The Wise (formerly TransferWise) was founded in 2011. It is a UK-based company that allows users to open Wise accounts, which can then be used to spend, receive and transfer funds in many countries worldwide. In this Wise debit card review, you will find out all fees, features, pros, and cons that the card offers.
If you’re traveling a lot, you know the costs involved with the foreign transactions, currency conversion fees, ATM withdrawal fees, and various other fees. The Wise card allows you to spend money in any country around the world. You can send and receive funds in multiple currencies and countries.
Using a Wise debit card can save you a lot of money when dealing with money transfers, currency conversions, etc. But is the Wise card the right choice for your needs?
Wise Debit Card Review
Inexpensive money transfers are the Wise (formerly TransferWise) company’s primary focus. People can send money back and forth between banks in many countries.
Wse MasterCard is the only card option that Wise currently offers. Soon Visa card will also be available. You can pay for products and services with any currency that’s in your account balance with a credit card.
Their conversion fees are very minimal, and there aren’t any card transaction fees. The Wise card is available to residents of the European Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland, Singapore, New Zealand, the UK, and the US.
- Price for opening personal account
- Personal account bank details fee
- Price for opening business account
- Business account bank details fee
- Countries where you can open account
- Countries where card is available
- Available currencies for convert and hold
- Receive bank details (currencies with account details)
- Credit card payments fee
- Currency exchange fee
- Withdrawing money from ATM fee
- ATM limits
- Annual fee for holding EUR balance
- 3D Secure payments
- Card limits
- Virtual cards
- Type of card
- Card contactless payments
- Fee for card payments
- Number of physical cards you can have
- Number of virtual cards you can have
- Disposable virtual cards
- Integration with accounting software
- Compatible with Apple Pay and Google Pay
- Cryptocurrencies trading
- Insurance options
- Recurring payments
- Direct debit
- Lounge pass
- Group bills
- Stock trading
- Commodities trading
- WISE (Formerly TransferWise)
- One-time fee between 16–21 GBP (or equivalent in your currency).
- UK, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, most of the EEA, and US.
- USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, AUD, NZD, SGD, HUF, RON, TRY
- Free as long as the payment is in a currency that you currently hold.
- Free up to £200 (or currency equivalent) and then 1.75% on anything over 200 GBP/EUR. This fees can be different for other countries.
- Daily limit is 1500 GBP (or currency equivalent) but you can increase it.
- 0.4% if your balance is 15,000 EUR for persosnal account and 70,000 EUR for business.
- There are different limits for cardholders in different countries. But most can be increased via app.
- Mastercard. Visa coming soon
- Not available
- FreeAgent, QuickBooks Xero, etc.
- Email, live chat, phone
NOTE: Information stated in comparison may become outdated as Wise often makes changes. I will try to keep it updated. For the most accurate data, check the official site.
Where your card is issued will determine the limits on how much money you can withdraw for free. The Wise app can be used to monitor all limits. The limits are:
- Europe or UK-issued cards allow users to make two withdrawals for up to 200 EUR/GBP per month free of charge. There’s a 50p fee for each additional withdrawal beyond 2 free. Also, a 1.75% fee is charged for all withdrawals above the 200 EUR/GBP limit.
- New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore-issued cards allow users 2 free monthly withdrawals of up to 350 NZD/AUD/SGD. Additional withdrawals will have a 1.50 NZD/AUD/SGD charge added along with a fee of 1.75% for any withdrawal that’s more than the free monthly limit.
- Cards issued to United States customers allow 2 free monthly withdrawals of up to 100 USD. After that, a 1.50 USD fee plus an additional 2% fee will be added to any withdrawal that’s more than the $100 free limit.
- People using other currencies will have the same limits, like European and UK users, equal to the country’s currency where their card was initially issued.
Paying With Wise Card
The Wise debit card can be used to pay for products and services anywhere that accept debit card payments. You can also pay for online transactions with your debit card. Certain transactions may require you to use the Wise app, SMS, or a phone call to verify/approve transaction.
The card supports 3D Secure payments. An online payment added security method that certain sites mandate. Once the verification has been completed, the payment can then be processed. You can also withdraw money at ATMs using your debit card.
If you misplaced your Wise card and need to replace it, you will need to pay a fee to receive a new card. Ordering a Wise card costs 5 GBP, and a replacement card is charged 3 GBP. You can use Wise’s website or app to adjust card spending limits.
