Remitly International Money Transfer Review

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Remitly International Money Transfer Review

Written by Bryan Daly
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood

Remitly International Money Transfer Review

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Money Transfer Review

Remitly is a startup money transfer service that was founded in Seattle, Washington in 2011 by Mark Oppenheimer, Shivaas Gulati, and Josh Hug. Since then, their company has accumulated more than $310 million in equity investment.   

Originally, Remitly was created to help people who had immigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines send money back home. However, over the last few years, their network has expanded greatly and now accepts clients from the United States, Canada, Australia, the Eurozone (all 19 member states of the European Union) and the United Kingdom.

You can use Remitly to send money from 17 different countries to more than 50 receiving countries worldwide. Take a look at this review to know if Remitly is the right international money transfer service for you. 

How to Transfer Money Through Remitly? 

Remitly currently offers three transfer options:

  • Online – Using the Remitly website, you can create an account, where you’ll list your name, home country, and other personal details. You can then select the type of transfer you want and pay using a credit card, debit card or e-Transfer. While you do need to acquire internet access, the process is simple and quick.   
  • In-Person – For now, Remitly has a smaller global network than some other money transfer businesses. That said, they do have 140,000 service locations and terminals worldwide, including banks, pharmacies and supermarkets. Your recipients can also use these locations to pick up their transfer money in cash.
  • In-App – Remitly has a mobile app available through Google Play or the App Store. Although this option can be more convenient, you may have access to a smaller range of countries and options than you would by visiting their website or service locations.   

Types of Transfers Available Through Remitly

Some people don’t have access to a computer, mobile device or the internet. Others may have these commodities but don’t live anywhere near a Remitly service location. Thankfully, Remitly offers several types of transfer and payment options, including:

  • Bank Deposit – Speak with a Remilty agent (in person or by phone) or go online to create your account. You can then deposit funds and send transfers to your recipient’s bank account, which they can collect in their preferred currency. 

Learn how to send money from your credit card to your bank account

  • Remitly App – As mentioned, Remitly offers a free mobile app that you can also use to create your account and access similar transfer options. Your recipients can then accept transfers via online banking or their mobile wallet.
  • Cash Pick-Up – If they prefer, your beneficiary can visit their nearest Remilty outlet to access their account and collect their transfer in cash. In some areas, you can even arrange for the cash to be sent directly to their home address.

Check this out if you prefer a wire transfer.

How Does a Remitly Money Transfer Work?

Before you use Remitly as your international money transfer service, find out what kinds of conditions, rates, and fees you’ll encounter when activating your account or making transactions. Once you’ve determined that Remitly is right for you, follow these steps:

  • Create Your Account – Go online or visit a Remitly service outlet to set up your account and fill out your information (name, birth date, address, reason for the transfer, etc.). When you make your first transaction, you’ll also have to provide your financial details (bank account info, credit card number, etc.).  
  • Confirm Your Identity – Different transfers require different levels of identification. For example, you’ll need a piece of government ID, your SIN (Social Insurance Number) or TIN (Tax Identification Number) and proof of your income (recent bank statement, etc.) to transfer over $2,999 within 24 hours. 
  • Choose a Plan – Remitly offers two payment plans. The “Express” allows you to pay by credit or debit card and is the quickest way to send money transfers. The “Economy” has slightly longer delivery times and requires your bank account details but involves lower transfer fees and exchange rates.  
  • Add a Recipient – Enter your beneficiary’s personal and financial details. In addition, let them know that they may have to provide their own government identification (driver’s license, passport, etc.) to collect their money. Make sure all their information is correct to avoid any problems.  
  • Select a Payment Method – Remember, Remitly offers 3 different payment options: debit card, credit card, or e-Transfer. While credit and debit cards are faster, bank transfers cost less and allow for more flexibility in terms of how much money you can send (i.e. no credit limits).   
  • Complete Your Transfer – Once all personal and financial information has been verified, you can send your transfer and track its progress by logging into your Remitly account. You can also get email and SMS text notifications. Don’t hesitate to keep any receipts or confirmation documents on for future use.

Generally, the larger your transfer is, the longer it takes to be delivered. That said, the final delivery time also depends on where you’re located, where you’re sending the transfer, what payment method you’re using and which currencies are being exchanged. 

Need to send money to India? Check out Remit2India.

Here’s how long a Remilty international money transfer could take:

  • Express Plan – While extra fees may apply (card processing, etc.), the money is usually available within minutes, making it a better option for more important situations, such as your beneficiary’s rent or tuition. 
  • Economy Plan – Bank transfers can take 3 – 5 days, so they aren’t always great for pressing expenses. However, their lower fees and rates can help you save money. In some situations, Remitly might even waive your transfer fee altogether.

What Payment Options Does Remitly Offer?

There are several ways to fund your Remitly transfer. Note that some payment, transfer and money collection transfer options may not be available in certain locations: 

  • Credit Card – One of the fastest, but most expensive options, due to the high-interest rates of some cards. Luckily, Remitly accepts most major credit card brands in most sending countries, including Visa, Mastercard, and Maestro.
  • Debit Card – Remitly also accepts most debit cards (prepaid, business, Passbook Visa, Interac, etc.). Although similar costs may apply, some debit options don’t have spending limits like credit cards (better for large transfers).  
  • Bank/e-Transfer – This is normally the slowest but cheapest form of Remitly transfer. However, in places like the U.K., bank to bank transfers are actually the fastest payment method (Faster Payments Service). 

