TransferWise Multi-Currency Account review 2021 | finder.com
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Transferwise Multi-currency Account

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Receive and convert over 50 currencies from around the world.

finder.com’s rating: 4.5 / 5.0

★★★★★

The Transferwise Multi-Currency account, formerly known as the Transferwise Borderless account, is best for businesses, traders and those living abroad. It can hold more than 50 different currencies and lets you quickly exchange your money when you need to. Transferwise is upfront about its fees and doesn’t charge commission, but you’ll need to pay a one-time $9 fee to get the debit card and you’re limited to two free ATMs withdrawals of up to $100 each.

$0 per month

Fee

N/A

APY

$20

Minimum deposit to open

Details

APYN/A
Fee$0 per month
Minimum deposit to open$20
ATMsFree at any ATM in the world
ATM fee rebatesTwo free ATM withdrawals up to $100 every 30 days. After that, $1.50 per transaction
Out-of-network ATM fee$0
Foreign transaction fee0%
New account fee$0

Expert review

Michael Benninger

Review by


Michael Benninger is a personal finance writer at Finder. He is a former credit analyst and longtime freelancer whose articles have been published by Intuit, Blinkist, Business Insider and the Los Angeles Times. When he’s not writing, you can usually find him watching movies, enjoying the outdoors or boarding planes to distant destinations.

Expert review

The TransferWise Multi-currency account, previously known as the Transferwise Borderless account, is best for travelers looking for a better exchange rate while traveling abroad. You can hold more than 50 currencies and if you have multiple currencies in your account, Transferwise will use the cheapest conversion option in your account while traveling.

However, it’s not a banking solution. You’ll need to have a checking account at another financial institution to fund your account as Transferwise doesn’t offer branch locations, checking or savings accounts or interest rates. And if you want to take advantage of using an ATM or spending money while you’re traveling abroad, you’ll need to pay a one-time $9 fee to get the Transferwise debit card as it doesn’t come with your multi-currency account.

The Transferwise Multi-currency account is also not great for paying bills or receiving direct deposits, because you’ll inevitably face fees you could avoid by using a traditional bank account.

How do I open a Transferwise Multi-currency account?

It only takes a few minutes to open an account with TransferWise online, but verifying your identity takes about two days to process.

  1. Click Apply now.
  2. From the TransferWise website, click Register in the upper right-hand corner.
  3. Enter your email address and password and click Sign up.
  4. Once you create your account, fill out your personal profile by entering details like your contact info and country of residency. Then, verify your identity and select your default currency.

Required information

Like any other financial institution, TransferWise will ask to verify your identity via photo ID. It accepts the following and may require a photo of you holding your ID:

  • Passport photo page
  • Proof of address (may be required subsequent to identity verification)
  • Nigerian citizens must only use a passport of a new Nigerian national card
  • Russian or Ukrainian international passports aren’t accepted, so these citizens must use a driving license or international passport
  • Residents of India will need to provide a PAN card
  • National ID card
  • Photo driver’s license — except New Zealand residents sending NZD

Eligibility

All US residents are eligible for a Transferwise Multi-currency account except residents of Hawaii or Nevada.

What are the benefits of the Transferwise Multi-currency account?

TransferWise describes its multi-currency account as an international Venmo, making it a convenient way to send and receive cash in different currencies. Additionally, it’s free to receive money in EUR, USD, GBP, AUD and NZD. Here’s what sets it apart from international banks or multicurrency accounts:

  • No extraneous fees. You won’t pay monthly maintenance fees, setup fees or fees to transfer money between TransferWise accounts.
  • You can hold more than 50 currencies. From the Chilean peso to the Canadian dollar, TransferWise supports all major currencies and many smaller ones.
  • TransferWise always uses the cheapest conversion option. If you have multiple currencies in your TransferWise account but you visit a country where you don’t have the local currency, you can use your TransferWise debit card at an ATM and TransferWise will convert your funds to the local currency using whichever currency has the cheapest conversion rate.
  • Connect up to five bank accounts. Access bank accounts in different countries and use TransferWise to send money between them.
  • Get the real exchange rate with no commissions charged. TransferWise doesn’t charge commission and charges a flat fee for each currency exchange.
  • Accepted around the world. Use your card anywhere that accepts Mastercard or Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay.
  • Monthly volume discount. If you transfer more than $100,000 during a calendar month, you may qualify for a lower rate.

