2019 Skrill Review: How does it work? What are the fees and alternatives?
Is Skrill the best option for sending money abroad? Compare your options to make sure you get the best exchange rate and lowest fees for your transfer.
Our independent review of Skrill
Interested in money transfers? You can also read our TransferWise Review, TransferGo Review, Azimo Review and CurrencyFair Review.
Skrill is a digital wallet allowing you to make payments and send money online. Skrill, known as MoneyBookers until 2013, is mainly used as a payment gateway by many e-commerce, gaming and gambling websites. Skrill can also be used for international money transfers to mobile wallets or bank accounts through a service called “Skrill It”.
While using Skrill It to send money to your friends and family abroad can be convenient for you (especially if you already have a Skrill account), it is usually a very expensive way to send money. Skrill charges a 1.9% transfer fee (capped at €20, or equivalent) and takes a 3.99% margin on the exchange rates. The total cost of your transfer can therefore be almost 6% of the amount you are sending, and even more if you include the upload and withdrawal fees.
You can transfer money by paying with a credit card or some of the other payment options offered by Skrill (iDeal, Sofort or balance from your Skrill wallet). Your recipient can receive the money on their Skrill account, which they can then withdraw to their bank account. You can also send money directly to your recipient’s mobile wallet in several countries (mPesa in Kenya and Albania, MTN in Ghana, Indosat Dompetku in Indonesia, eSewa in Nepal, MobiDram in Armenia, Globe GCash in the Philippines, eZ Cash in Sri Lanka, M-PAiSa in Fiji and Airtel in Burkina Faso). You can also send money to anyone with a Skrill account simply by entering their email address. If the beneficiary doesn’t have a Skrill account they will be invited to open one, and they will then be able to withdraw the funds.
In most cases, Skrill won’t be the best solution for your international money transfers and we recommend comparing your options using our real-time comparison tool to find cheaper alternatives. You can compare ways to send money to India, send money to the United-States, send money to France or send money to the United Kingdom for example.
Compare Skrill fees and exchange rates
How Skrill works
Open an account
Visit Skrill's website and open a free account
Enter the details about your recipient
Tell Skrill where you need to send money and to whom.
Set-up your transfer with Skrill
Enter how much money you want to send and how you want to pay for your transfer.
Pay for your transfer
Fund your transfer by making a local bank transfer or pay by debit or credit card
Let Skrill do the rest
Skrill will convert your money in the recipient's currency and send it to him through the selected pay-out option.
Fees & Exchange Rates
In order to transfer money with Skrill, you first need to upload money to your Skrill Wallet. You have a lot of options to do that, but the only free option is to use your bank account or a Maestro debit card. If you want to upload money to your account via other means, you will pay the following fees :
- Rapid : 0.5%
- Bitcoin: 1.0%
- Sofort : 1.5%
- Neteller: 3%
- Diners Club, JCB, MasterCard and Visa : 1.90%
- American Express: 2.5%
- Paysafe : 7%
Then, for each transfer your make, Skrill applies a transfer fee of 1.9% of the amount you send (with a maximum of €20, or equivalent).
If you send money to another currency, Skrill will convert the money for you, taking a 3.99% margin on top of their wholesale exchange rates.
For the recipient to withdraw the money from their Skrill account, they will need to pay a fixed fee of €5.5 or equivalent.
Adding all these fees can make for a very costly transfer, especially if you are converting currencies.
Let’s say you need to transfer £500 from the United Kingdom to a friend in France, the transfer cost will range from £33.81 (if you upload the money to your Skrill account via a bank transfer) up £46.31 (if you pay with your American Express for example). That is a total cost of 6.8% - 9.3%!
Skrill has very poor reviews on Trustpilot, with a global score of 2.5 / 10. More than 60% of the reviewers give Skrill’s services only one star.
A lot of complaints are from users whose accounts were suddenly closed due to opaque compliance reasons. Some others have difficulties to log into their Skrill account and don’t receive answers from Skrill customer support. The charges for inactive account also upset quite a few users.
Note: Skrill is not inviting its users to share their experience with TrustPilot which could explain part of the reason for the high proportion of bad ratings.
Where are you sending money to?
- Our real-time comparison engine finds the cheapest providers for your transfer to Nigeria. You save on fees and exchange rates, and more money arrives.
- Our real-time comparison engine finds the cheapest providers for your transfer to Mexico. You save on fees and exchange rates, and more money arrives.
Compare Skrill to 300+ other providers
Questions you may have
Read our guides on sending money abroad
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