TransferWise vs XE Money Transfers: A side-by-side comparison

TransferWise and XE have so much in common, that it can be really hard to choose between them. But here we go:

The Important Bits

TransferWise

Safety: Based in the UK, licensed and well backed

Rates: You receive the interbank exchange rate on google

Fees: Percentage based fee

Speed: 1-2 business days for most transfers

Service: Limited phone support, but excellent online resources

XE Money Transfers

Safety: Based in the UK, licensed and owned by Euronet, a massive NASDAQ listed company

Rates: Will vary depending on your currency and amount

Fees: No flat fee

Speed: 1-2 business days for most transfers

Service: Strong phone support and average online help

Learn more about TransferWise

Learn more about XE

Let's have a look at them in more detail

Exchange Rates

Like banks, money transfer providers make money in two main ways: Firstly, the margin from which they purchase currency at a wholesale rate and the cost of currency sold on to customers, also known as the exchange rate margin. Secondly, an additional fixed or percentage-based transaction fee.

TransferWise sells currency to customers based on the mid-market exchange rate, which is the exchange rate bought at a wholesale price. The company makes its profit through fees instead.

XE don't charge a flat fee so it makes its money primarily in exchange rate margin.

Exchange rates fluctuate all the time, rates can rise and fall in a matter of seconds. Hence, it’s crucial to compare exchange rates between providers before making a decision. We could provide a comparison in this article, but it may not be accurate by the time you read this. So here are four ways you can compare current exchange rates between TransferWise and XE:

  1. View live rates on TransferWise and XE websites
  2. Call TransferWise on +61 28 0466 244 or XE on +64-(0)9-905-4660
  3. Compare exchange rates online with our comparison engine

Fees

As mentioned above, fees are the primary way TransferWise makes money. That’s why it’s just as important to compare fees as well as exchange rates.

XE don't charge a fee regardless of your amount.

Time For Transfer To Reach Recipient

When using an online transfer provider, your transfer is made to the company account to be processed before it is cleared and transferred to the recipient.

TransferWise and XE generally take 1-3 business days. How long it takes usually comes down to:

  1. How long it takes you to pay them for the transfer
  2. Which country you are sending the money to. Some countries take longer than others
  3. How long the bank on the other end takes to credit the bank account

How easy are they to use?

Both companies are fairly similar when it comes down to using them.

To transfer money overseas with either of the providers, you must register an account. We review the steps for each provider below:

What Currencies Can I Transfer?

For an extensive list of currencies available for transfer with TransferWise and XE, check out our reviews for each company

TransferWise Review

XE Money Transfer Review

Accepted Payment Methods and Minimum & Maximum Transfer Amounts

You can pay TransferWise by EFTPOS, credit card or direct debit. They have a minimum transfer size of AUD $3.00 and a maximum transfer size of AUD $1,500,000.

XE are very similar, but they only offer direct debit to business customers. Over the phone they have no minimum or maximum currency limits. Online, you can't send more than USD $500,000

 

Customer Support

With TransferWise, it is difficult to find their contact number. You have to use their live chat feature to get in touch with a consultant and receive a response within 24 hours.

XE provides good phone support across the globe with numbers in the UK, US and New Zealand.

The Verdict

On service, exchange rates and safety - it's hard to split TransferWise and XE. It really comes down to comparing the cost on the day you're making your international money transfer, including the fees you're being charged. TransferWise might be cheaper to use when you transfer smaller amounts up to $1,000 US dollars. However, it'll probably be cheaper to use XE for larger amounts of $1o0,000 US dollars or more.

Learn more about TransferWise

Learn more about XE