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Wise (TransferWise) review

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

finder.com’s rating: 4.25 / 5.0

★★★★★

How’d we get our score?

Fees & rates: 3.0 / 5.0
Speed: 4.0 / 5.0
Services: 5.0 / 5.0
User experience: 4.0 / 5.0

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24 hours

Fastest Transfer Speed

$1

Minimum Transfer Amount

$1,000,000

Maximum Transfer Amount

Details

Available CurrenciesAED, ARS, AUD, BDT, BGN, BRL, BWP, CAD, CHF, CLP, CNY, COP, CRC, CZK, DKK, EGP, EUR, GBP, GEL, GHS, HKD, HRK, HUF, IDR, ILS, INR, JPY, KES, KRW, LKR, MAD, MXN, MYR, NGN, NOK, NPR, NZD, PEN, PHP, PKR, PLN, RON, RUB, SEK, SGD, THB, TRY, TZS, UAH, UGX, UYU, VND, XOF, ZAR, ZMW
Customer ServicePhone, Email
Pay ByCredit card, Debit card, Bank transfer
Receiving OptionsBank account

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 Multi-currency account to see if it fits your needs.

Why should I consider Wise?

  • Easy to use. We signed up for an account and initiated 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 a Social Security number. You have to provide your SSN and possibly other identification 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 US dollars, Wise’s fees are the same no matter what country you are sending to from the US. 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 ACH, bank wire transfer, debit card or credit card — each uses its own fee based on the amount you are sending, but the percent will typically be the same no matter how much you send.
  • Location. Transfers sent from different places in the US should all use the same fee table, but those may change if you are traveling abroad and sending money from other countries.

Wise fees explained

When we checked on April 13, 2020, Wise’s fees tended to be as follows, based on the type of payment method you are using:

Payment feeWise feeTotal fees
Bank debit (ACH)0.35%0.5% – 1%0.85% – 1.35%
Wire transfer0.53%0.5% – 1%1.03% – 1.53%
Debit card1.24%0.5% – 1%1.74% – 2.24%
Credit card3.66%0.5% – 1%4.16% – 4.66%

To give this more context, here is what sending $1,000 to Mexico through Wise looks like on April 13, 2020:

Payment feeWise feeTotal fees
Bank debit (ACH)$3.49$7.62$11.11
Wire transfer$5.34$7.61$12.95
Debit card$12.35$7.57$19.92
Credit card$36.61$7.42$44.03

Wise exchange rates explained

Wise uses the mid-market rate for transfers and also allows you to lock in a rate for a day or more to complete your transfer. When we checked Wise’s rates against the mid-market rate on Google and XE, they were similar. Wise’s rates update multiple times a day.

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.

  • Fastest option — 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. Your credit card might charge you an additional cash advance fee, further increasing the cost of your total transfer.
  • Cheapest option — up to four business days
    Making an ACH payment through your bank account to pay for your transfer 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 US. You can check out the full list of the currencies above, but the following are some of the more popular ones:

  • CNY Chinese yuan
  • EUR Euro
  • GBP British pound
  • INR Indian rupee
  • MXN Mexican peso
  • LKR Sri Lankan rupee
  • PHP Philippine peso
  • VND Vietnamese dong

Must read: Temporary sending limit to Mexico

As of Jan 20, 2021, a temporary limit of $980 (or the same amount in Mexican pesos) has been placed on transfers to Mexico by Wise. We’ll update this information once the limit has been lifted.

Case study: Katia's experience

Katia Iervasi profile photo
Katia Iervasi
Writer

I began using Wise when I moved to the US from Australia a few years ago. I tested a few money transfer services and Wise was — and still is — my favorite for a couple of reasons:

  • It’s transparent. As soon as you enter the amount of money you want to send, you’ll see the real, mid-market exchange rate as well as Wise’s fees. The rate changes so much that if I get distracted and come back to the site a few minutes later, it may have already changed. That’s how I know it’s current.
  • The fee is small. Especially compared to the traditional banks — as someone who regularly transfers money between two continents, I appreciate this. The funds usually appear in my account in 24 hours, but it can take longer if I hit send just before the weekend.

Is Wise safe?

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.

Wise reviews and complaints

As of October 2020, 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?

US customers can pay using the following methods:

  • Debit or credit card. These payments are processed immediately.
  • ACH bank debit. You’ll need to allow one to four business days for your funds to reach Wise.
  • Bank wire transfer. Allow up to one working day for your transfer to reach Wise. Beware of extra fees charged by your bank.
  • 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 Multi-currency account. For more information on this account, read our review that includes pros, cons and overall tips on this product.

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 US. Both standard users and Wise Business users can contact support during business hours.

