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Free First Money Transfer (& Bonus Rate to The Philippines) @ Remitly

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I recently used Remitly and found them very good. They seem to specialise in quick money transfers to non-first world countries. They support some of the smaller currencies which the major online transfer websites don't. And they get the money to the recipient's account very quickly at a low cost.

Mod: Added to referral system below. If clicking on referral link, and wishing to transfer to a country other than the Philippines, goto the bottom of the page and change the "Send money to" box from the Philippines to the country you wish to transfer money to.

Referral Links

Referral: random (62)

The new customer will get an additional $15-$30 to send with their first transfer. The referrer will also get $15.

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closed Comments

  • Better than transferwise?

    • I haven't used transferwise so can't compare. I did use one of the other major sites to transfer money and fees were deducted from the money the recipient received in their bank account unlike with Remitly.

  • How much do people send back to their families as a proportion of their income? Interested as a cracker

    • Really high for Philippines. Based on friends, i'd say close to all of it. So pay the bills + groceries. Maybe leave some for gadgets like new phone/laptop. The rest would get sent home.

      Biggest problem is people overseas treat this remittance money like it grows on trees. So when the worker finally goes home, there's nothing left unless they were smart with investing. So what you end up with for a lot of them is years away from family for little benefit to their future.

      • Wow, I know they have different cultures and they don’t have a pension back home, but you’d think a more equitable percentage would be arranged. I wonder how many student visas have this arrangement with cleaning jobs and stuff.

      • Btw thanks for the feedback. Very interesting. Also, also say u send $100 back home, how much of that $100 makes it to your family? How much eaten up by transfer fees, currency conversion fees etc?

        • Most Filipinos I know use non-WU/non-Bank ways to send money. Let's say you go with a small remittance company.

          For $100 AUD, you will lose close to $1 vs interbank rate
          Another $9 handling fee so the family can pick it up at a local shop near them. (Philippines has a high unbanked rate)
          So $100 AUD ends up being $90 AUD. That's pretty high % taken out.

          I've started using crypto (i.e. bank -> independentreserve -> coins.ph) to transfer. It's usually around $5 total fees.
          I mainly use it as it's convenient for me, open 24/7 so don't have to call anyone to tell them who I'm sending it to. The downside is the rate gets worse as you go higher (because of crypto exchange fees).

          It's an interesting space that still has room for disruption. The AML/KYC is a big issue for it though.

          • @bisaya: Oh I see. Like u send BTC or XRP. You would have to have a tech savvy family back home to do that though right

            • @Bellpop: @Bellpop Nah, I do all the work. All they do is go to a shop with their ID and pickup the cash.

              If you are interested, steps are below:
              1) Transfer AUD to independentreserve or btcmarket. No cost for either but if in a rush, I use btcmarket as they have payid & fund arrives within 20mins usually.
              2) Using AUD, buy BTC or ETH from the exchange (instant)
              3) Send the money from the exchange to my coins.ph PHP wallet. This is auto converted at BTC/PHP or ETH/PHP rate depending on which I use. ETH is usually quicker. 15-30mins
              4) On the coins.ph site or app, 'Cash out' and provide details of who is getting paid. e.g. Name: Juan Smith, Address: 123 City.
              5) After a few mins, Juan can go to the shop and get the cash.

              I can also do the same thing if I'm there on holidays. Do all the same steps as above except I use my details as receiver and bring ID. Cheaper rate than money exchange or travelex.

              For those not tech savvy, it would be daunting. Hopefully coins.ph or a competitor there does a joint venture with an AU exchange to create a smoother experience.

              • +1 vote

                @bisaya: Seems like you'd still get a far better rate just using an ING card and withdrawing cash once you're over there (0% fee, interbank rates, any foreign ATM fees covered as well); even 5% is a massive cut!

        • Just played with TransferWise. You send A$100, they charge a fee of A$4.97 for bank to bank transfer.

          Rate quoted is P36.3703 so the recipient receives P3456.27.

          • @JaxSantiago: Wow that’s interesting. So if a family from Philippines, Thailand, indo etc can get a family member to Australia to work and send back cash it can be fairly lucrative. Maybe the equivalent of a few family members working back home?

          • @JaxSantiago: And if you use instarem.com

            You Send1,000 AUD
            Fee 0 AUD
            With POLI Transfer Method
            Conversion Amount1,000 AUD
            Conversion Rate AUD/PHP 36.334 PHP
            Recipient Receives36,334 PHP

            Intresting isn't it, the funds have to go into a bank account, no cash collection.

            • @Curiouscat: $0 fee? Is that a 1 off promotion similar to remitly's?

              Noticed and noted that TransferWise does give a slightly higher rate.

              • @JaxSantiago: Havent used them for php transfers , but it looks like ongoing rather than just a once off.

                • @Curiouscat: That got me curious enough to check, and found the following:

                  How much fees does InstaReM charge?

                  Our fees differ from countries and corridors of transfers with typical fees varying between 0.25% to 1%. The fees are subject to change and can be reviewed for any given time on the InstaReM currency converter.

                  So the $0 fee is probably a promo offering.

  • Sorry but had one of the worst experiences with Remitly. Western Union or instarem are having better rates and faster.

  • Instarem has a better rate

    • I'm not familiar with Istarem. I had a quick look at their site and for the Philippines, it seems their normal rate is slightly better. Although it seems they don't support Debit or Credit card payments which may be a problem if speed is important. Remitly has a much higher promotional first transfer rate (1 AUD = 39 PHP) compared to Instarem (1 AUD = 36.33). So maybe Remitly is good to use once just for the first transfer promo or if you need debit/credit card payments?

  • I use World Remit.

  • I've used HiFX and OFX to transfer large amounts of money between AU, NZ and Thailand (only in to Thailand; getting cash out is painful). Contact them both and tell them that you're comparing rates and planning on transferring a lot of money, they'll put you on better rates, which (for me) ended up with HiFX being marginally better than OFX, and both being marginally better than Transferwise, and Transferwise still being vastly better than almost everyone else.

  • Hi, George here. Does anyone know how I can get the government to pay for these fees. I spend most of my time in the Phillipines unless Peter D asks me to come back for a cabinet vote on leadership.