8 Things You Need to Know – Only One Winner!
Their strengths include low cost and fast money transfers to many countries worldwide.
However, they are quite different and which option is best for YOU will depend on your specific needs and what they provide.
But wait there’s more 🙂
To help, we award a winner in each of 8 important categories, so you can see what works best for you. (Look for the “Winner” in each category and don’t miss our verdict)
Possibly more importantly sometimes neither is best and we will steer you in the right direction if this is the case!
Let’s dive in!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
- Who Can Get One?
- Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees?)
- Ways to Send Money
- Payout Methods
- Transfer Speed
- Reviews (inc. Negative Ones)
- Customer Service and Support
Well done on comparing these two!
At a glance, it may seem like Remitly and TransferWise offer the same services: international money transfer at really low costs.
Both are excellent when it comes to taking away business from the banks by making it far cheaper and much more user friendly. TransferWise is fabulously transparent on it’s fees and focuses on inexpensive bank-to-bank transfers while Remitly is all about helping immigrants send money home where cash or prepaid mobile top ups can be important.
More on their fundamental differences in a moment!
Don’t miss: “Where Neither is Best” section below.
Designed for immigrants, Remitly is available in 16 developed countries and supports transfers to 50 countries worldwide. You can sign up for Remitly ONLY from the UK, US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore and Sweden. With Remitly you can see what you will pay (desktop) or get the App for mobile – iOS or Android.
Remitly support personal transfers back home to family and friends, unlike TransferWise, who also offers dedicated business accounts.
TransferWise is far more flexible: allowing users to sign up from 59 countries and send money to 60+ countries worldwide. For TransferWise you can see exactly what you will pay in fees with this widget.
If you can still use either more, in-depth comparisons are needed starting with their Pros and Cons.
Also pay particular attention to their fees as they show them quite differently.
Where Neither is Best
Money transfers above $7000 USD/ 4500 GBP other services tend to be even cheaper and have better important customer service for larger amounts. OFX (review) (Worldwide) and TorFX (review) (Australasia & Europe) reduce the fees in percentage terms as the amounts rise.
To decide between the two: OFX balances online with telephone support while TorFX focuses on telephone service mostly.
|Remitly supports transfers from 16 sender countries developed countries to 50 developing countries across the world. However, they don’t allow transfers between the 16 sender countries including UK, US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore and Sweden.|
Remitly only support transfers to family members (and in rare cases to friends) to cover personal expenses like utility bills, rent, medical expenses, or travel expenses.
Remitly has sender-country-specific landing pages – it may be a good idea to check them out to see whether your receiving country is supported from a particular sender country.
Sometimes you may be asked to submit additional documentation to prove your association or purpose of transferring funds.
|TransferWise is available in 59 countries and lets you send money to 60 countries world wide.|
But the TransferWise Borderless card is only available in the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the US.
With TransferWise, you can initiate both personal and business transactions, provided the areas and currencies are supported by them.
TransferWise is widely available and supports more sender and receiving countries than Remitly. Moreover, they allow both personal and business transfers (dedicated business accounts available).
|Remitly charges a flat fee and a margin on the exchange rate (which varies according to market fluctuations).|
Remitly’s fees depend on a number of factors, such as sending country, transfer amount, selected service (Express or Economy), and the target currency.
Some other things to keep in mind are:
|On TransferWise, the total fee you’ll pay depends on the currency you’re transferring, the amount, and how you fund the transfer.|
TransferWise charges a percentage fee and lets you transfer money at the inter bank (wiki) or mid-market rate.
TransferWise’s fees range between 0.6-1% of the transfer amount, with the fees going down after USD 10,000 or equivalent. This means, smaller transfers – usually USD 100 or less are ideal.
Their rates are quite competitive compared to banks (charging 3-5% of a transfer) and other currency transfer services (0.5%-1.8%, depending on the currency and amount).
TransferWise lets you move funds with a low and transparent fee structure at the mid-market rate. You will see the total fee you’ll pay before you initiate a transfer, so there are no surprises.
Transfers funded with credit cards on Remitly attract additional charges. Moreover, when you choose the Economy plan, banks at either end may charge fees.
There are no hidden fees on TransferWise. Although transfers funded from a bank account may cost more, you’ll see the total amount you’ll pay before you hit “Send.” Plus, TransferWise has bank details in all the countries it supports, so there are no unexpected deductions.
|Remitly supports international transfers in 40+ currencies and lets you send money to 50 countries worldwide.Check the full list of supported receiving countries here.||With TransferWise, you can initiate international transfers in 20 currencies local transfers in 30 other currencies (for example, Chinese Yen, Argentine Peso, Bangladeshi taka etc.).|
Overall, TransferWise supports 50 currencies for local and international transfers.
Check out the full list here.
If required TransferWise Borderless supports a few more currencies for local and international transfers.
