Wise (formerly TransferWise) is known for its transparency, low rates and robust multi-currency account — great for expats, travelers, and growing businesses.
But they may not be right for you because there is more to money transfers:
Are you looking to send money faster? Need different payout methods? Or maybe you need to send larger amounts reliably and at better rates.
Who can you turn to?
In the next 5 minutes, we will show you the best 7 alternatives to Wise for every need.
Let’s get stuck into it!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and savings on transfers if you use some of the links! For more information, see my disclosures here.
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 is Wise Right for You (And When it Isn’t)
Wise is a great way to transfer and even manage your international money especially if you want to send anything below $7000 USD ($7000 USD = Approx £4000 GBP, €6000 EUR, $10000 AUD, $10000 CAD, $10000 SGD, ¥800,000 JPY, ₹500,000 INR).
1.1 When it’s Right
Sending amounts below $7000 USD for individuals
From our own market research, Wise provides one of the best exchange rates when amounts are below $7000 USD.
For comparison with others we recommend starting with their fee calculator and see for yourself what they charge. (Perhaps write it down so you can compare in a moment)
We have found, in terms of fees, they’re always low and transparent as well.
Fees depend on the amount, currency, and payment method.
Other fees include a low flat fee + a percentage fee based on the amount and currency (For example, the flat fee is about $0.90 USD for amounts below $7000 USD and the percentage fee ranges between 0.35%-1.5%).
What we also like is that there are no hidden fees because they have local bank accounts in all the areas they operate in.
For expats, travelers and people who earn overseas income.
If you live, work, or travel overseas frequently and send money home regularly to support your family, the fees and exchange costs add up in the long run! Wise is one of the easiest and most cost-effective options for this.
Wise’s Multi Currency Account (review) and associated Wise card (review) (which works great as a travel money card) are especially useful to expats who need banking features in a new country to pay rent, buy groceries, or receive money like a local (Wise offers international bank details in 10 currencies).
These features are great for international people who need the freedom to manage multiple currencies from one account.
1.2 When it isn’t
If you’re sending more than $7000 USD
For larger amounts, things get more complicated when using Wise.
So while Wise makes it relatively easy to sign up for smaller amounts, and they have a wonderful online focused experience these positives can quickly turn into negatives.
For the user wanting to transfer larger amounts, this means providing more information and identity verification steps to be fulfilled.
Unfortunately, this can end up in frozen accounts or transfer delays for some customers. And it can be a big letdown if you need money transferred urgently and are worried about where a large chunk of your money has gone.
But there is more:
Having the ability to easily call someone, can go a long way in resolving issues like limits your bank may place (due to the same regulations). This can save time and whole lot of stress.
Also, while Wise is working on making their fees more competitive for larger amounts, we take more comfort in services who services and fees are designed from the outset to get cheaper (in percentage terms) as the amounts grow.
Time will tell if Wise can do it all. But for years their focus has been on competitive smaller transfers and we feel most confident recommending them for those (and hope they don’t try and do too much and loose their way).
For cash transfers
Currently, Wise only supports bank-to-bank or card-to-bank transfers. So if your recipient needs a payout in cash, Wise is not for you.
See Wise alternatives for cash transfers below.
For instant transfers
If you’re looking to send money instantly (in a matter of minutes or hours), Wise can’t help you there.
While they aim to send your money the same day they’re able to convert it, the conversion process can take up to 2 days (depending on the currency pair).
If instant transfers are your priority, we have a couple of great suggestions for you.
You need a wider selection of receiving countries
Although Wise supports money transfers to 60+ countries, your currency might still not be included.
Moreover, of the many currencies supported by Wise, some can only be transferred locally.
So if your supported receiving currency is not available on Wise, it’s worth looking at other services that have a wider receiving base internationally.
You need phone support for signing up or setting up your transfer
While Wise’s customer service is generally awesome, they’re an online-only platform.
So if you need more support (like speaking to a human on the phone) for setting up your transfer (especially large transfers over $7000 USD), Wise is not the right service for you.
