Personal Finance

International Money Transfer - TransferWise

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 20th, 2019 9:03 pm
Deal Addict
Jul 3, 2017
3860 posts
2763 upvotes
martydxb wrote:
Jan 10th, 2019 3:08 pm
Its used for international money transfer, not a transfer for myself to USA.
Thanks for the Knightbridge tip.
The main advantages of using Transferwise for international money transfers are:

1. Transparency of fees: they charge an explicit visible fee (including a percentage and a small fixed fee), but give you the current mid-rate with no fees hidden in the exchange rate.

2. Funds get deposited in the destination account as a local bank transfer, avoiding excessive holdups and additional fees and taxes that hit international wire transfers in many countries and with many banks.

You won't save any money compared to using traditional forex processors for a simple USD-CAD exchange between your own accounts.
Jr. Member
Jan 2, 2009
137 posts
34 upvotes
Ontario
martydxb wrote:
Jan 10th, 2019 12:42 pm
Were you able to use CTFS to pay Transferwise? That would be great if it works, when I tried today, I cant find it as a payee.
I used Tangerine bank to pay TransferWise via Bill Payment and it was free.
Jr. Member
Jan 2, 2009
137 posts
34 upvotes
Ontario
Exp315 wrote:
Jan 10th, 2019 1:32 pm
I think payment to Transferwise via bill payment is only available from a couple of Canadian banks, and it's not free.
I can say for certain that it was free for me when I paid TransferWise via Tangerine bill payment. I added TransferWise as a payee, and it reached them in 2 business days if I am not wrong. When you are ready to pay TransferWise, you will receive a reference number or something. Just follow the instruction from Trasnferwise when you are ready to pay.
Deal Addict
Jul 3, 2017
3860 posts
2763 upvotes
woesermarley wrote:
Jan 10th, 2019 4:28 pm
I can say for certain that it was free for me when I paid TransferWise via Tangerine bill payment. I added TransferWise as a payee, and it reached them in 2 business days if I am not wrong. When you are ready to pay TransferWise, you will receive a reference number or something. Just follow the instruction from Trasnferwise when you are ready to pay.
When you say "free", what was actually free?

I'm trying to get an answer out of Transferwise support to be sure, but as near as I can tell from the information they've previously given me:

- Only BMO and Tangerine support payment of Transferwise by the bill payment method
- It's only "free" to transfer money to your Transferwise Borderless account in the same currency
- You still pay a percentage fee and a small fixed fee to actually convert currency and send to another bank account elsewhere, depending on the destination country
Jr. Member
Jan 2, 2009
137 posts
34 upvotes
Ontario
Exp315 wrote:
Jan 10th, 2019 4:41 pm
When you say "free", what was actually free?

I'm trying to get an answer out of Transferwise support to be sure, but as near as I can tell from the information they've previously given me:

- Only BMO and Tangerine support payment of Transferwise by the bill payment method
- It's only "free" to transfer money to your Transferwise Borderless account in the same currency
- You still pay a percentage fee and a small fixed fee to actually convert currency and send to another bank account elsewhere, depending on the destination country
When I said "free", I meant to say that it didn't cost me to transfer CAD (including total fees upfront) from my bank account (Tangerine) to TransferWise via bill payment to send money to another account in US. However, if one uses other method like Direct Debit or credit card, there is a fee associated with it.
The recipient told me that she wasn't charged any fee from her bank.
Deal Addict
Jul 3, 2017
3860 posts
2763 upvotes
woesermarley wrote:
Jan 11th, 2019 1:15 pm
When I said "free", I meant to say that it didn't cost me to transfer CAD (including total fees upfront) from my bank account (Tangerine) to TransferWise via bill payment to send money to another account in US. However, if one uses other method like Direct Debit or credit card, there is a fee associated with it.
The recipient told me that she wasn't charged any fee from her bank.
I just got an answer back from Transferwise, and they said that there is a $7.25 "pay in" fee to fund a transfer by the bill payment method.

They agreed that there currently isn't a fee to use bill payment to pay in to their Borderless account, which they said might be an error, and then they gave a very convoluted and confusing description of how their fees break down. I'll try to follow up and get more information.
Deal Addict
Mar 12, 2004
1089 posts
305 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Opened an account with them just for fun - the rates are decent compared to banks, but nowhere as competitive as online brokers such as Interactive Brokers.
I guess it is fine for wire transfer to 3rd parties globally. But it is not exactly feasible for self-use, especially their debit card is not yet available in Canada.
Deal Addict
Jul 23, 2002
3957 posts
646 upvotes
Exp315 wrote:
Jan 11th, 2019 1:27 pm
I just got an answer back from Transferwise, and they said that there is a $7.25 "pay in" fee to fund a transfer by the bill payment method.
There's a $7.25 fee if you fund a transfer directly from a bill payment.

