Revolut is a digital banking provider that offers account holders a range of benefits, especially in the field of currency exchanges and international money transfers. Wise is one of a new field of money transfer services which offers mid-market rates. So which can give you better value for money when you’re making an overseas transfer?
The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of 3 August 2019.
Revolut is currently not available in CanadaRevolut hasn’t launched in Canada yet, but plans to do so in the future. This means that you currently can’t send money from Canada using Revolut. However, senders from other countries can still use Revolut to send money to Canada in more than 25 currencies including CAD.
If you want to send money abroad from Canada or see how Revolut compares to other providers, check out our guide on sending money overseas using an international money transfer service.
Which has lower fees?
Revolut allows you to send up to $9,000 per month with no transaction fees. If you go over the limit and have a basic, Standard account, Revolut will take an extra 0.5% off the exchange rate in addition to the margin it would normally take. Upgrading to a Premium or Metal account will remove this limit, though.
Monthly fees for having an account range from £0/mo for a Standard account, to £6.99/mo (around $11 CAD) for a Premium account, to £12.99/mo (around $20 CAD) for a Metal account. You’ll probably only need a Metal account if you’re transferring large amounts, though.
You’ll have to pay wire transfer fees when sending money to a recipient outside the EU or if the transfer is not in euros. These fees can be unpredictable and potentially quite large depending on the payment. Other fees may also apply, including a one-time payment of £4.99 (around $8 CAD) for the delivery of your Revolut account card.
TranferWise’s fees will also vary depending on where the money is going and the payment method but will be clearer, more predictable and typically lower for all except the larger transfers.
As an example, sending $500 to the Philippines could cost you around $9 if you pay by bank transfer or around $17 if you pay by debit. Similarly, sending $2,000 to the US could cost you around $21 if you pay either by domestic wire transfer or as a bill payment, or it could cost $68 if you pay via credit card.
Revolut can come out ahead if you’re sending money to Europe, but for most other locations it will be more expensive to use. Wise allows you to avoid those unwanted wire transfer fees, and will often be cheaper.
Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000 and $10,000 to Germany
To show you what transfers with Revolut and Wise look like, here’s an example of sending 2 different amounts to Germany.
Keep in mind that Revolut would be considerably less cost-effective than what is shown here for transfers to anywhere outside of Europe. We’re also not including the monthly fee and we are assuming that this transfer is made during the week, as Revolut adds a 0.5% margin on CAD/EUR transfers on weekends.
This comparison essentially assumes that you’re getting the best possible value from Revolut for a single transfer.
Sending $1,000 to Germany
|Exchange rate||1 CAD = 0.6818 EUR||1 CAD = 0.6818 EUR|
|Transfer speed||3-5 days||1-2 days|
|Total euros received||EUR€681.80||EUR€674.47|
|Receiver gets||EUR€7.33 more||EUR€7.33 less|
Sending $10,000 to Germany
|Exchange rate||For the first $9,000:|
1 CAD = 0.6818 EUR*For the remaining $1,000:
1 CAD = 0.6784 EUR*
|1 CAD = 0.6818 EUR|
|Transfer speed||3-5 days||1-2 days|
|Total euros received||EUR€6,814.60||EUR€6,764.83|
|Receiver gets||EUR€49.77 more||EUR€49.77 less|
*Assuming you have a basic (“Standard”) Revolut account without no monthly fees, the mid-market rate only applies to the first $9,000 transferred per month. Beyond that amount, 0.5% is removed from the receiving currency amount. This comparison takes that into account.
Under optimal conditions, Revolut will be more cost-effective than Wise, putting you about EUR€7 – €50 ahead (roughly CAD$10 – $73) when you include the fees from Wise in your calculations.
But Wise will most likely come out on top if you add in the cost of a Revolut subscription fee and if you send money on a weekend, send money in a currency other than euros, send money anywhere other than Europe or are a high-frequency standard account holder.
Which offers better exchange rates?
Revolut will offer mid-market rates with some caveats depending on the type of transfer:
- Sending major currencies (check Revolute’s website for a list of major currencies): 0% markup
- Sending THB, RUB, UAH or TRY: 1% markup
- Sending all other currencies: 0.5% markup
- Sending beyond your subscription limit: 0.5% markup
- Transferring outside of forex market hours (Sat & Sun, UTC): An additional 1% mark-up for transfers in THB, RUB, UAH and TRY; an additional 0.5% markup for all other currencies.
Note that if you are a standard account holder (not a premium or metal account holder) and exchange £5,000 or more (or the equivalent in any currency) in any rolling month, you will be considered a “high-frequency customer” and will be subject to a lower exchange rate than usual. The margin on such exchange rates is often 0.5% higher than the margin Revolut normally takes.
Wise offers the mid-market rate all the time for all currencies without any special conditions.
- If the mid-market rate is 1 CAD = 49.4371 RUB
- Wise’s exchange rate would be the same as the mid-market rate
Wise offers mid-market rates without all the caveats.
Which is faster?
Revolut says transfers will usually take 3-5 days, but that you can speed it up by paying extra or by signing up for the Premium or Metal account upgrades.
Wise says payments can be done in 1-2 days depending on the destination.
Wise’s 1-2 days is less than Revolut’s 3-5 days.
|Payment methods||Receiving options||Minimum and maximum transfer amounts||Transfer speeds||Currencies|
|Revolut||Revolut account||Bank transfer, Revolut account||Minimum: £0|
|3 – 5 days||100+|
|Wise||Bank transfer||Bank transfer||Minimum: $1|
To sign up for Revolut, you will need to create an account and can then request to receive a card. Once you have your account and card, you will need to top up your Revolut account from your bank account before you can use it.
After this, you can start holding multiple currencies in your Revolut account, access overseas ATMs and take advantage of Revolut’s travel money options.
To send money with Wise you will have to create an account. Then you can enter the details of your transfer and make your deposit to Wise, which it will send onwards overseas.
You can also hold multiple currencies in your Wise account with Wise Borderless.
Depending on where you live, you may not be able to use Revolut to send money. However, if you travel frequently, you may be able to use it effectively for international money transfers in some situations.
But for everyday value for money in more situations, a dedicated international money transfer service like Wise will still tend to offer better value for money.
Want to learn more? Take a look at our guide on finding secure and affordable ways to send money overseas.
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