Hi, I’m Quinn Askeland. In 2016, I started Transumo after experiencing expensive, slow, and frustrating international transfers and payments through banks. My mission is simple: to help others simplify and reduce the cost of transfers and payments. Fortunately, today, there are excellent alternatives for international money transfers and payments. See My Full Bio.
Remitly may be an excellent option if you need to send money home to family and friends. In this post, we will show you what works and what doesn’t for Remitly.
Remitly is unique in that it focuses on helping immigrants to send money back home. And it does a great job by focusing on things like speed, low fees and flexibility in the way people back home can access their money including cash, bank accounts and mobile money.
But this is not just another “Remitly review” where everything is wonderful, I am going to show you where Remitly IS and IS NOT a good option and even who else to consider.
Like all our reviews, I will show you the good, the bad, the ugly and even the alternatives – so that you can decide.
First, here is a quick roundup of pros and cons.
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.
- Focuses on the needs of immigrants
- Economy and express option
- Supports cash, bank, and wallet transfers to 130+ countries
- Competitive fees on bank and cash transfers
- Multilingual customer service
- Many ways to fund transfers
- Satisfaction guarantee
- Only available in 28 countries and no transfers between the sending countries
- No business transfers
- Not ideal for large transfers (especially above $7000 USD/£4000 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 CAD/AUD)
1. Quick Take
On Trustpilot, Remitly is rated 4.1/5 with over 37,000 reviews. According to the reviews, Remitly offers fast transfers, is easy to use, and has good customer service.
|🏦 Established||2011, Seattle (the US)|
|💱 Currencies||Many global currencies (Send money to 130+ countries)|
|🏛️ Physical Offices||the UK, the US, the Philippines, Ireland, Poland|
|💻 Availability||Online and mobile|
|⚖️ Regulation||Regulated in the the UK, the US, Canada, Europe, Australia|
|🔒 Security||256-bit encryption, ID verification, transfer audits, 100% Satisfaction Guarantee|
|⭐ Reviews||“Great” – 4.1/5 on Trustpilot with over 37,000+ reviews (January 2023)|
|💰 Fees||Low fixed fees. Margin on the exchange rate is very competitive.|
|🌐 Official Website||Visit Remitly|
Remitly is great at helping immigrants in 28 sending countries send money home to 130+ countries worldwide affordably.
They offer two ways of sending money: Express and Economy.
The Express service lets you send both cash and transfers in minutes – however, it is more expensive.
The Economy service is more affordable and is ideal for bank-to-bank transfers.
And they offer a cool satisfaction guarantee where they refund the transfer fees if your money doesn’t arrive on time.
Remitly also offers home delivery of cash in the Dominican Republic, Philippines, and Vietnam.
2. When Remitly Works (and When it Doesn’t)
2.1 When Remitly Works
Send money to almost anywhere worldwide: Remitly supports transfers to 130+ in a wide variety of payout methods including cash transfers, bank transfers, and mobile wallet transfers. You can also pay for your transfers in a number of ways (bank or card transfers) including country-specific options like Klarna/Sofort (Austria and Germany), iDeal (Netherlands), Passbook (the US), SEPA transfers (France), etc.
Instant personal cash or mobile wallet transfers: If you want to send money home instantly to friends and family, Remitly’s Express service is a reliable way to send both cash and bank transfers in minutes to 130+ countries. Mobile wallet transfers are also instant with Remitly. However, these transfers tend to be more expensive as they’re funded by debit and credit cards.
Affordable bank transfers: Remitly waives their fixed fees for all bank-to-bank transfers above $1000 USD. Learn more about Remitly’s fees below.
2.1 When It Doesn’t Work
Large transfers: While you can increase your sending limits on Remitly (to send up to $30,000 USD or equivalent per day), you need to jump through a lot of hoops. That’s why we suggest going with a service like OFX (review) for large transfers above $7000 USD/£4000 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 CAD/AUD.
