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.
Fastest Transfer Speed
Minimum Transfer Amount
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 fee||Wise fee||Total fees|
|Bank debit (ACH)||$2||$7.56||$9.56|
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.
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:
- Set up an account. Create your free account online or through the mobile app.
- Enter your sending amount. Look at the fees and the delivery time when you have entered how much you want.
- Add recipient’s info. Input your recipient’s bank account information including routing and account number.
- Verify your identity. Have your passport or valid driver’s license ready and provide evidence when prompted.
- Pay. Enter your bank account, debit, credit card or digital wallet details to pay.
- 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 take
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.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.