What is Transferwise?

Wise review - overall score 4.7

Wise, formerly TransferWise is a digital bank established in 2011. It started by providing cheap international bank transfers at great exchange rates. Now with its Multi-currency account, it offers a modern banking alternative.

The Multy-currency account lacks some of the frills the other neo-banks already have. However, Wise, formerly 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. Wise's fee transparency is remarkable, you can easily find the cost of any feature you might use in advance on their website. However, if you are looking for a cheap solution and your needs are limited in terms of transaction volume, you may find a better provider.

Also be aware that your account cannot be used to fund certain trading activities. This includes transacting with merchants involved in the exchange or trading of:

  • cryptocurrencies
  • currencies (forex)
  • CFDs (contract for difference)
  • options (including but not limited to binary options)

When we tried to make a payment to a bitcoin exchange, the system refused the transfer, so this rule is definitely being enforced. However, our experience is that you can fund your brokerage account from Wise, even if the broker offers option trading for example.

Transferwise-review-bank-card

Wise Review 2021
Wise pros and cons

Pros

  • The most number of currencies to top-up in and hold among all digital banks
  • Remarkable customer service experience
  • Wise is listed on the London Stock Exchange

Cons

  • Doesn't have a banking license (no deposit guarantee or standing orders)
  • No free option to deposit USD to your account
  • You cannot use Wise to make transfers to merchants that facilitate the trading of cryptocurrencies, forex, CFDs and options

Wise Review 2021
Wise fees - 3.0

Account opening and maintenance fee

At Wise, account opening is free, and maintaining your account is also free, with no monthly cost. However, if you hold more than €15,000 in EUR balance, you will be charged 0.4% annually.

Card fees

Ordering a Wise debit card costs you £5/€8/$9.

ATM fees

The first two withdrawal with Wise from any ATM is free up to £200/$100 per month but costs 1.75% for UK/EU customers and 2% for US customers above this amount. Besides that over two monthly withdrawals there is a fix fee of £0.5 fee for UK/EU customers and a $1.5 fee for US customers per withdrawal.

Transfer fee

The cost of transferring money in the same currency as your Wise account will vary depending on your currency. Fees for some of the most popular currencies:

Fees of sending money
Currency Fixed
EUR €0.28
GBP £0.32
USD $0.93

Currency exchange fee

Wise also charges a currency exchange fee for international transfers. This will vary around 0.35-2.00% of the exchanged amount, depending on the currency. Fees for some popular currency pairs:

Fees of currency exchange
Currency pair Fee
EUR to USD 0.41%
GBP to USD 0.35%
USD to EUR 0.42%
GBP to PLN 0.42%

Top-up fee

Wise charges a top-up fee based on the currency and the method used to top up. The fastest and most convenient ways to deposit money, like credit/debit card payment are charged by variable fees. However, for many currencies (e.g. EUR or GBP) there are free ways to deposit money. Unfortunately, there is no method available to deposit USD free of charge.

Wise Review 2021
Wise vs. Revolut

  Wise, formerly Transferwise Revolut

Multicurrency account

Yes Yes

ATM withdrawal fees (standard account)

£200/$100/month free, 1.75%/2% after
£0.5/$1.5 fee after the second withdrawal

€200/£200/$300/month free
2% after

International transfer fee Around €0.5-2.0

Variable fee depending on the currency and the recipient country and the amount (typically between €0.3-€5)
 

International transfer exchange fee

Usually below 1.00%

£/€/$1,000 free per month, 0.5% fee charged above
Higher spread on weekends

Compare other digital banks

Wise Review 2021
Wise account opening - 5.0

Opening an account at Wise is super easy: it takes only a couple of minutes via your phone, and you will receive your physical card in just a few days as well.

Wise countries

Wise is available in almost every country, 144 to be exact.

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

Wise 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.

Current accounts

These are available in 10 currencies: AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HUF, NZD, RON, SGD, TRY and USD.

Currencies in the app

There are 54 currencies you can use between which to exchange money within the app: AED, ARS, AUD, BDT, BGN, BWP, CAD, CFA, CHF, CLP, CNY, CRC, CZK, DKK, EGP, EUR, GBP, GEL, GHS, HKD, HRK, HUF, IDR, ILS, INR, JPY, KES, KRW, LKR, MAD, MYR, MXN, NGN, NOK, NPR, NZD, PEN, PHP, PKR, PLN, RON, RUB, SEK, SGD, THB, TRY, TZS, UAH, UGX, USD, UYU, VND, ZMW, ZAR.

Top-up currencies

You can top up your Wise account in 19 currencies: AED, BDT, CLP, CRC, EGP, HKD, GEL, IDR, ILS, INR, KES, MXN, LKR, NGN, NPR, MAD, MYR, PEN, PHP, PKR, RUB, THB, UAH, VND, ZAR, and CNY.

Wise cards overview

Wise cards are available from Visa.

Wise Premium account benefits

Wise has no premium accounts.

Wise top-up methods

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

  • Bank transfer

  • Credit/debit cards

  • Apple/Google Pay

Wise Review 2021
Wise banking features

Wise, formerly Transferwise offers features that are similar to that of high street banks. Besides that many additional services were added recently, however, it still lacks some additional features that other digital banks offer: 

  • Your spending is categorized by the type of transaction (e.g. shopping, restaurants).

  • Savings can be stored separately from your main account balance, this feature is called a jar.

  • You can set up direct debits.

  • You can use ACH transactions.

We are missing the following for example:

  • 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 the amounts you actually spend and store the difference as savings.

  • It offers no interest on your savings.

  • Overdrafts are not possible.

  • Joint accounts are also not available.

  • 3D Secure online payments are currently only available for cards issued in the UK or the EEA.

Wise Review 2021
Wise additional features

You can use Wise 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 Wise.

Wise Review 2021
Wise customer service - 5.0

You can contact Transferwise via:

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

  • Phone: The phone assistance was quick and helpful.

  • E-mail: Our e-mails were answered in a timely manner with relevant information.

Live chat is available 24/7. Phone support is from Monday to Friday only. All in all, we had a really good experience with Wise customer service.

Author of this review

Tamás Deme

Author of this review

Tamás believes in clear and simple writing that is accessible to everyone. He has almost 20 years of experience as a financial journalist, as well as an editor and proofreader. He previously worked at Interfax news agency and wrote about M&A deals for EMIS DealWatch.

Tamás Deme

Content Editor

Tamás believes in clear and simple writing that is accessible to everyone. He has almost 20 years of experience as a financial journalist, as well as an editor and proofreader. He previously worked at Interfax news agency and wrote about M&A deals for EMIS DealWatch.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

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