  • Standard users call +1 888 908 3833
  • Business users call +1 888 829 3669

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 April 13, 2020
Google Play Store4.4 out of 5 — based on 76,666 customer ratings
Apple App Store4.7 out of 5 — based on 19,100 customer ratings

More on the best money transfer apps

Compare Wise to other transfer services

Our table lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Compare services on transfer speeds and fees, then click Go to site when you're ready to send.
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
OFX
24 hours
$0

View details
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Dunbridge Financial
Dunbridge Financial
24 hours
$0

View details
Dunbridge Financial offers diverse transfer options to more than 120 countries.
CurrencyTransfer
24 hours
$0
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally £5,000)

View details
Exclusive: Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally $5,000).
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
XE
Within minutes
$3

View details
XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
WorldRemit
Within an hour
From $1.99

View details
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Wise (TransferWise)
Within an hour
From $2.26

View details
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Instarem
Within an hour
$1

View details
Exclusive: Use code GET60 and save $30 on each transaction over $200. Valid for the first two transactions and till 31st July 2021. T&Cs apply.
Instarem offers zero transfer fees on all transfers.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers

View details
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Western Union
Within an hour
From $0

View details
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
MoneyGram
Within an hour
From $0

View details
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Find out other alternatives to Wise

Want to compare Wise with 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. Set up a business profile with Wise to begin saving on business payments. If you’re interested in Wise for your e-commerce store, read our review of the features on offer.

Does Wise have a debit card?

Yes. Wise has a debit card in the US available to all residents except those in Nevada and Hawaii. With it, you can 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.

How can I cancel my Wise transfer?

In your account, navigate 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.

Methodology

Our team analyzes money transfer providers offering services in the US — from big names to digital upstarts. We rank rates and fees, speed, services and user experience for the following companies:

  • Wise
  • XE
  • OFX
  • WorldRemit
  • Currencies Direct
  • Western Union
  • RIA Money Transfer
  • MoneyGram
  • Remitly
  • Payoneer
  • Remit2India
  • Xoom
  • PayPal

Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

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25 Comments

    Avatarfinder Customer Care
    Zak
    November 30, 2020

    Hi Rudy,

    Thank you for reaching out.

    To send US dollars to Colombia via TransferWise to a mobile number you’ll need to:

    1. Download the TransferWise app
    2. Add your friend’s phone number to your contacts
    3. Tell your friend to download the TransferWise app and setup his bank details
    4. Send money through the app, using your friend’s mobile number

    Hope this helps.

    Regards,
    Zak

    Default Gravatar
    Ron
    May 13, 2019

    What is the difference between SWIFT and IBAN?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangco
      May 14, 2019

      Hi Ran,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder! A SWIFT code is used to identify a specific bank during an international transaction, whereas IBAN is used to identify an individual account involved in the international transaction. Both play an essential role in the smooth running of the international financial market.

      Hope this helps!

      With care,
      Nikki

    Default Gravatar
    Mark
    April 15, 2019

    Hello, I am wondering when does this $7 online fee of Transferwise apply? I do not see it mentioned anywhere on TW website. When I try to calculate my fees sending money with card to bank account it does not show that any such fixed fee is added.

    Thanks!

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanes
      April 16, 2019

      Hi Mark,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      The online fee changes based on the amount being sent as well as the country to where the funds would be received. You may contact TransferWise customer service to learn more on the fees associated with sending money internationally. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

    Default Gravatar
    Alex
    March 6, 2019

    @TransferWise I tried to send $2500 using transfer wise, but got an email that my account was deactivated for no reason and the transaction was cancelled. However I did not receive the $2500 back toy bank account. It’s been about 2 months now. I’ve been trying to call and email the customer support, but they keep saying they cannot give me any information and I have to wait more, every time I contact them I hear the same thing. Are they just stealing people’s money???

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanes
      March 7, 2019

      Hi Alex,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      I understand the frustration you are dealing with right now. You may need to escalate this further when you call TransferWise by speaking to a supervisor or manager perhaps. Hope this would work.

      Cheers,
      Reggie

    Default Gravatar
    Jane
    February 9, 2019

    What is the partner bank of TransferWise here in Casablanca Morocco or where can I pay my transaction? Thank you.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Joshua
      February 10, 2019

      Hi Jane,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      TransferWise allows you to send money directly to your recipient’s bank account. So, it is most probable that no matter what bank your recipient has, you can send it to his/her bank. However, you can also confirm with TransferWise.

      Regarding your second question, you will make payments online. When you click the “Go to site” green button found on this page, you will be redirected to their website where you can make the transfer. When you’re there, you will see that there are a few options for you to make payments. You can pay through debit or credit card, bank transfer, ACH bank debit, and bank wire transfer. You can read more about this by reading the information found under the subheading, “What types of transfers can I make with TransferWise?” found above.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

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