Business transfers: Remitly only supports personal transfers to friends and family. For business transfers, it is a good idea to compare international money transfers.
A good alternative is Wise, which has a multi-currency account for both personal and business use – great choice if you visit home occasionally, or take payments in different currencies or simply travel overseas frequently and want the use of a prepaid debit card for travel.
Cheapest: While Remitly is competitive especially compared to banks and large remittance companies the cheapest international money transfers can be found based on the countries, currencies, and especially the method of funding and payout method.
For example, bank account to bank account is almost always cheaper but also usually far slower.
Check out our 6 Remitly Alternatives for more.
3. Real Fees (including Hidden Fees)
Remitly’s fees depend on the sending country, funding method (card or bank transfer), the amount, target currency, and chosen service (Express or Economy).
They charge the following fees for their transfers:
- Fixed transfer fees (Flat fee ranging between $1.99 USD to $3.99 USD or equivalent)
- Margin above the exchange rate (a percentage fee)
The Express service is more expensive because the transfers are funded by debit or credit cards, which may attract cash advance fees charged by your card issuer (typically 3% of the amount).
The Economy service is more affordable and ideal for bank-to-bank transfers because it waives the fixed fees if you send more than $500 USD or $1000 USD (depending on the receiving country).
Potentially hidden fees:
- Fees charged by sending and receiving banks
- Agent fees for cash transfers
4. How Fast is Remitly?
The great thing about Remitly is that they let you choose the transfer speed.
If you need to send money – cash or bank transfer – urgently, opt for their Express service which makes sure that the money arrives instantly (cash) or at least in a few hours (bank transfers).
Mobile wallet transfers are also processed instantly.
However, if the transfer can wait, go with Remitly’s Economy service where money arrives within 3-5 business days.
5. How to Use Remitly
5.1 Sign up
Currently Remitly supports registrations from 28 sending countries (including the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and most EEA countries) – check if your country is on the list.
You can see what you will pay on their website or on the App.
5.2 Get verified
The identity verification process is mandatory for all international money transfer services, including Remitly, to prevent fraud, theft, and money laundering.
Remitly asks you to verify your identity when you send your first transfer as well as when:
- You want to increase your sending limit
- Remitly has noticed unusual account activity
To verify your identity, you’ll need to answer specific questions, upload documents, or take a picture yourself or your government-issued ID.
The documents and process varies for each sending country.
5.3 Set up your transfer
You can set up a transfer from Remitly’s mobile app or by logging into your account on their website.
- Log in and select Get Started on the mobile app or Send money if you’re using a browser
- Enter the amount and Remitly will show you a breakdown of the fees, including the amount your recipient will get
- Select the delivery method – Bank Deposit or Cash pickup.
If you select Bank Deposit, enter your recipient’s bank account details and if you choose Cash pickup, choose a delivery location closest to them and their name as written on a government-issued ID (which needs to be carried for all cash pick ups).
Note: The supported payout method may vary based on the sending and receiving countries.
5.4 Track your transfer
After you set up your transfer, Remitly will send you a confirmation email. You can also track your transfer from the “Transfer history” option on your mobile app or Remitly’s web portal. You can also message Remitly’s customer support to know the status of your transfer.
If you’re wondering “Can I make any changes to my Remitly transfer?,” we’ve got you covered.
Remitly allows you to edit the recipient’s information and the pick up location if you’ve chosen home delivery or cash pick up as payout methods.
But if you want to edit the amount, bank account information, etc. Remitly suggests canceling the transfer and resending it.
6. What do Remitly Customers Say (including Negative Reviews)?
Remitly has positive reviews on most review sites and is rated 4.1/5 on Trustpilot with over 37,000 reviews, which is considered “Great.” Of these, 89% are positive.
But we also wanted to dig deeper into the 1-star and 2-star reviews, which make up about 11% of the total reviews.
