With new fintechs offering refreshing alternatives to your old bank debit card, and with travel back on the menu, spending and sending money abroad is getting faster, easier and cheaper.
Revolut and Wise (formerly known as Transferwise) are among the top players in the market. While the two apps are very different, they overlap when it comes to foreign currency services, so we’ve looked at them side by side to find out which is better.
Revolut was founded as a multi-currency card with the ambition of revolutionising the banking sector, while Wise started out as a mainly peer-to-peer online money transfer service, allowing customers to send money abroad at a cheaper price than most of its competitors.
These days, Revolut operates a feature-filled account – where you can still hold multiple currencies – all managed through an app. Revolut’s Standard account is free, and that’s what we’re comparing in this guide. Wise now offers a multi-currency digital account and debit card, in addition to its standard money transfer service.
Round 1: At a glance
|Monthly account fee
|No monthly fee (Standard plan)
|No monthly fee
|Cost to receive card
|Holding, spending and sending different currencies; investing; kids cards; budgeting/analytics; rewards and perks.
|Holding, spending and sending different currencies.
|Hold money in
|AED, AUD, BGN, CAD, CHF, CLP, CZK, COP, DKK, EGP, EUR, GBP, HKD, HRK, HUF, ILS, INR, ISK, JPY, KRW, KZT, MAD, MXN, NOK, NZD, PHP, PLN, QAR, RON, RSD, SAR, SEK, SGD, THB, TRY, USD, ZAR.
|AED, ARS, AUD, BDT, BGN, BWP, CAD, CHF, CLP, CNY, CRC, DKK, EGP, EUR, GBP, GEL, GHS, HKD, HRK, HUF, IDR, ILS, INR, JPY, KES, KRW, LKR, MAD, MXN, MYR, NGN, NPR, NZD, PHP, PKR, PLN, RON, RUB, SEK, SGD, THB, TRY, TZS, UAH, UGX, USD, UYU, VND, XOF, ZAR, ZMW.
Round 2: Sending money
|Money transfer fees
|Free transfers to any account in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) or to other Revolut users globally, within the £1,000 monthly “fair usage” currency conversion limit. Above this there’s a 0.5% fee. Fees for other destinations vary.
|Every transfer involves a fixed fee plus a variable fee that both depend on the currencies involved.
|Revolut does not add a mark-up to the exchange rate from Monday-Friday.
|Wise does not add a mark-up to the exchange rate.
Round 3: Spending money
|Free in the UK, and free abroad Monday-Friday within the £1,000 monthly “fair usage” currency conversion limit.
|Wise currency conversion fees apply if you don’t already hold a balance in the local currency.
|Currency conversion fees
|Free Monday-Friday in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) within the £1,000 monthly “fair usage” currency conversion limit. Above this there’s a 0.5% fee. Fees for other countries vary.
|Fee of 0.24% to 3.69% for card payments and ATM withdrawals, depending on the currency involved.
|Free up to £200 or 5 withdrawals per month in the UK then a 2% charge. Currency conversion fees apply above the £1,000 monthly “fair usage” limit if you don’t already hold a balance in the local currency.
|2 free withdrawals in the UK or abroad up to a total of £200 per month, then a 1.75% fee and a 50p withdrawal charge. Currency conversion fees apply if you don’t already hold a balance in the local currency.
Our verdict: Is Revolut better than Wise?
Both Revolut and Wise are a good shout if you need to send money abroad fairly often, or if you travel frequently and need a card with lower fees to use overseas. For small occasional transfers within the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Revolut can’t be beaten.
In you want an everyday account to go along with that card, then Revolut would be the better option. It offers a full e-money account experience and a great app (Wise wasn’t born as a current account, and it shows). It’s also slightly cheaper use to its card abroad on weekdays, as there are no currency conversion fees during the week.
But there are some cases where the Wise account will make more sense. For example, if you need “local” bank details to receive international payments, or you often need to transfer money in one of the currencies that Revolut doesn’t cover. And if you don’t want an account or an overseas spending card, and only want to send money abroad occasionally, then you can still use Wise’s money transfer service without signing up for the multi-currency account.
You can also hold a greater selection of currencies with Wise – over 50 in fact. With Revolut, you can hold around 30 different currencies.
More guides on Finder
Best money saving apps in the UK 2024: Build a savings pot
There are times when we could all do with a hand to save money, and we’ve assembled some of the best apps to help you do it.
Here’s all you need to know about the digital banking service that is aiming to make banking accessible to all.
Starling Bank business account review
Thinking about opening a Starling business account? Take a look at our analysis to find out if it’s suited to your company.
Fuze Card review
Fuze Card is a device to store all your cards in one place. But does it actually work and is it worth the price?
Can cryptocurrency be used to build a peer-to-peer bank for everyone? BABB is certainly trying, so we took a look at how it’s supposed to work.
Soldo promises to revolutionise the way your business manages its expenses. Our review analyses its features and fees to see if it’s worth it.
What is Open Banking?
Open Banking can open the way to new products and services for UK customers. Read this guide to find out all you need to know about Open Banking, from APIs to regulations.
Looking for a digital-only bank account? We explore the app and all of the fees and features that come with a Pockit online current account.
Plum app review: The AI assistant that helps you save money
Plum’s app uses artificial intelligence to help you set aside money and spend wisely. Our review analyses the money management features on offer.
Chip savings app review
The Chip savings app will connect to your current account and stash money away automatically. We cover all you need to know about the innovative app in this review.