Remitly vs Wise: Which One is Better?

If you want to send a one off or regular payment overseas, or you’re hoping to receive international transfers, you’ll be looking for a reliable low cost payment service to help. Remitly and Wise are both major international payment providers which help millions of customers move money globally. But their services, exchange rates, features and fees do vary somewhat.

This guide will help you navigate whether Remitly or Wise might be the best option for you.

Forecasts

Wise (TransferWise) vs Remitly - The Important Bits

Wise

Safety: Based in the UK, licensed and well backed

Rates: Mid-market rate (real exchange rate)

Fees: Percentage based fee

Speed: 1-2 business days for most transfers

Currency conversion: Instant

Trustpilot rating: 133,796 reviews. Score 4.6/5 - Excellent 

Remitly

Safety: Based in the US, fully licensed

Rates: Exchange rates vary by destination

Fees: Vary by country, transfer value, and speed of payment

Speed: It depends on the currency; some routes may be instant

Currency conversion: Instant

Trustpilot rating: 33,583 reviews. Score 4.2/5 - Great 

Learn more about Wise

Learn more about Remitly

Wise vs Remitly in three important ways:

 

  1. With Wise you can open a free international account to hold 54 currencies and send to 80+ countries; Remitly sends online and mobile international payments from 17 countries, to 100+ countries.
  2. Remitly also offers for cash collection or home delivery services; Wise is online and mobile service only.
  3. Wise offers the mid-market rate for all its money transfers; Remitly exchange rate may include a markup on the mid-market rate.

Wise and Remitly features in more detail

Wise features

Remitly features

Fast online money transfers direct to your recipient’s bank accountEasy online and mobile international payments from 17 countries, to 100+ countries
Free multi-currency accounts to hold 50+ currenciesSend for cash collection, home delivery or direct to your recipient’s bank account
Send money to 80+ countries and get local receiving accounts for +30 countriesService options and fees vary by destination country
Spend with your Wise Mastercard in 200 countriesSelect from a faster Express payment or a low cost Economy transfer
Accounts available for business or personal useSecure, fully regulated payment service
Payments use the mid-market exchange rateSecure service with a money back guarantee

Wise vs Remitly - Features Conclusions

Both Remitly and Wise let customers send digital payments overseas. However, the types of transfers and the product range available do vary significantly between these 2 providers.
 

Remitly

Remitly exists to help people who live and work overseas send money back to their friends and loved ones at home. You can make an online or mobile payment from any of 17 countries, to a range of 100 destination countries. Payments can be made direct to bank accounts or collected in cash. It’s worth noting that Remitly options vary according to both where the sender is, and where your recipient is based. Information used in this guide assumes that the Remitly sender is based in the US - you’ll be able to get details for other send countries on the Remitly website.

 

Wise

Wise is an online and mobile specialist in international payments and multi-currency account services for personal and business customers. You can make one off online payments with Wise to over 80 countries, or open a Wise international account to hold 50+ currencies and switch between them with the mid-market exchange rate and no hidden fees.

Let’s take a look at some pros and cons of both Wise and Remitly.

Wise

Pros

  • Low, transparent fees for transfers and mid-market exchange rate
  • Personal and business accounts and payments available
  • Transfers to 80+ countries
  • Local receiving accounts to get paid from 30 countries for free

Cons

  • Online and mobile service only
  • Transfer fees vary by destination and payment method
  • International transfers can’t be made in cash, or for cash collection
  • Accounts are not interest bearing

Remitly

Pros

  • Good range of pay-out options
  • Promotional and new customer offers which can cut costs
  • Arrange payments online or using your mobile device
  • Recipient’s don’t need a Remitly account to get their money

Cons

  • Senders can only live in 17 countries, and can not remit to other send countries
  • Exchange rates and fees vary by destination
  • Not all pay out options are available in all destination countries
  • Cash payments are not possible, even though recipient’s can collect the money in cash themselves

