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CurrencyFair Review

7 Must Knows

In a few minutes, you’ll learn whether CurrencyFair is the right choice for you.

They say “transparent fees and cheapest option for international transfers” — but does this really hold up?

Fortunately, this isn’t another “CurrencyFair is awesome” kind of review.

Review for CurrencyFair

Apart from digging deep into the service, we go through hundreds of user reviews (both positive and negative) to share the good, the bad, and even the ugly with you.

We give you the big picture and the fine print so you can decide whether CurrencyFair is for you.

Disclosure: This post may contain offers and affiliate links to save you money and it also helps us to keep providing the best information. For more information, see our disclosures here.

When You Should Use CurrencyFair (And When to Avoid)

The biggest advantage to transferring money internationally with CurrencyFair is their low fees for bank-to-bank transfers (jump down to see a breakdown of their low fees!).

They’re not only 8x cheaper than high street banks, but also very affordable compared to other similar services.

However, we think CurrencyFair is not the best choice if you’re looking to send cash, large amounts, need a wide variety of currencies, or live in the US and Canada.

1. What is CurrencyFair (Really)?

CurrencyFair is an international money transfer service that offers two low-cost options to exchange and send money:

  1. Match FX rates with peers on its peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace, or
  2. Send money with CurrencyFair’s best rates (matches the mid-market rate)

CurrencyFair’s fee structure makes them ideal for small transfers up to £4000 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 AUD/NZD.

And, they have dedicated services for both individuals and businesses.

Not only that!

You can also get your first 10 transfers fee free (opens a new tab).

What can you do with CurrencyFair?

  • Send money in different currencies: international bank-to-bank transfers to 150 countries in 22 currencies
  • Choose your own exchange rate in their P2P marketplace, keeping transfer costs low (potentially lowest in the business)
  • Register from these 60 countries (including the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe) and let you send money to 150 countries worldwide.
  • Have a multi-currency account: Hold and convert between 20 currencies from a single account (both individuals and businesses)
  • Pay for different personal expenses: utility bills, mortgage, tuition fee, receive tax benefits, and make charitable donations (for individuals)
  • Manage business expenses: Pay overseas employees, receive international payments, and handle finances efficiently with multi-user features (for growing global businesses)

Works

  • You want an extremely affordable option for international bank transfers below £4000 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 AUD/NZD
  • Hold and manage 20 currencies in a multi-currency account
  • Need a dedicated business account for a growing global business

Doesn’t Work

  • If you live in the US and Canada
  • You want to send large amounts
  • You want to send cash worldwide
  • You need support for both major and exotic currencies
  • You want to pay for your transfer with a credit or debit card

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to international money transfers because everyone has different needs.

CurrencyFair chooses to focus on making small bank-to-bank transfers from 60 countries (including the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe) more affordable.

If this is what you’re looking for, keep reading to find out more about when it will work for you (or not).

But if this isn’t what you’re looking for, don’t worry! We have a list of the best alternatives you can check out below.

International Money Transfer Savings

2.1 When CurrencyFair Works For You

Extremely affordable option for international bank transfers below £4000 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 AUD/NZD

CurrencyFair is able to offer one of the best rates because of its peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace currency exchange.

This means you can choose your own exchange rate as long as another user (transferring in the other direction) matches or accepts your rate.

You can often get rates that are 8x cheaper than high street banks because of this.

It’s often also cheaper than services like Wise (formerly TransferWise), which are already known for transparent and low fees.

Even if you go with the other option of using CurrencyFair’s rates, it usually matches the mid-market rate — which is very affordable.

Hold and manage 20 currencies in a multi-currency account

CurrencyFair’s multi-currency account lets individuals convert between currencies they hold to pay bills, mortgage, tuition fees, donations, etc. overseas.

Businesses can convert between currencies they hold to pay overseas employees and international suppliers without paying hefty bank fees.

Need a dedicated business account for a growing global business

CurrencyFair offers dedicated business accounts for growing global businesses to manage their expenses and international income efficiently. Features like multi-user access, invoice generation, and the ability to receive international payments easily are particularly useful.

