Fast vs. Cheap: Balancing Speed and Cost in Money Transfers

By Remitbee - Nov 17, 2023

In today's globalized world, money transfers are a fundamental part of our daily lives. Whether you're sending money to family members abroad, paying for international business transactions, or supporting a charity halfway across the world, the need to transfer money quickly and cost-effectively is paramount. However, finding the right balance between speed and cost can be challenging. This article explores the nuances of fast and cheap money transfers, helping you make informed decisions when sending funds internationally.

The Need for Speed

When it comes to money transfers, speed is often of the essence. Emergencies, urgent bills, or time-sensitive financial commitments can require funds to arrive at their destination as quickly as possible. Here are some scenarios where speed is critical:

Medical Emergencies: When a loved one falls ill or faces a medical emergency abroad, you may need to send money for hospital bills or treatment without delay.

Travel Expenses: While travelling internationally, you might need to access funds swiftly for unexpected expenses, such as a lost passport or a sudden change in travel plans.

Business Transactions: In the business world, time-sensitive deals and payments can be crucial for maintaining good relationships with international partners or clients.

Education Abroad: Students studying abroad may require timely financial support for tuition fees, accommodation, or other living expenses.

The Trade-Off: Cost vs. Speed

While speed is crucial in certain situations, it often comes at a higher cost. Fast money transfer services typically charge higher fees and offer less favourable exchange rates than slower alternatives. Therefore, it's essential to weigh the trade-off between cost and speed when choosing a money transfer method.

Traditional Banks

Many people still rely on traditional banks for international money transfers. While banks offer a familiar and secure option, they are relatively slow and expensive. Transfer fees can be substantial, and exchange rates may not be competitive. Banks often take several business days to complete transfers.

Money Transfer Companies

Specialized money transfer companies, such as Western Union, MoneyGram, and TransferWise (now Wise), offer faster options than traditional banks. They have a network of physical locations worldwide, making it convenient to send and receive funds. However, these services can be costlier due to higher fees and less favourable exchange rates.

Online Money Transfer Services

Online money transfer services have gained popularity in recent years due to their convenience and competitive rates. Companies like RemitBee, PayPal, Xoom, and Wise offer fast, online transfers with better exchange rates and lower fees than banks or traditional money transfer companies. However, the transfer speed may vary based on the service chosen.

Cryptocurrency Transfers

For those looking for both speed and cost-efficiency, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have emerged as a viable option. Cryptocurrency transfers can be nearly instantaneous and incur lower fees than traditional methods. However, they require both the sender and receiver to have a cryptocurrency wallet and a good understanding of the technology.

Factors to Consider

When deciding between fast and cheap money transfers, several factors should guide your choice:

Urgency: Assess the urgency of your transfer. If time is of the essence, prioritize services that offer fast delivery, even if they come with higher costs.

Amount: Consider the amount you're transferring. For larger sums, even a slightly better exchange rate can lead to significant savings, making it worth the wait for a more cost-effective option.

Destination: Different services may be more efficient and cost-effective for specific countries or regions. Research the availability and reliability of the chosen service in the destination country.

Transfer Fees: Compare the fees associated with different money transfer methods. Remember that some services may offer zero or low fees but compensate through less favourable exchange rates.

Exchange Rates: Pay attention to the exchange rates offered by the service. Services that provide competitive rates can save money, especially for larger transfers.

Transfer Limits: Some services impose transfer limits, which can affect your choice if you need to send a substantial amount of money.

Customer Support: Consider the level of customer support offered by the money transfer service. Good customer service can be essential in case of any issues or questions.


Fast and cheap money transfers serve different needs, and the right choice depends on your specific circumstances. Balancing speed and cost require careful consideration of the factors discussed in this article. Whether you prioritize the urgency of your transfer, the destination, or the amount you're sending, there's a money transfer method that fits your requirements.

It's essential to stay informed about the latest developments in the money transfer industry as new services and technologies emerge. Ultimately, the key to making the right choice is being well-informed and choosing the best method for your unique financial needs and preferences. By striking the right balance between speed and cost, you can ensure that your money reaches its intended destination efficiently and cost-effectively.

RemitBee offers the fastest, safest, and cheapest money transfers from Canada worldwide. With RemitBee's money transfer services, you get the best currency exchange rates. Transactions are fast and 100% online, so it is very convenient. When you send over 500 CAD, your transfer fee is free!