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Money Transfer App

Remitly Review: Rates, Fees & Safety

Last updated:
February 4, 2023

Facts & Figures

Established 2011
Headquarters Seattle, U.S.A
Offices U.S.A, Ireland, Nicaragua, Philippines, Poland, UK
Regulation FCA, Central Bank of Ireland
No. of customers 2.5 million
No. of currencies 70+
Transfer fees Start at 99p
Customer reviews 4.1/5, 35k reviews
Annual volume $6 billion
Minimum volume None
Online app Yes
Mobile app Yes

What is Remitly?

Remitly is an international money transfer and remittance company.

They’re primarily used by expats and travellers who want to send money home.

This might be repatriating a salary, or just supporting loved ones abroad.

Remitly was founded in the U.S.A in 2011 by Matt Oppenheimer and Josh Hug.

They sought to provide U.S. immigrants with a quick and cheap method to send money home.

As of 2022, they now have 7 offices around the world and provide their services internationally.

Over the last decade, Remitly has received a whopping $505million in investments.

Investors include:

  • QED Investors
  • Threshold
  • Stripes
  • PayU
  • Visa

In 2021, they went public on the NASDAQ, valued at $6.9billion.

Remitly Share Price
Remitly's share price

This followed in Wise’s footsteps, who IPO’d just 3 months prior.

Is Remitly a Bank?

Remitly is purely a remittance company.

They don’t have the ability to hold money.

Even if they could, it still wouldn’t make them a bank.

Remitly is authorised and regulated by the FCA as an Authorised Payment Institution.

They’re still required to protect you and your money, they just do it differently.

Your UK bank uses the FSCS to protect your money.

The FSCS will only recover up to £85k of your money if your bank goes under.
FSCS logo
The FSCS logo

Remitly, on the other hand, is required to ‘safeguard’ your money.

This means that if Remitly went bust while you had a pending transfer, you’d get your money back.

I’ll explain a little more about this here.

Remitly Features

Remitly works in a very similar way to WorldRemit.

They provide a very simple offering.

There aren’t any ‘features’ to the app.

All they can do is send money.

However, they can send different types of money.

Bank Deposit

This is just your standard bank transfer.

Remitly will deposit the funds into a bank account of your choice.

Simply provide Remitly with the account number and bank.

Delivery time depends on the currency and destination.

Cash Pickup

The recipient can collect the transfer as cash.

This can be from any Remitly partner, anywhere in the world.

Usually, once the transfer has been made, the cash can be picked up instantly.

The recipient will have to show some ID to complete the pickup.

Mobile Money

‘Mobile money’ is a wallet that’s connected to a mobile phone rather than a bank.

Instead of an account number, you use your mobile phone number.

Remitly can send money directly to a mobile money account.

It's definitely more of a niche option, but still useful.

Home Delivery

Some banks offer the option to deliver directly to the recipient’s home.

While it may take longer, it’s very convenient for some.

You’ll have to provide the recipients home address.

This option is a little less safer than others.

Delivering a parcel
Remitly offer home delivery

Is Remitly Safe?

Remitly is regulated by:

The Central Bank of Ireland covers the whole of the EU, and the FCA just the UK.

Companies like Wise, XE and WorldRemit are regulated all around the world.

Even though Remitly is only regulated by two entities, it doesn’t make them any less safe.

Getting regulated by one entity alone is a mammoth task.

You must prove that you’re safe and reliable with client money, over a long period of time.

You’re probably wondering how any regulation affects you

A requirement of the FCA is that the firm must handle client money separately from company money.

This means keeping them in separate accounts.

These separate accounts are what’s called ‘ring-fenced and safeguarded’.

This means that Remitly cannot use the funds in those accounts to pay creditors.

Or, if they went bust, to tie up the business.

If they did go under, you’ll receive the full amount of your money back (if not yet sent).

This is different to the protection that the high-street banks provide.

You’ll only receive up to £85k with them.

If you’re still in doubt, just remember that Remitly is publicly traded on the NASDAQ.

They’re a very safe company.

How Does Remitly Make Money?

Remitly makes money in two ways:

  1. Fees per transfer
  2. Exchange rates

Remitly charges an ‘express’ fee and an ‘economy’ fee.

An ‘express’ transfer is quicker, but costs more.

And vice versa.

The real money is in the FX spread.

This is the difference between the mid-market rate and the rate that Remitly gives you.

Remitly buys their currency for less than what their customer is paying.

It’s like how supermarkets work.

For example, Tesco will buy rice at 30p a pack and sell it to customers for 50p.

The 20p is profit.

Now apply the same method to currency and scale it up to £000s per transfer.

You can see where the money is made.

Spread infographic
How currency 'spread' works

Check out the above graph.

The blue line is the price a company would buy at, and the orange is the price they give the customer.

The light blue area is then the profit.

Remitly Rates, Fees and Costs

Remitly Rates

To determine a company's competitiveness, you must work out their spread.

It’s simply their markup from the mid-market rate.

The lower the % spread, the more you’re getting for your money.

Remitly’s spread varies for different currencies and corridors.

I’ve worked it out to be around 3% on average.

