- Editor Rating
- Rated 4.5 stars
- Transferwise Promotions
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- 1 TransferWise Free International Transfer Offer
- 2 Invite 3 Friends And Earn A $75 Bonus
- 3 TransferWise: In a Nutshell
- 4 TransferWise: How It Works
- 5 TransferWise Step By Step
- 6 TransferWise Fees
- 7 TransferWise Transfer Speed
- 8 My Impressions
TransferWise is a service that offers cheap and easy international money transfers. The company has a mission to send money around the world with low and transparent fees at true mid-market exchange rates. The service is so popular, customers send over $1 billion each month using TransferWise. Currently, you can send money to 71 countries and receive money from 43 countries, with over 1,000 country combinations across 49 currencies.
TransferWise Free International Transfer Offer
Use our referral link below (thanks ahead of time!) to get a free international transfer of up to $500. Once you have an account open you can start making referral bonus money as well.
Invite 3 Friends And Earn A $75 Bonus
Once you have an active account, you can start making referrals to earn bonus money. Invite 3 friends to earn a $75 bonus.
- to your TransferWise account
- Go to “Invite & Earn $75 USD”
- Invite friends using your personal invite link or invite via email
- Your referrals get a free international transfer of up to $500
- When 3 of your invites all transfer over $300, you’ll earn a $75 bonus
See the terms of their referral program here.
TransferWise: In a Nutshell
|Sending Channels||Website & mobile app|
|Payment Options||Bank account only|
|Delivery Options||Bank account only|
|Minimum Transfer Limit||None|
|Maximum Transfer Limit||$10,000/transfer to $1 million/transfer,|
depending on origin and direct deposit vs wire
TransferWise: How It Works
TransferWise’s novel approach to currency exchange circumvents the middle man, which lets the company charge a whole lot less than its industry peers. How does TransferWise do it?
The company stores stockpiles of different currencies across the globe. When you send $1,000 USD to a friend in Canada, TransferWise adds your $1,000 to its USD stockpile, then pays your friend the equivalent in Canadian dollars from its Canadian dollar stockpile.
This method eliminates the need for costly third-party banks, so TransferWise can offer its service at exactly the bank rate and nothing more. Trust me, you won’t find a better deal than that.
Also known as multi-currency accounts, borderless accounts let you hold money in over 40 currencies and convert them when the mid-market exchange rate is favorable to you. It’s like having different local bank accounts around the world in one tidy online account.
When you sign up for a borderless account, you’ll also get a personal account number and bank details, along with a TransferWise debit Mastercard. With this account, you’ll be able to receive money, without having to pay fees, from over 30 countries.
The TransferWise app is available for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. It lets you send money abroad, check the status of your transfers, and cancel them. You can even manage your borderless account from the app and exchange money when optimal.
The mobile app is very convenient and offers a superb user experience. It’s rated 4.8 out of 5 in the Apple App Store and 4.6 out of 5 in the Google Play Store.
TransferWise Step By Step
Easily open an account and send money with the following six steps:
- Sign up for an account. Choose to connect with your email address, Facebook or Google account.
- Verify yourself. The requirements vary depending on transfer amount and where you’re sending from. At minimum, you’ll need to provide a copy of your ID and proof of address.
- Set up a transfer. Input where you’d like the money to be received and how much you’re sending. Recipients include yourself (different account abroad), another person or a business.
- Send the money. Use your preferred payment method, including bank transfer, debit or credit card, SOFORT, Apple Pay or Android Pay. Your options will depend on the currency.
- Conversion. You don’t have to do anything here. TransferWise will convert your money at mid-market rate.
- Notification. The converted money is sent to the recipient, and both parties will get an email notification of the transfer.
With TransferWise, you know exactly how much you’ll pay in fees every time you make a transfer, thanks to its fully transparent fee structure. Just to let you know, this is not the industry standard.
For most currencies, the company also guarantees the exchange rate, so you also know exactly how much your recipient will receive. While other banks will guarantee their exchange rates as well, their rates are often much higher.
TransferWise charges a percent of the transfer amount, and a flat fee for certain country combinations. The actual numbers depend on the currency you are sending from and to, and certain fees vary depending on the transfer amount.
TransferWise will convert your money using the true mid-market rate when they receive and process your funds. That’s the absolute best rate you will get with any money transfer service provider.
TransferWise will even lock your exchange rate for a certain time frame: 24 hours for most countries, 48 hours for all others, except Brazil (72 hours). This locked-in rate is also known as guaranteed rate. Please note, TransferWise must receive your funds within the allotted time frame, or else the amount the recipient will receive is no longer guaranteed.
Because TransferWise uses its local accounts to collect and send funds, there aren’t any fees charged by sending and receiving banks (because there are none!) and no third-party bank fees.
Most banks will charge a fee to receive an international SWIFT payment. Please ask the receiving bank if it costs extra for incoming SWIFT payments, and if so, the total amount.
If you live in the United States and are sending within the United States, I don’t recommend you transfer via SWIFT. There are free or cheaper alternatives by using domestic wire or ACH direct debit. As a rule of thumb, you should only send USD using SWIFT if your payment is coming from outside the United States.
TransferWise Transfer Speed
Total transfer time from the United States can take more than a week. A direct debit bank transfer requires anywhere from one to five business days to reach TransferWise. Then, the currency conversion can take up to two business days. Finally, delivery of funds abroad usually adds on another day or two. If you need to send cash fast, you can cut down funding time by using a domestic wire transfer from your bank instead. However, that usually comes with an additional fee.
As you might guess, delivery speed is not TransferWise’s strong suit. In contrast, other providers, like MoneyGram and Xoom, have the ability to wire money between international bank accounts within the same business. Keep in mind, however, you will be paying more for these fast transfers.
You’ll be hard pressed to find better exchange rates than TransferWise, especially on a web platform that’s designed for easy setup and use. If low cost is a priority for you, then TransferWise is a great choice. If you’re looking for same-day or next-day delivery, then I recommend you look elsewhere.
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