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5 Awesome International Money Transfer Apps [2021]

Fastest, Cheapest and Most Worry Free!

So you need to transfer some money overseas?

The problem: Finding an app with 4 or 5 stars can be misleading!

You might have a great experience the first few times, and even leave your own 5 star review in the app store.

Then your account gets frozen (or something else goes wrong) and you need to contact customer service – ideally a person.

But unfortunately we see reviews for apps all too often like this one on Trustpilot.

I talked to 6 different people in customer support and they all said the same scripted apology and told me to wait 5-7 business days for an email. It’s outrageous how I cannot speak to someone on the phone who can help.

Here are examples from two of the biggest apps:

Example 1: Venmo has 4.9/5 in App Store – BEYOND AWESOME then … 1.2/5 on Trustpilot.

Example 2: Western Union has 4.5/5 in the App Store – GREAT then … 2.7/5 on Trustpilot

Example 3: Cash App has 4.8/5 in the App Store – FANTASTIC then … 1.2/5 on Trustpilot

Ohh dear, What is going on!?

We have written reviews for both Western Union (review), Venmo (review) and Cash App (international) in these we go deep into the reviews, especially the negative ones. Also see Cash App Vs Venmo.

What we found is (even though none are perfect) the negative reviews can be really helpful to see what is happening and decide if a service is right for you.

And choosing the right service can help reduce any problems later on, and save you a bunch of money!

Yes it is very helpful to choose the service that fits your needs.

Here’s the deal:

  1. Looking into services that best meet your needs (Cost, Speed and Service)
  2. Check the app store rating (Android or Apple)
  3. Check reviews on sites like Trustpilot.

Sound difficult?

It’s not, because we have done all the hard work for you.

In the next few minutes, we will help you decide what works best for you.

Starting with a simple table.

Let’s get stuck in!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and potential savings on transfers if you use some of the links! For more information, see my disclosures here.

Best Apps Comparison Table

Before we move on to a detailed breakdown of the best apps to transfer money internationally in 2021, here’s a quick snapshot.

AppsBest forFeesApp ratings out of 5Trustpilot RatingNotes / Perks
Wise, formerly TransferWise
Small transfers (below $7000 USD)Low4.5 on Android

4.6 on Apple
4.7/5Extremely transparent on fees. However you should check the fees for your amounts and currencies using their calculator,
XoomMini-transfers (below $1000 USD) where convenience (PayPal to a Bank Account) is more important than cost.High4.7 on Android

4.8 on Apple
4.2/5PayPal to Bank Accounts
WorldRemitSmall transfers with many payout methodsMedium4.2 on Android

4.8 on Apple
4.1/5A wide variety of payout methods including cash, wallet transfers, pre-paid mobile transfers, and home delivery in some countries.
RemitlySmall transfers with many payout methodsMedium4.3 on Android

4.9 on Apple
4.5/5Small personal transfers only with a large number of payout methods: bank transfers, cash, wallet top ups, home delivery (in some countries)
OFX
Large transfers (over $7000 USD) where low fees and great service is importantLow4.3 on Android

4.8 on Apple
4.5/5The reviewers loved OFX’s customer service (especially how helpful the personal account managers are), their rates (which led to big savings), and the fast transfers. And you can save $15 off some transfers below $10,000 (for ever)

1. Wise

Wise (review), formerly TransferWise, is a standout and our top choice for transfers below $7000 USD/£4000 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 CAD/AUD for two years running.

Wise is great for both individuals and businesses and helps you process your transfers at the mid-market rate with a small transparent fee.

Moreover, you can get a lot of cool perks with their multi currency account.

Availability: You can register for Wise from 59 countries (including the US, UK, and Canada) and send money to 60+ countries in 40+ currencies.

Review of Wise

But wait, before you get too excited.

It is a good idea to check the fees for the amount and currencies you are transacting.

Fortunately you can do this through their calculator which shows you the fees (opens new tab).

From there you can sign up.

They get the identity verification out of the way when you sign up so you’re primed to send both small and large amounts. However, they may ask you for additional documents over a certain amount to keep your money safe.

Real Costs + Hidden Fees:

For common currencies, Wise’s fees are between 0.4-1% of the transfer amount which is considered very competitive (especially with no markups on the interbank or mid-market rate).

