Tech Dreams

My experience with TransferWise to transfer money to India from USA

transferwiseI wanted to transfer $2000 to India and thought of using TransferWise. I’ve been a Xoom user for a very long time and it worked well. Though I love Xoom’s near instant money transfers to India, I’m a bit disappointed by their exchange rates. When I compared US Dollar to Rupee exchange rates, TransferWise is offering 75 paise more per dollar compared to Xoom. That’s a lot of motivation to use TransferWise.

TransferWise offers highest exchange rate

I’ve been watching the exchange rates comparison charts for a while and TransferWise is at top on most of the days. Their exchange rates are unbeatable as they offer mid-market exchange rates. It’s the same exchange used by forex traders as well as displayed on websites like and google search.

If today’s mid-market exchange rate is Rs.70 per US dollar, most of the remittance providers except TransferWise would offer exchange rates around Rs.68 to Rs.69.80  per dollar. But TransferWise offers Rs.70  per dollar.

But TransferWise fees quickly eat your gains

As TransferWise does not take any commission in exchange rates, they charge a flat 0.9% fee to provide money transfer services. To compare, Xoom charges no fee if you transfer more than $1000 and up to $4.99 for lesser amounts.

So when I wanted to transfer  $2000 to India, Xoom is not charging any fee but offering 75 paise less exchange rate. TransferWise is charging me around 18$ of fees but with 75 paise more per dollar.

The fee of $18 by TransferWise is not a small amount to ignore and it quickly eats up all the money you are offered with high exchange rates.

If I can trade Rs.350  for 2-3 business days of transfer time & uncertainty

As I write this post if I transfer 2000$ to India,  with TransferWise I would get Rs. 1,33,092.13 but with Xoom I get Rs. 1, 32, 780.00.  That’s a difference of Rs. 312 and shows TransferWise is slightly better than Xoom.

Xoom offers Rs.312 less, but they facilitate instant transfers to many Indian banks. Whereas TransferWise needs around 2-3 days to complete the transfer.

The exchange rate offered by Xoom are guaranteed, whereas exchange rates offered by TransferWise are guaranteed only if they are able to get from customer’s USA bank account within 24 hours of initiating the transaction.  I believe most of the time TransferWise would be able to get money as soon as customer initiate the transaction, but not if there any scenarios in which they will not be able to receive money on time.

I’m glad to lose Rs. 350  to transfer instantly with Xoom

So for transferring $2000 I have two options – use Xoom to instantly transfer money to India or use TransferWise to get an additional Rs. 350 but receivers will get the money in 2-3 business days. To me waiting 2-3 days for getting additional Rs. 350 did not make sense. I decided to transfer money using good old companion, Xoom!

Will you wait 2-3 days for additional 350Rs on a 2000$ transfer? Share your thoughts with us.