Provider Review of TransferWise. Should You Use Them?

TransferWise is the newest company that is slowly making its way to the top of the money exchange industry. They have a pretty high profile with investors like Richard Branson and IA Ventures to name a few. Although their headquarters is located in London, they do a lot of business in the Canada and have spread worldwide.

  • This is a data driven and tech-based company. Therefore, the online experience is top notch.
  • Transferwise prides itself on being transparent and offering competitive exchange rates.
  • Using our comparison tool you can compare foreign exchange rates, fees and services of other providers.

What does this Transferwise review cover?

In this article, we will touch on:

  • The history and origin.
  • What fees should you expect.
  • Exchange rates offered
  • How to send and receive money overseas with TransferWise.
  • Alternative payment methods
  • Currencies available
  • Detailed pros and cons.

The history and origin of TransferWise

TransferWise was founded by Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus who were looking to send money from the UK back to their native Estonia. They thought they could do better than what was offered at the time, and hence they created TransferWise.

Since then, TransferWise has spread all across Europe and into the US and Australia.

What fees should you expect with TransferWise?

One of the things that are unique about TransferWise is their fee structure. They charge all their customers one fee, which comes in the form of a percentage of each transaction.

The company boasts about having no hidden fees, and that is the truth. They charge a percentage fee (usually around 1%) and best of all they are giving you the market exchange rate.

TransferWise charges:

  • $3 for transactions up to $350
  • 1% for amounts from $351-$9,500
  • 0.7% on any amount above $9,500

For more information click here.

Exchange rates

TransferWise offers customers the mid-market exchange rate when transferring money between countries. This rate is what you’ll see on xe.com or Goog currency checker — and this practice is somewhat unheard of among other money transfer providers.

Your exchange rate is guaranteed as long as TransferWise receives your money within 24 hours and they are committed to matching any better price you find elsewhere.

How to send and receive money overseas with Transferwise

To use Transferwise, you’ll need to take a few minutes and set up an account. This includes inputting basic information, selecting which type of transfer you want to make, confirming your identity and verifying the account.

It’s important to note that you must set up your Transferwise account with the same name as the bank account you intend to fund any transfers with.

How do I make a transfer?

You cannot pay Transferwise with cash or check. And for that reason, a direct bank transfer or credit or debit card payment is the best option. For some transfers into Euros, you can use SOFORT. For full, details click here.

Other modes of payment

You can pay for a transfer with a debit or credit card, business debit card, and business credit card. There are fees charged charged with using these payments:

  • Debit card – 1.15%
  • Credit card – 1.75%
  • Business debit card – 1.15%
  • Business credit card – 1.75%

Please note: There is a limit of $3 000 for each transaction.

Furthermore,  in the case of CHF there additional fees for card processing:

  • Visa Debit cards, for both business and personal cards – no fee
  • MasterCard and Maestro Debit cards (both business and personal) – 1.2%
  • Visa Credit cards (both business and personal) – 0.3%
  • MasterCard Credit cards (both business and personal) – 1.3%.

In addition, TransferWise also charges an additional 1.7% fee for using business credit cards for transfers from EUR and GBP

Be aware that, although it can seem easy paying your funds using a credit card, this does carry an additional handling fee of 0.3% for GBP, DKK, NOK and SEK, 0.4% for EUR, 0.5% for PLN, as well as 2% for both AUD and NZD. You may also be subject to any fees levied by your card issuer.

Visa and Mastercard are both accepted, but AmericanExpress is currently not. As we mentioned in the statement above, to successfully fund a transfer with a credit card the name on the card must match the Transferwise account.

For any other information you might need, Transferwise has a very helpful FAQ section.

Available Currencies and Countries

AED, AUD, BGN, BRL, CAD, CHF, CLP, COP, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, GEL, HKD, HUF, IDR, INR, JPY, MAD, MXN, MYR, NGN, NOK, NZD, PHP, PKR, PLN, RON, SEK, SGD, THB, TRY, UAH, USD, ZAR

Pros & cons of using Transferwise:

PROS CONS
Simple and transparent fee structure No check or cash payment
Guaranteed exchange rates equal less riskNo transfer fee Being a new player in the currency exchange market Transferwise does not support as many currencies as some other providers
Great online experience
Many different options for funding transfers including credit cards

Case Study

Jemma needs to send $2,000 back to her family in Toronto.  She is transferring it into a Canadian bank account and as such, she needs the currency converted into CAD.

It is a last minute request and Jemma is still a week away from payday, so Transferwise is ideal as she can transfer the funds using her credit card.

It takes a few minutes to set up the account and verify her details.  She pays a flat fee which is a percentage of the amount she is sending, plus an additional fee of 1.75% for using a credit card.

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