Sending money across countries is a common practice among a lot of people, including expats. Whether it’s to support their dear families, lend a hand to...
Need to send money to another country? There are lots of ways to do it, including using your bank or a specialist money transfer service.
If you’re looking for speed, convenience and low cost, an online money transfer specialist could be the best option for you. But which one to choose? In this guide, we’ll be comparing two of the most popular - Remitly and Revolut.
We’ll also show you an alternative. Wise offers the best features of both Revolut and Remitly. It’s a multi-currency account, with the option to get a linked international debit card. And you can send money worldwide in just a few clicks, for low fees and the mid-market exchange rate.
Based in the US, Remitly is an online money remittance service launched in 2011, which today offers transfers in over 170 countries worldwide¹.
Revolut, meanwhile, is a digital bank which was established in 2015 in the UK². Is Revolut the same as Remitly? Not really, although both offer international transfer services.
Revolut offers a range of financial services including a current account and debit card, along with the facility for users to send international payments. Revolut currently has over 25 million personal users, supports 200+ countries and 28 in-app currencies².
Below, we’ll be pitting Remitly and Revolut against each other on key areas such as fees, exchange rates, transfer times, ease of use, security and much more. This should help you choose the right solution for you.
The first thing you’ll want to know about is how much it costs to use both Remitly and Revolut.
These services are quite different, as Remitly is a specialist transfer service and Revolut is more of a bank account. As such, their pricing models are quite different.
Remitly charges a fee for each transfer you make, which varies depending on factors like the destination, amount and currency. Plus, the speed of transfer.
To give you an idea of the cost, here are just a few examples of typical Remitly fees for sending £500 from the UK:
|Sending to USA||Economy fee - £0.99 |
Express fee - £1.99³
|Sending to France||Economy fee - £0 |
Express fee - £0⁴
|Sending to Australia||Economy fee - N/A |
Express fee - £2.99⁵
|Sending to India||Economy fee - £1.99 |
Express fee - £1.99⁶
Transfer fees correct as of 03-May-2023
In comparison, Revolut charges users a monthly fee for one of its plans, starting from its free Standard plan with limited features. The more you pay, the more features you unlock. And this affects the cost of international transfers. Let’s take a look⁷:
|Revolut plan||Monthly fee||Discount on international transfers|
Fees correct as of 14-Feb-2023
As indicated by the discounts for certain plans, Revolut also charges fees for international transfers.
These fees vary depending on the currency you’re sending from and to, and are calculated in real time⁸. They seem to be broadly in line with Remitly, with a £500 transfer to the USA costing £1.50 in fees⁹ at the time of writing.
While thinking about fees, it’s useful to look at another provider in comparison.
Money transfer specialist Wise makes all its fees available upfront, and you can see how much you’d pay for a transfer even before you sign up for an account. There are no monthly or annual subscription fees to worry about, and all transfer fees are as low as possible - starting from just 0.41%.
When choosing a financial service with international transfers in mind, it’s not just the upfront fees you need to compare. It’s also important to look closely at the exchange rates you’re being offered.
The exchange rate can make a significant difference to the overall cost of your transfer. If the rate is unfavourable, it could end up costing you a bundle - even if the upfront transfer fee seems low.
So, what exchange rates do Remitly and Revolut use?
Remitly adds a mark-up to the mid-market exchange rate for their transfers. It’s how they make their money, and it’s common within the money transfer world. Also known as the interbank rate, the mid-market rate is the one you’ll find on Google or currency sites like XE.com. It’s a good benchmark to compare other rates to, so you can see how much extra you’re being charged.
In comparison, Revolut uses the mid-market rate. There is a catch though, as this margin-free rate only applies to currency conversions made during weekdays. It’s also only for commonly traded currencies, or if you want to send more than £1,000 at once. If you want to send a large transfer at the weekend or in a more exotic currency, an additional fee will apply.
If your recipient doesn’t have a bank account, the option to pick up your transfer in cash could be very useful. But is it available with both providers?
Remitly does offer cash pickup in many countries with a number of banking partners or agents which are displayed on the transfer page of the country you want to transfer to. You can also use Remitly’s pickup locator for each of the following countries These are¹¹:
- Dominican Republic.
You can find more information on Remitly cash pickup locations here.
Revolut is wholly digital, so it doesn’t offer any cash pickup options. However, Revolut account holders do get their own debit card, so cash withdrawal from an ATM is definitely an option.
Revolut supports 200+ countries², but is only available for users in certain ones. These include the UK, nearly all of Europe and Scandinavia, the USA, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Chile and Azerbaijan¹³ .
Support for users in India, New Zealand, Mexico and a number of other countries is reportedly coming soon¹³ .
Remitly, meanwhile, offers transfers to over 170 countries worldwide¹. However, you can only open an account and transfer from 28 countries, including the UK, Australia, USA, Singapore, Ireland, Canada and a number of European countries¹⁴.
