TransferWise international money transfer review

Benefit from competitive exchange rates and low transfer fees when you send funds globally with TransferWise

TransferWise aims to make the international transfer process as cheap and easy as possible. Using peer-to-peer technology — what it calls “Member Matching” — TransferWise matches you with someone sending funds in the opposite direction. For instance, if you’re exchanging US dollars to euros, TransferWise can match you with another customer looking to transfer euros to US dollars.

By taking this approach and charging minimal fees, TransferWise sends cheap international transfers all over the globe. Accurate delivery estimates and a five-star rating on Trustpilot rounds out this trustworthy provider.

Product NameTransferWise International Money Transfers
Min. Transfer AmountUSD 1
Max. Transfer AmountUSD 199,999
Transfer Methods
Online
Transfer Options
Regular paymentsOne off payments
Transfer Speed
Minimum transfer time
3 - 5 days
Banking PartnerTransferwise
Customer Service
PhoneChatEmail
Available CurrenciesAED, AUD, BDT, BGN, BRL, CAD, CHF, CLP, CNY, COP, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, GEL, HKD, HUF, IDR, INR, JPY, KRW, LKR, MAD, MXN, MYR, NOK, NZD, PHP, PKR, PLN, RON, RUB, SEK, SGD, THB, TRY, UAH, USD, VND, ZAR
Online Transfer Fee3.00%
Exchange Rate UpdatesReal time

TransferWise exchange rates

Unlike banks and many other services, TransferWise boasts that it does not skew exchange rates to make a profit. Instead, it offers 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 rate limits and forward contracts. But some conditions apply — for example, these tools can be for only select currencies, and you cannot apply a rate limit using the Send Money via Email option. It also guarantees its rates: As long as your money either reaches TransferWise by 4 p.m. EST 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.

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. For transfers in common currencies — such as the pound, euro, Swiss franc or Australian dollar — you will pay:

  • $3 fee for transfers up to $300
  • A fee of 1% of the amount sent for transfers up to $5,000
  • 0.7% on any amount over the initial $5,000

However, you may pay different fees when converting to less common currencies. For example, transfers of up to $5,000 to Indian rupees incur a 1.5% fee, while a further 1% is charged on any amount above $5,000. A larger minimum fee also applies when you transfer funds to SWIFT countries, such as Japan, to cover SWIFT transfer costs.

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.

money transfer awards logo-mobile

We recognize TransferWise as a winner of four categories in the finder.com Money Transfer Awards 2017: Outstanding Product, Most Convenient, Best Transfer Rates and Most Trustworthy

TransferWise: Fees and rates

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Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Services Amount Received Description CTA Details
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Pros and cons of using 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. With no minimum transfers, individuals can send up to $49,999 a day and $199,999 a year. Businesses can transfer up to $199,999 daily and $1 million 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, which could deter users without one.
  • No live chat option. If you have questions, you’ll need to call or email TransferWise for help.

What types of transfers can I make with TransferWise?

TransferWise allows you to initiate 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.

Sending money with Facebook Messenger

Baked within Facebook Messenger is TransferWise’s free software that can talk you through the process of initiating an international money transfer with TransferWise. With this “bot,” you can also set up an alert to be notified when a specific exchange rate is reached in the global market.

This service is available for payments to and from the US, Canada, Australia, the UK and Europe, with an expansion planned for all 50 countries and 600 currencies supported by TransferWise.

The registration and transfer process

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. You’ll then specify your full name and address, your Social Security number or photo ID and your recipient’s full address.

The second step is to 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:

  • Your name, address, phone number and email address
  • Your date of birth
  • Your bank account or credit card information
  • The full name, address and email address of the person to whom you are sending money
  • Your recipient’s International Bank Account Number (IBAN)

Steps to transferring money internationally with TransferWise

TransferWise’s main page

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.
TransferWise’s enter amount screenshot

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.
TransferWise sign up screen

Here, you will see the amount that you are sending and the amount that your recipient will receive. At right, 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.
Transferwise payment confirmation screen
Transferwise type of transaction

Click “Continue” to move to the next step.
Transferwise tell us about yourself screen

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.”
TransferWise

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. After you enter this information, click “Continue.”
Transferwise IBAN screen

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.”
Transferwise review of your transfer screen
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.
Transferwise how would you like to pay screen

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.
Transferwise how would you like to pay screen

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.)
Transferwise talk to our team screen

How much money can I send with TransferWise?

Minimum and maximum amounts vary by currency.