2.2 When CurrencyFair Won’t Work For You

If you live in the US and Canada

CurrencyFair doesn’t support registration from the US and Canada. However, there are many alternate service providers (see below) who can let you send money affordably from these countries.

You want to send large amounts

One of CurrencyFair’s main advantages is the marketplace where you can get excellent exchange rates. As the amounts increase it can become harder to find the exchange rates you want and risk of exchange rates moving becomes more important. We think there are better ways to lock in great rates instantly.

You want to send cash worldwide

CurrencyFair supports bank-to-bank (or card-to-bank) transfers only. But your recipient may only be able to receive cash — they’re traveling abroad or recently moved to a different country and don’t have a bank account.

So if sending cash is a priority, you can explore some of our best alternatives here below.

You need support for both major and exotic currencies

Even though CurrencyFair has a wide base of receiving countries, they only support transfers in 22 currencies. This can be quite limiting, especially when you’re looking to convert and send in an exotic currency.

You can check out our options below for other services that support more currencies.

You want to pay for your transfer with a credit or debit card

Currently, you can only send money to your CurrencyFair account with a bank transfer as they don’t allow funding transfers with a credit or debit card.

See other options here below that accept credit or debit card transfer funding.

2.3 CurrencyFair Alternatives

If you found that XE isn’t the right option for you, here are our best alternatives to meet other needs:

Best CurrencyFair Alternatives
#1 WiseMost transparent with low fees for smaller bank-to-bank transfers. (CurrencyFair can save even more!)
#2 WorldRemitBest for making smaller cash transfers(CurrencyFair does not allow cash)
#3 OFXTop pick for large transfers (over $7000 USD/£4000 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 CAD/AUD)
#4 TorFX/Currencies DirectBest phone support for large transfers
#5 XEWidest range of currencies (best solid performer for large transfers)
Review of Wise

#1 Wise – Most Transparent Bank-To-Bank Transfers for Small Amounts

Wise is our #1 choice because of its transparent and affordable fee structure. This means no sneaky surprise fees when your recipient gets the funds!

You can even see the exact amount your receiver will get right now on the Wise calculator here — no sign-up required!

It’s also one of the most affordable choices for smaller amounts as it transfers at the mid-market rate without any markups. (By smaller we mean below $7000 USD/£4000 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 CAD/AUD)

If you’re a growing global business or freelancer, Wise has great business account features too!

While CurrencyFair’s rates are more affordable than Wise, the latter has a leg up in many areas:

  • Available in the US
  • Available in 66 countries (including the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and Eurozone) and supports transfers in 40+ currencies.
  • More powerful multi-currency account: Lets you hold, manage, and convert between 55 currencies.
  • MasterCard debit card linked to the multicurrency account: Lets you easily spend in different currencies when shopping online or traveling.
  • More currencies supported
  • Volume discount for businesses
  • Debit and credit cards supported for funding transfers
  • Local bank accounts in all the areas they service, no exceptions. (This isn’t always the case with CurrencyFair, which can lead to hidden fees. See more about this in our breakdown of CurrencyFair fees below).

You can learn more about transferring money internationally with Wise in our in-depth review here.

You might also like Wise Vs. CurrencyFair

Review of WorldRemit

#2 WorldRemit — Affordable Cash Transfers for Small Amounts

Sometimes, you may need to send cash.

And this is where WorldRemit stands out because it:

  • Has a wide network of global cash collection locations — like banks, pawnshops, and other licensed outlets in all the 130 countries they service. So your recipient will most likely have no issues receiving your cash transfer.
  • Keeps costs low by operating exclusively online (compared to other cash payout services like Western Union, Ria, and MoneyGram).
  • Supports registration from 50 countries (including the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and Eurozone) and offers both personal and business accounts.

Other than cash, you can also send money to bank accounts, mobile wallets, and even top up prepaid mobile phones with WorldRemit.

And here’s a bonus: If you sign up here, you will get your first three transfers fee-free (using the code ‘3FREE‘*).

*Offer available in US, UK, Australia, Belgium, Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, New Zealand, and Norway.

Learn more about sending cash and other transfers with WorldRemit in our in-depth review.

