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Wise Multi-currency
3.7
★★★★★
Finder score
On Wise's secure site
Fee
$0 per month
APY
4.33%
Minimum deposit to open
$0

Our verdict

A debit card that supports 40+ currencies and has no foreign transaction fees.

The Wise Visa debit card supports more than 40 different currencies, can convert over 140 currencies and can be used in 160 countries. Without a doubt, it’s best for international travelers because it charges the real, mid-market exchange rate during currency conversion and a small flat fee that starts at 0.43%, which can vary by currency.

But if you were looking for an international debit card for all your spending needs, this probably isn’t it. You can link multiple external bank accounts to your Wise account, but to fund your account, you must link at least one. There are also extra ATM withdrawal fees and wire transfer fees, and you must pay $9 to get the debit card. This account works as a more affordable way to convert currency but isn’t set up to be an everyday account for purchases or withdrawals.

Best for: Frequent international travelers.

Pros

  • Supports 40+ currencies
  • Converts currency at live rate
  • Interest feature with 4.33% APY

Cons

  • Not a replacement for regular checking
  • Requires external account
  • Extra fees outside currency conversions
  • Must opt in to interest feature for FDIC insurance

In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Your reviews
  • Ask a question

Who is the Wise debit card best for?

The Wise debit card and account is best suited for those who travel internationally or frequently need to do currency conversions. Most other banks charge a 2% foreign transaction fee plus a 1% currency conversion fee — but Wise only charges a starting 0.43% fee for conversions or sending money in one of its supported currencies.

However, unless you opt in to the interest feature, your account is not FDIC insured. There are also limitations for withdrawing funds and extra fees for large withdrawals. The Wise debit card isn’t designed to replace your everyday checking account, as it requires a linked, external bank account for funding.

What we like about Wise’s account and card

Wise, formerly Transferwise, is a fintech company best known for its money transfer and currency conversion service for personal and business use. While it’s free to sign up, you’ll pay a one-time $9 fee if you decide to get its optional debit card, which they offer through their bank partners.

Low currency conversion rate

Wise doesn’t charge commission fees for currency exchange. Most banks mark up currency conversions, but Wise only has a small, flat fee starting at 0.43%. However, they have plans to eventually make these conversions free. To find out exactly how much you’ll pay, check the conversion fee calculator on Wise’s website.

Wise makes it easy to calculate your currency conversion through a calculator on its site. You’ll add your main currency and your recipient’s currency, and the tool automatically converts your currency at the mid-market rate. You can also receive AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HUF, NZD, RON, SGD, TRY and USD for free as long as it’s not a wire transfer.

Automatically converts currencies at ATMs

If you have multiple currencies in your Wise account but you visit a country where you don’t have the local currency, you can use your Wise debit card at an ATM. Wise automatically converts your funds to the local currency using whichever currency has the cheapest conversion rate.

Earn interest and save with jars

Wise offers a 4.33% APY on your USD balance when you opt-in to its interest feature. Once you opt in, your USD balance is held with Wise’s partner banks, where it earns interest. Money kept in your savings is FDIC insured up to $250,000.

Wise also offers an envelope-saving feature that lets you sort your savings into virtual “jars.” When you allocate money into one of these jars, you can’t spend it with your debit card, transfer it or use it to cover debited transactions.

You can also choose what currency you want to save in and give the jar a custom name. This helps streamline the process of withdrawing money in the currency you need, as you won’t need to convert it.

Where it falls short

The Wise account and debit card may be a cheaper alternative for international spending than banks like Chase or Wells Fargo, but it isn’t perfect. This account isn’t really meant to replace your everyday checking account, as it requires a linked external account for funding, and there are extra fees for large cash withdrawals. Compare international debit cards if you need a traditional bank account.

Also, Wise accounts aren’t FDIC insured. If you want your USD balance covered, you can opt in to the interest feature, which insures your savings up to $250,000.

Unnecessarily complicated debit card fees

Funding your Wise account comes with transfer fees, and there are a variety of other debit card fees to watch out for.

First, you’ll need to pay a one-time $9 fee to get the card. And while you can withdraw up to $100 twice a month for free, you’ll pay $1.50 for transactions under $100 or $1.50 plus 2% of the amount for withdrawals over $100.

