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Wise (TransferWise)
Go to site
Minimum Transfer Amount
$1
Fastest Transfer Speed
24 hours
Receiving Options
Bank account, Alipay (China only)

Summary

Wise offers a low-cost and convenient way to make international money transfers and manage money abroad.

Wise is one of the more well-known money transfer specialists in Canada. This provider is a strong option if you want transparent fees and no margin on the exchange rate. However, it's not so great if you need to transfer to less popular currencies.

Pros

  • Fast transfers
  • Best exchange rates

Cons

  • Fees may not always give you the cheapest transfer

In this guide

  • Review
  • Details
    • Product details
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Your reviews
  • Ask a question

Details

Product details

Product Name Wise (TransferWise)
Pay By Credit card, Debit card, Bank transfer, Interac e-Transfer, Online bill payment, Direct debit (EFT)
Receiving Options Bank account, Alipay (China only)
Customer Service Phone, Live chat, Email
Available Currencies AED, ARS, AUD, BDT, BGN, BWP, CAD, CHF, CLP, CNY, CRC, CZK, DKK, EGP, EUR, GBP, GEL, GHS, HKD, HUF, IDR, ILS, INR, JPY, KES, KRW, LKR, MAD, MXN, MYR, NGN, NOK, NPR, NZD, PEN, PHP, PKR, PLN, RON, SEK, SGD, THB, TRY, TZS, UAH, UGX, USD, UYU, VND, XOF, ZAR, ZMW

What is Wise (formerly TransferWise)?

Wise, which was previously known as TransferWise, is an international money transfer service and payment network that offers transfers to 76 countries with zero markup on the exchange rate. Wise also offers a debit card for international travel, and a multi-currency account that lets you receive, hold and convert funds in multiple currencies.

Does Wise work in Canada?

Yes, although Wise was founded in Europe in 2011, it expanded into Canada in 2016. Canadians can send money from CAD to more than 50 currencies in 70+ countries around the world.

Pros and cons of Wise money transfers

As we were reviewing Wise, we looked at fees, features, transfer options, ease of use and more. Here’s a quick snapshot of the benefits and drawbacks we found:

Pros

  • Easy to use. You can sign up for an account and initiate a transfer within minutes.
  • Affordability. Compared to banks, Wise’s fees and exchange rates are almost always better.
  • Zero markup exchange rates. Wise offers the mid-market rate on all transfers sent through its network. All you have to think about are transfer fees.
  • High sending limits. Send up to $1,500,000 CAD if you pay by online bill payment or wire transfer. The limit if you pay by bank transfer is $9,500 CAD daily or $30,000 CAD weekly. The limit for debit/credit payments is $3,000 CAD.
  • Multiple payment options. Pay by Interac e-Transfer, debit, credit, bank transfer (direct debit), online bill payment or wire transfer.
  • Low minimum transfer amount. Depending on the sending and receiving currencies, you can send as little as $1 CAD or less.

Cons

  • Bank account transfers only. Funds can only be delivered to bank accounts. Cash pickup is not an option.
  • Requires ID verification. You’ll have to provide your photo ID, proof of address and/or a picture of you holding your ID to start using your Wise account.
  • Transfer fees. Because Wise offers the mid-market rate, it relies on transfer fees to make a profit. There are no fee-free transfers.
  • Cannot pay from wallet. Users in Canada cannot pay by Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Wise transfer fees

Wise is very upfront about its fees. Its transfer fee is usually a fixed fee (usually between $1 and $5) plus a variable fee (a small percentage of the sending amount). The total varies based on the transfer amount, payment method and sending and receiving currencies.

We found that variable fees are cheapest for online bill payment and wire transfer payments, while credit card payments comes with the highest fees. We also found that the variable fee tends to go down as the transfer amount rises.

Here’s what you might pay if you send $1,000 to the following countries (information current as of December 18, 2023):

Send toPayment methodFixed feeVariable feeTotal Wise fees
IndiaBank transfer$1.13 CAD$9.02 CAD$10.15 CAD
IndiaInterac e-Transfer$2.37 CAD$6.84 CAD$9.21 CAD
IndiaCredit card$1.13 CAD$44.21 CAD$45.34CAD
JapanBank transfer$2.91 CAD$8.42 CAD$11.33 CAD
JapanInterac e-Transfer$4.15 CAD$6.24 CAD$10.39 CAD
JapanCredit card$2.91 CAD$43.63 CAD$46.54 CAD
United KingdomBank transfer$1.03 CAD$7.94 CAD$8.97 CAD
United KingdomInterac e-Transfer$2.27 CAD$5.76 CAD$8.03 CAD
United KingdomCredit card$1.03 CAD$43.17 CAD$44.20 CAD
SingaporeBank transfer$1.31 CAD$8.63 CAD$9.94 CAD
SingaporeInterac e-Transfer$2.55 CAD$6.44 CAD$8.99 CAD
SingaporeCredit card$1.31 CAD$43.83 CAD$45.14 CAD

Example: Sending money to Hong Kong

Here’s how much you could pay to send a $1,000 CAD money transfer from Canada to Hong Kong. The fee is deducted from the amount sent, not paid on top of it. The actual cost could change based on the transfer amount and exchange rate at the time of your transfer.

