Remitly vs Wise (2024 Updated) Which One is a Better Choice?

Last Updated on April, 2024

Looking to make international money transfers? Or do you want to easily manage your money in different currencies while spending with a payment card? There are different services you can choose from. And on top of the lot are Remitly and Wise.

Did you know? The international remittance market reached $607.43 billion in 2023. It’s because international money transfers have become cheaper, faster in transfer speed, and more reliable and secure than ever.

Both these money transfer companies are top-notch as they are safe and provide their users with a wide range of options for international transfers. However, they both have different fees, features, exchange rates, and services. 

To help you out in choosing the best service for your needs, we have developed this ultimate comparison of Remitly and Wise. 

So, without any further ado, let’s get on with it. 

Quick Summary

Remitly and Wise are both top-notch and provide users with a range of options for international transfers, but have different fees, features, exchange rates, and services.

Remitly may be a better option for cash payout and offers a wider range of payout options.

Wise is better for low-cost bank transfers and international payments.

Remitly Vs. Wise – A Quick Look

Service FeatureRemitlyWise
Payment destinationsOver 170 countriesOver 160 countries and in more than 40 currencies
Multi currency accountNoneAvailable in more than 40 currencies
Debit cardNoYes
Pay directly to bank accountsYesYes
Cash payout available YesNo
Pay to mobile money accountYesNo
Fully regulated and licensedYesYes
Business accountNoYes
RatesA markup is included in the exchange rateMid market exchange rate
Charges and feesFees differ by destination and include both an economy and express service optionMoney transfer fees are 0.43 percent, but there are no fees or monthly charges for spending and holding currencies. However, transaction fees are applicable (based on currency fluctuations).
Transfer speedInstant express transactions are available, but economy payments might take several days. 90 percent of transactions are completed on the same day, and 50 percent are completed instantly. 
ServiceMobile app, online and internet browserMobile app, online, and instant browser

Remitly Vs. Wise – Background

Remitly

Launched back in 2011, Remitly has a mission to make sending money abroad to your loved ones more accessible and cheaper. 

With Remitly, you can send your payments from the US to over 170 countries and in more than 100 currencies. 

All payments are arranged either in-app or online, and you can pick your payout options, including mobile money accounts, bank deposits, and cash collection based on your specific requirements. 

Remitly logo

Wise

Wise has also been around the same year as Remitly, with an emphasis on mobile wallet transfers with Wise borderless account for cross-border transfers. 

With time, Wise has included various services, including a multi currency account, different business products (for example, a business borderless account), and even debit cards. 

Did you know? Wise has over 16 million customers across the globe. And all their services are delivered in-app or online with a lawful and transparent fee structure. (1)

Wise is a reliable service that enables you to send your payments from the US to over 160 countries worldwide and in over 40 currencies. 

You can learn more about wise here in this review or,

wise logo

Remitly Vs. Wise – How Do They Work?

Remitly

Before you can start using Remitly to make your payment, you must create an online account or in the app. It’s a pretty simple process, even for the first-timers (if you follow the onscreen prompts).

But to comply with the US laws, you need to provide your documents for verification. After setting up your account, you can start making payments in no time. 

  • Sign into your account using the Internet browser or Remitly app.
  • Choose “Get started” in the browser or “Send money” in the app. 
  • Enter the amount you want to send and select the delivery method. 
  • The next step is to add the information about your recipient. This includes their bank account details for the transfer amount, their name, and any personal account numbers or other details (for cash pickup).
  • Once done, you can complete your profile by adding your name along with your details. 
  • Connect your card or bank account (any preferred payout options).
  • Review and confirm all the details and click/tap “Send money.”
  • You will get a confirmation on your screen once your payment is finalized. 

Wise

Wise also requires you to open a Wise account online. To do so, you need to provide some documentation for verification. The type of document that you need to provide depends upon the type of transfer you are looking to make. 

Once your account is up and running, you can make your payment online or using the Wise app.

Here are the steps that you need to take:

  • Log in to your Wise account. 
  • Enter the amount you want to transfer and how much you want your recipient to get. 
  • Enter all the details about your recipient, including their email and bank account number.
  • Review all the details and fund your payment either by bank transfer or with the help of your card. 
  • Confirm in the end, and your money will be on its way. 

Remitly Vs. Wise – Fees & Charges

Remitly

Fees and charges at Remitly depend on the destination where you are sending money, the service you need, and how you will pay for it.

These fees have: 

  • Transfer fees
  • Third-party fees
  • Exchange rate markup

When using Remitly, you will have to choose either express transfers or economy transfers.

Express transfers arrive quickly as debit and credit cards fund them. On the other hand, economy transfers can take several days to complete because bank transfers fund them.

Moreover, if you have used a credit card to fund your Remitly transfer, you might have to pay some cash in advance as a fee to your card issuer. 