These fees are up to 8x cheaper than banks and depend on your funding method, target currency, and amount.

Typically, funding your transfer with your bank account is much more affordable than funding with a debit or credit card (factoring in the convenience fees and cash advance fees charged by your issuer).

The great thing about Wise is that you’ll see the total fees you’ll pay upfront, and they also try to make sure you’re never saddled with surprise fees from banks.

Transfer speed

Transfers funded by a credit card or debit card are significantly quicker, while bank-to-bank transfers take longer (1-5 days).

Generally though, Wise is fast as you can expect for a provider that keeps costs low through the use of bank accounts.

Cool perks

Wise offers a multi currency account which lets you hold and transfer 40+ currencies,

You can also get international bank details in major currencies like USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, AUD, SGD, and NZD, which makes getting paid or accepting money in those currencies as if you had bank accounts in those countries.

For a small fee you also can get a MasterCard debit card which is great when you’re traveling abroad or want to pay for goods and services online.

Real user reviews

App ratings and experience

Wise is rated highly both on the Google Playstore and the App Store:

Most users love their low and transparent rates and some users even say that transferring on the app is even better than on their website.

Other reviews

Wise is rated 4.7/5 on Trustpilot, which is excellent. People love their rates, customer support, and the app interface.

However, while only 4% of reviewers had a bad experience with the service, we’ve narrowed the top concerns:

  • Transfer delays

Wise processes your transfers as soon as they receive your money. However, the sending and receiving banks may cause delays if it’s a large amount (to see if the transfer complies with the receiving countries remittance guidelines) or if the transfer was initiated over the weekend or on a holiday.

  • Unexpected account blockages

As a licensed financial services provider, Wise may audit your transfer for compliance to keep your money safe from theft or fraud. Usually, these issues are resolved quickly when you contact their (very responsive) customer service team.

Check out our Wise review or check the fees you will pay.


2. Xoom (and PayPal)

Since PayPal owns Xoom, they tend to do a lot of the same things but Xoom for personal transfers is a clear winner of the two, while PayPal handles the business side (although there are better business options).

PayPal makes it super easy to send money to friends, family, and businesses you trust, which makes them one of the most popular money transfer services out there.

There are two ways to send money via PayPal

  • PayPal to PayPal
  • PayPal to bank account (via Xoom, which they own)

Availability: PayPal is available for registration in 200 countries and supports 25 countries, while Xoom supports transfers to 140+ countries.

However, while PayPal supports both personal and business transfers, Xoom only lets you send money to your friends and family.

How to sign up

You can sign up for PayPal and Xoom via their respective websites or by downloading the PayPal mobile app.

Real Costs + Hidden Fees:

Both PayPal and Xoom are at the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to transfer fees.

Unfortunately, PayPal’s fee structure is pretty complex, with a number of variables included:

  • A fixed transfer fee
  • Currency conversion fee. For common currencies is between 2.5% to 4% on top of the interbank rate.
  • Additional charges by your credit or debit card provider (if not funding from your PayPal balance)

For Xoom:

  • A fixed transfer fee
  • Xoom’s exchange rate
  • Other Fees – such as fees charged by your sending and receiving bank, card fees, etc.

When using Xoom they do have a Fee Calculator.

But unfortunately there is also some fine print which says, “* In addition to the transaction fee, Xoom also makes money when it changes your send currency into a different currency.”

You could calculate the total fees they charge by comparing the exchange rate with the interbank rate found on Google and add in the the other fees.

In some quick testing we found these fees for some common currencies to be around 2%, which could be considered reasonable especially when all factors are considered.

Review of Xoom

Transfer speed

PayPal to PayPal transfers are practically instant, and then your bank takes a couple of days to withdraw the funds to your account.

For Xoom, transfer speed varies enormously depending on how you fund the transaction and how the money is received.

Xoom could be practically instant (to another Xoom account) to 5 days bank to bank.

Real user reviews

App ratings and experience

Both Xoom and PayPal is rated highly on both Google Play and the App Store with Xoom the strongest of the two.

Xoom ratings

Xoom is one of the highest rated Apps on Android or Apple and also easily beats its own parent company – PayPal.

Other reviews

Xoom is rated 4.2/5 on Trustpilot with over 22,000 reviews, while PayPal International is rated 1.2/5 on Trustpilot with 17,000 reviews, which could be cause for alarm.

