Instarem and Wise (formerly TransferWise) are both positively reviewed by users and by us, but which one is the best?
Wise takes the lead with its wide availability in multiple countries and convenient multi-currency account, allowing you to effortlessly hold, spend, and receive money in different currencies.
On the other hand, Instarem starts with lower fees, making it a more cost-effective option for certain transfers. Its low minimum transfer limit also caters to those sending smaller amounts overseas.
In this post, we’ll dive into the features, fees, exchange rates, customer reviews, and more of both Instarem and Wise.
|New user incentive
|Fees and costs
|Ease of use
Instarem vs Wise Company Comparison
Instarem is a Singapore-based fintech company founded in 2014. It is in over 55 countries and offers international/domestic money transfers and forex services with competitive exchange rates. Instarem allows for cash collection exclusively in the Philippines. It also lets you transfer funds in eight currencies.
It’s registered with FinCEN which gives users peace of mind that the service is regulated and safe.
See our review of Instarem.
Wise (formerly TransferWise) operates in over 80 countries with 21 currencies and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.
The platform is user-friendly and offers real-time notifications and 24/7 customer support. Additionally, Wise offers multi-currency accounts, payment APIs, and debit cards.
The Wise multi-currency account is beneficial for businesses that are managing international transactions in one place. Wise is also available in more countries and provides access to more currencies than Instarem.
Read our review of Wise.
Fees and Costs Comparison
|0.25% to 1%
|0.5% to 1%
Instarem charges a flat fee for its money transfer services based on the amount being transferred and the destination country. For example, transferring funds in USD overseas is $15 for transactions under $5,000 and $20 for transactions that are more than $5,000. Fees are also applied if the currency is being converted.
The average cost for transferring funds is 0.25% to 1% of the amount being transferred. Users are provided with a breakdown of costs in a summary page before confirming a transaction.
Instarem offers a range of coupon codes that vary depending on the country and currency. You can enter the relevant coupon code on the summary page of a transaction by clicking “Apply Code”.
Wise operates similarly to Instarem with low fees that vary depending on the currency and country. There are no conversion fees when transferring funds in the same currency. However, a 0.5-1% fee is charged when transferring funds into a different currency.
Wise also has a referral bonus promotion. This works by sending a signup link to three people. When they use the link to sign up, they can make their first transaction for free up to £500.
Once the three people you invited make transfers exceeding £200, Wise gives you up to £50 in referral bonuses.
Both Instarem and Wise offer low fees for international money transfers. The specific fees vary depending on the countries and currencies that you’re dealing with.
Exchange Rate Comparison
Instarem adds a small premium to the mid-market rate. This will vary according to the current market as well as the countries and currencies that you’re dealing with. The exchange rate is always provided before you confirm a transaction.
Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate without any markups or hidden fees. Users are also provided with real-time updates about the exchange rate which enables them to use the most up-to-date rate before confirming their international transfers.
Wise doesn’t add any markups to the mid-market exchange rates whereas Instarem does. Whilst Instarem still shows you the breakdown of markups before confirming transactions, many users prefer Wise as it’s more transparent and can be cheaper for large transfers.
Instarem operates under nine financial regulators around the world. As a result, users feel confident that their funds are in safe hands. The company also implements fraud prevention tactics and uses 128-bit SSL encryption for all transactions.
Wise is licensed to be a money transmitter and is registered with FinCEN. It also uses encryption technology to ensure that transactions are safe.
Both Wise and Instarem are regulated, licensed, and safe.
Transfer Speed Comparison
Instarem processes transfers within 1 to 2 business days, with the exact transfer time depending on the destination country and the transfer amount. Instarem also provides real-time updates on the status of transfers which gives users peace of mind.
Wise transfers are typically processed within 1 to 2 business days. However, they can be delivered in seconds with certain currency routes. You can also see the estimated transfer delivery time within the Wise app.
Whilst InstaRem and Wise transfers typically take 1-2 business days, Wise can complete transactions within seconds between certain currency routes. Most Wise transfers are also completed within 24 hours. Therefore, Wise is best for fast transfers.
Ease of Use Comparison
- Transfers – Instaream and Wise users can easily make transfers via the app or online via a desktop.
- Funding – Wise and Instarem transactions can be funded with debit/credit cards or bank accounts.
- Making an account – Both Instarem and Wise accounts can be created using the apps or by using their websites online.
- Transfer limits – Wise limits vary depending on the payment method and currencies being used. Users can often send multiple transactions of smaller amounts if they exceed the limit for a single transaction. Instarem’s minimum transfer is $1. The maximum limit varies on country and currency.
Customer Review Comparison
- Trustpilot – 4.4/5 stars with over 185,000 reviews.
- Google Play Store – 4.1/5 stars with over 247,000 reviews.
- Apple Store – 4.6/5 stars with over 27,000 reviews.
Wise users have been pleased with the transparent fees and fast transfer speeds. One of the main downsides is that some users experience a long verification process.
- Trustpilot – 4.4/5 stars with over 7,000 reviews.
- Google Play Store – 3.7/5 stars with over 7,000 reviews.
- Apple Store – 4.1/5 stars with over 600 reviews.
Instarem users are pleased with how easy the app is to use for domestic and international money transfers. However, some users found the transfer times were too long.
Wise has thousands more reviews compared to Instarem and is also rated more highly for its fast transfer times and transparent fees.
Instarem operates in over 55 countries and supports 8 currencies. Wise, on the other hand, is available in over 80 countries and supports 21 currencies.
Therefore, Wise has the edge over Instarem as it’s available in more countries and offers more currencies.
Instarem and Wise are both trustworthy and safe money transfer services. However, Wise is a more established money transfer service than Instarem and has gained the support of thousands of customers.
Wise doesn’t add a markup to the mid-market exchange rate which users appreciate as it can make for cheaper transfers with larger transactions compared to Instarem.
In addition, users have mentioned that Wise transfers are fast and can even be completed in seconds with certain currency routes. Instarem’s transfer speeds are a little slower with users reporting that transfers typically take 1-2 business days. Wise is also available in more countries and offers more currencies.
Availability, transparency, and speed are all areas where Wise beats Instarem which makes them a clear winner.
After reading through our post, we hope you’re left with a better understanding of what Instarem and Wise offer. Be sure to consider the factors mentioned above to decide which one of these money transfer services is best for you.
Is there a better solution than Wise?
Remitly is a great Wise competitor for individuals looking to transfer money internationally. Recipients can have cash delivered to their address or a specific location for pick-ups. The other transfer options include a mobile wallet transfer or a direct deposit.
Remitly users can choose the express service for a fee to complete transfers that arrive in seconds or hours. The standard transfer service usually takes 3-5 business days.
Wise has more transparent fees and provides cheaper transfers, however, Remitly’s express service and cash delivery options may be more beneficial for some.
Which is cheaper, Instarem or Wise?
Instarem and Wise are both priced similarly. However, Wise doesn’t add a markup on the mid-market exchange rate meaning that users find it cheaper for large payments.
How many currencies do Instarem and Wise support?
Instarem supports 8 currencies and Wise supports 21 currencies.