Both Remitly and TransferWise support 40+ currencies to be sent to 50+ countries, which covers most of the major as well as some regulated currencies.
|Funding methods on Remitly depends on the sender country.|
On Remitly, you can fund your transfer by
But of course, it’s always a great idea to check out the country specific guides before initiating a transfer.
|On TransferWise, the funding method depends on the sender country and the target currency.TransferWise supports|
Before initiating a transfer, check out the currency specific guides here for pros and cons of each method.
Both TransferWise and Remitly support the most common (credit card, debit card, bank transfers) as well as some location-specific methods to fund your transfer for maximum flexibility.
|With Remitly, you can send money to||TransferWise only supports bank to bank transfers.|
Remitly wins this round hands down with the wide variety of payment methods. If you’re located in one of the 16 sender countries supported by Remitly and want to send money to the 50+ receiving countries serviced by them, Remitly is a no brainer.
|Remitly’s transfer speed depends on the service you choose (Economy or Express), how you fund your transfer, and the receiving currency.|
You can send money to your family instantly, or at least within minutes, with the Express service (transfers to be funded with a credit or debit card).
Economy transfers (funded with a bank transfer – banks at either end may charge fees) take about 3-5 days.
Remitly also has a tracking option for both senders and recipients. Plus, they refund the flat fee (not the margin on the exchange rate) if your transfer doesn’t arrive on time.
|TransferWise’s speed depends on how you fund your transfer and the target currency.|
Generally transfers funded with a credit or debit card are processed within a few hours (sometimes minutes) while transfers funded from a bank account can take 2-4 days. In most cases, TransferWise tries to process transfers on the same day.
Remitly has an instant transfer option with a 100% satisfaction guarantee clause if you need to send large funds urgently to your family. And, Remitly’s Economy plan can save you a lot of money if you can wait a couple of days.
If large and urgent transfers are not a priority, TransferWise can help you win the day and save some money on both personal and business transfers.
|Remitly scores 4.7/5 on Trustpilot with over 20000 reviews.|
Their users love the fast service and the transparent tracking feature.
86% of Remitly users had an “Excellent” experience while 6% had a “Good” experience.
But 5% of users had a “bad” experience, which we can’t ignore.
We narrowed the top issues down to unexpected account lock downs and transfer delays. Some of them were also dissatisfied with Remitly’s customer service and when they were asked to share additional documents to support the transfer.
You can avoid account lock downs and delays by getting clear on Remitly’s scope of service, but Remitly needs to improve how their customer service team responds to exigencies.
Check out our full review of Remitly here.
|TransferWise scores 4.6/5 on Trustpilot with over 86,000 reviews.86% of TransferWise users had an “excellent” experience and 8% had a “good” experience with them.|
Most users love their transparent fee structure, affordable rates, and easy-to-use interface.
However, 3% of users had a “bad” experience with the service.
We uncovered that the top causes of dissatisfaction were transfer delays and unexpected account suspensions.
But we also noticed that TransferWise is fairly responsive on Trustpilot and most issues were quickly resolved by their customer service team.
Both Remitly and TransferWise are excellent service providers who make international transfers fast, easy, and cheap for their users.
In most cases, the expectation mismatch can be avoided by being clear on their scope of service. And, we’re confident you’re unlikely to face any such issues if you’ve come this far in this article.
|Remitly offers support over phone, email, and live chat.|
They also have a helpful FAQs section and country-specific guides to help you with your transfers.
However, some users said the Remitly’s customer support could only offer general advice when approached in an emergency.
|TransferWise offers great support to their users via phone, email, and live chat.|
They also have an extensive FAQs section that answers almost any question that may pop up before you initiate a transfer.
Moreover, their customer service team has a reputation of being fast and helpful when users approach them in an emergency.
While both services can be reached in a number of ways, TransferWise has been known to be super responsive when their customers reach out to them during an emergency. This goes a long way to reassure confused users and earn back their trust.
If you could use either TransferWise is our recommendation (especially when you can use this widget), but Remitly may be your best choice if you need cash pick up or faster transfers.
Looking at the scorecard: Remitly has 2 wins, TransferWise has 3, and they are tied in 4 categories. It’s safe to say both TransferWise and Remitly can hold their own when it comes to international money transfers. But the way negative reviews are handled (above) speaks loudly.
Slightly slower bank-to-bank or card-to-bank transfers and superior transparency on fees (and Remity is pretty good) makes TransferWise a deal maker. TransferWise also scores highly because of the optional Borderless account and prepaid Mastercard.
But Remitly’s one-of-a-kind mission of making currency transfers fast, easy, and affordable makes them uniquely awesome for immigrants.
TransferWise, on the other hand, is a well rounded service for smaller transfers for pretty much everyone. They have a transparent fee structure, are available in most countries, and good for both personal and business transfers.
So which service is best for you?
It all comes down to your unique needs – such as location, supported currencies, and type of transaction you want to process on a regular basis.