But, it can go as low as 1% if the corridor is popular (GBP/PHP, for example).

To compare:

Remitly seems to be worse than their competitors for margin.

Remitly Fees

Remitly’s fees vary from 99p to £9.99 to even around £50.

It depends on the amount, currency, destination, and chosen speed.

Most of the time, you can choose between an ‘economy’ delivery and an ‘express’ delivery.

Express is quicker but costs slightly more.

For most transfers, you’ll pay between 99p and £3.

However, some corridors such as USD/HNL can get as expensive as $55.99.

Remitly's fees for sending to Honduras
Remitly's fees for sending to Honduras

However, sending GBP/PHP is only £2.99 no matter the volume.

Remitly's fees for sending to the Philippines
Remitly's fees for sending to the Philippines

These fees don’t seem like a lot.

But if you’re transferring small amounts frequently, they can add up.

Remitly’s FX spread is already inferior, and the fees make it worse.

However, Remitly can send many more currencies to many more countries.

This kind of availability is unique and will add more costs for Remitly.

So, it makes more sense that they’re slightly more expensive.

Remitly Reviews

Remitly has nearly 35k reviews on Trustpilot.

Remitly's Trustpilot rating
Remitly's Trustpilot rating

However, they are only rated ‘great’, compared to ‘excellent’ like Wise and XE.

82% of reviews are 5 stars, and 9% are 1 star.

82% is a good figure, however 9% is a lot of people who leave a bad review.

It just means that less people are leaving 4, 3 and 2 star reviews.

Customers either love Remitly, or have had a poor experience.

Positive Reviews

There are some common themes within their positive comments.

“Very efficient and fast, this was my first time sending in to Mexico and I'm glad I did because Remitly was accurate with what they offer, thanks!” - Vicenza

An efficient, speedy, hassle-free service is what people love.

Having peace of mind is another point.

Remitly keeps you fully up to date on your transfer, right in the app.

Customers like knowing where their money is and what stage the transfer is at.

The app looks great, and is very easy to use.

I'll talk about the app a little further down.

Lastly, lots of people are praising the delivery times.

Most international payments take days, however some customers mention instant transfers.

Negative Reviews

Looking through, a lot of people are writing paragraph after paragraph on their negative reviews.

I’ve picked out a shorter one.

“Very bad service. I’ve used the express service at £2.99 to transfer money to my family hoping they can receive it right away by the lunar new year day but they didn’t receive it until 5 days later. Worst service ever, so frustrated, never coming back again.” - Loan

Clearly, customers have a lot to say about their negative experiences.

The most common thing is delayed payments.

When Remitly advertises instant transfers, customers are going to be disgruntled when it’s slow.

People follow that up with attempts to contact their customer service, who in turn do not help.

Some customers see weeks go by without an update on their missing transfer.

A lot of people mention ‘held’ payments too, i.e. compliance issues.

However, Remitly is obligated by their regulators to hold payments if they require more information.

As with 82% of their customers, you are unlikely to have an issue with your transfer.

However, if you do, you might struggle to resolve it.

How Do I Open a Remitly Account?

From their homepage, there are two ways:

  1. Click ‘Join Now’ in the top right
  2. Choose your home country and receiving country and click ‘Get Started’
Remitly's homepage
Opening an account with Remitly

Either one will take you through to the signup process.

You fill out a quick form and submit it.

Then, you’ll be prompted to verify yourself.

This means proving to Remitly that you are who you say you are.

Simply send them a scanned copy of your ID and a proof of address document.

This can be your passport and a utility bill.

After Remitly has verified you, you’re able to make transfers.

Do I Need a Remitly Account to Send Money?

No, you don’t need an account to receive money through Remitly.

All you need is a way of receiving said money.

Whether that’s a local bank account, or a local cash collection partner.

Just provide the sender with the details and you’re good.

You’ll obviously need an account to send money, though.

How Do Money Transfers Work?

Sending Money to Remitly

There are a few different ways to pay for your transfer:

  • Visa and Mastercard (debit or credit cards) — all sending countries
  • Prepaid cards — all sending countries
  • Bank account — U.S., Canada, and Australia
  • Maestro cards — European Union and U.K.
  • Klarna (also called Sofort) — Austria and Germany
  • Bank transfers (also called Faster Payments) — U.K.
  • iDEAL — Netherlands
  • Passbook — U.S.
  • Manual transfers (sometimes called SEPA credit transfers) — France

In my opinion, bank-to-bank transfers are the best.

They’re usually the cheapest and quickest.

However, that can depend on where you’re sending from.

Receiving Money from Remitly

Like I said before, there are 4 different delivery methods:

  • Bank deposit
  • Cash pickup
  • Mobile money
  • Home delivery
Remitly's delivery options
Remitly's delivery options

Mobile money and home delivery is rarely offered by remittance companies.

For bank deposits, you must give the sender your account details.

With cash pickup, you must choose from a list of Remitly partners.

There’s a lot of exotic countries that Remitly can send to.

However, there are a few where they can’t.

Syria, Iran, Iraq, North Korea and Russia are a few examples.

Always check before proceeding.