And since Wise is set up as a low-cost service, their customer service (though very responsive) can’t help with setting up transfers or tailoring services for you.
Here’s a recent reviewer who wasn’t too happy with Wise’s lack of in-person customer support:
Note: Just picking out one review might help to highlight things, the reality of using Wise goes way beyond one review and our full review of Wise looks at the negative reviews in detail. Spoiler Alert: They are pretty great, but it is insightful to see where the negative reviews come from.
We have also voted Wise best in the business for amounts below $7000 and use them ourselves.
Quick Look — 7 Alternatives to Wise For Large and Small Amounts
Which Wise alternative is right for you?
Before we dive in deeper, here’s a quick snapshot so you can get the most out of your time here and make the right decision for your needs.
|Name||Best for amounts (above $7000 USD/below$7000 USD/ Cash),||Bottomline|
|Remitly||Below $7000 USD||Best for sending small amounts home and fast transfers|
|WorldRemit||Below $7000 USD||Best for small amounts with cash pick up|
|CurrencyFair||Below $7000 USD||Best rates. Work well for smaller transfers|
|OFX||Above $7000 USD||Best rates for large amounts, intuitive online platform, and phone support|
|Currencies Direct (owned by TorFX)||Above $7000 USD||Best for personalised support for residents of Europe, USA, Canada, India, and South Africa|
|TorFX||Above $7000 USD||Best for personalised support for residents of UK, Australia and Singapore|
|XE||Above $7000 USD||Best phone support in English, Spanish and French|
1. Remitly — Small amounts home, fast
About: Remitly (review) supports transfers from 16 developed countries (including the US, Canada, the UK, etc.) to 50+ developing countries.
They’re an international money transfer company with a unique mission: Helping expat workers send money home fast and at affordable rates.
Their focus is on personal transfers of small amounts.
- Express services (transfers can be completed in hours for an additional fee)
- Multiple ways for money to be received (direct deposit, cash pick-up, mobile wallet transfer, cash home delivery)
Fees: Remitly’s fees depend on the amount, currency, and chosen service. They charge a flat fee and a margin on the exchange rate.
For some currency pairs (for example USD to INR), Remitly even waives the flat fees if you send more than $1000 USD.
Their Express service lets you send money in a matter of minutes or hours (depending on the recipient country), while their Economy service is an affordable option to send money home when you’re not in a hurry.
Other fees to watch out for include credit card fees for their Express service (3%) and fees charged by an intermediary or receiving bank.
Support: Online chat or troubleshooting on the phone (in English and Spanish)
Verdict: How does Remitly compare with Wise?
In terms of fees and exchange rate, Remitly is comparable to Wise (although we have found Wise to be slightly cheaper generally). However, Wise has a more transparent fee structure where you will see exactly the amount the receiver will get before you hit “send”.
With Remitly, there may be certain instances where you might get a surprise fee if you’re funding the transfer through a bank account (banks on either side might charge their own fee).
Use Remitly if…
You live and work in one of the 16 supported countries
You need an option to send money instantly if required (and can fund the transfer with a credit card)
You want cash pickup for the receiver
2. WorldRemit — Small amounts in cash
About: WorldRemit (review) supports both personal and business transfers.
They offer transfers to over 130+ countries worldwide in cash, bank transfer, or top-up mobile wallets.
- Multiple ways for money to be received (bank transfer, cash pick-up, mobile wallet transfer)
- Supports transfer to a wide range of countries (130+)
- Fast — most transfers are completed within minutes
Fees: WorldRemit’s fees are determined based on a number of factors, including transfer amount, currency pair, and payout method.
But they do have a nice bonus offer:
When you sign up 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 only.
WorldRemit has introduced a flat fee for payout methods and a tiered exchange rate system (3 tiers).
With the flat fee for payouts, your fees remain fixed for each method (cash, bank transfer, or mobile wallet transfer), no matter how much you send.
For example, whether you send £100 GBP or £1000 GBP in cash from the UK to the Philippines, you will pay the same £2.49 GBP fee.
Next, the tiered exchange rate makes sure you get a better exchange rate if you send more money.
