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TransferWise Reviewed

TransferWise has been making waves in the global payments market since it came on the scene back in 2011 and is undoubtedly one of the best services for sending money across borders.

 

TransferWise – Independently Reviewed by Best Exchange Rates

 

TransferWise: A Summary

TransferWise is undoubtedly one of the best services for sending money across borders.

TransferWise is an uncomplicated, industry-disrupting money transfer service that allows users to send money at the real exchange rate—an exchange rate without the usual markups applied by banks, which can be extremely costly.

TransferWise makes money by applying a small fee to each transfer, but this is always displayed up front.

TransferWise is available in more than 70 countries, covers more than 1300 currency routes and offers a fast sign-up and verification process.

 

What Savings Can You Expect?

“TransferWise takes a machete to the hefty fees that banks levy to send money across borders.” — The Economist.

Savings on TransferWise money transfers are substantial relative to banks and traditional money changers, although the amounts saved will of course depend on how much is being transferred.

TransferWise advertises that its transfers are “up to 8 times cheaper” than those performed by banks, but what does that mean in real currency terms? How many dollars, pounds, francs or pesos are we talking about? Let’s take a look.

Using BER’s Foreign Transfers comparison table, below, we’ll pretend we’re sending 5,000 British pounds to the US. Given exchange rates at the time of writing, if sending via TransferWise, the recipient of funds would receive in their bank account precisely US$6,501 (rounded to the nearest dollar). If sending at the average bank rate, this drops to only US$6317, for a saving of US$184.

If we bump up the transfer amount to £25,000, the TransferWise recipient receives US$32,665, versus US$31,639 with the banks, for a saving of US$1,026. Who wouldn’t want an extra thousand bucks in their pocket?

Although TransferWise won’t be the absolute cheapest on every currency route, nor for all amounts (especially very small amounts), it will at least show you exactly how much you are being charged in currency terms before you make your decision, which is more than can be said for banks or traditional money changers, who hide all sorts of charges within the exchange rates offered.

Exchange Rates {
Customer Service 4
Ease of Use ;

TransferWise Foreign Transfer Rates & Fees - Compared

Foreign Transfer Providers
Ratings & Reviews
Receive USD($)Exchange RateFee SGDTotal CostTransfer ServicesTransfer SpeedDeal Links
 
WorldFirst logo
7,346 USD
Best Overall
0.734600.39%Bank Transfers - Online & Phone1-2 days
 
OFX logo
7,295 USD
$51 less
0.729501.08%Bank Transfers - Online & Phone1-2 days
DBS Bank logo
7,212.99 USD
$133 less
0.7226182.2%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
HSBC logo
7,142.27 USD
$204 less
0.7153$153.16%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
Banks - Average Rate
DBS Bank logo Citibank logo HSBC logo OCBC Bank logo
7,135 USD
$211 less
0.7161183.26%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
OCBC Bank International Money Transfers
OCBC Bank logo
7,104.24 USD
$242 less
0.7176$1003.67%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
Citibank International Money Transfers
Citibank logo
7,078.5 USD
$267 less
0.7087124.02%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
WorldFirst: Foreign Transfer SGD→USD
SGD amount:$10,000 SGD
Fee:
Exchange Rate:0.7346 (0.39% from mid-rate)
USD amount:7,346 USD
Total Cost:0.39%
Time:0:45 Local
Transfer Speed:1-2 days
Services:Bank Transfers - Online & Phone
Rating:
 
: 4.6/5.0
Reviews:
 
OFX: Foreign Transfer SGD→USD
SGD amount:$10,000 SGD
Fee:0
Exchange Rate:0.7295 (1.08% from mid-rate)
USD amount:7,295 USD
Total Cost:1.08%
Difference:
$51 less than using WorldFirst
Time:
Rate Fetched: Mon Feb 18 2019 00:13:42 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Transfer Speed:1-2 days
Services:Bank Transfers - Online & Phone
Rating:
 
