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Wise (TransferWise) vs. CurrencyFair

Wise 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, Wise 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.

WiseCurrencyFair Logos
FeesFrom 0.5% to 1.5% of your transactionOn average, customers at the moment pay around 0.38%
Exchange ratesMid-market rateExchange rate varies by user
Speed1–6 business days2–4 business days
Max Transfer AmountPrivate individual – $49,999 per day and $199,999 per year
Business – $199,999 per day and $1,000,000 per year
No limit
Read review

Wise and CurrencyFair: How they work

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


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

Read review: Wise


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.

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Which offers lower fees?


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

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

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


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

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Winner: CurrencyFair

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

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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.

Compare other transfer services

Our table lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Compare services on transfer speeds and fees, then click Go to site when you're ready to send.
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
24 hours

View details
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Dunbridge Financial
Dunbridge Financial
24 hours

View details
Dunbridge Financial offers competitive exchange rates and zero fees on transfers to more than 120 countries.
24 hours
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally £5,000)

View details
Exclusive: Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally $5,000).
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
Within minutes

View details
XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Within an hour
From $1.99

View details
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Wise (TransferWise)
Within an hour
From $2.26

View details
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Within an hour

View details
Exclusive: Use code GET60 and save $30 on each transaction over $200. Valid for the first two transactions and till 31st July 2021. T&Cs apply.
Instarem offers zero transfer fees on all transfers.
Within minutes
From $0
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers

View details
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Western Union
Within an hour
From $0

View details
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
Within an hour
From $0

View details
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.

Compare up to 4 providers

Which offers better exchange rates?


Wise 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.


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.

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Winner: Tie

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

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Which is faster?


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

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


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

  • Debit card – Immediate (only for Irish debit cards from a bank in the Republic of Ireland)
  • Bank transfer – 1–2 business days
  • Bank transfer (ACH) – 1–4 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.

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Winner: Tie

Wise 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 Wise and CurrencyFair, it’s that you can’t pay by credit or debit card for all currencies. Wise 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.

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Which offers more options?

Payment MethodsMinimum and maximum transfersDelivery methodsTransfer speedsCountries and currencies
WiseBank transfer, credit card or debit card$1 minimum; $36,000 maximumBank transfer1–6 business days39 countries
CurrencyFairBank transfer or debit cards (Irish cards only)NoneBank transfer2–4 business days160+ countries
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Case study:$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 Wise and CurrencyFair.

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 Wise 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.

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Bottom line

Wise and CurrencyFair are very similar, and each edges out the other in a few respects. For example, Wise 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.

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    KenFebruary 14, 2019

    To send US100 to a bank account in Ghana:
    How long does it for receipt to receive the money?
    How much GHC will be received?
    What is the total fee?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesFebruary 15, 2019Staff

      Hi Ken,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      Currencyfair does not have affiliated locations in Ghana for a transfer to be made. Transferwise on the other hand, based on today’s currency exchange will send 526 Ghanaian Cedis to your recipient from the $100 you send. Estimated arrival of funds will be the following day. Fees would depend on the method of sending the money. Bank Debit is at $.15, Debit card is at $.74, Credit card is at $3.29 and Wire Transfer will just charge your bank fees. Hope this helps!


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