Other fees to watch out for include credit card fees and commissions charged by local partners.
Support: They’re easiest to reach by chat or email. While they have country-specific phone support, it’s hard to get a hold of their customer service team on the phone.
Verdict: How does WorldRemit compare with Wise?
WorldRemit beats Wise in terms of the number of countries it supports, speed of transaction, and payout methods. Although WorldRemit’s rates are better than going through the bank, Wise still comes out on top as the cheaper option.
Use WorldRemit if…
– You have family, employees, contractors, and suppliers in many countries and need a transfer provider with a wide base of receiving countries
– You want the receiver to be to receive the money in cash
– You need to transfer money quickly (minutes for most transactions)
3. CurrencyFair — Lowest cost
About: CurrencyFair (review) is one of the most affordable options for sending money to bank accounts internationally (in many cases, cheaper than Wise!).
How does CurrencyFair keep costs so low?
The trick lies in their peer-to-peer (wiki) transfer method where they match you with individuals exchanging the opposite currency pair to yours.
But that is not the best bit:
You can also get your first 10 transfers fee free here (opens a new tab).
Sometimes, currency matching can take a while. So if you don’t want to wait, CurrencyFair also has the option to step in and complete the transfer.
They support 38 currencies for sending and receiving money (21 for sending; 17 for receiving).
- One of the lowest exchange rates
- Choose to exchange at the prevailing rate or on their P2P marketplace (The CurrencyFair Exchange) — set your own rate and wait for another user who wants to buy your currency at your proposed rate.
Fees: If you’re matching currency pairs on their marketplace, you’ll pay a percentage fee of 0.25%-0.3% + a fixed €3 EUR transfer fee (or equivalent) + a margin on the exchange rate (this is extremely low).
If CurrencyFair steps in to complete the transfer on your behalf, expect to pay 0.4%-0.6% of the amount + a fixed €3 EUR transfer fee (or equivalent) + a margin on the exchange rate.
Either way, they’re extremely affordable compared to banks or even Wise (whose fees ranged between 0.35%-1.65%).
Another cost you should be aware of is the receiving bank charges in countries where CurrencyFair doesn’t have a local bank account (they don’t have local bank accounts in Canada and New Zealand yet, so receiving CAD and NZD can be relatively expensive for smaller amounts as the receiving banks charge a fee usually $15 – $30).
Support: Email and chat
Verdict: How does CurrencyFair compare with Wise?
CurrencyFair is one of the services that consistently beats Wise in terms of exchange rates. Their P2P currency exchange marketplace is also a unique feature that helps you get the best rates.
But here’s the big catch — you can’t register for their service if you live in the US. Plus, there is the risk of additional “surprise” bank fees if they don’t have local bank accounts in the country where you sending money.
Other than that, this is definitely a service that’s worth trying if looking for the best rate is top of your priorities.
Use CurrencyFair if…
– You don’t live in the US
– You’re looking for the lowest rates for bank-to-bank international transfers
– You want to send small amounts
– You’re fine not having phone support
4. OFX – Amounts over $7000 USD
About: OFX (review) offers bank-to-bank transfers in 50+ currencies to over 190 countries.
They’re one of the most affordable international money transfer services when you want to transfer over $7000 USD ($7000 USD = Approx £4000 GBP, €6000 EUR, $9500 AUD, $9500 CAD, $10000 SGD, ¥800,000 JPY, ₹500,000 INR).
And to make it even more affordable, OFX may charge a fixed fee of $15, however if you click here you can avoid this fee for ever!
They also offer 24×7 phone support for troubleshooting and to help you set up your transfers.
In fact, they try to get all the necessary ID checks and regulatory checks out of the way when you sign up to avoid bottlenecks during transfers (including larger ones).
OFX also has an intuitive online platform and app, which makes it easy to keep an eye on rates, setup transfers, and track transfers.
Helpful 24/7 phone support
Intuitive online platform
Lock rates for up to 12 months
Fees: OFX has been built from the ground up to make large transfers affordable.
