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Remitly Money Transfer Review: Fast Transfers, Decent Price

Banking, Money Transfer
Remitly Money Transfer Review
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Remitly
NerdWallet’s rating: 4.0 / 5.0

Remitly

at Remitly

Remitly is an online- and mobile-only money transfer provider that lets you send money from the U.S. to 10 countries across the Americas and Asia.

Though Remitly’s fees can be low or even nonexistent for transfers of at least $500 or $1,000, depending on the country, foreign exchange rates hover around average compared to similar competitors. Speed is Remitly’s strength, with transfers available within minutes for each country through certain payment methods. Competitors with quick delivery options tend to have higher fees, but Remitly balances speed with decent prices.

The bottom line

We rated Remitly 4 out of 5 stars based on its transfers from the U.S. to three benchmark countries — India, Mexico and the Philippines.

Where the provider shines: Fast and cheap bank transfers to India.

Where it falls short: Sending to the Philippines can get expensive, especially if a credit card is used.

Country overall ratings
Average rating for all countries
Mexico
ChinaN/A
India
Philippines
GermanyN/A
CanadaN/A
United KingdomN/A
  • Same-day delivery available
  • Using your credit card to fund a transfer is expensive, at an extra 3% per transaction
  • Remitly has notably large transfer limits for a provider that primarily serves individuals (and not businesses), at $10,000 a day and $30,000 a month. Competitor Ria caps its daily transfers at just under $3,000 and under $8,000 for monthly transfers.
  • Competitive promotional rates are for first-time transfers, up to a certain dollar amount

» MORE: Compare money transfer rates using NerdWallet’s comparison tool

Overview

We analyzed Remitly’s money transfers to the three benchmark countries based on four categories: transfer costs, speed offerings, transfer methods and customer experience. We took the average of all countries’ category ratings to get Remitly’s overall ratings:

Overall Ratings
Transfer costs
Speed offerings
Transfer methods and options
Customer experience
Overall

Transfer costs

No fees on larger amounts of money and exchange rate markups are average


3.0 / 5.0

Remitly generally has flat fees, about $4 or $5, for sending sums of money under $500 or $1,000, depending on the country or payment method. Sending money with a credit card will result in an additional fee of 3% per transaction.

Remitly’s exchange rate markups on the midmarket rate — ranging from less than 0.50% to over 2.50% — largely depend on the currency and payment method, but they’re roughly on par with those of similar competitors. Transfers initiated through bank accounts generally will get you the cheapest rate.

The midmarket rate, also called the interbank rate, is the exchange rate that big banks use to swap currencies between each other. Most providers give customers an exchange rate that’s the midmarket rate plus an additional percentage, or markup, to make a profit on the transfer.

Example: If the midmarket rate for U.S. dollars to Mexican pesos is 20 pesos per dollar, then a 2% markup means the provider is giving you 19.6 pesos per dollar. For a $500 transfer, that’s the difference between 10,000 pesos from the first rate and 9,804 pesos from the second. And the higher the markup, the less your recipient gets in his or her currency.

First-time users of Remitly will get a significantly cheaper promotional rate for a limited amount of money, depending on the country. Expiration dates on these promotions also vary by country and can be changed by Remitly at any time.

Speed offerings

Transfer money within minutes


4.5 / 5.0

Remitly’s strength lies in its speed, with the ability to deliver money to recipients within minutes if you use a debit or credit card. You’ll sacrifice a little on the exchange rate — bank account transfers generally provide the lowest rates — and pay an additional 3% for transfers done by using your credit card. India also allows instant transfers to certain banks, unlike the other benchmark countries.

Transfers using your bank account take three to five business days for delivery.

Transfer methods and options

High limits, multiple ways to pay, bank and cash pickup delivery options available


4.5 / 5.0

  • Sending channels: Remitly’s website and mobile app
  • Payment options: U.S. bank account, U.S. debit card and U.S. credit card
  • Delivery options: Bank account and cash pickup at a large number of locations, including banks, supermarkets and pharmacies
  • Transfer limits: $2,999 within 24 hours when you first register with Remitly. This can be increased to $10,000 if you provide some more information to confirm your identity or source of funds. The amount you can send within a month is capped at $30,000.

Customer experience

Detailed FAQs, 24/7 phone support, live chat


5.0 / 5.0

Remitly has one of the most robust customer service departments in the game. Phone service is available 24/7 in English and from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. Pacific time seven days a week in Spanish. The company also has live chat support and can be reached via email.

Its website is clean and easy to navigate. Fees are listed in FAQs. The locked-in exchange rate — the rate at which you begin your transfer that will hold till the end — is displayed at the top and bottom of every page. The FAQ section also has a clear list of common questions sorted by category and an explanation of how and when exchange rates are determined.

Remitly’s mobile experience is resoundingly positive, with a 4.7-star rating from iOS users and 4.3 stars from Android users, both on a 5-star scale.

Fast transfers at a decent price

Remitly

at Remitly

Remitly shines brightest in the speed department, with fast delivery options available in each country we looked at. Competitors that focus on speed compensate by having high price tags, but Remitly offers these services with moderate pricing. First-time users will get a notably good exchange rate. Its customer experience is also hard to beat.

It’s worth noting that if you’re not pressed for time and your recipient can wait for several days to pick up the money, other providers have cheaper fees and better rates.


RATINGS METHODOLOGY

We analyzed 11 top money transfer providers that work in the U.S., including major players and smaller, innovative companies in the international money transfer industry, based on market research, experts, cost analysis and U.S. internet traffic.

Providers considered: MoneyGram, OFX, Placid Express, Remitly, Ria, Transfast, TransferWise, Western Union, World First, WorldRemit, and Xoom (owned by PayPal).

WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN:

5 stars out of 5 — Excellent
4 stars out of 5 — Above average
3 stars out of 5 — Average
2 stars out of 5 — Below average
1 star out of 5 — Poor

How we rate money transfer providers

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