: 4.8/5.0
Reviews:
DBS Bank: Foreign Transfer SGD→USD
SGD amount:$10,000 SGD
Fee:18
Exchange Rate:0.7226 (2.02% from mid-rate)
USD amount:7,212.99 USD
Total Cost:2.2%
Difference:
$133 less than using WorldFirst
Time:0:45 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
HSBC: Foreign Transfer SGD→USD
SGD amount:$10,000 SGD
Fee:$15 SGD (.15%)
Exchange Rate:0.7153 (3.01% from mid-rate)
USD amount:7,142.27 USD
Total Cost:3.16%
Difference:
$204 less than using WorldFirst
Time:0:45 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

Banks - Average Rate
DBS Bank logo Citibank logo HSBC logo OCBC Bank logo

Foreign Transfer SGD→USD
SGD amount:$10,000 SGD
Fee:18
Exchange Rate:0.7167 (2.82% from mid-rate)
USD amount:7,135 USD
Total Cost:3.26%
Difference:
$211 less than using WorldFirst
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
OCBC Bank: Foreign Transfer SGD→USD
SGD amount:$10,000 SGD
Fee:$100 SGD (1%)
Exchange Rate:0.7176 (2.7% from mid-rate)
USD amount:7,104.24 USD
Total Cost:3.67%
Difference:
$242 less than using WorldFirst
Time:0:45 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
Citibank: Foreign Transfer SGD→USD
SGD amount:$10,000 SGD
Fee:12
Exchange Rate:0.7087 (3.91% from mid-rate)
USD amount:7,078.5 USD
Total Cost:4.02%
Difference:
$267 less than using WorldFirst
Time:0:45 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
Sending a LARGER foreign transfer? Shop-around with multiple providers: Get Quotes
Note we do not compare every single provider in the market, we compare a selection of established, reputable foreign exchange providers & banks who are regulated as financial payment services. We may receive referral fees if you choose one of these providers however this will not affect the exchange rates or fees you are charged.
Rate snapshot: 02/18/2019
 

 

Are TransferWise Exchange Rates Guaranteed?

Yes, for a fixed time.

After creating your money transfer order, TransferWise will lock in the displayed exchange rate for a 24 or 48-hour period, depending on the currencies in question. As long as TransferWise receives your funds within that window, it guarantees that the receiving account gets exactly what was shown at the time you created the transfer order. In all cases, you will be told for how long your guarantee is in place at the time you create the order—this will be shown next to the exchange rate.

Should you fail to provide funds quickly enough, TransferWise will amend your transfer order to reflect the new mid-market exchange rate, which might be to your benefit or detriment.

As for weekends, when most banks don’t process transfers, these are ignored. For example, if you create a EUR to GBP transfer (a 48-hour rate guarantee) at 5pm on a Friday, TransferWise will guarantee the exchange rate so long as funds are received before the same time on Tuesday.

The exception to the above comes with GBP payments. Because most banks in the UK do process transfers on the weekend, TransferWise will include weekend days. For example, a GBP to EUR transfer (a 24-hour rate guarantee) created on Friday at 5pm will be guaranteed until 5pm on Saturday.

 

How Long Will My Transfer Take?

After TransferWise receives your funds, these will usually arrive at the destination bank account within two business days (many transfers will be same-day), although it can take longer depending on the currencies involved (additional security checks may be required), on the time of day you make your transfer and on the timing of national holidays.

Before you confirm any order, TransferWise gives you a chance to review it, and this review includes the “should arrive by” date.

 

Is TransferWise Safe?

Readers will be pleased to learn that TransferWise is a highly regulated firm. As of 2019, it is regulated by financial authorities in the US, UK, EEA, Singapore, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong and Canada.

Importantly, in order to meet the requirements of regulators, TransferWise must separate your money from theirs, which means that in the highly unlikely event that TransferWise goes to pot, your money will be returned.

