TransferWise review

Top10 StaffByTop10 StaffApr. 15, 2019

In a Nutshell

TransferWise launched its money transfer service on one platform: offering fair and reasonably priced money transfers to people across the world. Using mid-market exchange rates to keep transfers competitively priced, TransferWise provides one of the cheapest services in the industry. What’s more, people love it! With user-friendly resources online and a top-notch mobile app, TransferWise is certainly a service for the people.

pros

  • High maximum transfer daily limits
  • One of the cheapest money transfer services around
  • Mid-market exchange rate

cons

  • No instantaneous money transfers
  • Both sender and recipient must have a bank account

TransferWise TransferWise Visit Site

What You Need to Know

Transfer fee
From $1.50
Transfer time
A few hours up to 1-2 days
Transfer types
Bank account transfers
Daily transfer limit
Varies
24/7 support
No

TransferWise Fees & Rates

TransferWise charges a service fee which is comprised of a percentage and a flat transaction fee. One of the best parts of dealing with TransferWise is the price. This service offers a tremendous value for your money for 2 reasons:

1. TransferWise uses mid-market exchange rates

Banks, lenders, and other transfer services generally tack on a profit percentage to the current exchange rate, so you are not getting the real rate. TransferWise uses the mid-market exchange rate, the fairest and most competitive rate available.

2. Low transaction fees

Additionally, TransferWise charges relatively low transaction fees. What the fees are will depend on which currencies you are working in and where and how you send the money. For example:

Send currency
Receive currency
Fees
Charges
USD
EUR
0.6% up to $135,000, 0.48% after
$1
USD
MXN
0.7% up to $135,000, 0.58% after that
$1.25
GBP
ILS
0.35% up to £100,000, 0.2% after that
£.80
GBP
USD
0.4% up to £100,000, 0.25% after that
£.80

As you can see, the fees and charges are a lot more reasonable than other money transfer sites. TransferWise does have a more expensive option if you want to expedite the transfer process. The varying transfer methods will also make a difference to the fee structure. For example, to send USD, the various options will cost you as follows:

Transfer Method
Fee
Bank debit (ACH)
$1.50
Wire transfer local
No TransferWise fees
Credit card transfer
$18.16
Debit card transfer
$1.50
Wire transfer international
No TransferWise fees

So, the method of transfer makes a huge difference in your fees. Credit card and SWIFT transfers cost the most, while bank transfers are the least costly. Again, the country you are sending from will change the transfer methods and so change the fees related to the transfer.

How Does It Work?

In order to send a transfer, you'll need to log in. You can do this via Facebook or Google, or you can sign up for a TransferWise account. Just go to the website, enter your email address, choose a password, and tell TransferWise if you are opening a personal or business account. Now, you can start making transfers. Here’s how:

  1. Enter the amount you need to send along with the payment method of choice. Here you will see a breakdown of the fees as well as the exchange rate and how much the other party will receive.
  2. Enter the sender details (name, phone number, address, etc.)
  3. Enter the recipient details. 
  4. Review your order.
  5. Pay for the transfer, and you’re done. The money should be received according to the time structure shown on your initial transfer screen.

Track your funds via the website or mobile app using the tracking number you receive upon completion of the transfer.

You can choose from a number of transfer methods depending on where you are sending from including:

  • International wire
  • Credit or debit card transfer
  • Local wire transfer
  • Bank debit ACH

Possibly the most impressive feature TransferWise offers is the compare prices tool. This feature allows you to compare TransferWise’s rates and fees with other rates from competitors. What is really amazing about this tool is that it is completely transparent; it’ll actually show you when it is more advantageous for you to use a different money transfer service. Honesty and integrity like that are so hard to find in today’s cut-throat competitive market, it reflects positively on TransferWise.

How Long Does It Take?

The amount of time depends on where you are sending the money to/from and which payment method you are using. Generally, receipt ranges from a few hours up to 2 business days. There is no instant transfer, which means TransferWise is slower by a few hours than some of its competitors, but the up to 2 business days is significantly faster than most companies out there (usually it is up to 7 business days for the longer tail-end of transfers).

TransferWise Top Highlights

TransferWise offers inexpensive money transfers in 40 currencies around the globe, making it an obvious favorite for people who don’t want to waste the money they’re transferring on unnecessary fees. Other aspects that we liked about TransferWise include:

Online pricing calculator

TransferWise has a clear and detailed calculator that lets you see how the exchange rate works and what your transfer will cost down to the last charge and fee.

Mobile app

TransferWise’s mobile app is great and available for iOS and Android. Send money from anywhere, check transfer status, and cancel from the app. You can also personalize your account with amount lock transfers, pay via Apple Pay and Android Pay, and enjoy faster login and send options.

Rate alerts and limits

Get rate alerts sent directly to you via email. Customize your alerts to be sent when a currency pair reaches a two-week high, when a currency goes above a certain exchange rate, or automatically each day with the currency pair's rate. You can also set limits so that you won't be able to transfer money if the rate falls below a certain value.

Awards

Accolades include Best European Startup, FT’s Boldness in Business, Ernst and Young UK Entrepreneurs of the Year, and WEF Tech Pioneer.

Borderless account

A truly unique feature, TransferWise offers its customers a MasterCard-controlled bank account that can be used anywhere in the world. There are no fees when opening an account, adding or spending money from the account, or getting bank details. You'll pay the regular TransferWise fees if you need to withdraw the money to your bank account, and the mid-market exchange rate will apply for purchases.

Customer Support

TransferWise provides phone, live chat, and email customer support, though it is not 24/7. You can also get a lot of answers for yourself through the help section on the website. It has almost any question you might have already answered. Questions are all easily organized by category, so you can find what you’re looking for or use the search bar to find it faster.

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Privacy and Security

TransferWise is regulated by the FCA and by the Bank of England Prudential Regulation Authority. That means it has to answer to a regulating body, report regularly, and abide by safe and fair business practices. In addition, the service and site both maintain bank-level security measures, test and audit frequently and independently, and have ongoing training courses for all staff members. Online security includes 2-step verification, account monitoring, and encryption.

Bottom Line

TransferWise is truly a wonderful service. It brings the astronomical fees normally associated with money transfers down to a reasonable level, delivers fast and easy to use services, and provides some neat features. While 24/7 customer support would be appreciated, the low fees and fair mid-market exchange rates given more than make up for this small lacking. The borderless account with MasterCard included makes overseas spending so much easier, and the rate alerts give you an edge. The amount of honesty and transparency TransferWise displays is also encouraging and impressive. 

Top10 StaffByTop10 StaffJun. 27, 2019
Our editorial staff is comprised of writers who are knowledgeable about financial services. We specialize in simplifying the process of choosing the right money transfer service for your needs.
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