Unlock the full potential of Suncoast Credit Union international wire transfers with our comprehensive guide.
In this handy guide, we’ll run through the best international money transfer apps currently available, including info on costs, exchange rates, currencies, user-friendliness and much more.
We’ll look at the likes of Revolut, Remitly, OFX, Western Union and of course, Wise. With the Wise Account, you can send money worldwide for low fees¹ and the mid-market exchange rate - you may end up saving money compared to other providers.
When choosing a money transfer app, there are a few key things you need to compare. These include:
- The upfront transfer fee and any other charges
- The exchange rate
- Whether the app supports your chosen country and/or currency
- How easy the app is to use
- Customer support - how easy is it to get help if you need it?
Of these, the exchange rate is perhaps one of the most important. Even if an app offers low or no fees, an unfavorable exchange rate could make your transfer much more expensive. It means that less of your money reaches your recipient.
So, it’s always worth comparing exchange rates to the mid-market exchange rate - the one you’ll find on Google or currency sites like XE.com.
Bearing all of these factors in mind, let’s take a look at some of the leading international money transfer apps and what they have to offer.
Wise offers multi-currency online accounts for both personal users and businesses. It’s quick and easy to register an account, and Wise has a full-featured app available to download from both Google Play and the App Store.
You can also use the app to easily convert between currencies, track transfers and check up on international payments made to you.
|Key features of the Wise Account include:
Popular money app Revolut offers day-to-day money management and a personalized debit card², along with travel money services. It’s available for download on both Google Play and the App Store.
These include international spending in over 150 currencies, and no-fee currency exchange (Mon-Fri) in 25 currencies². Crucially, for those looking to send money overseas, you’ll also get 10 fee-free international transfers per month. You can send to over 150 countries.
Revolut uses the mid-market exchange rate for most transfers³. However, there are a few key exceptions. For example, there’s a 1% fee if you want to exchange currencies on the weekend. There’s also a 1% fee for exchanging certain currencies, such as Thai Baht (THB)⁴. So, you’ll need to be careful when you send money, and what currencies are involved.
Revolut has a choice of plans, starting with its free Standard plan, which offers basic features. There’s also Premium for $9.99 a month and Metal for $16.99 a month, both offering increasing levels of perks and extra features².
Key features include:
- Send in 25+ currencies to 150+ countries
- 10 free international transfers a month
- Mid-market exchange rate
- Business accounts available
- Free personalized debit card
- 24/7 priority customer support (Premium and Metal plans)².
|💡 Want to find out more? See how Revolut fares vs Wise.
The Remitly app for iOS and Android specializes in international money transfers. It offers fast, secure transfers to over 145 countries⁵.
However, at the time of writing, some major countries including the UK, Canada and Australia weren’t available for transfers from the US⁵. Remitly is planning to add support for them though, so watch this space.
You can take your pick from a choice of payment methods, including bank and debit/credit card. Depending on the country you’re sending to, there may also be a choice of collection methods - including cash pickup, home delivery or mobile money⁵.
You can use the Remitly app to see live exchange rates, and set alerts so you can snap up a great rate at the right time. You can also track transfers, receive money and get customer support in multiple languages.
There are fees involved in sending international transfers with Remitly, but it depends on the currency and country. You may also pay fees based on the speed of delivery, payment and collection methods you choose. Exchange rates may include a mark-up⁶.
Remitly usually has offers and promotions for new customers, so you may be able to save on your first transfer.
Key features include:
- Send to 145+ countries in 75+ currencies⁵
- No hidden fees (although exchange rates may include a margin)
- See live exchange rates and set alerts
- Choice of delivery methods depending on location
- Options for express delivery
- Offers for new customers.
The OFX mobile app (available from both Google Play and the App Store) lets you send money transfers to 190 countries in 50+ currencies⁷.
The secure platform offers transfer tracking, live exchange rates and insights into currency trends. You can even set up regular payments, rate alerts and lock in great rates for longer periods. If you need help, OFX provides 24/7 global customer support⁷.
OFX claims to offer ‘bank-beating rates’⁷. These may be competitive, but they’re likely to include a margin or mark-up on the mid-market rate. The good news though is that OFX doesn’t charge any transfer fees⁸. It does advise though that third-party banks may take their own fee from the money your recipient receives.
Key features include:
- Make transfers to 190 countries in 50+ currencies
- Live exchange rates
- Set rate alerts
- 24/7 customer support
- No OFX transfer fees
- Competitive exchange rates.
|💡 Check out our OFX vs Wise comparison here.
One of the big names in money transfers, Western Union offers simple, fast and reliable payments worldwide through its mobile app. It’s Touch ID enabled and uses sophisticated security technology to protect your payments.
You can send money to 200+ countries, with options for bank deposit, cash pickup and mobile money transfer (depending on the destination). You’ll see live exchange rates, transfer fees (if any) and estimated delivery time before you set up the transaction. There’s likely to be a mark-up added to the mid-market exchange rate¹⁰.
There’s a choice of ways to fund your transfer, including bank and debit/credit card. You may even be able to start the transfer on the WU app and lock in the exchange rate, then pay for it in cash at a Western Union store or location.
The WU app also lets you track transfers, set up repeat payments, make international bill payments and even receive discounts through My WU Rewards.
Key features include⁹:
- Make 24/7 transfers to over 200 countries and territories
- Multiple payment and collection methods
- Live exchange rates
- Secure features such as Touch ID
- Discounts through My WU Rewards.
|💡 Take a look at some of the best alternatives to Western Union here.
There are two key things to consider when comparing the cost of international money transfers. The first is the upfront transfer fee, while the second is the exchange rate.
You’ll need to compare both of these for your specific transfer, as costs and rates can vary depending on country, currency, delivery method and service speed. But to give you an idea of how the above options compare, let’s run through a quick example of a hypothetical transfer.
Let’s say you want to send $500 USD to a friend in Europe (EUR). Here’s how much it’ll cost using the apps we’ve mentioned in this guide¹¹:
|Revolut (for Mon-Fri transfers, 1% fee on weekends)¹²
Another key thing to consider before sending money overseas using an app is security. This is even more important if you’re transferring a large amount. So, is there an app to send money internationally which scores highly on both security and cost?
Most of the major names in money transfers offer high-level security for customers. For example, Western Union’s app is touch ID enabled, while Wise uses 2-factor authenticationand has dedicated fraud prevention and security teams working round the clock to protect your money. And this is on top of offering low transfer fees¹ and fair exchange rates.
So before you make any money transfer, it’s always worth taking a look at the provider’s website to read up on their security measures.
And that’s it - our rundown of the best international money transfer apps of 2023. We’ve covered all the big names, including Wise, Western Union, OFX, Remitly and Revolut. There are lots of other great ones out there, but you should be in safe hands if you choose one of the tried-and-tested apps we’ve looked at here.
Just remember to read up on fees, rates and security before getting started. It always pays to compare providers carefully.
Sources used for this article:
- Revolut - Pricing plans
- Revolut Help - What foreign exchange rate will I get?
- Revolut Help - Will I be charged for exchanging foreign currency?
- Remitly US
- Exiap - Best international money transfer apps
- App Store - OFX Money Transfer
- OFX - Are there any transfer fees?
- App Store - Western Union Money Transfer App
- Western Union - What are the fees to send money?
- Wise - Send money
- Revolut - Money transfer
- Remitly - Pricing
Sources checked on 10-Jan-2023.
This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.
We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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