Truth is PayPal is used for so many purposes apart from international transfers, it is hard to know exactly how it is doing in the international category.

Xoom by comparison is a safer bet.

People love the ease with which you can transfer money on Xoom but users seem to have had a bad experience for the following reasons:

Exchange Rate

Some users were dissatisfied with the exchange rate, and we can understand why. Xoom does have a complicated fee structure and the markup on the exchange rate can make it a relatively expensive.

Transfer delays

Xoom tries to process your transfers as soon as possible, and the hold up is generally caused by their transfer partners (cash pick up points, home delivery services, or local banks).

Note: There are limits on the amount you can send with Xoom (review).



3. WorldRemit

WorldRemit is ideal for you if you need to send money abroad to someone who doesn’t have a bank account in the receiving country.

But other than cash payouts, they also support bank transfers, mobile wallet transfers, and home deliveries in some countries.

You can use WorldRemit to cover both personal and business transfers.

Availability: WorldRemit is available in 44 countries and lets you transfer money to 150 countries worldwide.

How to sign up + Bonus

In many countries you can get 3 free transfers with WorldRemit from their website. (click to see if you qualify)

Real Costs + Hidden Fees:

WorldRemit’s fees depends on the currency, the funding method, the amount, and the payout method.

WorldRemit charges a flat fee for each transfer as well as a margin on the exchange rate (which is a higher than the interbank rate and can vary according to market fluctuations).

Usually, cash payouts and transfers funded by a credit or debit card are more expensive but also faster. See these as options you can leverage during an emergency.

Transfers funded by bank accounts and sent to a bank account are slower but more affordable.

To give you an idea, WorldRemit’s flat fees range between $3.99 and $24.99 (for USD $1000 USD), depending on the currency, the funding method, and the payout method.

To see if you are getting a good deal on the exchange rate or not you need to see how much money is going to actually arrive and compare that with other services.

The say, “We’re Low-cost. See our low fees and our best exchange rates up front, with no hidden costs”

Like Xoom, the total fees would need to be calculated manually.

However our testing indicates the exchange rate fee they add in tends to be quite competitive at around 1% to 1.5%. That said, it is important to check here for yourself (also get the ‘3FREE‘*) for the amount and currencies as it does vary.

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

WorldRemit’s fees go up with the transfer amount and there are sending limits that vary by country and currency, they are good for your smaller transfers (below $7000 USD/£4000 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 CAD/AUD).

Transfer speed

Transfers funded by a credit card are usually processed within a few hours and can be practically instant. Bank transfers take longer due to the banks themselves – from a couple days up to 5 days.

Popular currencies are processed quicker than more exotic currencies.

Real user reviews

App ratings and experiences

Worldremit ratings

We also noted that the negative reviews are not related to the app, but the overall service.

Other reviews

WorldRemit is rated 4.1/5 on Trustpilot with over 46,000 reviews, which is pretty good.

The positive reviews are mostly about their rates and fast service, while the negative reviews are mostly about transfer delays, unexpected account shut downs, and customer service.

Transfer delays

While transfer delays in international transfers are usually due to hold ups at the bank end, unexpected account suspensions occur when users fail to comply with service agreements or if WorldRemit has flagged a transfer further examination.

Customer service

Slow customer service is a common complaint for most fully online money transfer companies, but nevertheless a parameter that can’t be ignored.

Learn more about WorldRemit (review) and see if you qualify for 3 free transfers here!


4. Remitly

Remitly is a money transfer company with a unique mission – to make currency transfer easy, fast and affordable for immigrant workers to support their family back home.

That’s why, Remitly only supports personal transfers.

Availability: Remitly is available for registration from 16 developed countries such as 16 countries: UK, US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore and Sweden and you can send money to 50 developing countries world wide.

However, there’s a catch: you can transfer money between the 16 sender countries.

Review of Remitly

How to sign up:

You can sign up from Remitly’s website, or get the App for mobile – iOS or Android.

Real Costs + Hidden Fees:

Remitly charges a flat fee and a margin on the exchange rate (which changes with market fluctuations).

Their fees vary according to the sending country, the transfer amount, your selected service (Express or Economy), the target currency, and how you fund the transfer.

With so many ways to change the fees, we recommend checking the fees on (Remitly’s website, or get the App for mobile – iOS or Android) they will charge you based on the amount and currencies.

