Wise (TransferWise) review

Wise offers a low-cost way to send money overseas with an easy verification process.

  • Good for transparent fees and no margin on the exchange rate.
  • Not so great if you need to transfer to less-popular currencies.

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From £3.75

Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)

£1

Minimum Transfer Amount

Details

Product NameWise (TransferWise)
Minimum Transfer Amount£1
Pay ByCredit card, Debit card, Bank transfer
Receiving OptionsBank account
Customer ServicePhone, Email
Available CurrenciesAUD, BRL, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, HRK, HUF, JPY, NOK, NZD, PLN, RON, SEK, SGD, TRY, USD
Bank Account Required?Yes
Personal Account Manager?No

Review by


Zak Killermann is a writer at Finder who’s been specializing in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology for four years — covering everything from ICO booms, crypto winters, memecoins and more. He’s mined and minted cryptocurrencies, and remembers the days when DOGE was just for fun. Zak’s focus is in breaking down technical concepts (like yellow papers) for the average folk to digest on their morning commute. Before diving into all things crypto, Zak contributed to Finder’s money transfers vertical.

Expert review

Wise, unlike a lot of its competitors, makes it crystal clear how much you are paying in fees before you transfer. Money transfer companies can often try to hide fees and exchange rate markups from the user, making Wise a breath of fresh air. Wise offers accounts for both standard users sending to other individuals as well as business accounts with extra features like Xero integration.

When it comes to online transfers, I would be surprised to see big names like MoneyGram and Western Union offering better rates, but keep in mind that other online-specific companies may offer better deals than Wise. If you find yourself traveling overseas frequently or receiving payment in foreign currencies, be sure to look into the Wise Borderless account to see if it fits your needs.

Why should I consider Wise?

  • Easy to use. We were able to sign up for an account and initiate a transfer through the website in less than three minutes.
  • Affordability. When compared to a bank, Wise’s fees and exchange rates will almost always be better.
  • Access to the mid-market rate. Wise offers the mid-market rate on all transfers sent through its network. All you have to think about are fees when comparing transfers.
  • High daily sending limits. A cap of £1,000,000 per transfer is in place, but some sending methods and locations may lower that limit.
  • Multiple payment options. Pay with a debit card, credit card or bank account with ACH or wire transfers. When using the Wise mobile app, you can also pay with Google Pay and Apple Pay.

What to be aware of

  • Bank account transfers only. Funds must be sent to the recipient’s bank account; there is no option for cash pickup.
  • Two-step process. You’ll first send the money to Wise, and then Wise will deposit the money into your recipient’s bank account. This extra step can sometimes add time to your transfer.
  • Requires proof of ID. You’ll have to provide proof of your ID and address before sending your first transfer through Wise.
  • Fees. Because Wise offers the mid-market rate, it relies on fees to make a profit.

Wise’s fees and exchange rates

As long as you are sending pound sterling, Wise’s fees are the same no matter what country you are sending to from the UK. Fees are determined by the following:

  • Amount. The more money you send, the higher your fees will be. This is because the fees are based on a preset percentage. Each currency uses its own percentage.
  • Payment method. You can pay by bank account, bank wire transfer, debit card or credit card.
  • Location. Transfer fees may change if you are travelling abroad and sending money from other countries.

Wise fees explained

The fee is made up of a percentage of the transfer amount, plus a small fixed fee which varies according to whether you opt for a fast transfer, paying with your debit or credit card, or a low-cost transfer, paying via your bank account.

To give this more context, here is what sending EUR 1,000 to Germany through Wise looks like on on 2 March 2021:

Fixed feeVariable feeTotal fees
Fast transfer£0.26£6.66 (0.67%)£6.92
Low-cost transfer£0.26£3.69 (0.37%)£3.95

And here’s what you’d pay if you wanted to send INR 1,000 to India:

Fixed feeVariable feeTotal fees
Fast transfer£0.31£8.15 (0.82%)£8.46
Low-cost transfer£0.31£5.17 (0.52%)£5.48

Wise’s fees are transparent and always visible when you’re calculating or making a transfer, so you won’t be surprised by hidden fees.

