MoneyGram vs Wise (TransferWise)
We compare a popular service with a relative newcomer to see how they stack up on fees, rates and speed.
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 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.
Which has lower fees?
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.
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.
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
|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
|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 Wise. However, MoneyGram is the faster service, so it depends on what you're transferring for.
Which offers better exchange rates?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Your average transfer may take about the same time with both services, so we're calling this one a tie.
|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|
|Within an hour||95+ currencies|
|Wise||Bank transfer, credit card, debit card||Bank account||Minimum: $1|
|1 - 2 days||45+ currencies|
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 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.
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?
Frequently asked questions
More guides on Finder
MasterRemit international money transfers review
MasterRemit allows you to transfer your money quickly in a range of currencies.
Find the best AUD to USD exchange rate
Get today’s best Australian to US dollar exchange rates before you send money overseas.
International money transfer services
Beat the banks, find the best exchange rates and avoid fees when you send money abroad from Australia.
Review: TransferMate international money transfers
Learn about how TransferMate’s personal product works and what it can do for you.
Best blue light glasses in Australia
Block out excess blue light while staying stylish with a pair of the best blue light glasses money can buy.
iRemit international money transfers review
Make simple and small transfers to the Philippines through the IREMITX app.
Traders reveal their biggest wins and worst mistakes
SPONSORED: We spoke to three top eToro traders to find out what they get up to in their day and some of their biggest regrets.
TPG vs iiNet: Which has better plans?
Can't decide between TPG and iiNet? We've compared the two over a range of categories to find out which provider is better.
How do international money orders work?
Using international money orders to send money overseas? Learn about better options.
Revolut launches in Australia: How does it compare to rival neobanks and fintechs?
As Revolut announces it's open for business in Australia, we look at how it compares to the likes of Up bank, TransferWise and 86 400.
International Money Transfer OffersImportant Information*
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.
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.
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.
Ask an Expert