MoneyGram vs TransferWise

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

Updated

Fact checked

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

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 1 - 2 days AUD 22.50 0.772 USD
3,841
TransferWise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies. Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Within an hour AUD 2.99 0.749 USD
3,740
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

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.

Trophy icon
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
MoneyGramTransferWise
Transfer fee$17.00$10.42
Exchange rate1 AUD = 16,727.62 VND1 AUD = 16,968.42 VND
Transfer speedInstant1 day
Total Vietnamese dong receivedVND16,727,618VND16,791,613
Receiver gets63,995 less63,995 more
Sending $8,000 to Vietnam
MoneyGramTransferWise
Transfer fee$47.00$63.52
Exchange rate1 AUD = 16,727.62 VND1 AUD = 16,968.42 VND
Transfer speedInstant2 days
Total Vietnamese dong receivedVND133,820,946VND134,669,554
Receiver gets848,608 less848,608 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.

Trophy icon
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.

Trophy icon
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 methodsReceiving optionsMinimum and maximum transfersTransfer speedsCurrencies
MoneyGramBank transfer, credit card, debit card, cashBank account, cash pick-up locationMinimum: $1

Maximum: $13,750

Within an hour95+ currencies
TransferWiseBank transfer, credit card, debit cardBank accountMinimum: $1

Maximum: $1,800,000

1 - 2 days45+ 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
GBP 0 1 - 2 days AUD 1.99 0.766 USD
3,830
Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries. Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.769 USD
3,843
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.769 USD
3,843
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 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.769 USD
3,843
Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
WorldFirst sends 60+ currencies at competitive rates with no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
Go to site Show details
AUD 250 1 - 2 days AUD 15.00 0.769 USD
3,831
$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 1 day AUD 26.00 0.772 USD
3,838
Pay no fees on your first two transfers, up to $3,000.
SingX offers the real exchange rate every time you make a transfer and can help you send money across the world.
Go to site Show details
AUD 10 Within an hour AUD 2.99 0.763 USD
3,814
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 0.00 0.768 USD
3,839
XE has fast transfers with no fees and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
AUD 200 1 - 2 days AUD 25.00 0.771 USD
3,835
Exclusive: Use code FINDER10 to receive US$10 off your first transaction.
InstaReM offers simple transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers. Zero-margin rates on some currencies.
Go to site Show details
AUD 5 1 - 2 days EUR 3.00 0.764 USD
3,818
Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 3.99 0.762 USD
3,809
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 1 - 2 days AUD 22.50 0.772 USD
3,841
TransferWise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

Frequently asked questions

More guides on Finder

International Money Transfer Offers

Important Information*
Logo for Azimo International Money Transfers
Azimo International Money Transfers

Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries.

Logo for TorFX International Money Transfers
TorFX International Money Transfers

TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.

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 WorldFirst International Money Transfers
WorldFirst International Money Transfers

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

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Go to site