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.
I use Wise (formerly TransferWise) several times a week mostly for personal transfers, business and overseas travel.
But I don’t use them for everything.
And perhaps you had a bad experience, want to send money instantly, need different payout methods (like cash) or send larger amounts.
For large transfers, I think OFX or TorFX or Currencies Direct are better because they are have phone based customer support.
For smaller transfers, cash transfers and even prepaid cards and multi currency accounts there are other great alternatives.
Finally, I also want to let you know about Revolut which is Wise’s biggest competitor.
Let’s get stuck into it!
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 Work (And When it Doesn’t)
Wise has a great reputation on Trustpilot, with a 4.2/5 rating from more than 196K reviews. Most of the reviews are 5-star reviews (83%), while only a few are 1-star reviews (7%). People love Wise for its simple and speedy transfers.
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 Wise Works
Sending amounts below $7000 USD for individuals
Generally, we highly recommend Wise for amounts below $7000 USD. Their focus on fast, inexpensive transfers as well as transparency and excellent online experience makes them hard to beat in many situations.
But don’t take our word for it.
For the best comparison we recommend starting with their fee calculator (opens new tab) and see for yourself what they charge. Perhaps write it down so you can compare with others we will discuss in a moment.
We have found, in terms of fees, they’re always low and transparent.
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, Wise goes way beyond simple money transfers.
You get a multi currency account to spend, send and receive your money. And you can hold money in over 40 currencies.
There is also a highly useful optional prepaid debit card to spend in over 40 currencies in over 150 countries.
Wise’s multi currency account (review) and associated Wise travel card (review) 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). If you want to compare Wise with another service that enable you to get paid and pay others check out Wise Vs. Payoneer.
These features are great for international people who need the freedom to manage multiple currencies from one account.
1.2 When it doesn’t
If you’re sending more than $7000 USD
As we uncover in our Wise review, there are things you should know about Wise for larger amounts, where things can get kind of messy.
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.
This is because, you may need to provide more information or identity to make a transfer.
Unfortunately, this can end up in frozen accounts or transfer delays. And this can be an issue if you need money transferred urgently.
But there is something else:
Having the ability to easily call someone (ideally 24/7), can go a long way in resolving issues like transfer limits your bank may place (due to the same regulations). This can save time and a whole lot of stress.
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 (below) for cash transfers below.
For instant transfers
If you’re looking to send money instantly (in a matter of minutes or at least hours), Wise may not be your best option.
Because Wise is focused on transfers that often involve banks at either end (which does help reduce fees) they may not always be the fastest.
In fact the whole process can take up to 5 days.
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
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 or £4500 GBP), or simply dealing with a frozen account. 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:
Ross is Not Alone: I have been reviewing and using Wise for years, but just in the last year, I believe something has changed and their customer service has become less awesome. For example, I have personally had a few issues now and the responses I get are sometimes very generic. Also others in my team have had issues. I think this is likely just growing pains and compliance but our experiences are not isolated. Over the years, Trustpilot has also seen them go from 4.7/5 in 2021 to 4.2/5 in 2023.
To be fair, many other services have also lost their rankings over this same time frame so more difficult compliance may be to blame or perhaps Trustpilot changed its scoring system – or both.
That said, I still think they are #1 for small transfers and light years ahead of banks but in some situations I also believe some alternatives may be better.
Note: The reality of using Wise for most people is very positive and our full Wise.com review looks at the positives and negatives in more detail.
Spoiler Alert: They are pretty great, but it is insightful to see where the negative reviews come from and has helped us to find alternatives that may be better in some situations.
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|
|Revolut||Below $7000 USD||Best for additional bank like features within the app|
|Remitly||Below $7000 USD||Best for sending small amounts home and fast transfer option|
|WorldRemit||Below $7000 USD||Best for small amounts with cash pick up|
|CurrencyFair||Below $7000 USD||Best rates and offer. Work well for smaller transfers|
|OFX||Above $7000 USD||Best service with low 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 / Currencies Direct||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. Revolut – Wise’s Closest Competitor
About: When it comes to multi-currency accounts and prepaid debit cards, Revolut (review) is considered to be Wise’s biggest rival.
Revolut offers personal and business plans to citizens and residents of the UK, US, European Economic Area (EEA), Singapore, Australia, Japan and Switzerland.
Double check if you can get a Revolut account here.
It supports deposits in more than 30 currencies and withdrawals in over 120 currencies and countries.
- Free transfers within the EU and to other Revolut users
- Budgeting and analytical tools
- Cashback incentives
- Optional upgrades like airport lounges and spending rewards
Fees: Revolut has a transfer fee structure based on recipient country (Usually 0.3% – 0.75%) plus a small fixed fee. While Wise does not have a mark up on the exchange rate it does have a fee (0.66% on average) which is based on the currencies you are exchanging.
Transfers to other Revolut users, local payments without any exchange and payments within the Single European Payments (SEPA) area are free.
You can withdraw up to 5 ATM withdrawals or £200 (per rolling month) without any charges, after that a 2% fee applies. Please note that the maximum amount you can withdraw in cash per day is £3,000 or it’s equivalent in other currencies.
The debit card fee is £4.99 for the free plan and zero for premium plans (Plus, Premium and Metal).
When you use Revolut to exchange currencies on weekends, there will be a 1% markup applied to all currencies. However, during the weekdays when the market is open, Revolut matches the mid-market rate with no additional fees added.
Wise, on the other hand, offers you a rate without any markup.
Support: Email, live chat and automated phone service for blocking cards.
Verdict: How does Revolut compare with Wise?
If you travel primarily within Europe, Revolut is the best choice for you because they offer free transfers within the SEPA.
If you’re deciding between Wise and Revolut, it’s worth noting that although Revolut may not operate in as many countries as Wise, they have some innovative features that make them stand out.
Revolut provides various budgeting and analytical tools on their app that Wise does not have.
Unlike Wise, Revolut also allows you to link your bank account to their app, so you can keep track of all your finances in one place.
2. 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.
Make sure your countries are covered here – for both 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)
Currently Remitly is running a limited time new customer offer. Check out the Remitly offer.
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).
3. 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 four 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.
4. 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!).
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: CurrencyFair transfers range from 0.4%-0.6% of the amount + a fixed €3 EUR transfer fee (or equivalent) + a margin on the exchange rate.
They’re extremely affordable compared to banks and sometimes 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.
But here’s the big catch — 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.
5. OFX – Amounts over $7000 USD
About: OFX (review) offers bank-to-bank transfers in 50+ currencies to over 190 countries.
OFX always out as a top pick of ours when it comes to international money transfer comparison 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.
6. 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.
7. 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 in the right spot:
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.
As you can tell we really like these two and we compare Wise Vs TorFX in greater detail.
Bonus: 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.
Check out our Wise Vs XE money transfer comparison
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 / £4500.
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.