Wise vs Remitly fees and exchange rates

ServicesWiseRemitly
Setting up an account:
  • Free
  • Free
International money transfer
  • Fees: Small fee, varies by currency
  • Exchange rate: Mid-market exchange rate
  • Fees vary by country, transfer value, and speed of payment
  • Exchange rate: Check available rates online - may include a markup on the mid-market rate
Card fees
  • Request a card: 9 USD 
  • ATM withdrawals: 2 withdrawals, to a value of 100 USD free/month; 2% + 1.50 USD per withdrawal fee after that
  • Online payment fees: Free to spend any currency you hold
  • Remitly does not offer multi-currency holding account or card facilities.
Multi-currency account fees
  • Open an account: Free
  • Monthly fees: Free
  • Request a card: 9 USD

Which provider offers a better exchange rate?

If you’re sending an international payment, the exchange rate applied will make a big difference. It’s worth using a reputable currency converter tool, or just a Google search, to get the mid-market exchange rate for your currency pairing before you set up an international transfer. You can then compare the rates you’re offered by different providers against this benchmark.

Remitly

Remitly exchange rates are displayed when you select your send and receive country. You may pay a markup compared to the mid-market exchange rate. Promotional exchange rates can also apply - especially for new customers.

Wise

Wise uses the mid-market rate with no markup or margin. That applies when you send money, convert within your multi-currency Wise account, or spend with your linked debit card.

A case study - sending 1,000 USD-EUR

To show how the Remitly vs Wise exchange costs work in real life, let’s work through an example - sending 1,000 USD to a friend in the UK, to be received in EUR.

Remitly - 1,000 USD-EURWise - 1,000 USD-EUR
Fees:
  • 4.99 USD for Economy
  • 5.99 USD for Express
  • 6.40 USD
Exchange rate:
  • 1 USD = 0.85 EUR
  • 1 USD = 0.8623 EUR
Recipient gets
  • 845.76 EUR for Economy
  • 844.91 EUR for Express
  • 856.78 EUR

 

*rate on the 7th of December, 09:00am (GTM+2)

Sending 1,000 USD - EUR - Wise vs Remitly

Wise has a higher headline fee, but you’ll get a better exchange rate and your  recipient gets more in the end. Remitly offers different payment plans depending on how fast you want your transfer to reach your recipient.

 

 

Learn more about Wise

Learn more about Remitly

Can I open a business account with Wise or Remitly?

Remitly does not support business payments. With Wise you can open an international account for business.

Wise business features

  • Use your Wise account to hold 54 currencies and send fast payments around the world
  • 31 USD one time fee, with no monthly service charge
  • Payments can be 6x cheaper than regular banks and 19x cheaper than PayPal
  • Get local receiving account details for 10 currencies to get paid easily 
  • Cut admin time with batch payments
  • Integrate with QuickBooks or Xero accounting software
  • Give team members access and manage permissions to your business accounts

Speed

Feature

Wise speed

Remitly speed

Open an accountVerification usually takes about 2 working daysDepending on your transfer type and account status you
Transfer timeExact time depends on the currency and country - transfers on popular routes may be instantDebit card payments arrive almost instantly, bank transfers may take 3 to 5 days
Converts moneyInstantInstant

Supported currencies

Wise

Remitly

  • Wise accounts can hold 54 currencies, and receive local payments in 10 currencies.
  • Payments supported to 80 countries - check the types of transfer available by country on the Wise website or app.
  • Remitly supports payments to 100 countries. In some destination countries payments can be received in multiple currencies.
  • Currencies supported include BGN, EUR, USD, CLP, CNY, HRK, INR, IDR, JPY, MYR, MXM, PHP, ZAR, KRW, THB, VND.

Which service is easier to use?

Wise

Remitly

  • Mobile app: 4.7 star rating in Apple App Store
  • Trustpilot rating: 4.6
  • Mobile app: 4.9 star rating in Apple App Store
  • Trustpilot rating: 4.3

How each provider works

You can open either a Wise or Remitly account online or by downloading the provider app to your mobile device. You’ll need to follow the onscreen prompts to add your personal information, and depending on the type of account and transactions you’re considering, you may also have to upload an image of your ID documents for verification.