What is the TransferWise debit Mastercard?

TransferWise offers a debit Mastercard, which is separate from the multi-currency account. You’ll need this card and a TransferWise multi-currency account if you want to withdraw money from an ATM. There’s a one-time $9 fee for the card, and you may face an additional fee for verification. But if you lose your card or it gets stolen, you’ll pay $5 for a replacement.

What should I look out for?

The TransferWise Multi-currency account may be cheaper for international spending than providers like Chase or Wells Fargo, but it isn’t perfect. Drawbacks include:

  • One-time debit card fee. New and existing customers who haven’t ordered their debit card by May 20, 2020, will pay a one-time fee of $9.
  • ATM withdrawal limits. If you have the Transferwise debit card, you can withdraw up to $100 twice a month for free. But if you withdraw more than that, you’ll pay $1.50 per transaction. And if you withdraw more than $100 during a single transaction, you’ll pay a 2% fee. You also can’t withdraw more than $1,000 a day and monthly withdrawals are capped at $4,000.
  • Conversion fee on debit card. TransferWise’s conversion fees typically range from 0.24% to 3.69% based on the currency converted. To find out exactly how much you’ll pay, check the conversion fee calculator on TransferWise’s website.
  • Transfer fees. While there’s no fee to transfer funds between TransferWise accounts, you’ll pay a fee for transfers to other banks.
  • Not great for bill payment. Although you can use your TransferWise multi-currency account to pay bills, you’ll always have to pay a transfer fee and you may have to pay a conversion fee if it’s outside the US.
  • Direct deposits don’t make sense. You can set up direct deposits with your TransferWise account, but if you want to move your money to a checking or savings account, you’ll have to pay a transfer fee.

If you prefer a traditional banking experience — with APYs and branch locations — you’ll want to keep looking. As always, consider your options when looking for an account.

TransferWise ATM network and fees

You can use your TransferWise debit card to make two free withdrawals a month at ATMs in most countries — as long as those withdrawals are $100 or less. You’ll pay a $1.50 fee for any additional withdrawals, plus a 2% fee for withdrawals of more than $100. Your TransferWise ATM card will not work in the following countries:

  • Belarus
  • Bolivia
  • Cambodia
  • Côte d’lvoire
  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • Lebanon
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Paraguay
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uganda
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia

When you’re at the ATM, choose the local currency. TransferWise covers the conversion at the market exchange rate, but charges a fee on top of that for the service.

The fees for currency exchange vary by country. For example, say you’re in Florence wandering the San Lorenzo leather market. There’s a fantastic bag you can’t live without — but you need €150 to buy it. Using the TransferWise debit card to withdraw $180, you’d receive the guaranteed market rate of €159.24, but will be charged an $0.81 conversion fee for the convenience.

Keep in mind that TransferWise doesn’t reimburse fees charged by each independent ATM.

Compare the TransferWise Multi-currency account with other accounts

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How do I deposit or withdraw my money?

TransferWise isn’t technically a bank, so accessing your money is a bit different. Options for managing your money from your multi-currency account include:

Deposit

  • Add money through TransferWise. Go to the Balances page and click Add currency. Indicate how much you’d like to add, select a payment method and input money accordingly.
  • Electronic bank transfer. Send an online bank transfer from a personal bank account and drop funds directly into your TransferWise balance.
  • Direct deposit. Your employer can directly deposit your paycheck in your TransferWise account, but if you want to then move your money to a standard checking or savings account, you’ll face a transfer fee.
  • International wire.TransferWise accepts international wires/SWIFT transfers from the following countries:

Withdrawal

  • ATMs worldwide. Though you can withdraw up to $100 twice a month for free, you’re responsible for paying any ATM fees charged by the owner.
  • Balance transfer. TransferWise isn’t a bank. To access funds in lieu of an ATM withdrawal using the TransferWise debit card, you’ll need to send money to one of your personal bank accounts first.

What other products does TransferWise offer?

TransferWise also has a business account that allows you to send and receive invoices and manage payments across multiple currencies. TransferWise offers platforms for:

  • Freelancers, entrepreneurs and sole proprietors
  • Small- to medium-sized businesses
  • Large or enterprise level businesses

Frequently asked questions

Watch: Our review of TransferWise’s debit card

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