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 gives you flexibility in transfer speeds with Express and Economy options, and different ways to receive money such as bank delivery, cash pickup, mobile wallets, and even home delivery in some areas. Whereas, Wise only offers bank transfers and mobile wallets and transfers can take minutes to 3 days.
That’s not only the best bit. 😊
In this comparison of Remitly and Wise, I will explain the fees in more detail, reveal the best features, speed, and customer feedback. I will also look into the negative reviews and what they mean.
So you can pick the best option for your situation.
Let’s get started!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and savings on transfers if you use some of the links! For more information, see my disclosures here.
Wise and Remitly have “Great” ratings on Trustpilot. Wise has a 4.2/5 rating with 90% positive reviews, while Remitly has a 4.1/5 rating with 86% positive reviews as of 2023. Both offer reliable services, but Wise has an edge over Remitly for bank-to-bank transfers.
Both Remilty and Wise have low fees which means more money will arrive. However, both have different fees based on the amount and countries you are sending between.
So when it comes to fees, the first thing you should do is compare them directly.
Use the calculator for Wise (opens a new tab) as a baseline.
Remitly often has an offer for new applicants and may require sign-up to compare.
Beyond fees, there are some BIG things to consider.
Remitly is focused on sending money home from these 17 countries: UK, US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Singapore and Sweden to over 100+ countries worldwide.
Remitly has some great flexibility and important limitations.
For a start, you can send money by Express or Economy.
You can also choose Bank delivery, Cash pickup, Mobile money, and in some countries even Home delivery.
But Remitly there are also limits on the amount you can send in 24 hours, 30 days, and 180 days.
In comparison, Wise is focused on bank-to-bank transfers but you can send money to bank accounts anywhere in the world and there are basically no limits on the amounts you can send. For some currencies and countries – transfers are automatically “Express” with no extra fee.
Both of these could be game-changers.
- Low and transparent fees which you can calculate before you sign up
- No limits on amounts you can send
- Rates guarantee (2 – 72 hours) depending on country
- Multi-currency account and MasterCard debit card (optional)
- Available for both personal and business
- “Excellent” reviews from other users with 4.6/5 on Trustpilot on over 150,000 reviews.
- Bank-to-bank and card-to-bank transfers only
- Economy and Express (for a small fee) speed options, depending on budget and urgency
- Payout methods (Bank delivery, Cash pickup, Mobile wallets and in some countries even Home delivery)
- Easy tracking for both senders and recipients
- Guaranteed delivery (on time or fees back)
- Send money to 100+ countries worldwide
- Sending Limits
- Possible decline in customer service based on Trustpilot reviews. Was 4.7/5 when they had 20,000 reviews (when we last reviewed them). Now 4.1/5 based on 34,000 reviews.
- Fees accessed by signing up first
- Fees can be relatively expensive compared to Wise but still many other options
1. Real Fees & HIDDEN Fees
- Transfers at the mid-market or interbank rate with no fee built into the rate.
- Service fee starts from 0.35% of the amount – this is extremely low and can be 8x cheaper than banks. The percentage fee depends on the currency and amount – check using the Wise, calculator (opens in a new tab)
- Removes (as much as possible) hidden fees like the receiving fees by having local bank accounts in supported areas
- Credit or debit card transfers are faster but also add a small fee.
- Remitly’s fees depend on how much you send, the funding method, and the transfer speed.
- Fixed Fee: Remitly refers to this as the fee.
- Exchange Rate Margin: The exchange rate (or FX Rate) offered is different to the mid-market or interbank rate. This difference or margin is often the largest fee to consider.
- “Express” Fee: An additional fee is added for Express transfers compared to Economy transfers.
2. Are They Safe?
- Wise is regulated by, authorities such as Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (USA), the UK Financial Conduct Authority (UK), National Bank of Belgium (Europe) as an Authorised Payment Institution, the Australia Securities and Investments Commission (Australia), Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (Canada) and Financial Customs and Excise Department (Hong Kong). It is also regulated in India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the UAE.
- Keeps users’ funds separate from operating funds (usually in trusted banks like JP Morgan and Barclays, depending on your location) to meet the regulatory requirements of governing institutions
- Dedicated fraud and theft detection tea
- Wise is regularly audited by IT authorities for security compliance
- 256-bit SSL, two-factor authentication, and real-time notification to keep your data and money safe
- Remitly is a licensed financial services provider in the 16 sender countries and over 50 receiver countries. Remitly is licensed by the FCA (UK), the Central Bank of Ireland (Europe), and ASIC (Australia). They’re also licensed to conduct business in all 50 states of the US as well as Canada.
