Does TransferWise really provide best rates?

Finding the cheapest money transfer service

When researching the costs and fees for each individual money transfer provider, you can get confused very easily, as there are numerous services available on the market and not all of them provide their pricing information transparently. A frequently asked question that pop ups when researching the remit services is “Does TransferWise really provide best rates?”

The company provides price comparing tools to easily display fees of different popular platforms and banks. They also write numerous blog posts explaining the fee structures of different platforms, while remaining very transparent with their own ones. You can easily check the final costs of your international money transfer with TransferWise’s calculator. But how do their exchange rates and transfer fees stand against other platforms and banks?

Euro Exchange Rate

TransferWise seems to be doing the best when it comes to sending and exchanging EUR currency, as in most cases the platform provides the best rates on the market. Even though their transfer fee may seem quite high compared to other platforms, the attractive exchange rates cut the overall costs. Exchanging and sending 1,000EUR to USD would get you 1,103.50 USD at the current rates, which is almost $10 more than with Western Union transfer, which has low transfer fees but high markup on the currency exchange rates.

Sending money to India

India has recently become a popular remittance destination and most of the online platforms compete to provide best Indian Rupee (INR) exchange rates and cheapest transfers to India. TransferWise operates currently in 59 countries and is constantly adding new currency pairs to their platform. However, with a transfer fee of $12.99 it may not be the cheapest option to send money to India. Despite having a better exchange rate compared to PayPal, they still have 1% worse rates than the ones from Western Union or MoneyGram.

Send money to Africa with TransferWise

While there are some popular African currencies available to exchange, the rates for more remote countries may be a little bit higher compared to other money transfer providers, especially if you want to send dollars. For example, exchanging and sending $1,000 to South Africa would get you 15,008.90ZAR with TransferWise. Sending the same amount with Xoom would get you 15,175.30ZAR, which is 166ZAR more.

On the other hand, sending 1,000 in GBP currency with TransferWise gives you an advantage of 262.02 ZAR over next available transfer provider.

Which currency pairs are the cheapest?

Looking at the previous examples of sending both USD and GBP to South Africa shows that it’s important to research the fees and currency pairs before your transaction, as it may simply be much cheaper to wire British Pounds instead of American Dollars when making a transfer abroad. That way, you can cut part of the expenses. It’s also important to topup your transfer with a regular bank wire and not credit card, because processing your card may generate additional charges.

When it comes to using TransferWise services, it’s worth noting that they cover transfers for other platforms as well, which means that you can benefit from their rates, while using N26 or Monzo, just to name a few.

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