Wise

With Wise, all personal accounts are free and if you want to open a business account, you must make a one-time payment of $31 per account. Personal account holders can link their debit cards for $9 (one-time fee).

However, Wise doesn’t have any charges when it comes to exchange rate markup (which is why they are popular). 

Still, there’s a transparent fee that you need to pay and it entirely depends upon the funding methods that you choose and the value of your payment.

But the best part is that all these charges are exhibited during the time they are calculating the payment. 

They also enable you to exchange as well as hold multiple currencies (more than 50) in their Wise account. Hence, you can manage multiple currencies with your Wise account. 

A Comparison of Fee Structure

Fee typeRemitly’s fee structureWise’s fee structure
Open accountFree of chargePersonal accounts are free, while business accounts are for a one-time $31
Monthly feesFree of chargeFree of charge
Fee for debit cardService not available$9 for individual customers and free of charge for business customers
Make international transfersDifferent fees are applicable according to the payment type/transfer route and destination (economy and express transfers are also available)A percentage fee is applicable (from 0.43 percent transaction fee or fixed fee of the transfer amount) based on payment type and destination 
Currency conversionThe exchange rate comes with markup included (no mid market rate)Mid market exchange rate

Remitly Vs. Wise – Which is the Cheaper Service?

Remitly and Wise logos

Picking an international payment service can be convenient and cheap. Nevertheless, their fees can vary; therefore, it is better to compare them before you finalize your choice and check for customer feedback.

Let’s compare Remitly and Wise with one another using an example. Consider two payments that are funded by bank transfer and are transferred to the bank account of the recipient. 

Currency and amountUsing WiseUsing RemitlyThe Cheaper Option
USD 1000 > EUREUR 918.19EUR 917.85Remitly
USD 5000 > EUREUR 4593.64EUR 4589.49Wise

The table above shows that both options offer similar values. And as you both for small and large transfers Wise is a better option and is cheaper than Remitely. 

Therefore, with different charges on different payments and currencies, comparing these money transfer companies is the right way to go. 

However, remember that there’s a different fee for using a different payment method to transfer funds. The best thing about Wise is that there are no hidden fees. 

You get to save money as you are making an informed decision with the charges displayed on the screen. 

Whether you are making a local bank transfer or a cash transfer using a Wise borderless account, Wise doesn’t hide any fees or charges.

Remitly Vs. Wise – Mid Market Exchange Rate

You need to keep in mind that markups are the percentage of the total amount to be transferred. Therefore, your overall cost and skyrocket if you choose to pay a larger amount. 

We’ve already mentioned above that one of the charges that you have to deal with when using Remitly is the exchange rate markup and these are included in the mid market rate as well. 

Most of the time is a promotional rate and Remietly can reduce it to attract new customers as compared to those who have used Remitly before. 

Remitly might claim that it has a low markup. But if you do the math, this rate might end up being the highest of any other fee that you have to deal with.

On the other hand, Wise uses exchange rates that don’t include any hidden charges. It means that the exchange rates that Google shows and the fees, are split for you to compare with ease. 

Payment Methods, Transfer Speed, and Business Accounts – Wise Vs. Remitly

Remitly

Using Remitly, you can use credit or debit cards or bank transfers as your different payout methods. Express transfers might be processed within minutes, but Economy transfers might take anywhere from 3 to 5 working days to appear in the recipient’s statement. 

However, Remitly is only for personal use and doesn’t offer business accounts. Therefore, users can’t set up an account under their business names. 

Wise

On the other hand, when using Wise, you can pay via ACH (bank debit), wire transfer, SWIFT, Wise account balance, and debit or credit card. Wise payments can arrive within seconds with some currencies. Most transfers tend to arrive within days. 

The estimated delivery time will be visible to you when setting up a transfer. Moreover, you can always track your transfers in the app or online. Therefore, it’s safe to say that Wise offers faster bank or cash transfers than Remitly.

Wise offers a business account, and users can hold and exchange more than 40 currencies in their business accounts. There is only a one-time payment and no monthly fee for using a Wise business account. 

Fees and transfer speeds are similar to Wise personal accounts, and there are variable transfer limits for different currencies.

Limits on International Money Transfers – Remitly vs Wise

Remitly and Wise logos 2

Remitly

Remitly’s limits on sending cash can depend on your account tier. Therefore, you can upgrade to a higher tier of their transfer service by providing them with your personal information and ID documents.

  • For example, tier 1 accounts come with a 24-hour limit of USD 2,999, a 30-day limit of USD 10,000, and a 180-day limit of USD 18,000.
  • Tier 2 accounts come with a 24-hour limit of USD 6,000, a 30-day limit of USD 20,000, and a 180-day limit of USD 36,000.
  • Tier 3 accounts come with a 24-hour limit of USD 10,000, a 30-day limit of USD 30,000, and a 180-day limit of USD 60,000.