Wise exchange rates explained

Wise uses the mid-market rate for transfers. Its rates are updated multiple times a day, but Wise also allows you to lock in a rate for a day or more to complete your transfer.

Sometimes called the interbank rate, the mid-market rate is what your money’s actually worth on the global market compared to another currency. It’s the midpoint between worldwide supply and demand for that currency – and the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves. When we checked Wise’s rates against the mid-market rate on Google and XE, they were similar.

Calculate your transfer with Wise

Choose your currency and desired transfer amount. Exchange rates change frequently, so visit Wise’s site to get a final quote.

Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
Wise (TransferWise)
4 hours
From £3.75

View details
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
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Check if there are any Wise promo codes available

How long does a Wise money transfer take?

Wise transfer speeds are dependent on how much you are willing to pay in fees and when you send your transfer.

  • Fast transfer: instant
    When using a credit or debit card, you’ll pay more in fees, but your money can arrive instantly in your recipient’s bank account.
  • Low-cost transfer: up to four business days
    Paying for your transfer through your bank account is typically the cheapest way to send money through Wise, but it’s almost always the slowest. It typically takes two days for Wise to receive your money and an additional two days to transfer the funds to your recipient’s bank account.

What currencies can I send with Wise?

Wise offers money transfers to over 50 different currencies from all states in the UK. You can check out the full list of the currencies above, but the following are some of the more popular ones:

  • AUD Australian dollar
  • CNY Chinese yuan
  • EUR Euro
  • INR Indian rupee
  • KES Kenyan shilling
  • PKR Pakistani rupee
  • NZD New Zealand dollar
  • USD United States dollar

Is Wise safe to use?

Wise was founded in 2010 and serves millions of customers a year. Wise is fully registered and accredited by many global agencies, using the following global standards to protect your money:

  • Follows strict rules set by regulatory agencies. In every country where Wise operates, it is registered with the appropriate regulatory agencies when necessary.
  • Bank-level data security. Encryption and data storage at Wise are handled in the same way as your bank.
  • Two-factor authentication. Protect your account with 2FA, with optional biometric locks on the Wise mobile app.
  • In-house 24/7 digital security team. A security team works around the clock to monitor transactions for suspicious activity and accounts for fraudulent logins.

What Wise’s reviews say

Reviews accurate as of 2 March 2021.

Trustpilot4.7 out of 5 – based on 113,915 customer reviews
Monito8.8 out of 10 – based on staff reviews

Wise’s reviews are moderately positive overall, with 86% of reviews on Trustpilot ranking it as Excellent, which is better than many competing money transfer companies. Overall, Wise’s clear fee structure and transparent rates make it easy to trust, but that doesn’t mean it is perfect. Customers often complain about slow customer service and turnaround times as well as the fact that missing a dash in your transfer account number can heavily delay your transfer.

How can I pay for my Wise transfer?

UK customers can pay using the following methods:

  • Debit or credit card. These payments reach Wise immediately.
  • Bank transfer. This option requires a maximum three business days to reach Wise, depending on the currency.
  • Bank wire transfer. Allow up to one working day for your transfer to reach Wise.
  • Google Pay and Apple Pay. These services can be used through the Wise mobile app and are processed straightaway. However, these payment methods may be charged as a cash advance.
  • A connected Wise borderless account. This works like a multicurrency account and is good for businesses, traders and people living abroad.

    The funds are deposited directly into your recipient’s bank account once Wise receives your payment. Wise allows you to make secure one-off transfers to a range of destinations around the globe. However, there currently is no option to set up recurring transfers.

    How do I send money through Wise?

    Follow these six steps to have money sent in as little as a few minutes:

    1. Register. Create your free account online or through the mobile app.
    2. Enter your sending amount. Look at the fees and delivery time.
    3. Add recipient’s bank account information. Make sure to include the routing and account number.
    4. Verify your identity. Have your passport or valid driver’s license ready.
    5. Pay. Enter your bank account, debit, credit card or digital wallet details to pay.
    6. Track your transfer. Check the status online or in the mobile app.
    Go to site

    How do I reach Wise’s customer service?

