MoneyGram vs TransferWise

We compare a popular service with a relative newcomer to see how they stack up on fees, rates and speed.

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Both MoneyGram and TransferWise will get your money where it needs to go, but which one will end up in a better deal for you?

The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of 20 November 2018.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
AUD 1 Within an hour AUD 210.00 0.661 USD
3,165
Fast cash pick-ups to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide. Show details

Compare up to 4 providers


The "Rate" and "Amount Received" displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention "Finder" before you commit to a brand.

Which has lower fees?

MoneyGram

Fees vary depending on how much money you're transferring, how you're sending it and the country you're sending it to. It's difficult to pin down exactly how much you'll pay to send money internationally without actually initiating a transfer.

As an example, to send $1,000 to a cash pick-up location in India, you'll pay $4 in fees. The same amount to the United States will cost you $65 in fees. For each of the transfers, though, the fee is a percentage, rather than a flat fee. This means the more you send, the more expensive it'll be.

TransferWise

Fees depend on where and how you're sending money. They range from 0.45–1.5% of your transaction and can sometimes be a bit higher, depending on the currency you're transferring to. There's also a small flat-fee with each transfer, that's often only a few dollars.

To send $1,000 to India, you'll pay 0.6% of your transaction (or $7.16, including the $1.20 flat fee). To the US, the fee drops to 0.45% and a $1.50 fee, which ends up being $5.97 in fees.

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Winner: TransferWise

Although MoneyGram is a few dollars cheaper when sending to India, the huge difference in fees in the US transfer outweighs this. TransferWise's fees are, as a whole across all currencies, lower.

Let's crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000 and $8,000 to Vietnam

To put this more into context, let's compare TransferWise and MoneyGram when sending a money transfer to Vietnam. Keep in mind that other currencies will have different fees and transfer times.

Sending $1,000 to Vietnam
MoneyGram TransferWise
Transfer fee $17.00 $10.42
Exchange rate 1 AUD = 16,727.62 VND 1 AUD = 16,968.42 VND
Transfer speed Instant 1 day
Total Vietnamese dong received VND16,727,618 VND16,791,613
Receiver gets 63,995 less 63,995 more
Sending $8,000 to Vietnam
MoneyGram TransferWise
Transfer fee $47.00 $63.52
Exchange rate 1 AUD = 16,727.62 VND 1 AUD = 16,968.42 VND
Transfer speed Instant 2 days
Total Vietnamese dong received VND133,820,946 VND134,669,554
Receiver gets 848,608 less 848,608 more

For both transfers, you end up getting more money with TransferWise. However, MoneyGram is the faster service, so it depends on what you're transferring for.

Which offers better exchange rates?

MoneyGram

MoneyGram makes its money from transfer fees and by skewing the exchange rate for a profit, also referred to as adding a margin. The margin added could be anywhere between 0.6% and 10%, depending on where you're sending. On average, it tends to be around the 5% mark added on the mid-market rate.

TransferWise

Exchange rates are where TransferWise shines. It's one of the only money transfer services that offers you the mid-market rate. So if you're sending $1,000 to the UK and the mid-market rate is 1 AUD = 0.64 EUR, that's the rate you're going to get.

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Winner: TransferWise

There's no denying the power of paying the mid-market rate. TransferWise wins in this category by quite a way with its mid-market rate offering.

Which is faster?

MoneyGram

Delivery speed varies with transfer options. At an agent location or by phone, your transfer could be delivered in minutes (though with higher costs). In general, your cheaper options will take two to four business days for receipt. A bank transfer may take several days.

TransferWise

Depending on the currencies involved and your payment method, it could take up to four business days for your recipient to see your cash. Paying by card will get your transfer there almost instantly, but will incur an extra fee.

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Winner: Tie

Your average transfer may take about the same time with both services, so we're calling this one a tie.

General features

Payment methods Receiving options Minimum and maximum transfers Transfer speeds Currencies
MoneyGram Bank transfer, credit card, debit card, cash Bank account, cash pick-up location Minimum: $1

Maximum: $7,000

Within an hour 95+ currencies
TransferWise Bank transfer, credit card, debit card Bank account Minimum: $1

Maximum: $1,800,000

1 - 2 days 45+ currencies

MoneyGram

You can either use MoneyGram online or at one of its agent locations around Australia. Once you enter how much and which currency you want to send, you'll confirm the exchange rate and pay. MoneyGram will then convert and deliver your money to your recipient's bank account or to a cash pick-up location.

TransferWise

TransferWise is solely online, which means you'll need to create an account and be verified. To send money, select the currencies you are exchanging and indicate how much you want to send. After reviewing your rate and fee, money is pulled from your bank account.

Bottom line

TransferWise is the new kid on the block that offers easy, secure transfers online in over 40 currencies around the world. Real-time mid-market exchange rates and low fees crush MoneyGram's often complicated fee structure.

But if you don't have time on your side, you may opt to pay more with MoneyGram to get it there faster or in cash. Ultimately, you'll need to compare your options to find the service that's right for you.

Looking for more options?

Check out what fees and exchange rates some other money transfer services are offering with our calculator below.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
AUD 3,000 1 day GBP 20.00 0.681 USD
3,396
Global Reach will match any competitor's exchange rates. Conditions apply.
No transfer fee when transferring more than £10,000 or equivalent. Send money in over 130 currencies. No maximum transfer amount.
Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.681 USD
3,407
Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
Send 60+ currencies at competitive rates and no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
Go to site Show details
AUD 250 1 day AUD 0.00 0.681 USD
3,406
SendFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.
Go to site Show details
AUD 250 1 - 2 days AUD 15.00 0.683 USD
3,403
$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. No transfer fee over AUD$10,000.
Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.682 USD
3,408
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
Send money overseas in 30+ currencies with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Go to site Show details
AUD 5 1 - 2 days EUR 3.00 0.678 USD
3,386
Special offer: Pay zero fees on your first 5 transfers.
Get bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Within an hour AUD 3.99 0.676 USD
3,378
An online money transfer service with cash pickup, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available. Go to site Show details
AUD 200 1 day AUD 0.00 0.679 USD
3,395
Low minimum transfer amount of just AU$200, with no set-up fees or transfer fees. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers


The "Rate" and "Amount Received" displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention "Finder" before you commit to a brand.

Frequently asked questions

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International Money Transfer Offers

Important Information*
Logo for Global Reach (formerly FC Exchange) International Money Transfers
Global Reach (formerly FC Exchange) International Money Transfers

Global Reach will match any competitor's exchange rates. Conditions apply.
No transfer fee when transferring more than £10,000 or equivalent. Send money in over 130 currencies. No maximum transfer amount.

Logo for WorldFirst International Money Transfers
WorldFirst International Money Transfers

Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
Send 60+ currencies at competitive rates and no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.

Logo for SendFX International Money Transfers
SendFX International Money Transfers

SendFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.

Logo for OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers
OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers

$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. No transfer fee over AUD$10,000.

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