Home Comparison XE vs TransferWise

XE vs TransferWise Comparison

When making an international money transfer, one of the greatest decision-making points is the choice of a service provider. There are lots of money transfer companies that specialise in international fund transfers offering high exchange rates, lower transfer fees, and faster delivery times.

In this comparison we’re comparing two money transfer giants, XE vs Transferwise.


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How XE compares to TransferWise?

XE and TransferWise are some of the biggest brands in the industry with operations extending beyond their countries of incorporation to lots of regions and territories. Choosing between the two can be a little difficult without having the facts right. Check out our analysis below to learn more about how the two brands compare in exchange rates, transfer fees, ease of use, pros and cons and what other users have to say about XE and TransferWise.

TransferWise is an online money transfer service with a clientele base of more than 6 million individual and corporate customers who collectively transfer over £4 billion per month. The transfer fees the company charges are extremely competitive and most of all TransferWise doesn’t charge a margin on its exchange rates. One of the largest drawbacks with TransferWise is that it serves a limited number of countries, 59 by the time of this writing.

XE is one of the world’s most trusted currency authorities with a host of online foreign exchange tools and services including international money transfer services. Since it began its international money transfer service, XE Trade, in 2002, the company has transferred over US$250 billion to 127+ countries around the world.

The strong disbursing network coverage of XE comprising 170 countries and the fact that it doesn’t charge any fee on transfers, makes it an attractive money transfer service. One disadvantage of using XE money transfer service is that its web interface and app experiences are not as friendly as some of its competitors.

Which brand has lower fees?


XE doesn’t charge any fees on its transfers. Irrespective of the transfer route and amount, the fees are always zero.


TransferWise charges percentage fees depending on the type and size of transfer you are doing. There are three main transfer options:

  • Fast Transfer: This is the most expensive transfer and payment is made by credit or debit card.
  • Easy Transfer: This is the second most expensive transfer and payment is sent through an online bank platform.
  • Low-Cost Transfer: This is the cheapest type of transfer. Payment is sent as a direct debit from your account.

The names of these transfers and the associated fees may vary slightly depending on the transfer route. For instance, when sending US$1000 from the United States to India, the fee breakdown is based on the payment method (Bank debit, Wire transfer, Debit card and Credit card). Credit card attracts the highest fee at 36.61 USD and bank debit (ACH) has the lowest fee at 3.49 USD.


XE is most certainly the winner at zero transfer fees

Which brand offers better exchange rates?


XE exchange rates are not visible to people who don’t have an account with the transfer service. With that being said, the exchange rate margins are fair compared to money transfer operators like Western Union and mainstream banks. For instance, when transferring money from USD to EUR, the exchange rate margin can be as low as 1.53%. As the size of the transfer increases, the margin reduces.


TransferWise charges zero margin fee on the exchange rate it offers for any currency pair.


TransferWise carries the day, thanks to the mid-market rate at which it prices its transfers.

Which brand covers more locations?


On its website, XE states that it facilitates transfers from Europe to 130+ countries worldwide.


TransferWise has a disbursing network coverage comprising 59 countries. It also has an allowance for users to vote currencies they would want to be featured.


XE is the undisputed leader in this category covering more countries than TransferWise.

Which is faster?

When transferring money through an online money transfer service the time it takes for your transfer to get to the recipient depends on the payment method. The sooner it gets to the provider the faster it is delivered to the recipient. The transfer corridor also matters.


XE takes anywhere from 2-4 days to complete transfers. However, most transfers are delivered within the same timeframe as TransferWise.


TransferWise takes minutes to 3 days to deliver transfers. For instance, when making a transfer from EUR to West African CFA franc (XOF), it takes 3 days for the recipient to get the money. Transfers from GBP to Danish krone (DKK) take a few hours to get there.


This is too close to call and the fairest decision is to settle for a tie.

Which brand offers more transfer & payment options?

How you pay for your transfers and the different options available for the recipients to access the money sent are crucial considerations.


XE only allows for bank transfers as a payment method and bank deposit as a payout option. For cash transfers and pickups, XE refers its clients to Ria Money Transfer, its sister company.


TransferWise provides for payment by credit or debit cards, online bank transfers and direct bank debits (ACH). On the payout front, the options available are mobile money and direct-to-bank account transfers.


TransferWise has more options for both transfer payment and payout channels hence the winner.

What users have to say about each brand?