Learn more about how to transfer money to a bank account.

Remitly Money Transfers – Key Features

Transferable AmountsDepends on sending limit tier (see FAQs below)
Transfer Channels Phone, Online, Agent, In-App
Types of TransfersBank Deposit, App Wallet, Cash Pick-Up
Payment OptionsBank Transfer, Debit Card, Credit Card
Service Coverage17 Sending Countries, 88 Receiving Countries 

How Long Does it Take to Transfer Money With Remitly?

Bank Deposit 3 – 5 Business Days
Remitly AppVaries based on payment method
Debit/Credit Card & Cash Pick-UpMinutes

How Much Does it Cost to Transfer Money With Remitly?

The overall cost of your money transfer can vary based on various factors. To give you a better idea, here are some of the standard costs you may encounter with Remitly:

  • Transfer Fees – On average, Remitly transfer fees cost around $2.99 – $3.99. However, your fee may be waived following certain types of bank transfers.
  • Processing Fees – Since debit and card transactions may qualify as cash withdrawals, a processing fee of about 3% may apply to an Express transfer.
  • Credit Card Costs – Your card provider may charge advanced interest and fees on some transfers. So, your debit card could be a slightly cheaper choice.    
  • Exchange Rates – Remitly rates are competitive and 0.5% – 2% higher than mid-market rates. Fortunately, many new customers qualify for promotional rates.
  • Taxes – The taxes you’ll pay can depend on how large your transfer is, it’s country of origin and destination, and what currencies are involved. 

When coupled with your transfer amount, these extra costs can significantly increase the overall price of your Remitly transfer. That’s why you should speak with a customer service representative and get a proper transfer cost estimate before you decide that Remitly is the right international money transfer service for you.

Looking for a money transfer service for business payments? Check out Payoneer.

Are Remitly International Money Transfers Safe?

Thankfully, yes. One of the best things about Remitly is that they are a regulated Money Services Business registered with the U.S. Department of Treasury. Additionally, they have permission to operate within every Canadian province and territory. 

They also use advanced security measures to keep your information and money safe, along with risk management software and threat detection techniques that will automatically inform you of any suspicious activity on your account.

Apart from the potential costs involved, most Remitly customers have good things to say about their organization. In fact, Remitly offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee (or your money back) on all their money transfers. Not to mention, you’re allowed to cancel your transfer any time before it’s completed and your money will be fully refunded. 

Is Remitly the Right International Money Transfer Service For You?

All money transfer services have their pros and cons. While Remitly is a legitimate business with good customer reviews, it’s still important to consider the pros and cons of transferring or accepting money through their organization, such as:

Pros of Remitly

  • 100% satisfaction or your-money-back guarantee
  • Decent selection of sending and receiving countries
  • More than 140,000 service locations worldwide
  • Some payment options are cheaper than with other money transfer businesses
  • Same-day funding is possible (with the Express payment plan)
  • Promotional rates are often available for new clients
  • Existing clients can earn rewards by referring people to Remitly

Cons of Remitly 

  • Exchange rates and fees can be higher than other money transfer services
  • Rates and funding times may vary based on a particular country’s economy
  • A funding limit of $2,999 per week applies to all new accounts
  • Additional identification is required to make larger transfers
  • Limited financial tools included (no hedging options, etc.)
  • Fewer countries, currencies and locations than other transfer businesses
  • Transfer and refund times can be slow compared to other payment options

Remitly International Money Transfer - FAQs

How much money can I send with Remitly?

Remember, your designated sending limit depends on what tier Remitly puts you in when you activate your account and start making transfers. Here’s how it works:
  • Tier 1 Limits: 
    • $999/day (24 hours)
    • $2,999/week (7 days)
    • $10,000/month (30 days)
    • $18,000/six months (180 days)
  • Tier 2 Limits:
    • $6,000/day
    • $20,000/month
    • $36,000/six months
  • Tier 3 Limits:
    • $9,999/day
    • $30,000/month
    • $60,000/six months
  • Custom Tier Limits:
    • Based on your customer status

Can I cancel a Remitly money transfer?

As previously mentioned, Remitly will give you a full refund if you’re not happy with your transfer or you cancel it before your recipient collects their payment. The cancellation process is relatively simple. All you have to do is follow these steps:
  • Log into your Remitly app or web account
  • Tap or click on your “Transfer History”
  • Select your transfer and check that all relevant information is accurate
  • Tap or click on “Cancel Your Transfer” 
  • When you’re ready, tap or click “Yes, Cancel” to confirm
  • Select a reason for the cancellation from the designated list

Why is transferring money with Remitly so expensive?

Unfortunately, no international or domestic money transfer service is free to use. Every business, including Remitly, charges its own interest rates and fees, the amount of which can vary according to many different factors.  Nonetheless, there are several ways to decrease the cost of a money transfer as much as possible, including but not limited to:
  • Frequently check Remitly’s rates and compare them to other companies
  • Get a cost estimate off the Remitly website or by speaking with an agent
  • Choose bank or debit card transfers over credit card transfers 
  • Select countries and currencies with decent exchange rates
  • Pick the Economy plan (bank transfers, larger transfer limits, longer terms)
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