8 Things You Need to Know – Only One Winner!
TransferWise and WorldRemit are stand outs when it comes to international money transfers.
Their similarities and strengths are their worldwide availability and cheap money transfer options in multiple currencies.
We’ve used TransferWise and WorldRemit in different situations for years now and can confirm they’re both stellar service providers.
However, they are quite different and which option is best for YOU will depend on your specific needs and what they provide.
But wait there’s more 🙂
To help, we award a winner in each of 8 important categories. (See “Winner”)
These are not the best options in every situation and we will suggest alternatives where it makes sense!
Let’s get stuck into it.
Both TransferWise and WorldRemit offer exclusive accounts for businesses. But for this article we’re only considering the personal accounts and sole traders.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here. Below you will also find some offers to save you even more money.
- Who Can Get One and Where Can you Send Money?
- Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees?)
- Supported Currencies
- Ways to Send Money
- Payout Methods
- Transfer Speed
- Reviews (inc. Negative Ones)
- Customer Service and Support
Both TransferWise and WorldRemit offer money transfer services that cost a fraction of what banks charge (as low a 1/8th), but they also do very different things.
It is their differences that above all else may be the decider.
Don’t miss: “Where Neither is Best” section below the table
WorldRemit (review) allows you to send money to bank accounts, cash pick up points, as well as to mobile wallets. You can also use WorldRemit to top up your recipient’s prepaid phone with Airtime top up.
See the latest for WorldRemit in your country and get the the first 3 transfers free (using the code ‘3FREE‘ until 30th November 2020).
Meanwhile TransferWise (review) focuses on bank to bank transfers at low cost with insane transparency on fees (even better than WorldRemit who is no slouch).
Other potential game changing things TransferWise can do:
TransferWise also offer the TransferWise borderless account (review) which if you need local bank details in a foreign country for payments this gives you some added flexibility for transfers in certain currencies (see “Supported Currencies” below).
TransferWise borderless users also get a debit card powered by MasterCard which is great to travel with and pay for goods and services online (0% foreign exchange fees).
You might also like TransferWise VS Revolut if you want more than just money transfers (like cards and other features related to travel)
Where Neither is Best
Money transfers above $7000 USD/ 4500 GBP tend to be cheaper and handled more smoothly by money transfer companies that are focused on larger amounts. Companies like OFX (review) (Worldwide) and TorFX (review) (Australasia & Europe) actually reduce the fees in percentage terms (making them more competitive) and have very strong telephone support which can become far more important for larger amounts.
To decide between the two: OFX balances online with telephone support while TorFX focuses on telephone service mostly.
|TransferWise is available in 59 countries and lets you send money to 60 countries But you can get the TransferWise Borderless card in UK, Europe, Australia, NewZealand, and US.|
TransferWise only supports currency transfers to bank accounts.
|Although WorldRemit is available in fewer countries (44), they let you send money to over 150 countries. Check the full list of supported countries here.|
Money sent via WorldRemit can be received in bank accounts, mobile wallets, and from cash pick up points (although this can vary by country).
Winner: WorldRemit (unless you live in a place that TranferWise covers and WorldRemit does not)
Although you can sign up for TransferWise in more countries, WorldRemit lets you send money to a whopping 100+ countries, making them the winner in this round.
With WorldRemit, you can transfer funds to many Asian, South American, African, and Middle Eastern countries that TransferWise doesn’t support yet.
|The total fees you pay are transparent from the outset.|
They depend on the currency you’re transferring, the amount, and the method of funding your account.
TransferWise fees range between 0.6 – 1% of the transfer amount.
This is very competitive compared to banks (which charge about 3 – 5% of a transfer) as well as other currency transfer services (0.5% – 1.8%, depending on the currency and amount)
|WorldRemit’s fees can vary depending on the currency, method of funding your payment, transfer amount, and how your recipient chooses to receive the remittance.|
World Remit charges a flat fee for each transfer, which usually ranges between $3.99 and $24.99 (for USD 1000) depending on the currency and payout method.
WorldRemit’s exchange rate depends on market fluctuations and is typically higher than the mid-market rate but it is very competitive.
Winner: TransferWise (unless you need more flexibility)
TransferWise keeps transfer costs low with their peer-to-peer feature and has a transparent fee structure. You can see a complete breakdown of their fees, the exchange rate, and the exact amount your recipient will get on the currency convertor widget on their homepage.
TransferWise’s fee structure rules out any guesswork. Plus they have bank accounts in all the supported regions, which means you’ll never pay any unexpected (or hidden) bank fees.
Although bank transfers are cheaper than mobile wallet or cash pick ups on WorldRemit, banks at either may charge fees.
Funding your transfer with a credit card will also lead to additional deductions (a cash advance fee charged by your card provider over and above WorldRemit’s fees). And, some countries may add taxes to Airtime top ups.
These extra fees usually drive up the cost of a transfer.
|TransferWise supports international transfers in 20 currencies (includes most major currencies like USD, AUD, GBP, EUR, etc). and local transfers in 30 other currencies (for example, Chinese Yen, Argentine Peso, Bangladeshi Taka etc.).|
Check out the full list here.
However, if you sign up for TransferWise Borderless, you get local bank details in GBP, USD, EUR, AUD, etc, as well as hold and manage 50 currencies. This lets you transfer money and get paid like a local.
