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TransferWise vs. CurrencyFair

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TransferWise and CurrencyFair are solid options for international money transfers. We compare them head to head to see who has the edge.

Compared to most banks, TransferWise and CurrencyFair are excellent options to transfer money. Most important, they charge low fees and offer favorable exchange rates — two big factors that will determine how much you’ll save on your transfer.

transferwise currencyfair
TransferWise CurrencyFair
Fees From 0.5% to 1.5% of your transaction On average, customers at the moment pay around 0.38%
Exchange rates Mid-market rate Exchange rate varies by user
Speed 1–6 business days 2–4 business days
Max Transfer Amount Private individual – $49,999 per day and $199,999 per year
Business – $199,999 per day and $1,000,000 per year
No limit

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TransferWise and CurrencyFair: How they work

It’s easy to transfer money through TransferWise and CurrencyFair, and the process is pretty similar for both services.

TransferWise

With TransferWise, enter how much money you want to transfer, and then send your funds to TransferWise. TransferWise will convert the currency and send it to your recipient’s bank account.

CurrencyFair

For CurrencyFair, you set the exchange rate you want on your currency, and then you’ll be matched with someone who wants to exchange money with you. After your currency is converted, CurrencyFair will transfer it to your recipient’s bank account.

Send $1,000 to Italy

Say you’re a business owner who needs to buy a few things from a supplier in Florence. Here’s what a transfer would like with TransferWise and CurrencyFair.

TransferWiseCurrencyFair
Transfer fee$9.90$1.50
Exchange rate1 USD = 0.93455 EUR1 USD = 0.93100 EUR
Transfer speed1–6 days2–4 days
Total received934.55 EUR931.00 EUR

While TransferWise offers a slightly stronger exchange rate, you’ll pay almost $8.50 more in transfer fees and could wait up to two extra days. However, going with either service will result in big savings over big banks.

Who offers lower fees?

TransferWise

TransferWise charges a percentage of your transfer, which changes based on which currencies you’re exchanging. The fee is incorporated into your transfer. (Check out TransferWise’s pricing page for details on fees.)

If you’re transferring money by credit card, you’ll pay a transaction fee.

Via bank transfer Via credit card To exchange currency
$0 Typically 0.3% to 2% About 1% ($3 minimum)

CurrencyFair

When customers exchange money on CurrencyFair, CurrencyFair charges a fee of the total amount. If there isn’t anybody on CurrencyFair for you to exchange with, it will step in and exchange the money for you at a higher fee.

There’s no fee to send money to CurrencyFair.

Via bank transfer Via Irish debit card Exchange currency with another user Exchange currency with CurrencyFair
$0 $0 0.15% of total amount 0.4% to 0.6%

PRO TIP

Though a money transfer service might not charge for bank transfers, your bank may charge you for sending in your money. Your recipient’s bank may also charge fees for receiving money.

  • Winner: CurrencyFair

TransferWise charges a 1% fee to exchange currency. CurrencyFair charges 0.15% if you exchange with another user. This gives a slight edge to CurrencyFair.

Who offers better exchange rates?

TransferWise

TransferWise exchanges money at the mid-market rate. That’s a great deal compared to most other money transfer services, though you should still keep an eye on the site’s percentage fee.

CurrencyFair

Because CurrencyFair is a marketplace that matches users, your exchange rate will vary. Depending on what you’re willing to exchange for, you could get anywhere from a poor rate to something even better than the mid-market rate.

  • Winner: Tie

Judging purely on exchange rates, this battle is a tie. TransferWise converts at the stellar mid-market rate, but you could theoretically get the mid-market rate or better at CurrencyFair.

Who’s faster?

TransferWise

It can take up to four days to send money to TransferWise, depending on which method you use.

Credit or debit card Wire transfer Bank transfer (ACH)
Immediately Up to 1 business day 1–4 business days

Currency conversion takes anywhere from a few hours to two days, and it takes a few business days for the money to be sent to your recipient.

In total, it takes from one to six business days to complete a transfer.

CurrencyFair

It takes up to two days to send money to CurrencyFair, depending on which method you use.

Debit card Bank transfer
Immediate (only for Irish debit cards from a bank in the Republic of Ireland) 1–2 business days

It’ll take one to two business days for CurrencyFair to convert the money and send it to your recipient.

In total, it takes two to four days to complete a transfer. If you have an Irish debit card, your transfer could be completed in as little as one business day.

  • Winner: Tie

TransferWise could technically take longer to transfer money, but more often you can expect it to take as long as CurrencyFair.

If there’s one weakness to both TransferWise and CurrencyFair, it’s that you can’t pay by credit or debit card for all currencies. TransferWise offers credit and debit card payments for currencies like the British pound and Australian dollar, but not for others like the Japanese yen or US dollar. CurrencyFair only offers debit card payments from Irish cards. Expanding credit and debit card payments would speed up the transfer time for many countries.

Who offers more options?

Payment Methods Minimum and maximum transfers Delivery methods Transfer speeds Countries and currencies
TransferWise Bank transfer, credit card or debit card $1 minimum; $36,000 maximum Bank transfer 1–6 business days 39 countries
CurrencyFair Bank transfer or debit cards (Irish cards only) None Bank transfer 2–4 business days 160+ countries

Bottom line

TransferWise and CurrencyFair are very similar, and each edges out the other in a few respects. For example, TransferWise offers credit and debit card payments for more currencies. On the other hand, CurrencyFair offers transfers to more countries and potentially gives you a better rate than the mid-market rate.

Still, you’ll want to compare your options to find a service that’s best for your situation.

Frequently asked questions

See how OFX and TransferWise compare to other money transfer companies

I want to send

to

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
$0 3 - 5 days USD 0.00 19.134 MXN 95,671 Transfer up to $500,000 with no minimums and no fees. Go to site Show details
USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 19.125 MXN 95,623 Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
No-limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.
Go to site Show details
USD 1 Within an hour USD 3.99 19.125 MXN 95,546 Use promo code FINDER to send your first transfer at no fee to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up. Go to site Show details
USD 1 3 - 5 days USD 75.00 19.298 MXN
95,044
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details
GBP 5,000 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 19.105 MXN 95,526 Get live quotes on exchange rates and take advantage of no transaction fees with no limits on transfers. Go to site Show details

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US International Money Transfers Offers

Important Information*
XE Money Transfer

Transfer up to $500,000 with no minimums and no fees.

WorldRemit International Money Transfers

Use promo code FINDER 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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