For around 4 years now I have been religiously using TransferWise to transfer money between bank accounts in different countries. Whether it be for business or personal transactions, it has now become my default option. You can sign up here.
TransferWise makes it money off flat rate commissions rather than off foreign exchange spreads. On the whole it comes out cheaper than high street banks, with the total cost around 80% cheaper in my experience.
Let's say you are trying to convert Euros into Pounds. When you execute your order you will be depositing money into TransferWise's Euro account and their Pounds account will be paying the recipient at the mid-market conversion rate with a flat rate 0.5% commission. For convenience of mental arithmetics, every £1000 attracts a £5 commission (and similar for other currencies).
A decent incentive to sign up is that for every 3 friends you refer and subsequently complete a transaction, you can earn £50. They will also get their first transfer up to £500 free of commission. Therefore the best thing you can do is to sign up yourself, then refer friends or family and ask them to make transfers to trigger your £50 bonus.
I have used it many times over the last 4 years and I have never waited longer than the next working day to receive the money on the other side. The service has been visibly improving and now my latest and fastest transfer was under 20 minutes, executed at around 2pm UK time. I had planned for about 3 hours but this was amazing.
This service is ideally suited for people who need to make frequent payments to accounts in other currencies (obviously!) so that might include:
- Exchange students
- People with family abroad
- Business travellers who make international visits
- Any business which makes cross-border or cross-currency payments.
If you favour a different service just leave something in the comments as I would also be interested in investigating. After all, we're all in this to save as much as we can!
What are your experiences with TransferWise, or can you recommend other options?