iRemit Review: Exchange Rates, Transfer Fees & Alternatives
iRemit is a financial services company that was established in 2001 and primarily transfers international funds to the Philippines. As the name suggests, they focus their services on customers seeking remittance services.
As you’ll find on their homepage, iRemit only serves the Filipino market. You can transfer money to the Philippines in one of several currencies. However, they only exchange these currencies into PHP.
Let’s look at the finer details of what iRemit offers those seeking remittance services to the Philippines.
iRemit Exchange Rates and Fees
iRemit, like most money transfer companies, charges transparent service fees. When it comes to margins on exchange rates, it’s a bit of a stranger story.
Let’s take a closer look at the numbers…
iRemit doesn’t offer a transparent explanation of their exchange rates. The quotes found on their site match the “real” mid-market market exchange rate at the time of comparison. So, in this way, they purport to essentially not charge any margins at all. The same can be said of all listed transfers from foreign currencies into PHP.
As there is a lack of an explanation, we must use their calculator to compare fees. Pay closer attention to the breakdown of fees provided to you before you accept the transaction.
As an example, the mid-market rate for AUD to PHP was 100 AUD for 3,681 PHP at the time of writing. iRemit’s quote for 100 AUD to 3,387 PHP came with little explanation for the differences between their exchange rate markup and their transfer fees.
With a closer look at their fee structure, it’s clear that almost the entire difference is due to transfer fees. The exchange rate quoted by iRemit matches the mid-market rate.
iRemit charges a transfer fee for every transaction. The rate varies depending on which payment method you choose.
If you pay for a bank transfer using a credit card, you will be charged an $8 ‘remittance’ fee.
If you arrange a cash pickup for the recipient, you must pay $9. Unlike card or online transfers, the exchange rate is based on the forex rate locked in at 23:59:59 of the day of the transfer.
There are no additional fees. The total sum of their margin and transfer fees will be displayed clearly while you’re confirming the transaction.
How Do iRemit Transfer Fees Compare to Using Other Money Transfer Providers?
iRemit offers decent fees compared to other money transfer providers. Their lack of high exchange rate margins also makes their fees appear more transparent. However, the transfer fee can be quite high if you’re sending small sums of money. But when you send larger amounts, iRemit’s rates are more competitive.
iRemit Pros and Cons
Answers to Key Questions About iRemit
Can I Open an iRemit Account in Any Country?
Yes, but you can’t use it in many countries. You can try to go through to sign up process, but iRemit isn’t usable unless you’re trying to send:
Hong Kong Dollars
New Taiwanese Dollars
Does iRemit Have an App?
Yes, iRemit has a very usable and efficient app. You can find it on Google Play or the App Store.
Are There Transfer Limits?
If you set up a transfer at an iRemit office or with an agent, there is no stated limit.
Otherwise, any transfer sent online or via one of the apps is limited according to the country you’re transferring from. These limits are quite high and aren’t usually a problem. For example, transfers from Australia are limited to AUD 9,999.
How Long Do Transfers Take With iRemit?
Transfer times vary heavily based on the transfer method. The fastest way to send money with iRemit is with their iRemit Visa Card. Transfers with the company’s namesake card only take a few minutes to be completed.
The second fastest option is cash pickup. Cash pickup transfers are normally completed in under 24 hours. iRemit online bank transfers take about 4 Philippine working days to complete. This is a bit slower than average in the money transfer industry.
Finally, iRemit’s unique door delivery service takes up to 14 days to be completed.
Overall, iRemit offers fast service when compared to other companies. Their online transfer times can be lackluster, but their Visa Card and cash pickup options are relatively fast.
What Customer Support Options Are Available?
Can I Use an iRemit Card When Travelling Abroad?
Yes, iRemit encourages you to use their iRemit Visa Card. It also provides access to a much faster remittance service. Transfers using the card will take just a few minutes to make international transfers.
How to Open an Account and Transfer Money With iRemit?
Opening an Account
Opening an account with iRemit is easy. You just need to go to their website and click the blue “sign up” box. From there, you need to enter the details of your first transfer. Then, you just need to fill in some basic information.
Transferring money with iRemit is also very easy. You just need to:
Step 1: Sign in to your account
Step 2: Select the currencies and amount you want to transfer
Step 3: Select the recipient, or create a new recipient
Step 4: Review the transaction
Step 5: Approve and wait for the funds to reach the recipient
For their other transfer options, including the apps, iRemit offers very detailed video tutorials on their site.
Customer Service Details for Users of iRemit
Landline: 706-9999 locals 123 to 125
Mobile: 0917-8222205 or 0920-9102407
You can also submit an online support ticket here.
Can I Use iRemit for International Bank Transfers?
Yes, you can. You can send an international bank transfer using your debit or credit card. After you pay iRemit’s fees and approve the transaction, your funds should arrive in the recipient’s bank account within a week (4 business days).
iRemit offers a lot of resources for a relatively low cost. They offer video tutorials and several methods for sending money. To top it off, their rates are on the lower side as well. If you send medium to large-sized transfers, their rates look better.
The lack of good customer service can be troubling to many users who have left poor reviews. But the service continues to be used by many people. It’s a convenient, affordable, and easy option to choose for its purpose. If you’re sending money to the Philippines, iRemit is a trusted choice.
The main downside is that iRemit only offers service from a handful of countries. It’s not nearly as widespread as some of the more popular money transfer providers.