Looking at Trustpilot and social media there are lots of sentiments both positive and negative, raised about these brands.


XE has 34,181 reviews on Trustpilot 96% of which are rated as ‘Excellent’ and ‘Good’. Happy customers pointed out the following advantages of XE.

  • Fast transfers
  • Simple to use
  • Professional and friendly service
  • Competitive rates

The ‘Poor’ and ‘Bad’ reviewers had this to say

  • The app is not user-friendly
  • Some transfers took longer than expected
  • Poor exchange rate

TransferWise has 78,265 reviews 94% of which are rated ‘Excellent’ and ‘Good’. On the positive end, this is what customers had to say:

  • Transfers are faster
  • Simple to use
  • More affordable compared to banks
  • Prompt response
  • Reliable

Those who weren’t happy with the service cited the following experiences.

  • Closing and deactivation of clients’ accounts without sufficient explanations to users
  • The app does not permit sending from some currencies such as the Philippine peso
  • Occasional delays on some transfer routes

TransferWise wins by the number of reviews and the quality of those reviews. Lots of happy customers.

What brand offers better ease of use, accessibility & security


XE website supports German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Swedish, English, Japanese, Chinese, and Arabic. The company has three categories of support ranging from general XE information support, XE money transfer support and XE currency data support. The customer support channels available are phone and email.

The XE mobile app is available as a free download both on Android and iOS platforms. Through the app, you make a transfer, track and ongoing transfer, add recipients, check interest rates and view historical transfer details. XE also has two-factor authentication (2FA) security layer as part of the Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) industry regulation.


On the TransferWise website, you can get support for up to 12 languages which are English, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Romanian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Italian, Hungarian, French and Turkish. In the case of customer queries, you can get support through live chat, phone, and email.

The TransferWise mobile app comes in handy to make the transfer experience even more fulfilling. Through the mobile application, customers can send money, track their transfers, check historical transactions, check exchange rates among other functionalities. The platform security in industry-grade complete with 2-factor authentication (2FA) security layer.


TransferWise has the advantage of more languages and customer support channel through live chat.

Additional features


Apart from the regular money transfer services XE has the following features worth looking at:

  • Foreign exchange risk management solutions
  • Currency Data API -XE has four packages for currency data plans where businesses can request exchange rates for global applications configured for their ERP and CRM systems.
  • Mass Payments -This is an automated global payment solution capable of delivering payments in over 220 currencies to 139+ countries.
  • Payments API – This solution enables your clients to make payments directly from your website
  • Currency converter -This widget gives you live rates for lots of global currencies

TransferWise additional features include

  • Borderless Account- This multi-currency account allows you to transfer money and get paid in lots of different currencies just like a local
  • Mastercard branded debit card- This card provides for free withdrawals of up to £200 every month. You can also spend in any currency and the card will automatically convert the card currency.

Both TransferWise and XE have excellent additional features. However, XE takes the lead.

Case studies

To get a feel of what it is like to send money using either TransferWise or XE, below are some scenarios of hypothetical transfers from USD to EUR

XE TransferWise
Amount $200 $1,000 $5,000 $200 $1,000
Transfer fee $0 $0 $0 $4.42 $9.02 $40.83
Exchange rate 0.8891 0.8904 0.8935 0.9029 0.90275 0.90155
Transfer speed 1 day 1 day
Total received $177.82 $890.40 $4,467.50 $176.59 $894.61 $4,476.89

Bottom line – who is better?

  • Business Payments – Both TransferWise and XE have a portfolio of services geared at businesses. In comparison, XE has more business payment solutions that TransferWise
  • Smaller Transactions -XE and TransferWise are both suited for smaller transfers.
  • Disbursing Network Coverage – XE covers 170 countries making it a clear winner over TransferWise which has listed 59 supported countries on its official page.
  • Domestic Payments – TransferWise supports domestic payments in EUR and USD. XE only handles international transfers
  • Overseas Payments – TransferWise offers a midmarket rate for all international transfers. XE charges zero transfer fees but overall, it is slightly expensive.
  • Smaller Transactions -XE and TransferWise are both suited for smaller transfers.
  • Large Transactions -TransferWise is best for large transactions of up to USD 1 million, GBP 1 million and EUR 1.2 million in addition to other currencies. XE only allows transfers of up to 450,000 USD.

Even with the availability of XE in many countries, you can only open an account from a handful of countries.TransferWise has a general appeal and it saves you more money in international transfers.

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