Also, while there’s no fee to transfer funds between Wise accounts, you’ll pay a fee for transfers to other banks. Wise states that the fee for ACH transfers depends on the amount, method and the exchange rate if you’re converting currencies.

The fee for sending wire transfers also isn’t disclosed. Wise just states that a “low fee” will be disclosed before you complete the transaction.

Wise debit card fees and access

Type of feeFee details
Debit card purchase$9 one-time fee
Opening deposit$0
Currency conversionStarts at 0.43%
ATMs
  • Cash withdrawals: 2 free withdrawals per month under $100, and 2% of the amount if over $100. Withdrawals after free allowances are $1.50 under $100, or $1.50 + 2% of amount
Debit card fees
  • E-wallet funding: 2%
  • Foreign transactions: 0%
  • Card replacement: $5
Overdraft or nonsufficient funds$0
Wire transfers
  • Incoming
    • Domestic: 0.47% for most currencies, plus $4.15 flat fee
    • International: 0.47% for most currencies, plus $4.14
  • Outgoing
    • Domestic: Fee not disclosed
    • International: Fee not disclosed
Other fees
  • Paper statements: Not available for US
  • Account closure: $0

Can’t use debit card everywhere

Like most other financial institutions, your Wise debit card can’t be used at these sanctioned or embargoed countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • Belarus
  • Bolivia
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Congo and The Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Cuba
  • North Korea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Kenya
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Paraguay
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uganda
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen

How to get the Wise debit card

Sign up for a Wise account for free with an email address or a Google or Facebook account. You’ll pay $9 to get its optional debit card.

After you sign up and verify your information, you’ll need to fund your account with an external bank account. You can access your bank accounts in different countries and use Wise to send money between them. Once you’re set up, you can add the debit card to Google or Apple Pay.

Compare Wise debit card to other accounts

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Name Product Fee Annual Percentage Yield (APY) Minimum deposit to open Offer
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Enjoy free workflow integrations for your business, such as invoicing and budgeting. Get free ACH and payment processing, as well as unlimited ATM fee reimbursements. Pay $0 monthly fees with a $0 minimum balance requirement.
Lili
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Bonus
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4.15%
$0
30 day free trial for Lili Pro, Lili Smart, and Lili Premium
Get paid up to two days early with direct deposit, automated savings, and no monthly fees with Lili Basic. Other packages include cashback rewards, 4.15% APY for savings, smart bookkeeping and financial reports, etc. FDIC insured.
Wise Multi-currency
Finder Score: 3.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Wise Multi-currency
$0 per month
4.33%
$0
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies. If you sign up for the interest feature, you could earn up to 4.33% APY.
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Customer experience

Wise does well in terms of customer satisfaction, holding a strong 4.2-star rating on Trustpilot out of nearly 200,000 reviews. For a fintech with banking services, this is extremely impressive and unheard of. Most fintechs can barely hold above a 2-star rating.

Among the reviews are praises for the ease of receiving money in various currencies, the helpful platform that makes converting simple, great customer service and fast transfers. Many more praise the new interest-earning feature, easy-to-use app and how the currency conversion rates are the lowest they’ve encountered.

The positive reviews outshine the negatives. The few unhappy customers have common complaints of bugs with the app, frozen accounts, extra fees when transferring to external banks and issues with the long verification process for larger transactions.

Frequently asked questions

Is Wise a real bank account?

Formally known as TransferWise, the Wise account isn’t a real bank account, and Wise isn’t a bank. It’s a money services business and fintech company. However, Wise offers a Visa debit card.

Wise isn’t FDIC insured unless you opt in to the interest feature to earn an APY on your USD balance. Once you opt in, those funds are protected under FDIC insurance up to $250,000 through Wise’s partner banks.

Can I deposit cash into my Wise account?

No, Wise doesn’t accept cash payments or cash deposits, since it doesn’t have its own ATM network or any physical branches to accept them. Alternatively, you can make ACH and wire transfers or send and receive money between Wise accounts.

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Bethany Finder

Writer, Banking and Loans

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