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Looking for a way to send money overseas? You might be paying for a hotel for an upcoming trip or providing financial support to a family member in another country. Whichever is the case, you’ll need to find a convenient and cost effective way to make your international transfer.
There are a number of online money transfer services out there, providing a cheaper alternative to banks. But which is the best, and the cheapest?
In this guide, we’ll be pitting two popular options against each other - Remitly and Remitbee. We’ll look at the features and services on offer with each. And of course, compare the fees and exchange rates to find out which is the cheapest.
We’ll also throw in a third option - Wise. You can send money worldwide with Wise for low fees and the mid-market exchange rate. It could work out cheaper than some providers, especially compared to using your bank.
But for now, let’s get back to Remitly vs. Remitbee. We’ll start with a little background information on each company.
Before we look at costs, it can be useful to know a little about each company.
Remitly is a digital money transfer specialist, founded in 2011 and based in the US. It’s only available online, which means that it doesn’t have any physical branch locations.
The service supports transfers in multiple countries to over 100 receiving countries around the world, from a number of sending countries. This includes the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many European countries.¹
Remitbee was founded in 2015 in Canada. It’s an international money transfer and currency exchange service based in Ontario. Like Remitly, it’s an online-only service without any physical branches. It was set up to provide an easier way for immigrants in Canada to send money to their family and friends back home.
A crucial thing to note with Remitbee is that it’s only available to customers in Canada. You won’t be able to use it in the UK, or anywhere else unless you’re living or working in Canada. If you are, then you can use Remitbee to send money to a number of countries, including the UK, US, Europe, South Africa, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, UAE and Japan.²
So if you’re a UK expat living in Canada and want to send money back home, Remitbee could be a viable option.
Both Remitly and Remitbee offer a similar, very straightforward service. Once you sign up for an account, you can set up, pay for and send international transfers online. There are no account features or paid plans on offer.
However, one notable feature of each provider is a mobile app. These apps offer the same service as each provider’s website, but with the extra convenience of using your smartphone to manage transfers. This is handy if you’re travelling, for example, and need to send money on the move.
In terms of payment and delivery methods, both Remitly and Remitbee offer a choice of options. However, delivery methods will vary depending on location. For example, delivery methods such as cash pickup and mobile money are only available in some countries.
Remitly also offers the option of Express delivery, while Remitbee only offers a standard service in terms of delivery speed.
Now we come to the important part - how much does it cost to use both Remitly and Remitbee? Here, we’ll take a look at whether these providers charge upfront transfer fees, or if there are any other fees to use their services.
Just as importantly, we’ll focus on the exchange rates each provider offers. These can make a big difference to the overall cost, potentially making your transfer more expensive even if the upfront transfer fee is low.
It’s free to create a Remitly account, and there are no monthly or subscription fees to worry about.
Remitly does charge some upfront transfer fees, which vary depending on your transaction. It all depends how much money you’re sending, and where it’s going to and from. Another factor which can affect the cost is the transfer speed, as Remitly sometimes charges more for its faster Express service.
For example, if you’re sending money from the UK to the United States with Remitly, you’ll pay:³
- £0.99 for Economy delivery (within minutes if paying by debit card)⁴
- £1.99 for Express delivery (within 3-5 working days).⁴
Like Remitly, Remitbee doesn’t charge any subscription or joining fees, so you can sign up and start using the service for free. However, there are some transfer fees you should know about.
Remitbee charges flat fees for transfers, which vary based on the amount and method of payment. Remember, this is only for payments in Canadian Dollars (CAD) sent from Canada. Let’s take a look:⁵
|Payment method||Transfers below $500 CAD||Transfers above $500 CAD|
|Debit card||$2.99 to $6.99 CAD||$8.99+ CAD|
|Bill Payment||$2.99 CAD||Free|
|Interac Online||$2.99 CAD||$2.99 CAD|
Correct at time of researching - 07-Apr-2023
So generally speaking, the more you send, the cheaper the transfer fees will be with Remitbee.
As we’ve mentioned, the exchange rate you’re offered for an international transfer could be just as important as the upfront transfer fee. Get a poor exchange rate, and your transfer suddenly becomes a lot more expensive.
A good baseline to use when comparing exchange rates is the mid-market rate, also known as the interbank rate. This is the one you’ll see when searching for currency exchange on Google, or on currency sites like XE.com.
Many providers add a margin or mark-up to the mid-market rate. This makes it more expensive for you, and it’s how they make some profit on the transaction.
So, how do Remitly and Remitbee compare when it comes to exchange rates? Neither provider offers the mid-market rate, as each adds their own margin to convert currency. Let’s take a look:
|Provider||Margin added to the mid-market rate|
|Remitly||Between 0.5% and 2%⁶|
|Remitbee||Between 0.3% and 0.8%⁵|
Correct at time of researching - 07-Apr-2023
The larger the percentage, the less of your money reaches its destination - as some is swallowed up by that exchange rate margin on the way.
As you can see from the table above, Remitbee offers more competitive rates than Remitly.
It’s good to know though that there are some providers who offer the mid-market rate, with no margins, markups or hidden costs. This includes Wise, which guarantees the mid-market exchange rate for every transaction.
To work out whether Remitly or Remitbee is the cheapest for your transfer, you need to take all factors into account. This includes both the transfer fee and the exchange rate. There’s no definitive answer on which option is cheapest though, as it all depends on your particular transfer. Fees and rates can vary depending on your sending and receiving country, how much you’re sending and the currency.
It’s up to you which provider you use for your money transfer, and it definitely pays to compare fees and rates carefully before making a decision. But after reading this guide, you should have a better idea of what’s on offer with both Remitly and Remitbee. And crucially, what each service charges.
Neither provider offers the mid-market exchange rate, both taking a margin for themselves. This could alter your decision, nudging you towards a provider like Wise which does. Or it might come down to fees, with the difference of a few pounds or dollars swaying your decision.
Ultimately though, you might find that your choice of provider will be determined by your location. Remitbee is of limited use to customers in the UK, as it only provides international money transfer services to Canadian residents.
- Remitly - Help - Available countries
- Remitbee - Help - What is Remitbee?
- Remitly - United States - Pricing
- Remitly - Help - Transfer speed
- Remitbee - Our fees
- Monito - Send money with Remitly
- Wise - Compare Remitly vs. Wise
- Remitbee - Home
Sources last checked on date: 07-Apr-2023
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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