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WorldRemit vs. WorldFirst
We compare two popular online transfer services to find out which one offers the best value for money.
WorldRemit and WorldFirst both offer a convenient international money transfer service and allow you to send funds to countries all around the world. But which is the best choice for your next overseas transfer?
To find out, we’ve compared WorldRemit and WorldFirst head to head to see how their exchange rates, fees and transfer times stack up.
The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of February 7, 2019.
WorldFirst US closure
WorldFirst discontinued its services in the US on January 30, 2019. The company no longer accepts new trades or transfers from US customers.
If you’re a personal or business customer who’s concerned about your account, call 737-226-5240 for assistance.
- The first transfer is free
- 30,000+ partner agent locations worldwide
- No minimum transfer amount
Why we like: WorldRemit
Send money to 140+ countries for bank deposit, instant e-wallet, mobile top-up or cash pickup at 30,000+ agent locations worldwide.
- Use promo code FINDER to send your first transfer with no fee.
- Easy to use with round-the-clock help.
- Get cash to family and friends in minutes.
Which has lower fees?
WorldRemit charges flat transaction fees that vary depending on the amount of money you transfer, where you’re sending it and how your recipient will access the money. Bank transfers tend to be the most affordable option and commonly attract fees of around $3.99, but the range of variables that can affect fees means the cost will vary depending on your specific transfer circumstances. Happily, you can use WorldRemit’s online calculator to determine the fees that apply to your transaction without having to sign up for an account.
WorldFirst does not charge any fees on international transfers for personal accounts, and instead makes money on the exchange rate margin.
WorldFirst doesn’t charge any transfer fees and is the clear winner in this category.
However, please note that this doesn’t necessarily mean your transfer will be cheaper with WorldFirst. Each service offers different exchange rates, which we’ll examine below.
Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending AUD$1,000 to Germany
To give you a better idea of how WorldRemit and WorldFirst compare, let’s look at a hypothetical example of sending $1,000 to Germany from an Australian bank account. For the sake of clarity, we’ll send a bank transfer.
Sending $1,000 to Germany
|Exchange rate||1 AUD = 0.6160 EUR||1 AUD = 0.6219 EUR|
|Transfer speed||1-3 working days||1 working day|
|Total received (in EUR)||€616||€621.88|
As you can see in the table above, using WorldFirst instead of WorldRemit for this hypothetical transaction could save you $3.99 in transfer fees and allow you to send an extra €5.88 to your recipient.
Which offers better exchange rates?
WorldRemit updates its exchange rates daily and adds a margin on top of the mid-market rate. While the margin varies depending on the currency you send, WorldRemit typically offers a margin of around 1-2%. For example, if you wanted to send a transfer from Australia to the UK:
- If the mid-market rate is 1 AUD = 0.5498 GBP
- WorldRemit’s rate might be 1 AUD = 0.5411 GBP
The margin offered by WorldFirst generally ranges between 0.2% and 2%, but once again it will vary depending on the currency you want to send. For example, if you wanted to send GBP to the UK from Australia:
- If the mid-market rate is 1 AUD = 0.5498 GBP
- WorldFirst’s rate might be 1 AUD = 0.5470 GBP
WorldFirst generally offers a smaller margin and therefore a better exchange rate than WorldRemit.
That said, this isn’t always the case, so it’s worth comparing quotes before committing to a provider.
Which is faster
Transfer times with WorldRemit vary depending on the transfer method you select and where you are sending your money. However, WorldRemit lists the following transfer times:
- Bank transfer. Instant transfers to selected banks; between 1-3 working days in other cases.
- Cash pickup. Available to collect instantly.
- Mobile money. Instant or near-instant.
- Airtime top-up. Instant or near-instant.
- Home delivery. 24 hours – 7 days.
Transfer times vary on the currency you’re sending, the bank used and the amount of money you’re transferring. If you’re sending a major currency like GBP, USD or EUR, WorldFirst claims that same-day payments are usually available once it has received your funds. However, some other transactions can take up to four days to complete.
WorldRemit offers several transfer options that allow your recipient to access funds instantly or almost instantly, making it the clear winner here.
|Payment methods||Minimum and maximum transfers||Delivery methods||Transfer speeds||Countries and currencies|
|WorldRemit||Within an hour||145+ countries|
|WorldFirst||1 day||60+ currencies|
To send an international transfer with WorldRemit, the first step is to sign up for a free account. You’ll then need to specify the currency and amount you want to send, as well as who you’ll be sending it to. You can pay for your transaction via bank account transfer, credit/debit card and Android Pay or Apple Pay. WorldRemit also offers five different transfer types.
Once you’ve signed up for an account with WorldFirst, you can begin a transfer request by selecting the currency you have and the currency you want to send, and entering your transaction amount. You’ll also need to provide your recipient’s bank account details and review the exchange rate you’ll receive before submitting the transaction. The funds will then be deposited into your recipient’s bank account.
While it was a close contest, WorldFirst is the winner thanks to its (generally) higher exchange rates and no transfer fees — but only if you don’t live in the US. However, WorldRemit is well worth considering if transfer speed is a priority.
Ultimately, it’s important to compare a wide range of international money transfer services to find the best value for your transaction.
Alternatives for US customers
Use our comparison calculator below to weigh up the fees, exchange rates and other details of money transfer providers out there.
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