Ever tried sending money across borders?
I can tell you from experience that it’s (a) expensive and (b) a pain in the butt.
You can either use a service such as Western Union or complete a wire transfer through your bank — the latter of which costs an average of nearly $50, according to ValuePenguin.
Rightfully frustrated with the experience, two friends founded TransferWise in 2010. Its mission is to make international transfers faster, easier, and cheaper.
This TransferWise review will go over everything you need to know and see if it lives up to its promise.
What is TransferWise?
Once you sign up, you can send or receive more than 40 currencies to and from bank accounts across the globe. Transfers take between a few business hours and a few business days.
In addition to its speed, TransferWise sets itself apart with its transparency; it promises you won’t pay any hidden fees when you transfer money through the platform.
Whereas many banks profit off the exchange rates they offer, TransferWise uses the real-time “mid-market rate” — the rate at which banks trade among themselves. And as you can see from the chart below, it could lead to big savings for you.
So, instead of touting “free transfers” at a worse exchange rate, TransferWise charges a fee that’s equal to a percentage of what you send.
Although the site doesn’t reveal the exact percentage (it varies), a $1,000 test transfer quoted a fee of $8.43, which equals .843 percent.
Is TransferWise safe?
TransferWise claims it maintains “bank-level security, which is continually tested and audited.”
It also offers a two-step login, which means you need more than a password to access your account, as well as “dedicated teams” that monitor accounts for unusual activity.
In an advertorial for The Telegraph, TransferWise said it’s “fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and just like large banks and financial institutions, verifies its users to protect against fraud and money laundering.”
To see what the TransferWise experience is like, I decided to send money to one of my besties, who lives in London. Here’s what the five-step process entails.
Step 1: Determine how much you want to send.
Step 2: Provide some basic information about yourself, the sender.
Steps 3 and 4: Fill out the recipient’s address, bank code, and account number. (In the screenshots below, I changed my friend’s details to protect her privacy.)
Step 5: Choose a funding source.
With my debit card, the transfer would arrive in an hour; with a bank transfer, it would arrive the next day. I chose the debit card since it was fast and easy.
From start to finish, the process took less than five minutes. After completing the transfer, I could see its status on my online dashboard.
My friend in London received the transfer quickly — and without lifting a finger. The money appeared directly in her bank account.
TransferWise customer reviews
Other TransferWise customer reviews seem equally positive. It has a rating of 9.4 out of 10 on Trustpilot, with 89 percent of its more than 40,000 reviews coming in as “excellent.”
Positive reviews said things such as “very good rate provided at reasonable fee,” “unimaginably fast and hassle-free,” and “I paid $5.90 in fees to transfer; when I used my bank I paid about $30.”
Negative reviews said things such as “the transfers page is light on detail,” “too costly,” “took me three working days to transfer money from Europe to India,” and “absolute chaos and ineptitude.” They’re worth reading before you sign up.
More TransferWise features
In addition to allowing you to transfer money quickly, TransferWise has a few other attractive features.
Its free borderless account is for people who do business internationally. You’ll get a bank account number for the UK, Eurozone, U.S., and Australia, and you can store and send money in 28 currencies, making transfers seamless.
TransferWise also offers a bonus for inviting your friends. For every three people who sign up and transfer at least $300, you’ll receive $75 — and they’ll get their first transfer free of charge.
Overall, TransferWise seems like a solid tool for people who want to send money internationally.
If you’re interested in learning more after reading this TransferWise review, check it out for yourself. It lives up to its mission of being faster, cheaper, and easier than traditional wire transfers — and I’ll probably use it when I need to send money in the future.
All screenshots above were taken from TransferWise during the payment process unless otherwise noted.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.97% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.23% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
Savings example: average savings calculated based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were disclosed. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
Application detail: 5 minutes indicates typical time it takes to complete application with applicant information readily available. It does not include time taken to provide underwriting decision or funding of the loan.
Instant rates mean a delivery of personalized rates for those individuals who provide sufficient information to return a rate. For instant rates a soft credit pull will be conducted, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
Total savings calculated by aggregating individual average savings across total borrower population from 9/2013 to 12/2017. Individual average savings calculation based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were provided. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.47% – 6.99%3||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit SoFi|
|2.47% – 6.23%1||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Earnest|
|2.47% – 8.03%4||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Lendkey|
|2.95% – 6.37%2||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Laurel Road|
|2.48% – 6.25%5||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit CommonBond|
|2.72% – 8.32%6||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Citizens|