Wise Vs MoneyGram

Many people still use a bank. The problem is they are expensive and slower compared to many other options.

Wise and MoneyGram are some of the best known ways to transfer money, but they are very different.

Here’s the deal:

Both can transfer money but Wise can save you a bundle on fees. But MoneyGram allows you to send cash and deals with more currencies.

But who is best?

This depends on your circumstances.

In next few minutes, we will uncover everything you need to know including the reviews of others (especially the negative reviews).

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

Quick Comparison: Wise Vs MoneyGram

Wise (review) (est. 2010) is leading the way for inexpensive money transfers. Wise cuts costs and pass the savings on, by being online only and focusing on bank-to-bank and card-to-bank transfers.

Meanwhile MoneyGram (review) has been around since before the internet (est. 1980) when people needed to send and receive cash and they still can help you with that.

As Wise say they, “make transfers up to 8x cheaper than banks”. See for yourself what you will pay with the Wise calculator (opens new tab).

The best bit:

Wise continually improves its offerings further reducing fees and increasing transfer speeds.

Wise

Wise Likes:

  • Send money to 70+ countries
  • Affordable and transparent fees – no markup on the exchange rate
  • Fast transfers
  • Available for both personal and business
  • Multi-currency account for frequent travelers, freelancers, and growing global businesses
  • MasterCard debit card for traveling, online shopping, or business expenses
  • Excellent customer service

Wise Dislikes:

  • No cash transfers
  • Potentially better options for amounts over $7000 USD See Wise Vs OFX.

MoneyGram

MoneyGram Likes:

  • Both online and offline transfers
  • Send money to 200 countries in 100+ currencies
  • Send cash, bank transfer, mobile wallet transfer
  • Send money via Facebook messenger
  • Set up bill payment (utilities like gas, water, automobile insurance, etc.)

MoneyGram Dislikes:

  • Customer support

1. Real Fees & HIDDEN Fees

Wise

  • Low percentage service fees (generally between 0.35% to 2%) depending on the amount and currency
  • Transfers funded by bank account are the most affordable
  • Transfers funded by credit cards attract a 3-5% cash advance fee (charged by card issuer)
  • Removes or minimizes hidden fees (sending and receiving bank fees) with local bank accounts in all the areas they service

MoneyGram

  • Relatively high fees are built into the exchange rate offered. (For example, $1000 USD included a 3.4% margin on the exchange rate offered)
  • Payment Options: Credit Cards, Debit Card, Online Bank Accounts and Cash all attract additional fees. (For example, $1000 by Credit Card was 3.5%, Debit Card 1.5%, and Bank Account 0.5%)

Hidden fees

  • Receiving banks may charge receiving fees
  • “Cash at Location” fees vary and are unknown until you select a pick up location.

2. Are They Safe?

Wise

  • Wise keeps their customer’s money separate from their operating funds
  • They have a dedicated fraud detection team and are regularly audited by various financial and IT authorities
  • You’ll get real-time notifications for account activities
  • Their website has an authentic and valid SSL certificate and their app uses two-factor authentication to keep your money and personal information safe

MoneyGram

  • Robust anti-theft and anti-fraud measures adopted online and at agent locations (no cash disbursal without valid Govt-issued ID)
  • Multi-tiered strategy that encompasses the networks, computers and programs throughout their entire organization to protect customers’ money and data

3. Ease of Use – Some BIG Differences

Wise

  • Handle everything online – from checking rates to setting up transfers
  • Mobile app (Android and iOS for tracking rates, setting up transfers, tracking transfers, etc.)

MoneyGram

  • Both online and in person transfers
  • Easy cash pick up with 300,000 agent locations worldwide

4. Reviews (inc. Negative Ones) — What Others Are Saying

Wise

Wise is rated 4.6/5 on Trustpilot with over 140,000 reviews, which is considered “Excellent.”

Positive

  • Fast transfers
  • Easy transactions
  • Affordable rates
  • Great for handling international money

“Quick easy transactions
Good communications
Safe place for money when travelling abroad”

– Nicola Keen on Trustpilot

“I’ve been using (Transfer)Wise services for a few years already, mostly to send money between Poland and Australia, but for travel (support for balances and transactions in plenty of currencies) and paying with their debit card for everyday expenses. It all works just great, the FX rates and international transfer fees are much better than at the banks, funds are transferred within 1 business day. Easy app gives access to all functions, including real-time status updates. Recommended.”

– Tom on Trustpilot

Negative

  • Extensive document verification

Many users were dissatisfied when Wise asked for additional documentation for some transfers. However, as a licensed money transfer company, Wise needs to conduct regular audits to keep their users’ money and data safe.

MoneyGram

MoneyGram is rated 4.4/5 with over 14,000 reviews, which is considered “Good.”

Positive

  • Efficient and consistent service
  • Fast transfers to anywhere

“I’ve always had a good experience using Moneygram. Transfers are quick and the process is easy.”

– Kevin on Trustpilot

“This was the most seamless process when I went to retrieve my cash. The Representative was efficient and polite. This is my first choice to receive and send funds from and to family and friends. I highly recommend MoneyGram. I’m 100% satisfied!

Thank you, you very happy customer.”

– Joycelyn on Trustpilot

Negative

  • Poor customer service

Moneygram’s users complained of poor customer service for a number of reasons. For one, the responses to complaints filed online can take a lot of time. Second, agents and other customer service representatives tend to display a lack of understanding or empathy if any bottlenecks come up, which can be frustrating. As a legacy remittance service, this is a major area of improvement for MoneyGram.

  • Too many checks

MoneyGram requires you to submit additional documentation if you send money above a certain amount or send a specific currency. This is to comply with the anti-theft and anti-fraud regulations as a licensed financial service provider.

5. Transfer Speeds

Wise

  • Wise processes popular currencies (like USD, GBP, EUR, AUD, CAD, NZD, SGD) from within a few hours to a few days. Card transfers are also processed near-instantly.
  • Transfers in exotic currencies can take longer, as do bank-to-bank transfers (3-5 days) where the banks at either end can slow up the process.

MoneyGram

  • Cash transfers

For these transfers, money is ready to be picked up almost instantly. However, weekends and public holidays may lead to delayed pick ups.

  • Bank Transfers

Most payments are completed within a few hours to a day. For example, your transfer from the US to India will go through in 3-5 hours, to Canada in an 1 hour, while transfers to European countries, including the UK can take 1 day. This is the typical speed for currencies popularly traded on MoneyGram.

Exotic currencies can take 3-5 days.

  • Bill Payments

These are processed instantly, unless you set it up over a weekend or holiday.

6. Customer Service and Support

Wise

  • Online support only
  • Proactive customer service and can be reach by phone, chat, or email
  • Extensive FAQs section

MoneyGram

  • Both online and offline support (agent locations)
  • Reach customer service by filing a complaint on their website. Option to resolve issue by email or by receiving a call back – customer service can be hard to reach
  • Country-specific FAQs

7. Verdict

Wise wins in 2 categories and they both tie in the 4 categories but they are really great for different needs. Trustpilot backs up our view as both are considered “Good” to “Excellent.”

What is the deal?

If you can do without cash, Wise is easily our top choice for bank-to-bank and card-to-bank transfers below $7000 USD/£4000 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 CAD/AUD.

Through the Wise calculator (opens new tab) you can see the fees you pay without signing up for the amount and currencies you want to transfer.

But if you’re looking for money transfers to both popular and exotic locations – especially in cash, MoneyGram is a solid choice for their wide coverage, fast options and respectable customer service.

Finally, if you need to transfer more than $7000 USD check out our Wise Vs OFX comparison.

Happy Transfers!

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