Pay by Interac e-TransferPay by debit
Fixed fee$2.74 CAD$1.50 CAD
Variable fee$5.85 CAD$27.26 CAD
Total fee$8.59 CAD$28.76 CAD
Exchange rate1 CAD = 5.81807 HKD1 CAD = 5.81897 CAD
Total received5,768.09 HKD5,650.77 HKD
Receiver gets117.32 more HKD117.32 less HKD
Transfer speedWithin 15 mins.Within 10 minutes

How are Wise’s exchange rates?

Wise has better exchange rates than you’ll typically find from banks and other exchange services because it doesn’t charge an exchange rate markup. Instead, unlike most of its competitors, Wise only charges the mid-market rate. It also lets you lock in a rate for a day or more until you complete your transfer.

When we checked Wise’s rates against the mid-market rate on Google and Xe, they were similar. Wise’s rates update multiple times a day.

How does Wise make money?

Most money transfer providers will add a markup to their exchange rate and charge a transfer fee in order to make a profit. Wise, on the other hand, only charges a transfer fee. That typically means your recipient gets more money with a Wise money transfer than they might with other transfer providers.

What your Wise transfer could look like

Use the table below to find out more details about what making a money transfer with Wise looks like. Click the Go to site button to visit Wise’s site and get a quote for your transfer.

Name Product Offer Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
Wise (TransferWise)
24 hours
From 0.42%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies.
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How to send a Wise money transfer

Follow these 6 steps to send a money transfer with Wise in as little as a few minutes:

  1. Set up an account. Create your free account online or through the mobile app.
  2. Enter your sending amount. Look at the fees and the delivery time when you have entered how much you want to send and in what currency.
  3. Add recipient’s info. Input your recipient’s bank account information including routing or transit number and bank account number.
  4. Verify your identity. Have your passport or valid driver’s license ready and provide evidence when prompted.
  5. Pay. Enter your bank account, debit or credit card details to pay.
  6. Track your transfer. Check the status of your transfer online or via mobile app.

Case study: Katia's experience

Katia Iervasi profile photo
Katia Iervasi
Writer

I began using Wise when I moved to the US from Australia a few years ago.

I tested a few money transfer services and Wise was – and still is – my favourite for a couple of reasons:

  • Wise is transparent. As soon as you enter the amount of money you want to send, you’ll see the real, mid-market exchange rate as well as Wise’s fees. The rate changes so much that if I get distracted and come back to the site a few minutes later, it may have already changed. That’s how I know it’s current.
  • The Wise fee is small. Especially compared to the traditional banks—as someone who regularly transfers money between two continents, I appreciate this. The funds usually appear in my account in 24 hours, but it can take longer if I hit send just before the weekend.

Wise payment options

Customers using Wise in Canada can pay for money transfers using the following methods:

  • Interac e-Transfer
  • Bank transfer
  • Debit card
  • Credit card
  • Online bill payment
  • Wire transfer

The funds are deposited directly into your recipient’s bank account once Wise receives your payment. Wise allows you to make secure one-off transfers but currently has no option to set up recurring transfers.

How long does an international Wise money transfer take?

Wise money transfer speeds are dependent on how much you are willing to pay in fees and when you send your transfer.

When using a credit or debit card, you’ll pay more in fees, but your money can arrive instantly in your recipient’s bank account. However, keep in mind that your credit card might charge you an additional cash advance fee, further increasing the cost of your total transfer.

Making a bank transfer is typically the cheapest way to send money through Wise, but it’s almost always the slowest. It typically takes 2 working days for Wise to receive your money. Then it’s usually another 2 working days to transfer the funds to your recipient’s bank account.

Transfers typically takeClock icon for transfer speed

Minutes up to 2+ business days

The Wise payment app

Screenshot of the Wise (formerly TransferWise) app

Wise has a mobile app on both the Google Play and Apple App stores. The Wise app comes with many features including making it possible to do the following on the go:
  • Quickly repeat a transfer. See a complete list of past money transfers and send to past recipients in a few taps.
  • Log in with biometrics. On phones that support face scanning and thumbprint reading, use these features to lock your Wise account.
  • Get rate updates. Waiting for the perfect exchange rate? Set up rate tracking to get updates when the price is in your favor.