CurrencyFeesMaximum transferDelivery speed
US dollars (USD)0.5%Individuals: $49,999 a day and $199,999 a year; Business: $199,999 a day and $1 million a year1–2 business days after payout
Euros (EUR)0.5%1.2 million EUR1–2 business days after payout
Australian dollars (AUD)0.7%1.5 million AUD1–2 business days after payout
British pound sterling (GBP)0.5%1 million GBPSame business day after payout
Canadian dollars (CAD)0.5%170,000 CAD1–3 business days after payout
Polish zloty (PLN)0.5%5 million PLN24 hours after payout
Swiss franc (CHF)0.5%2 million CHF1 business day after payout
Swedish krona (SEK)0.5%1 billion SEK1–2 business days after payout
Brazilian real (BRL)1.5% (or 10 BRL for payments under 667 BRL)250,000 BRL1 business day after payout
Singapore dollar (SGD)0.5%None1 business day after payout
Japanese yen (JPY)0.5%140 million JPY2 business days
Danish krone (DKK)0.5%1 billion DKK1–2 business days
Norwegian krone (NOK)0.5%1 billion NOK1–2 business days after payout
Hungarian forint (HUF)0.7%300 million HUF1 business day after payout
Bulgarian lev (BGN)0.7%2 million BGN1–2 business days after payout
Romanian leu (RON)1%5.3 million RON1–2 business days after payout
Czech koruna (CZK)0.7%25 million CZK1–2 business days after payout

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”. If your payment does not go through, you will receive an error message as to why.

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.

apple-pay-transferwise-image

How does TransferWise keep my money safe?

TransferWise is an internationally regulated and recognized peer-to-peer service. It protects the privacy and integrity of your personal and financial data through solid verification processes for the people and banks it does business with.

Learn more about TransferWise and safety.

Available currencies

TransferWise can cover most of your transfer needs to in impressive 74 countries worldwide. Among the currencies TransferWise supports are:

  • UAE dirham
  • Australian dollar
  • Bangladeshi taka
  • Bulgarian lev
  • Brazilian real
  • Canadian dollar
  • Swiss franc
  • Chilean peso
  • Chinese yuan
  • Colombian peso
  • Czech koruna
  • Danish krone
  • euro
  • British pound
  • Georgian lari
  • Hong Kong dollar
  • Croatian kuna
  • Hungarian forint
  • Indonesian rupiah
  • Indian rupee
  • Japanese yen
  • South Korean won
  • Sri Lankan rupee
  • Moroccan dirham
  • Mexican peso
  • Malaysian ringgit
  • Norwegian krone
  • New Zealand dollar
  • Philippine peso
  • Pakistani rupee
  • Polish zloty
  • Romanian leu
  • Russian ruble
  • Swedish krona
  • Singapore dollar
  • Thai baht
  • Turkish lira
  • Ukrainian hryvnia
  • Vietnamese dong
  • South African rand

With TransferWise, you can transfer money from the US to:

  • Europe
  • Sweden
  • Croatia
  • Bangladesh
  • United Kingdom
  • Denmark
  • New Zealand
  • Pakistan
  • Australia
  • Norway
  • Hong Kong
  • Morocco
  • Hungary
  • Canada
  • Georgia
  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • Romania
  • Thailand
  • Poland
  • Czech Republic
  • Colombia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Switzerland and Liechtenstein
  • Bulgaria
  • Malaysia
  • Ukraine
  • South Africa
  • Singapore
  • Philippines
  • Indonesia
  • South Korea
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • Turkey
  • Chile
  • Sri Lanka
  • Russia
  • Vietnam

Compare your options for the best deal

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.

Looking for an alternative? Check out these services similar to TransferWise.

Compare TransferWise to the competition

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TransferWise vs. Bank of America

Frequently asked questions

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 cannot accept transfers from customers in Massachusetts, Vermont and Washington.

Yes. Set up a business profile with TransferWise to begin saving on business payments.

No. TransferWise takes care of the member-matching process for you — you simply enter your transfer details and pay for your transfer.

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.

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.

TransferWise offers drastically lower fees for international transfers compared to PayPal. However, many users find PayPal’s system more intuitive. As a general rule, PayPal is favorable for small monetary transfers, while TransferWise is better for larger transactions.

Learn more about the pros and cons of PayPal.

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4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    frankFebruary 24, 2017

    where do i cash out money sent to me through Transferwise?

    • Staff
      AnndyJune 27, 2017Staff

      Hi Frank,

      Thanks for your question.

      You should be able to get the money through your bank account. Transferwise will transfer it using real-time exchange rate.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  2. Default Gravatar
    BruceFebruary 2, 2017

    I am having my wedding overseas in Chile. I looked at the Transferwise website and it doesn’t list Chilean Pesos as a currency they work with.

    Is it possible to pay my wedding suppliers in Chile using TransferWise? If so, will they receive USD or CLP?

    • Staff
      AdrienneFebruary 2, 2017Staff

      Hi Bruce,

      Thank you for your question. I checked the Transferwise website and I can confirm that Chilean pesos are available, so you should have no problems using the service. Since Transferwise is a peer-to-peer service, your suppliers can receive funds in CLP into their bank account.

      If you’re ready to get started, click “apply now” to be taken to the Transferwise website and get started.

      Cheers,
      Adrienne