    Wise offers support in two ways:

    By email

    To contact Wise by email, visit the Contact Us page and enter your email address, select the topic of the question and provide as much detail as possible about your problem.

    By phone

    Wise provides phone support in 12 regions, including the UK. Both standard users and Wise Business users can contact support during business hours.

    • Standard users call 020 3695 0999
    • Business users call 020 3808 7139

    Does Wise have a mobile app?

    Screenshot of Wise's app

    Wise has a mobile app on both the Google Play and Apple App stores. The app makes it possible to do the following:

    • Quickly repeat a transfer. See a complete list of past money transfers and send to past recipients in a few taps.
    • Log in with biometrics. On phones that support face scanning and thumbprint reading, use these features to lock your Wise account.
    • Get rate updates. Waiting for the perfect exchange rate? Set up rate tracking to get updates when the price is in your favor.
    • Increase your payment methods. Pay for your Wise transfer with Apple Pay and Google Pay while using the mobile app.
    Ratings accurate as of 2 March 2021
    Google Play Store4.5 out of 5 – based on 109,019 customer ratings
    Apple App Store4.8 out of 5 – based on 38,400 customer ratings

    More on the best money transfer apps

    Compare Wise to other transfer services

    Table: shows partner brands and other brands, sorted by popularity
    Our table below lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Choose if you want to send under or over £10,000, and you’ll be shown a list of services that can help you.
    Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
    Wise (TransferWise)
    4 hours
    From £3.75

    View details
    Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
    TorFX
    24 hours
    £0

    View details
    TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
    Central FX
    24 hours
    £0

    View details
    Central FX's dedicated team will guide you or your business from first call to final payment.
    Currencies Direct
    24 hours
    £0

    View details
    CurrenciesDirect makes transferring money abroad simple with bank-beating exchange rates.
    CurrencyTransfer
    24 hours
    £0

    View details
    CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
    XE Money Transfer
    Within minutes
    £2
    SPECIAL OFFER ✓ £25 Amazon voucher when you refer a friend

    View details
    XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
    Wise (TransferWise)
    4 hours
    From £3.75

    View details
    Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
    CurrencyFair
    24 hours
    €3
    SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Zero fees on your first 10 transfers

    View details
    CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
    Azimo
    Within minutes
    From £0.99
    SPECIAL OFFER ✓ First two transfers free for new customers.

    View details
    New customers use code AZIMO50 to get GBP 5 off when you transfer GBP 50+. Valid till 31 October 2021. T&Cs apply.
    Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries.
    Remitly
    Within minutes
    From £1.49
    SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Free transfers and better exchange rates for new customers

    View details
    Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
    WorldRemit
    Within minutes
    From £1.99
    SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.

    View details
    Send money to Cameroon with zero fees. Valid till 20 October 2021. T&Cs apply.
    New customers spend GBP 20 and use code TAKE10 for a GBP 10 discount. Valid till 7 November 2021. T&Cs apply.
    WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
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    Find out other alternatives to Wise

    Want to compare Wise to other services side-by-side?

    Bottom line

    Wise is a straightforward company that presents fees and exchange rates alongside your transfer. Given that you can lock-in your transfer rate for many hours after first seeing it, it’s worth checking Wise’s prices first before exploring the competition. If you are ready to make your transfer with Wise now, head on over to get started by creating your free account.

    Go to site

    Frequently asked questions

    Can I use Wise for business payments?

    Yes, you can set up a business profile with Wise to begin saving on business payments. Or, if you’re interested in Wise for your e-commerce store, read our review on the features on offer.

    Does Wise have a debit card?

    Yes, Wise has a debit card in the UK, which lets you spend any currency on your card and use it to withdraw money across the world for free (up to EUR€250 a month). You can find out more about our experience with it in the video below.

    How can I cancel my Wise transfer?

    In your account, go to the pending transfer and there’ll be a button called Cancel transfer. This will work if the money is still being sent to Wise or if it’s being converted. However, once Wise pays your recipient, there’s no way to get it back. If the details are incorrect, the money will usually bounce. Wise will let you know in this case, so you’ll have the opportunity to update the details or cancel the transaction entirely.

    Always make sure you trust the business or person you’re sending a money transfer to.

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