Wise also offers virtual cards. To get a virtual card, you’ll first need to open an account and then order a physical card. From there you can hold up to three virtual cards simultaneously. You can instantly replace these card details if needed or delete them.
How Does The Debit Card Work?
The Wise debit card can be used in the same ways that traditional debit cards are used. It can be used to buy items at physical and online stores and to withdraw money.
The amount will be taken out of your Wise borderless account as long as you have enough of the particular currency you are paying. If you don’t have enough currency in which you are paying, Wise will convert other available currency from your account. If you have more than one currency, Wise will convert currency that offers the best conversion rates.
The card lets you spend the funds that are in your account, just like how other kinds of debit cards operate. Wise cards perform better than many standard bank cards when conducting transactions in multiple currencies. Most banks only use dynamic currency conversion.
There’s no charge to spend funds that are already in your Wise multi-currency account. This can be a big benefit for busy travelers. Funds will be converted from the currency in your account balance with the lowest conversion fee automatically if you don’t have enough funds to cover a transaction in the particular domestic currency.
This makes Wise a simple and appealing option for people who don’t want to spend a lot of money on exchange rates. Letting Wise handle conversions and withdrawing funds in the local currency can help eliminate the need for paying hidden (and sometimes costly) exchange fees while traveling to other nations.
The Wise website or app can be used to monitor all of your account activity. The app can be used to freeze or unfreeze your account if your card is stolen or misplaced.
The Wise card is great for individuals and companies. It isn’t linked to a bank account, so it can’t help you get a loan or improve your credit score. You also do not earn interest or have some of the services that banks provide, such as multiple payment methods or various credit card options.
Costs & Fees
You can open a Wise account for free. The mid-market exchange rate is always used when currency conversions occur. It also applies transfer fees for each transfer transaction outside of Wise.
The country you’re in, the currency that’s sent, and the recipient’s intended currency can determine how much those fees will be. Wise is very transparent with all of their fees. They will tell you what specific charges will be before a transaction is started.
If you’re using your Wise card to pay for items, you won’t have a fee. The exception to this rule is if you’re trying to make a payment in a currency that isn’t currently in your Wise account.
Wise on automatic currency exchanges will apply conversion fees from 0.24-3.69% if you don’t have enough of the requisite currency that you’re trying to use in a transaction.
You can make two ATM withdrawals per month for free for up to 200 GBP (or currency equivalent). A fee will be charged on any amount over that. The fee will vary according to the country where your card is issued.
The fee above the free limit is usually around 1.75% + 50p withdrawal fee (or currency equivalent) for each additional ATM withdrawal during the month. The fee section for multiple currency accounts on their site has further details on this subject.
Wise offers a guaranteed exchange rate. This rate is the exchange rate that’s guaranteed for a specified period of time.
Exchange rates are guaranteed for anywhere from two up to seventy-two hours at the most. The currency that’s being sent is what the guarantee’s length of time will be based on. Once the transfer is set up, Wise will let you know how long your particular exchange rate is guaranteed. The live rate will be used if funds arrive after the guarantee’s time period has expired.
You can opt to be alerted when the exchange rate reaches a level you specify. You can also request a daily email about the rate between the currencies.
Wise has transparent fees. They always use the mid-market exchange rate regardless of how much money is being transferred. People who send large amounts of money regularly may qualify for a volume discount.
Having larger amounts of EUR in your Wise account can result in a 0.4% fee. Negative Eurozone interest rates are cause for this fee. It costs Wise money to hold EUR in their clients’ accounts.
That’s why they allow personal accounts to hold a maximum of 15,000 EUR in their accounts for free. Business customers can hold up to 70,000 EUR in their Wise accounts free of charge. It’s still free to hold funds in other currencies.
|Wise Debit Card||The card itself costs $7 USD / £5 GBP/ €6 EUR/ $10 SGD/ $10 NZD and free in AUD (once only)|
|Spending currency available in the account||Free of charge|
|Spending currency unavailable in account||0.35%-2.85% conversion fee|
|Spending any unsupported currency||0.35%-2.85% conversion fee|
|ATM withdrawals||2% after the first £200/30 days|
|Withdrawals in currency unavailable in account||0.35%-2.85% conversion fee|
Conversion fees can be difficult to predict in advance. Fortunately, Wise has a convenient Fee Checker tool that you can use to review fees before making transfers.