How Long Do Payments Take to Arrive?

Remitly has two methods of transfer:

  1. Economy
  2. Express

They claim that express transfers can arrive within minutes.

However, economy transfers will take 3-5 days.

The speed of the transfer completely depends on where you are sending from.

Some banks are slower than others.

How Do I Cancel a Remitly Transfer?

Cancel Your Transfer on the Remitly App

Open up the Remitly app.

  1. From the list on your Home screen, choose the transfer you'd like to cancel
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the transfer details and select Cancel Transfer
  3. Choose Yes, cancel to confirm
  4. Select a reason for your cancellation, then choose Submit

Cancel Your Transfer on the Remitly Website

Go to the Remitly website.

  1. Sign in to your profile
  2. Select Transfer history from the top menu
  3. Choose the transfer you'd like to cancel
  4. Select View receipt
  5. Go to the bottom of the screen and select Cancel your transfer
  6. Choose Cancel Transfer
  7. Select a reason for your cancellation, then choose Submit

You will be unable to cancel if the recipient has received the money.

How Do I Contact Remitly Customer Support?

It’s easy to get in touch with Remitly.

The issue that customers have is that they might not be helpful.

Everyone will have a different experience.

Here’s how to contact Remitly:

  1. Go to their website
  2. Scroll to the bottom
  3. Click Contact Us
  4. Select Help Centre, Chat, or Phone
How to contact Remitly
How to contact Remitly

They also have Spanish speaking agents available.

Remitly Mobile App

The Remitly app is available on the App Store and Google Play Store for free.

Remitly on the App Store and Google Play Store
Remitly on the App Store and Google Play Store

This is by far the most reviewed money transfer app.

Remitly has over 1 million reviews, averaging 4.9/5 stars.

That’s crazy good.

With the app, you can:

  • Receive transfer notifications
  • Refer friends and earn rewards
  • Check your transfer status
  • Edit your transfer
  • Upload documents securely
  • Increase your sending limits
  • Log in with your fingerprint (if your phone is compatible)

It’s clear that Remitly offers one of the best apps out there.

Is Remitly Right For Me?

It’s best to consider what Remitly is good at.

They specialise in exotic countries and currencies.

You can’t send money to Spain or France for example.

However, India, Pakistan and the Philippines are pushed heavily.

(Wise and XE are great for European transfers under £5000.)

So, I’d first consider where I’m sending my money to.

Secondly, I’d think about how much.

Remitly are great for smaller transfers.

My personal limit is £5k or equivalent.

For anything more, I’ll look at a currency broker instead.

You get a 1-on-1 account manager who’s there every step of the way.

For larger transfers, you’ll want the process to be problem and hassle free.

Currency brokers help with that.

They’re more hands on, and so the process might be a little slower.

Remitly is awesome if you like the quick DIY experience.

Otherwise, check out our article on the Best Currency Brokers.


As a publicly traded money transfer company, Remitly is clearly doing something right.

Their technology is above the rest, and transfer times are some of the quickest.

Their availability is great, too.

However, they are more expensive than their competitors.

Customers have also complained about delayed or blocked payments.

Regardless, the overall service they provide is brilliant.

Travellers, expats and migrants will love Remitly.

Just remember, you’ll want some more care with larger transfers.

For any transfers over £5k, consider a specialised broker.

Publicly traded company
100+ countries
Cash collection
Home delivery
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Remitly Pros & Cons


Publicly traded on the NASDAQ
Offer the ability to send to 100+ countries
Cash collection and home delivery are offered
Their mobile app is the highest rated of competitors
Lot's of ways to pay for your transfer


Rates are worse than competitors
Some major countries aren't included
Fees can get expensive with the most exotic countries

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If you like the look of Remitly and think they’ll do a great job with your transfer, click the button below and get a quick quote.

Frequently Asked Questions

My bank offers currency transfers. Should I just use them instead of Remitly?
No. Most high-street banks offer the worst currency rates on the market, paired with poor service and large transfer fees. On top of that, you won't have an advisor there to help with timing your exchange. In short, using your bank isn't a good idea.
Can I trust all of the companies on TopMoneyCompare, including Remitly?
Yes. We want to make sure that you and your funds are as safe as possible. That's why we only write about and compare regulated companies. You can rest assured that any company listed on TopMoneyCompare is very safe.
Can I use TopMoneyCompare to send money?
No. We are simply here to compare the different options available for you, and give you the necessary advice to help you with your transfer and maximise your exchange. We are not a currency broker or payment provider.
What is an international money transfer?
An international money transfer is the movement of money from one country to another via a bank transfer. Usually, this requires a currency conversion. Our purpose is to help you find the cheapest way to transfer money internationally.

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Even in 2022, most banks are still majorly overcharging on international transfers.

They provide some of the worst exchange rates on the market, combined with hefty transfer fees.

Fortunately, there are lots of other options available for you to get a better deal.

You’ll need to know which option is going to save you the most money and provide the service you need.

Using TopMoneyCompare’s real-time comparison engine, you can do exactly that.

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Fast-forward nearly 2 years, thousands of people now trust our guides and reviews.
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