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Wise (TransferWise) review

Wise offers a low-cost way to make international money transfers.

  • Good for offering the mid-market rate on all transfers.
  • Not so great if your recipient doesn’t have a bank account.

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24 hours

Fastest Transfer Speed

$1

Minimum Transfer Amount

$1,000,000

Maximum Transfer Amount

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 as it looks to offer the mid-market rate. Wise offers account for both standard users sending to other individuals as well as business accounts with extra features like Xero integration. When it comes to online transfer, it would be surprising to see names like MoneyGram or Western Union offering better rates, but keep in mind that other money transfer specialists may still offer better deals than Wise.

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 the fees when comparing transfers.
  • High daily spending limits. A cap of $1 million is in place for local transfers and $1.6 million for SWIFT transfers.
  • 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.

How much are Wise’s transfer fees?

Wise is transparent with its fees and you will always see the cost upfront. It typically charges a fixed fee and then a small variable fee which is usually a percentage of the amount that’s converted.

Fees are also 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.

When we checked on August 8, 2022, Wise’s fees for sending $1,000 to India were as follows:

Payment feeWise feeTotal fees
Bank debit (ACH)$2$7.56$9.56
Wire transfer$3.52$7.55$11.07
Debit card$13.51$7.49$21
Credit card$41.23$7.30$48.53

How are Wise’s exchange rates?

Wise is unusual as it 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. Most money transfer providers will add a markup to their exchange rate in order to make a profit.

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.

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What are the ways I can send money abroad with Wise?

Wise only supports bank account transfers, but the transaction is easy to complete online.

How to send money transfer online with Wise

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

  1. Set up an account. Create your free account online or through the mobile app.
  2. Enter your sending amount. Look at the fees and the delivery time when you have entered how much you want.
  3. Add recipient’s info. Input your recipient’s bank account information including routing and account number.
  4. Verify your identity. Have your passport or valid driver’s license ready and provide evidence when prompted.
  5. Pay. Enter your bank account, debit, credit card or digital wallet details to pay.
  6. Track your transfer. Check the status of your transfer online or in the mobile app.

What are Wise’s payment options?

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. Be aware 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 straight away. 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 full review.

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, but currently has no option to set up recurring transfers.

How long does an international transfer with Wise take?

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

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. However, keep in mind that your credit card might charge you an additional cash advance fee, further increasing the cost of your total transfer.

Making an ACH payment through your bank 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. Then it is an additional two days to transfer the funds to your recipient’s bank account.

Transfers typically takeClock icon for transfer speed

1 day

How much money can I send with Wise?

While Wise does have limits in place as to how much you can send, these are comparatively high – making Wise a strong contender if you want to send a large money transfer.

Transfer limits depend on which currencies you send to and from, and how you pay. For US dollar transfers, you can send up to $1 million per local transfer and up to $1.6 million per SWIFT transfer.

Is Wise safe to use?

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

  • Follows regulatory guidelines. In every country where Wise operates, it is registered with the appropriate regulatory agency and follows the strict rules that are set out.
  • 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 and 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.

How does Wise compare to other money transfer services?

If you want to see how Wise compares to the exchange rates and fees offered by other money transfer services, enter the details of your transaction into the table below.

1 - 15 of 15
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.
Currencies Direct
Within an hour

View details
CurrenciesDirect makes transferring money abroad simple with bank-beating exchange rates.
Xe
Within minutes
$3

View details
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Currencies Direct
Within an hour

View details
CurrenciesDirect makes transferring money abroad simple with bank-beating exchange rates.
CurrencyFair
24 hours
€3

View details
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
WorldRemit
Within an hour
From $1.99

View details
Use the code ‘4FREEFINDER’ to get 4 free transfers if you are a first time user. Eligible countries only.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
CurrencyTransfer
24 hours
$0

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.
Wise (TransferWise)
Within an hour
From 0.41%

View details
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0

View details
Use code FINDERUSA20 for $20 off your first transfer from the US when you send at least $250. T&Cs apply.
Free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0

View details
Use code FINDERUSA20 for $20 off your first transfer from the US when you send at least $250. T&Cs apply.
Free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Instarem
Within an hour
$1

View details
Instarem offers zero transfer fees on all transfers.
MoneyGram
Within an hour
From $0

View details
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
Currencies Direct (business)
Within an hour

View details
Minimizes costs of international transactions and offers custom solutions for business clients.
OFX International Money Transfers (Business)
24 hours
$0

View details
Business customers: Send safe, no-limit transfers with no fees and competitive exchange rates.
CurrencyTransfer for Business
24 hours
$0

View details
Increase business efficiency with zero transaction fees and same-day transfers.
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25 Comments

  1. 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

  2. Default Gravatar
    Ron
    May 13, 2019

    What is the difference between SWIFT and IBAN?

    • Default Gravatar
      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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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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