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Have You Used TransferWise To Send Money

I am in need of sending a deposit (143 euros) for one of our hotels in Germany, and my credit union does not do money transfers. Has anyone used TransferWise? A very quick research noted them to be a preferred choice. Thanks!

Posted by
7173 posts

I’ve used them multiple times for several thousand Euro and Swiss Franc transfers. Never had a problem.

Posted by
6236 posts

Not used it personally, but have seen many here recommend it.

Posted by
5019 posts

Yes, I have used TransferWise several times.

I have had nothing but excellent experiences with them. Lightning fast, very easy, not expensive, reliable -- the exact opposite of my experiences attempting to do wire transfers from a bank or credit union.

I will use them again anytime I need to do this, and would highly recommend them to a friend. Great service.

(For the record: I am just a satisfied customer, no affiliation with the company, no skin in the game.)

Posted by
5019 posts

The only caution is that (in my experience) some credit unions don’t play well with money transfer companies.

Indeed, my (otherwise very good) credit union was impossible to deal with for an international wire transfer (they wanted a crazy fee, said it would take forever, and didn't seem to know how to do it -- they were completely clueless)....which is exactly why I went looking for a better way and found TransferWise. If I need to transfer money, I leave my credit union out of it completely -- you can fund the wire transfer with TransferWise online from a debit or credit card (yes, there's a small fee for that, but it's a reasonable one and well worth it IMHO).

Posted by
3951 posts

Yes. I've used it to pre-pay for a tour in Bucharest, experienced no problems whatsoever, a reliable and safe way to transfer money when alternatives are not an option.

Posted by
843 posts

Thanks everyone for you input so far. Following up with David's point, I did notice the credit card option with TravelWise (the additional fee was fairly low, so I'm good with it) and would love to do that instead of my debit card or direct transfer from my checking account (would rather have my credit card number out there than my checking info). Was wondering if using my credit card for the money transfer would be considered a typical purchase (rather than considered a cash advance) in this situation? Was that your experience, David and others?

Posted by
1354 posts

Can one of the posters who responded walk me through this. I looked on their site, maybe I am not looking in the right place but how does the process work? If I need to send some larger amount of money, do I create an account, get verified identity etc, then what? How do I fund the transfer - ACH, wire transfer? So it sounds like I pay two fees - one to my bank for the outgoing transfer to TransferWise, another to TransferWise to the European recipient?

Posted by
6183 posts

This question has more to do with folks who are moving to Europe and have to transfer their US monies to another country (large amount).

Has anyone had to move their money out of a credit union just to use TransferWise? Do some credit unions have in their charter (or whatever legal construct) that they (and not a third party) have to initiate an international wire transfer on behalf of their members (probably because they don't want to shield any risks for someone else doing it)? Or does it depend by State, assuming some States may allow a third party service like TransferWise? Is it easy to go around a credit union? It seems that my credit union also has unreasonable fees for international wire transfers and they don't post the exactly currency markup they will use until you've already initiated the transfer paperwork (at that point, they will send you a list of fees that you have to agree upon).

I've looked into TransferWise and it seems great, except for the actual step-by-step mechanics (that leave the credit union out completely). I'm not sure how many layers of fees will be involved (credit union/outgoing bank, TransferWise, and incoming international bank?) If anyone knows, please feel free to PM me. I didn't mean to hijack this thread.

Posted by
5019 posts

Was wondering if using my credit card for the money transfer would be considered a typical purchase (rather than considered a cash advance) in this situation?

@ Maryam: Each time mine was processed as a "purchase" rather than a cash advance (cash advances typically come with high interest that kicks in immediately, so coding as a purchase is much better for the consumer). That said, it may depend on the credit card you use so no 100% guarantee. I can vouch that the times I've used it, it never coded as a cash advance.

IIRC, they do not accept Amex for payments (or if they did, it was at a higher fee). I believe I used a Chase Visa credit card each time. I've heard rumors that Citi credit cards are generally more prone to code as a cash advance for some financial services, so I'd be wary of using one of theirs -- but that's just speculation, not based on personal experience.

The fees are very transparent, I had no surprises whatsoever.

Posted by
5019 posts

@ Kaeleku: Not sure how (or if) things change with "larger" transfers of money. I have found the process to be straightforward. Sign up, go through basic two-factor authentication (it's been a while since I did this but I don't recall anything burdensome about the process).

I have always funded my transfers by credit card - I'd rather leave my credit union/bank out if it entirely if I can. I read on their website that "When you pay by debit or credit card, most banks charge an additional fee." That has not been my experience, using a major credit card from a well-known (probably evil) mega bank. It showed up as a simple purchase, just as if I had bought a burrito down at Taco del Mar (although I did have to pay the fee that TransferWise charged for using a credit card).

I would expect that if I funded it via ACH it would depend in the financial institution...some banks/CUs are set up to make ACH transfers easily and at no cost, others make a big deal and charge fees.

Doing a "bank transfer" would probably defeat the purpose of using TransferWise -- I know my credit union wanted stunning fees for even a small "wire transfer"...it probably varies quite a bit.

I'll add that although I've used the service a few times, it has always been for modest amounts -- never more than say $500 at a time. I've got a much larger expense coming up this fall (scuba diving trip to the Maldives) which will require a significantly larger transfer...so I guess I'll find out about how that goes, and will post an update (but not for another 8 or 9 months, so don't hold your breath waiting).

Hope that helps.

Posted by
843 posts

Just did it, and it went very smoothly except that my credit card company did decline the transaction so I had to spend a few minutes with them clearing it (Capital One is so overwhelming with the foreign transaction check ins!). I actually misread the total amount to be transferred (those periods and commas used differently and my phone showing it in portrait instead of landscape so a crucial number was not showing up in the right spot!), so the fee to use a credit card was considerably higher but still reasonable in my opinion. Thanks again to everyone's helpful inputs.

Posted by
843 posts

An update: Just found out today that my "purchase" was coded as a cash advance when I used my credit card, so that involved additional cash advance fees.

Posted by
16847 posts

Thanks, Maryam. If I ever need to transfer funds, I'll try one of my other credit cards.

Posted by
3318 posts

It appears that more banks are on to the Transferwise business model and now treat those transactions as cash advances when using your credit card. Your Debit card should still work without a cash advance fee, but might be seen as a foreign transaction and be subject to foreign exchange fees if you get charged those.

They mention ACH as a funding option. This would be the best approach in most circumstances as US banks do most of those for free. This is the same as the recurring monthly payments or other bill payments you can set up.

There is a note that Transferwise's fees have changed recently. Looks like they went down a bit in cost.