Review of OFX

#3 OFX — Most Affordable for Large Transfers Above ($7000 USD/£4000 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 AUD/NZD

OFX’s fee structure makes them our top choice for sending large amounts from the US, Canada, UK, Eurozone, Singapore, Hongkong, Australia, and New Zealand (they also have offices in these countries).

And you can send money to 190 countries in 55 currencies.

OFX charges a flat fee of $15 USD for transfers below $10,000 USD/£ 7,200 GBP/EUR approx, along with a margin on the exchange rate which decreases as the amount goes up.

So they’re not the best for smaller amounts.

But here’s the great bit: Over $10,000 USD, this flat fee is waived. Another way OFX keeps its costs for large transfers low is by having a network of 115 local bank accounts in the receiving countries.

If you want to avoid the $15 fee, you can use this link here.

OFX also offers multilingual phone support to help you set up your transfer or troubleshoot when you need to

Which is very reassuring especially when you’re dealing with large amounts.

Learn more about transferring large amounts with OFX here.

Review of TorFX

#4 TorFX/Currencies Direct — Best Phone Support for Large Amounts

When you’re sending larger amounts, you may want good customer support so that you can easily speak to someone about your transfer.

The last thing you’d want is to be left on hold for hours when you’re dealing with thousands of dollars.

This is where TorFX really shines as it’s extremely telephone-oriented — they have offices in the UK, Singapore, and Australia.

So if you’re based in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, UK, or Europe, you won’t regret going with TorFX, purely based on the exceptional customer service.

You can even test its customer support here by getting a no-obligation quote here:

For US-based customers, TorFX won’t be available to you.

But you can use Currencies Direct (which is owned by TorFX). It supports large bank-to-bank transfers from the US, and its phone support is equally great.

You can also get a free Currencies Direct quote online or by phone from its exceptional customer support staff here.

You can learn more about TorFX in our in-depth review here, and Currencies Direct here.

#5 XE – Supports Widest Range of Currencies (Rates Are Best for Large Transfers)

XE lets you send large transfers affordably to 220 countries in 139 currencies — the most variety of any similar services.

It also supports registrations from the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the Eurozone.

Customer service is also good, and you can even speak to their staff in English, French, or Spanish should you need support with your transfer.

XE’s services are available for individuals and businesses.

And while there isn’t a minimum transfer limit, we’ve found that their fees are affordable for transfers above £4000 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 AUD/NZD.

You can learn more about XE money transfers here.


Quick Tip: OFX, TorFX, and XE all offer flexible options like Spot orders (if you’re ready to transfer now), Forward contracts (to lock in a favorable rate for a defined period), or a Market Order (transfer when your currency pair hits the desired rate) to help you save money on your international transfers in the long term.

3. How Much Does It Cost to Use CurrencyFair?

If CurrencyFair is so affordable, how is it making money?

Through exchange rates and fees.

Here are the four costs you need to be aware of:

  1. Sending fee: Banks can charge fees to fund your CurrencyFair transfers. Often these can be eliminated if CurrencyFair has a local bank account.
  2. Fixed fee: All CurrencyFair customers pay a fixed fee (€3 EUR or equivalent) for each transaction.
  3. Exchange rate margin: They say it averages 0.51% above the mid-market rate. (Banks fees can easily be from 3%-6% including the fees charged by the banks at either end).
  4. Receiving fees: Bank charges in locations where CurrencyFair doesn’t have a local bank account. This can be a significant percentage if you are transferring smaller amounts below a few thousand.

Let’s take a closer look at each.

But to help you out, you can click here to get your first 10 transfers fee-free (opens a new tab). This eliminates the Fixed fee mentioned above.

To sum it up, CurrencyFair is extremely affordable.

How do they keep it cheap for you?

Firstly, they operate their own P2P (Peer to Peer) currency exchange marketplace.

This means you can set your own exchange rate (3) and CurrencyFair matches other people transferring money in the opposite direction.

You might even find others willing to accept exchange rates that are even below the interbank rate (or mid-market rate)!

And even if you don’t decide to use CurrencyFair’s P2P marketplace, they also offer good rates themselves which will be around the mid-market rate (on average only 0.51% more – this is considered extremely good).

