Revolut vs TransferWise
Which can save you more on your next international money transfer?
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Revolut is a digital bank that offers account holders a range of benefits, especially in the field of currency exchanges and international money transfers. TransferWise is one of a new field of money transfer services which offers mid-market rates. So which can give you better value for money when you're making an overseas transfer?
The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of 3 April 2019.
Which has lower fees?
Revolut charges membership fees, ranging from $0 for the basic option to $22.99 per month for the top tier option. You'll probably only need the top tier option if you're transferring large amounts, though. There are also various fees, such as for card delivery.
For transfers themselves, you'll incur wire transfer fees when sending money to a recipient outside the EU or if the transfer is not in euros. These fees can be unpredictable and potentially quite large depending on the payment.
TranferWise's fees will also vary depending on where the money is going but will be clearer, more predictable and typically lower for all except the larger transfers.
Revolut can come out ahead if you're sending money to Europe, but for most other locations it will be more expensive to use. TransferWise allows you to avoid those unwanted wire transfer fees, and will often be cheaper.
Let's crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000 and $10,000 to Germany
To show you what transfers with Revolut and TransferWise look like, here's an example of sending two different amounts to Germany.
Keep in mind that Revolut would be considerably less cost-effective than what is shown here for transfers to anywhere outside of Europe. We're also not including the monthly fee and we are assuming that this transfer is made during the week, as Revolut adds a 0.5% margin on AUD/EUR transfers on weekends.
This comparison essentially assumes that you're getting the best possible value from Revolut for a single transfer.
Sending $1,000 to Germany
|Exchange rate||1 AUD = 0.6333 EUR||1 AUD = 0.6333 EUR|
|Transfer speed||3-5 days||1-2 days|
|Total euros received||EUR€633.30||EUR€630.06|
|Receiver gets||EUR€3.24 more||EUR€3.24 less|
Sending $10,000 to Germany
|Exchange rate||1 AUD = 0.6333 EUR*||1 AUD = 0.6333 EUR|
|Transfer speed||3-5 days||1-2 days|
|Total euros received||EUR€6,329.83||EUR€6,305.92|
|Receiver gets||EUR€23.91 more||EUR€23.91 less|
*Assuming you're using basic Revolut without any monthly fees, the mid-market rate only applies to the first $9,000 transferred per month. 0.5% is removed from the receiving currency amount for transfers beyond that limit. This comparison takes that into account.
Under optimal conditions, Revolut will be more cost-effective than TransferWise, putting you about EUR€3 to EUR€20 ahead when you include the fees from TransferWise in your calculations. But TransferWise will most likely come out on top if you add in the cost of a Revolut subscription fee, send money on a weekend, send money in a currency other than euros or send money anywhere other than Europe.
Which offers better exchange rates?
Revolut will offer mid-market rates with some caveats:
- Transfers with major currencies: 0% markup
- Transfer amounts above the limit for your subscription: 0.5% markup
- THB, RUB, UAH and TRY transfers: 1% markup
- All other currencies: 0.5% markup
- THB, RUB, UAH and TRY transfers outside forex market hours: Additional 1% mark-up
- All other currency transfers outside forex market hours: Additional 0.5% markup
For example, say you need to transfer Russian rubles within your subscription limit on a weekend:
- If the mid-market rate is 1 AUD = 46.380 RUB
- Revolut's exchange rate would be 1 AUD = 45.4524 RUB
TransferWise offers the mid-market rate all the time for all currencies without any special conditions.
- If the mid-market rate is 1 AUD = 46.380 RUB
- TransferWise's exchange rate would be the same as the mid-market rate
TransferWise offers mid-market rates without all the caveats.
Which is faster?
Revolut says transfers will usually take 3-5 days, but that you can speed it up by paying extra or by signing up for the Premium or Metal upgrades.
TransferWise says payments can be done in 1-2 days depending on the destination.
TransferWise's 1-2 days is less than Revolut's 3-5 days.
|Payment methods||Receiving options||Minimum and maximum transfer amounts||Transfer speeds||Currencies|
|Revolut||Revolut account||Bank transfer, Revolut account||Minimum: £0|
|3 - 5 days||100+|
|TransferWise||Bank transfer||Bank transfer||Minimum: $1|
|1 - 2 days||30+|
To sign up for Revolut, you will need to create an account and can then request to receive a card. Once you have your account and card, you will need to top up your Revolut account from your bank account before you can use it.
After this, you can start holding multiple currencies in your Revolut account, access overseas ATMs and take advantage of Revolut's travel money options.
To send money with TransferWise you will have to create an account. Then you can enter the details of your transfer and make your deposit to TransferWise, which it will send onwards overseas.
You can also hold multiple currencies in your TransferWise account with TransferWise Borderless.
Revolut is mainly designed for travellers, but it can also be effectively used for international money transfers in certain situations.
But for everyday value for money in more situations, a dedicated international money transfer service like TransferWise will still tend to offer better value for money.
Looking for more options?
The table below shows a range of other potential options for your next money transfer. Try entering your transfer amount and currency. It will crunch the numbers and show you how much different services may cost you.
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.
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