Express transactions must be funded with a debit or credit card only and are more expensive (due to the convenience and cash advance fees charged by your card provider).

Economy transfers can lead to big savings since Remitly waives its flat fee for transfers over $1000 USD in some countries.

Usually, the fees are lower if the recipient chooses to get the money in their local currency.

And, while daily and monthly sending limits may apply, you can get in touch with their customer support if you need to increase your sending limit to support your family back home.

Transfer speed:

Remitly’s transfer speed depends on their service options

  • Express: Remitly’s Express service is the fastest way to send money to your family since the funds arrive in minutes or at least within a few hours.
  • Economy: Economy transfers are slower and usually take 3-5 days to be completed.

Real user reviews

App ratings and experiences

Remitly enjoys high ratings on both Google Play and the App Store:

People love the streamlined and modern app interface and Remitly’s Express service. Like WorldRemit, Remitly’s negative app reviews also point to when Remitly dropped the ball on their services and is not related to the app per se.

Other reviews

Remitly is rated 4.5/5 on Trustpilot and the positive reviews echo the App Store reviews.

As for the negative reviews, they point to two issues faced by their users:

Long verification process

Remitly has sending limits and only supports personal transfers. Any transfer that doesn’t adhere to these two aspects are flagged. The good news is you can change your transfer Tier by contacting their customer service and then the transfer will proceed as usual.

Poor customer service

Most people have had to spend at least an hour on the phone (sometimes longer) with Remitly’s customer service team to resolve problems like missing contact information, transfer status, identity verification, etc.

Check out our Remitly (review) or you might like WorldRemit Vs. Remitly.


5. OFX

If you’re looking for support with your large and extra large transfers ($7000 USD and above), you can’t go wrong with OFX’s bank-to-bank international money transfer service.

Availability: OFX is available in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and HongKong and supports transfers to 190 countries in 55 currencies.

How to sign up:

You can save $15 on each transfer with this link on the OFX website or by downloading their mobile app (specify personal or business account while signing up).

Review of OFX

Heads up: keep your ID documents ready as OFX gets these verifications out of the way when you sign up to make your transfer process smoother.

Real Costs + Hidden Fees:

OFX often charges a flat 15% fee + a margin on the exchange rate (not the interbank rate) for all transfers below $10,000.

OFX may charge a fixed fee of $15, however if you click here you can avoid these fees all together (for transfers below $10,000).

Above this amount, you’ll only pay the margin on the exchange rate.

The beauty of OFX is that the exchange rate they give starts competitively and gets more competitive as the amount increases.

Other fees to consider are bank fees. These can be charged by both the sending and receiving bank, starting from $15-$30 USD minimum at each end.

However, OFX has local bank accounts in over 115 countries, which helps you save on these unexpected fees if you’re transferring between these countries.

Transfer speed:

Large transfers with OFX take about 3-5 days to be settled. Usually, it takes 2 days for the money to reach OFX from your bank account, and then a couple of more days at the receiving bank’s end.

If you’re in a hurry, you can choose to wire your money to OFX.

Real user reviews

App ratings and experiences

As a veteran money transfer company, OFX is rated highly on both Google Play and the App Store:

Users love the simple app interface and OFX’s fees.

Other experiences

OFX is rated 4.5/5 on Trustpilot with over 4000 reviews, which is excellent.

The reviewers loved OFX’s customer service (especially how helpful the personal account managers are), their rates (which led to big savings), and the fast transfers.

Verification Process

Negative experiences are few and mostly point to dissatisfaction with a long and complicated verification process.

Generally this can be seen as positive for large transfers because OFX tends to get all the check and verifications out of the way when you sign up. This can minimise (but not eliminate) issues like frozen accounts which can be extremely frustrating.

It is also great to remove the fixed fee of $15.


Final Word

When it comes to apps for international money transfers there are three main considerations.

  1. Great reviews in the App Store or on Google Play is just a start.
  2. The underlying service that operates the money transfer service (and maintains the app) needs also to be excellent.
  3. The service also needs to align with your needs. This means choosing a service based on your location, the amount you wish to send, supported currencies, as well as payout methods.

Start with the Best Apps Comparison Table and don’t miss our top choices for small and large amounts.

Happy Transfers!

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