Besides fees, the card also has default and maximum limits. Limits are established in US dollars for customers living in the United States and British pounds for EU and UK residents. Below you can see those limits.
|Transaction Type||Single Payment Limit||Daily Limit||Monthly Limit|
|Chip and PIN||Default: £2,500 / $1,000
Max: £10,000 / $2,000
|Default: £3,000 / $1,000
Max: £10,000 / $2.000
|Default: £10,000 / 5,000
Max: £30,000 / $10,000
|ATM Withdrawal||Default: £1,000 / $250
Max: £1,000 / $1,000
|Default: £1,500 / $250
Max: £1,500 / $1,000
|Default: £3,000 / $1,500
Max: £4,000 / $4,000
|Contactless (UK/EU only)||Default: £500
|Magnetic Stripe||Default: £300 / $1,000
Max: £1,200 / $1,500
|Default: £400 / $1,000
Max:£1,200 / $1,500
|Default: £1,200 / $1,500
Max: £6,000 / $6,000
|Online purchase||Default: £1,000 / $1,000
Max: £10,000 / $2,000
|Default: £1,000 / $1,000
Max: £10,000 / $2,000
|Default: £2,000 / $2,000
Max: £30,000 / $10,000
|Apple/Google/Samsung Pay (US only)||Default: $200
Wise Debit Card vs. Bank Debit Card
One of the primary distinctions that set the Wise debit card apart from traditional bank debit cards is that Wise lets you use more than one currency at a time. This can be accomplished by spending far less than what standard banks would typically charge you for that convenience.
The currency card that many banks provide is only issued in the currency that’s local to them. They may also add cumbersome fees to online transactions or when you’re spending funds in other countries. It isn’t uncommon to see banks add a sizable margin in addition to exchange rates.
You won’t have to worry about those kinds of fees from Wise, as long as you’re spending funds in a currency that you already have in your online account. Mid-market/real conversion rates are always applied if you don’t have enough of the necessary currency, along with a nominal fee. Free withdrawals up to a certain limit are also allowed at ATMs.
On the other hand, the bank debit card is linked to a real bank account that has other benefits.
Pros & Cons
Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using a Wise debit card:
- There aren’t any exchange rate markups, hidden transaction fees, or annual fees to worry about.
- You don’t have to maintain a certain minimum balance in your account.
- Wise always uses the mid-market exchange rate. There may be a markup on the exchange rate that travel money cards, PayPal, and many banks use. Using bank services can be costlier because of those markups.
- You can make withdrawals and payments anywhere you go in more than 40 different international currencies.
- You can receive transaction notifications on your cell phone with the Wise app. If you lose or misplace your card, you can always freeze or unfreeze it.
- You’ll have to pay a small fee to have a Wise card issued to you. This is a one-time fee. There are no additional fees for opening or maintaining a Wise account.
- You can only withdraw up to $350 (or currency equivalent depending on your country) in cash for free over a 30 day period.
- The card is currently only available in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and the UK.
- A Wise card isn’t a credit card. To pay for items, you need to have enough funds in your online Wise account before purchasing.
- If you need a replacement card, it can take up to two to three weeks for delivery.
Wise Debit Card Review Conclusion
Using a card to spend and withdraw funds from your Wise account is very convenient. You can spend and receive money in multiple currencies very affordably. Wise’s exchange rates are very reasonable when you need to convert different currencies. The mid-market conversion rate will always be used when converting money.
The Wise debit card can be used to spend funds and access money that you receive right away, free from restrictions. This is unlike any other travel card or foreign currency account.
Wise clear, inexpensive fees have helped them rapidly gain popularity ever since they first started. Your Wise account is connected to a debit card that provides multiple currency balances and bank account information to account holders.
Offering the Wise card to more nations and currencies is the only real thing that the company could improve. Anyone whose country already has the Wise account option can sign up and free themselves from fees and the stress that’s usually associated with currency exchange fees and other related costs.
Hope this Wise debit card review was of help to you in making decision if Wise is the right choice for you. If you already use it, feel free to share your experience and thoughts in comments below.
Wise debit card
- One card for all currencies
- Use anywhere in the world
- No hidden fees or extra costs
- Affordable currency conversion
- Supports 3D Secure
- Only available for selected countries
- ATM withdrawal fees after certain amount
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