They also have local bank accounts in most of the areas in which they operate. So this often rules out sending (1) and receiving (4) bank fees.

As for the Transfer fee (2), you can get your first 10 fee free!

But what’s the catch?

To keep things affordable, they do not support credit and debit cards for funding your transfer. So this can be a slight inconvenience for some.

Also, we didn’t like the potential hidden fees for transferring to countries where they do not have a local bank account.

For example, notable exclusions are CAD and NZD.

However you’ll have no issues for USD, GBP, EUR, AUD, HKD, SGD, CZK, CHF, DKK, SEK, and NOK — they have local bank accounts into and out of your CurrencyFair account.

It’s fine if you’re sending money from these locations (they have local bank accounts here), but you will likely attract an additional fee if you are receiving funds into Canada and New Zealand.

Fortunately, we have a bonus for you to test CurrencyFair out and avoid some of these fees!

You can get your first 10 transfers fee-free (opens a new tab).

4. How to Use CurrencyFair

  1. Sign up for an account! (If you use this link you get your First 10 Transfers Fee Free — opens a new tab).
  2. Verify your identity — You often need to upload some photo identification and/or proof of your address.
  3. Set up the transfer for your currency pair:
    • Choose “send money” to send money as quickly as possible. Once CurrencyFair receives your funds, it will automatically exchange and transfer the money out.
    • Or “top up” if you want to hold money in your CurrencyFair account till you’re ready to exchange it. (This will enable you to use their P2P marketplace or CurrencyFair’s best current rate). Then you will need to “transfer out” to your recipient.
  4. Sit back and let CurrencyFair complete your transaction!

Heads up when using the “send money” option: the exchange rate may change between the time you initiate a transfer from your bank account to when the money actually gets deposited into your CurrencyFair account. Also, check out the section about transfer speed (below).

So if you’re not in a rush, using the “top up” option and holding money in your CurrencyFair multi-currency account will usually be more cost-effective.

You can convert between currencies you hold instantly and avoid losses as a result of market changes.

And if you’re even more flexible with time, you can use the money that’s sitting in your multi-currency account at the P2P marketplace.

Here’s a look at what using the P2P marketplace looks like below.

  1. You set up your rate on the sliding scale
  2. You can monitor your position on the queue, and adjust your rate accordingly.
  3. Click “set up exchange”, and simply wait for the exchange to take place!

4.1 Does CurrencyFair Have an App?

CurrencyFair’s mobile app is available on both Android (rated 4/5 on the PlayStore) and iOs (rated 4.6/5 on the App Store).

The app is a great option for setting rate alerts, topping up your CurrencyFair multi-currency account, setting up transfers, and staying updated with your transfer on the go.

5. What do CurrencyFair Customers Say (including Negative Reviews)?

CurrencyFair is rated 4.6/5 on Trustpilot with over 5,000 reviews, which is considered “Excellent.”

Of these, 84% of the reviewers had a positive experience with the service, while 4% had a “bad” experience.

We trawled through hundreds of reviews (both positive and negative) to share a fair, unbiased opinion with you.

Here’s what we found:

The Good

People love CurrencyFair’s:

  • Exchange rates
  • Fast service
  • Efficient communication from their customer service team.

This is what a reviewer on Trustpilot said about transferring money with CurrencyFair:

“Saved me so much money and was very simple to use. Customer service are very responsive and all of the quite complex processes (e.g. money laundering prevention checks) happened very smoothly and quickly.”

Another reviewer also had a great experience:

“Excellent and fast service. If transaction is carried out in the morning, money is usually in the foreign receiving account that day.”

The Bad

However, not everyone had a good experience and we were curious to find out why.

Turns out, the top cause for dissatisfaction is unexpected account suspensions.

After going through multiple similar complaints, we noted that it was either because:

  • The account didn’t meet CurrencyFair’s terms of service and compliance rules.
  • The person held more than one account with CurrencyFair, and this goes against CurrencyFair’s terms of service for the reasons stated above.

Overall, we found that the negative reviews were mostly related to CurrencyFair doing its job as a regulated financial services provider.

This means that they will have no choice but to actively audit and flag transfers to prevent theft, fraud, and terrorist financing activities.

