Transfast money transfer review: Fees, rates and transfer times

TransferWise
09.14.19
7 minute read

Transfast lets you send money online, and you can choose a variety of ways for the recipient to get the payment, including direct bank transfer, cash pickup and more.

When you’re choosing an international payment provider it’s smart to do some research into the options available to get the right deal for you. This Transfast review covers all the important points to get you started, including the fees, processing times and countries available. We’ll also offer an alternative for comparison - low cost payments with TransferWise including the TransferWise borderless account for increased convenience.

How does an international transfer with Transfast work?

Transfast operates entirely online and allows customers to send money to over 50 destination countries. ¹

The exact services available depend on the specific transfer you want to make. For example, you may be able to choose between having your money delivered directly to your recipient’s bank account, or having them collect it in cash at an agent location. In a few countries you could have the money home delivered to your recipient, loaded onto a cash card, or used to pay bills directly. ²

You may also have the option to pay for the transaction by bank transfer, or with a credit or debit card. ³

To see which options are open to you, you’ll need to visit the Transfast website and model the payment you want to make.

At this point you’ll also want to compare the fees and exchange rates used against other online transfer services. Check out a range of options including specialist services like TransferWise, to see if you can get a better deal.

TransferWise uses the mid-market exchange rate for all currency exchange, with a simple transparent fee structure. There’s no markup on the foreign exchange rates used which means cross border payments with Transferwise can work out to be much cheaper than your regular bank.

You may also benefit from a TransferWise borderless account which lets you hold multiple currencies, and switch between them conveniently and cheaply whenever you need to. Accounts are opened and operated online for convenience and you can manage your money on the go with an app.

What are the fees when you want to transfer money overseas with Transfast?

To understand the fees for your specific payment, as well as all of the options open to you, you’ll need to model the transfer online. You can then see the exchange rate - or exchange rates - available, as well as the transfer fee you’ll pay. Here are the costs you need to look at.

Fee type Transfast costs ⁴ ⁵
Transfer fee The fee you pay depends on where you’re sending money to, and how you fund your payment. In some cases you may have multiple options available to you. For example, sending US$500 to France or the United Kingdom will cost you $4.99. However, if you want to make the same payment to Mexico or the Philippines, you’ll have several different fee and exchange rate options to choose from. You could choose Value+, or Fasttrack payments, depending on your preference - which come with both different fees, and variable exchange rates. In general terms, Value+ payments may take a couple of days to arrive, but come with the best exchange rates and lowest fees. Fasttrack payments arrive faster, and may be funded by both wire transfers and card payments - but come with higher costs and less favorable exchange rates.
Exchange rate costs Don’t forget to look carefully at the exchange rate offered for your payment. You may have several options to choose from depending on how quickly you need to process the payment. Compare the rate you choose with the mid-market exchange rate, and with the foreign exchange rates used by other services. More on the mid-market exchange rate and why it matters, in a moment.
Other charges to check out Depending on how you fund your payment you may also come up against other fees. Transfast warn that credit card - and sometimes debit card - payments may be treated as cash advance payments and incur issuer fees. You’ll also sometimes come across extra charges added when funding payments with a wire transfer, because of the SWIFT network. These fees may mean your recipient gets less than you expect. More on that - and cash advance fees - below.

There are a couple of tricky charges to watch out for when making international transfers. We mention the SWIFT network above. This is a common way for banks and international payment providers to process bank transfers, and involves several banks working together to move money across the world. Think of it like your payment taking a series of connecting flights to get to its ultimate destination.

Unfortunately any of the banks involved can take a fee, which may mean your recipient gets a lower amount that you’d expected.

You can avoid the SWIFT network with a provider like TransferWise which uses a smart new approach to dodge SWIFT charges on most payments.

It’s also worth noting that Transfast warns users that some card issuers may add their own charges if you make an international payment. Here’s what they say:

“It is generally recommended to use a debit card to pay for your transfer as credit cards incur a higher fee due to higher processing costs.

Additionally, depending on your card and issuing bank, payments via credit card (and very occasionally, debit card) can be interpreted as a cash withdrawal and may carry additional fees. Unfortunately we have no way to know this in advance, but the bank that issued your card should be able to provide more information.”

Make sure you check out all the possible fees you might encounter, so there are no surprises along the way.

What are the currencies that Transfast supports?

With Transfast you can transfer money online from the US and Canada to over 50 destination countries:⁶

  • Bangladesh
  • Benin
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Ethiopia
  • France
  • Gambia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Guatemala
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Ivory Coast
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Mali
  • Mexico
  • Nepal
  • Nigeria
  • Nicaragua
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Vietnam

It’s helpful to know the services available as well as the fees may vary from country to country.

Compare the service you’ll get from Transfast with great value international payments from TransferWise. With TransferWise you’ll also be able to get a borderless account that lets you hold and manage over 40 currencies in the same place. You can also send money to over 50 destinations for a low transparent fee.

What is the exchange rate you get with Transfast?

Transfast set their exchange rate based on the rates being offered by competitors on a particular day. Rates are set around 10am EST, and you’ll see the rate you can get for the currency you need, when you model your payment online.⁶

Transfast say they do their best to beat their competitors when it comes to exchange rates. However, it’s still smart to compare the rates offered to the mid-market exchange rate, which is the one you’ll find on Google.

The mid-market rate is the one that banks and currency services get when they buy foreign currencies. However, providers don’t necessarily pass that rate on to the customer. Instead they might add a markup to the rate to increase their profits.

Not all services do this. It’s worth comparing the exchange rate you’ll get from Transfast with the rate on offer from TransferWise, to see how the overall cost compares. TransferWise uses the mid-market exchange rate for international payments, and charges an upfront fee, which can work out to be cheaper than using some other providers.

Are there any limits to the amount that you can transfer with Transfast?

The limits applied by Transfast will depend on how often you use the service. So for example, you may initially be able only to send a maximum of $500 per transfer, but this could rise automatically over time if you use the service more frequently.

If you need to make a large payment - over $10,000 - you’ll need to contact Transfast to give some extra details and documents for checking.⁷

How long does an international transfer with Transfast take?

Transfast transfers can take anything from 1-7 business days to arrive, based on a wide range of factors. You’ll get an estimated arrival time for your payment when you arrange it online. It’ll then depend on factors like the time zones and working hours in your destination country, whether there are local holidays to account for, and if Transfast need to ask for any further information from you to process the payment.⁸

How can you contact Transfast?

Check out the FAQ section to resolve common issues easily, and you can also view the progress of your transfer online. Call Transfast toll free on 1 (888) 973-6383 if you still have questions.³


Using a specialist provider of international payments is a smart plan. While cross border payments from traditional banks tend to be inefficient and expensive, currency and payment experts can often offer you a better deal. However, you’ll need to check out several options to find the right one for you. Look at the fees and exchange rates available from Transfast, and also compare other services like TransferWise to get the best deal over all.


Sources:

  1. Transfast main page
  2. Transfast FAQ - Sending your money transfer to your recipient
  3. Transfast FAQ - Paying for your money transfer
  4. Transfast - Send money online,
  5. Transfast - FAQ - Paying for your money transfer
  6. Transfast FAQ - Getting to know Transfast
  7. Transfast FAQ - Understanding sending limits
  8. Transfast - Tracking your money transfer

Sources last checked 13 August 2019


This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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