However, if you open the free Borderless account, you can fund that account from a bill payment for free.

Once the money arrives at the Borderless account, you can fund a new transfer from the Borderless account without paying the $7.25 fee.
Deal Addict
Jul 3, 2017
3860 posts
2763 upvotes
SLee wrote:
Jan 15th, 2019 8:06 pm
There's a $7.25 fee if you fund a transfer directly from a bill payment.

However, if you open the free Borderless account, you can fund that account from a bill payment for free.

Once the money arrives at the Borderless account, you can fund a new transfer from the Borderless account without paying the $7.25 fee.
Transferwise basically confirmed the first part of that, and said that it might be an oversight that they should correct (!). Then they gave a really long complicated explanation that implied that there is a fee to actually execute a transfer to a foreign bank account from your Borderless account, but both the fixed and variable part of the fee are different from doing a direct transfer. It was clear as mud.
Deal Addict
Jul 23, 2002
3957 posts
646 upvotes
I don't think it's an oversight, here's the screen where you add money to the Borderless account, which clearly indicates that it's free from an online bill payment:

Image
Image

There is the other transaction fee, which is about $1.50 + 74.2c/$100 for a transfer to Hong Kong. Some quick checking shows its less for transfers to the US or Europe.
Member
Aug 27, 2014
354 posts
182 upvotes
Any credit card known for not treating Transferwise as a cash advance?
Deal Addict
Apr 2, 2010
1638 posts
861 upvotes
GTA
LuxErus wrote:
Feb 6th, 2019 5:16 pm
Any credit card known for not treating Transferwise as a cash advance?
Dont have the answer but a red flag is the Rogers WE MC:
martydxb wrote:
Oct 11th, 2018 3:38 pm
My attempt got flagged as a cash advance.
Reporting this data point in case it helps anyone.
Good luck.
Deal Addict
Apr 2, 2010
1638 posts
861 upvotes
GTA
SLee wrote:
Jan 15th, 2019 8:06 pm
There's a $7.25 fee if you fund a transfer directly from a bill payment.

However, if you open the free Borderless account, you can fund that account from a bill payment for free.

Once the money arrives at the Borderless account, you can fund a new transfer from the Borderless account without paying the $7.25 fee.
Exp315 wrote:
Jan 15th, 2019 8:24 pm

Transferwise basically confirmed the first part of that, and said that it might be an oversight that they should correct (!). Then they gave a really long complicated explanation that implied that there is a fee to actually execute a transfer to a foreign bank account from your Borderless account, but both the fixed and variable part of the fee are different from doing a direct transfer. It was clear as mud.
The summary of what I have learnt from support chat and my experience is:
-The simple transfer has a fee (%+flat)
-The borderless method has two steps of fees, a % fee for the conversion (say 0.5% to 1% based on the currency) when using bill pay, then a withdrawal/debit fee when you send out the money which in my case is a flat fee regardless of amount.

Hope that helps.

Also as a data point, I have funded borderless couple of times, none had a fixed fee with bill pay (Tangerine and EQ bank).
Deal Addict
Jul 3, 2017
3860 posts
2763 upvotes
Transferwise is increasing fees again March 1. See their price comparison tool at https://transferwise.com/price-change

Kudos for disclosure, but Transferwise is turning into yet another financial institution that constantly increases fees. Eventually they are going to lose any competitive advantage.
Deal Addict
Apr 2, 2010
1638 posts
861 upvotes
GTA
Exp315 wrote:
Feb 25th, 2019 10:12 am
Transferwise is increasing fees again March 1. See their price comparison tool at https://transferwise.com/price-change

Kudos for disclosure, but Transferwise is turning into yet another financial institution that constantly increases fees. Eventually they are going to lose any competitive advantage.
True, I just have accounts with XE Trade (Hifx), Transferwise and then choose one according to what's prices best at the time.
E.g. XE Trade is cheaper for me for a straight transfer (the commissions vary by account, no idea why)
Transferwise has the borderless account, which is a bit more expensive but allows me to break up my conversion amount into pieces to average out the conversion rate to prevent a loss when a transfer is needed (cost averaging).

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