XE Money Transfer vs. TransferWise: Who has better rates? | finder.com

XE Money Transfer vs. TransferWise October 2018

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Which of these two money specialists offers cheaper, faster, more flexible transfers?

Founded in 1993, XE Money Transfer has since become one of the world’s largest money transfer services. It boasts more than $250 billion transferred since its start.

The younger TransferWise is a peer-to-peer specialist founded in 2010 by two friends who put money in each other’s bank accounts in different countries, avoiding bank fees in the process. Eight years later, TransferWise now moves more than $1 billion for more than a million customers annually.

xe money transfer transferwise
Fees None From 0.5% to 1.5% of your transaction
Exchange rates Real-time Mid-market rate
Speed 1-4 days 1–4 days
Maximum transfer None Individuals: $49,999 daily and $199,999 annually
Business: $199,999 daily and $1 million annually

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XE Money Transfer and TransferWise: How they work

XE Money Transfer

XE Money Transfer doesn’t charge a fee for its services, regardless of how much you’re sending. Rather, it makes money by adding a margin on the mid-market rate.

XE supports bank-to-bank transfers only, requiring you to send money first to your XE Money Transfer account. It then completes the transfer to your recipient’s business account.

    TransferWise

    TransferWise’s transfer fees are based on the amount you’re sending and the location of your recipient. Its rates, however, are as good as it gets: the mid-market rate, or the rate banks use when transferring among themselves.

    TransferWise offers flexible transfers beyond bank accounts, accepting payment by credit or debit card and through Facebook Messenger, Apple Pay and Android Pay.

    After you set up a transfer, TransferWise converts your US dollars into your recipient’s currency at the mid-market rate, pairing you with a customer sending money in the opposite direction.

    Funds are deposited into your recipient’s bank account, and you’re both notified by email when the transfer is complete.

    Who offers lower fees?

    XE Money Transfer

    With XE, you pay no fee on your money transfer, no matter how much you’re sending.

    TransferWise

    Fees vary depending on where your recipient lives and how much you’re sending:

    • $3 fee for transfers up to $300.
    • A fee equal to 1% of the amount you’re sending for transfers of up to $5,000.
    • 0.7% on any amount over the initial $5,000.

    Other fees apply depending on the amount and type of currency. For example, when transferring $5,000 as Indonesian rupiah, you’re charged an additional $2 on top of the 1% fee.

    Use TransferWise’s online pricing calculator to see how much your transfer will cost.

    • Winner: XE

    Although TransferWise typically charges lower fees than banks and other money transfer specialists, it can’t trump XE’s no-fee service.

    XE Money Transfer

    Our pick: XE Money Transfer

    XE specializes in a wide range of foreign currency solutions and offers an affordable solution when you need to send money overseas.

    • Send money to 170+ countries.
    • Competitive exchange rates that are often better than banks.
    • Transfer up to $500,000 online.
    • See exchange rates in real-time.

      Who offers better exchange rates?

      XE

      XE’s exchange rates are based on the live foreign exchange markets. They’re often better than the rates from banks and competitive with other money transfer specialists.

      TransferWise

      TransferWise quotes the mid-market rate for money transfers. Banks and foreign exchange specialists use the mid-market rate when trading with one another, and it’s often higher than prevailing foreign exchange rates.

      • Winner: TransferWise

      You get better rates for your money with the mid-market rate that TransferWise extends for its transfers.

      Who’s faster?

      XE

      XE estimates one and four days for the money to reach your recipient. Delivery time typically depends on your recipient’s country.

      TransferWise

      TransferWise provides a calculator that can help you estimate how long it will take for your money to get to your recipient. Timing depends on where you live, your recipient’s country and how you pay for the transfer. Credit card payments tend to move faster than bank transfers, for instance.

      TransferWise gets rave reviews for the accuracy of its delivery estimates.

      • Winner: Tie

      With so many variables that can affect how long your friends or loved ones might have to wait, we simply can’t determine which of these two money transfer specialists are better when it comes to speed.

      Who offers more options?

      Payment methods Minimum and maximum transfers Delivery methods Transfer speeds Countries and currencies
      XE Money Transfer Bank transfers only No minimum transfers. Maximum transfers as high as $500,000 or more by phone Direct to recipient’s bank account 1–4 days 170+ countries
      TransferWise Bank transfers, credit or debit card payments, Facebook Messenger, Apple Pay, Android Pay From $1 to $50,000 daily or $250,000 annually Direct to recipient’s bank account 3–5 days 50+ countries

      Case study: Sending money to Paris

      Let’s say you’re looking to transfer $100, $1,000 and $10,000 to your son, who’s studying in the City of Lights. Here’s what you might receive with XE Money Transfer and TransferWise after accounting for transfer fees.

      $100: Almost even, XE winning by a nose

      XE Money Transfer TransferWise
      Transfer fee $0 $3
      Exchange rate 1 USD = 0.845 EUR 1 USD = 0.855 EUR
      Transfer speed 1–4 days 3–5 days
      Amount received 85 EUR 83 EUR

      With XE, you get two extra euros. At 1 EUR = 1.155 USD, that works out to $2.31.

      $1,000: Almost even, TransferWise winning by a nose

      XE Money Transfer TransferWise
      Transfer fee $0 $10
      Exchange rate 1 USD = 0.845 EUR 1 USD = 0.856 EUR
      Transfer speed 1–4 days 3–5 days
      Amount received 845 EUR 847 EUR

      With TransferWise, you get two more euros — about another $2.31 or so.

      $10,000: This time, TransferWise is a clear winner

      XE Money Transfer TransferWise
      Transfer fee $0 $85
      Exchange rate 1 USD = 0.845 EUR 1 USD = 0.856 EUR
      Transfer speed 3–5 days 3–5 days
      Amount received 8,453 EUR 8,483 EUR

      With TransferWise, you get 30 more euros on the exchange rate — or about $35 more.

      Winner: TransferWise

      The two services are about even for smaller amounts, but TransferWise begins pulling away when you transfer more. TransferWise’s mid-market rate more than makes up for the advantage posed by XE’s no-fee transfers.

      TransferWise International Money Transfers

      Our pick: TransferWise

      When you need to send money, benefit from competitive mid-market exchange rates and straightforward fees with TransferWise.

      • Fair service fees and mid-market rates — a major market differentiator.
      • Next-day delivery to your loved ones and businesses.
      • Trusted the world over, with five-star ratings on Trustpilot.

        Bottom line

        XE Money Transfer provides no-fee money transfers at rates that beat the banks, similar to other online money transfer specialists. You can send as much as $500,000 online and more by calling a rep.

        TransferWise, however, can get you more money for your dollar with a stronger mid-market rate, especially on high-dollar transactions.

        Still not convinced that XE or TransferWise is for you? Compare your options to send funds overseas in our guide to international money transfers.

        Frequently asked questions

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        Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
        $0 3 - 5 days USD 0.00 19.206 MXN 96,032 Transfer up to $500,000 with no minimums and no fees. Go to site Show details
        USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 19.197 MXN 95,984 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 19.197 MXN 95,907 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 19.371 MXN
        95,403
        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 19.177 MXN 95,887 Get live quotes on exchange rates and take advantage of no transaction fees with no limits on transfers. Go to site Show details

        Compare up to 4 providers

        Julius Hernandez

        Jules is a freelance writer for finder.com. A software development manager for a commercial bank in a past life, he now works full-time from home where he continues to write on finance and dabble in software development. He is a co-author of an introductory book on Python programming.

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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.

        Go to site