The Wise payment app is also highly rated by users across both iOS and Android:

Apple App Store4.5 – ★★★★★ (5.5K reviews)
Google Play Store4.7 – ★★★★★ (‎681K reviews)
Wise app reviews verified as ofDecember 19, 2023
Go to site

How does the Wise debit card work?

The Wise international debit card is designed to make it more affordable to debit while traveling abroad. The Wise card lets you take out up to $350 CAD per month fee-free from any international ATM. After the first $350 CAD, you’ll be charged one low fee per withdrawal.

When you spend abroad using a Wise debit card, you’re charged the real exchange rate with no markup. The card is free and only takes a few minutes to apply for in the Wise app.

The Wise card is also compatible with both Google Pay and Apple Pay. Plus, you’ll get a digital version of the card that you can use from your phone or to make purchases online even if you don’t have a physical card.

Read our full review of the Wise debit card to learn more.

How does the Wise Multi-Currency Account work?

The Wise Multi-Currency Account allows you to choose from 40 currencies, which you can access anytime and convert between currencies within seconds. It’s an account designed for people who want uncomplicated, affordable access to different types of currencies.

You can receive money directly into your Wise account with account details and IBANs available for 9 different international currencies.

You’ll have the option to spend or withdraw money from your Multi-Currency Account using the Wise debit card. It’s also possible to send international money transfers directly from your Wise account.

Summary of Wise reviews

While Wise has a relatively high customer rating on Trustpilot, the Canadian branch is not Better Business Bureau accredited and does not have a BBB rating. Here is a snapshot of Wise reviews from customers online:

SourceWise rating
Trustpilot4.2 out of 5 (based on 200,872 Wise reviews)
Google (Canadian headquarters)1.8 out of 5 (based on 10 Wise reviews)
Google (company headquarters in the UK)4.5 out of 5 (based on 5,655 Wise reviews)
Customer reviews verified as ofDecember 20, 2023

Is Wise safe to use?

Wise was founded in 2011 and serves millions of customers a year. In Canada, it is regulated by both the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) and Authorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF).

Wise is also fully registered and accredited with many other global agencies and uses the following global standards to protect your money:

  • Follows regulatory guidelines. In every country where Wise operates, it is registered with the appropriate regulatory agency and follows the strict rules that are set out.
  • Bank-level data security. Encryption and data storage at Wise are handled in the same way as your bank.
  • Two-factor authentication. Protect your account with 2FA and with optional biometric locks on the Wise mobile app.
  • In-house 24/7 digital security team. A security team works around the clock to monitor transactions for suspicious activity and accounts for fraudulent logins.

What customer service does Wise offer Canadians?

Wise offers personalized customer support through its app and online when you’re logged in to your Wise account. Once you log in to your Wise account (which you can create in seconds for free) follow the prompts to describe the issue you’re having. You’ll then be able to choose to contact Wise via email or phone call.

If you choose to contact Wise’s customer support via email, you’ll be directed to an online form you can fill out and submit directly through Wise’s site.

If you choose to phone in, you’ll be given a reference “Membership number” which you’ll need to give the customer representative who answers your call. The Wise customer service team is available via phone Monday to Friday from 9AM to 7PM (GMT-05:00).

Wise also has a robust online Help Centre with many user guides and frequently asked questions to help troubleshoot any issues you may come across.

Is Wise a public company?

Yes, after more than a decade of enormous success in the fintech space, Wise went public on July 7, 2021 with a company valuation of £8 billion – London’s largest tech listing as of that time. It is now trading on the London Stock Exchange using the stock symbol, WISE.

Wise vs. alternative money transfer services

Our table below lets you compare services you can use to send money abroad. Compare fees, exchange rates and discounts from different money transfer services, and when you have made your choice, click Go to site.

If you want to dive deeper into how Wise compares to alternative transfer services, read our full guides about OFX vs. Wise, Revolut vs. Wise, Western Union vs. Wise and Xe vs. Wise.

Name Product Offer Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
Wise (TransferWise)
24 hours
From 0.43%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Xe Money Transfers
Within minutes
$0
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Instarem
Within minutes
From $0
Use code HELLO to get $20 off on first two transfers on a min transfer of $250. Valid until November 30, 2023.
Instarem offers zero transfer fees on all transfers.
Africhange
Within minutes
From $0
Send money in CAD to Africa on this blockchain and P2P powered provider.
Remitly
Finder Award
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
MoneyGram
Finder Award
MoneyGram
Within minutes
From $4.99
For a limited time, get $0 fees on your first money transfer from Canada. Conditions apply.
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
Xe Money Transfers
Within minutes
$0
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
OFX
Finder Award
OFX
24 hours
$0
Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for your first and ongoing transactions. $0 transfer fee.
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 50+ currencies.
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