Review: Sending money with TransferWise

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TransferWise offers a low-cost way to send money overseas with an easy verification process.

  • Good for transparent fees and no margin on the exchange rate.
  • Not so great if you need to transfer to less-popular currencies.

GBP 1

Min. Transfer Amount

GBP 15,000

Max. Transfer Amount

2 days

Transfer Speed

Details

Product NameTransferWise International Money Transfer
Min. Transfer AmountGBP 1
Max. Transfer AmountGBP 15,000
Transfer MethodsOnline
Transfer Speed
Minimum transfer time
2 days
Customer ServiceEmail
Available CurrenciesAED, ARS, AUD, BDT, BGN, BRL, BWP, CAD, CHF, CLP, CNY, COP, CRC, 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, TZS, UAH, UGX, USD, UYU, VND, XOF, ZAR, ZMW
Exchange Rate UpdatesReal time

Expert review

Zak Killermann

Review by


Zak Killermann is a staff writer at Finder specializing in money transfers. He has ghostwritten hundreds of FinTech articles over the years and found his love for publication at St. Cloud State University. Zak has been traveling internationally for nearly half his life and — after getting burned once by an over-the-counter money exchange — vowed to never settle for anything short of the mid-market rate.

Expert review

TransferWise, unlike a lot of its competitors, makes it crystal clear how much you are paying in fees before you transfer. Money transfer companies can often try to hide fees and exchange rate markups from the user, making TransferWise a breath of fresh air. TransferWise offers accounts for both standard users sending to other individuals as well as business accounts with extra features like Xero integration.

When it comes to online transfers, I would be surprised to see big names like MoneyGram and Western Union offering better rates, but keep in mind that other online-specific companies may offer better deals than TransferWise. If you find yourself traveling overseas frequently or receiving payment in foreign currencies, be sure to look into the TransferWise Borderless account to see if it fits your needs.

Why should I consider TransferWise?

  • Easy to use. We were able to sign up for an account and initiate a transfer through the website in less than three minutes.
  • Affordability. When compared to a bank, TransferWise’s fees and exchange rates will almost always be better.
  • Access to the mid-market rate. TransferWise offers the mid-market rate on all transfers sent through its network. All you have to think about are fees when comparing transfers.
  • High daily sending limits. A cap of £1,000,000 per transfer is in place, but some sending methods and locations may lower that limit.
  • Multiple payment options. Pay with a debit card, credit card or bank account with ACH or wire transfers. When using the TransferWise mobile app, you can also pay with Google Pay and Apple Pay.

What to be aware of

  • Bank account transfers only. Funds must be sent to the recipient’s bank account; there is no option for cash pickup.
  • Two-step process. You’ll first send the money to TransferWise, and then TransferWise will deposit the money into your recipient’s bank account. This extra step can sometimes add time to your transfer.
  • Requires proof of ID. You’ll have to provide proof of your ID and address before sending your first transfer through TransferWise.
  • Fees. Because TransferWise offers the mid-market rate, it relies on fees to make a profit.

TransferWise’s fees and exchange rates

As long as you are sending pound sterling, TransferWise’s fees are the same no matter what country you are sending to from the UK. Fees are determined by the following:

  • Amount. The more money you send, the higher your fees will be. This is because the fees are based on a preset percentage. Each currency uses its own percentage.
  • Payment method. You can pay by bank account, bank wire transfer, debit card or credit card.
  • Location. Transfer fees may change if you are travelling abroad and sending money from other countries.

TransferWise fees explained

The fee is made up of a percentage of the transfer amount, plus a small fixed fee which varies according to whether you opt for a fast transfer, paying with your debit or credit card, or a low-cost transfer, paying via your bank account.

To give this more context, here is what sending EUR 1,000 to Germany through TransferWise looks like on on 15 July 2020:

Fixed feeVariable feeTotal fees
Fast transfer£0.26£6.66 (0.67%)£6.92
Low-cost transfer£0.26£3.69 (0.37%)£3.95

And here’s what you’d pay if you wanted to send INR 1,000 to India:

Fixed feeVariable feeTotal fees
Fast transfer£0.31£8.15 (0.82%)£8.46
Low-cost transfer£0.31£5.17 (0.52%)£5.48

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.