- Verifies all transaction to prevent theft and fraud
- 256-bit SSL encryption and two-factor authentication on website and app to protect your data and money
- Cash is only disbursed to recipients with a valid government-issued ID and transfer reference number
- Limitations of amounts you can send may limit possible problems.
3. Ease of Use – Some BIG Differences
- Online focus: bank-to-bank or card-to-bank
- Transfers at the mid-market rate, with small transparent fee.
- Use the mobile app to track rates and set up transfers
- Can also use money in the multi-currency wallet to fund transfers, which reduces costs
- The Multi-currency account lets users hold manage and convert between 40 currencies
- Best of both worlds: online and offline agents for cash and bank transfers
- Set up and track transfers on the app on both sides.
- Tiered services (Express and Economy) to cater to different needs and budgets
4. Reviews (inc. Negative Ones) — What Others Are Saying
Wise is rated 4.6/5 on Trustpilot with over 140,000 reviews, which is considered “Excellent.”
- Affordable rates
- Great for managing international money
- Fast transfers
- Good customer service
“Best international transfer service I have found. Good exchange rates, low fees, process funds very very quick. Have used multiple times, both for private and business, and have never had a problem. The money value it says will be at other end is correct, no extra fees drop out on the way like other services I used to use. Very happy with their service.”– Linda on Trustpilot
“Quick easy transactions– Nicola Keen on Trustpilot
Safe place for money when travelling abroad”
- Too many compliance checks
Some users were dissatisfied when they were asked to provide documentation for their transfers as this delayed the process.
However, as a licensed money transfer service, Wise needs to regularly audit transfers and ask for supporting proof like bank statements, relation to the provider, etc. if a transfer is red flagged.
Remitly is rated 4.1/5 on Trustpilot with over 34,000 reviews, which is considered “Great.”
- Efficient service
- Fast transfers
- Competitive rates
“Remitly remittance service set the standards of quality and reliability really high. All praises and none whatsoever negative feedback that I can think of.”– Michael Sarmiento on Trustpilot
“Fast and easy, comparatively good rates and reliable service. Have been using their services for 4 years without any hassle. Would definitely recommend it.”– Ciana Fernandes on Trustpilot
- Possible extra fees
There are some fees you can’t avoid on Remitly like if you’re using their Express service or the cash advance fee (charged by your credit card issuer) as well as the receiving agent fee if you’re sending cash. While Remitly does tell you there will be some fees involved it is hard for Remitly to be as transparent as Wise simply because it gets way more complex when you start working with cash and agents etc.
- Strict rules for operating accounts
Remitly can only be used for sending money home to your family and “limited support for business transfers sent from the U.S., but we don’t currently support business transfers sent from any other country.” Some users had difficult with this.
Other limitations include: no transfers between ther 17 sender countries and limitations on the amount you can send in certain timeframes.
5. Transfer Speeds
- Popular currencies like USD, GBP, AUD, SGD, etc. are processed anywhere between a few hours to a day.
- Transfers funded by a credit card (with a small fee) are available within a few minutes or at least on the same day.
- Bank transfers and transfers with exotic currencies can take longer (3-5 days).
- Transfers with the Express service (with a small fee) are fulfilled within minutes to a few hours (usually cash transfers or mobile wallet transfers)
- Economy transfers (bank-to-bank transfers) can take 3-5 days, longer if exotic currencies are involved
If you need to send money from a card to a card in the fastest way possible, check out out Panda Remit (review).
6. Customer Service and Support
- Multilingual phone support
- Customer service can also be reached by email and chat
- Extensive FAQs
- 24×7 phone support in English and Spanish
- 24×7 live chat in English, French, and Spanish
- FAQs in 14 languages
For sending money to a bank account, Wise is a winner in almost every way against any competition.
However Remitly may be better especially if you are an immigrant sending money home. Remitly sends money to more countries and their service goes way beyond bank accounts (which your family or friends may not have).
If you are still on the fence, perhaps the best way to compare services is to sign up to Remitly
Then compare this with Wise by opening the Wise calculator (opens in a new tab) which does not require sign up.
Remitly often has better exchange rates and removes the fixed fee for first time users.
If you only need to send cash to your family from the UK, US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Singapore and Sweden and want to avoid the hefty fees charged by traditional remitters like WesternUnion, Ria, and MoneyGram, Remitly is most likely a great option.
So ultimately, it depends on your unique needs.