In some countries, for amounts below $10,000 OFX charges a flat fee of $15 on the exchange rate.
Bonus: OFX may charge a fixed fee of $15, however if you click here you can avoid these fees all together.
But above that amount, the flat fee is waived and the margin reduces as the amount increases.
Sometimes the receiving bank may deduct a fee from your recipient. But you can speak to OFX’s customer support to understand how you can best manage or avoid this extra cost.
Support: 24×7 phone support and email
Verdict: How does OFX compare with Wise?
OFX is a better option than Wise when you want to send over $7000 USD because of the better rates and helpful phone support.
While “helpful phone support” may not sound like a big deal it is! All services like OFX, Wise and the banks you use have limitations once you start sending above about $7,000. This means each bank has its own limitations and rules on the amounts it will transfer (usually within certain timeframes). Transferring large amounts (over $7000) can mean that issues can occur during a transfer, which without great phone support can become a much bigger problem. With helpful phone support, these issues can be resolved very easily.
For example, I (the author) once was transferring a larger amount and my bank would not transfer over a certain amount with a 24 hour period. This could have meant I missed the time frame I had to fund the transfer and missed our the exchange rate I had locked in. As soon as my payment to OFX failed they called me (before I even knew there was an issue) and explained the banks limitations. Then they simply offered to do two transfers at the same exchange rate with two payments from my bank that fitted within their rules. Problem solved! The alternative can lead to all kinds of problems.
Of the recommended “above $7000 USD” transfer services on this list, OFX has one of the best rates. And yet, does not compromise on phone support — so you can always speak to an actual human to check on your transfers.
It also has an intuitive online platform that’s simple to use and navigate which makes initiating your transaction easy.
Their set up process is also streamlined where they get you to verify all your documents from the start to minimize any hiccups along the way.
Use OFX if …
– You want to get the best rates for larger-amount transfers ($7000 USD)
– You live in the US, Canada, the UK, Europe, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, or New Zealand (where they have local customer service 24/7)
– You need a lot of flexibility for your large transfers (OFX allows you to lock rates for up to 12 months)
– You want the option of phone support to stay on top of your transfer
5. Currencies Direct — Personalized Service
About: Currencies Direct is known for low-cost large transfers (above $7000 USD) since they typically don’t charge transfer fees.
They support both individuals and businesses and help you set up your transfer over the phone. They also offer tailored solutions based on your specific transfer needs.
You can send up to £25,000 GBP with Currencies Direct.
Start by getting the Currencies Direct exchange rate from desktop or mobile here.
- No transfer fees
- Easily transfer larger amounts of money
- More personalized support through phone and email
- Caters to both personal and business transfers
Fees: In most cases, Currencies Direct only charges a margin on the exchange rate and no fees. If a fee is applicable, they let you know upfront.
However, intermediary banks or receiving banks may charge fees.
Support: phone and email
Verdict: How does Currencies Direct compare with Wise?
From the outset, you can clearly see that Currencies Direct is targeting a different market from Wise.
Currencies Direct is a lot more geared towards businesses or high-amount personal transfers while Wise focuses on smaller-amount personal transfers.
Because of this, their service is more personal. Unlike Wise, you can’t get an instant calculation of how much it would cost to transfer your money. You have to input your details on their website and someone will personally contact you.
This might seem inconvenient. But if you’re dealing with larger amounts, it’s much better to speak to a proper representative that can actually guide you through the process.
They also don’t support as many currencies as Wise (40 in total). So this may be a drawback for some.
Use Currencies Direct if …
– You want to send large bank transfers
– You live in the UK, Canada (not Quebec), US, Spain, Portugal, South Africa, or India where they have physical offices (For transferring large amounts, we recommend going with a provided who has a physical presence in your country)
– You want access to currency products like spot contracts or forward contracts
– You appreciate high-touch support from your international money transfer provider
6. TorFX — Recommended for personal account manager
About: TorFX is actually owned by the same group as Currencies Direct. As a result, its customer is also one of the best in the money transfer market.
