your recipient will receive. You will also see the fee that TransferWise charges to perform this transaction. This fee is already subtracted from the amount that the recipient will receive. Under the transfer free, you can see the current exchange rate between the two currencies you are exchanging.
Once you’ve confirmed your transfer, click “Continue.” Next, choose whether the transfer which you are making is a personal transaction (money from your personal bank account) or a business transaction (money from your business account). Click the category that matches the type of transaction you are making.
Enter your name, birth date, phone number and home address in the spaces provided. Click “Continue” to move to the next step.
You can send money to another account you own, an account owned by another person or an account owned by a charity or business abroad. Click your recipient and “Continue.”
If you are sending money to an account that you own, you just need to enter the IBAN of your international account. If you are sending money to another person’s account, a business or a charity, you will be asked to enter their email, full name, address and IBAN. Then click “Continue.”
You will be asked to review the IBAN of the person you are sending money to, the amount that you are sending, your conversion rate (guaranteed for 24 hours) and the fee TransferWise subtracts from the amount you’re sending. If this information is correct, click “Confirm.”
First, choose from where you would like to send your money: your debit card, credit card or bank account. You’ll see the fees and estimated date of arrival for each payment method. If there is no fee listed, there is no additional fee to use that method. After choosing your payment method, you will be asked to enter your payment information.
If you are sending from a debit or credit card, this is the end of the process. If you are using a bank transfer, you will proceed to the next step.
If you are transferring from a bank account, you will need to confirm with your bank.
After clicking “Bank transfer,” you will see information for TransferWise’s local account — the sort code, reference number, account number and address — that your bank will need to complete the transfer. Either contact your bank with this information immediately and click “I’ve sent the money to TransferWise,” or click “I’ll do it later.”
Note that the transaction will not begin until you’ve sent money to TransferWise through your bank.
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.
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.
You can pay for your transfer using your bank account, a credit card or a debit card.
Sometimes called the interbank rate, 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.
TransferWise charges a flat $3 for transfers up to $300 to most countries. Fees for transferring amounts over $300 depend on the currency of the recipient. Typically you’ll be charged 1% for sending more than $5,000 USD to any other country.
IBAN is the international standard for bank account numbers. Banks in the United States and Canada do not participate in IBAN, so US accounts do not carry this number.
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:
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