So while some had bad experiences because of this, the vast majority didn’t seem to have the same complaints.

We’d say that CurrencyFair is a trustworthy money transfer service with excellent rates and great customer service.

6. Are CurrencyFair Money Transfers Safe?

CurrencyFair is safe to use as it’s a regulated financial services provider.

How do they keep your money and information safe?

  • CurrencyFair is fully regulated in every territory they operate in.
  • Customers’ money is held in tier 1 international banks, separate from their operating funds. This means if CurrencyFair becomes insolvent, you’ll never lose your money.
  • Their website uses 256-bit encryption via SSL from VeriSign. This indicates that your connection is secure.
  • They use two-factor authentication on their website and their mobile apps
  • Your sensitive data is stored on a secure server and can only be accessed via the biometrics of high-level personnel
  • There’s a digital paper trail of all your transfers with CurrencyFair (including the banks involved), which can be easily made available to you if required.

If you’re curious, CurrencyFair is regulated by:

7. How Long Does it Take to Transfer Money with CurrencyFair?

The quick answer is: 1-6 days.

This mainly depends on the location, currency pair, when you set up your transfer, and what transfer option you choose with CurrencyFair.

Their “send money” option is pretty fast, and your recipient may even receive the funds within a day.

If you have the funds available in your multi-currency account and are working with a common currency, your transfer will typically take 1-2 working days in total.

If you need to send money to CurrencyFair from your bank account and match exchange rates on the P2P market, this can take longer (1-6 days).

The transfer speed is also a sum of these three parts:

  • Time to Reach CurrencyFair Account (1-2 business days with Faster Payments or CHAPS in the UK)
  • Processing Time and Matching (can vary)
  • Time to Reach Beneficiary Account (1-2 business days)

The good news?

You can see an estimate for all supported currencies here!

More specifically, here are the main currency channels with the number of business days expected:

EUR-CAD 3-4; AUD-CAD 3-4; EUR-AUD 3-4; AED-CAD 6-7; AED-USD 5-9; AUD-AED 2-3; AUD-EUR 2-4; AUD-INR 1-3; CHF-EUR 2-5; DKK-USD 2-6; EUR-AED 2-3; EUR-CZK 1-3; EUR-GBP 1-3; GBP-AUD 1-3; GBP-DKK 1-2; GBP-EUR 1-2; GBP-USD 1-5; SEK-USD 2-6; USD-DKK 1-3; AED-AUD 5-7; AUD-NZD 3-4; AUD-HKD 2-3; USD-EUR 2-4

Quick tip: CurrencyFair recommends setting up your transfer in the mornings, typically, before 1 PM GMT.

(Based on the Trustpilot reviews, this indeed speeds up the transfer, especially for GBP and EUR transfers).

Bonus: CurrencyFair for Business

CurrencyFair also has great features for growing global businesses:

  • Hold over 20 currencies with their multi-currency account: Convert between them to pay overseas employees and international suppliers.
  • Avoid hefty bank fees while receiving international payments from 150 countries.
  • Multi-user access feature lets admins and team leaders create tailored permissions, custom roles, and enable dual approval for efficient, safe management of funds.
  • Integrates with Xero accounting software for easy cash management.

Verdict

CurrencyFair is our top choice if you’re looking for the lowest fees for sending smaller bank-to-bank international transfers.

Its multi-currency account is also handy for holding different currencies at the same time — and exchanging at a better rate down the road.

However, remember that affordable doesn’t mean that it’s right for everyone! (Check out “Is CurrencyFair Right for You? (And When It’s Not)” section to see if it will meet your specific needs)

For example, if you need a more robust multi-currency account and send money affordably from the US and Canada (as well as the UK, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand), Wise is an excellent option.

WorldRemit functions at the intersection of affordable fees and a large international network for receiving cash.

And for your large transfers, you can’t go wrong with services like XE, OFX, or TorFX. (Jump here to see our list of best CurrencyFair alternatives)

Overall, CurrencyFair is generally a great service for most needs. So if you’d like to try them out, don’t forget to use this link to get your First 10 Transfers Fee-Free — opens a new tab!

Happy transfers!

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