Transferwise Review 2019

Apr 2019

What is Transferwise?

Transferwise logo

Transferwise is a digital bank established in 2011. It started from providing cheap international bank transfers with great exchange rates. Now with its Borderless Account, it is offering a modern banking alternative.

As a rather new offering on the market, the Borderless Account lacks some of the frills the other neo-banks already have. However, Transferwise has a well-established reputation for providing a cheap and reliable service. For now, it is a great choice when most of your money is in a less popular currency. If you mainly receive your money in EUR or GBP, there might be better everyday banking options out there.

Transferwise-review-bank-card

Transferwise Review 2019
Transferwise pros and cons

Pros

  • Can top-up in and hold the highest number of currencies out of the digital banks

  • The best customer service experience (even though it's not 24/7)

Cons

  • Doesn't have a banking license (no deposit guarantee, direct debits or standing orders)

  • No spending overview or budgeting tools

  • Microdeposits don’t work (an issue when doing a card check e.g. with PayPal)

  • Started charging a minimum transfer fee

Transferwise Review 2019
Transferwise fees

Account opening and maintenance fee

At Transferwise, account opening is free and maintaining your account is also free. There is no monthly cost to that.

Card fees

Cost of Transferwise bank card with delivery is also free.

ATM fees

When you withdraw money with Tranferwise from any ATM is free up to £200 / month and costs 2% above this amount.

Transfer fee

Transferring money in the same currency as your Transferwise account has a flat fee. This will vary depending on your currency. The international transfer fee is €0.5-2.

Currency exchange fee

Transferwise also applies a currency exchange fee for international transfers. This will vary between 0.35-2% of the exchanged amount depending on the currency.

Transferwise Review 2019
Transferwise vs. Revolut

  Transferwise Revolut

Multicurrency account

Yes Yes

ATM withdrawal fees (standard account)

£200/month free, 2% after

€200/£200 /month free

2% after

International transfer fee €0.5-2

    
Free

(exc. SWIFT)

International transfer exchange rate

0.35-2%

0.5-2% on weekends

€6,000/£5,000 /month free, additional 0.5% after

Compare other digital banks

Transferwise Review 2019
Transferwise account opening

Opening an account at Transferwise is super easy: it takes only a couple of minutes to do it via your phone and receive your physical card also takes only a couple of days.

Transferwise countries

Transferwise is available in 144, almost all countries.

Check out this extensive country code list for available countries. EEA (exc. CY), AD, AE, AI, AM, AQ, AS, AU, AW, AX, BB, BJ, BL, BM, BN, BS, BT, CA, CC, CH, CK, CL, CN, CR, CX, DM, DO, FJ, FM, FO, GD, GE, GF, GG, GL, GP, GS, GY, HT, ID, IL, IM, IO, JE, JM, KN, KR, LC, MA, MC, ME, MF, MH, MN, MQ, MS, MY, NC, NF, NP, NR, NU, NZ, PE, PF, PH, PM, PN, PR, PW, PY, RE, SC, SG, SH, SM, SR, ST, TC, TF, TH, TW, US (exc. Nevada and Hawaii), UY, VA, VC, VG, YT

Transferwise currencies

When it comes to managing currencies there are differences in what currencies are available, what currencies they offer a current account in, what currencies you can hold in the app and what currencies you can use to top up your account in.

Current accounts

They are available in 5 currencies: AUD, EUR, GBP, NZD, and USD

Currencies in the app

There are 44 currencies you can use to exchange money between within the app: AED, ARS, AUD, BDT, BGN, CAD, CHF, CLP, CNY, CZK, DKK, EGP, EUR, GBP, GEL, HKD, HRK, HUF, IDR, ILS, INR, JPY, KES, LKR, MAD, MXN, NGN, NOK, NPR, NZD, PEN, PHP, PKR, PLN, RON, RUB, SEK, SGD, THB, TRY, UAH, USD, VND, ZAR

Top up currencies

You can top up your Transferwise account in 18 currencies which are: AUD, BGN, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HRK, HUF, NOK, NZD, PLN, RON, SEK, SGD, TRY, USD

Transferwise cards overview

Transferwise cards are available from Mastercard. There is no premium account.

Transferwise top-up methods

At Transferwise, you can use the following top-up methods:

  • Bank transfer

  • Credit/debit cards

Transferwise Review 2019
Transferwise banking features

Transferwise offers features that are similar to that of your existing bank. However it still lacks plenty of other features overall that other digital banks offer: 

  • Your spending is not categorised by the type of transaction (e.g. shopping, restaurants).

  • You cannot set monthly budgets.

  • You cannot send money to other users for free nor request money.

  • Smart savings are also not available so for example you cannot round up your spendings and store the excess amounts as savings.

  • Savings cannot be stored separately from your main account balance.

  • It offers no interest on your savings.

  • You cannot set up direct debits.
  • Overdrafts are not possible.

  • Joint accounts are also not available.

  • There are no Apple Pay or Google Pay integrations.

  • 3D Secure online payments are not available.

Transferwise Review 2019
Transferwise additional features

You can use Transferwise through your mobile app and it is also available on a desktop computer as a website. However, there aren't any additional features like loans, insurance, or investments at Transferwise.

Would you like to invest your savings on the stock exchange? Opening an online brokerage account is just as quick and easy as opening a digital bank account. Find a cheap and reliable online broker via our broker recommendation tool.

Find your online broker

Transferwise Review 2019
Transferwise customer service

You can contact Transferwise via:

  • Live chat: when tested, it connected immediately and could help with our issues.

  • Phone: The phone was fast and helpful.

It is not available 24/7. All in all, we had a really good experience with Transferwise customer service.

AUTHOR

Gergely Korpos
Gergely Korpos
Co-founder, CPO
Gergely's aim is to bring more clarity into personal investing. He has 10 years of experience in financial markets with GE Money, KPMG and MOL. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and financial portfolio manager
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