This makes them one of the most reliable (and frankly reassuring) services for sending large amounts (above $7000 USD) worldwide.
In fact, they’re happy to get on the phone with you to help you through the signup process and when you need to set up a transfer.
Start with the correct office:
AUS/NZ and Asia – Get a quote online or by phone
UK and Europe – Get a quote online or by phone
- Easily handles large amount transfers
- Personal account manager for individualized service
- Phone support
- Offers forward contracts, spot contracts, and market orders
- No transfer fees
Fees: TorFX doesn’t charge any fixed fees, but instead adds a margin to the exchange rate (mid-market rate). This makes them extremely affordable for your large transfers.
However, banks at either end may charge fees, so it’s a great idea to check with the receiving bank about typical fees for large amounts.
Support: Phone and email
Verdict: How does TorFX compare with Wise?
TorFX is another service on our list that differentiates itself from Wise by focusing on larger-amount transfers.
What stands out about TorFX is that you’ll get a personal account manager to help you through your transaction — crucial when you’re handling larger amounts and want to be able to communicate easily with the transfer service.
They also support a decent number of currencies (40+), but this is still not as many as Wise. And unfortunately, TorFX is not available in the US and Canada (their sister brand, Currencies Direct, handles that region). TorFX focuses on customers in the Australasia and European regions.
Use TorFX if …
– You live in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, UK, and Europe and want to send money worldwide (TorFX has offices in the UK, Singapore, and Australia)
– You want to send large amounts
– You value individualised service and would like a personal account manager and phone support to guide you through the process
– You don’t want to pay transfer fees
7. XE – English, Spanish, and French telephone support
About: You can send up to $500,000 USD or equivalent with XE (review) and they support transfers in 98+ currencies to over 130 countries.
They’re one of the most trusted service providers for large bank-to-bank transfers.
- Supports a wide range for currencies
- Phone support in multiple languages
Fees: XE charges fixed fees and a margin on the exchange rate for amounts below $7000 USD.
Usually, they don’t charge a fixed fee for large transfers and keep these transfers affordable by reducing the margin as the amount goes up.
To start with as you can see here – XE give you an instant quote (opens tab, so you can keep reading).
Verdict: How does XE compare with Wise?
Like Wise, XE is very focused on online transactions. So this is best for those who want to perform quick online transfers without personal support from a representative.
And although it handles transfers of all sizes, we’ve found that Wise’s rates for smaller transfers are consistently more competitive than XE.
The 2 areas where it beats Wise are in the number of currencies it supports and its rates for higher transfers (XE doesn’t charge a transfer fee for larger amounts).
However, they are less transparent on fees compared to Wise as banks on either side may still charge their own fees when you transfer with XE.
Use XE if …
– You are comfortable performing large-amount transfers online
– You live in the US, Canada, the UK, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand (where their customer support teams are based)
– You’re looking for many receiving currency options
– You need multilingual phone support for your transfers (although XE is mostly online-focused)
For the majority of people, Wise (formerly TransferWise) is awesome. And that’s why we have voted it the best money transfer company for amounts below $7000 USD.
But there are many moving parts to money transfer.
And, while most services try to be comprehensive and all-inclusive, it’s not always possible (jump up to see our summary of when Wise may not be good for you).
The main reasons why you would want to choose another service over Wise usually comes down to a few factors:
Larger amounts (above $7000 USD).
We found that OFX was designed from the ground up for larger amounts. This means that sign up can be more involved (but less likely to be an issue later on) and they have a mix of online with phone support (which is expensive for them to run, but can be vital for your larger transfers). To top it off, their fees are very competitive as their fees in percentage terms reduce as amounts increase.
Click here to learn how you can get transfers through OFX fee free.
But again, you may have other priorities that may come into play. (Maybe you need cash pickup for the receiver? Or your currency isn’t supported by a service you’re interested in.)
So it’s important to stay in the know about each service’s strengths (we’ve summarized them here for you) so you can choose the right one for your needs.
The reality is, in many cases, it makes sense to use more than one service.
So take your time to shop around and find a few that you can turn to, depending on the situation.