Review: WorldFirst international money transfers

Last updated:  

Enjoy competitive exchange rates and no transfer fees when you send money overseas with WorldFirst.

  • Good for large transfers and transparent margins on the exchange rate.
  • Not so great if you only want to send a small amount or pay by card.

GBP 1,000

Min. Transfer Amount

No limit

Max. Transfer Amount

1 - 2 days

Transfer Speed

Details

Product NameWorldFirst International Money Transfers
Min. Transfer AmountGBP 1,000
Max. Transfer AmountNo limit
Transfer MethodsOnline, Phone
Transfer Speed
Minimum transfer time
1 - 2 days
Customer ServicePhone, Email
Available CurrenciesAED, AUD, BBD, BGN, BSD, BWP, BZD, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EGP, ERN, EUR, FJD, GBP, HKD, HRK, HUF, IDR, ILS, INR, JMD, JOD, JPY, KES, LKR, MAD, MGA, MUR, MXN, MYR, NGN, NOK, NZD, OMR, PHP, PLN, QAR, RON, SAR, SEK, SGD, SRD, SZL, THB, TND, TRY, TTD, USD, XCD, ZAR
Online Transfer FeeGBP 0
Phone Transfer FeeGBP 0
Exchange Rate UpdatesReal time

WorldFirst exchange rates and fees

WorldFirst doesn’t charge any fees, but does add a margin to the mid-market exchange rate. This means WorldFirst’s exchange rate won’t be as good as the one you can see on Google or the news.

On most popular currencies, WorldFirst guarantees that the margin will only be 0.5% on top of the exchange rate. The more you send, the lower it gets. This rate goes down to 0.4% for Finder customers.

For the other, less popular currencies, you won’t pay more than about 1% on top of the exchange rate.

Calculate how much sending money overseas would cost with WorldFirst by using our tool below. You can also check out the real-time exchange rate WorldFirst offers and if there are any additional fees.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 1,000 1 - 2 days GBP 0.00 1.163 EUR
11,630
Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
Send 60+ currencies at competitive rates and no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
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.

WorldFirst's rates in detail

In August 2019, WorldFirst announced it was launching a new pricing structure aimed at making the margins applied to each transfer more transparent and easier to understand. Most popular currencies are available to purchase at these rates online, but for some, you’ll need to contact WorldFirst by phone. These rates apply to personal, business and online seller customers.

(0.40% for Finder customers)

Because WorldFirst takes a smaller margin than the major banks, it’s typically able to offer better rates than a bank can. In fact, it claims its exchange rates are up to 85% better than the high street banks, and backs this up with the WorldFirst Price Promise.

WorldFirst's Price Promise

If you get a better quote from another international transfer service, WorldFirst will beat it. You just need to:

  • Register with WorldFirst.
  • Let WorldFirst know how much money you’re looking to transfer and the rate you were quoted, including the time of day you received the quote.

Conditions do apply:

  • You must have an active trading account with another provider.
  • You must have the quote in writing or email to send to WorldFirst within three hours of receipt.
  • WorldFirst cannot give you a rate better than the rate at which they buy the currency.

Available currencies

WorldFirst offers money transfers to over 60 different currencies. You can check out the full list of the currencies above, but some of the more popular ones include:

  • EUR Euro
  • AUD Australian dollar
  • INR Indian rupee
  • LKR Sri Lankan rupee
  • NZD New Zealand dollar
  • PHP Philippine peso
  • USD US dollar
  • VND Vietnamese dong

The minimum amount you can send to most of these currencies is £1,000. However, for some currencies like the Indonesian rupiah, Vietnamese dong and Nepalese rupee, the minimum goes up.

What types of transfers can you make with WorldFirst?

WorldFirst offers four main transfer types to help you get the most out of your transaction.

  1. Spot contracts. Make a one-time transfer at the time of payment.
  2. Forward contracts. Lock in today’s exchange rate and schedule a transfer now for up to two years later.
  3. Regular payments. Set up automated payments online or over the phone.
  4. Limit orders. Use these to execute a money transfer when your ideal exchange rate is met.

What payment methods does WorldFirst accept?

WorldFirst only accepts payments via bank transfer.

After you’ve booked your money transfer, you’ll receive an email with WorldFirst’s bank account details for you to transfer your money to. You can organise your money transfer with WorldFirst either over the phone or online.

How long does a transfer with WorldFirst take?

A number of factors affect the transfer time: the currency, what bank is used and the size of the transaction. If you’re transferring to USD or EUR, the transfer is normally completed within the same day. With other currencies, you should allow one to four days for your money transfer to be completed.

Keep in mind that these times are from when WorldFirst receives your funds, so depending on how fast your bank processes money transfers.

Transfers typically takeClock icon for transfer speed

1 - 2 days

Is WorldFirst safe to use?

  • Security and regulation: WorldFirst is government regulated and holds its customers’ funds separate from the company’s own.
  • Established: 2004.
  • Number of customers: Over 400,000* globally.
  • Reviews: Feefo gives WorldFirst a score of 4.6* out of 5, based on over 485 reviews.
*According to WorldFirst and Feefo on 18 April 2019.

WorldFirst is regulated in the UK by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), which is the body that regulates finance companies to protect consumers. Part of the FCA’s regulation means that WorldFirst has to keep its customers’ funds separate from its own. This protects its users’ money if the company runs into financial difficulties.

Two-factor authentication (2FA) allows you an extra layer of security. It requires you to use two types of verification when you’re logging into your account. These are usually your password and a number either sent to you by text or generated by an authenticator.

How does WorldFirst make money?