TransferWise exchange rates explained

TransferWise uses the mid-market rate for transfers. Its rates are updated multiple times a day, but TransferWise also allows you to lock in a rate for a day or more to complete your transfer.

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. When we checked TransferWise’s rates against the mid-market rate on Google and XE, they were similar.

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
GBP 1 2 days GBP 30.00 28.117 MXN
139,743
Transfer money at the mid-market rate with no nasty surprises and excellent customer support. Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

Check if there are any TransferWise promo codes available

How long does a TransferWise money transfer take?

TransferWise transfer speeds are dependent on how much you are willing to pay in fees and when you send your transfer.

  • Fast transfer: instant
    When using a credit or debit card, you’ll pay more in fees, but your money can arrive instantly in your recipient’s bank account.
  • Low-cost transfer: up to four business days
    Paying for your transfer through your bank account is typically the cheapest way to send money through TransferWise, but it’s almost always the slowest. It typically takes two days for TransferWise to receive your money and an additional two days to transfer the funds to your recipient’s bank account.

What currencies can I send with TransferWise?

TransferWise offers money transfers to over 50 different currencies from all states in the UK. You can check out the full list of the currencies above, but the following are some of the more popular ones:

  • AUD Australian dollar
  • CNY Chinese yuan
  • EUR Euro
  • INR Indian rupee
  • KES Kenyan shilling
  • NGN Nigerian naira
  • NZD New Zealand dollar
  • USD United States dollar

Is TransferWise safe to use?

TransferWise was founded in 2010 and serves millions of customers a year. TransferWise is fully registered and accredited by many global agencies, using the following global standards to protect your money:

  • Follows strict rules set by regulatory agencies. In every country where TransferWise operates, it is registered with the appropriate regulatory agencies when necessary.
  • Bank-level data security. Encryption and data storage at TransferWise are handled in the same way as your bank.
  • Two-factor authentication. Protect your account with 2FA, with optional biometric locks on the TransferWise mobile app.
  • In-house 24/7 digital security team. A security team works around the clock to monitor transactions for suspicious activity and accounts for fraudulent logins.

What TransferWise’s reviews say

Reviews accurate as of 15 July 2020.

Trustpilot4.6 out of 5 – based on 92,945 customer reviews
Monito8.8 out of 10 – based on staff reviews

TransferWise’s reviews are moderately positive overall, with 86% of reviews on Trustpilot ranking it as Excellent, which is better than many competing money transfer companies. Overall, TransferWise’s clear fee structure and transparent rates make it easy to trust, but that doesn’t mean it is perfect. Customers often complain about slow customer service and turnaround times as well as the fact that missing a dash in your transfer account number can heavily delay your transfer.

How can I pay for my TransferWise transfer?

UK customers can pay using the following methods:

  • 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.
  • Bank wire transfer. Allow up to one working day for your transfer to reach TransferWise.
  • Google Pay and Apple Pay. These services can be used through the TransferWise mobile app and are processed straightaway. However, these payment methods may be charged as a cash advance.
  • A connected TransferWise borderless account. This works like a multicurrency account and is good for businesses, traders and people living abroad.

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

    How do I send money through TransferWise?

    Follow these six steps to have money sent in as little as a few minutes:

    1. Register. Create your free account online or through the mobile app.
    2. Enter your sending amount. Look at the fees and delivery time.
    3. Add recipient’s bank account information. Make sure to include the routing and account number.
    4. Verify your identity. Have your passport or valid driver’s license ready.
    5. Pay. Enter your bank account, debit, credit card or digital wallet details to pay.
    6. Track your transfer. Check the status online or in the mobile app.

    How do I reach TransferWise’s customer service?

    TransferWise offers support in two ways:

    By email

    To contact TransferWise by email, visit the Contact Us page and enter your email address, select the topic of the question and provide as much detail as possible about your problem.

    By phone

    TransferWise provides phone support in 12 regions, including the UK. Both standard users and TransferWise Business users can contact support during business hours.

    • Standard users call 020 3695 0999
    • Business users call 020 3808 7139

    Does TransferWise have a mobile app?