Check the full list of currencies supported by TransferWise Borderless here.
|WorldRemit supports international and local transfers in over 100+ currencies, so you have pretty much every currency to work with.|
Although a regular TransferWise account can be limiting in some cases, you can compound your international fund transfer prowess by signing up for a TransferWise Borderless account (which also makes you eligible for a Mastercard debit card and for receiving payments like a local).
WorldRemit, on the other hand, keeps it simple and easy with wide coverage from a single account.
So choose wisely depending on your needs.
|How you fund your will depend on the country and currency.|
Typically, you can fund your transfer with a credit card, debit card, bank transfer, or SWIFT payments, or other location-specific methods like SOFORT or iDEAL.
Before setting up a transfer, check out the currency specific guides here.
|You can fund your WorldRemit transfer in the following ways:|
Funding a transfer with a debit card is free, but your credit card issuer may charge a fee. (See “Costs and Fees” above).
Before initiating a transfer, explore the pros and cons of each funding method here.
Both services give you a lot of choice to fund your transfers. And, depending on your funding method, your money can either arrive in minutes or a few working days with either service
|TransferWise only supports bank to bank transfers for international and local payments.||WorldRemit supports many payout methods.|
Recipients can opt for bank transfers, cash pick ups, mobile wallet transfers, or even door-to-door delivery.
Receiving methods vary by country – for example door-to-door delivery is currently only available in Vietnam.
The payout method also determines the fees. For example, bank transfers are usually cheaper than cash pick ups and mobile wallet transfers.
WorldRemit wins this round with a wide variety of payout methods.
|TransferWise’s speed depends on two things: how you fund your transfer and your chosen currency/country.|
Usually, transfers funded with a credit or debit card are processed within a few hours (sometimes minutes). But these transfers can also end up being more expensive with the added card fees charged by your provider (built into TransferWise fees).
If you’re willing to wait a couple of days, you can transfer money at very competitive rates.
|WorldRemit’s transfer speed depends on three things: how the transfer is funded, the currency, and the payout method.|
Transfers funded with credit cards are processed almost instantly (within minutes). But the convenience fees charged by your card providers can add up and increase the cost of the transfer (up to 3% of the amount).
Transfers funded from your bank account will take 2-3 days to reach your recipient.
Cash pick ups and mobile recharges with AirTime are also processed pretty much instantly
Transfers with major currencies (like USD, GBP, AUD, etc.) are processed quicker, while regulated currencies like the Chinese Yen may take longer.
WorldRemit provides more options for faster transfers. So if you need to send money urgently to friends and family, you know who to pick.
But if you can wait a couple of days, you can save quite a lot with TransferWise.
|TransferWise is rated 4.6/5 on Trustpilot with over 86,000 reviews.|
86% of users had an “excellent” experience and 8% had a “good” experience with the service.
Most people love their simple fee structure, competitive rates, and easy to use interface.
However, 3% of users had a “bad” experience with the service. The main causes of dissatisfaction were transfer delays and unexpected account suspensions.
But here’s the good news – any bottlenecks are usually solved quickly by their customer service team, who are easy to reach by phone, email, or chat.
|WorldRemit is also rated 4.6/5 on on Trustpilot with over 25,000 reviews.|
82% had an “excellent” experience and 11% had a “good” experience with WorldRemit.
People loved the quick transfers and easy sign up process.
But 4% of users had a “bad” experience, which we narrowed down to money transfer delays, account suspensions, and poor customer service.
While transfer delays and account suspensions can be avoided by going through their FAQs section and terms of service, WorldRemit have room to improve on the customer service front.
However, isolated cases aside, WorldRemit is a reliable money transfer service with wider coverage than most of their competitors.
Check out our full review of WorldRemit.
Both TransferWise and WorldRemit are top-notch money transfer services with excellent reviews. There are some negative reviews (of course) but these are relatively minimal for both.
|TransferWise lives up to their promise of complete transparency with an extensive FAQs section and comprehensive country-specific guides.|
If you want to contact their customer service, you can reach them on phone, email, and live chat.
But live chat may be unavailable at times, depending on how busy they are.
|You can reach WorldRemit’s customer service from the app or their website’s contact section.|
You can call them on a country specific number or email them if you don’t need urgent help (email response time is usually 24-48 hours).
WorldRemit doesn’t have live chat, but they do have a robust FAQs section, which answers all common queries and helps you avoid potential transfer-related pitfalls.
However, some user reviews on Trustpilot suggest that WorldRemit’s customer service responses were not particularly clear or helpful, which they need to look into for a seamless customer experience.
Both TransferWise and WorldRemit have a lot of information in their Help sections to guide their customers. However, TransferWise has earned a reputation for acting swiftly and efficiently when their users need help.
With 2 wins for TransferWise, 2 wins for WorldRemit, and 4 ties, both services are outstanding.
In addition, both enjoy a TrustPilot rating of 4.6/5 and have tens of thousands of reviews, which means they are considered “excellent”. WorldRemit has wider coverage and offers greater flexibility for receiving money while TransferWise is often the cheapest option.
If WorldRemit is your best choice, you can reduce costs by using this and ‘3FREE’ until 30th November 2020.
Generally in our cost analysis, we found that TransferWise is often the cheapest option with transfers at mid-market rates and a transparent fee structure. You may also be very drawn to their Borderless offerings at some point.
See the fees and visit TransferWise in your country.
So which service is best for you ultimately comes down to your specific needs, where you’re located, and the currency you want to transfer.