TransferWise deploys a number of measures aimed at protecting your account; these include a 2-step login and Transport Layer Security encryption to protect transactions and all communications with the company. TransferWise also monitors accounts and customer profiles for unusual activity.

 

How Can I Send Funds?

For the majority of currencies, you will need to send funds to TransferWise from a bank account. For some currencies, at the time you create your transfer order you will be offered alternative funding methods including debit and credit cards (Visa, Mastercard and Maestro), Apple Pay or Android Pay, and if you are in one of the participating European countries, SOFORT. Be aware that alternative funding methods may incur additional charges.

 

Transfer Limits

Transfer limits will only affect a small minority of TransferWise customers (the send/receive limit for euro transfers, for example, is €1.2 million). In all cases, TransferWise will tell you when you’ve exceeded its limits via an error message at the time you create your transfer order.

Transfer limits are unique to each currency, so for further information either contact TransferWise or search within the company’s online Help Centre. Be sure to check limits for both currencies since TransferWise will apply the lowest of these.

 

Customer Service

TransferWise offers email support and 13 national phone lines for support in your language.

Be aware that TransferWise phone support is not available 24/5. Each of the local phone lines will be available on business days only and for its own unique hours; these are displayed after you select your region on TransferWise’s ‘Contact Us’ page.

A slight knock on the Customer Service front is that TransferWise’s Live Chat feature seems to be continually unavailable. A minor annoyance for Australian readers would be that, as of January 2019, the Australian support line is closed on Mondays, but other English-language phone lines can be used by these customers, hours permitting.

BER research indicates that roughly 75 percent of TransferWise users who had cause to contact customer service were happy with their experience, which is in line with the industry average.  Roughly a quarter of those with issues claim that customer service was unsupportive or that emails weren’t replied to, though this is impossible to verify.

 

What Do Users Think of TransferWise?

As of January 2019, user reviews are overwhelmingly positive.

On one popular review site, more than 85 percent of the 57,000 TransferWise users gave the service a 5-star rating; only 3 percent said they had a “bad” experience.

Recurring themes within reviews relate to things like “fantastic service,” “awesome rates,” “super fast” and “easy transfer.”

As with anything, though, some users won’t like the service due to their unique circumstances. For example, some are left disappointed that TransferWise don’t offer same-currency transfers (US dollars from a US account into US dollars in an oversees account), but the overwhelming majority of TransferWise customers are thrilled with the service.

 

TransferWise Smart Global Transfers
 
Visit TransferWise and Save

Transferwise changes Eurozone fee structure

In late June 2018, Transferwise introduced a new fee structure for Eurozone foreign transfers (from EUR) … and as always with Transferwise its complicated so we will break it down for you!

2 Jul, 2018 by BER Team - Last updated:16 Feb, 2019

Transferwise changes UK fee structure

In October 2017, Transferwise introduced a new fee structure for foreign transfers from the UK … its complicated so we will break it down for you!

2 Nov, 2017 by BER Team - Last updated:16 Feb, 2019

Related Posts

Reviews - Average Rating: 4.5

4 Reviews for “TransferWise Reviewed”

  1. Estefania Diaz Clavijo says:

    5 star customer service and service. Thanks for revolutionizing worldwide bank transfers! 😀

    Exchange Rates 5
    Customer Service 4
    Ease of Use 5
  2. gg says:

    Great experience !! Quick and easy to use !!!

    Exchange Rates 5
    Customer Service 4
    Ease of Use 4
  3. Sue S says:

    If you want to transfer funds from one country to another, this service is great – and much easier and much better value than having a normal bank do it. And when I have needed help the staff on the Chat function and on the phone have been super-helpful.

    Exchange Rates 4
    Customer Service 4
    Ease of Use 4
  4. BER Team says:

    Quick, easy and straightforward . Great for sending smaller amounts quickly

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