- Fast transfers
- Easy to use
- Competitive rates
“Been using Remitly to send money to Pakistan. Never had any issues, transfer is complete within 10 minutes on average. Used other online services as well but Remitly is better than the other providers. Very competitive exchange rate. Been using for 4 years now, highly recommend.”– Asaad Hussain on Trustpilot
“It was painless to send money with this service, I had nothing but headaches with Western Union and some other one I see at Walmart. Remitly, the money was there in about 20 seconds, all the way on the other side of the planet. Quick and painless. Pure and simple.”– Alex on Trustpilot
After going through the most recent negative reviews, we’ve identified the top causes of dissatisfaction of Remitly’s users:
- Too many identity verification requests
- Delayed or canceled transfers
- Hidden fees
See below to understand more.
Understanding the negative reviews
Too many identity verification requests
Remitly asks their users to verify their identity multiple times to prevent unlawful use of their platform:
- During the first transfer
- When you request a limit increase
- When they spot unexpected account activity
In general this is probably a good thing as this is designed to protect your money and data but we can understand it can be annoying.
Delayed or canceled remittance
On the flipside, the extensive ID requests can cause delays in transfers.
Many users are not aware that the first ID verification is initiated while setting up the first transfer. In some cases it appears verification process can take up to a week, and this delays transfers – leading to a negative first experience.
Sometimes Remitly also cancels transfers (and user accounts) if it doesn’t meet their service regulations or the compliance requirements of the sending and receiving country.
Transfer delays can also happen when users don’t choose the right service (Express or Economy) or a transfer is set up during a weekend or holiday.
We do not think Remitly intentionally hides fees but some users were disappointed when they found that Remitly had charged them fees they were not aware of. They also found the exchange rate on the higher side and sometimes the rate changed if they didn’t set up a transfer immediately.
Like most other money transfer providers Remitly makes most of their money from the margin on the exchange rate but they don’t clearly show you how much the fee is – just the rate they offer.
But the good news is that their fixed fees are low (usually a flat $3.99 fee) and in most cases they end up being competitive – cheaper than banks or traditional remitters like WesternUnion, Ria, and MoneyGram.
7. Is Remitly Safe?
Remitly is registered with the U.S. Dept. of Treasury as a Money Services Business and licensed in all U.S. states as a money transmitter. They’re also regulated by the FINTRAC in Canada, the FCA in the UK, the Central bank of Ireland for European countries, and the ASIC in Australia.
They also have an extensive ID verification process and frequent transfer audits that make sure the Remitly platform is being used for the right purpose.
Remitly also uses Socket Layer (SSL) with 256-bit encryption to protect all exchange of data between your devices and Remitly’s platform.
Finally, Remitly has a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee where you receive a full refund if you cancel a transfer. They also refund the transfer fees (but not the margin on the exchange rate) if the transfer goes through but you’re dissatisfied with the service.
Overall, Remitly is an easy and fast way to send money home if you live in one of the 28 sending countries.
Their Economy service is competitive on fees and the Express service is also reliable and a good option if you’re happy to pay the premium.
Even though their fee structure is not as transparent as Wise their rates are still competitive and we like their focus on sending money back home to family and friends (like express transfers, cash to some countries, and even mobile top-ups)
But if you want to pay for business expenses, send larger amounts, or are happy to do slower bank-to-bank transfers, they may not be the right choice for you (see above).
Is Remitly better than WesternUnion, Moneygram and Ria
Remitly is a direct competitor for the big well known services. The biggest difference is that they can often reduce fees by offering a slimmed down service. For example, you can only send money if you live in a developed country (with a bank account) to developing countries.
Can you trust Remitly?
We found Remitly seems to adhere to very strict rules to ensure it is doing the right thing by regulators. This in conjunction with strong third party reviews gives us confidence Remitly is trustworthy.
Remitly Review - 7 Must Knows (Before You Signup) - Transumo
Remitly reviews indicate Remitly is a "great" service and is rated 4.1/5 on Trustpilot with over 37,000 reviews. Of these, 89% are positive with 11% negative.