So, how long will it take to send money internationally with both Remitly and Revolut?
Remitly offers two different options when sending an international transfer - Economy and Express.
Economy is the cheapest, and delivers your funds within 3-5 working days. If you need the money to arrive more quickly, go for the Express service if available. This sometimes comes with a higher fee, but it offers delivery within minutes (if you use a debit card to pay for your transfer)¹⁵.
Using Revolut, payments to banks within the SEPA region in Europe should take 1-2 days. For everywhere else, the average transfer time is 3-5 working days¹⁶.
It’s always a good idea to check out safety and security features before using any kind of financial service or app. But what level of protection can you expect with Remitly and Revolut?
- Account verification processes to maintain high standards of security, protection and trust.
- A secure, encrypted server connection
- Know Your Customer (KYC) compliance to verify users
- Regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK - it’s also registered with HMRC as a money service business
- Card payment security from Verified by Visa and Mastercard SecureCode
- 24/7 customer support team.
In comparison, Revolut uses:
- Award-winning security systems¹⁸
- Your money protected by FCA regulated banks¹⁸
- Biometrics/passcode logins to accounts, including 2-factor authentication¹⁹
- Options to freeze cards and suspicious transactions within the Revolut app¹⁹
- A dedicated anti-fraud team¹⁹.
Convenience is one of the main reasons to use an online money transfer service. You need a website or app that is fast and easy to use, where you can send a payment in just a few clicks or taps.
To compare how easy Revolut and Remitly are to use, let’s run through the different options for accessing each service.
The Remitly and Revolut websites work in similar ways, although Revolut also has lots on there about its accounts, features and other services. For both, you’ll need to open an account in order to send a transfer.
But before you do, you can check transfer fees and exchange rates for your chosen currency pair (e.g. GBP to USD). You can do this anywhere on the Remitly site, and on the international money transfer page on the Revolut site.
Both Remitly and Revolut have mobile apps too, available from the Google Play store and Apple App store.
Remitly’s app offers all the same features as the website. This includes sending transfers, viewing the latest exchange rates and checking your transfer status²⁰.
Additional features include uploading documents, setting up transfer notifications and adjusting your sending limits. You’ll log into the app with your fingerprint, making it quick and secure to use²⁰.
In comparison, the Revolut app offers a huge number of other money services. You can still use it to send international transfers, but it’s also an app for managing your card and account, exchanging currency and even trading cryptocurrency.
Want the same convenient transfer service whether you send money online or via a mobile app? Sign up with Wise, which offers an easy-to-use website and app. It’s easy to get started, and you can send your first transfer in just a few taps.
After putting both Remitly and Revolut under the microscope, which comes out on top? Which is cheaper, faster or more convenient? Both services offer international transfers, but they’re very different. It all depends what you’re looking for.
Remitly is a decent option for sending a one-off transfer to another country. You’ll still need to sign up for an account, but sending your transfer is pretty simple. There’s just one fee to pay (although watch out for that exchange rate markup) and you won’t be getting lots of services you don’t need.
But if you’re looking to make regular international transfers or want more of a current account, Revolut could be the right option for you. Its money transfer service is all bundled in with its feature-packed account and card, so you can’t take one without the other.
It’s great that Revolut has a free Standard plan, but you could find you’re missing out on some useful features. For example, increased sending limits and a discount on international transfer fees. It’s completely up to you to decide whether the monthly fee is worth it.
And of course, these two aren’t the only money transfer services out there. Wise is a fantastic alternative which offers parts of both - a multi-currency account, and the option to send fast, secure international transfers in just a few clicks.
And best of all, Wise always uses the mid-market exchange rate, so there are no hidden costs to worry about.
- Remitly Investor Relations - Overview
- Revolut - About Revolut
- Remitly - US pricing
- Remitly - France pricing
- Remitly - Australia pricing
- Remitly - India pricing
- Revolut - Our pricing plans
- Revolut - Standard fees
- Revolut - Money transfer
- Remitly - 4.8 Currency conversion and exchange rates
- Wise - Send money
- Remitly Help - Cash pickup details
- Revolut - Change country
- Remitly Help - Available countries
- Remitly Help - Transfer speeds
- Revolut Help - Outbound transfer times
- Remitly - Send to Bangladesh
- Revolut - How we keep your money safe
- Revolut - Security
- Remitly Help - Remitly app
Sources last checked on date:03-May-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.
Do you have some money to send over to Sri Lanka? Sending money overseas is pretty common these days. You might be paying bills for a property you have there,...
If you need to send money from the UK to someone based overseas, using a money transfer app is one of the most convenient options out there. Choose one of the...
Read our guide to find out if Western Union is safe to use in the UK, and more about security measures and protocols with Western Union.
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...
Your essential guide to the HSBC travel money service, including how it works, fees, exchange rates and more.