    Screenshot of TransferWise's app

    TransferWise has a mobile app on both the Google Play and Apple App stores. The app makes it possible to do the following:

    • Quickly repeat a transfer. See a complete list of past money transfers and send to past recipients in a few taps.
    • Log in with biometrics. On phones that support face scanning and thumbprint reading, use these features to lock your TransferWise account.
    • Get rate updates. Waiting for the perfect exchange rate? Set up rate tracking to get updates when the price is in your favor.
    • Increase your payment methods. Pay for your TransferWise transfer with Apple Pay and Google Pay while using the mobile app.
    Ratings accurate as of 15 July 2020
    Google Play Store4.4 out of 5 – based on 84,374 customer ratings
    Apple App Store4.8 out of 5 – based on 37,200 customer ratings

    More on the best money transfer apps

    Compare TransferWise to other transfer services

    Table: promoted deals sorted by a combination of service offering and the amount your recipient will receive

    Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
    GBP 2,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.099 EUR
    10,990
    TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction (conditions apply)
    (Conditions apply)
    Go to site Show details
    GBP 5,000 Same day GBP 0.00 1.099 EUR
    10,990
    Universal Partners FX offers competitive exchange rates and same-day transfers for 100+ currencies. Go to site Show details
    GBP 2,500 Same day GBP 0.00 1.099 EUR
    10,990
    Central FX’s dedicated private client team will guide you through the money transfer process from first call to final payment. Go to site Show details
    GBP 1 Same day GBP 0.00 1.099 EUR
    10,990
    Whatever amount you transfer, XE will not charge you a fee for using their service. Go to site Show details
    GBP 3,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.099 EUR
    10,990
    Get no fees as a Finder customer when you transfer your money overseas with Global Reach. Go to site Show details
    GBP 5,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.099 EUR
    10,990
    Take advantage of fee lock-ins and live bookable rates, helping you save up to 85% in hidden bank fees. Go to site Show details
    GBP 1,000 Same day GBP 0.00 1.099 EUR
    10,990
    Clear Capital specialises in sending 150+ currencies abroad for individuals and businesses, with a dedicated account manager to help you. Go to site Show details
    GBP 2,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.099 EUR
    10,990
    Make transferring money abroad as simple and safe as possible with bank-beating exchange rates - online, via the app or over the phone. Go to site Show details
    GBP 1 1 - 2 days GBP 1.99 1.089 EUR
    10,888
    Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
    Quick, affordable transfers around the world with both express and economy options.
    Go to site Show details
    GBP 5 2 days EUR 3.00 1.098 EUR
    10,979
    Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
    Get bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
    Go to site Show details
    GBP 10 Within an hour GBP 2.00 1.098 EUR
    10,973
    First two transfers free for new customers.
    Instant or 1 hour transfers to over 50 countries, send money directly to bank accounts or over 280,000 cash pickup points.
    Go to site Show details
    GBP 50 Same day GBP 2.99 1.092 EUR
    10,920
    Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
    An online money transfer service with cash pick-up, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
    Go to site Show details

    Compare up to 4 providers

    Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

    Bottom line

    TransferWise is a straightforward company that presents fees and exchange rates alongside your transfer. Given that you can lock-in your transfer rate for many hours after first seeing it, it’s worth checking TransferWise’s prices first before exploring the competition. If you are ready to make your transfer with TransferWise now, head on over to get started by creating your free account.

    Frequently asked questions

    Can I use TransferWise for business payments?

    Yes, you can set up a business profile with TransferWise to begin saving on business payments. Or, if you’re interested in TransferWise for your e-commerce store, read our review on the features on offer.

    Does TransferWise have a debit card?

    Yes, TransferWise has a debit card in the UK, which lets you spend any currency on your card and use it to withdraw money across the world for free (up to EUR€250 a month). You can find out more about our experience with it in the video below.

    How can I cancel my TransferWise transfer?

    In your account, go to the pending transfer and there’ll be a button called Cancel transfer. This will work if the money is still being sent to TransferWise or if it’s being converted. However, once TransferWise pays your recipient, there’s no way to get it back. If the details are incorrect, the money will usually bounce. TransferWise will let you know in this case, so you’ll have the opportunity to update the details or cancel the transaction entirely.

    Always make sure you trust the business or person you’re sending a money transfer to.

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