WorldFirst makes its money off the spread, which is also known as the margin. You may have noticed that the exchange rate you see on Google or XE is different to the one being quoted to you. This is because a lot of money transfer companies and banks add on a small margin to the interbank rate to cover their own costs. In other words, it’s the difference between the wholesale cost of the currency, and the rate WorldFirst offers to you.

This margin varies from company to company, so it’s important to compare both the exchange rate the money transfer service is offering as well as their additional fees. WorldFirst’s margin generally ranges between 0.15% and 1% per transfer, depending on market volatility and the specific currencies you’re buying or selling.

How to register an account with WorldFirst

You can sign up for an account with WorldFirst online and, once you register and are verified the first time, it’s quick and easy to make future transactions.

How do I make an international money transfer with WorldFirst?

  1. Log in and click ‘make a transfer’. You’ll find this button on the homescreen of your log-in page.
  2. Choose your currencies. You’ll need to include the currency you hold and what you want to send, as well as the amount.
  3. Select your payment method. Even though you can only use a bank transfer in the UK, you can choose if the money is coming from a bank account under your name or not.
  4. Pick what date you want WorldFirst to make the transfer. It can either be for as soon as possible or at a later date.
  5. Review your transfer. Double-check the exchange rate is the one you want as this is the one you’re locking in.
  6. Transfer the money to WorldFirst’s bank account. You can find WorldFirst’s bank account details in the confirmation email you’re sent.
  7. WorldFirst sends your money transfer. You’ll be able to track the transfer online and receive email updates during the process.

What is WorldFirst’s background?

WorldFirst was launched in 2004 by two ex-Citibank colleagues in London. The pair wanted to use WorldFirst to make international money transfers cheaper and easier than what’s normally offered by the banks. They now have offices in Hong Kong, Japan, the US, the Netherlands and Singapore and Sydney.

In a nutshell

Pros
  • No fees. WorldFirst doesn’t charge any transaction fees, commissions or ongoing fees for personal transfers.
  • Competitive rates. WorldFirst offers highly competitive, transparent exchange rates to customers that’s usually not too far from the interbank rate.
  • Same-day transfers for major currencies. If you’re transferring to USD or EUR, WorldFirst is able to deliver same-day. Transfers to Australia and New Zealand are also typically within 24 hours.
  • Regular market updates. You can sign up for WorldFirst’s rate alerts or weekly market updates.
  • No maximum limit. With no limit, you can transfer as much as you’d like in one go.
Cons
  • Only accepts bank transfer. You won’t be able to use your credit card or debit card to pay for a money transfer.
  • High minimum transfer limit. WorldFirst won’t process money transfers smaller than £1,000. For some currencies, this increases substantially.
  • Some smaller currencies missing. WorldFirst has most of the major currencies covered, but not all of the smaller ones.
  • No cash pick-up. Transfers must be sent to your recipient’s bank account. You can check out other money transfer providers that offer cash pickup here.

How does WorldFirst compare to other providers?

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

Our table below shows you the exchange rate and fees of other money transfer specialists.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 2,000 1 day GBP 0.00 1.163 EUR
11,630
TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction (conditions apply)
(Conditions apply)
Go to site Show details
GBP 1,000 1 - 2 days GBP 0.00 1.163 EUR
11,630
Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
Send 60+ currencies at competitive rates and no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
Go to site Show details
GBP 3,000 1 day GBP 20.00 1.163 EUR
11,606
Make an informed decision with a personal touch, whether it's a business or personal transfer, with rate alerts, charts and live rates to help you make your choice. Go to site Show details
GBP 2,500 1 day GBP 0.00 1.163 EUR
11,630
With 17 years of foreign exchange expertise, OFX know the money transfers business very well, offering facilities for one-off and recurring transfers. Go to site Show details
GBP 2,500 1 day GBP 0.00 1.163 EUR
11,630
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
USD 1 1 - 2 days GBP 0.00 1.163 EUR
11,630
Whatever amount you transfer, XE will not charge you a fee for using their service. Go to site Show details
GBP 50 Same day GBP 2.99 1.156 EUR
11,556
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee.
Send money online anytime, anywhere, with a simple to use platform and transparent fees and exchange rates shown upfront.
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.
Back to top

Frequently asked questions

Ask an expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use and Privacy and Cookies Policy.

6 Comments

  1. Default Gravatar
    julius
    October 5, 2018

    I would like to transfer exactly 11700000 HUF (approx. £32000)to Hungary to a bank account from my UK bank account. The pound sterling seems to be a bit stronger today than it was a few days ago. How can I set up a Spot Contract/Forward Contract to transfer the money in early November?

    • AvatarStaff
      Joshua
      October 9, 2018

      Hi Julius,

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

      You can set up spot or forward contract with World First by visiting their website. Click on the “Go to site” green button to be redirected to World First’s website. From there, create an account if you haven’t done so. Sign in to your account and from there, you should be able to start setting up your spot or forward contract.

      If you want to know more about forward contracts, please go to this page.

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

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  2. Default Gravatar
    Dora
    August 30, 2017

    I would like to know it is possible I transfer money from an UK account to an Algerian account? And the rate is how it show in the exchange sites? Look like unreal. Thanks

    • AvatarStaff
      Anndy
      September 5, 2017

      Hi Dora,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you are looking to send money to Algeria, you can check our guide and your options here.

      The exchange rate is based on the real-time rate on the provider’s website.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  3. Default Gravatar
    Maurizio
    February 16, 2017

    Trying to transfer money from a US bank to a Russian bank account with either a debit or credit card or a US checking account. I need to transfer $100 to family in Russia on a monthly basis, what is the best way to do so?

    • AvatarStaff
      Millie
      March 3, 2017

      We would recommend using Azimo or TransferWise for this, please visit these provider pages for more information. If you require more information on how to send money to Russia, please visit our information page here.

Go to site