MoneyGram vs Wise (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 Wise 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 EUR 1.00 4.528 PEN
448
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ 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.

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.

Wise

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: Wise

Although MoneyGram is a few dollars cheaper when sending to India, the huge difference in fees in the US transfer outweighs this. Wise'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 Wise 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
MoneyGramWise
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
MoneyGramWise
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 Wise. 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.

Wise

Exchange rates are where Wise 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: Wise

There's no denying the power of paying the mid-market rate. Wise 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.

Wise

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 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
WiseBank 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.

Wise

Wise 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

Wise 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 3.99 4.526 PEN
453
New customers use code AZIMO50 to get GBP 5 off when you transfer GBP 50+. Valid till 31 October 2021. T&Cs apply.
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 1 Same day AUD 4.00 4.524 PEN
452
XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Same day EUR 3.99 4.533 PEN
435
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 EUR 1.00 4.528 PEN
448
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies. Go to site Show details
AUD 200 1 - 2 days N/A N/A N/A Exclusive: New customers sending over 500 AUD from Australia use code FINDER50 to get 50 AUD off. Pay zero fees on your first transaction. Valid till 31 December 2021. T&Cs apply.
Instarem offers simple transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers.
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

New customers use code AZIMO50 to get GBP 5 off when you transfer GBP 50+. Valid till 31 October 2021. T&Cs apply.
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 MasterRemit International Money Transfers
MasterRemit International Money Transfers

New customers get their first transaction for free with code FIRSTFREE. T&Cs apply.
Send money in minutes at competitive exchange rates with this Australian money transfer service.

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

$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.

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