Revolut is a digital bank that offers customers a range of benefits, especially in the field of currency exchanges and international money transfers. Wise is a specialized money transfer provider that offers mid-market rates. So which can give you better value for money when you’re sending money abroad?
The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of December 28, 2022.
Which has lower fees?
Revolut charges membership fees, ranging from $0 for the basic option to $16.99 per month for the top tier option. You’ll probably only need the top tier option if you’re transferring large amounts, though. There are also various fees, such as for card delivery.
For transfers themselves, you’ll incur 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.
Wise’s fees will also vary depending on where the money is going but will be clearer, more predictable and typically lower for all except the larger transfers.
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 AUD$1,000 and AUD$10,000 to Germany
To show you what transfers with Revolut and Wise look like, here’s an example of sending two different amounts from Australia 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 AUD/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 USD = €0.941||1 USD = €0.942|
|Transfer speed||3-5 days||1-2 days|
|Total euros received||€932.08||€935.17|
|Receiver gets||€3.09 less||€3.09 more|
Sending $10,000 to Germany
|Exchange rate||1 USD = €0.941*||1 USD = €0.942|
|Transfer speed||3-5 days||1-2 days|
|Total euros received||€9,277.49||€9,357.13|
|Receiver gets||€79.63 more||€79.63 less|
*Assuming you’re using basic Revolut without any monthly fees, the mid-market rate only applies to the first $9,000 transferred per month. 0.5% is removed from the receiving currency amount for transfers beyond that limit. This comparison takes that into account.
In both examples, Wise has come out on top and will save you nearly €80 on money transfer to Germany. The comparison was done on a weekend which makes Revolut less competitive.
Which offers better exchange rates?
Revolut will offer mid-market rates with some caveats:
- Transfers with major currencies: 0% markup
- Transfer amounts above the limit for your subscription: 0.5% markup
- THB, RUB, UAH and TRY transfers: 1% markup
- All other currencies: 0.5% markup
- THB, RUB, UAH and TRY transfers outside forex market hours: Additional 1% markup
- All other currency transfers outside forex market hours: Additional 0.5% markup
Wise offers the mid-market rate all the time for all currencies without any special conditions.
- If the mid-market rate is 1 AUD = 0.671450 USD
- 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 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: $1|
Maximum: no limit on most currencies
|3 – 5 days||30+|
|Wise||Bank transfer||Bank transfer||Minimum: $1|
|1 – 2 days||45+|
To sign up for Revolut, you’ll 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.
Revolut is mainly designed for travelers, but it can also be effectively used for international money transfers in certain situations. They only launched in the US in 2020 and Wise has been established there since 2016. In most cases, Wise should be the better option as they offer better exchange rates, low fees, a wider selection of currencies and faster transfers.
To get the best deal on your next transfer, compare other transfer providers to find one with competitive rates in your preferred currency.
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