Once your account is up and running you can make payments using a bank card or transfer, without ever needing to leave the comfort of your own home.

Availability

Remitly senders can be in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore and select European countries. However, payments can not be made between the 17 send countries. That’s because Remitly is designed to help people working overseas to remit payments home - payment routes and options reflect this. Money can be sent to over 100 receiving countries through Remitly.

Wise services are available in a broad range of countries. If you open a Wise account in the US you’ll be able to hold 50+ currencies and send payments to 80 countries. You can enter your country of residence on the Wise website to see the full details of payment and account types available based on your location.

Which service is the safest - Wise or Remitly?

Wise

Wise is fully registered and regulated, and uses cutting edge technological solutions to keep customer money and data safe. Your funds are held by Wise banking partners, and safeguarded to ensure that they’re always secure - and of course there are extra features like 2-factor identification and payment monitoring to make sure any suspicious payments are picked up quickly. If you have a Wise account you can lock and unlock your debit card using the Wise app for security, and will get instant notifications of transactions so you’re always in control.

Remitly

Remitly is registered and licensed everywhere services are offered. Security measures in place include both anti fraud technology, account verification, and support from Remitly team members to review suspicious activities. Remitly is only designed for payments to people you know and trust and should not be used for commercial payments. Read about how Remitly helps customers keep their money safe over on the Remitly blog.

Payment options

Wise

Pay in:

  • Bank transfer
  • Card
  • Apple Pay

Pay out:

  • Bank account

Remitly

Pay in:

  • Bank transfer
  • Card
  • Passbook

Pay out:

  • Direct to bank transfer
  • Cash for collection
  • Cash for home delivery

Min & Max Amounts

Wise

  • Transfer money abroad - individual countries may impose limits, model your payment online or in the app to check
  • Receive money - unlimited in most cases. Some users will have a 1,000,000 USD/day receiving limit
  • ATM withdrawals - set and manage your own limits in the Wise app
  • Card payments - set and manage your own limits in the Wise app

Remitly

  • Transfer money abroad - limits apply based on where you and your recipient are based. If you exceed these limits you can ask for an increase, which may require further verification steps
  • Receive money - some countries limit the amount you’ll be able to receive. Model your payment online to check recipient limits for your destination country
  • ATM withdrawals - not applicable
  • Card payments - not applicable

 

Customer support Wise and Remitly

Wise

Service: 27/7

Phone: Phone lines available

Live In-App chat support available

Website help: www.wise.com/help/

Website contact: www.wise.com

Remitly

Support: 24/7

Phone: yes

Live In-App yes

Email: Yes

Website contact: www.remitly.com

Wise vs Remitly - which one is better?

The best service for you will depend on your priorities and the specifics of your payment. Shopping around is always a good idea before you make an international transfer - and it’s usually quite easy to do by modeling your payment online with a few different companies.

Final verdict:

If you need to send a payment for cash collection you’ll want to pick Remitly. However, Remitly’s service does have limitations, and the rates and fees may not be the very best out there. 

For low cost international payments to a bank account, you could choose Wise because payments are processed using the real mid-market exchange rate with no markups. Similarly, if what you need is a multi-currency account or a card to spend with when you’re abroad or shopping online with international retailers, Wise could be a fit.

Learn more about Wise

Learn more about Remitly

More about Wise and Remitly

Wise Review

Remitly Review

Frequently asked questions - Wise vs Remitly

Is Remitly faster than Wise?

Remitly payments can arrive very quickly if you’re paying using a card, but bank transfers tend to take a little longer. Wise payments are also pretty quick - arriving in anything from a few minutes to an hour in many cases.

 

Does Remitly offer cards?

Remitly does not offer their own cards for spending or sending money internationally.

Does Wise offer debit cards?

Wise personal multi-currency account holders in the US can get a linked international debit Mastercard to spend and make cash withdrawals in 200 countries.

Is Wise cheaper than Remitly?

Model your specific payment online to check which provider is best for you. Wise payments all use the real exchange rate with no hidden markups, which can mean they’re better value for many customers.

By Ileana Ionescu Updated November 8th, 2021