Wise

However, Wise has limits on some currencies, but these limits tend to be very high (around 1 million something). Therefore, you can make your transactions without any restrictions.

Now, if you’re sending in USD and you live in a state that Wise licenses, here are the limits you might have to deal with: 

  • For personal accounts, you can send USD 1,000,000 when paying by bank transfer. When paying via ACH, you can send USD 50,000 every 24 hours or USD 250,000 within 60 days. When using a debit or credit card, you can send USD 2,000 every 24 hours and USD 8,000 after every 7 days. 
  • For business accounts, you can send USD 1,000,000 via bank transfer. When using ACH, you can send USD 400,000 within 60 days, and when using a debit or credit card, you can send USD 2,000 every 24 hours and USD 8,000 every 7 days. 

Ease of Use, Safety, Customer Service, Supported Currencies, Customer Services – Remitly vs Wise

Ease of Use

Both Remitly and Wise are pretty easy to use. For example, Remitly and Wise have an app for creating an account, and you can also use your internet browser for the same purpose. 

Both service providers enable their users to make international payments both online and using the app. They both offer different ways to send money abroad, and both their apps and websites support different languages. 

They have their minimum and maximum transfer amount limits, which come with different time limits. These limits differ based on the payment type and the service. 

You can also alter your maximum or minimum transfer amount limits by submitting documents for verification. 

Wise has slightly different limits than Remitly, and they depend on the currencies that you are using. 

However, Wise offers ATM withdrawals, and Remitly doesn’t. Moreover, Remitly also offers a cash pickup service in addition to bank transfers. Wise only offers bank transfers. 

Safety and Customer Reviews

When it comes to safety, both service providers are safe to use because they both are regulated and have licenses to conduct their business. Moreover, Remitly and Wise have been around for quite some time. 

It means that they have several satisfied customers all across the globe (Wise, more than 200K Trustpilot reviews; Remitly, more than 44K Trustpilot reviews). However, Wise has the upper hand because it has been around for more years than Remitly. 

Supported Currencies

Using Remitly, you can send to over 170 countries from the US and in 100 currencies. While using Wise, you can send in more than 160 countries in over 40 currencies from the US. 

Customer Services

Wise has made it easy for its customers to contact customer support by logging in to their Wise account and opening the built-in chat in the app. 

Whereas you can reach out Remitly by phone as well as using online and in-app chat. Their phone number is available on the website 24/7 and in English and Spanish.

Remitly vs Wise – Pros & Cons

Why Remitly Works?

With this transfer service, you can send payments to over 170 countries and territories. 
Remitly allows you to send cash collection to mobile money accounts and bank accounts. 
The service allows you to pick an economy or express payment options based on your priorities.
You can set your payments up online and pay via bank transfer or using your card.

Why Remitly Doesn’t Work?

The exchange rates that you get from remitly will include an exchange rate margin or markup and this can drive costs higher. 
This transfer service is available to send payments from 30 different countries, which is a limited selection of sending countries. 

Why Wise Works?

Wise can help you in making international money transfers to more than 160 countries. 
You can spend and hold your money in more than 40 countries using your multi currency account. 
You can also access local receiving account details in nine different currencies. 
With Wise, you can send or receive money on your payment card in more than 150 countries. 
Wise provides exchange rates that help you keep a cap on your costs. 

Why Wise Doesn’t Work?

Some service fees upfront might be applicable.
Wise doesn’t have any physical location for face-to-face or in-person services. 

Remitly and Wise – So, Which One is Better? 

If you want to send a payment for cash pickup, then choose Remitly. Nevertheless, this service does come with its limitations, and you might not get the best mid market exchange rates or fees out there. 

Wise is a better choice if you are looking for low-cost bank transfers and international payments. With Wise, you’ll have a multi currency account or a card that you can use to do shopping and stuff 

If you’re looking for more details, you can check out our complete in-depth reviews on Wise and Remitly as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Remitly and Wise differ in their services for sending money abroad. Wise excels in direct bank account transfers, while Remitly provides varied payout options like cash collection, digital wallet transfers, and home delivery.

Wise is better for a broader product range including business/personal accounts and card linking, while Remitly excels in payout methods, ideal for overseas workers sending money home.

Wise is cheaper and faster for transfers, with over 50% of transactions being instant without needing an Express option.

Wise offers business accounts for US residents, while Remitly does not and only provides services for individual or personal use.

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Author
Allen Morning
I'm Allen Morning, with a background spanning over 15 years in international finance and education from Harvard and Stanford. I founded Currenciap with a vision to demystify and streamline global financial transactions. My journey in finance has fueled my commitment to creating a platform that is both user-friendly and efficient, making international finance accessible to everyone. You can find more about me here.

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